Meet
Our Therapy
Team

 
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About The Owners

Our services are provided within a warm, sensory based environment. We utilize a multi-disciplinary approach, emphasize provider collaboration and family/caregiver participation. Programs addressing a wide range of interests and abilities, from individualized therapy sessions to therapeutic services in private preschools, as well as the placement of classroom aides.

 
 
 
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Danielle Lemon, OTD, OTR/L

Danielle Lemon is a pediatric occupational therapist who owns Lemon Tree Pediatric Therapy Services. Danielle received her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006 and has since worked with children with a wide range of needs including autism, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome.

Danielle specializes in using the DIR model (also known as Floortime) and has received her Professional and Fellows Certificate in the DIR Model through the Profectum Foundation. The DIR®/Floortime™ model is a comprehensive treatment approach that relies on an understanding of how sensory processing challenges affect learning, socialization, communication and behavior, and the developmental process through which children develop the foundational skills for all interactions. Interactive play is used to foster children’s shared attention, engagement, reciprocal communication, problem solving, and reasoning to help them move up the developmental ladder.

Danielle has also received training in Therapeutic listening, NDT, Handwriting without Tears, Interactive Metronome, the SOS approach to feeding, and Infant Massage. Danielle has also taken extensive training courses in Sensory Integration and Social Thinking.

Danielle works in a variety of settings with children including the home, school/daycare setting, and clinic setting. Danielle is an in network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield and is able to work with all insurance benefits as an out of network provider. Danielle is also part of the Illinois Early Intervention System.

Danielle is an in network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield and is able to work with all insurance benefits as an out of network provider.

 
 
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Nancy Ruggles, MS, OTR/L

Nancy Ruggles is a pediatric occupational therapist who owns Ruggles Pediatric Therapy Services. Nancy received her masters in occupational therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 2002. She has since worked with children in with a wide range of needs including sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD, executive functioning, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. She enjoys working with children and their families to help support the child’s ability to participate in their daily routines and occupations.

Nancy specializes in using the DIR model (also known as Floortime) and has received her Professional and Fellows Certificate in the DIR Model through the Profectum Foundation. The DIR®/Floortime™ model is a comprehensive treatment approach that relies on an understanding of how sensory processing challenges affect learning, socialization, communication and behavior, and the developmental process through which children develop the foundational skills for all interactions. Interactive play is used to foster children’s shared attention, engagement, reciprocal communication, problem solving, and reasoning to help them move up the developmental ladder.

Nancy has also received advanced training in Sensory Integration, Therapeutic listening, Handwriting without Tears, Interactive Metronome, and the SOS approach to feeding.

Nancy works in a variety of settings with children including the home, school/daycare setting, and clinic setting. Nancy is an in network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield and is able to work with all insurance benefits as an out of network provider.  Nancy is also part of the Illinois Early Intervention System.

 
 

Collaborating Therapists

Collaborating Therapists have specialized training in various pediatric areas. At Pop! collaborating therapists participate in reflective supervision that benefits not only the therapists, but the clients with whom they work. Therapists meet regularly as a team to review cases, which helps facilitate sophisticated levels of clinical reasoning and increased quality of therapy for the children and families at Pop! Pediatrics.

 
 
 
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Julie Nickels, m.s., otr/l occupational therapist

Julie holds a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois.  She has over eighteen years of experience and has worked in a variety of settings including Early Childhood classrooms, Elementary Schools, a Therapeutic Day School, and a Private Pediatric Clinic.  She has experience working with all ages and a variety of diagnoses which include sensory processing, autism, ADHD, down syndrome, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy. Julie has pursued continuing education in specialized areas such as Therapeutic Listening, Handwriting Without Tears, and Child Centered Play-Based Therapy.  She is also credentialed in Early Intervention Therapy as a provider and evaluator. Julie has also works in the educational setting, giving her a unique perspective on the challenges her clients face during their school day.

 
 
 
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Rosina (Rosie) Leiner, M.S., CCC-SLP speech-language pathologist

Rosie is an ASHA and Illinois Certified and licensed Speech and Language Pathologist with a primary focus in the pediatric field. Rosie received her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in communication Disorders and Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. Rosie is a Credential provider and evaluator for Speech Therapy in the Early Intervention program and has spent most of her career devoting her time to the children and families in this program. Play-based and family centered best describes Rosie’s therapy sessions.

Rosie is trained in PROMPT (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets), LAMP (Language acquisition through Motor Planning) and the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol.  Rosie has experience and special interests in early language development, apraxia and motor planning, high and and low-tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), spectrum and syndrome disorders, speech sound production (articulation, phonology), and therapeutic play skills. She was recently certified in the Hanen Program: It Takes Two to Talk.

 
 
 
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Leslie Stiles, m.s., R.D., c.s.p., l.d.n. dietitian

Leslie Stiles is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition. Since graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Master's degree in nutrition, she’s worked in a variety of settings including The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Head Start, and Early Intervention. She specializes in working with children with food allergies and/or sensitivities, picky eating, underweight, and overweight as well as families who just want to eat better.

Leslie loves the challenge and creativity involved in planning wholesome family meals and snacks on restrictive diets. She is passionate about the power of nutrition and the family meal. As a parent of small children herself, she understands firsthand the reality and struggles of feeding a family. She is ecstatic to team-up with POP Pediatric Therapy to provide multidisciplinary support to children and their families.

 
 
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Jodi Walker, M.A., CCC-SLP-C.P.
Speech-Language Pathologist

Jodi is a speech-language pathologist with 20 years of experience working primarily with a pediatric population. She is also a certified yoga instructor. Jodi specializes in the following areas: Motor speech and apraxia: PROMPT certified, Feeding and myofunctional therapy including muscle reeducation for sleep disordered breathing and TMJD, Cessation of thumb sucking and other oral habits, Breathing reeducation via Buteyko breathing program, Postural and alignment work via yoga, Floortime/child directed interventions with autistic children, Strength based treatment/functional life skills for older individuals with disabilities.

Jodi also provides wellness coaching for adults including postural/alignment work, yoga private lessons, elimination of oral habits, improving cranio-facial-respiratory health.

 
 
 
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Max Doman, m.s., ccc-slp speech-language pathologist

Max is a speech-language pathologist who has a passion for working with children of all ages. Max received his Master's Degree in Communication Science & Disorders from Illinois State University in 2017. He has worked at a private practice for his Clinical Fellowship and subsequent year, implementing different therapies such as floor-time, PROMPT and myofunctional therapy. He has completed an Introduction to Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy course. Max is PROMPT trained and will be completing his certification project in 2020.

 
 
 
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Derby THE Therapy Dog

Derby is a therapy dog in training. He is a doodle mix and is hypo-allergenic. He is working on his skills to become a therapy dog and POP! Mascot. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and are defined but not covered or protected under the Federal Housing Act or Americans with Disabilities act.

Derby will be available, as needed, for individual occupational therapy sessions and group work at Pop! Pediatrics.

 
 
 
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Julia Jordan-Lake, m.a. pre-licensed mental health clinician

Julia is a Masters-level, pre-licensed mental health clinician who is interested in building and maintaining connections with families. After graduating from Samford University in 2017 with her B.A. in Psychology, she completed her program at Wheaton College with her Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Having worked with a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and cognitive abilities, Julia hopes to provide a culturally sensitive and holistic approach while supporting your child. She has experience in providing services to a wide variety of behavioral and neurobehavioral syndromes and referral types including anxiety, depression, ADHD, and learning disabilities, as well experience co-facilitating a weekly psychoeducational group for at-risk adolescents, through her clinical internship. Most of all, she just enjoys getting to play! She recently completed a portion of training for Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), specifically for traumatized children. Julia is expected to have her L.P.C. by early 2020. Julia is also undergoing training in the DIRFloortime model throughout 2019-2020.

 
 
 
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tracy mILEFCHIK, m.s., otr/l occupational therapist

Tracy earned her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois in 2000. Since then, her career has focused primarily on the pediatric population. She has worked in a variety of settings including private pediatric clinics, early childhood and elementary schools, and home-based early intervention. She has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including autism, ADHD, sensory processing, regulatory and executive functioning disorders, as well as developmental motor delays and other special needs. Specialized training and credentialing in programs such as Floortime, Therapeutic Listening, Handwriting Without Tears, and Interactive Metronome have proven to be invaluable tools when working with her clients over the years.

 Tracy is fascinated by the “power of play” and adapting it to each child’s needs so that his/her function can be maximized and generalized to everyday life. She is thrilled to be part of the POP Pediatric Therapy Team.

 
 
 
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laura paszyna, m.s.p.t. physical therapist

Laura graduated from MCP Hahnemann University with a Master of Science degree in physical therapy. She has over 18 years of pediatric experience and has worked in a variety of settings including the home, school/daycare, therapeutic day school, and a pediatric clinic.  She has experience working with a variety of diagnoses including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental delays, stroke, torticollis, hydrocephalus, and autism. Laura is an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield and is able to work with all insurance benefits as an out-of-network provider.  She is also part of the Illinois Early Intervention System as an evaluator and a provider. She has spent most of her career devoting her time to children and families in this program. 

Laura has attended many continuing education courses focusing on a variety of topics including respiratory physical therapy, orthotic management, gait analysis, neuroplasticity, and Kinesio Taping.  She appreciates how many factors play a role in a child’s development and is excited to be a part of POP Pediatric Therapy to provide on-site multidisciplinary support to each child and their family. 

 
 
 
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jessica chambliss, m.s., ccc-slp speech-language pathologist

Jessica received her Master’s of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Illinois State University in 2014. Before this, she graduate with her Bachelor’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Illinois State University in 2012. In 2014, Jessica became ASHA certified. Jessica’s goal is to help children improve their communication skills, so they can thrive at home, school, and in the community. She has worked in an autism program for several years and has experience working with children of all ages and all levels (verbal and nonverbal). Her experience includes the use of AAC devices, direct teaching of pragmatic language skills, as well as therapy for expressive/receptive language skills and articulation. Every child is unique, so building a strong relationship is her first goal to provide effective therapy. This helps Jessica to learn and build off of their strengths and identify areas for improvement to meet his/her needs. Nothing brings Jessica more joy than watching a child’s language grow and seeing the pride and confidence that comes with it. 

 
 
 
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Heather Urban, M.S., OTR/L occupational therapist

Heather earned her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. She has experience in a variety of settings, including Early Intervention and the school system. She has also worked with many different diagnoses, such as Downs syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and various genetic conditions. Heather is familiar with the Handwriting Without Tears and Size Matters Handwriting Programs as well as DIRFloortime, sensory integration techniques, and myofascial release techniques. It is her mission to form safe relationships, respecting a child’s individual experiences to challenge him or her to new levels of growth and learning- all while having fun! She believes that families and caregivers should be equipped with knowledge to facilitate their child’s journey and strives for a child-centered approach to each session.


 
 
 
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rob reynolds, cota/l certified occupational therapy assistant

Robert Reynolds (aka Mr. Rob) has been a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA/L) for nearly 17 years. He has worked in variety of different settings, ranging from intensive care in hospitals to outpatient clinics. Rob is experienced in working with neurological, orthopedic, and otherwise medically complex adults. More importantly, it’s his experiences as the father of four children that steered him towards working in pediatric therapy and ultimately to POP! Rob has both a professional and a deeply personal understanding of working with kids with ADHD and learning disabilities. Rob enjoys working on executive functioning and self-regulation skills, utilizing fun physical activities, such as boxing, and building elaborate obstacle courses. He also enjoys helping children through the challenges of handwriting and navigating peer relationships and social awareness.

 
 
 
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katie baker, cota/l certified occupational therapy assistant

Katie Baker, is a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist, who recently moved from Tampa, Florida. Katie has five years of pediatric experience and has a heavy background in sensory based therapies. She has worked with various diagnoses such as: Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Sensory Disorders, ODD, and Developmental Delays (to name a few!). Katie is certified in Interactive Metronome and has also had a lot of experience with Handwriting Without Tears, and Occupational Therapy in multiple education settings. She is also currently working on getting her Early Intervention certification for the State of Illinois. She is a mom of two kiddos, one of which has some sensory quirks of his own. As a mom, Katie utilizes a holistic approach and loves working together with the whole family in order to achieve the best gains possible. Katie enjoys working on sensory regulation, social awareness, executive functioning, and personal development. She feels that it is essential to see the whole child and grow through fun and play!

 

Community Partners

 
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Kristen mcshane learning specialist/special ed advocate

Kristen McShane is a local learning specialist and special education advocate. She operates The Learning Specialist LLC- a local business that offers two key services to students with learning disabilities and their families- direct support for students and consultation/advocacy for families/service providers. Kristen believes in providing students high-quality intervention to remediate learning challenges and help struggling learners reach levels of success sooner. As a consultant/advocate, Kristen believes in positive school collaboration to ensure maximization of supports and assist transfer of acquired skills to the school environment. She also offers IEP and 504 advocacy.

Kristen is certified in the Orton-Gillingham method for dyslexia/reading intervention. Between herself and her team of Learning Specialists, The Learning Specialist LLC offers high-quality:

-multisensory instruction to remediate and/or support students with math, reading, writing disability/difficulty

-systematic phonics instruction using Orton-Gillingham method for dyslexic or dysgraphic learners

-executive functioning coaching for students with ADHD or non-specified executive functioning challenges

We work with kids, teens and adults and we’d love to work with you!

For inquiries, contact: kristen.mcshane@gmail.com or visit us at www.thelearningspecialistllc.com