Development Is CHILD’S PLAY! prides itself in the quality of our staff. We recruit the best possible candidates who are professionally trained and skilled in engaging children in the therapeutic process. Then, we provide extensive supervision and mentoring to further develop the skills of our therapists. All clinical staff members have degrees in occupational therapy, have passed a national exam and are licensed in California to provide occupational therapy.
The majority of the staff at Development Is CHILD’S PLAY! is certified or in the process of obtaining certification in the evaluation and treatment of sensory processing disorders. Therapists may have other additional training in feeding/swallowing issues, neurodevelopmental treatment, auditory interventions (e.g. therapeutic listening); fine motor issues (e.g. handwriting programs) and other techniques. We train interns and provide advanced training in sensory integration intervention for international occupational therapists.
Our clinical therapy staff currently includes:
- Alisha Leong, CCC-SLPAlisha Leong, CCC-SLP
Alisha Leong, CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist
Alisha Leong received her M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2018. Alisha has been practicing speech therapy since 2018 and has been at Development Is CHILD’S PLAY! since January 2020. Alisha’s clinical background includes diagnosing and treating a variety of communication disorders in pediatric and adult populations within clinics, schools, and homes. She believes progress not only comes from therapy, but also from the support within their own environment!
"I have felt supported professionally and personally working alongside thoughtful, team focused therapists. We all have one goal in common - making a positive impact on each clients' development."
- Anquisha CrutcherAnquisha Crutcher
Communications Engagement Coordinator (CEC)
Anquisha has been the Community Engagement Coordinator at Development is Child’s Play since 2020. From Memphis, TN, Anquisha moved to California shortly after receiving her Bachelors in Business Organization Management.
Anquisha’s main purpose as a Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC) is to collaborate with Therapists, Marketing, and Public Relations to develop relationships, establish good communication and rapport with the community, and make our good works known to the greater Bay Area.
“Working with a great staff and team who is dedicated to bringing life to every situation is rewarding. I look forward to growing with this company!”
- Catherine O’Sullivan, MS. OTR/L.Catherine O’Sullivan, MS. OTR/L.
Catherine O’Sullivan, MS. OTR/L.
- Danielle Zold, RD, CLCDanielle Zold, RD, CLC
Danielle Zold, RD, CLC
Pediatric Registered Dietitian
Danielle is a Pediatric Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor. Danielle was born & raised near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and began her nutrition journey at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. She landed in sunny Denver, Colorado and completed a dietetic internship with the largest health department in the state. Since then, she has gained extensive experience working in WIC, Early Intervention, and private practice as well as obtaining an additional credential in lactation. Danielle is also currently working on her Certified Leap Therapist (CLT) and Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition (CSP) credentials.
Danielle understands how frustrating it can be for parents of picky eaters who just want their kids to eat. Danielle is trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding and frequently uses the Ellyn Satter Division of Responsibility model to reduce parent stress and child anxiety around meal and snack time. Danielle has a holistic approach, focusing on nutritional adequacy, the feeding environment, medical conditions, as well as what makes your child special: their individual preferences, skills, talents, and strengths!
“I love being able to work on a multidisciplinary team here at DICP. Nutrition isn’t simply the food that we eat; it’s how we get the food to our mouth, how to chew and swallow, and how to create positive feelings around food. I love that I can work on a team with other professionals who can help your kiddos nourish their bodies in every aspect!”
- Hana Ju Leonard, MA, OTR/L.Hana Ju Leonard, MA, OTR/L.
Hana Ju Leonard, MA, OTR/L.
Hana received her undergraduate degree from UCLA with a BS in Psychology. She received her MA in Occupational Therapy from USC. Hana has been a practicing OT since 2011, and has been at DICP since 2003! Hana worked in several non-public schools for children on spectrum before ending up at DICP. She is trained in Therapeutic Listening, Integrated Listening System, SOS approach to feeding, DIR/Floortime, and the Beckman oral-motor protocol.
"I always wanted to be in a 'helping' profession, and I always knew I wanted to work with kids, so when I first heard about OT my Junior year of college, I knew right away that's what I wanted to do! I love that as an OT not only can I directly work with a child and help them be more independent, successful and happy, but I can also work with and get to know the parents and other family members and help to enrich their lives as well. For over 8 years of my OT career I worked in non-public schools for children with moderate to severe autism in the bay area and New York City. And although I am so grateful for the experiences I got in those settings, professionals I learned from, and children I worked with, there is something very special about the ladies and culture of DICP that I have never had in a work setting before. It is very rare that you enjoy working with each and every person and everyone is there to help, support and sacrifice for one another....so I feel extremely blessed to call DICP my work home."
- Jen Ohara, MS, OTR/LJen Ohara, MS, OTR/L
Jen Ohara, MS, OTR/L
Jen attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she completed her BA in Psychology. She then received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. Jen started her career as a special education teacher in Kobe, Japan, where she lived for three years. Upon returning back to her hometown in the Bay Area, she continued to follow her passion of working with children with special needs and became a special education teacher at a school in Palo Alto while pursuing her teaching credential through Santa Clara County. There, she has worked with a large variety of kids with diagnoses from Autism Spectrum Disorder, dyslexia, ADHD, Down Syndrome, and kids with other developmental, mental health, and behavioral needs. Jen loves working with children who have learning disabilities or are struggling and gives kids and families the tools they need to succeed at home, in school, and in the community.
"I love working with children at DICP because it is rewarding to watch the kids grow to be the best version of themselves! It's amazing how OT can target the root of the problem during the session so that higher-level skills can start to emerge. I want parents to know that you're not alone, I'm here to support you and your child through to the end. I'm cheering for you guys to succeed!"
- Jenni Adelman, MS, OTR/L.Jenni Adelman, MS, OTR/L.
Jenni Adelman, MS, OTR/L.
Jenni is an occupational therapist who started with DICP as a volunteer. Jenni received her undergraduate degree from San Jose State University with a BA in Child and Adolescent Development and graduated from San Jose State's occupational therapy program in 2007. She started as an occupational therapist at DICP in 2008. Jenni's OT interests and training include The Astronaut Program, Therapeutic Listening, The Wilbarger brushing protocol, The Alert program, Zones, of Regulation, and Handwriting without Tears. She has experience in hippotherapy and working with adults with developmental disabilities but is truly passionate about working with children.
"I feel so fortunate to have found a profession so well-suited to me. I have known I wanted to work with children since I was 5! I love the active nature of the job, the ability to work closely with families, the creativity, and the problem solving. I love seeing the children light up, feel proud of themselves, making connections with them, and seeing changes over time. I am passionate about the power of play and to have found a career where I get to play (with a purpose), interact closely, and make connections with children is so fulfilling. On top of that I get to work with amazing, talented, and strong women who are equally passionate about helping children and their families, and in a clinic overflowing with resources!"
- Joy Ho, M.S., O.T.R./L. Joy Ho, M.S., O.T.R./L.
Joy Ho, M.S., O.T.R./L.
- Kaitlin Bielec, PT, DPTKaitlin Bielec, PT, DPT
Maria Stelmach, M.S. PT
Kaitlin attended the University of Maryland, College Park where she completed her BS in Biology: Neurobiology & Physiology. She immediately went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Kaitlin moved to the bay area in June of 2020 and has been working at DICP since the summer. Kaitlin loves to travel, especially to the beach, spend time outdoors, and bake desserts to share!
"I became a physical therapist because of my own experience with physical therapy. In high school I tore my ACL playing soccer, and I needed surgery and PT for several months in order to return to the soccer field. After this experience, I always had the idea that I wanted to be a physical therapist and help others in the way my physical therapist helped me. All throughout my education to become a PT, I knew I wanted to work in pediatrics because of my love for kids. I love being a part of a team of people that helps kids and families to accomplish their goals and do things they perhaps never thought they could."
- Karen Swinehart, MS, OTR/L.Karen Swinehart, MS, OTR/L.
Karen Swinehart, MS, OTR/L.
Karen received her undergraduate degree from UC Davis with a BS in Human Development and a minor in Psychology. Karen has worked as a therapist at Development is Child's Play since graduating from San Jose State with a Master's in Occupational Therapy in 2007. Karen is trained in Therapeutic Listening, The Astronaut Training Protocol, Social Thinking, The S.O.S. feeding approach, Handwriting Without Tears, The Learn, Play, Thrive Approach, has completed two SIPT Courses, and has taken multiple courses in Sensory Integration through TheraPeeds. Karen is the clinical fieldwork supervisor for OT student interns, DICP's marketing manager, and the editor of our newsletter, the DICP Digest.
"I have always been drawn to working with children. After college, and during the tech boom, I spent six years working in HR at Sun Microsystems. I realized, after a few years and too many long meetings, that it was time to make a career change and get back to my roots. The moment I walked through the office door at DICP I knew I was where I needed to be. The one-on-one client relationships, the play, the interesting and fun equipment, and the ability to have a more direct impact with my work was so exciting. I feel so fortunate to have found a wonderful place with such fantastic friends and amazing support from our Aides, Volunteers, and Office Manager. I don't know what other clinics are like, but this is the most collaborative, kind, caring, open, knowledgeable, willing, helpful, smart, and funny group of people that I have ever worked with and I can't imagine being a therapist with any other group."
- Kerry Bunger, MA, OTR/L.Kerry Bunger, MA, OTR/L.
Kerry Bunger, MA, OTR/L.
Kerry was born and raised in San Jose, CA, where she still resides. Kerry attended the University of California, Davis where she completed her BS in Physiology. She then received an MA in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. Kerry has been a practicing therapist since 2005, and has been with DICP since 2008. Kerry is SIPT certified and is our Volunteer Coordinator.
"I became a pediatric occupational therapist because of my older sister, Tara B. Tara reacted to her DPT shot in April of 1973 when she was 3 months old. She has right sided hemiparesis, cortical blindness, and has seizures due to her injury. I used to attend Tara's therapy sessions where I watched these amazing people who would help my sister to stand and walk and use her hands, all while playing! I was amazed at how easy it looked, so I would go home and try to copy what they did in their sessions to help my sister. I knew then and there what I wanted to do for my career! Having been the younger sister of a person with special needs, I know the family side of OT. I know the special needs child changes the family dynamic because even though Tara is my older sister, I will always help to care for her, even if that means listening to Christmas music in July. "
- Kirti Gandhi, OTD, OTR/L.Kirti Gandhi, OTD, OTR/L.
Kirti Gandhi, OTD, OTR/L.
Kirti received her Bachelors in Nutritional Sciences from Kansas State University and her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Indiana Wesleyan. Her doctoral residency focused on providing education and establishing a curriculum regarding sensory processing disorder and sensory play at Maryville Crisis Nursery in Chicago, IL. Kirti has been with Development is Child’s Play since 2018. Since then, Kirti has provided comprehensive occupational therapy services working with children from 3 to 21 with varying diagnoses.
Kirti is certified in the Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding. Her OT interests include feeding disorders, Zones of Regulation, Astronaut Training, and DIR/Floortime.
“I always knew I wanted to be in the helping profession and when I first found out about Occupational Therapy my Junior year of college, I knew that it was the right path for me and it was something that I was meant to do. I had the opportunity to work as an occupational therapy and speech therapy aide for an outpatient clinic before getting into Occupational Therapy school, and I absolutely loved how therapists use the power of play to help children learn, grow, and develop to their fullest potential.”
- Lauren Ramirez, OTR/LLauren Ramirez, OTR/L
Lauren Ramirez, OTR/L
Lauren was born and raised in the Philippines. She went to college and received her undergraduate degree in BS Occupational Therapy from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Lauren has been a practicing OT after passing the licensure exam in the Philippines in 2010. She worked with children with different developmental difficulties in several pediatric clinics across Metro Manila and Bulacan provinces. She received her certification from NBCOT in 2014 but continued to serve her fellow Filipino families until 2019. Lauren never doubted her love for children. She continued to search for a place where she can still work with kids and hone her skills as an OT even after migrating to the United States in 2020. Lauren found DICP and joined the family in June 2020.
With 9 years experience in the field, Lauren has worked with children of different needs and along the way she has been trained in Handwriting Without Tears, Talk Tools: Oral Placement Therapy and Feeding, and Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration. Apart from these, Lauren plans on getting herself trained in Sensory Integration, Zones of Regulation and SOS approach to feeding.
“I am very happy to be part of the DICP family! I feel excited that I found a place where I can share my passion for working with children and their families. I even got lucky on getting to know and work with amazing therapists who are equally passionate about what they do!”
- Lydia Coolidge, MS, CCC-SLPLydia Coolidge, MS, CCC-SLP
Lydia Coolidge, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist
Lydia earned her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from UC Davis in 2005 and her M.S. in communicative disorders from San Francisco State University in 2010. She has been a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist since completing her clinical fellowship in 2012.
After graduating from Davis Lydia worked at a non-public school for children with autism. During her time there she was able to work closely with the SLP at the school and found she really loved helping students communicate. Although she was initially most interested in working with children with autism she has found many interests and passions along the way including early intervention, stuttering, articulation and phonological disorders.
She has worked for schools, nonprofits and private clinics. She enjoys that creative challenge of trying to find ways to motivate and engage the children she works with so they can achieve their communication goals.
“I first came to DICP as a parent. My son received occupational therapy from Ms. Kerry. I loved the positive and collaborative nature of DICP, ao when I was invited to help with a kindergarten readiness group in 2018 I happily agreed. I enjoy getting to work in a multidisciplinary environment and seeing the benefits this brings my clients."
- Melissa SantosMelissa Santos
Melissa received her Bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation with a Minor in Health Science from San Jose State University. Prior to starting her work at DICP in August 2019, she worked in a variety of business management positions, as well as facilitated recreational programs for children, teens, and adults with disabilities. She truly enjoys building relationships with the clients and the rewarding experience of seeing their progression over time. Melissa is your go-to person if you have any questions about the services offered at DICP, how to get started, billing, scheduling, and everything in between.
Canine Companions for Independence® Facility Dog
- Sahana Baker-Malone, M.A., O.T.R./L.Sahana Baker-Malone, M.A., O.T.R./L.
Sahana Baker-Malone, M.A., O.T.R./L.
Sahana grew up and homeschooled in rural Maui, Hawaii. Sahana majored in Psychology at Scripps College in Claremont, California before receiving an MA in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. Sahana has been practicing occupational therapy since 2003 and has been at Development is Child’s Play since 2004. Sahana previously worked in the only hospital on Maui, helping patients in acute and rehabilitation care, hand splinting, and performing modified barium swallow studies. Sahana has advanced certifications in the Sensory Integration and SIPT, swallowing and feeding, Therapeutic Listening, pediatric pelvic floor rehabilitation, and the Masgutova Method.
"I love this clinic and the professional and personal camaraderie I have with my fellow therapists. I love working with children and families to help make life more fun and successful. I hope that we can help support our clients and families in new and creative ways. We are always happy to hear from our families and colleagues about how we can best meet your needs!"
- Sarah Coon, MS, OTR/L.Sarah Coon, MS, OTR/L.
Sarah Coon, MS, OTR/L.
Sarah Attended San Jose State University receiving her BS in Occupational Therapy and a MS in Occupational Therapy.
Sarah started working with DICP July of 2019. Working with children to build their overall gross motor skills including core strength, upper body strength, ball skills, balance, bilateral coordination, motor planning, body awareness, and endurance is her speciality here at DICP.
“I have been working with children of all ages for a total of 14 years and in that time I have learned that children are resilient, forgiving, and want to learn despite differing abilities, resources, and/or situations. As an occupational therapist, I feel extremely fortunate to be able to provide kids with strategies, tools, just right challenges, and opportunities to help them learn, grow, and become more comfortable with who they are as individuals.”
- Sena Felt, OTR/L.Sena Felt, OTR/L.
Sena Felt, OTR/L.
Sena received her BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Puget Sound. Sena has been practicing occupational therapy since 2001 and has been at Development is Child’s Play since 2008. She previously worked in acute care rehab at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, at a skilled nursing facility and private school based setting in the Greater DC area, as well as a multi-disciplinary pediatric facility in Egypt. Sena became a co-owner of Development is Child’s Play in 2017. Sena is certified in the administration and interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) and is trained in reflex integration, feeding, animal-assisted therapy and several forms of therapeutic listening including iLS, The Listening Program, and Therapeutic Listening. She enjoys mentoring therapists and is inspired to create a practice that not only empowers children and their families but also empowers the amazing staff and team of therapists at Development is Child’s Play to be their best and sparks their own growth and development.
I became an OT because it was important to me to have a career where I made a positive impact and contributed to the overall well-being of others. I became a business owner because I wanted to guide the practice towards a more holistic approach of meeting the needs of our families in a way that is much greater than I could ever do as an individual therapist, while still maintaining the same high quality services that have been part of Development is Child’s Play for decades.”
Here is a quick video about how much we miss all of our DICP family. Please watch and enjoy!
Are you interested in finding out more about our staff or our services? Please feel free to give us a call at 408-865-1365.