At Milestone Therapy, we want each of our kiddos (and their families) to feel comfortable in their own skin. From the moment you enter any of our clinics and interact with any of our staff, you should realize we’re not your typical pediatric therapy center. Making sure we have individuals that are caring, attentive, and professional at all levels throughout Milestone is key to our long term success.
We hope you’ll check out the profiles below and get to know some of our crew, as we are truly fortunate to have some of the best-skilled and genuinely thoughtful therapists in the area.
Toni graduated from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa in 1998 with her Master’s in Physical Therapy. She jumped right into the world of pediatrics along with doing some outpatient orthopedic and adult home health. She began working with Milestone Therapy in 2005, and has worked in the school setting, early intervention, and in the Highland outpatient clinic, where she now is Lead Therapist coordinating the therapy side of the facility. Toni is married and has two very fun kids of her own.PAT
Pat attended the University of Colorado for his undergraduate degree, majoring in physiology and continued his studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program, graduating in 2016. Pat completed a clinical rotation with Milestone therapy in 2014. He continued his involvement with Milestone by participating in a mentorship program as well as organizing and volunteering at monthly respite nights. Pat thrives on working in the family-centered, high-energy environment of pediatric physical therapy and uses creativity while problem solving to facilitate children to reach their full potential. Pat joined Milestone in 2016, and is currently working in Illinois Early Intervention in the Bloomington-Normal area.JESSICA
Jessica received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UIC in 2014 and has long been passionate about working with children. Jessica grew up in St. Louis, where she spent years volunteering with children with disabilities, including through teaching dance lessons, assisting in infant and toddler classrooms, and serving as a chaperone on summer challenge trips that included sailing, hiking, and tandem bike riding. After studying biology as an undergraduate at Boston University, Jessica moved to Chicago and continued to work with children as a teaching assistant at Child’s Voice School. At UIC, she received a grant to participate in a pediatric scholars program for PT and OT students. Since graduating, Jessica has worked at Milestone Therapy in schools, Illinois Early Intervention in the Chicago area, and at their Highland clinic. Jessica has experience with children with a variety of diagnoses, including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, torticollis/plagiocephaly, and visual impairments.SHAWNERY
Shawnery is a physical therapist assistant (PTA) who has been treating in pediatrics since 1997. She works side by side with other early interventionists, starting her career as a Developmental Therapist. When she completed her schooling, Shawnery was able to provide physical therapy services to her families and enjoy every minute of it. Prior to becoming a PTA, Shawnery was a nurse’s assistant in the home care setting as well. Shawnery is always looking for new strategies and continues to use her precious experience toolbox that has made her who she is today. Her motto is, “work hard to play hard”.KATIE
Katie has been working as a physical therapist assistant since graduating from Fox College in 2012. She has always wanted to work in a setting that put patient care above all else. Once Katie started working for Milestone Therapy in December 2012, she knew she had found her niche. Katie has worked mostly with the severe to profound population focusing on optimizing function, seating, positioning, and mobility. Her favorite workday is one that involves delivering a new piece of equipment to her patients.RACHAEL
Rachael Dunlap has been treating kids with special abilities for about 15 years and enjoying every minute of it. Her physical therapy career has been anchored in the school systems and early intervention. While specializing in the severe to profound population through the years, she is now moving into more mainstream districts to continue to develop her pediatric skills. More importantly, Rachael’s favorite color is purple and her favorite guilty pleasure food is Rice Krispy treats!ANNE
Anne is originally from Plainwell, Michigan. In December 2000, Anne graduated from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois, with her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. She spent the first 11 years of her career practicing in the outpatient orthopedic setting, treating primarily the adult population. Anne served 3 years in the United States Navy, as a Lieutenant Physical Therapist in the Medical Service Corps. In 2011, Anne moved to California, where she made the transition to the pediatric population. Anne practiced in an outpatient pediatric clinic from 2012-2014, which provided physical, occupational and speech therapies. It was there that Anne developed her love of working with children and their families. In 2014, Anne returned to Illinois and became credentialed to provide ongoing physical therapy services within the Illinois Early Intervention Program, and is now a credentialed evaluator within the program. Anne’s area of interest is treating children in the 0-3 years old population, and helping them learn to play, develop and interact with their family and peers. She is dedicated to her continued learning and growing within the pediatric population.ANN
Ann went to undergraduate college at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and graduated with a degree in kinesiology. She started out pre-med but quickly found that she loved the personal interaction with patients and their families that physical therapists are lucky enough to have. It was then that she decided to get her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and work with kids in the early intervention setting. Ann has been working in EI since 2010 and loves that every day working with children brings new challenges but also is very rewarding. Ann is currently loving Chicago city living and working in pediatrics!DREW
Drew left the business world in 1997 to return to school and pursue his dream of becoming a physical therapist. While he thought that he’d wind up working in sports or outpatient orthopedics during his education at UIC, he fell in love with working with children somewhere along the way. After a series of pediatric jobs in Illinois Early Intervention and at local hospitals, Drew decided to start his own company, Milestone Therapy, in 2002. Initially doing solely early intervention, the company has grown to include all major pediatric disciplines in both Illinois and Indiana. In addition, MST now works with a large number of school districts throughout the Chicago-land and Northwest Indiana area, as well as having clinics to support families outside the EI and scholastic environments in each state respectively. While the business end of things can be time consuming, Drew’s passion still lays with treating children on a day-to-day basis. ‘Helping a kid learn how to take their first steps makes it easy to get out of bed every morning.’JESSICA
Originally from New England, Jessica received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. With a passion for traveling, she completed a 10-week pediatric clinical rotation in Phoenix, AZ. This began her interest and love for treating infants and children. She completed another rotation in Chicago, in which she quickly decided would be her new home. Jessica is excited to join the Milestone team and begin working with children and their families to help children reach their full potential.DENISE
During a four-year enlistment in the USAF, Denise decided on a career in pediatric physical therapy, allowing her to combine a love for kids within the medical field. After attending school in Charlotte, North Carolina, Denise returned home to Northwest Indiana. She worked at a non-profit agency in Gary, Indiana for 10 years, and then became a school therapist. She currently provides physical therapy services for districts in Indiana and Illinois, and fills her summer hours at out-patient pediatric facilities and completing extended school year services.JENNIFER MALWITZ
JENNIFER MALWITZ PONCE
Jennifer is a physical therapist who enjoys working with families and helping children meet their milestones. She earned her doctorate from UIC in 2015 and takes advantage of many opportunities to continue to develop her education and skills in the area of pediatric therapy. Prior to studying to become a physical therapist, she lived in Costa Rica, working for an organization that provided medical services to underserved communities. After years of classroom study and living in several Latin American countries, she is fluent in Spanish. Jennifer believes every child deserves to have as many opportunities as possible to reach his or her potential. When appropriate, she enjoys working with other disciplines to provide a cohesive plan for the child. Her approach to therapy is to assist and educate families and caregivers so that they can integrate activities into their daily routines. She considers the best part of her job is figuring out ways to develop a child’s skills through play activities that the child and their family can enjoy doing togetherSHANA
Shana Manning (Physical therapist): “Shana studied Movement Science at the University of Michigan and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with her doctorate in Physical Therapy. Shana was introduced to the world of physical therapy when she needed therapy herself following sports injuries. She always knew she wanted to go into healthcare and physical therapy was the perfect fit.
Entering physical therapy school, Shana was planning on a career in outpatient orthopedics, until she had her first pediatric class. Shana has always been passionate about working with children, coaching youth soccer and volunteering as a coach for special Olympics gymnastics. She decided to complete her first two-week clinical in an outpatient pediatric setting. She loved it and has not looked back since. Shana looked for other opportunities to further her interest in pediatrics, taking both of the pediatric electives offered at her school, completing another 12 week clinical in pediatrics, and applying to the Illinois LEND program, an interdisciplinary leadership training program, with a focus on neurodevelopmental and related disorders.
Shana is all about working with kids and giving them the best care possible by collaborating with families and other therapists. She finds the opportunity to impact the life of a child most rewarding.”ALLIE
Allie received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. She then moved across the city to the University of Illinois Chicago to complete her doctorate in Physical Therapy. Allie has always had an intense passion for working with children and truly feels that she has found her niche working in pediatric physical therapy. After completing internships providing therapy services to children in school based settings, performing hospital based therapy, and providing services in early intervention, it was clear that working closely with families was the most fitting and rewarding path for her. Taking a job with Milestone Therapy after graduation in 2015, Allie began her journey in pediatric physical therapy and looks forward to a career working to help boost development and improve function for children in their naturalistic environments.MIRETTE
Mirette has always enjoyed being around children and has been involved with coordinating Sunday school and children events with her church. She has also been a part of Milestone’s Respite Night where she has enjoyed spending time with kids of different ages and using her creativity in these events. She went to Benedictine university for her undergraduate, majoring in psychology and continued her studies at Midwestern University in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. She graduated in May of 2016 and during her studies she completed a 10-week clinical with Milestone Therapy and knew that it was the right fit for her. She joined Milestone in 2016 and is currently working in early intervention and outpatient orthopedic therapy. Mirette is excited to be a part of every kiddo’s journey in reaching their full potential.JENNIFER
Jennifer has been practicing PT since 1994. Her initial focus of practice has been pediatrics and aquatics. She now continues to focus on Illinois’ Early Intervention and school-aged children. Jennifer continues to have an interest in working with adaptive equipment, educating parents and caregivers, as well as mentoring peers. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys outdoor activities, CrossFit, and triathlonsJENNA
Jenna has always had a passion for working with children. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in Health and Human Physiology, she moved back to Chicago in 2011 to pursue her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at University of Illinois at Chicago. While at UIC, she participated in a grant-training program, which further prepared her for a career in pediatrics. Throughout her clinical rotations, Jenna gained experience in a variety of settings including inpatient pediatrics and neonatal intensive care. It was during her 3 month clinical with Milestone Therapy that she fell in love with the early intervention setting, and Jenna wholeheartedly joined the Milestone team in 2014. Jenna works with families in early intervention throughout the city of Chicago as well as children of all ages at the Milestone Therapy clinic in Highland, IN.COLLEEN
Colleen received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Marquette University in 2009. Colleen always knew she wanted to work with children and help them achieve all that they can. She spent the beginning of her career in a hospital setting. She was looking for a career change to form long term relationships with children and families. Colleen joined the Milestone Therapy team in 2017 and is looking forward to working in early intervention.MELISSA
Melissa graduated from University of Illinois Chicago in 2016 with a doctorate of physical therapy. She was always very interested in injury prevention due to her involvement with sports growing up, but it was in the second year of graduate school that she fell in love with pediatric physical therapy. She had the opportunity to take an elective on early intervention therapy and was hooked immediately. After two pediatric clinical affiliations, she cannot imagine working in any setting other than pediatrics. “I am thrilled to begin my career with Milestone Therapy and make an impact in the lives of children and families throughout Indiana!”HEATHER
Director of Therapy Services/Physical Therapist
Heather graduated from the University of Miami (FL) in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and then continued her education at Belmont University to achieve her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009. After graduation, Heather worked for a hospital system where she treated adults in inpatient rehabilitation, day rehabilitation, and outpatient settings. While she enjoyed working with adults, Heather knew her passion was for pediatrics. She joined the Milestone team in 2013. She currently works with a variety of children, ages birth to 21 years old, in the clinic, school, home, and early intervention settings.PUNAM
Punam graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology. She knew early on that she wanted to work with children and was initially considering becoming a pediatrician. However, due to a clinical internship in the pediatric physical therapy department at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in her senior year of undergrad – her priorities quickly changed. After completing a clinical rotation with Milestone Therapy while in graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she was hooked and decided that early intervention and Pediatric Therapy was her niche. Working with children to help them achieve their milestones and helping families accomplish their goals via hands-on therapy became her passion and drive to complete her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at UIC. Punam has been working as a Pediatric Physical Therapist with Milestone Therapy since 2014 and has been working hard to help each and every kid do reach his/her full potential!DEB
Deborah decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy after realizing that she wanted a profession where she could make an impact in the life of a child and their family. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago, with an emphasis in childhood development and behavior. While attending the physical therapy program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Deborah completed a 3-month clinical rotation in a pediatric setting. She quickly realized that the pediatric population was her passion! Deborah has been at Milestone Therapy since 2012 and has worked with kids of all ages; ranging from 6 months to 19 years old in their home and school environment. Each day is a challenging and rewarding experience, especially because every child’s needs and personality are unique, and her goal is to help each child become the awesome person they are meant to be!LILY
Lily has had a lifelong passion for working with children which encouraged her to seek out a profession in pediatric physical therapy. Lily received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, focusing on child development. She went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago where Lily completed a 3-month pediatric clinical rotation at Milestone Therapy. She has been with Milestone since graduating in 2012, working with a variety of ages, ranging from infancy to adulthood. She finds working at Milestone both challenging and inexplicably rewarding. Lily’s passion for pediatric physical therapy grows everyday as she learns from and works with each individual child and family, collaborating to increase independence and attain each child’s highest potential.CYNDI
After getting her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Cyndi decided that little kids are much more fun than graduated cylinders and plastic goggles. After a bit of research on her options, she decided to apply for the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her first year, she was lucky enough to snag a two-week internship with Milestone Therapy where she was first introduced to the world of early intervention. The fun and flexibility of working in peoples’ homes (and local playgrounds) along with the relationships she built with children’s caregivers was enough to lure her back to Milestone Therapy when she graduated in 2009. She has spent most of her time in Early Intervention, but she has also dabbled a bit in scholastic-based therapy. In addition to being a Credentialed Early Intervention provider and Evaluator, she is Milestone’s school District Program Coordinator and a Certified Clinical Instructor for physical therapy students.SYDNEY
Sydney has always enjoyed seeing children learn and grow. She went to Bradley University for her undergraduate, majoring in health science and psychology. She continued her studies at Midwestern University in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program, graduating in 2014. Sydney had the opportunity to spend a 10-week clinical with Milestone Therapy during her schooling and was hooked. She joined Milestone in 2014 and is currently working in Illinois Early Intervention in the Chicagoland area.EFFIE
Effie graduated from Midwestern University graduate school to pursue her dream career of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy. During her final clinical affiliation with Milestone Therapy, she discovered that working with children was quite rewarding and loads of fun! It was at that point she had decided that she definitely needed to begin her career working with children and has been working with Milestone since 2006. Initially working with school kids, Effie worked her way into early intervention. Helping a child learn to sit, creep on all fours, cruise along furniture, and take his or her first steps is absolutely rewarding as a professional and a person. It doesn’t get much better.SHARON
Sharon attended Southwestern Illinois College and graduated from the Physical Therapist Assistant program alongside her indentical twin sister. In 2003 she began her career in the skilled nursing facility setting with the geriatric population. She achieved a promotion to Program Manager after her first year and continued to manage the therapy department for the next 12 years. In 2015 she decided she wanted to expand her experience and joined a pediatric home health agency servicing the North County area of Missouri for medical and early intervention needs and developed a passion for pediatrics! She is married with two daughters. Sharon is very excited to begin her journey with Milestone Therapy to help families and children in Illinois!LAURA
Laura has worked in pediatrics since her graduation from physical therapy school in 1989. She has worked in a variety of pediatric settings including the school system, home health, an early intervention center, an inpatient rehabilitation center, outpatient facilities, and inpatient facilities. Over time she found that her passion lay in working with young children and their families in their home environment, and the early intervention system provided this unique and rewarding opportunity. Laura joined Milestone Therapy in the summer of 2011, servicing Kankakee and surrounding towns, and plans on doing so for a long time to come.
Director of Billing and Facilities
Chris works as a back office administrator covering multiple roles with Milestone Therapy. His core focus is on coordination of all MST’s billing efforts, and maintaining the facilities and computers we work with on a daily basis. He has been with Milestone since 2011, and without him we’d have 25% less testosterone in the company.TRACEY
The Chief of Operations
Tracey brings a level of diversity to our management team. Her education as well as her career accomplishments and personal experiences allow her to manage day-to-day operations and human resources with a smile. Her critical and creative thinking makes Milestone Therapy a unique place to work and play. The combination of Tracey’s talents and efforts, as well as her desire and willingness to help others, finds her to be one of the area’s more respected pediatric therapy professionals. After hours Tracey enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and volunteering with her favorite organizations.DREW
Drew left the business world in 1997 to return to school and pursue his dream of becoming a physical therapist. While he thought that he’d wind up working in sports or outpatient orthopedics during his education at UIC, he fell in love with working with children somewhere along the way. After a series of pediatric jobs in Illinois Early Intervention and at local hospitals, Drew decided to start his own company, Milestone Therapy, in 2002. Initially doing solely early intervention, the company has grown to include all major pediatric disciplines in both Illinois and Indiana. In addition, MST now works with a large number of school districts throughout the Chicago-land and Northwest Indiana area, as well as having clinics to support families outside the EI and scholastic environments in each state respectively. While the business end of things can be time consuming, Drew’s passion still lays with treating children on a day-to-day basis. ‘Helping a kid learn how to take their first steps makes it easy to get out of bed every morning.’ELIZABETH
W.O.O./Speech Language Pathologist
Elizabeth graduated from Miami University, Oxford Ohio with her Undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders and Audiology and her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology. She had a number of clinical placements within the pediatric population but decided on the adult population with a variety of diagnosis in the rehab and outpatient setting. Most recently, Elizabeth has enjoyed working with children in the school setting from early childhood through junior high.HEATHER
Director of Therapy Services/Physical Therapist
Heather graduated from the University of Miami (FL) in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and then continued her education at Belmont University to achieve her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009. After graduation, Heather worked for a hospital system where she treated adults in inpatient rehabilitation, day rehabilitation, and outpatient settings. While she enjoyed working with adults, Heather knew her passion was for pediatrics. She joined the Milestone team in 2013. She currently works with a variety of children, ages birth to 21 years old, in the clinic, school, home, and early intervention settings.
Rosie graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2016 with a bachelor of science in kinesiology. She loves to spend time with her family and travel. She also enjoys finding new and fun ways to exercise and helps others to do the same within her second job as a fitness trainer. Rosie will be starting her application process for graduate school in hopes of becoming a physical therapist. As far as her duties go here at Milestone, call her Rosie the Riveter, this is a girl who isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and take on any project you can throw at her.KATHY
Kathy has over 10 years of managerial experience in a call center before becoming a stay at home mom. During that time she had the opportunity to live abroad and travel internationally with her family. Kathy decided to rejoin the workforce now that her kids are older. She enjoys running and yoga during her free time. She is excited to be part of Milestone and looking forward to her new career!ANTHONY
Clinic Coordinator (Highland, Indiana)
Anthony is an energetic young man looking to make his mark on the world. When he is looking snazzy and business casual, his tasks at Milestone involve assistance with billing, filing, and working on different special projects. While doing day-to-day work for Drew and the crew, observing therapists, and seeing families so proud of the results within the clinic, Anthony found his calling in working with children. He is now proud to say that he is returning to school to become an occupational therapist! Some of his passions include painting, cooking, and being constantly immersed in music!TRISH
Trish Grabowski started working with Milestone in 2016. Trish recently moved from Illinois to Indiana in 2015. She has been in the commercial insurance industry for over 20 years. Her current position is a Billing and Recovery Specialist. While her main job is billing and recovery, she looks forward to meeting the kiddos who come into the clinic! Just seeing the hard work and progress of the kiddos always makes for a good day!JALISA
Jalisa is a recent Health Sciences graduate of Indiana State University and she is currently applying to Occupational Therapy programs. Her responsibilities at Milestone Therapy involve assisting in the human resources area and as well with projects or events with the therapists for the kiddos. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, traveling, attending concerts, and sports. Most of all, Jalisa loves spending time with family and friends!SAMANTHA
Clinic Coordinator – Illinois Facility
Samantha attended Indiana University Northwest and received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After graduation, she began her journey as a service coordinator in the Illinois Early Intervention program. She credits her knowledge of pediatric therapy to the diverse and valuable experiences she gained as a service coordinator. Working directly with families to help them obtain home therapy and witnessing the progress was very rewarding. After six years, she wanted to take her talents and skill set to a different venue. Her goal was to work for a company that was genuine in their mission to help kids, was efficient in their methods, as well as provided an all-around positive environment. Samantha found all of these great things and more within Milestone Therapy! She easily transitioned to the company in 2015, and continues to use her pediatric therapy knowledge to help families obtain the therapy services they need.MANDI
Intake and Early Intervention Liaison
Growing up with a cousin who has Down syndrome, Mandi was always fascinated by the special needs population. She became involved with the Illinois Early Intervention Program in 2006 after graduating from Illinois State University with a degree in Psychology. Mandi’s Service Coordinator position in the Illinois Early Intervention program was a perfect first step in her career, providing her a role that taught her many useful skills for the both the professional and special needs world. Mandi states, “On a personal side, it made me feel I was actually making a small difference in the families’ lives on my caseload. Seeing the children meet their milestones after therapy was my biggest reward”. After seven years with EI and servicing thousands of families along the way, she knew she was ready for a change. When the opportunity presented itself, it made perfect sense to take on the role of Birth to Three Intake and Audit Coordinator with Milestone Therapy, a position that would allow her to keep helping families as well as offer opportunities to further develop her exceptional professional talents.Judith
Billing and Facilites Administrator
Clinic Coordinator (Highland, Indiana)
Erin comes to us from the health and fitness industry. Although that career was rewarding and she was extremely good at what she did, Erin was looking for a change that would be more fulfilling and give her stability. With her great eye for detail and her strong organizational skills, taking on the Clinic Coordinator position for Milestone was the perfect choice.
When Erin is not busy balancing the therapists schedules she enjoys various fitness and outdoor activities whilst spending time with her handsome husband Anthony and their dog Murray.LORETTA
Loretta has been with Milestone Therapy since 2013. She is responsible for maintaining all hard copy and electronic files. She is also responsible for various office duties as required. Loretta attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Her organizational skills were honed from having a large family, operating a home daycare, and from owning and managing three restaurants.LEXI
Therapy Technician/Administrative Assistant
Lexi graduated from the University of Iowa in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Physiology and earned a certificate in Disability Studies. Through her volunteering at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics and family health challenges, she was introduced to the field of Occupational Therapy. Currently, Lexi is working as a Therapy Technician at the Franciscan Health Olympia Fields location. She is also pursuing her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Governors State University.JULIE
Julie ensures all data that comes in and goes out of Milestone is kept and tracked accurately. As strict as rules can be around patient and client data, Julie serves a vital role for the Milestone team. Julie would tell you more about herself, but her commitment to secrecy prevents her from doing so. =)
Kim has been an occupational therapist since 2013 and loves working with all children, particularly those on the autism spectrum in the school system. Prior to being an OT, Kim has worked with children and families in various capacities and many different abilities in order to help them enjoy their daily activities.CANDACE
Candace has always had a passion for children and it continued to grow as she had two of her own. After various changes of her major in college, she came across occupational therapy and fell in love. She graduated with her associates degree and became a certified occupational therapy assistant in 2016. She had the pleasure of doing one of her fieldwork rotations within Milestone and knew she could not picture herself working for any other company. Candace currently works in a clinic setting with children with a variety of needs ranging from learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and cerebral palsy. She also sees children 0-3 in their homes through First Steps and truly believes early intervention is the key to success.LYDIA
Although Lydia’s passion has always been to work within the field of pediatrics, after earning her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Chicago State University in 2011, Lydia started her career working in a hospital, with the adult population. In efforts to better understand the continuum of care, she provided services in the outpatient, acute, intensive care unit, and sub-acute rehab setting. As time passed, Lydia felt something was missing and a friend suggested switching to pediatrics. After practicing for 2.5 years, Lydia decided to work as a school therapist. Since making that change in 2013 Lydia is happy to say she found the right fit and shows no signs of turning back. Lydia loves collaborating with families and seeing children meet their developmental or educational milestones. Lydia strongly believes, the key to personal growth and increased participation in everyday life tasks is through creating a strong therapeutic relationship with both the child/family, and establishing a good foundation within an optimal learning environment. She is excited to be part of a company that shares the same passion and she is ready for the rewarding experiences that lie ahead.Taylor
Taylor received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2013. After much debate on which career path to take after her undergraduate program, she observed an early intervention occupational therapist and immediately knew this was the the route she was meant to take. She graduated from St. Louis College of Health Careers in Fenton, MO in 2016 and is now excited to begin her career with Milestone Therapy in the Illinois Early Intervention System as a certified occupational therapy assistant. She has always had a passion for working with children and now gets to put forth her passion and efforts to the families and children she serves through early intervention.Tiffani
Lorrie is very excited to be part of the Milestone therapy team as she embarks on her second career. Lorrie worked as a pediatric nurse for many years, caring for children with developmental delays and diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, and many more. As an occupational therapy assistant, Lorrie is passionate about helping children overcome obstacles and develop to their full potential. She has been working in the schools and clinic since 2012 with children and young adults ages three to 22. It has been rewarding for her to see the students grow and succeed through the use of sensory strategies, adaptations, and assistive technology. She feels fortunate to be able to go to work every day and love what she does!ASHLEY
Ashley is thrilled to be part of the Milestone Therapy Family. Ashley has been a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant since 2008, spending many of those years with the pediatric population. She has experience with autism, sensory integration, developmental delay, Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, Cri-du-Chat syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness, and many more. She has compassion to see children reach their highest potential including educating and training the child’s caregiver(s) with what they need to know to help get their little one to their highest potential as well. Ashley loves working as a team with everyone involved.
Quote from autism spectrum disorder, through my eyes:
Sometimes, real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.
In 2009, Colleen decided to make a career change and pursue a degree as an occupational therapy assistant. She graduated from Lewis and Clark Community College in 2012 and it was definitely worth the sacrifice. Colleen is a military wife and spent several years overseas in 3 different countries, always reinventing herself to become productive in the workforce. In 1999, her family moved to Illinois where they were stationed at Scott AFB where her husband has retired and is currently still working. In the years living here, Colleen accepted a position in the school system working with children who have autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. She enjoyed this and stayed for 5 years before deciding to go back to school. Her love has always been to work with children and this life decision was later reinforced when she accepted a position with Milestone Therapy. She is very grateful to have this opportunity and to be working with families who have the confidence in her and let her work with their children. Someone once said that if you wake up every day and feel like you are not going to work than you have chosen the right path. Everyday day she feels like she is making a difference and it is a pleasure to do what she does!CORIN
After completing her occupational therapy education from Utica College in upstate New York in 2001, Corin began her career in California working with children. A series of fortunate events brought her to Chicago with her husband in. Shortly after in 2008 she found herself across a table interviewing with Drew Haverstock and Milestone Therapy. Since then, Milestone has helped Corin continue her passion of working with children but has also allowed her to start and build a family of her own. She feels that working with children is not work but often an extension of motherhood. She feels privileged that families allow providers into their homes to support them and their children. She feels blessed every day that she can be excited about working and often learns just as much from the families as they learn from her. In 2010, she relocated to southern Illinois with her husband to start a family of her own. She now supports these families through Illinois Early Intervention and is hoping to grow the company in this area with assistance from Drew and the rest of the staff and providers at Milestone.RACHEL
Rachel has been working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant in pediatrics since 2015. She has worked with families and children possessing a wide range of needs and abilities in a variety of settings such as schools, early intervention, and outpatient clinic. Rachel loves learning, new challenges, and the opportunity to be creative, all of which pediatric occupational therapy offers. Her passion is working with children and families to help them achieve their goals while making therapy FUN! Rachel is really excited to work, learn, and grow as a practitioner with you and your family.SUZANNE
After 22 years of teaching Kindermusik™ to children age birth to 7 years, Suzanne became a caregiver for a friend with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which led her to the vocation of Occupational Therapy Assistant. Her training in occupational therapy and extensive experience with children enable her to address a child’s unique developmental needs to maximize success in performing their daily activities. She believes it is important to facilitate the family’s participation in this process. Suzanne feels privileged to be on the staff of Milestone Therapy in Highland, IN.VIKI
Since graduating as an occupational therapist in 1989, Viki has worked with both children and adults in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, schools, and in homes. She has always had a soft spot for working with children and their families, and has been primarily working within the Illinois Early Intervention Program for the last several years. She believes therapy activities should be fun for the child and the interventions purposeful to address the family concerns for the greatest success. She is experienced in treating children with developmental delays, physical disabilities, and sensory processing disorders.KRISTEN
Kristen loves working with children and becoming an Occupational Therapist was one of the best decisions she has ever made. Kristen graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education. This is where she was introduced to adapted physical education, which led her to occupational therapy. Kristen graduated from Governor’s State University and has enjoyed her time working with Milestone Therapy. Kristen has been working with children in various settings since 2003, with various diagnoses such as sensory processing disorder, autism, Down syndrome, and children with severe and profound disabilities.LESLI
Lesli has a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy and began her rewarding career at Milestone Therapy in 2008. She is currently the Lead OT at Milestone Therapy. She is truly passionate about her job and loves what she does. She believes that building a therapeutic relationship with families is critical to the work she performs on a daily basis. Lesli has worked with a variety of children with a wide array of diagnoses including sensory processing disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and developmental delays, as well as many more. Lesli has had experience in the school system and the clinic setting, as well as early intervention. She also has acquired training in the Handwriting without Tears Program and enjoys providing assistance to children with handwriting difficulties.JACKLYN
Jacklyn went to school in Tucson, Arizona where she received her associates to be an occupational therapy assistant. After having a daughter of her own she realized pediatrics was the demographics she wanted to work with. Her love, patience, and creativity has helped drive her into being the therapist she is today.CLARE
Clare has been learning from and growing with children in the world of occupational therapy since 2014 and is continually impressed by the opportunities to apply what she has learned in helping children and their families to lead more independent lives. She received her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and returned to the Chicago area to be near family. She was drawn to the field by a desire to help children facing challenges in their paths to learn and live lives that are meaningful and important to them. Clare is very interested in how the impact of sensory processing difficulties can impact a child’s happiness, attention and ability to complete his or her daily activities. She’s especially interested in vestibular processing and encourages everyone to go to the park and swing as much as possible! She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys making the world of sensory processing more accessible to families who feel most comfortable speaking Spanish. She works with children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental delay and those who struggle with self-regulation. She is determined to develop a treatment program with the tools of movement, play, music and sensory tools that will help children to be as successful as possible. Her interest in how music can impact self-regulation led her to complete Therapeutic Listening training and certification and she has seen great results using this program.LAUREN
Since graduating from South Suburban College in 2014, Lauren has worked with children in the clinic, schools, and in homes as an OTA. She has always known that she wanted to work with children, and has a soft spot for those with special needs. Lauren loves having such a variety of ways to help kids and their families. She believes the most important part of the process is building a relationship. The most rewarding part of the job is watching kids reaching their milestones and achieving goals. She finds great joy in working with children and loves that they do not set limits on themselves!KAITLYN
Kaitlyn found her love of therapy from job shadowing at an outpatient pediatric clinic while in college. While in graduate school, she had a rotation in an outpatient pediatric clinic and at Comer’s Children Hospital. After receiving her Master’s Degree, she worked on an Acute Rehab floor in a hospital for 2.5 years and then as a traveling therapist. Throughout her 2.5 years as a travel therapist, Kaitlyn has worked in Skilled Nursing Facilities in Indiana, Florida, and California. In Washington, she worked in a Rehabilitation Hospital specializing in strokes, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries and other diagnoses affecting all ages. When she decided to settle back home in a permanent position, Kaitlyn wanted to fulfill her original passion to work with children. She was referred to Milestone Therapy from her graduate school professor and is very excited for the chance and ability to grow in her field. Working in a variety of settings has taught Kaitlyn how to adapt quickly, educate others, and the importance of family involvement in therapy.KRISTIN
Kristin graduated from South Suburban College in 2000 with an Associate degree in Human Services. Several years later she returned to South Suburban College, and completed the Associate program for Occupational Therapy in 2005. She was certified as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in early 2006 in the state of Indiana and Illinois. In 2012 she completed the certificate requirements to work in Illinois as an early intervention provider. In 2017 she completed the certification requirements to work with Indiana First Steps.
Kristin has a range of experience in multiple settings and with varying age groups including outpatient clinics, hospital rehab units, school settings (regular education and special education), and early intervention. Kristin has special interest and professional development in the areas of sensory integration, processing, and regulation. She also has knowledge in the importance of play in the young child to develop learning, social emotional skills, and fine motor skills.KERRY
Kerry Peters is a licensed and registered occupational therapist (OTR/L) with a passion for serving families and their children. She enjoyed fieldwork experiences in outpatient and inpatient pediatrics throughout her graduate program at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa where she received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy (MOT). Kerry, a Chicago native, has worked with children with a multitude of diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and other developmental delays. Kerry likes to incorporate her musical and acting background into her practice by relating to her clients through song and imaginative play. In her free time, Kerry loves to read, explores community theater, and enjoys spending time with her terrier, Pippin.KELLY
Kelly always had an interest in working with children. After attending school to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant, Kelly found that she had chosen a rewarding career. Having the opportunity to work in a school setting, EI (early intervention), and clinical base, she has worked with children of varying abilities since 2012 including those diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder, Down syndrome, and developmental delays. The most rewarding aspects of being a therapist are watching the children achieve milestones and working with the families. By maintaining a close relationship with caregivers, Kelly is able to teach them strategies to improve their child’s functional skills. It gives her great satisfaction to be a part of their early development.BERNADETTE
Bernadette graduated with her Occupational Therapy Assistant degree in 2012 and knew without a doubt that pediatrics was her special interest. She had dabbled in the outpatient rehabilitation world for seven years as a human resource specialist, often hiring new therapists. Through personal experiences of family members requiring therapy for a variety of disabilities, illnesses, and post-surgical rehabilitation, Bernadette found her path to becoming a pediatric therapist. She has experience working with children from birth to adulthood with a variety of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, development delay, cerebral palsy, and several genetic syndromes within the school, home, and clinic settings. Bernadette works each and every day as a mom of a child with ADHD, anxiety, and dysthymic disorder; therefore, practicing what she preaches. She believes that families are the strongest key to effective therapy and through therapist-family collaboration, every child can reach and exceed their potential. Bernadette looks forward to continue working with the families of Milestone Therapy.
Yolanda attended St. Xavier University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education in 1996. She worked for the Chicago Public Schools for several years until she moved to Indiana. In 2009, she decided to pursue a career in Developmental Therapy after her son was in the Illinois Early Intervention program. She was extremely happy with the therapist’s hard work and dedication, and the impact it made in her son’s development. Since then, she has worked with children with a variety of delays. She believes in the importance of family involvement and establishing a good support system with families.KATE
Kathleen has been the Lead Developmental Therapist for Milestone Therapy since 2013. She began her career as a developmental therapist in 2002, shortly after earning her Master of Science Degree in Child Development with Infant Specialization (Infant Studies) from the Erikson Institute. Prior to earning her Masters, Kathleen was a childcare provider who worked in several childcare settings from 1990 to 2002. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance. Kathleen has experience treating children with many diagnoses, including Down syndrome, autism, prematurity, epilepsy, speech delay, developmental delay, and sensory processing disorder. She specializes in infant development, infanttoddler mental health, and use of the DIRFloortime approach (Developmental, Individual-differences, & Relationship-based model) to intervention. Kathleen believes that children learn best through discovery and that families are integral to intervention. She encourages families to participate in sessions by interacting with their children. She provides therapy in a natural, routinebased, and playbased way that allows children to explore and learn in a relaxed manner in order to encourage strong family relationships, curiosity, and imagination.SARAH
Sarah McCarthy started her career in special education in 2004 and has been a Developmental Therapist for Milestone Therapy since 2013. She earned a B.S. in Special Education in 2004 from Illinois State University and a M.A. in Reading Education in 2008 from Concordia University. As a Developmental Therapist, Sarah works to empower families to facilitate their child’s growth, global development, and identify specific areas of need and areas of strength. Sarah collaborates with your family and other early intervention providers to develop play activities designed to help a child overcome their challenges and help them gain confidence in their own ability to learn and to acquire skills. Sarah worked in the public schools as a multi-needs teacher for 9 years. Through Sarah’s experience she has worked with families to help support students in and out of the classroom. Sarah is well-informed of the IEP process and can help families understand the transition process to the schools. Sarah is knowledgeable about autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, ADD/ADHD, traumatic brain injuries, visual and hearing impairments, Angelman syndrome, dandy walker, speech delays, and sensory processing disorder. Sarah has experience using picture exchange communication systems, basic sign language, sensory and behavior strategies. She’s always felt fortunate in being able to work with children, as she lives daily the credo that “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”NIKKI
Nikki has over 20 years experience working with children. She has been a
developmental therapist for seven of those years with Indiana First Steps. Nikki
began her career working as a kindergarten teacher after receiving her degree in
elementary education from Loyola University. She has worked as a preschool
teacher, an infant/toddler specialist, and a counselor for a residential facility for
children suffering from trauma due to abuse and/or neglect where she currently
also directs a program for children with special needs. Her range of experience has
enabled her to learn the tools necessary to help children reach their greatest
potential despite whatever difficulties and hurdles they face in their development.
Her desire to move from teaching in a traditional classroom to focus more on
children with developmental delays occurred when her niece, Melanie, was
diagnosed with Rett’s syndrome and Nikki was able to witness first hand how much
the First Steps team helped her niece and empowered the family to be advocates
and teachers for Melanie.
Nikki strives to make learning new skills fun and as natural as possible for the child
and family. One of her greatest joys is witnessing a big smile on a child’s face when a
new skill has been mastered and her hope is that she makes a positive impact on the
children and families she works with through Milestone.
Angela holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan and also a Master’s in Child Development from the Erikson Institute. After graduating from Erikson, Angela went on to become a certified Child Life Specialist, working at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago. She spent seven years providing social and emotional support to children and families, empowering them through their medical experiences. This time afforded Angela the opportunity to work with a diverse group of children, many with complex medical and developmental conditions. Angela has been working with families in early intervention since 2015. Angela uses her knowledge about child development, along with her experience working with families, to provide developmental therapy that meets each child’s unique needs while incorporating a whole family approach. Angela places a high value on the importance of play and believes that “play is the exultation of the possible” (Martin Buber). Angela is passionate about helping children thrive and providing parents with the tools to support their children as they grow.
Kelly graduated from the University of Illinois in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech & Hearing Science. She spent the following two years at a special education school as a speech-language paraprofessional providing therapy for children with various disorders. After moving to Ohio and working at a clinic for children with autism, Kelly attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated in 2013 with her Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. During her graduate coursework, Kelly spent a year working in a school district providing speech therapy for the elementary school population. Kelly’s experience has focused on pediatric speech and language deficits and she enjoys working with parents and kiddos to reach each child’s potential!NIKKI
Nikki has been providing Speech & Language services within the school setting since 2011. She is passionate about creating appropriate and exciting therapeutic services to the children on her caseload. She firmly believes that each child has the potential to learn and teach us all about perseverance.JESSICA
Jessica is a 2013 graduate of Saint Xavier University where she received her Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology. Jessica also completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Calvin College’s Speech Language and Hearing Sciences program in 2011. Jessica has always loved working with children. It has been a passion of hers since she was young and has continued to grow over the years while on a mission trip to Guatemala working with children in orphanages, babysitting during college, and working with children during her graduate training. Throughout her clinical experiences at Saint Xavier and while completing externships, Jessica was exposed to a wide variety of clients in a number of different settings. She has also gained valuable knowledge and experience working in a school with the special education population and an outpatient clinical setting working with children ages 2 to 15 during her first few years out of school. Jessica is excited to begin her position with Milestone and hopes to learn and grow as a therapist during her time here so that she can help the children she works with reach their full potential.MELISSA
After completing her undergraduate degree at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW) in 2008 and while working on her masters at Governors State University in 2010, Melissa realized that the pediatric and school age population was her true calling. Melissa started working with Milestone Therapy as a speech language pathologist in 2011. Nothing is more rewarding than helping a child learn to communicate with family, master a difficult sound, or understand the world around them. Melissa currently sees children through Milestone Therapy via Indiana First Steps and in the Milestone Therapy clinic. She has experience working with speech and language delays, articulation and phonological disorders, language processing deficits, stuttering, autism spectrum disorders, and AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication).KAITLYN
Kaitlyn attended Miami University in Oxford, OH for her undergraduate and graduate studies, where she received her Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology. Shortly after, she began working for Milestone Therapy in 2015. She works in school, hospital, clinic, and home settings with toddler and school age children. Kaitlyn has evaluated and treated children with everything from articulation concerns to autism spectrum disorder. She is passionate about seeing improvements in a child’s communication skills and looks forward to working closely with parents and caregivers!BRITTANY
Brittany received her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She went on to receive her Masters of Health Sciences in Communication Disorders from Governors State University in University Park, IL. Following her graduation in 2011, she excitedly accepted a position with Milestone Therapy, which allowed her to fulfill her dream of working with the pediatric population. During her career, she has treated pediatrics in the home, school, and clinic settings. She has experience with a variety of disorders including but not limited to: Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, articulation and phonological disorders, stuttering, and language disorders. Since 2015, Brittany has been the Lead SLP with Milestone Therapy. This role allows her to mentor fellow employees and oversee various speech-specific tasks within the company. Brittany has dual licenses in Illinois and Indiana. She sees clients through Indiana First Steps, the Milestone Therapy clinic in Indiana, Illinois Early Intervention, and in-home private visits.ANAIZ
Anaiz received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and then continued her education at Marquette University to achieve a master of science degree in speech-language pathology, with a bilingual English-Spanish specialization. Following graduation in 2013, Anaiz accepted a position working with the pediatric population at an Outpatient Clinic in Racine, WI. She has experience working with a variety of disorders including speech, language, developmental apraxia, phonology, auditory processing deficits, impaired hearing, autism, Down syndrome, and developmental delays in the home, school, and clinic setting. In addition, she has experience in evaluating and treating communication disorders in Spanish and bilingual speakers. She is a huge advocate for bilingualism and believes that every child should have the ability to communicate in both their native and the majority language.RACHEL
Rachel Gard received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2009 and Master of Arts in Speech Pathology in 2011 from Indiana University. After one year of treating the geriatric population, Rachel decided to switch paths and pursue her passion of working in the field of pediatric speech language pathology. Since 2012, Rachel has been treating a variety of pediatric age groups with speech, language, and cognitive delays/disorders. Children with communication disorders have a special place in her heart, and she is grateful to be able to share her knowledge to help them communicate.Michelle
After her studies at Northern Illinois and Governors State Universities, Melissa was introduced to the world of early intervention speech therapy when she joined Milestone Therapy in 2004. Since then she has honed her skills as a Speech-Language Pathologist, working with kids aged birth to 18. Although she loves her full-time profession working with school-aged children, some of her greatest moments have occurred in her part-time work in early intervention. She will never forget the look on his mom’s face when her first early intervention kiddo said, “mama.” That was the day she got hooked. She considers it an exciting and humbling privilege to help change the lives of kiddos and their families by helping them find the power of communication. Melissa provides early intervention speech therapy in both Indiana and Illinois.ELIZABETH
W.O.O./Speech Language Pathologist
Elizabeth graduated from Miami University, Oxford Ohio with her Undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders and Audiology and her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology. She had a number of clinical placements within the pediatric population but decided on the adult population with a variety of diagnosis in the rehab and outpatient setting. Most recently, Elizabeth has enjoyed working with children in the school setting from early childhood through junior high.ELIZABETH
Elizabeth is a licensed speech pathologist who graduated from Governors State University with her master’s degree in 2000. Her experience has focused on pediatric speech and language therapy, specifically birth thru seven. After graduation, she worked in a clinic for four years, where she was allowed to work closely with a variety of professionals, assisting in comprehensive treatment approach. For the past 10 years, Elizabeth has worked in the early intervention system evaluating and treating children, ages birth to three. She currently is working in school district, servicing children three to seven as she continues to target the little ones in early intervention. Elizabeth has a high level of expertise in the area of autism spectrum disorders, oral sensory feeding concerns and motor planning speech disorders. She has worked collaboratively with team members to maximize each child’s development as she feels it is crucial to look at a child as a whole. On her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four children.LAUREN
Lauren completed her first practicum rotation with Milestone Therapy in the summer of 2015. She originally desired to work with adults and geriatrics in a medical/rehabilitative setting, however, she fell in love with the pediatric population on her first day as a student speech therapist. Lauren graduated from Governors State University in May of 2016 with her Master’s of Health Science in Communication Disorders. After graduation, Lauren began her clinical fellowship year with Milestone Therapy. She sees clients through First Steps and the Milestone Therapy clinic. Lauren is passionate about collaborating with families and other team members to help each child succeed and grow. She loves the diversity of her clients and the challenge each new day brings.STEPHANIE
Stephanie received her graduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She continued her education at Elmhurst College obtaining her masters in Communication Disorder. Following her graduate degree, she works at Crown Point School Corporation full time and Milestone therapy in the evening, which allows her to treat many children with varying speech needs. She adores the pediatric population. She has experience with a variety of disorders and age ranges due to treating the pediatric population across different settings. Each child is unique, which makes the job exciting to help each individual with specific needs and help them shine.JENNIFER
Jen graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology in 2015. She recently graduated from University of Central Arkansas with her Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Throughout her graduate school clinic rotations, she has had experience in schools, developmental preschools, adult centers, and pediatric outpatient clinics. Her love of the pediatric setting stems from wonderful experiences in these settings. Originally from Northwest Indiana, she is excited to be moving home and joining the Milestone Therapy team! In her spare time she enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and hanging out with friends and family.DEBBIE SANDERS
Deborah Taege Sanders is a speech-language pathologist at Milestone Therapy. She has worked at Milestone Therapy since 2015. At Milestone Therapy, Debbie works with teens and young adults with emphasis primarily on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) assessment and intervention. Since beginning her career, AAC has been her passion! Her greatest interest is working with individuals with autism focusing on developing communication skills and providing behavioral and learning supports for the home, classroom, vocational, and community settings. Debbie has also provided speech language therapy services to students with complex communication challenges in a suburban Special Education Cooperative since August 2010. Additionally, Ms. Taege Sanders has been a guest lecturer at Elmhurst College on the topic of the use of AAC intervention strategies in the public school setting. During the 2011-12 school year, Ms. Taege was awarded the Technology Professional of the Year Award from Infinitec Southwest. Previously, Debbie also worked at the Assistive Technology Unit (ATU) at the University of Illinois @ Chicago for 12 1⁄2 years providing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) evaluations for people with severe communication challenges. While employed at the ATU, she provided in-services and training on the use of AAC for community agencies and schools. During her tenure with the ATU, Debbie was a regular guest lecturer for the University of Illinois @ Chicago’s Special Education Department and Northwestern University. She has also co-presented at national conferences, such as RESNA and ATIA. Debbie graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1991 with a Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She has held an Illinois State license to practice in the area of speech and language since 1994. She earned her ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in March 1992, her Assistive Technology Practitioner Credential (ATP) from RESNA in July 2000, and her Illinois Type 73 credential in 2010.Laura
Jennifer received her undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology from Miami University before returning to her home state of Michigan to attend graduate school. She received her master’s degree from Central Michigan University and upon graduation, moved to Chicago. She was exposed to a wide-variety of clinical experiences throughout her education and in her first year as a clinical fellow, but after being in an early elementary school placement, she found that there is no other place she’d rather be. She has been working in the school system since 2005 and has loved every minute of it.KATIE
Katie Wolfer earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech Pathology following six years of study at Purdue University. Following graduation in 2013, Katie returned to her home in Northwest Indiana where she began working in the public school system. In 2014, Katie joined Milestone Therapy as a part time employee working in Indiana EI. In June of 2016 she transitioned to working full time at MST and now works in the Indiana clinic and Indiana EI. Katie’s first experience to the world of pediatric therapy began in 1998 when her younger sister was born with Down syndrome and began receiving services through First Steps. Early on, she gained an appreciation for the role of a therapist as partner and, often, cheerleader for the child and family. Katie feels very privileged to be given the opportunity to work with special children and families as part of the Milestone team!KELLY
Kelly received her Bachelors Degree (2010) and Masters Degree (2012) in Communication Disorders from Governors State University. She began her relationship with Milestone Therapy during her student clinicals in 2012 and joined the team shortly after that. Although she has practiced as a speech-language pathologist in the school setting, her greatest memories occur in the early intervention setting, which serves children birth-three years of age. She will never forget the reaction from a mom when an EI child said “love you” for the first time. She feels honored and grateful to be welcomed into family’s homes and accepted as a part of their family. She enjoys working with the pediatric population for the rewarding feeling she gets when progress is made. She is very passionate about helping children and their families attain goals and reach new milestones.KATIE
Katie completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. She graduated with her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology in May of 2017. Katie spent time in clinical internships working with children of a variety of ages and abilities in the clinic, preschool and elementary school settings as well as working with adults in the outpatient and clinic settings. Katie is eager to begin her career at Milestone Therapy serving the pediatric population in First Steps and the Highland outpatient clinic.
Liz obtained her undergrad degree from Ball State University in Special Education. After working in the field for eight years, she obtained a master’s degree in Educational Leadership followed by certification in ABA from Florida Institute of Technology in 2015. Liz has 12 years experience working in various public school districts developing and implementing ABA-based programs for children ages 3-10 with Autism. As a BCBA, Liz specializes in parent education and training. Liz has provided several presentations to educators, parents, and colleagues over the years including topics such as: Autism 101, ABA Strategies for Home and School, An Intro to Communication and Social Skills, and more.