Toronto Children’s Therapy Centre Team
We are proud to introduce you to our Toronto Children’s Therapy Center team!
All of our TCTC therapists are self-employed and members in good standing with our respective professional colleges. Service is provided in accordance with the highest professional standards established by our regulatory bodies:
- College of Occupational Therapist of Ontario
- College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
- Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
Each therapist participates in relevant annual professional education in order to stay current and provide evidence-based services.
Clinical Practice Leaders
Lizette Alexander OT
Lizette Alexander OT Reg. (Ont) is a registered Occupational Therapistwho has been working in community paediatrics since she graduated from the University of Toronto in 1997. Her scope of practice includes assessment and treatment of children with Autism, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorders, Developmental Delays, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Feeding disruption or pickyness, Sensory Processing Differences, and also Giftedness. Prior experience includes consultation within schools and community based therapy with children ages 0 to 2 years. She has completed the Level 1 certification course for the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) program and trained in the Pre-K through Grade 5 curriculum and Print Tool ™ assessment. She is also certified in Therapeutic Listening. Lizette is also trained in the Orton Gilligham Approach to reading, writing, and spelling and has successfully adapted the program to support children with special needs in basic reading skills (SK – Grade 2). She is currently on staff at the Child Development Center at the Michael Garron Hospital. Lizette co-founded Hand Skills for Children which was recently rebranded to the Toronto Children’s Therapy Centre in order to have the opportunity to work and collaborate with other health professionals on the team to support families in the community. She strives to provide client centered and holistic services that are fun and playful for each child.
Annemarie Weeda SLP
Annemarie Weeda is a speech-language pathologist registered with the College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Her scope of practice includes assessment and treatment of children with speech sound/articulation, language and social communication deficits.
Annemarie has been a practicing speech-language pathology since 2002. Her career as a speech-language pathologist began at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, NY working with in-patient and out-patient adults and children. In 2003, she returned to Toronto and began working at Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) in East York. Initially she worked with adults in acute care, but after her children were born she took a position in the out-patient Child Development Centre at TEGH. In addition to her private practice, Annemarie is on staff part-time at the Child Development Centre.
She grew up in England, South Africa, Toronto and the New York City area where she completed her education. Her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology is from Columbia University in New York City, and her Masters of Science degree in Communication Disorders is from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut.
- Orton Gillingham: Practical Linguistics, Part 1
- Hanen: More Than Words
- Introduction to PROMPT: Technique
- Hanen: It Takes Two to Talk
- Effective Parent Training for Young Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism
- Optimal Brain Organization
- Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Using DIR/Floortime Model
Jacquie Martin OT
Jacquie is a registered Occupational Therapist who received her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from McMaster University in 2004. Since graduating, Jacquie has worked with children aged 0- 18 years and their families through community in-home services and school support services as well as in private clinics, a Children’s Treatment Centre and a nursery school program for children with special needs. She has worked with children with a variety of health and developmental concerns that impact their overall development and daily functioning at home, school and/or in the community. Jacquie has experience working with children who have conditions such as Global Developmental Delay, Feeding delays or disruption, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Retts Syndrome, Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders, Attention Disorders, Seizure Disorders as well as many genetic syndromes and complex medical conditions. Jacquie has a passion for the power of play for both children and families and believes strongly in the importance of family-centred services. Jacquie is associated with the University of Toronto’s Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy program as a tutorial facilitator and clinical supervisor and she regularly attends professional development courses to expand her skills and perspectives.
Karen Don OT
Karen is a registered Occupational Therapist who has worked at Toronto Children’s Therapy Center since 2013. Karen earned her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University in 2009. She has worked in a variety of settings with children, including clinics, schools and in the community. She works with children with learning disabilities, autism, developmental delays, sensory processing disorder and physical disabilities. She has completed the level 1 certification course for the Handwriting Without Tears Program and trained in the Pre-K to Grade 5 curriculum, Therapeutic Listening course and the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding certification. She is currently on staff at The Scarborough Rouge Hospital working in the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic and Child Development Clinic.
Toronto Children’s Therapy Team
Speech Language Therapy Team
Jordan Barberio SLP
Jordan Barberio is a speech-language pathologist registered with the College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists of Ontario (CASLPO). She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology, and also holds an Honours Bachelor of Health and Physical Education with specialization in Health Promotion. Previous to becoming a speech-language pathologist, Jordan worked as an intervener for deafblind individuals, as well as a swim instructor for children with ASD and ADHD.
Jordan is enthusiastic about partnering with families to create a positive and playful therapy environment that supports each child in achieving their individual goals. She has worked with infants, preschool and school-age children in the areas of language, articulation, motor speech, feeding, fluency, and social communication. She has additional experience with conducting neonatal clinics, palatofacial clinics, infant hearing programs and developmental language groups. Jordan is committed to evidence-based practice and is dedicated to life-long learning. She continues to engage in professional development opportunities, most recently in the areas of social communication and fluency.
Janessa Tam SLP
Janessa Tam is a speech-language pathologist registered with the College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists of Ontario (CASLPO). She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology, and also holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Linguistics. She has worked in a variety of settings with children, including preschool programs, clinics and hospitals. Before becoming a speech-language pathologist, Janessa worked as an Instructor Therapist, providing treatment for children with ASD and developmental delays.
Janessa is passionate about working with children and collaborating with families. Her scope of practice includes assessment and treatment of children with speech sound/articulation, language, fluency, motor speech and social communication deficits. She has additional experience running social skills groups, supporting non-verbal communication (PECS, TouchChat), providing auditory verbal therapy, and conducting feeding intervention. In addition, Janessa is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.
Kishwar Sajjad SLP Assistant
Kishwar Sajjad is a Registered Behaviour Technician, who supports children at the Toronto Children’s Therapy Centre as a Speech-Language Assistant. Kishwar started her career as high school biology teacher after completing a MSc in Zoology from the University of the Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. Her passion for improving the lives of children with exceptionalities, such as ASD, ADHD, learning disabilities, and communication disorders started when she volunteered in the Child Development Centre at Michael Garron Hospital. Since then, she has completed a graduate certificate program in Autism and Behavioral Sciences (ABS) at George Brown College; Orton Gillingham: Practical Linguistics, Part 1 at The Claremont School; and is currently working towards a Masters in Professional Education (MPEd) at the University of Western Ontario.
In addition to her position at TCTC, Kishwar works full-time as an Instructor Therapist and runs a side business: Sugar Beats by Kish, making spectacular customized cakes, cupcakes and themed party decorations. She is fluent in Urdu, and can also speak Hindi and Punjabi.
Olivia Gross SLP
Olivia Gross is a Speech-Language Pathologist registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO). She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She also holds a Master of Education in Developmental Psychology and Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Olivia has experience working with children and adults with developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and Cerebral Palsy. She has additional experience within the areas of language, articulation, social communication, alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), fluency, swallowing and voice. To advance her skills within these areas, Olivia has completed Hanen® certification workshops for the It Takes Two to Talk and More than Words programs that are utilized to support parents and children who have been identified as having a language delay, social communication difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has supported children and adults within a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and private practice. Olivia values being a part of a multidisciplinary team and is passionate about collaborating with families, teachers, and other professionals to best support children in achieving their individualized language and communication goals. She is committed to providing evidence-based, client-centered care and has a specific interest in social communication, social cognition and AAC.
Occupational Therapy Team
Pamela Robertson OT
Pamela Robertson OT Reg. (Ont.) is a registered Occupational Therapist (OT) in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario and a member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. Prior to becoming an OT, Pam worked in the United Kingdom as an OT Assistant in the community and hospital settings. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2012 with a Masters in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and also holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Ottawa. Since graduating, Pam has focused primarily on paediatrics and has experience assessing and treating children with autism, developmental delay, attention deficit disorders, and learning disabilities, among others. Pam obtained the Level 1 Handwriting Without Tears Certification, which includes the Pre-K through Grade 5 curriculum. Pam is enthusiastic and passionate about her work and is committed to helping children and their families achieve their goals.
Robin Pedlar OT
Robin is a registered Occupational Therapist with experience providing therapy to children in the home and clinic environments. She has experience working with children on printing, cursive, reading, fine and gross motor skills, self-regulation, and sensory processing. Robin graduated from Queen’s University in 2013 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy and also holds a Bachelor of Psychology. She has maintained ongoing professional development in the areas of motor skills, visual perception, primitive reflexes, the Orton Gillingham approach to reading, and sensory integration. Robin is also certified in the Wilbarger Therapeutic Brushing protocol to address tactile defensiveness.
Stephanie Chow OT
Stephanie is a registered occupational therapist with good standing and registered with the College of Occupational Therapist of Ontario. She completed her Masters of Occupational Therapy at the University of Western Ontario in 2011. To follow her passion to enable children to reach their optimal potential, she has traveled abroad to gain more experience in working with children with various sensory and motor issues. She has also completed various courses/workshops to widen the breadth of tools she can use to support children and their families, (e.g. M.O.R.E, Blomberg Rhythmic Movement Training, Brain Gym 101, Therapeutic Listening, Handwriting Without Tears, Introduction to Neuro-Developmental Treatment, The SOS Approach to Feeding, Wilbarger Therapeutic Brushing Protocol, and more). She hopes to continue to motivate children and support parents to ensure children have the optimal learning environment to develop skills needed for daily living.
Marlene Morse OT
Marlene is a registered Occupational Therapist who has been working in community since 1997. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and also holds a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Manitoba. Her scope of practice includes assessment and treatment of children with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, autism, developmental delays and physical disabilities. Prior experience includes working with pediatric clientele in homes and schools along with medical legal work. She has completed the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) training in the Pre-K through Grade 5 curriculum and the Children and Youth with Acquired Brain Injury Certificate Training Program at Brock University.
Alexi Edelstein OT
Alexi Edelstein is passionate about Occupational Therapy! She completed her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University after completing her Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Toronto. Alexi currently practices at Toronto Children’s Therapy Center and at Aquilla Occupational Therapy Services with children in a variety of clinical, home, and community settings. She has a particular interest in sensory integration and has completed several courses in this area, including the level 1 Intensive Mentorship Program with the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation led by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller. She has also consulted in the past at MukiBaum Children’s Treatment Program (currently Aptus) in Toronto in which she worked with children and adolescents with complex developmental conditions combined with emotional or psychiatric disorders. Alexi brings her passion and creativity to her work with children. She can spot the hidden talents in children!
Cassie Smith OT
Cassie is a registered Occupational Therapist who has a passion for working in community paediatrics! She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University in BC. Before pursuing Occupational Therapy, Cassie worked as a Behavioural Interventionist providing treatment to children with ASD and ADHD. Since then, she has gained experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses where she uses a strengths-based, client-centred approach to improve occupational performance and increase independence. Dedicated to professional development, Cassie has completed further training in the Handwriting Without Tears Certification for K-5 Curriculum and in the Cooperative Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) technique.
Megan Yang OT
Megan is a registered Occupational Therapist who has a passion for working with children and families to meet their goals. She completed her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. Megan has extensive experience working with children of all ages including those with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, sensory processing challenges and developmental delays. Megan has completed additional specialized training in the Handwriting Without Tears program, Orton-Gillingham approach to reading/spelling, Therapeutic Listening and SOS Approach to Feeding. Megan is a warm and enthusiastic clinician who strives to ensure children are having fun while learning and building skills. She does this through her use of strengths-based, play-based and family-centred approaches to assessment, treatment and consultation.
Danielle Brown OT
Danielle Brown is a registered Occupational Therapist, with passion and expertise working with children of all ages. She received her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. Danielle has diverse experience assessing and treating children with autism, attention deficit disorders, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and sensory processing disorders. She is trained in the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum (K-5), and is continuing to build expertise through ongoing professional development in sensory integration and paediatric mental health. Danielle strives to empower children and families to reach their greatest potential using creative, strengths-oriented and client-centred approaches.
Vithurry Sivaloganathan OT
Vithurry is a registered Occupational Therapist who received her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. She has experience providing individual and group therapy services to children in the areas of self-regulation, sensory processing, social skills, and fine and gross motor skills. Vi has developed and facilitated group therapy services and parent workshops for both private and public agencies. She has also provided consultation services for individual students in the classroom and for organizations including TDSB Section 23 schools and EarlyON child and family centres. She brings her unique experience in mental health, and applies a play-based and family-centered approach to support children and their families to reach their goals. Vi is currently on staff at the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health.
Gillian Chow OT
Gillian Chow is a registered Occupational Therapist who completed her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Through her work with Autism Ontario Kids Camp, Giant Steps Toronto, and The Possibilities Clinic, she has gained diverse experience working with young children with ASD, ADHD, and sensory issues in the home, clinic, and group settings. Additionally, she has worked with young children in an international setting during her final clinical placement in Hong Kong. Gillian is trained in the Handwriting Without Tears program (Pre-K through Grade 5 Writing curriculum and The Print Tool), is a certified facilitator of the Mindfulness Ambassador Program through Mindfulness Without Borders, and has received training in the areas of sensory tools and social improv. Gillian has an interest in children’s mental health and her passion for working with children and families motivates her to continue to seek out learning opportunities to add to her therapeutic skill set.
Jessica Todd OT
Alison Schwartz OT
Alison is a registered Occupational Therapist who received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. Alison has experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, and Developmental Delay. She had the opportunity to work with young children in an international setting during her clinical placement in Trinidad at a school for children with special needs.
Alison is passionate about dance and has many years of experience teaching dance to children of all ages. She is currently using her creativity and innovative approach to create a therapeutic dance program for children of all abilities.
Alison is eager to increase her knowledge and has completed a Pediatric Occupational Therapy Workshop, focusing on sensory integration, as well as an Introduction to the CO-OP Approach Workshop.
Imelda Falco OT
Imelda is a registered occupational therapist who completed her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. She was first drawn to occupational therapy during a volunteer-study program in Honduras – there she found creative ways for children in a local orphanage to re-engage in play. She has had experience with children and youth of various abilities through coordinating summer camps and developing a social/life skills program with Community Living. Imelda has been an occupational therapist in a rehabilitation hospital since 2012, working with individuals to participate in meaningful activities and reach their personal goals.
Madison Lazarou OT
Madison is a registered Occupational Therapist who has a passion for working in pediatrics! She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and also holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Ottawa. Madison has gained experience working with a variety of children in different environments including schools, hospitals, childcare, and children centers. Madison is passionate about partnering with families while using a strength-based approach to support children with various diagnoses live up to their fullest potential. Madison considers herself to be a lifelong learner and continues to engage in professional development opportunities such as seeking additional training in topics including but not limited to sensory processing, self-regulation, and feeding. She currently creatively applies evidence-based practices to foster a fun and safe environment for children across the lifespan.
Sarah Lucas OT
Sarah is a registered Occupational Therapist who obtained her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from McMaster University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Sarah has a passion for working with children of all abilities. She is experienced in working with children around sensory processing, executive function, self-regulation, fine and gross motor skills, printing, cursive, and reading. Sarah has additional training in Handwriting Without Tears, Strengthening Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, and Mental Health First Aid. She continues to seek opportunities for learning and growth. Sarah is committed to promoting participation and inclusion for children with disabilities across all life spheres. She also supports children within the school environment.
Ali Cooper OT
Ali is a registered Occupational Therapist who began her career as a teacher, with a B.Ed. from McGill University. Her experience working in the education system ignited her passion to better support children, and led her to earn her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. Ali strives to help children with a wide variety of difficulties, including those that struggle with fine and gross motor, regulation, sensory processing, handwriting, and feeding skills. Ali’s background in teaching provides her with key insight to both the in-school and at-home needs of your child, and she has experience with direct and consultative therapy related to school, play, and self-care. Ali’s specialized training includes certification in Handwriting Without Tears, as well as experience with animal-assisted therapy (AAT), which involves incorporating animals into treatment sessions to motivate and engage clients to meet their goals. She also works with the University of Toronto’s Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy program as a preceptor and facilitator, enabling her to maintain a strictly evidence-based mode of practice.
Michelle Goldsand OT
Michelle is a curious, lifelong learner and pursues various courses and workshops in order to expand her knowledge and expertise in paediatrics. She is trained and certified in the Cognitive Orientation to Daily Living (CO-OP) approach, which is a client-centred, performance-based, problem-solving approach which uses guided discovery to facilitate goal attainment and skill acquisition.
Behnaz Afrakhte OT
Behnaz is a registered Occupational Therapist with the College of Occupational therapists of Ontario, and the California Board of Occupational Therapists. Behnaz graduated in 2008 with a masters degree in occupational therapy from the University of Toronto. She works with youth 2-18 years of age. She has developed life skills programs in under-serviced communities such as Trinidad. She has extensive experience working in both clinical, home-based, and school-based settings. In 2011 Behnaz moved to California to pursue a 6 month internship in Sensory Integration through the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Some of her certifications include Sensory Integration, Zones of Regulation, Handwriting Without Tears, Infant Massage Instruction and Brain Gym. Behnaz works with children of various exceptionalities. She works on a variety of developmental functions such as play, organization of behavior and self-regulation, sensory processing skills, fine motor skills, motor planning and coordination skills. She is excited to come back home to Toronto and be part of the TCTC team.
Jasmine Phung OT
Jasmine is a registered Occupational Therapist who completed her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. Jasmine first became interested in occupational therapy while working as an early childhood educator, specifically with children with disabilities at Holland Bloorview’s Scarborough Nursery School and Hester How Early Learning Centre. She has a breadth of experience with developing and implementing activities to support children with varying needs in their play skills, social emotional skills, self-regulation and fine motor skills. Jasmine adopts the Reggio Emilia philosophy in her work with children and families, which emphasize that learning and development occur in collaboration with the child, parent and environment. Jasmine continually strives to foster children’s curiosities of the world around them through a play-based and strengths-based approach.
Eve Pervin OT
Eve (she/her) is a registered Occupational therapist who completed her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. She additionally holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from Western University and a Master’s of Arts in Critical Disability Studies from York University. She has worked with children in a variety of settings including several years as a camp counselor and supervisor, and as an early childhood education assistant in a daycare setting. She also has taught children how to ride bicycles since 2012! She additionally has worked with children with special needs as an integration coordinator for Extend-a-Family and at the Geneva Centre for Autism in both respite services and as a social skills facilitator, teaching social skills programming to children with autism. She loves working with children and is passionate about maintaining a strengths-based and play-based approach. Eve also has lived-experience as the sibling of an individual with autism, and cares deeply about promoting inclusivity and connecting with families.
Tamara Kerr Social Worker
Tamara is a Registered Social Worker with additional education and experience in Occupational Therapy, Psychotherapy, and Parent-Infant Therapy. She has Master’s degrees in Social Work and Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto, with additional certification in Infant-Parent Psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Infant Mental Health, Resource Teaching, and Kinesiology. She is excited to bring her diverse tool-kit of experience and training to the Toronto Children’s Therapy Centre.
Tamara is offering family-centred, strength-based consultation, including counselling and skill development for children and their families. She works with children of all ages, 0-18, their parents, and their families to explore and make changes in challenges associated with behaviour regulation, emotion regulation, behaviours connected to disorders of executive function, sensory disorders, physical disabilities, autism, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression.