Meet the SPARK Durham Team:
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AMBER

Occupational Therapist

Amber is a registered Occupational Therapist who completed her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy at Western University in London, Ontario. Amber has also obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Health Studies and a Minor in Psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. 

Amber has experience working with children of various ages in home, school, clinic, and children’s treatment centre environments. She enjoys working collaboratively with children and their families to address various occupational goals. Amber has experience leading pre-printing and printing groups. Amber is committed to professional development and continues to seek opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills. 

In her spare time, Amber enjoys spending time with friends and family, being by the water and eating ice cream! 

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SARAH

Occupational Therapist

Sarah is a registered Occupational Therapist who completed her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Western University in London, Ontario. She also has an Honors Bachelor of Arts, with a major in psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Sarah has experience working with pre-school and school-aged children with diverse needs in a variety of settings including schools, in-home, and in a clinic setting to address a variety of occupation-focused goals. She is committed to understanding the strengths, needs, and interests of the client in order to provide child-led and family-centred care. Sarah is passionate about building on the strengths of the child and their family to support them in reaching their optimal potential. She is dedicated to being a life-long learner and continues to seek professional development opportunities and abide by evidence-based practices. 

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading lots of books, discovering new podcasts to listen to, and spending time with family and friends. 

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KELLY

Occupational Therapist

Kelly is a registered Occupational Therapist who completed her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 2005. Prior to this, Kelly completed a Bachelor of Health Science degree at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Throughout her career, Kelly has worked as an Occupational Therapist with individuals with varied abilities across the lifespan (3-101 years of age), in a variety of clinical environments. As a member of an interprofessional team at a local not-for-profit organization, Kelly worked as a sole Occupational Therapist providing individualized and creative intervention programs for children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing challenges, learning disabilities and neuromuscular conditions. Kelly believes that all behaviour is a means of communication and that all children have inherent strengths. As a therapist, and member of a child’s circle of support, her job is to help uncover a child’s true potential. 

Kelly has a passion for working with children and their families, within their own community environments. It is here that strategies and skills can be practiced and refined in a more natural way. 

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HARSHA

Occupational Therapist

Harsha is a registered Occupational Therapist who completed her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at University of Toronto. She also has an Honours Bachelor of Science in Exceptionality in Human Learning (Psychology).


Harsha has experience with handwriting interventions and with the Floortime approach. She is committed to lifelong learning and engaging in various professional development opportunities. She is passionate about bringing her training in mindfulness to her client interactions to ensure that she is truly present to her clients. She enjoys collaborating with her clients and their families on enabling engagement in meaningful activities.


In her spare time, Harsha enjoys reading, going for walks in nature, painting and spending time with family and friends.

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ALYSSA

Occupational Therapist

Alyssa is a registered Occupational Therapist who completed her Masters of Science, Occupational Therapy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Before completing her masters, Alyssa completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology with a minor in Child Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

 
Alyssa has experience in an outpatient children’s treatment centre working with infants, children and adolescents with a wide variety of occupational goals. Alyssa has completed two Handwriting without Tears training programs - Get Set for School Readiness & Writing Workshop and K-5 Handwriting Workshop. She has also completed a sensory processing and sensory-based interventions workshop for children with autism spectrum disorder and anxiety.

 

In her spare time, she enjoys going for hikes with her dog, fostering rescue dogs and spending time with family and friends!

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DEANNA

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Deanna holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) with a minor in Forensic Psychology from Ontario Tech University. She is currently working towards completing a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at University of Toronto.  


Deanna has experience working with pre-school and school-aged children in-home and learning centre environments focused on improving math, reading, and printing skills. She also has experience working with children in a summer camp environment focused on leisure and play engagement. Deanna is passionate about using a strengths-based approach when working with children and families. 


In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family! 

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SHABINA

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Shabina is an Occupational Therapist Assistant.  She graduated from the Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physiotherapy program from Humber College and also holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Health Studies and Gerontology with a certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from McMaster University.  

Shabina has experience working with children within various domains, including pediatric clinics, hospitals, schools and community-based therapy. She has worked with children with ASD and developmental disorders gaining experience in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, music therapy, speech therapy, ABA and Developmental, Individual-differences, & Relationship-based model (DIR). She is a successful and experienced service provider committed to supporting children in their development and growth.

In her spare time, Shabina enjoys running, cooking and going on hikes. 

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AMINA

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Amina completed her Bachelor of Health Science at Ontario Tech University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto.


Amina has experience working in pediatric clinics with pre-school and school-aged children, including children with ASD and developmental disorders. She has provided one-on-one and group-based support to children, focusing on improving a variety of goal areas including, printing and reading skills. She also has experience assisting with music therapy groups and engaging children in music therapy activities. Amina is passionate about supporting children to reach their goals.


In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, going on walks, and baking.

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JAMIE

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Jamie is an OTA who graduated from the Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physiotherapy Assistant program at Durham College and is currently working towards completing her Bachelor in Allied Health Sciences (BAHSc) at Ontario Tech University.   

Jamie has experience working with pediatric and adolescent clients, including clients on the autism spectrum, delivering both occupational therapy and ABA therapy in learning centre and in-home environments. She has knowledge and experience addressing fine motor and gross motor skills and strives to make therapy a fun, enjoyable experience. She is passionate with working with children and providing therapy to help them meet their unique goals in a fun and interesting way. 

In her spare time, Jamie enjoys baking, lifting weights, practicing yoga, or going on hikes with her dog Daisy!

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DOMENIQUE

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Domenique is an OTA who graduated from the Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant diploma program at Fleming College and has since gained experience in working with geriatric and pediatric populations. Domenique is a passionate individual with a commitment to continue to seek growth opportunities and expand her knowledge and skills in order to best serve the clients she works with.

In her spare time, she enjoy being on the water, reading books and spending time with family and friends!

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ASHLEY

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Ashley is an Occupational Therapist Assistant who completed her Physiotherapist/Occupational Therapist Assistant Program at Sir Sanford Fleming College Diploma in Peterborough.

Ashley has experience working with school aged children in school and home settings including clients on the autism spectrum. Providing one on one support for fine and gross motor skills, self help/skills and self regulation techniques. She is enthusiastic about her work and wants all children to have the skills to reach their goals!

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and being active outdoors.

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RUSSELL

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Russell is an OTA who graduated from the Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physiotherapy Assistant program at Durham College, in 2016. 


As a former Personal trainer and English tutor, Russell has experience working with children in small groups and on a one-to-one basis. He has worked at the Durham College Fine Motor Clinic, helping to deliver programs on pre-printing, dressing and strengthening through play. As a father of two young boys, he understands how important these programs are in preparing children for the school environment.


In his spare time, Russell enjoys watching soccer, biking, and exploring green spaces with his family. 

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KAY

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Kay is an OTA who graduated from the Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant diploma program at Fleming College.


Kay has experience working with geriatric and pediatric populations. Kay is an outgoing and passionate individual with a goal of helping children grow and succeed in ways best for them. Kay is excited to work within an inter-professional team at SPARK providing occupational therapy services.


In her spare time, Kay enjoys golfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding and travelling!

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REBECCA

Speech-Language Pathologist

Rebecca is a registered Speech Language Pathologist with the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Master of Clinical Science in Speech and Language Pathology. Before completing her Masters, Rebecca graduated from the University of Windsor with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Developmental Psychology. She has always had a strong interest in helping children express themselves and enjoys helping parents and children feel successful on their journey to learn to communicate better!  


Rebecca has experience working with adults and children in the hospital, community and clinic settings. She has enjoyed working with diverse populations of children and has experience in working in the areas of expressive and receptive language, articulation, fluency, voice and early literacy. Rebecca has taken the Hanen workshop “It Takes Two to Talk” which helps parents learn to encourage language abilities in children who are late talkers. 


In Rebecca’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with her French Bulldog/Boston Terrier puppy Blue, and trying new recipes. 

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DANIELLE

Communicative Disorders Assistant

Danielle is a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) with an Honours Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of Toronto. Danielle also completed a Specialist in Psycholinguistics with a Minor in Psychology and holds a Communicative Disorders Assistant Graduate Certificate from Durham College.

Danielle has always been passionate about working with children and has experience providing services to both children and adults that have exceptional needs. She has experience delivering therapy in the areas of expressive and receptive language, social communication, articulation, and alternative and augmentative communication.

In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and hiking!

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KATIE

Communicative Disorders Assistant

Katie is a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Trent University. Katie has also completed a Communicative Disorders Assistant Graduate Certificate from Durham College and a Post Graduate Certificate in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Centennial College. 

Katie has experience working with preschool and school age children in both learning centres and schools. She has worked alongside educators and interdisciplinary teams to enhance child development in all areas, with a focus on social and language skills. Katie has always had a strong passion for communication and helping children succeed. 

In her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with her family, her new puppy, and doing yoga!

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HILARY

Speech-Language Assistant / Program Assistant

Hilary completed her Bachelors of Arts with Honours in Linguistics at Queen’s University and then continued her studies in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Hilary has spent years working with children and adults in a variety of diverse settings. She has participated in many volunteer and placement opportunities in hospitals, rehabilitative paediatric clinics, and non-profit organizations. Hilary has a passion for Speech-therapy and even attended speech therapy when she was a child!

In her spare time, Hilary enjoys painting, getting outdoors (especially swimming) and baking!

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NICOLE

Physiotherapist

Nicole received her Masters of Science (Physiotherapy) from McMaster University in 2012. She is registered and in good standing with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.  

 

Nicole has had experience working in a variety of pediatric settings including a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, Children’s Treatment Centres, and School-Based Rehabilitation Services. She has completed several post-graduate courses, including but not limited to, various pediatric NDT courses, Orthopaedic Physiotherapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy, and Therapeutic Evaluation and Treatment of Idiopathic Toe Walking. Nicole strongly believes in a family centred approach and prioritizes meeting goals through fun play-based sessions.

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KENNEDY

Board Certified Behaviour Analyst

Kennedy is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She graduated from Brock University with a Master of Applied Disability Studies Specializing in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Before completing her Masters, Kennedy received a Bachelor of Science Honours Specialization in Psychology from Western University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Autism and Behavioural Science received from St. Clair College. 

Kennedy entered the field of ABA because of her desire to help better the lives and support participation in all areas of life for children with developmental challenges and their families. She has always had a strong passion for working with children and helping them reach their full potential using the learning styles that suit their needs best. She has worked with a variety of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Witnessing their progress and growth in various areas, including communication, daily living, academic, and social skills, have cemented her passion for this field of work. 

In Kennedy’s spare time she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, going for walks with her dogs, and trying new foods. 

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EBYAN

Senior Therapist

Ebyan is a Registered Behaviour Technician with several years’ experience as an ABA therapist. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 2016, and has done additional coursework in Autism and Behaviour Science at Algonquin College. She is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Toronto, and working towards obtaining her BCBA certification.

 

Ebyan has many years’ experience providing ABA services to children and adolescents in both 1:1 and small group capacities, and in a variety of settings including schools, ABA clinics, homes, and childcare centres. Ebyan has also provided training and consultative services for parents, school staff, and childcare staff on the implementation of various ABA strategies, behaviour intervention protocols, and assessments. Ebyan is passionate about supporting and being an advocate for children and families with special needs.

 

In her spare time, Ebyan enjoys reading, spending time with loved ones, and trying new food.

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HANNAH

Behaviour Therapist

Hannah graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a Double Degree in Arts and Education in 2020. She then pursued a Graduate Certificate in Autism and Behavioural Sciences at Durham College.
 
Hannah has experience working with school-aged children as a former elementary school teacher. Her passion to help children with different special needs led her to further pursue her career in the ABA field. She is dedicated to offering a learning environment which allows children with ASD to thrive and progress toward their goals.

In her spare time, Hannah enjoys baking, reading and exploring different cafes in town.

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VYSHNAVEE

Behaviour Therapist

Bio coming soon!

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KAITLIN

Social Worker

Kaitlin is a Registered Social Worker with a Master in Social Work and Bachelor of Sociology from York University. She has also completed additional coursework in Applied Behaviour Analysis trainings through her work with the school board.

 

Kaitlin has many years of experience working with families, youth, and children. She possesses a great depth of knowledge and skills supporting children and youth with emotional, behavioural, and educational challenges. Kaitlin also has extensive experience working with social skill development with individuals and groups. Kaitlin possesses a desire and willingness to continue to learn through ongoing professional development opportunities. 

In her spare time, Kaitlin enjoys spending time with her family, including her daughter and son! She loves dogs and enjoys being outdoors - especially taking her black lab on many hikes.

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MANDY

Social Worker

Mandy is an accomplished Registered Social Worker with a Master of Social Work Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Her career spans over two decades working alongside children of all ages with varying medical needs and complexities as well as their families. 


Mandy enjoys spending time with her family including two handsome sons and a myriad of pets. Some of her favourite pastimes are hanging out with friends, playing cards and reading crime novels. 

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TESS

Social Worker

Tess is a Registered Social Worker who has completed her Master’s in social work at McMaster University and a Bachelor of Social Work at York University. She is also currently working towards completing a Child and Youth Mental Health certificate at Wilfred Laurier University.

Tess has spent her formative years working with youth in a residential setting and has gained a thorough and holistic understanding of the needs and foundations required to build therapeutic relationships. While completing her Master’s, Tess conducted research which focused on street-involved youth who use substances and how they access different housing and shelter services. She has a passion for working with youth and children, especially through transitional stages in their lives and is excited to continue to expand her knowledge. 

In her spare time, Tess enjoys hikes with her family pup, cooking new recipes and spending time with her family and friends.

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SARA 

Director of Operations

Sara, a registered Occupational Therapist in Ontario, graduated with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Western Ontario in 2012.

 

Since then, Sara has worked extensively with children of various ages, with a wide array of abilities, in several different settings (including home, community, school, hospital, and daycare). She has delivered occupational therapy services at children's treatment centres in the preschool, sensory integration, and school health/early learning programs. Sara also has experience working as a Care Coordinator at a world-renowned pediatric hospital. She has completed several workshops and continuing education courses over the course of her career. Sara enjoys working collaboratively with clients and their families, while supporting them in achieving their goals. 

 

On a personal level, Sara is the proud parent of three daughters, including a set of energetic twins! 

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CAITLIN

Director of Programs

Caitlin is a Registered Social Worker with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Social Work through McMaster University.  She also has completed additional coursework in Autism and Behavioural Science at Seneca College and graduate-level courses through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

Caitlin has extensive experience working with children and their families in various community contexts, including autism programming, special needs resourcing, education, and child welfare. She continually seeks growth through professional development opportunities, and strives to practice from an anti-oppressive perspective and a strengths-based approach.

In her spare time, Caitlin enjoys spending time with her son and daughters, swimming, and playing piano and guitar.