Our Team Leaders
Melissa Idelson, OTR/L is CSC’s Director and directs our Occupational Therapy program. Melissa understands first-hand the learning struggles children may have. As a child she experienced difficulties learning to read and spell, and now she is guiding her own two children through the development and learning journey. Her unique perspective of having been the struggling child and now a concerned parent, gives her the understanding and compassion which compels her to help other children be successful in dealing with life’s challenges.
Melissa began her career as a pediatric Occupational Therapist in 1990. Originally from Perth, Western Australia, where she was first introduced to sensory integration in college, she moved to California in 1995 to complete graduate studies in Ayres Sensory Integration* (ASI) theory and practice at the University of Southern California.
SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY
Alexandra, M.S. CCC-SLP, BCBA is the head of the Speech Department. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to impact the lives of those with communication difficulties. Ali has 6 years of experience in a variety of pediatric settings including Children’s Hospital, private practices, and school systems. She has worked both domestically and internationally. International outreach includes both working Uganda and the Philippines at outpatient hospitals with pediatrics and adult clients. She received her Master’s in 2013 from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. She is certified member of American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and is licensed by the state of California and New Jersey in the Speech Language Pathology. Additionally, she received her Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification from Pennsylvania State University in 2012. Ali’s expertise in BCBA is setting behavioral environments up for success, and providing parents with actionable strategies. She received her Autism Specialist certification from Pennsylvania State University in 2014. Ali uniquely combines her behavioral background into all speech and language sessions to create the most optimal environment for learning. In addition, Ali is Clinical Level 1A Social Thinking® Practitioner which embodies principles of social and emotional health through social skills. Finally, Ali is enrolled in a E.D.D. program at California State University Los Angeles to be completed by 2019. Her research interests include the social communication profiles of individuals with High Functioning Autism. Ali is also trained in PROMPT, Talk Tools and PECS. She joined CSC’s team in March 2017.
Jennifer, ET/A, M.S. Ed is a certified early childhood and early childhood special educator with over ten years of experience in education. To learn more about Jennifer click the below link.
Patty, M.A., LMFT MFC 99030 has been working with children and families at the Child Success Center since 2012 as a behavior consultant and Friendship Club Coordinator. She received her BA in Psychology from UC Irvine, and her training in Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy at UC Irvine’s Child Development School- a school for students with ADHD, on the Autism Spectrum, ODD, and other behavioral difficulties that prevent students from accessing academic services. Patty currently works at the UC Irvine Child Development School as the Community Health Manager, provides therapeutic support to families and students, creates and implements social skills curriculum, and assists in IEP and 504 plan meetings. She has worked in schools as a 1:1 behavior aide, and as a preschool teacher, and continues to consult with schools in the community in order to help with teacher training in classroom management.
Patty specializes in working with children ages 5-14 that are having challenges with attention, difficulty being flexible with changes in routine, managing their emotions, reading verbal and non-verbal social cues, following directions and/or expected social rules, difficulty with accepting responsibility for their actions or consequences, and/or are experiencing anxiety in social circumstances. She helps children and their families identify difficulties in communication, manage realistic expectations, and create a therapeutic home behavior program that supports family’s goals for growth. Patty has training in Mindfulness in the Classroom, has attended Social Thinking conferences, and uses Social Thinking curriculum in therapeutic sessions.
Dr. Nora Bachman is a Maryland and DC native, who completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2012 from the University of Delaware, which is the first ranked Physical Therapy (PT) school in the country. Upon graduation Dr. Nora began her PT career in an orthopedic-sports clinic working with adults and children.
After obtaining extensive hands on experience she moved into pediatrics full-time with an outpatient-inpatient hospital working with severely complex children. Here she performed aquatic therapy, and extracurricular activities; including swimming lessons for children with special needs and the Special Olympics.
Dr. Nora was given the opportunity to take on an advanced leadership position as the Lead Motor Therapist at Connections Therapy Center with offices in Maryland and Washington,
D.C. Her new role allowed her to supervise PT’s and OT’s, initiate an aquatic therapy program, and provide physical therapy services through DC’s Early Intervention program and in an outpatient setting, for children from birth to 21-years-old, including extreme preemies.
Dr. Nora is eager to offer her services as an experienced and compassionate Physical Therapist to the Santa Monica community.
For further information please call (310) 899-9597.