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
Melanie, M.S., CCC-SLP feels grateful everyday for the opportunity to help children and families as a pediatric speech-language pathologist. Melanie has 12 years experience in a variety of pediatric settings including multidisciplinary private practice, home health, and medical outpatient centers domestically and internationally spending one year practicing in Australia. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 2004 and her Master’s degree in 2005 through Duquesne University in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. She recently completed the Introduction to Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Course – Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. She received her certificate of Early Intervention through Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies in Washington, DC in June 2015. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the State of California in Speech-Language Pathology. Melanie participates in volunteer speech-language projects including performing literacy screenings for the Dadagaun Village Project in Nepal.
Melanie’s areas of expertise include evaluation and treatment of children with articulation/phonology disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, expressive/receptive language disorders, genetic disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. She enjoys incorporating assistive technology into her practice. Additional areas of experience include the evaluation and treatment of children with oral motor deficits and feeding difficulties. She has completed specialized training courses including: Hanen- It Takes 2 to Talk, PROMPT and PROMPT Bridging, Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention, Beckman Oral-Facial Deep Tissue Release, the SOS Approach to Feeding, and PECS.
Shelby, M.M.F.T., Learning Specialist has over six years of experience working with children and families in community mental health, residential facilities, schools and homes. To learn more about Shelby click the below link.
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 in both school and home settings for the past 10 years. She received her BA in Psychology from UC Irvine, and her training in Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy at UCI Irvine’s Child Development School- a school for students with ADHD and other behavioral difficulties that get way of receiving academic services. 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 3-14 who 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.
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.