Occupational Therapy Team

Occupational Therapy Team

 

Melissa Idelson

 

 

Melissa Idelson – M.A., OTR/L is CSC’s Director and leads 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.

 

Sarah Cairns

 

 

Sarah – M.A., OTR/L graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Since the completion of her degree, she has devoted her skills to providing evidenced based therapy for the pediatric population. Prior to the Child Success Center, Sarah worked as a provider of school based therapy in Los Angeles. She had the opportunity to collaborate directly with teachers in the classroom, and provide classroom based and clinic based therapy for children.

Since 2006, Sarah has worked as part of the multidisciplinary collaborative team at Child Success Center. She is a trained and certified Sensory Integration (SI) therapist, earning her Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) certification through an intensive course provided by lead clinicians and researchers in the field of SI. She is also a certified provider of Therapeutic Listening, The Listening Program, and Interactive Metronome. She has experience treating children from toddlers to adolescents with a variety of disorders, including developmental delays, Autism Spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, and sensory processing disorder. She is experienced in the treatment of dysgraphia (handwriting difficulties), and in the provision of handwriting programs such as Handwriting Without Tears. She continues to further her knowledge by attending courses with the most recent and evidenced based information on child development and therapeutic programs to support the success of children with special needs.

 

Courtney Duckworth Harris

 

 

Courtney – M.A., OTR/L has been a member of the CSC team since November 2011, and has been practicing as a pediatric occupational therapist since 2009. After receiving her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Child Development, she was accepted into the Masters of Arts program in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. While at USC she traveled to Ghana in West Africa to complete a 2 week fieldwork at a boarding school for children with disabilities, which made a significant impact on her. Once she graduated from USC in 2009, Courtney worked at a non-public school that serves children with various disabilities. During this time she also practiced part-time at a private pediatric occupational therapy clinic, specializing in sensory integration. Throughout the years Courtney has taken a variety of continuing education courses to expand her knowledge and improve her practice, including DIR/Floortime, Interactive Metronome, Eye Sight to Insight: Visual and Vestibular Integration, and The Zones of Regulation. She also integrates programs such as Social Thinking® and the ALERT program into her therapy. Practicing yoga is a meaningful part of her life and Courtney has found that the knowledge gained about the body and self-regulation has positively influenced her ability to provide a holistic/“whole-child” approach to her therapy.

 

Katie L. Vogel

 

Katie – M.A., OTR/L (Sensory Integration and SIPT Certified #3341) has been working with children and their families at the Child Success Center since 2011; but, she has been a practicing pediatric occupational therapist in both the pediatric clinic and school-based settings since receiving her MA in Occupational Therapy in 2008 from the University of Southern California. Katie is certified in Sensory Integration and received a certificate in educational assistive technology through the Assistive Technology Core Certificate Program (ATCCP). Additionally, she has received specialized training in the Handwriting Without Tears: Pre-K thru 5th grade program, NDT, and Low Vision in the pediatric population.

 

 

Gina – OTR/L is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She has 17 years of experience in pediatric Occupational Therapy, including school based and in clinic.

Gina uses a primarily Sensory Integrative approach to her sessions, putting to use her special training in therapeutic listening programs, fine motor/visual motor/gross motor development, handwriting, and social brain building.

 

Corbin Gaucher

 

Corbin – M.A., OTR/L has been working at Child Success Center since 2015. She moved to Santa Monica, CA from South Carolina, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, focused on childhood development, at the University of South Carolina. She received her Masters in Occupation Therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2015. She specializes in Feeding Therapy, using the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding. She also focuses on social-emotional needs and social brain building, with additional training in Social Thinking®, and enjoys working with children to build these skills in both the clinic and school environment. She has also received specialty training DIR/Floortime, Therapeutic Listening, Astronaut Training, Bal-A-Vis-X, Handwriting Without Tears, Visual-Vestibular Integration, and Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT). Corbin uses a Sensory Integration and relationship-based approach in her treatment. She has always had a strong passion for working with children and enjoys being a part of each child and their family’s journey as a pediatric occupational therapist.

 

Roxanne Chess

 

Roxanne – M.A., OTR/L has been working with people with disabilities, especially Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental disabilities, since 2003. Roxanne moved to Santa Monica after serving as Supervisor of the Occupational Therapy Department at the Atlas Foundation for Autism and as Director of Occupational Therapy at The McCarton Center for Developmental Pediatrics located in New York City. Roxanne has also worked in the public school system in New York City and here with the Los Angeles Unified School District. She provided home care treatment, and practiced in other sensory gym settings. Roxanne is a passionate OT who has a strong clinic-based approach, and is also passionate about hippotherapy (using horses as a therapy tool for physical, sensory, cognitive, and emotional development). She currently works with Ride On in their Chatsworth location.

Roxanne believes in a strength-based approach. Roxanne recognizes the value of supporting families with parent training and encourages caregiver involvement. Her intervention strategies are based heavily in Ayer’s sensory integration while incorporating a wide range of modern sensory integrative techniques, motor development strategies, and behavioral theories. Roxanne believes in supporting her client’s self-efficacy, self-esteem, and social skills.

 

 Taraneh Aminian M.A., OTR/L

 

Taraneh – M.A., OTR/L holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and received her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California (USC). She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in OT from USC. While at USC she traveled to Costa Rica for 2 weeks to volunteer at a school for children with disabilities of all ages. Taraneh’s passion has always been in pediatrics and she is specializing in Sensory Integration during her doctoral residency. She has been certified from USC’s Sensory Integration Continuing Education program and has received additional training in Therapeutic Listening. Taraneh believes very strongly in providing a “holistic-child” approach and supporting each of her families with their individualized needs.

 

Paige BookoffPaige – MS, OTR/L graduated from Boston University with her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2014. After finishing up both her undergraduate and graduate school degrees at Boston University in July 2014, Paige moved to San Diego, CA. where she spent four years working for a private pediatric therapy practice, servicing elementary, middle and high school students with a wide range of disabilities and therapy needs. She has authored and published a children’s book titled“Small Girl, Big Heart”.

Paige’s day-to-day work consistently warms her heart as it affords her the opportunity to watch children progress and be happy.

 

Melinda – OTR/L is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and has been working with children and youth (0-22 years old) in the Los Angeles area since 2004. Melinda has an Associate degree in General Science from Santa Monica College and a Bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy from California State University at Dominguez Hills. She received training in the Handwriting Without Tears: Pre K thru 5th grade program, as well as the use of assistive technology in the educational setting.

Melinda was fortunate to get her first job and mentorship at a sensory integration clinic in the San Fernando Valley. Since then, her work has been focused on developmental, school based, and sensory integration therapy. She has supervised and trained new therapists in both clinic and school settings.  She has extensive experience with IEPs, working with multi disciplinary collaborative teams, teacher consultation and school/classroom accommodations.

Melinda has worked with children with a variety of skills, successfully, to promote independence and participation in life. She looks forward to meeting you and working with your child!

 

Naomi Matanick

 

 

Naomi Matanick – OTR/L  attended the University of Findlay, graduating in 2016 with a Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of Findlay, thus beginning her career in early intervention and clinic based therapy. After moving from Indiana to California, she continued to pursue her love for pediatrics. She specializes in Feeding Therapy utilizing training she received in The Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to feeding (SOS). Rounding out her early intervention tool box, she has studied therapeutic listening, gone through The Alert Program and Astronaut training. She continues to pursue further education to remain current in her chosen field of work. She is passionate about helping children overcome physical and emotional obstacles, unlocking their potential for success in all areas of their lives.

 

 

>Visit the Occupational Therapy Page

Child Success Center
828 Pico Blvd., Suite 7
Santa Monica, CA 90405-1350
Call 310-899-9597 to access our “warm” line.
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