Speech Therapy Staff
Erin Denham, M.S. CCC-SLP is The Director of Speech-Language Services. She joined the OTA team in 2001 after receiving both her Master’s and Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University. Erin was one of three graduates to complete Northeastern Universities first ever accelerated program allowing her to finish the program in just five years. She has an extensive background working with children with various disabilities. She worked in the public school setting for five years and has great knowledge of the IEP process. She is a licensed and certified, pediatric speech-language pathologist who evaluates, diagnoses, and treats a variety of communication disorders in children. She has worked with children with the following diagnoses: apraxia and other motor-based speech disorders, dysarthria, phonological disorders, speech articulation disorders, receptive language disorders, expressive language disorders, stuttering and fluency disorders, autism, pragmatic language disorders, central auditory processing disorders, language-based learning disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities. Her current interests are in phonemic development, pre-reading skills, reading comprehension and social development.
Alyssa Mac Carthy, M.S. CCC-SLP joined the OTA team in 2007. She started her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist within the Early Intervention system before working in an inpatient rehabilitation facility where she gained experience in traumatic brain injury and infant feeding difficulties. Alyssa currently enjoys working with children of all ages with various disabilities. She holds particular interest in early speech and language development, early literacy development as well as children with feeding and swallowing impairments including picky eaters. She is trained in the S.O.S. approach for feeding difficulties. Alyssa graduated from Holy Cross in 1998 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation she worked with young children with autism for two years, providing home-based Floortime and ABA therapy. She attended the graduate program in Communication Sciences & Disorders at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston and received her M.S. in 2002.
Cheryl A. Hebert, M.S. CCC-SLP joined the OTA team in 2012. She has been practicing in the field for 36 years. Cheryl received her Bachelor of Science Degree and Master’s Degree from Worcester State University. Her background and clinical experience include working with special needs children and adults with multiple disabilities: physical, behavioral, and emotional, and primary disorders of: autism, cerebral palsy, social pragmatic language, hearing disabled, apraxia, dysphagia, and congenital and developmental disorders, etc., in individual, rehabilitation, and inclusionary settings. Cheryl has provided services both as an administrator and as a direct provider throughout the course of her career. An area of clinical expertise includes the assessment and implementation of Behavior/Communication tools and strategies to assist clients with communication disabilities in accessing their environments and developing communication skills. Cheryl also has extensive background in the assessment and implementation of Augmentative Communication Systems –using both low tech communication tools and high tech- advanced communication devices. In addition, Cheryl continues to be an Adjunct College Instructor, where her current courses center around communication strategies and behavioral intervention, and adaptive storytelling.
Brittany Lynch, M.S. CCC-SLP joined the OTA team in 2014. She holds a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology, Massachusetts state licensure, and Certificate of Clinical Competence. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of New Hampshire and her Master’s degree from Radford University. She has worked in the public school system and has provided home-based services to children with autism spectrum disorders. She has experience working with children of all ages with a variety of communication disorders. Brittany’s areas of interest within the field include autism spectrum disorders, pragmatic language deficits, and early speech and language development.
Ciara Fretto, M.S. CCC-SLP joined the OTA team in 2016. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Nazareth College of Rochester in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her Master’s Degree from The University of The District of Columbia in Speech-Language Pathology. In addition to working at OTA, she currently works in the public school system. Prior to working in the public school system, she provided pediatric services to developmentally delayed, disabled, high-risk infants, toddlers, and their families in their home or community with deficits in articulation, phonology, receptive and expressive language. She has experience working with children from birth to teenage years with a variety of communication disorders and psychosocial emotional disorders. Her areas of interest within the field include receptive and expressive delays/disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, pragmatic language deficits and early speech and language development. She is passionate about helping children and their families generalize and integrate the skills learned within the therapy room across multiple settings (i.e. home, natural environment, school and community settings).
Jackie Karvelas, M.S. CCC-SLP joined the OTA team in 2016. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She received a dual degree in Psychology and Linguistics as an undergrad at Northeastern University after completing multiple coop internships in the field of speech pathology and audiology. She returned to Northeastern University to obtain her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2013 after working as a special education teaching assistant with Cambridge Public Schools. Jackie currently works full-time in the public school setting, but previously gained experience in the private practice setting evaluating and treating communication impairments in children and adults who have autism spectrum disorders. She has experience working with children of all ages and a variety of speech-language impairments, but especially enjoys working with young children who have ASD and developing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) supports to increase her clients’ receptive and expressive communication skills across all environments.
Suzanne Schiavone, M.S., CCC-SLP joined the OTA team in 2017. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from Boston University. After graduation, she worked for a year providing home-based services to children with autism spectrum disorder. Following that experience, she attended the MGH Institute of Health Professions and received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Her past clinical experiences include working in public schools, sub-separate special education programs, and clinic-based settings. She has also worked with adults in skilled nursing facilities. Suzanne gained extensive experience using both low tech communication strategies and tools and high tech communication devices during a clinical placement at a pediatric clinic that specializes in augmentative and alternative communication. She has experience working with children of all ages with a range of communication disorders, including children with complex physical, developmental, and social-emotional disabilities, as well as children with significant behavioral challenges. Suzanne’s specific areas of interest within the field include autism spectrum disorder, augmentative and alternative communication, and early speech and language development.
Bio Coming Soon
Christina Marzano, M.S. CCC-SLP joined the OTA team in 2018. Christina received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Communication Disorders and her Master’s degree from Adelphi University in Speech Language Pathology. Prior to working at OTA, Christina worked in Early Intervention where she provided therapy to children with a variety of diagnoses including hearing impairments, Down Syndrome, autism, apraxia, stuttering, phonological disorders, articulation disorders, feeding disorders, and expressive/receptive language disorders. Her interests within the field include early speech and language development, apraxia, and augmentative and alternative communication.
Occupational Therapy Staff
Tricia Huntley, OTR/L joined the OTA team in 2009 as The Director of Occupational Therapy Department and Director of the Feeding and Swallowing Program. Tricia has over 30 years of experience in Pediatric Occupational Therapy. She has been with OTA for 10 years. Prior to coming to OTA she developed, managed, and practiced in a variety of inpatient and outpatient Occupational Therapy centers. Her experience and expertise include, Early Intervention, school system, neonatal intensive care units, infant follow-up clinics, pediatric trauma and inpatient units, pediatric inpatient psychiatric units, diagnostic evaluation clinic, adaptive and orthopedic equipment clinics, hand and splinting clinic’s, assistive devices clinic and feeding team. Tricia’s specialty is in the evaluation and treatment of feeding disorders in the medically fragile child. She has had extensive experience with weaning from tube feeds and progression of skill development for eating. She also has served as a consultant to the “Kids with Tubes” parent support program
Jamie Morgan M.S. OTR/L, joined the OTA team in 2008. She is Clinical Specialist and Coordinator of The Therapeutic Listening Program at OTA-Wakefield. Jamie is certified to administer the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT), The Therapeutic Listening Program, and The Astronaut Training Program. She has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses who have difficulties with sensory processing, self-regulation, motor planning/praxis, bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, ocular motor/visual perceptual skills, feeding, executive functioning, and activities of daily living. She also has experience with the Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique, Brain Gym, Handwriting Without Tears, ALERT Program, The Zones of Regulation and The Social Thinking Superflex Curriculum.
Sabra Chiurri, M,S,, OTR/L joined the OTA team in 2010. She currently holds the position of Equipment Manager and is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all sensory based equipment utilized within the clinic. She also participates in co-leading a feeding therapy based group for children utilizing a sensory based approach. She graduated from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY in 2005. Since graduation, she has worked in both adult and pediatric settings. She has worked with adults in rehabilitation and acute inpatient settings. Sabra also has experience with children of all abilities in a variety of pediatric settings, including early intervention, a day school setting with children with a variety of multiple physical and developmental handicaps, a residential unit for children with complex concurrent diagnoses and severe behavioral challenges, and in outpatient care. Sabra is a certified provider for The Therapeutic Listening Program. She has experience using the Alert Program, Handwriting Without Tears Program, Super Flex Social Thinking curriculum, Zones of Regulation, and the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol.
Elizabeth Tontini-L’heureux, M.S., OTR/L joined the OTA team in 2013. She graduated from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT in 2007. Since graduating, she has worked in the area of Sensory Integration in the outpatient clinic setting and school systems. She has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorder, developmental coordination disorder, cerebral palsy and a variety of delays in visual motor/perceptual skills, fine motor skills and feeding difficulties. Elizabeth is CPR certified and is a certified provider for The Therapeutic Listening Program and a Handwriting Specialist formally trained in the Handwriting Without Tears Program. She is part of the Feeding Team at OTA and focuses on oral motor and sensory facets to help children increase their food intake. She also has experience using the Alert Program, Zones of Regulation, visual-vestibular intervention techniques and craniosacral techniques. Elizabeth believes that working closely with the child, their families and different disciplines to provide individualized treatments are essential for a child to grow and prosper.
Alessandra McKenna, M.S., OTR/L joined the OTA team in 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Bay Path University. Alessandra has experience working with children with a variety of conditions and disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Ataxia and global developmental delays. She has experience working in a school setting under the Applied Behavioral Analysis frame of reference. Alessandra enjoys working with children in groups and one on one to improve fine and gross motor coordination, self-care skills, and sensory processing through innovative client-centered therapy.
Molly Barker, M.S., OTR/L joined the OTA team in 2016. She holds a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University. Molly has been working with children in a variety of settings for over 7 years, including one on one and group treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders, teaching children with complex physical and cognitive challenges in a special education setting, and developing and running an exercise/cooperative games group for a local Boys & Girls Club. Molly has completed occupational therapy fieldwork placements in outpatient pediatrics with a sensory integration focus, inpatient adult mental health, and adult home care. She has studied and completed trainings in the areas of school-based occupational therapy, self-regulation, executive functioning, and the AEIOU and FOCUS approaches to feeding therapy. She has experience with the Astronaut Training Program, Brain Gym, Bal-A-Vis-X, Zones of Regulation, the Alert Program, Handwriting Without Tears, and the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol. Molly enjoys collaborating with families to create individualized treatment plans in order to foster independence in the home, school, and community settings.
Melissa Pierce, M.S., OTR/L joined the OTA team in 2016. She completed an accelerated program at the University of New England receiving her Bachelor’s of Health Science and Occupational Studies in 2014 and her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2015. She is registered with NBCOT and is a licensed occupational therapist in the state of MA. Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, she has worked in public schools, as a camp counselor, and got her certification as a Behavioral Health Professional. She also completed a graduate student internship at an outpatient pediatric facility. Melissa has a passion for assisting children in reaching their goals to acquire and develop the basic activities of daily living, fine and gross motor skills, self-regulation skills, visual motor/perceptual skills, and improve sensory processing.
Mary Lambert, OTR/L has been part of the OTA team since 1991. Mary has extensive experience working with children from 2 to 22 years with sensory processing difficulties, learning disabilities, various syndromes, and with children and adults on the Autism spectrum. In addition to being at OTA, Mary has been an OT at the Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf for 15 years. Mary is SIPT certified and has experience with Therapeutic Listening, ALERT Program for Self Regulation, Handwriting Without Tears, and working with children with feeding difficulties.
Christina Olivieri, M.S., OTR/L joined the OTA team in 2008. She is a pediatric Occupational Therapist that works with children of all ages and abilities in a variety of settings, including outpatient clinic-based care and public school systems. She is a certified Handwriting Specialist in Massachusetts and a certified provider for Therapeutic Listening. Christina’s clinical expertise includes working with children with autism spectrum disorders, physical disabilities, oral motor/feeding difficulties, executive dysfunctions, sensory integration impairments, emotional/behavioral difficulties, and various learning disabilities. She received formal training in sensory integration, nutrition and feeding interventions, primitive reflexes, handwriting interventions, and sensory diets. Christina implements various programs into treatment, including Handwriting Without Tears, Brain Gym, and The Alert Program. She is passionate about working with children and their families for carryover of learned skills into the home, school, and community.
Nancy Perkus, OTR/L, M.Ed., CAGS returned to OTA in 2010. She previously worked at OTA from 1995-1999. Nancy has extensive experience working with children from 3 months to 22 years with sensory processing difficulties, physical challenges, learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome, and with children on the autism spectrum. She has worked in a variety of settings including public schools, clinic – based settings, hospitals, and home care. Nancy has worked with developmentally disabled adults in a group home. She has specialized training and certification in Sensory Integration and with Neurodevelopmental Treatment of Children with Cerebral Palsy. She has experience with The Wilbarger Protocol, Therapeutic Listening, The Alert Program for Self-Regulation, The Social Thinking Curriculum, Handwriting without Tears Program, and the Fundations Handwriting Program. Nancy also has a strong knowledge-base and interest with using technology to help her clients.
Molly Burnett, M.S., OTR/L joined the team in 2011. She graduated from The University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Science in 2010 and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2011. She has several years of experience working with both children and adults with varying ailments and conditions and has specialty training in handwriting, cultural competency, and behavioral management. Molly also has experience in school and rehabilitation hospital settings. She is always willing to help put a smile on someone’s face and enjoys coming to work every day to learn more from the children and families with whom she works.
Ashley Tarentino, M.S., OTR/L joined the team at OTA in 2016 after receiving her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She has been working in the field of pediatric occupational therapy since May of 2008. Ashley has provided occupational therapy services to children ages 2-22 within various treatment settings including school-based, home services and out-patient services. Ashley has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including but not limited to multiple handicaps, medical fragility, visual impairments, neurological impairments, fine motor deficits, gross motor deficits, as well as sensory processing and arousal regulation concerns. She also has experience in seating and positioning, splinting and custom made adaptive equipment. Ashley is currently learning American Sign Language (ASL).
Laura Mascola, OTR/L, joined the OTA team in September of 2018. She graduated with her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of New Hampshire in 2010. Since graduating, she has provided occupational therapy services to children ages 18 months to 22 years old within various treatment settings including school-based, in-home services, and outpatient services. Laura has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including sensory processing and regulation concerns, fine motor and gross motor deficits, executive dysfunction, visual-perceptual delays, neurological impairment, and emotional and behavioral concerns. Her goal is to make therapy motivating, enjoyable, and client-centered, while working with the family to improve skill acquisition across all settings of the child’s life.
Physical Therapy Staff
Molly joined the OTA team in 2018. She graduated from Northeastern University with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2015. Molly has several years experience working with both children and adults of various levels and abilities. As a student at Northeastern, she began her search for more pediatric experience in hospital and school sites, and has since worked as a licensed clinician with adults as well as children in the outpatient pediatric setting. She has a passion for working with kids of all ages and their families towards achieving their goals and improving their lives. Molly loves to incorporate play and the child’s interests into their individualized therapy sessions. She has experience with neurological disorders, pediatric orthopedics, motor delay, coordination disorders, autism spectrum disorder, as well as with orthotics and equipment needs.