- Melissa Chaikin Kahn, MS, OTR/L; Owner and Executive Director
- Julie Jahoda, M.S. OT; Occupational Therapist
- Deanna Lindberg, M.S. OT; Occupational Therapist
- Sara Parrish, M.S. OTR/L; Occupational Pediatric Therapist
- Anna Patel, M.S. OTR/L; Occupational Therapist
- Mackenzie Cobb, OTA/L; Occupational Therapist Assistant
- Mike Elsemore; Listening Manager/Technician
- Linda Bolton; Office Manager
(We are always looking for talented people to join us; email us for more)
As a registered occupational therapist and owner of Sensory Kids, Melissa is dedicated to helping children improve self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-esteem through the medium of play. She is known for captivating children with her magic while stimulating mind, body and soul.
Drawing from an extensive knowledge of pediatric occupational therapy, Melissa develops stimulating treatment programs that empower and teach children and their families to use therapeutic strategies in their daily lives. As a result, children build a strong foundation upon which to learn and grow.
A graduate of Columbia University where she earned a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, Melissa brings a variety of sensory techniques into her individualized sessions and groups. For example, she has extensive training and experience in the Tomatis method, using Integrated Listening System and Advanced Brain Technologies (ABT). As a faculty member of ABT, she trains—and consults to—other occupational therapists on a national level. Melissa also has completed many advanced sensory-integration courses and has been educated in MNRI and Reflex Integration Techniques, Visual Vestibular treatment techniques , Praxis and Motor Planning, Brain Gym, Oral Motor Therapy, Handwriting without Tears, Cranial Sacral Therapy, and Neurodevelopmental techniques.
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Julie graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Allied Health Sciences and a minor in Psychology. She then continued her studies at Bay Path University earning a master degree in Occupational Therapy. While at Bay Path University, Julie gained clinical experience working in a variety of settings including mental health, long-term care, and community-based pediatric.
Julie’s thesis focused on the therapeutic effects of animal-assisted therapy in both geriatric and pediatric populations. She was also involved in the program development of improving accessibility to services, providing occupational therapy to inner city children in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Julie completed her first clinical fieldwork affiliation at an outpatient hospital-based clinic, specializing in hand therapy. Her final affiliation landed her at Sensory Kids, LLC. Julie has always had a strong passion for working with children volunteering at pediatric hospitals, libraries, Boys & Girls clubs, and schools throughout her educational venture. Her extensive knowledge in diverse settings contributes to her expertise and desire to continue working with children and families as a pediatric occupational therapist.
Deanna received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton where she majored in Psychology and Philosophy and a minor in Biology. She went on to pursue a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Sacred Heart University, where she graduated top of her class. During her time at Sacred Heart University, she traveled to a rural town in Haiti where she worked with children and adults to deliver occupational therapy services. While at Sacred Heart University she completed her Level II fieldwork in a rehabilitation setting as well at Sensory Kids.
Deanna’s passion towards working with children started at a young age. She has previously worked with children as a camp counselor for children with developmental disabilities, a math instructor and lifeguard swim instructor. Deanna is experienced in creating sensory diets, home programs, environmental modifications and collaborating with parents to maximize client’s progress.
Sara is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who delights in working with children and their families. She uses her experience combined with her warm, caring, honest and humor-filled approach to build skill, confidence, and self-esteem in the children she treats. There is nothing more rewarding to her than to see her kids light up with the joy of accomplishment.
Sara received her Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science from the University of Southern California. She spent 10 years in Los Angeles working with kids, aged 0-12 in the top pediatric OT clinics in the area. She’s worked with various diagnoses including SPD, ADHD, ASD, CP, Down Syndrome, CAPD, and developmental delay. She has additional education in the areas of sensory integration/processing, kinesiotaping, therapeutic listening, feeding, executive functioning, reflex integration, neuro-developmental treatment, handwriting, self-regulation and social skills.
She is excited to be a part of the Sensory Kids family!
Anna graduated from King’s College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Neuroscience. She then went on to obtain her Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from American International College. While at American International College, Anna gained clinical experience in school settings, community mental health, and with older adults. Prior to working at Sensory Kids, Anna completed her Level II fieldwork affiliations at a post-acute care center and a sensory-based pediatric clinic in San Diego.
Her passion for working with kids started at a young age and continued throughout her life in which she volunteered at local hospitals, libraries, mentor programs, and international orphanages/villages. While abroad, Anna learned the true need for OT’s around the world and instantly wanted to be a member of the profession. Her desire to help kids develop the necessary skills needed to succeed in their lives led her to become a pediatric occupational therapist.
Mackenzie graduated from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Sciences. She then went on to continue her education at Eastwick College to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Mackenzie gained clinical experience in both pediatric and geriatric settings including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers, as well as elementary schools and another pediatric private practice.
Mackenzie’s passion and dedication to helping others achieve their highest potential stems from coaching youth soccer to kids with special needs as well as growing up with a sibling who has sensory processing difficulties. She truly understands and has seen first hand how occupational therapy can make an incredible difference in a child’s life. Mackenzie is excited to continue learning and looking forward to developing specialties involving Sensory Integration.
Mike is the Integrated Listening System Manager/Technician for our audio programs, supervising therapeutic auditory sessions and keeping listeners involved in appropriate, beneficial activities during the course of their therapy. He works closely and collaboratively with our Occupational Therapists and parents to help ensure that each child’s listening protocol is designed around his or her specific needs. Mike is currently in school finishing up his BA in Child and Adolescent Psychology at S.N.H.U and is available Monday through Saturdays for listening therapy programs.
Linda, Office Manager and all-around go-to person, lives in Westport with her son, Robert. She has extensive experience as an office manager, and she is an expert at keeping everything running seamlessly and harmoniously. Robert, who is a special needs child, makes her extra enthusiastic to be a part of the Sensory Kids team, as she understands firsthand the importance of an excellent program of therapy.
Linda and her son share a love of the beach, photography, and pets. Caring for their two dogs, Romeo and LaLa, along with the pets of vacationing friends, keeps their home warm and caring. In her spare time, Linda enjoys cooking, reading and is an avid Yankees fan. (But don’t hold it against her.)