All Child’sPlay therapists are trained and experienced in various areas of pediatric therapy. They are also caring people who want the best for you and your child.
Anne is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist. She was born and raised in Alexander City, Alabama and graduated with a Bachelors in Rehabilitation Services from Auburn University. She received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Anne has experience working with children and adolescents with autism, children with emotional and behavioral disorders, and providing therapy services in the school setting. She has received training in the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, Integrated Listening System, Interactive Metronome, and feeding therapy. Anne is excited to be part of the Child's Play team to pursue her passion of helping maximize their success and independence.
Rachel Ashcraft is a licensed and registered occupational therapist. Rachel received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion from Mississippi State University and received a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from UAB. She currently serves on the ALOTA committee of Government Affairs and on AOTA pediatric school of mental health workgroup. Rachel has specialty training in the following areas: Handwriting without Tears, Interactive Metronome, Integrated Listening System, Sensory Processing and Integration, Feeding Intervention with Pediatric Feeding Institute.
Morgan is a licensed and registered occupational therapist. She is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. She received her Bachelor of Science from Mississippi State University in 2014 and earned her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2016.
Alyssa is a licensed and registered occupational therapist. She is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Alyssa received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia in 2010. She then moved to Savannah, Georgia where she was a lead teacher for three years in both the 3rd and 5th grades. Alyssa then decided to pursue her passion to work with children with special needs as an occupational therapist. She moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 2014 where she completed her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Kentucky University.
Pam Bruner, a licensed and registered occupational therapist, received a master's degree from UAB in occupational therapy. She has 20 years experience working with the pediatric population in the school, Early Intervention and evaluation/outpatient setting. Pam worked at Childs Play Therapy Center six years ago before taking a break to be a stay at home mom. She is excited to be back working with children and families.
Cristy Cherry is a certified and licensed speech – language pathologist with over 10 years of experience working with both children and adults. Cristy graduated from The University of Alabama with her master of science degree in May of 2004. Since then she has worked in a variety of settings, including pediatric private therapy practice, hospitals, early intervention, and skilled nursing facilities.
Maggie is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Science and Disorders. She received her Masters of Communication Disorders in Speech-Language Pathology at Auburn University in 2014. Maggie completed her clinical fellowship at University of Alabama at Birmingham Sparks Clinics, an interdisciplinary pediatric diagnostics clinic. Maggie has experience working with children of all ages in schools and private practice.
Deidra is a licensed physical therapist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Auburn University and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Florida. She completed her pediatric internship at Madonna Rehab Center in Lincoln, Nebraska and has also worked in the adult orthopedic setting. Deidra has worked with children in many settings including an integrated preschool for children with Autism and in the community as a case manager for children with a mental health diagnosis. She is passionate about providing individualized care while making therapy fun and enjoyable.
Lauren Day is a licensed and certified speech language pathologist. She received her master's and undergraduate degrees from Auburn University. Lauren interned at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, where she gained both acute care and outpatient pediatric experience. Lauren was employed by the public school system of North Carolina for 4 years. She worked with preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students with a variety of disabilities. Lauren is well-versed in articulation, fluency, and language therapy and enjoys working with parents to maximize their children's gains.
Martha Davis is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Montevallo with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Science and Disorders in 2006. She received her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Montevallo in 2008. She completed her fieldwork at UAB Spain Rehabilitation Center, UAB Hospital, Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital, and Vestavia Hills High School.
Lacey Ellis is a licensed physical therapist. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She began her work experience in Bradenton, FL working with children in a private outpatient clinic and through the school systems, as well as working with adults in acute care and inpatient rehabilitation.
Ali Elliott is a Registered Dietitian with particular experience in the nutrition assessment and treatment of Pediatric patients. Ali's postgraduate fellowship emphasized clinical work with adolescents and children through the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) training program at UAB. Ali practiced clinical nutrition at Children's of Alabama where much of her work focused on Failure to Thrive infants, Feeding Issues, Weight Management and Disordered Eating. Ali furthered her experience working as a Medical Liaison with Nestlé - Gerber Maternal and Infant Nutrition Division.
Blake Franklin is a Board Certified Music Therapist and is a member of the American Music Therapy Association. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Therapy at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He completed his internship at hospice Four Seasons Compassion for Life in Flat Rock, North Carolina. He is currently a contractor working in multiples facilities throughout the community ranging in children with developmental disabilities, adults with developmental disabilities, with older adults in facilities ranging from independent to memory care.
Jessi Garzarek is a certified and licensed speech language pathologist who received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alabama in 2010 and her Master of Arts in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Georgia in 2015. She has a background in research focused on narrative language, literacy, and autism. Jessi previously worked in the private school setting serving children with a variety of language learning needs.
She loves working with families and supporting children to make meaningful progress in their communication development.
Josie Hager is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She received a Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Alabama, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Merry Grace is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist. She received her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Merry Grace has experience working with children in a local school system, as well as experience working with adults in the inpatient rehab and acute care settings. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and dog and traveling. Merry Grace is excited to be a part of such a wonderful team of therapists that share passion and joy for working with children.
Lulu is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders degree from Auburn University in 1997 and her Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences degree from the University of South Alabama in 1999. Lulu has experience working with infants, children, adolescents, and adults in the private practice and school settings, and at Easter Seals of Central Alabama. She enjoys working with clients of all ages with a special interest in language and literacy development.
Michelle is a registered and licensed occupational therapist. She graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology before completing her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She loves working with children in a variety of pediatric settings including schools and at Child’s Play Therapy Center. She is certified to provide Interactive Metronome, Integrated Listening Systems (including home programming), Child’s Play’s Focal Point program and teach handwriting using
Cheryl, a licensed and registered occupational therapist, received a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy from UAB. With over 25 years experience working with the pediatric population, she has enjoyed working with children of all ages and with a variety of diagnoses, needs and potential. She has worked in early intervention and in the school setting. She is a certified Interactive Metronome provider and is also trained as an Integrated Listening Systems practitioner. Having a tremendous love and respect for children, she is passionate about helping them be all they can be.
Mandy Kelly is a certified and licensed speech and language pathologist. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders with a minor in English. She received her Master of Science in speech and language pathology, also at the University of Alabama. She has been practicing speech therapy since January 2003 with experience in geriatrics and pediatrics. She has previously worked in Early Intervention and outpatient therapy. She currently is contracted through Child'sPlay to work for a local public school system. Mandy is dedicated to serving children and their families to meet their maximum potential.
Laura Lee is a physical therapist who has worked in pediatrics since 2005. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a master's degree in physical therapy in 2003. After graduating, Laura worked for a year and a half in the setting of adult inpatient rehabilitation. Laura then began her pediatric career at Children's of Alabama where she worked for 10 years in both inpatient and outpatient settings and in several clinics including down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and weight management. During her time as an inpatient therapist, she worked on a research project involving UAB's cystic fibrosis center which was published in three different medical journals. She has worked for Child's Play Therapy Center since 2015, primarily in the school setting, which she finds very rewarding.
Amy Moore has been a licensed speech-language pathologist since 1998. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University in Communication Disorders, followed by a Master's Degree in Education specializing in speech pathology from Alabama A & M University.
Amy has worked with both children and adults in a variety of settings. These include long term care facilities, home health, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation clinics, preschool and elementary school settings, and early intervention. Amy enjoys working with children, and specializes in early intervention, language, and oral motor/feeding disorders. Amy provides services to Child'sPlay as an independent contractor.
Heather is a licensed and registered occupational therapist. Heather received her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of South Alabama in 2005. She has worked in a variety of settings, but her passion is working with children and helping them achieve independence.
Heather has specialized training in sensory integration processing and is able to administer the Sensory Integration Praxis Test (SIPT). This test is considered the "gold standard" in sensory testing. She is also trained in Handwriting Without Tears.
Allyson Pasternack is the Clinical Supervisor of Speech-Language Pathology. She is a state and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist who has 15 years of experience in the profession. Allyson was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and relocated to Hoover in 2012 with her husband, son and daughter. Allyson graduated summa cum laude from Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus where she completed both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Janet is a licensed and registered occupational therapist. She completed her internship at T.K. Martin Center, a center that specializes in assistive technology and early intervention services, and the Mountain Brook School System. She graduated with a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She earned the Elizabeth Ann Davis Occupational Therapy Scholarship Award and the Cecile Clardy Satterfield Award for Humanism in Health Care.
Lindsay Vargas is a certified and licensed speech language pathologist. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Auburn University where she received both her graduate and undergraduate degrees in Communication Disorders. Lindsay completed her clinical fellowship at Columbus Speech and Hearing Center in Columbus Georgia. Lindsay has experience working with children and adults in the private practice setting. Her specialties include articulation, early language, fluency and augmentative communication. Lindsay is certified in Integrated Listening Systems and Interactive Metronome. She is also trained in Talk Tools and Orton Gillingham.
Alicia Varner is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. Her desire to become a speech-language pathologist came from her own experience receiving speech therapy as a child in elementary school. Alicia graduated Summa Cum Laude from Auburn University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders and from Texas Christian University where she received her graduate degree in speech-language pathology. Alicia completed her clinical fellowship working for Cherokee County School District in 2011-2012. She has experience working with pre-school through adolescent aged children.
Kelly is a certified and licensed occupational therapist. She received her undergraduate degrees (B.S. in Psychology, B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Medical Sociology) and graduate degree (M.S. in Occupational Therapy) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kelly enjoys providing occupational therapy in many different settings to people of all ages. She currently provides Early Intervention services to clients aged birth to three years throughout Jefferson County, after school therapy at Child’sPlay, and school-based therapy at a local high school.
Brooke White is the clinical supervisor for occupational and physical therapy at Child's Play Therapy Center. Brooke graduated from UAB in December of 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Brooke began her career working with adults and started her pediatric work with children in 2000.
Brooke's pediatric experience includes Williamson County public schools and High Hopes Inclusive Preschool/ Outpatient Clinic located in Tennessee. She has worked with both preschool and school aged children. Brooke has worked with various diagnoses. She especially enjoys helping families and children with autism and sensory processing disorder.
Shelley is a licensed and registered speech-language pathologist with over 16 years experience. She received her Bachelor of Science in Audiology and Speech Pathology from Florida State University. Shelley received her Masters of Science in Clinical Speech Pathology from Northern Arizona University. She has worked in clinical and school settings with most of her career spent in elementary schools. Her interests include articulation disorders, phonological disorders, and language impairments. Shelley loves working with children and seeing all the progress they are able to make in therapy. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and two children.