Meet Our Therapists
All Child’sPlay therapists are trained and Use a variety of therapeutic approaches, our skilled therapists work individually with children to improve function and build confidence. Our team of Huntsville therapists provides a fun and stimulating setting while also teaching children the tools they need to succeed.
Samantha Albert is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who joined the Child’sPlay therapy team in 2023. She is from Louisiana and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Southeastern University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology. She completed her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in May 2023 at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. Sam has clinical experience working with children in both outpatient and school-based settings. She worked with families for seven years, teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding. She also has adult experience in pain management, rehabilitation, and hand therapy. Sam loves helping clients and their families achieve their goals in fun and creative ways. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, cooking, and spending time with her loved ones. She is a big animal lover and enjoys crafting/creating new things.
Ellisa is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist who provides therapy coverage when a team members is absent or on vacation. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Alabama with a B.S. in Health Sciences in 2017 and an M.S. in Occupational Therapy in 2019. As apart of her Master’s program, she completed a 12 week level II rotation at an outpatient pediatric clinic and has experience as an OT in the school setting. She has completed extensive volunteer hours working with youth groups, group homes, special Olympics, etc. in addition to advising and mentoring undergraduate students interested in occupational therapy. She is passionate about advocating for children of all abilities through caregiver and teacher education. She believes every child deserves the opportunity to participate in his or her environment to his or her fullest potential.
Michael is a licensed, registered occupational therapist who joined Child’sPlay in December of 2023. He received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Mississippi State University in 2017 and his Master of Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2021. While at MSU, Michael completed an internship at the T. K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, where he was first introduced to pediatric occupational therapy and also to adaptive driving. Michael’s clinical fieldwork background is mainly in adult mental health intervention, and Michael had approximately two years of experience in pediatric outpatient therapy before joining the Child’sPlay team. While he does not yet have a more specialized area of practice, Michael has professional interests in trauma-informed care and interoception and he is currently pursuing an autism certification.
A Huntsville native, Michael is thrilled to serve this ever-expanding community. Michael loves spending time and playing games with his friends and growing family. Thanks to his upbringing and ongoing experiences, Michael also enjoys everything to do with the Arts. These personal interests can be seen integrated into Michael’s practice. Michael seeks to maintain a safe space where his clients, their caregivers, and their support systems feel comfortable realizing the extent of their abilities while collaborating to identify the most effective strategies and resources to promote functional participation in daily and desired occupations.
Jenni Boerner is a certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She has 11 years of experience providing diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders in the preschool through the middle school-age population. Her areas of specialty include articulation and phonological disorders, fluency, and language delays. She has training in adult foreign accent modification.
Jenni received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Communication Science Disorders from the University of Montevallo. Jenni enjoys providing therapy for children of all ages and motivating them to be excellent communicators.
She is committed to engaging the family and other caregivers of her clients to maximize therapy results. She enjoys reading, exercising, and old movies. She and her husband, Bob, have 3 boys. Email Jenni
Taylor is a speech-language pathologist who started at Child’sPlay in June of 2018 and serves as the Clinical Supervisor of Speech-Language Pathology. She graduated from Auburn University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders (War Eagle!) and earned her Master of Science from the University of Montevallo in 2017.
She has clinical experience working with children in various settings including school systems, early intervention, and private practice. She is eager to build relationships with her clients and their families, facilitate communicative success, and encourage each child to reach his or her full potential. Taylor’s special interests include developing early language skills, teaching reading skills through Orton-Gillingham reading intervention, and facilitating functional communication in children with a variety of diagnoses.
In her free time, Taylor enjoys attending music and theatre events, serving at her church, and spending time with her husband, her daughter, and their dog. Email Taylor
Bonnie Dickerson is a Speech-Language Pathologist who joined the Child’sPlay therapy team in April 2023. She graduated from the University of Alabama in 2021 with her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies, and completed her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology in May 2023. Bonnie has experience working with a variety of clientele through the university private clinic, in the schools, and in the inpatient rehabilitation and acute care settings in the hospital. Bonnie has a heart for working with people and is especially passionate about supporting each client and creating connections with families to work toward achieving goals! In her free time, Bonnie enjoys cooking, keeping active, and spending time with her friends and family.
Hollye Dickey is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She graduated from Alabama A&M University with a Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in 2010.
Prior to working at Child’s Play, she worked with the adult and geriatric populations in skilled nursing settings and with children in elementary, middle, and high school settings. She has experience working with speech sound disorders, language delays, social skills, fluency, dysphagia, and dementia.
She loves traveling, playing games, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and her husband and three daughters. Hollye enjoys working with people of all ages and hopes to have a positive impact on their lives and their ability to communicate effectively. Email Hollye
Heather Dragash is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Master of Arts in Communicative Disorders in 2000.
Prior to working at Child’sPlay, she worked with children with a variety of diagnoses and disorders in the outpatient, home, and school settings as well as in early intervention. She has training and experience with LAMP® (Language Acquisition through Motor Planning).
Heather enjoys working with the pediatric population and is honored to play a part in helping children progress and achieve their communication goals.
Chandon is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist from Florence, Alabama, who joined Child’sPlay in 2021. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Alabama in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and obtained her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of South Alabama in 2020.
Chandon has been working with children for over 10 years through various avenues of volunteering, babysitting, coaching, and hosting birthday parties. She became interested in OT as an undergraduate as it married her passions for health and wellness with her love for teaching and pediatrics. She is most excited about making a positive impact on the families Child’sPlay serves and helping them reach their goals.
In the future, she hopes to receive additional training in feeding as well as sensory integration techniques to greater expand a child’s function in their home and school environments. In her free time, Chandon enjoys participating in and leading an array of group fitness classes, learning to ballroom dance, spending time with her family, volunteering, and traveling.
Jane graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy and from Texas Tech University, earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. She is a former military spouse and has had the opportunity to live abroad and in several states around the country. She has been in Huntsville since 2019. She has
worked in many different pediatric settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital-based outpatient, private and public school systems, and home-based early intervention.
Jane has a passion for children and their families and loves being on the journey with them to help improve their motor skills so they can reach their fullest potential. In her free time, she enjoys running, being in nature, attending Huntsville City soccer games, as well as spending time with her family and plethora of pets.
Julie is a Speech-Language Pathologist who got her Master’s degree from the University of Alabama in 2009. Her undergraduate degree is from Biola University in southern California, but she is a southern girl.
Julie loves working with children and helping with their communication. She enjoys using play to increase language and playing games to improve articulation. She loves to get to know each child and family and figure out what works for them.
Julie has 3 daughters, 2 cats, and a dog. Her daughters are involved in competition gymnastics and dance which takes up most of her time. When she isn’t driving her kids around she loves exercising, singing and playing games.
Ashley is an Occupational Therapist who started at Child’sPlay in September 2022 and serves as the Clinical Supervisor of Occupational and Physical Therapy. She graduated from Midwestern University in 2018 with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy. She recently relocated to Huntsville from Chicago. She has clinical experience working with children in a variety of settings including school systems, early intervention, and private practice. She enjoys working with children and their families to promote active participation in activities or occupations that are meaningful to them, and to help them achieve their greatest potential. She is passionate about her work and has special interests in autism and sensory processing disorders.
During her free time, Ashley enjoys being outdoors, hiking, kayaking, traveling, cooking, trying new restaurants, attending concerts, and spending time with her family.
Alia Shoemaker is a certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who joined the Child’sPlay therapy team in June 2022. She graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2016 with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Linguistics, and she earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from James Madison University in 2019.
Alia has experience working with various clientele in school systems, a skilled nursing facility, a neurorehabilitation center, and private practice. She has specialized training in augmentative and alternative communication platforms such as LAMP (Language Acquisition through Motor Planning) and Tobii Dynavox systems. Alia continues to pursue education in AAC evaluation and treatment provision.
Kathryn Williams is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She relocated back to her hometown of Huntsville, Alabama from Naples, Florida, and joined Child’sPlay in April 2021.
She studied at Auburn University, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in 2016 and Master’s Degree in 2018. Kathryn has worked in various settings, providing skilled therapy for children to adults. Her experience includes an inpatient rehabilitation hospital, a children’s hospital, a school setting, and private practice. She is trained in LindaMoodBell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing® program and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).
Kathryn provides individualized therapy to each child to promote growth and builds rapport with families and caregivers to encourage the generalization of skills into the home environment. Kathryn enjoys baking, running, and spending time outdoors with her husband and pets. Email Kathryn
Shalese is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate who specializes in working with children, teens, families, and adults. She received both her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at The University of Alabama. She completed clinical hours at the Capstone Family Therapy Clinic and Child’s Play Therapy Center, where she worked with various populations and ages.
Shalese has experience working with individuals with various issues, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, behavioral concerns, and trauma. Children internally process the world differently from the mind of a fully developed adult, and therefore they are often unable to communicate the complexities of their emotions the way that more mature minds would. Play is their primary language! When working with children, Shalese uses play therapy approaches to help children understand and process difficult emotional experiences. Shalese strives to integrate and work alongside families to reach their goals!
When working with adults, Shalese strives to curate a safe environment for clients to tell their story, while also helping them regain the confidence to take back control within their lives and live out their preferred narrative!
In her free time, Shalese enjoys exploring nature, traveling, writing, and spending time with family and friends! (And watching Alabama football- Roll Tide)!
Mary Jane Wooley
Mary Jane is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist from Hartselle, AL, who joined the Child’sPlay team in 2023. She graduated from Auburn University in 2020, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Spanish. Mary Jane received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2022. As part of her coursework, Mary Jane had the opportunity to complete a 12-week fieldwork rotation at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she enjoyed working with children with a variety of diagnoses and developed special interests in vision and feeding.
Mary Jane has experience working with children in a variety of capacities, including working as a counselor and ropes course instructor at a summer camp and serving in the children’s ministry at her church. She loves nurturing kids to realize and reach their potential and become active participants in the things they enjoy. In her free time, Mary Jane enjoys cooking, baking, playing sports and board games, and spending time with friends and family.