Nathalie Khouzam

Position: Senior Therapist
Categories: Behavioural Therapy

Nathalie has been working with children with a variety of special learning needs such as autism, ADHD and dyslexia since 2016. She became a Senior Therapist in 2021 and has gained experience in parent consultation, program development and supervision, therapist training and implementing behaviour interventions. She also gained training and experience in ESDM and has a special interest in natural environment teaching. Nathalie speaks both English and Arabic. She holds a Bachelor of Science with a minor in Psychology from the University of Ottawa, as well as a Master of Professional Education specializing in ABA from the University of Western Ontario. Nathalie is also currently pursuing her BCBA certification. In her spare time, Nathalie enjoys painting, cooking and exploring new cities!

“I chose ACT because I’m excited to work as a part of a multidisciplinary team. I believe that being a part of a diverse team allows us to share our knowledge and expertise to provide a holistic therapy approach.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Brazil

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Monkey

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sushi

Nathalie Khouzam

Senior Therapist

Nathalie has been working with children with a variety of...

Cassandra Danis

Position: ETS Team Lead, Registered Early Childhood Educator
Categories: Entry to School

Cassandra is a Team Lead of our Entry to School program Antares location. Cassandra is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and has years of experience working in childcare and has primarily held positions working with children ranging from ages one to four. When Cassandra isn’t working, you can find her playing volleyball, field hockey or hanging out with her two cats Sevro and Nala!

“I work at ACT because the environment is welcoming and inclusive. I love the standards and practice of ACT Learning Centre and the inclusion they provide for all children.”

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Lion!

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Bananas!

What’s your favourite holiday?
Halloween!

Cassandra Danis

ETS Team Lead, Registered Early Childhood Educator

Cassandra is a Team Lead of our Entry to School...

Jennifer Rego

Position: Entry to School Site Manager, Registered Early Childhood Educator
Categories: Entry to School

Jennifer is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with more than 20 years of experience working with children. She is very passionate about her work with children and truly enjoys being a part of their development. Jen loves the outdoors and glamping at her trailer. You can always find her swimming or boating with family and friends.

“I love the entire program at ACT. The children, families, staff and management make it very easy to come to work every day.”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hersheys Eggies

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Morning person

Jennifer Rego

Entry to School Site Manager, Registered Early Childhood Educator

Jennifer is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with more than...

Caitlin Howard

Position: Registered Early Childhood Educator
Categories: Entry to School

Caitlin has been a Registered Early Childhood Educator for nearly two decades. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology as well as a graduate certificate in Autism and Behaviour Sciences. Throughout her career, Caitlin has experience working in daycare centres and schools.

“I have a passion for working with young children. I have worked in full-day kindergarten for 10 years. Working in the Entry To School program allows me to help support these children where they are in their development and help prepare them for their upcoming school transition.”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chocolate

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Morning person

Caitlin Howard

Registered Early Childhood Educator

Caitlin has been a Registered Early Childhood Educator for nearly...

Natasha Patry

Position: Registered Early Childhood Educator
Categories: Entry to School

Natasha has over 14 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education. She holds a diploma in Early Childcare Education from Algonquin College and has experience working in daycare and school settings. Natasha loves the Ottawa Senators and elephants!

“I have an appreciation for the children we work with. They keep me curious and I learn something new every day. Watching our students grow and progress throughout the program is incredibly rewarding.”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Poutine or Mac and cheese

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Night-owl

Natasha Patry

Registered Early Childhood Educator

Natasha has over 14 years of experience in the field...

Lina Ahmed

Position: Behavioural Therapist
Categories: Entry to School

Lina has extensive experience teaching ESL to toddlers and preschoolers and speaks both English and Arabic. She has also worked providing ABA therapy one-on-one, in group settings as well as in-school support as an educational assistant. Lina holds an Honours Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Toronto, as well as a Master of Psychology from the University of Liverpool.

“I admire the goal of the ETS program, and the mixed skills and talents combined to provide the best possible support for autistic children. I truly believe this program will have a huge positive impact on enabling autistic children with the necessary skills to succeed in school. Working with so many skilled and knowledgeable individuals from various fields has benefitted me in terms of knowledge and practice and enabled me to perform my job in the best possible way.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Maldives

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Monkey

What’s your favourite holiday?

Eid

Lina Ahmed

Behavioural Therapist

Lina has extensive experience teaching ESL to toddlers and preschoolers...

Victoria Samson

Position: Quality Manager and Speech-Language Pathologist
Categories: Entry to School, Speech-Language Therapy

Victoria is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist who graduated with a Master of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2014. Victoria has pursued additional training in the areas of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), motor speech disorders (including PROMPT and DTTC, Dynamic Tactile and Temporal Cuing) as well as autism spectrum disorder  (including the advanced workshop for Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and The Hanen Program’s More Than Words and TalkAbility). Victoria has completed courses on the Natural Language Acquisition approach to supporting children who communicate using echolalia (Gestalt Language Processors). Victoria is also an Individual Authorizer for Communication Aids through ADP.

Victoria has worked as a pediatric SLP since 2014 in various roles including preschool speech and language services, school-based rehab services and an expanded level AAC clinic. She has worked in the Entry to School Program at ACT since January 2022. Victoria has a particular interest in and passion for early intervention, supporting young children with ASD and their families to thrive through strengths-based intervention.

“ACT fosters collaboration across disciplines and provides opportunities for learning and growth for its staff. Victoria believes strongly in the importance of a collaborative, interdisciplinary and evidence-based approach to intervention taking the whole child into consideration in order to develop functional and meaningful goals with the family. This holistic, interdisciplinary approach is accessible to families who seek services through ACT.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Antarctica

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

A jaguar

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Victoria Samson

Quality Manager and Speech-Language Pathologist

Victoria is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist who graduated with a...

Odette Thevenot

Position: Occupational Therapist
Categories: Occupational Therapy

Odette is a registered Occupational Therapist in the province of Ontario. She obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa in 2018 and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Dalhousie University in 2020. She is a registered PLAY Consultant with the PLAY Project.

Odette has spent her clinical career working with the pediatric population, both preschoolers and school-aged children, in the school, community and clinic settings. She has provided consultation and direct therapy to support children and families to find meaningful ways to improve function in everyday activities, addressing a wide range of physical, fine motor, cognitive and sensory-based needs. Odette has extensive experience in assessment and intervention with children with physical disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and developmental disorders. Odette loves to spend her time outside of work learning new recipes, traveling and outdoors.

“I chose to work at the ACT Learning Centre as it provides me with the ability to work with and learn from an inter-professional team and provide services in a bilingual environment.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Netherlands

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Burgers

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Morning person

Odette Thevenot

Occupational Therapist

Odette is a registered Occupational Therapist in the province of...

Joanne Silke

Position: Registered Early Childhood Educator
Categories: Entry to School

Joanne holds an Early Childhood Education Honours Diploma, as well as a Working with Children with Special Needs Certificate. Joanne has worked with children and adults with special needs for over 25 years. Joanne describes herself as a lifelong learner who is always keen and excited to learn new things and experience new challenges. A fun fact about Joanne is that she was once a professional clown named “Jelly Bean” who volunteered her time in hospitals to bring joy to patients.

“It is an absolute thrill and honour to be a part of the ACT team of heart-centered leaders!! Everything about ACT’s teaching philosophy completely resonates with what I believe and know to be true of how children. Children grow best when we see life by looking through their eyes and understanding what they need. We must continuously adjust the program and be relentlessly solution-focused to accommodate the ever-changing needs of each individual. Learning is never one size fits all and at ACT Learning Centre there is a complete understanding of how each child learns so they can thrive in all areas of development on the level they are at for optimum success.”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sushi

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas and all things that glitter!!

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Morning person

Joanne Silke

Registered Early Childhood Educator

Joanne holds an Early Childhood Education Honours Diploma, as well...

Sarah Toupin, CYW

Position: Lead Registered Behaviour Therapist & Assistant to the Director
Categories: Behavioural Therapy

Sarah is a Registered Behaviour Therapist who has over five years of experience working with children in a variety of educational settings. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Psychology from Carleton University and a Child and Youth Work Diploma from Algonquin College.

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Jaguar

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Grilled Cheese & Bacon

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Night-owl

Sarah Toupin, CYW

Lead Registered Behaviour Therapist & Assistant to the Director

Sarah is a Registered Behaviour Therapist who has over five...

Cielo Paraggua

Position: Instructor Therapist
Categories: Behavioural Therapy

Cielo holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Business from the University of Victoria, as well as an Associate of Arts: Psychology from Langara College. Cielo speaks three languages, English, Tagalog and Ilocano, and is First Aid Certified with CPR-C-AED.

“I like how ACT has a wide range of services. I am not only learning what I do as an Instructor Therapist, but I also get to collaborate with other professionals. Everyone is supportive of each other.”

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Parrot

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Porkchop

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Cielo Paraggua

Instructor Therapist

Cielo holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a...

Emily Goodman, M.ADS

Position: Senior Therapist
Categories: Behavioural Therapy

Emily started in the field of ABA in 2017. Emily began her career as an Instructor Therapist, transitioned to Lead Therapist and eventually to her current role, as a Senior Therapist. Her areas of interest include skill acquisition and behavioural skills training.

Emily holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience, as well as a Master of Applied Disability Studies specializing in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Brock University. She is currently pursuing a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) certification.

“I choose to work at ACT Learning Centre because of its supportive work environment, culture and opportunities for growth in the field. I hope to one day become a BCBA at ACT!”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Thailand and Singapore

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Quokka

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

McDonald’s Hamburger and Fries with a Coke

Emily Goodman, M.ADS

Senior Therapist

Emily started in the field of ABA in 2017. Emily...

Melissa Hughes

Position: BCBA
Categories: Behavioural Therapy

Melissa began her career in the field of ABA in 2016. She holds a Master of Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and completed her certification as a BCBA upon joining the ACT team. Melissa enjoys collaborating with other professionals and using evidence-based interventions to assist young clients as they transition into the school system. When Melissa isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two teenage children and her wild Bernedoodle!

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sushi

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Night-owl

Melissa Hughes

BCBA

Melissa began her career in the field of ABA in...

Idil Hassan

Position: Registered Early Childhood Educator
Categories: Entry to School

Idil is personally and professionally invested in providing optimal learning and development environments for children. In her early learning environments, she advocated for inclusion and representation. Her primary goal as an educator is to ensure all children, regardless of race, ability, gender or other differences, are in environments that make them feel safe, wanted, valued and respected.

Idil holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts – Educational Studies and Digital Technology (specializing in early childhood development), a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing a Master of Professional Education in Equity, Diversity and Social Justice. She is also CPR, First Aid & AED certified and holds a certificate in Autism 101.

“Relationships between families and the centres where children are involved are critical to the children’s success. I admire the way ACT recognizes and values relationships with children and families. Additionally, I love being a part of a multidisciplinary team. Being a part of the first cohort for the Entry to School program has been a unique experience that has allowed me to pick up different skills and strategies from an amazing group of professionals from various fields.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Maldives

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza

What’s your favourite holiday?

Eid

Idil Hassan

Registered Early Childhood Educator

Idil is personally and professionally invested in providing optimal learning...

Katie Jenkins

Position: Lead Instructor Therapist
Categories: Entry to School

Katie holds a degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University) and is certified in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, she is also looking to pursue a Master of Education in the coming years. Katie began her career working in an ABA clinic providing 1:1 therapy to children diagnosed with ASD. She went on to work as an Education Assistant with OCDSB at a special needs school in Ottawa allowing her to engage with students with different types of skills and disabilities. Katie’s dream is to open up a forest school for kids and adults on the spectrum! She sees the positive impact connecting with nature has on her clients.

“Being a part of the first cohort of the Entry to School program was an opportunity I could not pass up. Working in a multi-disciplinary setting sounded like a great chance for growing my professional skills. This program is unique as it allows me to combine my passion for behaviour intervention while in a more natural setting.”

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Chimpanzee

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Baked beans on toast

What’s your favourite holiday?

Halloween

Katie Jenkins

Lead Instructor Therapist

Katie holds a degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known...

Alyssa Johnston, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Position: Occupational Therapist
Categories: Occupational Therapy

Alyssa has experience working in school, home, community and clinic settings with children of all ages and abilities to foster meaningful engagement in activities. Much of her experience has been centered on supporting children with ASD and neurodevelopmental disorders in the development of self and sensory regulation, fine and gross motor skills, social engagement and independence with self-care tasks via a naturalistic, play-based approach. She has assisted in the creation and implementation of a program to support children with ASD in their transition to preschool and has led social, self-regulation and health and fitness groups (including dance) for youth with neurodevelopmental disorders. Additionally, she is expanding her competencies in youth mental health.

Alyssa holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health with a Minor in Psychology from Carleton University. Alyssa is also an avid dancer and enthusiast of all things outdoors!

“I enjoy ACT’s strength-based and family-centered approach to care, plentiful opportunities for professional development and support, and am happy to be a part of a team of inter-professionals that strives to collaborate to optimize outcomes for clients and their families.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Italy – mountains, beaches, and amazing food

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pasta – hands down!

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Night-owl

Alyssa Johnston, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Occupational Therapist

Alyssa has experience working in school, home, community and clinic...

Allison Orr

Position: Occupational Therapist Assistant
Categories: Entry to School, Occupational Therapy

Allison is a bilingual Occupational Therapist Assistant working in the Entry to School program at ACT’s Pembroke location. She holds an Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Diploma from Algonquin College and is certified in DIR/Floortime. Allison looks forward to furthering her knowledge by completing more courses and training in the field of autism.

“Knowing we are having a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of the children and caregivers is a very fulfilling feeling. Being part of the BOG team and witnessing the growth we are seeing in the children as a multidisciplinary team.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Italy

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Sloth

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Taco’s

Allison Orr

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Allison is a bilingual Occupational Therapist Assistant working in the...

Caitlin Lacelle

Position: Director of Occupational Therapy and Entry to School
Categories: Entry to School, Leadership, Occupational Therapy

Caitlin is a registered Occupational Therapist with the province of Ontario. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from McGill University in 2009 and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University in 2011.  Caitlin has spent the majority of her clinical career working with the pediatric population, in the school, community and clinic settings. She has provided consultation and direct therapy to address a wide range of physical, cognitive and sensory-based issues.

Caitlin has extensive experience in assessment and intervention with children with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disorders and developmental delays. Caitlin has completed the Professionals Certificate in the DIR/Floortime  Model and the advanced workshop for the Early Start Denver Model.  She has specialized training in feeding therapy, sensory processing and play based therapy.

Caitlin Lacelle

Director of Occupational Therapy and Entry to School

Caitlin is a registered Occupational Therapist with the province of...

Sandy Ghobrial

Position: Instructor Therapist
Categories: Entry to School

Sandy holds a Bachelor of Psychology and is currently working towards a Master of Counselling Psychology and an RBT certificate. Sandy can speak both English and Arabic and describes herself as very adventurous, going paragliding is at the top of her list!

“ACT is the best organization I have ever been to. Great working as a team and accommodating employees and clients.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Greece

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

dolphin

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hot Chicken Wings

Sandy Ghobrial

Instructor Therapist

Sandy holds a Bachelor of Psychology and is currently working...

Lynne Begin

Position: Registered Early Childhood Educator
Categories: Entry to School

Lynne holds a Diploma of Early Childhood Education from St. Lawrence College. Before joining the ACT teams, Lynne operated a home-based childcare program for 16 years. Throughout this time, she consistently delivered developmentally appropriate enriching activities in all areas of child development. She then worked in the role of ECE educator with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. Working alongside teaching teams, she had many opportunities to deliver developmentally appropriate enriching activities to school-age children in both the classroom and in the Extended Day Program.

“I love being part of a multi-disciplinary team and making a positive impact in the lives of these little people!”

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Monkey

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Morning person

Lynne Begin

Registered Early Childhood Educator

Lynne holds a Diploma of Early Childhood Education from St....

Julie Tessier

Position: Occupational Therapist
Categories: Entry to School, Occupational Therapy, PLAY Project

Julie Tessier is a registered Occupational Therapist (OT) with the province of Ontario. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics and completed a Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy in 2019. She provides Occupational Therapy services in both English and French. In addition to providing assessments, interventions and consultations in private practice, Julie is also part of many projects such as a registered PLAY consultant for the Play Project, a member of the supervisory team in the Entry to School (ETS) Program and a mentor for the Secret Agent Society (SAS) research project.

Julie’s love of helping kids has led her to acquire several years of experience working alongside experienced pediatric therapists. For the past eight years, she has worked with children on the autism spectrum in different settings. She has skillfully assisted with integration in day cares, has developed and led social groups as well as summer camps, provided respite services to families. She continues to pursue her passion as an Occupational Therapist with a special focus on working with children of all ages.

Julie aspires to help children gain independence in their everyday activities as well as work in an interdisciplinary setting. Julie provides quality interventions that emphasize promoting the child’s motivation and engagement within activities of their daily life. Julie is highly motivated to grow and develop as a therapist as she and completed various trainings.

In her spare time, Julie loves to travel, spend time outdoors, participate in various sports and being surrounded with her friends and family.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Iceland

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Stir fry

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Goat

Julie Tessier

Occupational Therapist

Julie Tessier is a registered Occupational Therapist (OT) with the...

Rebecca Nishimura

Position: Director of Speech-Language Pathology and the PLAY Project
Categories: Leadership, PLAY Project, Speech-Language Therapy

Rebecca Nishimura is the director of Speech-Language Pathology and the PLAY Project. She is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist with the province of Ontario. Since graduating with a Master of Communication Sciences and Disorders from McGill University in 2019, Rebecca has worked primarily with preschoolers and school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders and receptive/expressive language difficulties. She emphasizes finding meaningful ways to target communication with her clients by including their interests and using therapy activities that mirror real-life needs as much as possible. Rebecca provides direct therapy and consultation to support children’s communication skills across settings and modalities.

“I work at ACT because I love collaborating with and learning from other disciplines. I feel like I learn something new every day!”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Raspberries

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Japan

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Red Panda

Rebecca Nishimura

Director of Speech-Language Pathology and the PLAY Project

Rebecca Nishimura is the director of Speech-Language Pathology and the...

Abbey Jacobson

Position: Speech-Language Pathologist
Categories: Speech-Language Therapy

Abbey is a registered Speech-language Pathologist with a wide range of professional experience in early intervention, special learning support and education. She is an outgoing, creative and adaptable clinician skilled in the development of individualized and goal-focused treatment plans.

Abbey values developing and fostering meaningful rapport with clients, families and co-workers. She enjoys working collaboratively within a multi-disciplinary team, with the client and family at the centre, to reach holistic outcomes that have a real-world impact.

Abbey loves to travel and has a sausage dog named Oni (the pepperoni).

“I have a passion and determination to help people of all ages develop, regain and refine their ability to communicate.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

The Philippines

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Giraffe

What’s your favourite holiday?

Halloween

Abbey Jacobson

Speech-Language Pathologist

Abbey is a registered Speech-language Pathologist with a wide range...

Karoline Drozd, Reg. CDAAC

Position: Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA)
Categories: Entry to School

Karoline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Linguistics from Western University as well as a CDA Graduate Certificate from St. Lawrence College.

Karoline loves working with children, especially fostering meaningful connections and helping them realize their own potential. Karoline has worked as an Early Childhood Educator supply for over six years, implementing Ontario’s “How Does Learning Happen” Pedagogy. She has worked in multiple Children’s Treatment Centres in Ontario, as a CDA with children and youth with speech, language and/or social communication concerns, often in the context of an additional diagnosis such as ASD, Cerebral Palsy, FASD, Down Syndrome, or Rett Syndrome. More recently, she has worked in private practice, where she provided 1:1 speech therapy to clients of all ages and abilities in Ottawa. During Karoline’s career as a CDA, she has worked on client goals ranging from Early Language Development, AAC, Social Communication Strategies, Fluency Strategies, Articulation, and Literacy skills.

“I jumped at the opportunity to work in a clinical multidisciplinary setting, as well as be part of the first cohort of the ETS program! Working with clinicians and professionals in their respective fields is such a great environment for our clients, who receive the best clinical care from an amazing team that strives to meet clients at their level and help them achieve their own goals!”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Greece and Croatia

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Holiday turkey dinner

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Night owl

Karoline Drozd, Reg. CDAAC

Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA)

Karoline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Linguistics...

Jessica Raymond

Position: PLAY Project Consultant
Categories: PLAY Project

Jessica graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma of Early Childhood Education in 2017 and is a Registered Early Childhood Educator under the College of ECEs. She speaks English and French and has worked with children for over 10 years. She has been a Registered Early Childhood Educator for the past five years. Throughout her career, Jessica has provided children with a safe learning environment where they could develop their skills and learn through play.

I am passionate about learning more about early child development and different techniques and strategies that I can implement to help children progress and become successful. I am grateful to be a part of the Play Project where I can pass down my knowledge to families so that they as well can learn these techniques and strategies and be a part of their child’s learning journey.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Australia

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Lion

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Jessica Raymond

PLAY Project Consultant

Jessica graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma of Early...

Robyn Chaput

Position: Instructor Therapist
Categories: Behavioural Therapy, Entry to School

Robyn is an Instructor Therapist with over four years of experience working with children with disabilities and 16 years of experience working with adults with a variety of disabilities. Robyn holds a Diploma of Recreation and Leisure as well as a Registered Behaviour Therapy certificate.

In her spare time, Robyn enjoys spending time with her children, walking her dogs and playing soccer.

“ACT Learning Centre is an inspirational company that is doing amazing things for children on the spectrum, and I am excited to be a part of such an inspiring team.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Figi

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?
Monkey

What’s your favourite holiday?
Christmas

Robyn Chaput

Instructor Therapist

Robyn is an Instructor Therapist with over four years of...

Vera Lapczak

Position: Occupational Therapist, Entry to School Supervisor
Categories: Entry to School, Occupational Therapy

Vera has been an Occupational Therapist since 2005, working with children predominantly in school settings, but also in private practice.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Costa Rica, New Zealand

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chips

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Vera Lapczak

Occupational Therapist, Entry to School Supervisor

Vera has been an Occupational Therapist since 2005, working with...

Karen Matthews

Position: PLAY Project Consultant and Communicative Disorders Assistant
Categories: PLAY Project, Speech-Language Therapy

Karen has experience working with children and individuals with various speech and language disorders. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Cognitive Science of Language, and Sociology from McMaster University, as well as a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) Graduate Certificate from St. Lawrence College.

Karen has had the opportunity to work with The University Health Network in their Adult Alternative and Augmentative Communication clinic. She worked as an Educator-therapist implementing ESDM therapy for young children for three years, before transitioning to ACT. As a PLAY Consultant, she supports parents and caregivers to develop joyous, meaningful engagement with their child. She continues to expand her skill set by supporting children as an Occupational Therapist Assistant. Karen speaks English and Spanish and loves dogs. She owns a two-year-old trouble-making German Shepherd.

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ice cream

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Morning person

Karen Matthews

PLAY Project Consultant and Communicative Disorders Assistant

Karen has experience working with children and individuals with various...

Brigette Barber, CDA

Position: Communicative Disorders Assistant
Categories: Speech-Language Therapy

Brigette has experience working in several programs focusing on behaviour, speech and language and hearing. She has had the opportunity to work with various populations including preschool, school-aged and adult clients. In her role at ACT, Brigette provides treatment to preschool and school-aged children in areas such as receptive language, expressive language, articulation, literacy and augmentative and alternative communication.

Brigette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a Communicative Disorders Assistant Graduate Certificate from Georgian College. She is currently enrolled at MacEwan University in the Hearing Aid Practitioner program.

In addition to working at ACT, Brigette works part-time at a hearing clinic as a CDA where she provides aural rehabilitation for adults with communication difficulties. Outside of work you can find Brigette on the water kayaking or with her dog Kallie at the dog park.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

New Zealand

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Hedgehog

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Homemade macaroni and cheese

Brigette Barber, CDA

Communicative Disorders Assistant

Brigette has experience working in several programs focusing on behaviour,...

Jane Woodworth, SLP-C (prov), Reg. CASLPO, Reg. NBASLPA

Position: Speech-Language Pathologist
Categories: Speech-Language Therapy

Jane is a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist in New Brunswick and Ontario and a member of SAC. She has experience providing a wide variety of services to individuals across their lifespan. In her first year of practice, she provided speech, language, feeding, swallowing, social and play therapy services in English and French to individuals and their families from 1 to 100. Jane has experience with multilingual families and finding the optimal approach to treatment to meet her clients’ specific needs.

Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Université de Moncton and a Master of Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Maine. She is also nearing completion of PLAY Project certification. Jane is passionate about international travel, solidarity and friendship. She has previously traveled, studied and worked abroad, and looks forward to the opportunity to do so again.

“ACT Learning Centre provides extensive opportunities for training, professional growth and diversified practice, within the realm of autism services. It is ACT’s commitment to providing quality services for its clients and diverse opportunities for its staff which make me a proud employee.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Portugal and China are next on my list!

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

A fox

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ice cream

Jane Woodworth, SLP-C (prov), Reg. CASLPO, Reg. NBASLPA

Speech-Language Pathologist

Jane is a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist in New Brunswick and...

Helen Lweyeman

Position: Classroom Assistant
Categories: Entry to School

Helen holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Childhood and Youth Studies. She is fluent in both English and French. In her spare time, Helen loves cooking African food and blasting loud music to put some groove in the house!

“I love my team and the children, everyone is amazing.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

AFRICA!

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Giraffe

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chapati with meat all day!

Helen Lweyeman

Classroom Assistant

Helen holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and is...

Olivia Awe

Position: Instructor Therapist
Categories: Behavioural Therapy

Olivia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious with a minor in Anthropology, as well as a Child and Youth Care Advanced Diploma. Olivia has previous experience in social-emotional skill groups and community mental health.

“I work at ACT because it’s a very supportive environment and ACT is a wonderful place for me to learn and develop my skills working with youth.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Peru

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Panda

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sushi

Olivia Awe

Instructor Therapist

Olivia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious with a...

Chenia Lobo

Position: Lead Behavioural Therapist
Categories: Behavioural Therapy

Chenia has been working with children with ASD in the field of behavioural therapy for over five years. Chenia holds a Bachelor of Psychology with a minor in Special Education from the University of British Columbia and is a Registered Behaviour Technician.

“I am particularly interested in teaching meaningful skills to children who require higher support and I feel like ACT delivers just that. They gave me the opportunity to develop my skills as a therapist. I have learned so much since I began working here, working with different children and helping them with different needs. Joining the ACT team was a great step after university.”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Crepes

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas

Are you a morning person or a night-owl?

Morning person

Chenia Lobo

Lead Behavioural Therapist

Chenia has been working with children with ASD in the...

Emily Doolan

Position: PLAY Project Consultant
Categories: PLAY Project

Emily holds a Bachelor of Child and Youth Studies, a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and is currently completing a Bachelor of Education and PLAY Project Certification. Emily speaks both English and French.

Over the past eight years, Emily has been working in the field of early childhood education, as a Registered Early Childhood Educator, working in daycare settings and in the Full-Day Kindergarten Program for local school boards. Additionally, Emily has worked in Health Promotion as a community outreach worker implementing educational programming, including math, literacy, prenatal, childhood development and other health promotion programs for both children and parents living disproportionately impacted communities.

“I chose to work at ACT Learning Centre because I have always wanted to gain additional experience and training for supporting children with autism, as well as their families. ACT offered that change I needed! The team at ACT is made up of motivated and intelligent staff with different backgrounds of experience and education which make it all the more interesting to learn and grow professionally from one another!”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
New Zealand

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pasta

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person

Emily Doolan

PLAY Project Consultant

Emily holds a Bachelor of Child and Youth Studies, a...

Cynthia (Cindy) Harrison, M.Sc., Reg. CASLPO

Position: Speech Language Pathologist, Co-founder of ACT
Categories: Leadership

Cindy is a Speech Language Pathologist and co-founder of ACT Learning Centre and ACT’S sister company, CommuniCare Therapy. Cindy’s area of clinical focus is the provision of assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, global developmental delays. Cindy holds a post-graduate certificate in DIR/Floortime, and is the only Master Trainer for The Play Project in Canada.

Cindy is Senior Faculty for Profectum, a New Jersey-based international online learning organization that specializes in offering post-graduate training in the Developmental Individual Difference (DIR/Floortime) model for clinicians wishing to work with children, youth and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities. Cindy is currently teaching in Profectum’s Training Program educating occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, psychologists, educators and physicians in the use of the DIR model in their practice settings. Cindy is a well-known public speaker who trains and educates clinicians and parents in North America and abroad.

Cindy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Vermont. She is very active in her community and serves on a number of boards and community associations. Cindy lives in Ottawa with her husband, Don, her two children (her youngest is on the autism spectrum) and their two disobedient Bernedoodles.

What is your favourite holiday?

Christmas. I love everything about it but most of all spending time with family and friends.

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

Do dogs and horses count as exotic?

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could eat one food for the rest of my life and not suffer any health related consequences it would be a really, really great burger!

Cynthia (Cindy) Harrison, M.Sc., Reg. CASLPO

Speech Language Pathologist, Co-founder of ACT

Cindy is a Speech Language Pathologist and co-founder of ACT’S...

Jenna Crossman

Position: Assistant Manager - PLAY Project
Categories: PLAY Project

Jenna has extensive experience providing ABA therapy in-home and clinic settings. She also has experience providing programming, assessments and client intake. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Arts – Sociology, an Autism and Behavioural Science certificate and is currently completing her PLAY Consultant Certification. Jenna is a Registered Behaviour Technician (RBT) with the BACB. As the Assistant Manager for the PLAY Project at ACT, Jenna combines her clinical and administrative experience while supporting the team to provide the best services possible. On the weekends, you can find Jenna sitting around a table playing a board game with friends.

“When I was offered a job in the PLAY Project at ACT, I decided to take the leap and learn more about developmental approaches for supporting children with Autism. The team at ACT is so supportive and encouraging in every aspect and a positive work environment is so important to me. I’m glad I made the change!”

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?
Elephant, hands down.

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pizza

What’s your favourite holiday?
Christmas

Jenna Crossman

Assistant Manager - PLAY Project

Jenna has extensive experience providing ABA therapy in-home and clinic...

Jessica Gwilliam, M.Sc(A), SLP (C) Reg. CASLPO

Position: Speech-Language Pathologist
Categories: Entry to School, Speech-Language Therapy

Jessica is a Speech-Language Pathologist with experience in services for early language, articulation/phonology, motor speech, fluency, alternative and augmentative communication, ASD and social language skills.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a Minor in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa and a Master in Speech-Language Pathology from McGill University. She is certified in PECS Level 1 and 2, Hanen More Than Words, PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills), and has additional training in AAC, motor speech (DTTC- Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing), as well as coursework on Natural Language Acquisition. She has also completed the certification course in Play Project.

“I love working in the Entry to School Program supporting children to learn the communication skills they need for school and to be able to communicate with anyone anywhere”.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I really love exploring and visiting Canada! I’d love to visit New Zealand and Ireland someday.

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Indian food

What’s your favourite holiday?
Christmas (everyone is filled with kindness and good cheer).

Jessica Gwilliam, M.Sc(A), SLP (C) Reg. CASLPO

Speech-Language Pathologist

Jessica is a Speech-Language Pathologist with experience in services for...

Meghan Braun

Position: Speech-Language Pathologist
Categories: Speech-Language Therapy

Meghan is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist and has been working in the field for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western and a Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology from McGill University. Meghan has completed Hanen Centre’s Learning Language and Loving it’ certification, as well as an ABA Certificate Course for Educators through the Geneva Centre for Autism.

Meghan’s passion is working with children and youth who have complex communication challenges (e.g., neurodiverse individuals, motor speech disorders, augmentative and alternative communication). She works to help children to improve their communication abilities, effectively express themselves and form connections with others. Meghan’s second passion is the great outdoors and traveling. She has camped in Northern Ontario for 15 days straight, traveled alone for two months in Southeast Asia, and lived and volunteered in Ghana for two months.

“I love working with neurodiverse children and youth who possess a range of abilities including unique talents and challenges, and ACT Learning Centre specializes in working with this wonderful population.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Galapagos Islands

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?
Hippopotamus

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mangoes

Meghan Braun

Speech-Language Pathologist

Meghan is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist and has been working...

Lisa Brooks

Position: Executive Assistant
Categories: Administrative

Lisa is the Executive Assistant and Intake Coordinator at ACT. Lisa speaks both English and French and has been in administration for over 30 years. She has also worked in health services for the past 15 years.

“I work at ACT as I believe in helping families in their times of need and ACT does that. I love working in an office filled with the sounds of children playing and laughing.”

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?
I love Penguins and Polar Bears!

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cabbage Rolls

What’s your favourite holiday?
Thanksgiving

Lisa Brooks

Executive Assistant

Lisa is the Executive Assistant and Intake Coordinator at ACT....

Berdhie Rosa Canegie Lebrun

Position: Intake Clerk
Categories: Administrative

Berdhie is an Intake Clerk at ACT. Berdhie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health. Berdhie is fluent in English, French and Haitian Creole.

Berdhie has worked in the medical field for many years. Previously, she worked as a medical assistant, ward clerk and receptionist. She has experience in taking vital signs, performing EKG and various clinical tests such as urinalysis, school and work physicals and strep and influenza tests. She also has customer service experience in technical support. Berdhie enjoys being with kids as they bring so much joy with their uniqueness. She also works with kids of all ages through different volunteering programs.

“I chose to work at ACT Learning Centre due to the attractive work environment. Their mission and the services they provide have an amazing impact on a community that needs an incredible amount of support. The opportunity to be a part of serving the community and the kids in need was a driving force in my decision.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Bora Bora

If you could have any exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?
Koala Bear

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Haitian meal called Fritay (fried plantains, pikliz, fried goat/chicken/fish)

 

Berdhie Rosa Canegie Lebrun

Intake Clerk

Berdhie is an Intake Clerk at ACT. Berdhie holds a...