Ms. Emma Ralph, B. OT, (UK Reg.), HPC reg.
Dr. Mona Kazemi OTD, OTR (U.S. Reg.), HPC Reg., SIPT cert.
CO-FOUNDER & OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Prior to arriving in Cayman, Julia expanded her clinical scope by volunteering as a speech-language therapist at an underprivileged orphanage doing early intervention with children who were on the Autism Spectrum, had experienced trauma and attachment disruptions, and were anxious learners. During this time Julia's intervention focused on DIR/Floortime and Social Thinking with the children to foster engagement, to build secure attachments and to enable an understanding of the world around them.
Julia enjoys working with all ages of children, but her special interest areas include early intervention for children with Autism; feeding for infants; literacy; auditory processing; stuttering; articulation; and social learning. To further her skillset, Julia has received advance practice training in intervention modality DIR/Floortime to best support children ages 1-5 who have Autism.
Nicholas grew up on the Brac and comes to our team with experience in banking and compliance, and with a passion for helping others. He is the first person you see walking through the door and the kind voice you hear behind the phone. Nicholas is always smiling, making our families and team laugh - spreading joy throughout the clinic.
Emma is from the North East of England and qualified from Teesside University in 2018 with a BSC (Hons) degree in Occupational Therapy. Since qualifying she has worked in pediatrics and has experience working with a range of children in a variety of settings. Before working for Cayman Theraplay, Emma worked as a lead therapist overseeing mainstream and enhanced mainstream schools supporting therapists to provide training to teachers, running sensorimotor programs and providing assessments in schools. Alongside this she worked as a specialist clinic therapist working with children with Autism, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Coordination Disorder, and children who have experienced attachment disruption and trauma. Emma has experience working with premature babies and young children who spent time in the neonatal unit when they were born. Additionally she ran an early years group, and one-to-one interventions to support development and social skills in children ages 2 to 4.
In addition to these additional trainings, Megan created an evidence-based and effective program titled "A Vestibular-Proprioceptive-Oculomotor Stimulation Program to Improve Reading Skills in School-Aged Children".
phone: (345) 749-7529 email: firstname.lastname@example.org location: #9 Plaza Venezia on N. Sound Rd, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Ms. Megan Bense, M.Sc. OT (S.A. Reg.), HPC Reg.
LEAD OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
As one of the co-founders of Cayman Theraplay, Joshua has been involved since the beginning and has brought a variety of skills and experience to the team. With having grown up with dyslexia and a speech impediment himself, Joshua has the passion to help create a better environment where children can get the support to help them reach their potential. He has a diploma in Accounting and Business through the ACCA and has over 10 years of experience with customer service and managing teams. Joshua brings warmth, understanding when working with families with special needs and is always happy to assist families with billing, accounts and insurance queries.
Megan started her occupational therapy career in 2009, graduating from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. To further her knowledge, Megan broadened her studies in occupational therapy in 2016 when she completed her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Witwatersand in South Africa. Megan comes to Cayman with 9 years’ experience as an occupational therapist with her work experience primarily being with children with different needs in settings ranging from early intervention to school-based, to outpatient paediatrics for school-aged children, adolescents and young adults. Megan has worked on multi-disciplinary teams, using a sensory-based approach with children with mild to severe delays with a wide range of diagnoses ranging from anxiety, sensory processing disorders, dyspraxia, Autism, and other neurodevelopmental delays and diagnoses.
Danielle is originally from the Lake District in the United Kingdom, and qualified in 2003 from Sheffield Hallam University with a BSC (Hons) degree in Occupational Therapy. She has specialized in pediatrics and has over 12 years of experience working with children and young people, both in education and health care community settings. Community teams have enabled Ms Danielle the opportunity to develop experience in working with children with a wide range of needs and differences comprising physical, cognitive, perceptual, sensory, social and emotional differences. This is inclusive of supporting children and adolescents from birth to 25 years old with a wide range of conditions and diagnoses including ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, developmental coordination disorder, attachment disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down’s syndrome, learning disorders and others.
Mr. Nicholas Laurendo
Front Office Coordinator
Hannah is a passionate speech-language pathologist who was born and raised in South Africa, and obtained a Bachelors in Communication Pathology (Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology) Honours degree at the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 2015.
Hannah comes to us with experience in specializing in speech and language delays in children presenting with down syndrome, celebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder, pediatric swallowing and feeding disorders that included infants, as well as voice, and stuttering disorders. For the past three years, Hannah worked at a private practice where her focus included children with pragmatic language differences, autism spectrum disorder, auditory processing disorder, attention deficit disorder, down syndrome and children who present with a global developmental delay or speech or language delay, fluency, dyslexia and other literacy difficulties.
Leslie has extensive experience working with children cerebral palsy, various syndromes, neuro-cognitive disorders, neuro-developmental disorders, sensory processing and integration disorders, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, developmental coordination disorder, autism, visual and hearing impairments, as well as other various developmental delays. Leslie is passionate about working with children with all needs and is driven to provide a collaborative and holistic approach to a multidisciplinary team.
Dr. Mona Kazemi's training in trauma-informed care allows her to successfully utilize therapeutic strategies to assist parents to attune to their children who have experienced disrupted attachments with difficulties with emotional regulation to facilitate healthy, productive relationships with caregivers.
Dr. Mona Kazemi brings in-depth knowledge about standardized healthcare practice and evidence-based practice in pediatric therapy services. She has received her clinical doctorate from the University of Southern California and continues to have a relationship with her mentors who are world-renown leaders in occupational therapy research. Dr. Mona Kazemi has resided in Cayman since 2013 and has since made strong partnerships through collaborative care with healthcare centers in both the private and public sectors in Cayman and overseas.
Dr. Mona Kazemi has learned side-by-side with experts in the field of occupational therapy to enhance her understanding of sensory integration disparities in children and adults, and feeding difficulties in children who are labeled with Autism. She currently maintains specialty certification in Sensory Integration and Sensory Integration Praxis Tests (SIPT) administration, basic Sequential-Oral-Sensory (SOS) feeding approach, and advance practice SOS feeding approach for children labeled with Autism.
Jana comes to Cayman with 17 years’ experience as an occupational therapist. She started her occupational therapy career in 2007, after graduating from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Her work experience started in a government hospital in South Africa where she ran the Cerebral Palsy clinic together with the Speech and Physio therapists. She mainly worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with the premature babies. After three years in the NICU, Jana decided to move to a private practice. By 2012 she owned and was running her own practice in a multi-disciplinary team, working closely with speech therapists, psychologists and other allied health professions. She gained experience working primarily with children who had different needs including developmental delays, sensory processing disorder, autism, Down syndrome, dyspraxia, anxiety, cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental delays.
Ms. Rachel Lawrence, M.OT, (U.S. Reg.), HPC reg.
Hannah has also established speech and language therapy for remedial groups having difficulties with pre-literacy, literacy, comprehension and language concepts ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 3. In 2018, she went to Zambia with a team (occupational therapist and educational psychologist) to assess children ranging from ages 3 to 15 years. The assessments were followed by parent and teacher feedback meetings, teacher training and intensive home programs. She has experience working in early intervention with children as young as 1, helping late-talkers acquire the vital skills for communication.
Hannah absolutely puts her heart into ensuring that every client achieves their absolute optimum potential. She wants them to expand their ability in order that they may reach their goals. Hannah values the importance of early intervention, communication, ethical practice, teamwork with both the family and relevant teachers. In this way, she is able to achieve a completely holistic intervention. .
In addition, Julia has had her thesis published in the South African Journal of Speech Therapy: Mothers with preterm infants’ perception of early communication development: A scoping review, 2020
Rachel was born and raised in Orange County, California. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Cal State Channel Islands. While in her undergrad, Rachel studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for one year studying child education with an emphasis on multiculturalism and special needs. Denmark was where she was first introduced to occupational therapy and sensory integration. Rachel returned to California to complete her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Loma Linda University. During her time at Loma Linda, Rachel participated in a student team who designed a state of the art sensory room for Rim of the World Unified School District, furthering her experience in sensory integration. She also interned in school-based services with clients who had a wide range of diagnoses and needs.
Leslie graduated with her Bachelors in Occupational Therapy in 2012 from the University of Southampton in England. She returned home to Grand Cayman upon the start of her career and entered the government setting, where she is currently working full-time as a pediatric occupational therapist. Leslie has worked with children with different needs in a variety of settings Including the pediatric special needs school, with primary and secondary schools, and with children from birth to 5 years in early intervention. A firm believer in evidence-based practice, Leslie has furthered her training through specialized post-graduate training, inclusive of assessment and treatment of sensory integration differences utilizing an Ayres Sensory Integration® framework.
For an appointment please e-mail us at email@example.com
Mr. Joshua Browne, Dip ABS
CO-FOUNDER & Office Manager
Before joining our team at Cayman Theraplay, Megan worked in settings that allowed her to develop specialty expertise in parental guidance and training; to conduct research and develop a program for improving literacy of school-aged children through a vision-based program; facilitate parent and teacher workshops; and mentor students and novice therapists.
To assist children reach their full potential, Megan has further pursued certification in treatment and assessment of sensory processing differences inclusive of Ayres Sensory Integration® approach; training in neurodevelopmental techniques to facilitate normal movement; some training in the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model of Intervention (DIR Floortime) for intervention for Autism Spectrum and related disorders to promote development; sound interventions for self-regulation and reduction of auditory over-responsiveness; training for support in emotional processing, specifically anxiety; and strategies for executive functioning.
Although Megan has a special interest in early intervention, she has a passion for adapting therapeutic models and finding the right intervention for her clients, regardless of their age. She finds the process of human development and the influence that environment, emotions and “general life” have on a person’s functioning a need for consideration when working with families for a holistic approach.
Julia graduated from Stellenbosch University in South Africa as a qualified Speech-Language Therapist in 2018. She spent the first few years of her career working in hospitals, community-based settings and developmental centers in order to better understand and serve children and adults with various learning and physical needs. In these settings Julia gained experience working with a variety of developmental and neurological diagnosis such as cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, ADHD, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), cleft lip and palate, traumatic brain injuries, strokes and other complex neurological and genetic conditions. She also gained experience working with a wide variety of feeding disorders, articulation/phonological disorders, delayed language development, literacy, stuttering, voice, dysarthria, aphasia and apraxia.
Ms. Leslie Ann Daley, B. OT, (UK Reg.), HPC reg.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST - Available Part-time
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Ms. Hannah-Marie Fobian, B. Sc., (SA Reg.), HPC reg.
Emma has extensive experience working in both community and clinic settings, carrying out group and individual treatments; and providing home programs and helping to develop sensory lifestyles to support the child’s development and sensory processing at home. She has provided group parent workshops on supporting regulation and challenges with sleep. Emma is passionate about working with infants and toddlers, but loves working with children with all needs and is driven to provide a collaborative and holistic approach to her family-centered care.
Ms. Julia Miller, B. Sc., (SA Reg.), HPC reg.
Ms. Jana van der Merwe, B. OT, (SA Reg.), HPC reg., SIPT cert.
Interactive Metronome and Tomatis Practitioner
Ms. Danielle Longden B.OT (UK. Reg.), HPC Reg., PGCert in Sensory Integration
Before joining our team at Cayman Theraplay, Rachel worked at an outpatient pediatric clinic where she coordinated comprehensive family-centered evaluations and provided direct treatment to children and their families ages 8 months to 25 years with a variety of disabilities including Autism, Developmental Delay, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Down Syndrome, DiGeorge Syndrome, Scoliosis, Low Vision, Fine Motor Delay, and Feeding Delay. She provided Early Intervention Services including screening, evaluations, and treatment services to children 0-3 years old, developed individualized goals and treatment plans based on the individual child’s functional developmental abilities, needs, and family priorities, and educated parents and families in individualized home programs to support development in cognitive, sensory-motor, adaptive, and social skills.
Rachel is a driven therapist with clinical skills in assessing client strengths and barriers, identifying client-centered goals, and developing creative treatment plans to increase independence and improve quality of life. She has specialized training in assessment and treatment for feeding delays, including Beckman-Oral Motor assessment and intervention, Talk Tools pre-feeding approach, as well as training in SOS feeding approach. Rachel completed advanced training in sensory processing disorder through STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, becoming a level 1 advanced mentored clinician in SPD. Recently she worked as a data collector for STAR Institute to assist in the standardization of a new sensory processing assessment, Sensory Processing Three Dimensions (SP3D) Scale.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY | SPEECH-LANGUAGE THERAPY | FEEDING THERAPY | INFANT PROGRAMS
Jana has presented various training courses for teachers and parents, educating them on Sensory Integration and developmental delays. She has developed stimulation groups at a clinic for typical developing babies aged 0 to 24 months, working with parents and educating them on how to stimulate their children to bolster development. She loves educating parents and teachers and believes that when one understands the why behind certain behavior, one can show greater compassion and have improved patience with a child.
To assist children in reaching their full potential, Jana’s therapeutic toolbox include Sensory Integration Praxis Test certification, and training in the Tomatis Sound Therapy program for self-regulation and reduction of auditory over-responsiveness and motor planning difficulties. She is an Interactive Metronome practitioner and uses the program to address timing, sequencing and planning issues. She is also trained in the Astronaut and Learning Breakthrough programs which are used during therapy to support vestibular, proprioception and visual integration. Being part of helping children reach their potential is what motivates Jana to continue helping children reach their full potential.
Prior to working for Cayman Theraplay, Danielle worked in a highly specialist position and as occupational therapy team leader within a specialist school and college provision for young people with Autism where she gained knowledge and skills in implementing and using autism friendly strategies such as TEACHH, visual schedules and PECs as well as utilizing school wide positive behavior support techniques. Ms Danielle comes to us with experience in running individual, group and class based interventions; and has used the Zones of Regulation, Alert Program, Tools for Teens, Handwriting Without Tears, Teoderescu and Stickids programes, to embed strategies across both school and home settings. She has experience using the astronaut program to target vestibular-vision differences, and fun with food feeding programs to target picky eating. Additionally, over the years in her career she has delivered training workshops to teaching staff, parents and carers on occupational therapy strategies and in particular sensory processing difficulties. She is very excited to be able to share her wealth of knowledge and experience with us at Cayman Theraplay and with your family to help your little one grow!