Developmental Therapists

Angie Meranda

This therapist has extensive experience and training to help children that have Speech Concerns, Behavioral Concerns, Social/Emotional Concerns as well as more Severe Disabilities. I have a current Special Education Teacher's License, have been to many conferences, participated in an IMH mentorship, and have attended graduate level courses. I enjoy learning new things and I love a good challenge! Together we will decide what kinds of activities you would like to do in between therapy sessions to help your child. I have three children, two are twins born prematurely. I have experience with many diagnoses. I have attended many trainings specifically targeting speech needs/language acquisition as well as sensory concerns. I also have many years experience working with children that don't use words yet. I also have a strong background in behavioral interventions. Interviews by phone are welcomed.

Candace Roudebush

Hi, my name is Cadace Roudebush, a credentialed Developmental Therapist Associate. I have twenty-six years experience as a Developmental Therapist. I provided services at center and in natural environments. While I was center based I worked closely with a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and Speech Therapist. I received a lot of hands on training.

I am comfortable working with children with language delays, oral motor delays and sensory issues. I know basic signs and picture communications. I have worked with children who have Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, children with G-tubes and children with multi handicaps. I have worked with severely delayed children, ADHD children, and babies exposed prenatal to drugs and alcohol.

I truly enjoy my work with children and I have a son with Aspergers and sensory issues. I enjoy football, reading, camping, and helping out my church when needed.

Marilyn Griffin

I love children and am confident helping them with the challenges they may have such as speech/language delays, developmental delay, multiple medical concerns, sensory limitations, behavior and attending problems or any other issue that puts their development at risk. Extensive experience with Autism spectrum, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, fine/gross motor problems, prematurity, feeding and sleeping problems, fetal alcohol/drug exposed infants, spina bifida, failure to thrive, sensory issues, use of basic sign, speech development and early learning skills for infants and toddlers. My goal is to work together with you and your child to enhance your child's development and design play, learning, and communication opportunities to promote development of your child. Being the mother of girl/boy twins has given me some of my most vital experience and one of my children received First Steps services.

Paula Frazier

After receiving my degree from college, I began operating an inclusive pre-school day care. I found this experience to be so wonderful that I decided to become more involved in teaching children with special needs. It was then that I began working through the First Steps program. This has given me the opportunity to work with amazing children, and I feel extremely lucky to have a career that is so rewarding.

I have spent several years working with young children and have invested many hours into researching techniques and ideas that will help each individual child achieve their potential. Foremost, my therapy sessions are built around fun activities that will encourage your child to participate, making learning a positive experience.

Language acquisition and sign language are areas that I have devoted a lot of my research towards and have discovered strategies that have been very successful with the children I have worked with. My experience with children also includes knowledge in working with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, gross/fine motor delays, behavioral disorders, prematurity/multiple births, and many other diagnosis.

Cassandra Crutchfield​

I am the oldest of five siblings and have worked with children continuously since I was old enough to do so. I graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's Degree in Individual and Family Studies with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education. I have worked with children in many different settings including in the home, parent-child programs, preschool, daycare, YMCA, and Elementary School. I have been with the First Steps program for over 5 years and have found the one-on-one interaction with the children incredibly rewarding. I believe that the parent is the most important teacher a child can have. I enjoy working with the whole family to help the child meet their developmental goals. I am comfortable with all children and have experience with conditions such as speech delays, behavioral disorders, Autism, Downs Syndrome, Dandy Walker Syndrome and Spina Bifida, among others. I look forward to meeting you and your child.

Michelle Conner​

I am a mother of four children, two of which utilized the First Steps program. What a difference this program had on their young development. I have worked as a Developmental Specialist for First Steps for five years, and I taught in an inclusion classroom for 10 years. From all of these settings, I have gained experience working with children with speech delays, cleft lip and palate, behavioral challenges, autism spectrum disorders, sensory issues, and other developmental delays. I earned a BS in Education from Indiana University, and a Master's in Higher Education from Indiana Wesleyan. I enjoy being part of this exciting program and the chance it brings to meet and work with new children at all different phases of learning. I consider it an honor to work with my First Steps families! My daytime schedule is flexible. Please feel free to call with any questions!

Julie Case

I know you the parent are your child's first and most important teacher! My goal is to work together with you to encourage your child in all areas of development through fun play activities. I have experience with children of all ages. I have been a preschool teacher, homeschool mom, substitute teacher, Sunday school teacher, and now a First Steps Developmental Specialist. I attend workshops and conferences to stay current in developmentally appropriate activities and strategies for children birth to three. I have experience working with children diagnosed with developmental delay, speech/language delay, PVL, Autism, CP, Down Syndrome, prematurity-- I am comfortable working with a child with any type of special need. I will provide activities that encourage development in your child's area of need. I am able to teach simple signs as a bridge to verbal communication. Therapy will be fun and look like play--"toys are my tools!" I look forward to working with you and your child!

Mandy Sitler

I have 16 years experience as a Developmental Therapist and I am currently taking classes to earn a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Special Education. I am comfortable providing language enrichment when a Speech Therapist is unavailable. I know a few basic signs and I know some Spanish. I have worked with children who have language delays, Autism, Down's Syndrome,and Cerebral Palsy.I have worked with children born prematurely and with babies exposed prenatally to drugs and alcohol. I am also comfortable working with children who have sensory concerns. My son received Vision Therapy and through the team effort of his Vision Therapist, family, and teachers he has made wonderful progress. I try to attend Quarterly and IFSP team meetings so that the team can work together to help your child meet his/her goals.

Lisa Tran

 

Hi! I am a parent of a child with special needs. I have been providing services in the First Steps program for over 13 years and found the one-on-one interaction with children incredibly rewarding. I have worked with children and families in many different settings including Early Head Start, Riley Children’s Hospital, in the home, preschool, and elementary school. I absolutely love it! I have experience working with children with language delays, gross/fine motor delay, sensory concerns, behavior concerns, hearing loss, Autism, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and others developmental delays. I attend workshops and trainings whenever possible to learn new techniques to better serve my First Steps families. It has been my privilege and my pleasure to meet several special children and families over the past thirteen years and I look forward to a future of helping even more children reach their fullest potential. Please feel free to call me with questions. Thank you!!

Darshi Bosamia

I am very excited to begin my journey as a Developmental Therapist- Communication Specialist (DTC) at Pediplay. I have a B.S in Speech and Language Pathology. I enjoy working with the whole family to help the child meet their developmental goals. Therapy sessions are built around fun activities that will encourage your child to participate, making learning a positive experience while building a language. I use a play-based approach to therapy that is fun and educational for children. I look foward to working with your family.

Alisha Clay

I received my Bachelor of Arts from Indiana State University. I majored in Elementary Education. I found an instructional assistant position in a developmental preschool classroom and soon was given an opportunity to teach developmental preschool on an emergency permit. I returned to school and received my Master of Arts in Early Childhood/Special Education through Ball State University. I have taught developmental preschool in Shelby and Johnson County Schools since 2007. Since 1999 I have maintained a part time job at Dean's Drycleaning and Laundry. I am currently transitioning from teaching to managing the drycleaners and providing developmental therapy through First Steps. I just began providing services through First Steps in July 2015 and I enjoy the one on one interactions with the children. I look forward to continuing providing developmental therapy services for years to come.

Anna Holaway

As a second generation developmental therapist for First Steps, it has always been my passion to work with children and their families. Watching my mother help a child who could barely walk at a year and a half to running at three sparked a fire within my soul. Since stepping onto Purdue's campus, it has been my dream to work as a developmental therapist. I graduated with my degree in Early Intervention from Purdue University in 2013. During college, I worked as a teaching assistant in inclusive classrooms, practicum student in special needs classrooms, and an ABA therapy intern for a local autism center. I worked as a ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapist for close to 2 years after graduating. I greatly enjoy creating weekly event therapy bags, desensitization programs, and behavioral management programs. During my career experiences, I have worked alongside speech and occupational therapists. I feel confident working with speech delays and fine/gross motor skills. I love creating individualized home programs and systems for speech delays that are truly motivating and reinforcing for your child. I enjoy working with the whole family to help reach those developmental milestones. I look forward to meeting you and your family. 

Thanks, 

Anna Holaway, DT
Pediplay- Indiana First Steps 
765-543-2919

Allison Coburn

As a Developmental Therapist, I specialize in pediatric early intervention services for families with young children with autism (ASD), developmental delays (PDD-NOS), and sensory processing disorder (SPD) provided in their homes, schools, and clinic settings throughout the Central Indiana area.  My approach emphasizes child development within the context of familial relationships and shared playful interactions between parent(s) and child(ren) that are meaningful, positive, and pleasurable, thus creating the foundation necessary for development to occur across all domains.  In my six years of pediatric experience, I have pursued many professional developmental credentials than enable me to provide families with the developmental, social, behavioral and communicative resources they need to further promote their child’s growth and development.

Karin Amos

Hi! My name is Karin Amos and I have the best job in the whole world! I love working with children, utilizing strength-based play therapy to help catapult development. I have a masters degree in special education and have worked with children of all ages in my 10+ year career in special education. I follow the DIR/Floortime model, specializing in joint attention, engagement, peer/sibling relationships, and behavior challenges. 

Lana Gearhart Howell

My passion has always been to help others overcome challenges and reach their fullest potential. As a credentialed Developmental Therapy Specialist with FirstSteps, I appreciate and enjoy the opportunity to assist the pediatric population during their most important developmental years. As a graduate of Indiana University school of Special Education, I am certified to work with all mental, physical, and emotional diagnoses. I have 30+ years experience working with children with developmental delays, speech delays, CP, ADHD, and Autism spectrum disorders. My degree concentration in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders has enabled me to work extensively with these populations and develop and implement behavior plans as needed. My approach is to utilize creative play therapeutically, to encourage and motivate cognitive, language, social/emotional, and physical developmental milestones. I continually research and attend conferences to stay current on the latest methods, techniques, and strategies so that I can individualize each child's therapeutic plan. Along with this, my wish is that I can also offer a listening ear, guiding support, and hope, in order to make your journey a more positive and rewarding experience for you and your child.

Jennifer Thomas

I have been a therapist for nearly fifteen years, specializing in pediatrics for the past decade. I began my work on a neuro rehab unit treating adults and thoroughly enjoyed my job, assuming I would never leave the brain injury world...but after covering a three month maternity leave in outpatient pediatrics I was hooked. I recognized how much of the work I had done in neuro rehab applied to the children on my caseload and made a segue into pediatrics full time. I studied non-neurotypical language acquisition under physicians at Columbia University and went on to obtain RDI consultant certification and worked in a center for children with ASD for five years before settling in to the combination of my passions: early intervention.
Because of my background in Speech and Psychology, I specialize in language and behavior; using play-based therapy to target language development and quality communication, create new neural pathways for increased cognition and assess the motivation of behaviors- both positive and negative. I thoroughly enjoy creating individualized plans and working with parents and families to take a team approach- always valuing the whole unit as greater than the sum of its parts- and enjoying the uniqueness of each family I serve.

Courtney Kontor

I received my B.S. in Speech Language Pathology from Ball State University and I am currently earning my Masters Degree online from Nova Southeastern University. I am in my fourth year of working in the school setting with students who have speech and language difficulties. I have experience working with children with articulation impairments, expressive and/or receptive language impairments, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, childhood apraxia of speech and other disorders. I am an avid supporter of family and caregiver involvement. I hope to provide your family and child with the right tools to help bridge communication gaps. I look forward to working with you and your family! 

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