Abby grew up in Chicago, IL, received her Bachelor's degree in Speech & Hearing Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She went on to pursue my Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL. Abby’s favorite part about being a speech therapist is building relationships with kiddos and helping them make progress toward their goals. She is excited to be a part of developing positive communication with kiddos and their families. When she’s not at KDA, Abby enjoys running, spending time at the beach, trying new restaurants, and exploring new cities!
After growing up in Southern California Alisa headed north for school and graduated from San Francisco State University. She then continued on to Long Beach State University. Alisa is committed to the kids as there is no better feeling than watching a child learn how to communicate and express themselves! She feels very lucky in that I get the best of both worlds. Not only do I get to work with, and be around amazing children everyday, as the KDA clinic director, I get the opportunity to help parents navigate the initial (and sometimes overwhelming) process and make the whole experience a little less scary. Outside of the KDA center, Alisa likes to travel, loving anything that involves being outside: hiking, sailing, and running! Alisa’s current goal is to run a half marathon in every state... still have 46 states to go!
Arianna attended San Diego State University for her Bachelor's degree and Northern Arizona University for her Master's degree in Clinical Speech-Language Pathology. As a speech-language pathologist, she loves teaching, guiding, and supporting children as they become the most effective communicators they can be. The best part about her job is that she can do all of this through play! There's nothing more rewarding than watching a child solidify their speech and language skills while they're having fun! When she's not working, she enjoys country line dancing, singing with her a cappella group, and playing board games with her friends and family!
Ashley received her B.S in Exercise Science from Old Dominion University and then continued on and received her M.S in Occupational Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University. What she loves most about being an occupational therapist is that she gets to build relationships with each of the kiddos and is a part of them growing and achieving new milestones through play! As she is new to the California sunshine, on her free time, she loves going to the beach with friends, traveling to new places, and exploring San Diego with her dog.
Brianna attended California Baptist University in Riverside, CA where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She then went to California State University Northridge to obtain a certification in Assistive Technology and Applications, and just recently got accepted to start a Masters degree in Special Education at Point Loma Nazarene in the Fall, 2017. As a therapist, Brianna is inspired by watching the children’s growth and seeing their excitement when they are able to do something they couldn’t before intervention. Brianna loves to build meaningful relationships with the kids she she’s being their friend just as much as I am their therapist. Outside of KDA, Brianna loves to run and be at the beach.
Cocoa attended the University of Vermont (in Burlington VT) for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a pediatric therapist, she enjoys meeting the kids and families for the first time. As this is often for their first time in therapy, helping the whole family feel safe, welcome, and as though their needs are being met and their voices are being heard is so rewarding to her. Cocoa also loves how her days can be so new and different each day as kids can be unpredictable as they are full of surprises! It's amazing to watch kids find their strength, and to be a part of their team is very rewarding and is the greatest part of being a therapist! Outside of the center, Cocoa loves a lazy afternoon on the couch with a good book, but most of my time is spent outside exploring with my family. Hiking, going to the park, street fairs, farmer's markets, and, of course, the beach! I also love to travel, whenever possible.
Cynthia graduated from the University of North Dakota in Occupational Therapy. As a pediatric therapist her favorite thing is being able to play with amazing kids all day! I also love the opportunities I have to help foster kids reaching important milestones in their development. Outside of the KDA center, Cynthia loves spending quality time with my husband and exploring San Diego together!
Danielle obtained her Masters at the University of Central Florida. As a pediatric therapist she really enjoy seeing the progress kiddos make each day in therapy. It really is an amazing feeling to know you are a part of helping kiddos and watching them meet their goals and enhance their language skills. Outside of the KDA center, Danielle enjoys the outdoors and one of her favorite things to do is to hike at Torrey Pines or Cowles Mountain.
Esther attended Loma Linda University and obtained her Bachelor in Communication Science and Disorders. What she likes the most about being a therapist is the satisfaction she gets from working with their families and seeing them reaches their goals. Those things give her joy. Originally from Texas, Esther did not have the luxury of beaches, so now here in San Diego, she enjoys spending her time there. Esther also enjoys salsa dancing and trying out new restaurants.
Gina attended Towson University in Maryland in her home town for her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science. She then attended Stony Brook University in New York to obtain a doctorate degree in physical therapy. Gina loves seeing the progress the kiddos make each session and the excitement they get when they learn a new skill! In her free time, she loves to run, be at the beach, hang out with her friends, and her fiance (wedding in October!) and her yorkie, Gracie!
Iris was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She received her Bachelors of Science degree from UCLA. Her experience and love for working with children as a dance teacher and tutor led her to pursue her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos, CA. Iris loves working and helping people of all ages and especially enjoys helping kiddos grow, learn, and develop their gross motor skills through fun and creative activities. Outside of KDA, Iris loves spending time with her family, her fiance (wedding in November!), and her two German Shepherds, Kayla and Durham. You can find her outdoors hiking, at the beach, camping, taking road trips, exploring our beautiful country (7 more States to go!) and the world!
Katherine received her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of San Diego and my Master’s degree in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University. Her favorite part of being a speech therapist is getting to know kids and their families and watching kids grow and develop in their environments. In her spare time, she likes to walk by the beach, spend time with her family, and travel.
Kelsey grew up in Fort Wright, Kentucky and received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Cincinnati. She continued her education at the University of Cincinnati, earning her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. Kelsey’s favorite part about being a speech language pathologist is building relationships with kids and watching them learn. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys hiking, exercising, and being anywhere outdoors.
Maura received her B.A from Western Washington University in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her M.A from Washington State University in Speech Language Pathology. Her final rotation in graduate school brought her to Arizona, where she completed my last semester at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. Maura’s favorite part of being a therapist is having those ‘ah-ha’ moments with her clients and families. Sometimes that’s when a little one says a new word or when an older child figures out how to make a sound correctly. Being a part of these milestones with families makes my job incredible. Outside of work you can find her outside. Whether it’s climbing a mountain, or exploring a neighborhood, she’d rather be outdoors. Maura’s favorite hobbies include whitewater rafting and backpacking. Since my move to San Diego, she’s also becoming a big fan of the beach!
Monique attended San Diego State University for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a therapist, she loves seeing clients progress and make gains in their speech and language abilities. There is no better feeling than seeing a client who had difficulty communicating improve their skills while reducing their frustration level. For Monique, developing a relationship and rapport with children with Autism is one of the most unbelievable feelings! She can honestly say, she loves what she does and the career path she chose. Outside of the KDA center, Monique loves to dance, travel and spend time with family and friends.
Renee moved to San Diego, CA from McAllen, TX. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She proceeded to work with a multidisciplinary team in an outpatient pediatric setting in Texas specializing in neurodevelopmental treatment helping patients diagnosed with neurological impairments. She has worked with individuals of all ages from infants to geriatrics. Her great passion as an occupational therapist is working with a diverse cliental and diagnosis to improve their quality of life. Renee joined KDA in January 2016 and is excited for the possibilities that are present. In her free time Renee loves being active, either running or playing sports, trying new foods/restaurants so you could call her a “foodie,” traveling the globe immersing herself in new cultures, and spending time with family and friends.
Shannon began her journey to be a speech therapist at the University of Colorado, in Boulder. She loved the mountains were amazing, but the prairie eventually called her home! Shannon went back home to the State of Texas where she received my M.S. in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas in Dallas. Her 17-year old daughter likes to say that she prepared her to work with children, as she was a wee bit oppositional growing up. Shannon would say that she and her 12 year old brother gave her the passion to help other parents experience the joys of hearing “I love you’s” and the occasional disparaging remarks about parenting skills. When not working with children, Shannon’s two teens, 2 fur babies (who don’t talk back), enjoy the amazing things that SoCal has to offer these Texans.
Teresa attended the State University of Albany where she obtained her bachelors in Human Biology. She then attend Sage Graduate School where she complete her masters in Occupational therapy. Following her first two years as an occupational therapist, she pursued my post-professional doctorate degree in occupational therapy at Chatham University. Teresa feels the best part of being a pediatric therapist is the positive changes that she can help make in children and families lives. Of course, playing at work all day isn’t so bad either! Outside of KDA, Teresa enjoys playing volleyball, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends.
Vidya attended the University of California at Irvine for her undergraduate training, graduating with a double Bachelors in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in International Relations. Her experience as a Court Appointed Special Advocate at Voices for Children and her love for working with children led her to pursue her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Columbia University, New York. Vidya enjoys the creative aspects of treating children ranging from birth to 25. Arts and crafts provide a way for Vidya to fashion games and other materials based on the child's interest so that learning is an enjoyable process for the child. In her spare time, Vidya enjoys a variety of hobbies and interests, including (but not limited to!) cooking, baking (and subsequently eating the food she cooks and bakes!), reading, zentangling, cleaning and organizing (nerd alert!), and walking along the beautiful waters of sunny Southern California.