Our West Loop Team

Meet our West Loop team of Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Behavior Therapists, Therapy Case Managers, and Therapeutic Assistants. Our highly qualified and knowledgeable staff are here to help your child achieve their goals and reach their fullest potential.

Dr. Laura Mraz, OTD, OTR/L
Executive Director, Occupational Therapist

In 2007, I established Eyas Landing where I first provided developmental therapy services for children in Early Intervention and have since grown the company to offer a wide range of therapy services that are provided in the clinic, home, school, daycare and virtually.”

Sarah H, MOT, OTR/L
Regional Clinic Director, Occupational Therapist

“I became intrigued with the field of occupational therapy while providing childcare for a boy who had cerebral palsy. I had the opportunity to join his therapy sessions and was blown away by the impact occupational therapy had in helping build his independence and engagement in everyday life.”

Monal P, MS, OTR/L
Clinic Director, Occupational Therapist

“Early on, I knew I had to work with children… OT has been a field that has never ceased to spark my curiosity, has solidified my ability to see the magic in bubbles, and has brought the importance of a wholistic point of view to the forefront of my daily interactions with clients, families and colleagues.”

Grace C, MS, CCC-SLP
Assistant Clinic Director, Speech-Language Pathologist

“I have always had a passion for languages and the way language connects us to the world around us… Helping children to gain their own voice, build connections with others, and explore their worlds is a joy each and every day.”

West Loop Occupational Therapists

Dr. Alexa G, OTD, OTR/L
Director of Program Development, Occupational Therapist

Through my diverse experiences in serving children with special needs, I developed my passion for occupational therapy. My initial interest in the field began while studying psychology at Illinois State University, assisting children with autism in an ABA-style preschool readiness program.”

Grace M, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist, Department Head

“I had open-heart surgery at the age of ten and received occupational and physical therapy in the hospital to help me relearn how to independently get dressed, perform self-care tasks, and walk safely. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to help children with their skill development.”

Nicole N, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“After having the opportunity to shadow various OT’s and research the career further, I knew that this career matched exactly what I was looking for! I love the holistic nature and creativity that is involved with the profession. Most of all, I love having the ability to help others lead meaningful lives.”

Kelsey G, OTR
Occupational Therapist

“I have had a passion for working with children and an inclination toward healthcare from an early age. Occupational Therapy provided the perfect opportunity for those worlds to collide… I find pediatric OT so special because it allows me to support and empower not just the child, but the whole family.”

Dr. Joelyn A, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“I was spending time at my cousin’s house when her occupational therapist came over for an in-home session… I became fascinated… and knew that OT was the career that I wanted to pursue. Since then, I have continued to fall in love with OT and the difference that I can make in the lives of others through this profession.”

Erin A, MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“I decided to become an occupational therapist to help people reach goals that will improve their overall quality of life. I specifically wanted to be a pediatric OT because I enjoy working with children, their family, and other health professionals to positively impact a child’s life and optimize their development.”

Dr. Kristi T, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“I always knew I wanted to work with children in a mental health/healthcare profession, and was introduced to the field of Occupational Therapy by my older sister who is also a pediatric OT. I fell in love with OT and knew that it was what I wanted to do after interning at Eyas Landing Summer Camp.”

Dr. Lily K, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“An SLP family member helped me find occupational therapy… I loved that I could provide a more holistic and person-centered approach to healthcare that our system is often missing. I love being able to work directly with clients and families to help ensure they can participate in daily life and reach their goals.”

Janett F V, MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“I first learned about Occupational Therapy through volunteering with an Occupational Therapist who was providing services to children who suffered perinatal stroke. It was very rewarding to see the progress of these children and the excitement of the family and child as their goals were being met.”

Payton D, MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“I have always wanted to pursue a career that helps others, and that desire led me… to occupational therapy. I have a passion for working with kids of all abilities and developmental levels… as I learned about occupational therapy, I knew it was the perfect fit for me and I fell in love with the profession.”

Dr. Lily G, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

“I knew I always wanted to have a career that focused on helping others reach their potential, especially kids! I happened upon Occupational Therapy and knew it was the perfect combination that would allow me to empower and enable kids within their environment. I love being a part of a collaborative team!”

West Loop Speech-Language Pathologists

Amanda L, MA, CCC-SLP
Head of Program Development, Speech-Language Pathologist

“I received speech therapy as a child… While I can remember how my difficulty communicating affected me, I remember even more so the impact my speech-language pathologist had on me... I strive to do the same for other children by empowering my clients, and their families, to achieve their full potential…”

Abigail H, MA, CCC-SLP
Department Lead of Speech-Language Pathology

“Growing up, I loved helping people whether that be through work, volunteering, or throughout my typical day. I also loved learning foreign languages, because it opened up the doors to communicate with others when there was previously a barrier. Meshing the two together led me to Speech Pathology.”

Senior Speech-Language Pathologist

“My family cared for foster children within our home through a crisis foster organization in Chicago. Going from caring for children with complex medical and developmental needs within my own home to pursuing a career treating communication disorders in children seemed like a natural transition.”

Elizabeth V, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

“I’ve been working as a SLP for several years. I have previous experience working with children in both the educational and clinical settings. I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2018 (go Bucks!) and Rush University in 2020. I am excited to be a part of the team and to continue learning from everyone here.”

Rezwana K, M.H.Sc., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

“I’ve always had a passion for working with children, specifically with those with special needs. It started when I worked as a special needs instructor… I saw how important communication skills were and I became passionate about helping children and adolescents improve their skills and reach their full potential.”

Samantha B, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

“I ended up falling into the field of Speech-Language Pathology through an experience with a family member and decided to explore it seriously… Fast forward almost 10 years later and I am so grateful to be an SLP in the Chicago area. I love the constant opportunity for professional and personal growth.”

Desiree G, MS, CCC-SLP/L
Speech-Language Pathologist

“When I was younger, I knew that I wanted to work with children. When I was 18 years old, I discovered this field and have been passionate about it ever since. My goal is not to help a child find their voice – because that is something they already have—but instead I want to amplify a child’s voice.”

Reagan S, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

“Through my grad school placements in the Chicago Public School system, I realized how much joy working with children brought me and how quickly I became excited with going to work each day. It’s beyond rewarding seeing each child’s growth… and that’s what has continued to strengthen my passion for this field.”

Alissa S, MS, CF-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

“I have always enjoyed working with children and when I discovered speech therapy, I knew it would be a great fit for my interests. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to work with families to help foster their child’s communication and feeding skills. I want to make strong connections with clients and their families.”

Christy D, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

“One of my very first college classes was “Human Communication: Speech, Language, and Hearing.” …I called my mom and told her I was going to be an SLP… Two degrees and 10 years later, my passion is to help my clients develop the speech and language skills they need to interact with their families and their world.”

Mariel S, MS, CF-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

“I have an undergrad degree in education and noticed during my student teaching experience that I wanted to work more directly with children in smaller settings. Speech-Language Pathology gives me the flexibility to work with a range of students of different ages and diagnoses, as well as connect with families.”

West Loop Physical Therapists

Dr. Kelly C, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist, Department Lead

“I attended Physical Therapy myself as an athlete, but I never understood the huge impact it could have on someone’s life until that person was my mother… I was able to see firsthand all of my mom’s progress… Within that moment, I knew that I wanted to make the same type of impact on someone else’s life.”

Dr. Ashley S, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist

“I tore both of my ACLs playing sports and ended up switching gears to pursue a career as a physical therapist… I love working with kids because they bring joy and excitement to every session, and I can provide intervention at a critical time period in their lives where they will get the most benefit going forward!”

Julie H, PTA
Physical Therapist

“I began my career in Nursing and realized I wanted to pursue a degree in Healthcare that was less invasive… I have been working as a PTA for the past 4 years, and have done 2 travel therapy contracts… I had always dreamed of working in pediatrics, so when I had the opportunity for this job, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.”

Dr. Brooke S, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist

“Becoming a PT seemed like the perfect answer to everything I was looking for: active lifestyle, meaningful work, and opportunities to grow and learn throughout my career. I love being able to improve my patient’s quality of life, giving them the tools and confidence to succeed and do the things they want to do!”

Erin W, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist

“As a PT, I empower kids to explore the ways they can move… Some days this may look like breaking down a task to determine where the challenge is and others it is reinforcing their confidence in their own abilities. While movement looks different for everyone, we all deserve the opportunity to explore and play.”

West Loop Behavior Therapists

Jillian D, MA, BCBA
Department Head of Behavior Therapy, Behavior Analyst

“My younger sister was born with Down Syndrome… Therapists became my idols, and interacting with my sister in a therapeutic way came naturally for me at a young age… I became a behavior technician… I felt I finally found the job I was looking for that applied my previous and personal experience.”

Melissa R, BCBA, MA
Senior Behavior Analyst

“I have always loved working with clients/patients and supporting them to be as independent as they can and to reach their full potential. I fell in love with Blue Bird Day’s program and the ability to have all therapists under one roof collaborating as one team to meet the needs of the clients and their families.”

Donna M, BA, BCBA
Behavior Analyst

“Growing up my younger brother went to a different school than me, one that had a special education program… I was very involved with my brothers’ education. Helping out made me feel like I was making a change in the world. That is when I knew I wanted to work with children with special needs.”

Mariana P
Lead Behavior Therapist

Mariana is so helpful during her Behavior Therapy push ins. She is great with her clients and puts a lot of effort into helping them participate and get the most out of their day! Mariana, thank you for always stepping in when needed and always going the extra mile. You’re the best!” — Peer Testimonial

Amanda B, BCBA
Behavior Analyst

“I have a family member with Down Syndrome who is very active in the special education community. I have always found interest in helping those with special needs and helped my cousin with many of her extracurricular activities… I have found my passion in ABA therapy.”

Kitana W, RBT
Lead Behavior Therapist

“I was inspired by my autistic brother to help people like him. I love how big the spaces are at Blue Bird Day and how it seems more like a school. My professional goal is to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in the near future and also to hopefully own my own clinic one day!”

Desyrae B, RBT
Senior Behavior Therapist

“I have two older sisters who are in the field. They both introduced me to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and I have continued for the past three years in this field. My professional goal is to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).”

Ronald Y, RBT
Behavior Therapist

“Ronald, thank you for jumping in our pod and being so flexible with your many roles! You are so helpful and always bring smiles and fun to the afternoon pod! You are great with the kiddos and we are lucky to have you! Thank you for always giving 100% in each and every session!!” — Peer Testimonial

Jillian T
Behavior Therapist

“I’m originally from New Jersey where I taught preschool for three years. While working in a preschool, I spent a year dedicated to research on children with autism. Fell in love with those kiddos, and I wanted to continue working with them. I found a job out here in Chicago working as a BT and ran with it.”

Elizabeth M
Behavior Therapist

“I worked as a therapeutic assistant at Blue Bird Day and was inspired by the support the behavior therapists provide to the clients. I hope to become an OT to help children with disabilities with activities of daily living and being a behavior therapist also allows me to help clients in their daily lives.”

Nicholas R, MS, BCBA
Behavior Analyst

“I began working with individuals who have autism and other developmental disabilities in college. I completed the Behavior Analysis Emphasis… As I continued being exposed to the science of behavior analysis, I continued to see it’s benefits in relation to helping people, which was one of my ultimate career goals.”

Jayla M
Behavior Therapist

“I have always been passionate about special needs because I have close family members who have cognitive delays and/or are on the spectrum and I saw how special they were. As a result, I help those who just need some extra TLC to show they too are very important and are deserving of a chance at a quality life.”

Melissa G
Behavior Therapist

“I started nannying a wonderful 7-year-old and later I was given the opportunity to work with kids with developmental disorders and autism. I continued to realize that working with children is very rewarding and I felt a sense of satisfaction knowing I could contribute to improving their overall quality of life.”

Heather S
Behavior Therapist

“I’m currently working on my master’s in clinical psychology, counseling practice. My professional goals include becoming licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) after graduation, and eventually a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).”

Brenda G
Behavior Therapist

“I’ve always loved working with kids and I value their independence! I love the behavioral aspect of neuroscience and therefore I became interested in different forms of pediatric therapy. I enjoy being part of this multidisciplinary team! My professional goal is to become a pediatric occupational therapist.”

West Loop Therapy Case Managers

Molly R, MS, DT
Department Head of Developmental Therapy, Therapy Case Management Specialist

“I studied child development to gain scientific knowledge and theory in order to provide equitable opportunities for children and families to realize their full potential. Nothing matters more than a child’s early years and I am passionate about continuing to learn how children develop, thrive, and learn.”

Taylor L, MS, DT
Therapy Case Manager, Senior Developmental Therapist

“I was struggling to find a major that just felt ‘right.’ I stumbled upon the Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University Northwest (PNW) and finally felt I found my calling… My professors at PNW inspired me to continue my education, which led me to my graduate studies and to Chicago!”

Mercedes H, LCSW
Lead Social Worker, Therapy Case Manager

“I am blessed to be working in a field that allows me to constantly learn. Social work looks at the many entities that affect an individual or a group and allows collaboration to problem-solve, advocate, and empower them. My interest in working with children and families stems from wanting to do exactly that.”

Zoe L, LPC
Therapy Case Manager, Licensed Professional Counselor

“Since earning my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I have worked with children and their families in a variety of settings. I continue to remain dedicated to helping children grow in their social and emotional development while building an encouraging environment within families.”

Stephanie R, DT
Therapy Case Manager, Developmental Therapist

“I became interested in developmental therapy when I became a teacher at a daycare. It was a great feeling making a positive impact and helping each child grow, gain skills, and work towards independence, and I thought it would be amazing to assist those children in need of any extra attention and support.”

Danielle S, LPC
Therapy Case Manager, Licensed Professional Counselor, Onboarder

“I completed my undergraduate degree in public health at Miami University and completed my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Concordia University Chicago. I have experience working with adolescents as a former special education aide as well as a private practice in the Chicago suburbs.”

Joshua M, MSW
Therapy Case Manager, Social Worker

“I have always been passionate about working with youth… My coursework and practical experiences challenged me to embrace the importance of person-in-environment approaches and ignited my passion for providing directed and supportive therapeutic care to young children.”

Delaney L, MSW
Therapy Case Manager, Social Worker

“I have direct youth and family experience across assessment, case management, counseling, care strategies, and intervention. I have always been inspired by children and have a particular interest in early childhood development.”

Madeline H, MSW, LSW
Therapy Case Manager, Social Worker

“I have always felt a desire to support people through stressful times and overcome challenges faced day-to-day. I was drawn to social work as a way to support my community and individuals simultaneously. Through my time at school and in the field, I developed a passion for working with children.”

Avery E, LPC
Therapy Case Manager, Licensed Professional Counselor

“I became a therapist when I realized how much I enjoyed helping others with their mental health. I took a college level psychology class in high school, and my passion for mental health started there. Being able to help anyone in their time of need is a very rewarding and worthwhile experience.”

West Loop Dietitian Nutritionist

Hiral P, RDN, LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

“I have always been fascinated by the power of nutrition. I developed an interest in understanding how different foods and nutrients affect our bodies and impact our overall health. As I got older, my passion for nutrition only grew stronger, and I realized that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to use my knowledge to help others.”

West Loop Therapeutic Assistants

Amber L
Lead Therapeutic Assistant

“Often as a teacher who has ten toddlers in my care, I felt as though I was not doing enough to help children who were not reaching developmental milestones as quickly as other children their age. Because of this, I began looking into developmental therapy so that I could be of service to children in need.”

Shannon H
Lead Therapeutic Assistant

“During college, I had the amazing opportunity to work in Boston College’s Infant and Child Cognition Lab as well as take part in the undergraduate Clinical Psychology program. Through these experiences, I found working with children and working in developmental psychology were my passions.”

Francisco (Frank) R
Therapeutic Assistant

“Frank is a great resource! He is a great Therapeutic Assistant and helps wherever he is needed! Coverage has been hectic lately, but we can always count on Frank to help out wherever! I don’t know what we would do with him. He always goes the extra mile. Thank you, Frank, for all you do!” — Peer Testimonial

Paulina G
Therapeutic Assistant

“I majored in Speech Pathology and Audiology because I knew I wanted to help people. I have always loved being around kids and I think Blue Bird is the perfect environment to put my degree to use and gain more experience. My professional goal is to continue to grow and develop professional skills as a therapist.”

Asucena B
Therapeutic Assistant

“I’ve always had an interest in learning more about people and their thought processes. It wasn’t until undergrad that I was able to explore some of these interests, which led me to take courses in cognition, memory and even abnormal psychology. These topics… helped me discover more about my own… personal goals.”

Valeria S C
Therapeutic Assistant

“I decided to pursue a degree and career in the psychology field because I have always wanted to dedicate my life to helping people understand their own mind, emotions, etc. I have always found myself to be extremely empathetic with others, especially with children. I am hoping that this will be useful at Blue Bird Day.”

Crystal J
Therapeutic Assistant

“I’ve always been passionate about helping the differently abled, to motivate them and their parents, to help them discover and sharpen their strengths, to provide aid to accommodate them and to assist and guide them towards improved quality of daily living. I believe being a TA gives me the opportunity to be an aid.”

Alexa P
Therapeutic Assistant

“I have always been passionate about mental health and helping people. I believe that being a Therapeutic Assistant at Blue Bird Day allows me to combine my passions for mental health and working with children. I am ecstatic to contribute to an amazing organization and work with their incredible team!”

Abril M
Therapeutic Assistant

“By becoming a therapeutic assistant, I aim to contribute to the well-being of individuals, providing them with the resources and support they need to overcome challenges and lead fulfilling lives. I am dedicated to continuous learning and using my skills to positively impact the lives of those I have the privilege to serve.”

Reign J
Therapeutic Assistant

“I have always had a passion for working with children. I always knew that I wanted a career in healthcare and becoming a therapeutic assistant was a great way to start. Being able to observe my client’s growth and see their development is incredibly rewarding and something that I look forward to every day.”

Asia A
Therapeutic Assistant

“I LOVE kids so much. I feel like I could possibly make an impact in their life. Seeing them grow and develop is amazing to watch. I am still deciding on what I want my professional future to be, but being here at Blue Bird Day helps me so much with seeing my interests at work every day.”

Olivia O
Therapeutic Assistant

“I have always had a passion for working with children and decided to major in psychology to understand better the many factors that influence human behavior and development… I am excited to work as a TA to further develop my knowledge of childhood development and help children using kindness and empathy.”

Taneisha T
Therapeutic Assistant

“I have had several opportunities to work with children and young adults in a way that allowed me to aid in their development. I loved working with children and the environment at Blue Bird puts me in a position to follow my passions and develop my skills as I further my professional goals.”

Constance “Connie” C
Therapeutic Assistant

“I started out in the medical field… then I wanted to try something different and went into the Group Homes with children with developmental disabilities and behavior challenges… I began to love watching the children progress and also the rapport that was built with the parents and that’s where my passion comes from.”

Sarah N
Therapeutic Assistant

“I started working with children two years ago at a preschool. I then started working with children with autism practicing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and earned my Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) License. I hope to some day obtain my masters in Social Work.”

Zakeyah P
Therapeutic Assistant

“I have always been very interested in mental health and over the past few years I have developed an interest in working with children. I believe Blue Bird Day will be a great learning opportunity for me as I navigate life post-graduation and allow me to gain real working experience while also exploring my interests.”

Jazmin N
Therapeutic Assistant

“I have always been very interested in mental health and over the past few years I have developed an interest in working with children. I believe Blue Bird Day will be a great learning opportunity for me as I navigate life post-graduation and allow me to gain real working experience while also exploring my interests.”

Vanessa O
Therapeutic Assistant

“I decided to become a therapist because, growing up, I had a rough childhood, and I always knew I required support. As I grew up, I pursued treatment, which helped me recover. That’s when I learned how many people went without therapy and decided I wanted to be the one who supported them.”

Maria A
Therapeutic Assistant

“Growing up I would always tell my mom that I wanted to become a doctor and save lives… When the pandemic occurred, I chose a path in healing that is often not seen in the BIPOC community. I decided to start therapy and throughout my healing process, I discovered that one can save lives without it being surgical.”

Jeannette M
Therapeutic Assistant

“I enjoy working with children and teaching them in any way. I have my Associates in Early Childhood Education from St Augustine College. My professional goals are to grow with this company and learn more. I am certified in CPR and First Aid.”

Emily G
Therapeutic Assistant

“I graduated from UIC with a degree in Disability and Human Development… As a TA, I hope to deepen my understanding on Human Development and the different approaches used to ensure maximum support for the children and families.”

India A
Therapeutic Assistant

“I graduated from Kennedy King College with my Associates in Science.”

“I graduated from Kennedy King College with my Associates in Science.” “I graduated from Kennedy King College with my Associates in Science.” 

Armina Z
Therapeutic Assistant

“I am passionate about working with kids because I love to watch them grow and reach developmental milestones. I am interested in going to school for Speech Pathology because I think everyone should have the resources to learn to communicate, whether that is verbally or nonverbally!”