Meet our therapists!

The CI team works in a collaborative manner. Each of our amazing staff members has specific areas of training and expertise. We encourage you to visit us for a free consultation so that we can pair you with the therapist that best meets your needs!

Abby Roth, MS, OTR/L, Director of Clinics

Abby lived in Italy for a semester, she is ambidextrous and her perfect morning always includes breakfast at Bluephies in Madison.

Abby earned a bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Studies and Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from UW-Madison. She is trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding and is honored to guide families through the process of teaching their children to enjoy food. She is passionate about sensory integration and educating families on how to best support children’s sensory needs. During her therapy sessions, she can often be seen crawling, climbing, swinging, and jumping through an obstacle course with her friends. Her best sessions are ones that follow the lead of the child with Abby’s support to infuse a therapeutic twist to them. Abby absolutely LOVES being a part of the CI team and enjoys working closely with children and their families to create a family-centered therapy experience. In her free time, Abby enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the dog park with her enthusiastic dog Wren, being outside, and trying new restaurants.

Alison S. MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Alison’s favorite holiday is Halloween. She is embarrassed to admit her love for quirky ‘jingles’ in commercials. She says "y’all" due to her childhood upbringing.

Alison completed her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy at UW Madison.  She has practiced as a pediatric occupational therapist in various settings including school-based and clinic environments. Alison enjoys working with children of all abilities and has worked with children with a variety of disorders. She has completed the Handwriting Specialist certification with Handwriting Without Tears ®. She has experience and training with sensory processing and sensory motor treatment. Alison has years of experience and knowledge working with children with autism including ABA therapy, programming and staff education. Alison encourages and guides families to help identify the specific skills or interests to be incorporated into therapy so that it is meaningful to the family unit and/or the individual. When not caring for her 3 young children, Alison enjoys the outdoors, reading, and loves animals.

Alissa Rozner, Insurance Specialist

Alissa has 11 pets, she loves to mow the lawn and she met her husband in 5th grade.

Alissa has over 20 years of experience working in insurance and administrative settings. She is currently attending school part-time towards a bachelor's degree in psychology and is familiar with the pediatric health care setting.  In her free time, she spends time with her husband and three teenagers and enjoys listening to country music.  

Amanda Houdek, MS, CCC-SLP, Director

Amanda loves thunderstorms, cupcakes and as a child, was convinced that she was going to be in the rodeo.

Amanda is the director of Communication Innovations, Inc. Amanda has extensive experience with early-childhood, public school, and private speech therapy service models. Amanda's goal is to provide all of the therapy services a family could need under one roof! She oversees and is certified in a variety of specialty therapies including Auditory Integration Training, Interactive Metronome, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Autism based language development, and Social Groups. Amanda is a Certified Autism Specialist. Amanda is proud and excited to be part of this amazing team!!!

Ann Roesch, Billing & Insurance Team

Ann's loves music, she lived in Las Vegas for one year after high school and her nickname is "Smalls".

Ann received her Associate's Degree in 2014 for Medical Billing and Coding from the Ultimate Medical Academy. While going to school, Ann also worked full-time and helped care for her six grandchildren, whom are all under the age of seven. She loves a good bargain shopping trip and will go out of her way to find a good deal. Ann loves her animals, including her four year old Black Lab, Abby and a one year old cat, Coal. If she could foster every animal that needed help, she would in a heartbeat. Another interest of Ann's is traveling. Her favorite travel destination is Arizona, since she loves the mountainous scenery and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Ashley Verbick, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

Ashley is ambidextrous, she could eat bagels everyday, and when she was a child she wanted to be a figure skater when she grew up. 

Ashley is a graduate from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison College.  Prior to beginning life as a COTA/L, Ashley earned her Bachelor's Degree in Educational Studies from Carroll University, taught early childhood for four years, and worked as a behavioral therapist for children diagnosed with autism. Ashley has experience working with children who have cerebral palsy, sensory processing disorder, autism, down syndrome, fragile X, ADHD, bipolar disorder, childhood depression and anxiety disorders, along with a variety of other medical diagnosis.  Ashley has always enjoyed working with children and proudly began her path with the Communication Innovations team during her last internship through school.   During her free time, Ashley enjoys running, cooking, and reading.

Becky Lotto, MSW, ECPC, Verona Clinic Manager

Becky’s favorite food is pancakes, she has an affinity for red jelly beans, and she grew up on a dairy farm in Green Bay, WI.

Becky has a Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she specialized in School Social Work and Educational Policy Studies.  Becky has always been passionate about supporting children and families and it is through this passion that she continued to pursue further education and become a Certified Life Coach through Erickson Coaching International. She has over 10 years of experience working with children and families as a behavioral therapist and family advocate. She is also an ACE certified personal trainer and is formally trained in ABA, Verbal Behavior, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Wellness Coaching. Becky is passionate about enhancing family well-being and uses her diverse background to take a holistic approach in working with families to support positive outcomes. Outside of work, Becky enjoys running on trails, practicing yoga, reading and painting.

Beth Larson, PhD, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Beth loves chocolate, has enjoyed doing all kinds of crafts since she was a young child, and once rode her bike from San Francisco to San Diego.

Beth Larson is a pediatric occupational therapist with 20 year clinical experience and 10 years in academics. She has a bachelors in OT and masters in motor learning from UW-Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in Occupational Science from the University of Southern California. She has worked in school systems and in private practice in Wisconsin and California with children with autism, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, severe multiple disabilities,and developmental delays. She has served as a consultant to the Frostig school, a specialized center for children with learning disabilities, and to the M.O.V.E. program (a top-down program to develop sitting, standing and walking for children who are not yet walking at three years of age). She has expertise in the development of fine-motor skills and handwriting; assistive technology for school-based applications and mobility; and collaborative practice with families. Her research was inspired by her work with families in practice; she continues to study the needs and experiences of caregiving families. Recent publications have examined dimension of caregivers' well-being, vigilance in mothers caring for children with autism, and parents attitudes toward caregiving that support well-being.

Bill Guetschow, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

As a child, Bill wanted to be an astronaught, he played the man-eating plant, Audrey II in a college theatre prodcution of "Little Shop of Horrors," and, as a true Wisconsinite, his favorite meal is a fish fry! 

Bill is a graduate of the Madison College Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Before becoming an OTA, Bill made careers in several different fields, including television news and, more recently, information services. However, his most rewarding pre-OT career occurred when Bill was a stay-at-home dad when his children were small. Bill first considered a career in occupational therapy when his son received OT services when he was in elementary school. After exploring it further, Bill knew that OT was the career for him. Bill has always enjoyed working with children but this was further solidified after a school project providing activities programming for kids at Gio’s Garden and an internship in the Madison School District. Bill has had the opportunity to work with children with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. In his free time, Bill enjoys bicycling, cooking, making music with his friends in a local band, and most of all, spending time with his wife and two teenage children. Bill is proud and thrilled to be part of the CI team.

Breana Mudrock, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Breana was captain of the UW-Madison cheerleading team, she has a wire-foxed terrier named Daisy, and her favorite recipe is her mom’s enchiladas.

Breana received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Communicative Disorders, and her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Speech Language Pathology. She is trained and certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding and is excited to empower children and their families with techniques to enjoy their mealtime experiences! Breana has experience working with children of all ages with a variety of communication needs. She is passionate about the birth-to-three population, early childhood intervention, pediatric feeding, and social language development. In her free time, Breana enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, crafting, reading, and exploring all that Madison has to offer. Breana loves the collaborative and creative atmosphere at CI, and is absolutely thrilled to be a member of the Communication Innovations team!

Charissa Drake, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Charissa enjoys many outdoor activities (e.g., running, hiking, fishing, swimming, biking, etc.), spending time with family and friends, and she loves to cook & bake!

Charissa is a new graduate from the Master’s of Occupational Therapy (OT) at University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She attended University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire prior to that, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. Charissa completed her OT fieldwork in Colorado at the Air Force Academy, and here at Communication Innovations (CI)! She loved the friendly atmosphere, and enjoyed creating fun and challenging obstacle courses with her friends at CI. She is excited to see where her new career with CI will take her.

Cheryl Berg, Billing Supervisor

Cheryl is a certified coder with fifteen years of billing and insurance experience. Beyond managing the billing office at CI, she is enrolled in school full time for Health Care Management.  Cheryl has three dogs, and in her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors, quilting and traveling.

Christy Moses, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Christy is an adventurous cat lady who loves photography, mac & cheese and music who was also a pole vaulter for 8 years!

Christy earned her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Mount Mary University. She attended the University of Wisconsin La Crosse for her Bachelors in Therapeutic Recreation.  She is an outgoing and hardworking individual who is honored and excited to be apart of the CI team! It is through her background and experience working with children of all ages and abilities that she has developed her passion for pediatrics!  Prior to becoming a therapist, she acquired 2 1/2 years of experience working with children with Autism as an Advanced Line Therapist for a behavioral-based therapy company.  She also acquired invaluable training in both a school-based and rehabilitation setting.  She looks forward to her days and sessions fueled by fun and rewarding challenges! She is inspired and encouraged by the collaborative CI family-centered model.  She is excited to fulfill her role to help advocate and support children and their family’s unique needs.  In her free time, you will find her enjoying time with friends and family and trying something new!

Courtney Cullen, BS, Director of Administration

Courtney grew up in a town with one stoplight, was featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show when the show hosted a contest in Madison and while in high school, she performed with her show choir at Epcot in Disney World!

Courtney received her B.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout her undergraduate career, Courtney enjoyed gaining experience working with individuals with a wide variety of abilities through work and volunteer opportunities, including working as a personal care worker for a young woman with muscular dystrophy and volunteering as an inclusion facilitator with United Cerebral Palsy. She also loved volunteering with the Meriter Hospital Pediatric Therapy Department, where she assisted the therapists with their Developmental Assessment Clinics, for babies and toddlers who had spent time in the NICU. During her semester studying abroad in Galway, Ireland, Courtney volunteered with a non-profit organization that assists families in finding the best possible services and resources for their child with autism. She enjoyed getting to know the children and families and learning about disability services throughout Ireland! When Courtney is not working, she enjoys crafting and scrapbooking, cheering on the Badgers and singing in her church choir. Courtney loves working with such a positive and collaborative team at CI!

Elizabeth Craft, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Elizabeth is an animal lover who competed in horse shows and grew up with 11 pets! Elizabeth loves taking road trips and exploring new places!

Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary University. While at UW-Platteville, Elizabeth worked as a youth counselor at an after school program for youth with behavioral and emotional difficulties. During graduate school, Elizabeth gained experience working with children in the school setting. Elizabeth first discovered her love of occupational therapy and working with children through her volunteer experience at a therapeutic horseback riding program. Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, her dog and her horse. Elizabeth is thrilled to be a member of the Communication Innovations team!

Estie Smith, Front Office

Estie spent five months in New Zealand doing missions work and has traveled to the Bahamas where she went scuba diving and swam with sharks! Along with singing, she enjoys playing the guitar and piano. Estie has a strong love for puppies. 

Estie has been working with kids since she was 14 years old doing childcare, teaching gymnastics, and being a counselor at a bible camp. She lived in New Zealand for five months and was in a Discipleship Training School, which consisted of a lecture phase and an outreach phase. The majority of her outreach was guided towards working with young teens. She is hoping to pursue a degree in counseling with a focus on family counseling. Her favorite part about working at CI is seeing the smiles and joy as people come into the clinic.  In her free time she enjoys taking hikes, spending time on her parents farm, watching sunsets, and making fun memories with her family.

Ismail Umer, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Ismail was a theater geek (and still is, really) in high school, enjoys playing board games in his spare time, and is on an eternal quest to create the perfect chili cheese dog.

Ismail completed his B.S. in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.S. in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his master’s program, he received certification from the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Diseases (LEND) program through the Waisman Center. For his master’s research, he studied families of children with special needs, examining the relationship between caregiver stress and their children’s unmet health care needs.  He finished his clinical fieldwork at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago pediatrics department, working extensively with children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders.  Ismail has experience in Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), activities of daily living adaptives, functional use of modalities, play-based therapy, and sensory motor therapy. Previously, Ismail worked at a school for children with autism, was a respite care provider, and was a summer camp counselor for individuals with special needs. Outside of work, Ismail can be found enjoying live music, doing yoga, and cheering/crying for Chicago sports. Ismail is thrilled to be here and is excited to work with CI clients and their families!

Janelle Boll, CTRS, Recreational Therapist

Janelle’s immediate family members all have names that start with the letter “J,” she works at the Madison Farmers Market selling tomatoes from her hometown and loves finding new places that serve delicious sweet potato tater tots. 

Janelle received her Bachelors Degree in Recreation Therapy from the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse.  She has a long-standing passion for helping people with disabilities participate in meaningful leisure and recreation activities.  Through these activities she enjoys helping people improve their overall well-being, increase their independence and create a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.  Janelle has experience working with children and adults with a wide variety of special needs including, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, down syndrome, TBI’s, amputees, cerebral palsy, behavioral disorders, anxiety, depression and other mental health diagnoses.  She spent the last four years working in the Twin Cities in inpatient rehabilitation and inpatient psychiatry, and she is looking forward to immersing herself into the Madison community!  Outside of work she enjoys being active in the outdoors, spending time on the water, biking, crafting, cheering on the Packers, baking and traveling.  Janelle is incredibly excited to be a part of the CI team and is looking forward to collaborating with therapists, children and their families.

Jennifer Rae, MT-BC, WMTR, Music Therapist

In High School, Jen was selected for the All -State team in Basketball; she still enjoys playing today, and her she her favorite pastime is watching her daughters grow!

Jen received her Bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI, in 1997.  She went on to become Board Certified and has her Wisconsin Regulation and Licensing in music therapy. With over 16 years experience working with children and adults with physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disabilities, Jen is client centered and creative in adapting strategies to help meet individual goals.  Jen began her private music therapy practice to reach people around Madison and has worked in Sun Prairie Area School District, Madison Area Rehabilitation Center, Prairie Music Academy, VSA of Wisconsin, and The American Family Children’s Hospital.  She has been a part of the Communication Innovations’ team since 2009 and greatly enjoys leading groups and 1:1 sessions. Along with her studies on the neuropathways of the brain and the direct effects of music, Jen uses song, rhythm, movement to music and musical instruments to provide unique experiences for kids that support positive growth.   In her free time, she enjoys being with her husband, three daughters and two doggies!

Jenny Kuckuk, MSW, LCSW, Director of Patient Relations

Jenny loves dogs (especially huskies), chocolate, and hiking and exploring outdoors.

Jenny has a Master of Science degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology specializing in mental health. She completed a certificate in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health through UW Madison and is in the process of becoming nationally endorsed. She has experience working with children and families with developmental disabilities, a variety of mental health concerns, and providing psychotherapy. Jenny is passionate about promoting mental health and well-being while working with children and families. Outside of work Jenny enjoys running and exploring National Parks.

Jesse Morell, BA, Administrative Staff

Jesse is a connoisseur of all things breakfast, addicted to getting a good bargain, and a newbie to Wisconsin.

Jesse received her B.A. from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri with degrees in Biblical Studies and Studio Art. During her collegiate career, she was heavily involved with student development and admissions. Jesse recently moved to Madison in September 2015 to join the pastoral staff of Madison Church. Jesse is passionate about helping people reach their potential, and thrives in a fast-paced environment. She is a functional extrovert, and loves to make people laugh. When she heard about the mission of CI, she was honored to join the team! When she's not at CI, you can find her nose in a good book, singing along to the radio, or filling up her Pinterest boards.

Jessica Ehret, BS, CCLS, Care Coordination Team

Jessica grew up in the tiny village of Hewitt, just outside of Marshfield in central Wisconsin. She loves warm weather and doing all things outdoorsy to include camping and water sports! She loves music, traveling, and is a United States Air Force Veteran.


Jessica received her B.S. in Child Life Education from Edgewood College in Madison; She is a Certified Child Life Specialist. She worked as a Certified Child Care Teacher for 10 years beginning in high school and throughout college. She was a Preschool teacher, and most recently a Preschool Director. She volunteered hundreds of hours in children’s hospitals, providing distraction, procedural preparation, age appropriate activities, family support, and medical and therapeutic play to pediatric patients. She did her practicum at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Marshfield and interned at Rockford Memorial in the Pediatrics department. Her passion is to provide quality family-centered care. When Jessica is not working, she loves to spend time with her baby girl, husband, family and friends, watch the Packers, and to shop!

Joan Abendroth, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

Joan's favorite snack is goldfish crackers, she can sing the ABC's backwards and her most loved childhood toys are the etch-a-sketch and crocodile dentist.

Joan received her Associate Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1990. She started her career as a COTA in the Madison Schools where she has worked for 20+ years. Her passion for working with children with disabilities is evident as she has worked with a variety of children with various disabilities including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, mental health illness, autism, traumatic brain injury, and developmental delays. Joan has experience and training in assistive technology, sensory processing, self-care needs and specific fine motor delays. She is also a certified provider of the Interactive Metronome. In her free time Joan loves spending time with her husband and two sons, hiking, doing yoga and reading a good book!

Joshua Brown, OTD, OTR/L, Director of Occupational & Physical Therapy

When Joshua was little he had a pet chicken named Candy that rode around on the handlebars of his bike.  He once played the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical and his favorite food is hummus and he could eat it for every meal.  

Joshua graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences in 2003 and a master’s degree in occupational therapy in 2005. After practicing as an OT for several years, he went back to USC in pursuit of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree, which he completed in 2013.  Joshua’s doctoral work focused on utilizing drama as a therapeutic tool to address social skills challenges in children with mental health diagnoses.  Joshua is also a graduate of the California Interdisciplinary Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders fellowship, which is located at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Joshua has presented his work utilizing drama in his practice at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s national conference, and his work addressing complex feeding challenges at the Occupational Therapy Association of California’s annual conference.  Additional teaching experiences include guest lecturing to master’s and bachelor’s students, as well as co-teaching a course on fine motor development and handwriting to occupational therapy practitioners in Mumbai, India. Clinically, Joshua is passionate about working with children of all ages to reach their highest potential, and he uses a variety of treatment models to address the individual needs of each client and family. In his spare time, Joshua directs youth theater and acts in shows from time to time.  He loves to travel and has been to such places as Nepal, Thailand, Scotland and Costa Rica.

Katie (Taylor) Brown, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Katie went skydiving on my 18th birthday, before moving to Madison for school, she had only spent a few hours in the city and her favorite candy is Reese's Fast Break.

Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  During her time at the University of Wisconsin, she was fortunate to work as a research assistant at the Waisman Center and teaching assistant for a pediatrics course in the UW Occupational Therapy program.  Katie is certified in the Get Permission Approach to Sensory Mealtime Challenges and enjoys empowering children and their families to expand their diet and develop a healthy and happy mealtime environment. She has had a long-standing passion for pediatrics and has experience with children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, stroke, fetal substance exposure, and developmental disabilities.  She enjoys collaborating with families to promote independence and facilitate growth in each child she works with.  Some of her favorite things to do with kids at CI are developing self-care and feeding skills through play.  She enjoys being a part of such a fun-loving and collaborative team at CI!  Outside of work, Katie enjoys warm weather, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Katie Betry, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Katie enjoys the outdoors, new adventures, food, and gardening. She grew up in Wittenberg, WI and is farm/country girl at heart who loves spending time with her family. Katie also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and loves competitive sports! 

Katie graduated from Winona State University, MN with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science before pursuing a Master’s of Occupational Therapy Degree at Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL in 2014. Katie loves working with children of all ages. She completed a clinical rotation at the CP Center Inc. of Green Bay, WI where she studied sensory processing disorder, learned sensory integration techniques, participated in group therapy, and loved every minute of it. Katie has volunteer experience working with children with Down syndrome at GiGi’s Playhouse, has been a “Big Mentor” for children involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wisconsin, is an active member of local and national occupational therapy organizations, and enjoys participating as a coach in adapted sports programs in the community. Katie has a passion for children and families and loves connecting individuals to accessible and cost-efficient community resources. She has had the opportunity to work with children with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, disorders of motor planning, sensory processing disorder, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

Katie appreciates the local farmer’s markets and loves living in Madison! Katie is so excited to be a part of the CI Team and the surrounding communities!

Kelsi Burkholder, Administrative Assistant

Kelsi loves thrift store shopping, decorating, and frequenting her favorite coffee shops.


Kelsi received a Bachelor’s of Marketing from Grace College in Indiana.  She moved to Madison from her native Indiana in Spring 2015 and is enjoying all that Madison has to offer. She has past experience working in marketing and client care for a real estate team and administration for an in-homecare facility. She is a former CNA and caregiver that loves working with people of all ages and incorporating creativity into her work and personal life. She volunteered with inner city kids in Phoenix, Arizona for a year right after high school and learned that her heart was in the Midwest and later pursued a degree there. In her free time you can find her outside walking trails, paddle-boarding, spending time with family and friends and eating lots of ice cream.

Kerstin Nelson, MS, Care Coordination Team

Kerstin loves dogs, photography and traveling. Her favorite city, so far, has been St. Petersburg, Russia.


Kerstin received her B.A in Art Therapy and most recently a M.S in Marriage and Family Therapy from Edgewood College in Madison, WI. For the past several years, she has been working with children with disabilities as a special education assistant at an elementary school. She loved working one on one with kids and she's pretty sure they taught her as much as she taught them. She also completed a clinical internship at Collaborations, a mental health clinic that serviced adults with developmental disabilities. Her passion has always been working with children and families, and hopes to continue to do so in the future. When Kerstin is not working, she enjoys going to estate sales, spending time with her family and friends, and doing outdoorsy things.

Kim Zaspel, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

 Kim loves traveling and has been to 6 countries in 6 years. Her favorite seasons are fall and summer and her favorite food is pizza rolls. She is a huge Packer fan and loves going to Brewer games in the summer!

Kim is a graduate from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison College. Prior to studying OT, she completed 2 years of coursework in Special Education- Early Childhood at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. Prior to college, Kim completed 350 hours of volunteer work in an adaptive physical education class, where she developed her passion for working with kids with unique challenges. She is certified in the Intensive Model of Therapy and the TheraSuit Method ® and is also trained in the Handwriting Without Tears ® method. Kim loves working at a place where a team approach is emphasized and fun and play are requirements. When not at work, Kim loves to go to dog parks with her husband and two Weimaraners, Mia and Willy.

Kris Wright, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

The weirdest place Kris has ever visited was the glow worm caves in Waitomo, NZ, her secret talent is singing karaoke and she has cycled around the world on a tandem bike! 

Kris received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.  After graduation, she traveled through 29 countries on 5 different continents with her husband on a tandem bicycle.  It was on this trip that she discovered speech-language pathology, and she pursued her goal of being a therapist at UW-Madison where she earned her Master’s Degree.  During graduate school she gained experience working with children and adults in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Head Start, and public schools.  While Kris enjoys all aspects of speech pathology, she is especially excited about working with children who use alternative and augmentative communication devices (AAC).  When she is not providing therapy, Kris enjoys biking, doing yoga, cooking, and making her own jewelry.

Laura Hamel, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Laura enjoys doing basically anything outside, she has her second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and she loves baking because she loves to eat!


Laura graduated from the University of Minnesota Master’s in Occupational Therapy program in 2015 after completing her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. For the past four years she has worked with children with autism performing ABA therapy. She loves working with children, watching them grow, and just being silly with them. She has an eclectic set of interests, largely due to growing up in a family with five children and many different personalities and interests. In her free time, Laura loves being outside and being active. She also enjoys cooking, baking, and especially eating. She likes to read, do art and craft projects, and ride motorcycles. She is always up for trying something new and embarking on an adventure.

Laura Nagel, MS, OTR/L, Verona Clinic Manager, Occupational Therapist

Laura absolutely loves cheese, she knows how to play the clarinet and sing, and she likes to do scrapbooking on the weekend.

Laura completed her collegiate career at UW-Madison, with degrees in Rehabilitation Psychology and Occupational Therapy. Throughout her collegiate career, Laura conducted research on children's executive functioning and worked extensively with children on the autism spectrum for over 5 years while providing in-home Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. Laura is now a Certified Autism Specialist, though she has also worked pediatric and adult populations across a variety of diagnoses, including burns, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, traumatic burn injury, spina bifida, and other medically fragile populations. Additionally, Laura has experience with Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), Intensive Method with TheraSuit, Alert! Program (Engines), and adolescent transition groups. Laura also enjoys pursing leadership opportunities at the community and state levels. In her free time, Laura enjoys hiking, coloring with crayons, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Lauren Natzke-Blume, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Lauren completed her externship for speech language pathology in Idaho, has an unusual liking to sauerkraut, and one of the coolest places she has traveled to was bioluminescent bay. 

Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. She has experience working with both children and adults with a variety of communication disorders, and is especially interested in social communication, school age language, and communication modalities. Lauren likes to work closely with children and their families to encourage and facilitate communication in whichever form that might take. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending her time outdoors, being with family, and traveling. Lauren is very excited to begin her journey with the awesome team at CI!

Leah Stenjem, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

Leah’s favorite food is cake, She loves to hike and explore new state parks, and she has a deep love for fluffy animals. 

 Leah earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UW Madison and her OTA from Madison College. While at UW she worked as a research assistant for the Wisconsin Twin Project at the Waisman Center, which explored genetic and environmental influences on development. She also worked at a pediatric center and school called Common Threads and loved helping with teen groups, especially teen girls dance group!! She has also worked as an inclusion specialist at a Madison Schools and Community Recreation summer camp and provided respite for two twenty year-old women through United Cerebral Palsy. Leah is excited to start her career as a COTA at Communication Innovations! When she is not working she enjoys experiencing live music, cooking, and gardening!

Liz Hedrich, MS, CCC-SLP, Director of Speech Therapy

Liz is a Packers shareholder, has been to Hawaii five times, and spent a semester in college studying tropical biology in Costa Rica.

Liz received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UW-Madison. Before becoming a speech therapist she spent three years providing in-home therapy to children with autism. During graduate school she gained experience working with children in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, the Waisman Center, Head Start, and public schools. She was also part of the LEND program at the Waisman Center where she received specialized training in interdisciplinary care for children with developmental disabilities. While she enjoys working with children of all ages, she especially loves providing early intervention services. In her spare time, Liz loves cooking, watching Packer and Badger football, and playing outside with her dog.

Luke Lang, BS, PTA, Fitchburg Clinic Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Physical Therapy

Luke used to work with monkeys, he won a hula hooping contest when he was a kid and he likes to do things around his house with his eyes closed. 

Luke has has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and a graduate of the Physical Therapy Assistant program at Madison College.  Luke has a wide variety of experience within the field of therapy.  He has worked within the Madison School Distrist, where he focused on adaptive physical education,and has done in-home therapy, where he created individualized strength and conditioning programs.  He also has experience with geriatrics and manual therapy, but his true passion is pediatrics.  Luke is fascinated with the human brain and the powerful effects it has personal function.  He enjoys reading about the brain during his down time and gets very excited when he learns a new "brain game."  Luke is also an avid sports fan, which includes watching and playing almost every sport that exists. He especially loves basketball, football, baseball and golf.  Luke has been a part of the CI team for the past four years and is thrilled to continue to be a part of the team.

Mara Caskey, MA, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Mara is originally from Washington state but was born in Texas.  Her favorite animal is a moose and when she was 

a kid she had just about every pet imaginable including frogs, lizards, iguanas, turtles, geckos, snakes, birds, fish, cats, dogs, and chinchillas! 

Mara received her B.S. at University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.A. at University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Speech Language Pathology. Mara is passionate about working with pediatric populations. Her clinical interests include individuals with: neurodevelopmental disabilities, multiple and severe disabilities, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and pediatric feeding disorders. In her graduate studies, Mara was funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education that provided specialty training in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and technology. When Mara is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and exploring new places. She is looking forward to a fun and exciting clinical fellowship year and career at CI!

Maria Chironis, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Maria loves to travel and studied abroad in Galway, Ireland! She can peel an orange in just one peel! When she was younger, she ran a lemonade and popcorn stand in front of her dad’s restaurant.

Maria received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and received her Master’s degree from the University of Oregon. She completed her clinical fellowship in the LEND  (Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) Program at Oregon Health & Science University. While there, she received specialized training in providing interdisciplinary care for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Maria has experience working in early intervention, hospitals, and schools. She is very passionate about providing family-centered care, and enjoys coaching families to facilitate their child’s language development. Maria is especially interested in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and working with beginning communicators. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, exploring the outdoors, skiing, and playing tennis with family and friends! Maria is thrilled to be a part of the CI team!

Marie Hoerchner, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Marie raised pigs through her local 4-H club growing up, loves to eat guacamole, and her favorite trip was to Tanzania.  

Marie received her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.  During graduate school, Marie worked as a line therapist for Integrated Development Services, and as a personal care worker through Community Living Alliance.  Through her work experiences, Marie was involved with providing therapy and in-home personal care to children on the Autism spectrum, and with other developmental disabilities.  During graduate school, she gained clinical experience working with primarily children in both medical and school settings.   Her clinical experiences included outpatient pediatric speech/language therapy at UW-Middleton Rehab. Clinic, and student teaching at Verona Area School District-Early Childhood. She has a great deal of experience working with young children with articulation and language disorders, and children who use AAC devices.  In her free time, Marie loves spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Badgers, and dancing. Marie is so excited to be part of the Communication Innovations team!

McKenzie Hoffman, MA, CCC-SLP, Special Programs Coordinator

McKenzie adores the beach and spent one summer living the island life in Okinawa, Japan. She loves boating and can slalom ski and she used to be an extra on the TV show One Tree Hill.

McKenzie received her both her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Northern Iowa. She grew up in Freeport, IL and moved to Madison from Des Moines, Iowa. In Des Moines, she gained experience working with feeding and swallowing in the NICU at Mercy hospital and experience working with a variety of children at a pediatric outpatient clinic. McKenzie has a great deal of experience working with individuals with autism, Down Syndrome, language disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, neurological disorders and feeding and swallowing. She is trained and certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding, Pediatric Dysphagia and the treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech. When she is not at work, McKenzie loves spending time with friends and family, running and being outdoors. McKenzie loves being a part of the CI Team!

Megan (Dieringer) Barrow, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Megan studied abroad in Buenos Aires, loves cribbage and her favorite candy is Junior Mints.

Megan earned her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from UW-Madison in 2014. Prior to OT school, Megan lived in Chapel Hill, NC and gained therapeutic experience through positions at a wilderness therapy organization for young adults in substance abuse recovery, in a group home supporting individuals with special needs in their daily routines, and volunteering at a pediatric therapy clinic. Through volunteer work and professional experience, Megan has worked with individuals with a variety of special needs including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, down syndrome, traumatic burns, cerebral palsy, anxiety and behavioral disorders. Megan has completed continuing education in Yoga and Pilates in Pediatric Practice, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness Meditation, and has also volunteered with a local adaptive climbing group. In her free time, Megan enjoys playing outside with her husband and her black lab Jasper, running, yoga, cooking, crafting, and live music. Megan is thrilled to be part of the CI team and excited to collaborate with children and their families!

Megan (Janssen) Wisniewski, MS, OTR/L, Sun Prairie Clinic Manager, Occupational Therapist

Megan's favorite part of childhood was having picnics in her backyard, she wanted to be a princess when she was a kid and her secret talent is that she can touch her tongue to her nose!

Megan earned her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, and then moved back to Madison to complete her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has experience working with individuals with a wide variety of diagnoses including cerebral palsy, autism, TBI, burns, SCI, stroke and developmental disabilities and she has attended continuing education in the Analysis of Movement from an NDT Perspective. Megan loves being a part of the CI team! Her favorite thing to work on with kids is self-care skills through play contexts. She also love to problem solve adaptive strategies and fabricate devices to help kids increase their level of independence. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with her family, running, playing with her dog (Bear), traveling and spending time outdoors.

Megan Gross, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Megan ran the 2014 Chicago Marathon on the Autism Speaks team, spent a year teaching English in Siberia, and bears are her favorite animal.

Megan received her Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences and Russian from Wellesley College. After graduation, she spent a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Tomsk, Russia. Upon returning to the U.S., she decided to apply her love of languages and teaching to a career in speech-language pathology. She earned her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on her PhD with a focus on bilingual language development and assessment. She speaks Spanish and Russian and has worked with many Spanish-speaking children in public schools. Through her graduate training, Megan has gained experience in a variety of settings, including public schools, a preschool Phonology Classroom, and the Autism and Developmental Disabilities clinic at the Waisman Center. She particularly enjoys conducting evaluations, working on developing children’s speech sounds and language skills, and learning about different systems of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Megan loves the family-centered and collaborative inter-disciplinary environment at Communication Innovations and is thrilled to join the CI team!   

Megan Koch, BSW, Care Coordination Team

Megan loves to travel and explore; Australia has by far been the best trip yet; surfing, snorkeling and sky diving.


Megan received her B.S. in Social Worker from Winona State University. While in school, Megan worked with adults with developmental disabilities in a group home setting.  After graduation, Megan moved to Milwaukee, WI and used her strength based, family-centered approach to work in Child Protective Services as an Ongoing Case Manager.  Megan most recently worked as a Service Coordinator for a private agency contracted by Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties to provide Birth to Three services. Megan recently moved back to the Madison area to be closer to family and is extremely excited to be a part of the CI team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her niece and nephews, traveling and being active/playing sports.

Melissa Wegner, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Melissa starred as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in seventh grade, loves musicals, and has never broken a bone in her body.


Melissa graduated from UW-Madison's Department of Communicative Disorders with her Bachelor's of Science Degree and Birth-21 Educator License in 2003.  She stayed at the UW to complete her graduate work, and earned her Master's of Science Degree in 2005.  Melissa began her career in Madison's Birth to Three Program, went on to work at the high school level for 6 years, and worked at CI a couple of hours per week.  Melissa also had the opportunity to fill in as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UW Speech and Hearing Clinics during the Summer of 2012.   She then took a few years "off" to raise her two boys and be a full time stay at home Mom.  While she was staying home, Melissa continued to keep up her SLP skills by working a few hours per week in a private practice setting.  Melissa is super excited to be back working at CI, and is looking forward to rejoining the fun, inviting, and family-centered team.  She is trained in DIR/Greenspan Floortime Model, the Hodson and Kaufman phonological models, and has extensive experience in working with children with Autism, Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, and all things Speech and Language.  Melissa's passions are working with families to make sure everyone is receiving the support they need, early childhood intervention, and supporting families throughout the elementary and adolescent years.  In her free time, Melissa will be found curling up with a good book (usually having something to do with parenting/marriage/family) or watching a movie with her husband while eating a take out meal.  However, the majority of her time is spent building golf courses out of anything recyclable, playing with cars, legos, magnetic blocks, or marble towers, and enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two super active young boys.

Mike Sansom, BS, Support Services

Mike was born is Australia, he likes to DJ and he wanted to be a soccer player when he was a kid. 

Mike earned his B.S. in Movement Science from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. He was born in Australia where he lived until 2001, when he moved to Royal Oak, Michigan. Mike has had a variety of experiences working with children including coaching soccer, tutoring, being a summer camp counselor, teaching kids how to sail and most recently teaching at a child care facility. Mike is trained in multiple different early childhood programs including the Pyramid Model.


Outside of work, Mike enjoys reading, playing video games, watching Netflix, exercising, and taking care of his 5 fish tank aquariums!

Nikki Schneiker, Billing Specialist

Nikki has worked in billing for six years. She is left handed, and loves to scrapbook and go to waterparks. Nikki would eat pizza every day if she could!

Norah Garrity, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Norah had a pet salamander as a kid, loves playing the piano, and is an ever optimistic Cubs fan.

Norah received her Bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Norah comes to Communication Innovations after working for two years in an elementary and middle school. She has experience working with individuals with disabilities in a wide variety of settings including Easter Seals Camp, in-home care, and a center for young adults with intellectual disabilities in Ecuador. Norah is especially interested in augmentative and alternative communication, bilingual speech-language pathology, and social language development. Norah is excited to work closely with families to help meet communication goals. Outside of work Norah enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and being outside. Norah is so excited to be a part of the amazing team at CI!

Patricia Smith, OTR/L IBCLC, Occupational Therapist

Patty loves to play Banana Grams, she has been to 12 countries and 40 states, and she could not live without her homemade pizza!

Patty is a Chicago native and received her BS in Public Health from Northern Illinois University and her OTR from University of Illinois. She has worked in a variety of settings from schools, NICU, Birth to three, hospitals, the Madison Birth Center and in Integrative medicine.

She is an internationally board certified lactation consultant as well as an infant massage instructor. She has a special interest in feeding issues and has specific training in Cranial Sacral therapy, visceral manipulation and lymphatic techniques, Neurodevelopmental treatment, Sensory Integration, Advanced kinesiotaping, the ALERT program, and the Engine Program. She loves working with children of a variety of ages and enjoys thinking outside the box for treatment solutions and finding practical ways to help families and kids feel successful.

When she is not working at her private practice or CI , she enjoys doing anything outside no matter what the temperature, biking, skiing, playing music, cooking and yoga and travel, travel, travel! She spends a lot of time with her husband, two kids and sweet puppy.

Rachelle Eugster, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Rachelle considers herself a “foodie” and a lover of anything with coffee! Her perfect Saturday morning starts with a trip to the Madison Farmer’s Market.

Rachelle received her B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Marquette University and received her M.A. in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University. She has experience in both the medical and private practice setting, including Pediatria Healthcare and Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Clinic. Rachelle has always loved being involved in the community and has worked closely with Autism Speaks to promote autism awareness and the advancement of autism research. She has a great deal of experience working with individuals with autism, language disorders, pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, and neurological disorders. She is trained and certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding with advanced training in feeding therapy with the autism population, as well as the SOS Food Science model. Rachelle is passionate about using a family-centered therapy approach to provide support, education, and carry-over to the home environment so that children of all abilities can reach their fullest potential! In her free time, Rachelle loves to cook, try new restaurants in the area, watch movies, and spend time outdoors. Rachelle is honored to be a part of CI’s collaborative team!

Sadie Bassette, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Sadie has been to the home of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, she volunteered for a Scottish SLP at a boarding school for kids with special needs in Scotland and her secret talent is that she can make ANYTHING fit in a suitcase!

Sadie received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. Sadie has long had a passion for supporting academic and social development in the pediatric population. She has experience working with children and adults with a variety of communication disorders, and is especially interested in early childhood, school age language, phonological disorders and childhood apraxia of speech. Sadie enjoys working closely with parents and other professionals to help every child reach their greatest potential. Sadie enjoys the energy and creativity found at CI! Outside of work, Sadie enjoys being active outside, no matter what the season, reading, and traveling.  Sadie is originally from Rhinelander, Wisconsin and enjoys weekend trips back to Northern Wisconsin to spend time with her family!

Samantha Boll, PT, DPT, Middleton Clinic Manager, Physical Therapist

Sam was a New Years baby, has run 2 half marathons, and has a big sweet tooth!

Sam graduated from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) and a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  She gained pediatric experience in PT school helping run an after school program to increase physical activity in kids with disabilities, researching the effects of martial arts on children with autism spectrum disorder, and acting as a personal care assistant for a young boy with cerebral palsy.  After completing a pediatric clinical in Abilene, TX, she knew a career in pediatrics was the right choice for her! Seeing kiddos achieve their own goals to help make daily life easier and more fun became her passion. Sam has experience working in outpatient pediatrics and school based physical therapy. In her free time, Sam loves doing anything outside- including volleyball and softball, as well as hiking and running.  She also enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Sam is so excited to be part of the Communication Innovations team and work in such a fun environment!

Sarah Clement, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Sarah is 5'10" tall and is the shortest person in her immediate family, she loves to ski and snowboard in the winter and she grew up in Chocolate City, USA (Burlington, WI - which has a Nestle's factory and a big festival celebrating chocolate every year).

Sarah received her B.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison and her M.A. in Communicative Disorders from Utah State University.  She has experience working with children in the public schools, outpatient therapy clinics, and in early intervention.  At both the Waisman Center and at Utah State University, she has worked as a research assistant on studies focusing on language in school-age children with autism, and she has also gained experience providing in-home therapy to children with autism.  Sarah loves working with children of all ages, and is passionate about finding fun, functional ways to target communication skills in therapy.  When she’s not working, she enjoys downhill skiing, camping, hiking, and spending time with her family and her dog, Ruby.

Sarah Spencer, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Sarah has traveled to Africa twice to support a community development project in Rwanda, Africa. She also participates in agility competitions with her dog, Hank.

Sarah completed a B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Iowa, and completed her graduate degree in speech pathology at Western Michigan University. After several years working in the Chicago area, Sarah moved to Wisconsin to be near family. She has worked in a wide variety of settings including acute care hospital, rehabilitation, nursing homes, and community based/work programs. She had a desire to work with children and has worked for many years in the school setting gaining experience with children with ASD, Down Syndrome, language disorders, and a wide variety of communication impairments. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys hiking, reading, gardening, and agility training with her dog.


Sarah Williams, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Sarah was captain of the Augustana College volleyball team. Her favorite vacation was to Rome 2 years ago, and she can't live without Dr. Pepper!

Sarah received her Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Augustana College, and she received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Louisiana State University. During graduate school, Sarah worked as a graduate assistant in a lab which focuses on children’s vocabulary and grammar development. She has a great deal of experience working with children with articulation and language disorders, pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, and neurological disorders. Sarah enjoys being involved in the community and has interned and volunteered with Gigi's Playhouse, an organization which promotes Down syndrome awareness. Since joining the CI Team, Sarah attended the Mealtime Miseries conference, to become certified on the Transdisciplinary Effective Assessment and Treatment (TR-eatTM) model, which integrates oral motor therapy techniques and behavioral management for the treatment of complex feeding problems. Sarah also attended the "Feeding Therapy: It's Not Just About Swallowing" conference, which provides instruction in various aspects of pediatric feeding such as proper positioning, sensory exploration, and oral motor assessment and intervention. In her free time, Sarah loves spending time with family and friends, reading, and watching LSU sporting events. Sarah is so excited to be part of the Communication Innovations team!

Shannon Lisowe, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Shannon can walk on her hands and loves to travel! She's been to 9 countries including two trips to Kenya to work on engineering and education projects!

Shannon earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and her Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from Radford University in Virginia. Before moving to Virginia, she worked for Communication Development Center, Integrated Development Services, and United Cerebral Palsy in Madison. She has experience working with children with a variety of communication needs, and is particularly passionate about beginner communicators and those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Shannon enjoys working closely with families and loves to help empower children with communication, in whatever form it may take! Outside of work, Shannon enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, watching too much TV, and playing with her two goldendoodles. Shannon is so incredibly excited to be part of the CI team!

Sydnie Parish, COTA - L, Occupational Therapy

Sydnie loves cooking and backing, has always wanted to travel to Alaska and she can lick her elbow!


Sydnie is a graduate from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison College. Previous to her education Sydnie was a head councilor at Camp Fire, where she provided support for children needing additional care. She also currently works at her church located in Sauk City as the Children’s Ministry Director, where she incorporates OT minded activities to provide a full experience for children of all ages.  Her special training includes a certificate in Bal-A-Vis-X, which targets full body coordination, visual tracking, fine motor control, rhythm, attention and behavior. Sydnie is very passionate about working with children and is over joyed to be providing care to the children that attend CI. When not working she enjoys hiking, playing with her dog and spending time with her nieces and nephews!

Tabitha Gehrmann, PT, Physical Therapist

The weirdest place Tabitha has ever traveled to is Fairbanks, Alaska during the month of July (daylight 24/7), she cannot live without her dansko clogs and she cannot help but pick up every frog or toad that she sees.

Tabitha has been practicing physical therapy for the past nineteen years.  After graduating from UW-Madison in 1996, she began her career at United Hospital in St. Paul working with adults in the outpatient clinic, inpatient orthopedics, acute care and sub-acute rehabilitation. She was a prenatal instructor, teaching exercise, positioning and body mechanics to pregnant women in the community.  From there, she moved to the Boston area and gained experience working with the elderly in skilled nursing facilities, specialized in pulmonology and neurology at Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital, and specialized in spinal cord injuries with teens and adults at New England Rehabilitation Hospital.  In 2001, she moved back home to the Madison area and began working with infants and toddlers through Dane County’s Birth to 3 program.  In Birth to 3, she met inspiring children and their families and developed a passion for helping children who face physical challenges. Tabitha has been delighted to work with children of all ages since 2012 at CI, as well as recently through the Madison Metropolitan School District.  She has experience working with kids with Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delays, Hypotonia, Spina Bifida, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Congenital Heart Defects, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Epilepsy, Autism, Down Syndrome and other genetic conditions.  Tabitha is renewed by spending time in nature (walking, hiking and mountain biking).  She also enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband, son and daughter.

Tara Adams, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Tara sang in a Women's Barbershop group and won a silver medal!  She has a 17 year old daughter named Maya and she loves breakfast foods!

Tara received her B.S. in Psychology from Carroll University.  She then did her graduate work in Speech Language Pathology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  She missed her Wisconsin roots, and soon moved back home to Stoughton, Wisconsin, where she worked in a variety of settings providing therapy to inpatient, outpatient, home health, and nursing home clients.  Wishing to work more with children, she spent a summer as a therapist for the Wisconsin Early Autism Project, and soon after began as a school based SLP.  Tara has had many years of experience in the schools with students of all ages, from Early Childhood through the post-high school vocational programs.  She is particularly passionate about students with ASD as she has family members with this diagnosis.  In her free time, Tara enjoys bike riding, camping, reading, dancing and playing golf. She lives in Madison with her husband, daughter, and two dogs- Duke and Daisy. She is very excited for the opportunity to work with students and their families as a part of the CI team!

Taylor DeValk, PT, DPT, Director of Development

Taylor is a high school and college basketball referee, loves country music, and could eat pizza every night, including Hawaiian pizza!

Taylor received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been trained in the Intensive Model of Therapy and TheraSuit Method. Taylor specializes in working with children with neuromuscular disorders, pediatric orthopedic rehabilitation and working with siblings to enhance the overall therapy experience for each child and their family. Taylor's prior work experiences include: working with the Birth to Three Model, school-based physical therapy and outpatient rehabilitation. Taylor is passionate about pediatric therapy because of his two sisters with neuromuscular disabilities who are his inspiration. In his free time, Taylor enjoys to play golf, referee basketball and football, and read.

Tom Miller-Bishoff, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Tom wanted to be a music teacher when he was a kid, loves board games, and has a schnoodle named Tonks.

Tom received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Africana Studies from Luther College and his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  During his time at UW-Madison he completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program at the Waisman Center and published research with Dr. Beth Larson on family routines and caregiver well-being in families with children with disabilities.  These experiences deepened his passion for supporting families in functioning and flourishing within their real-life contexts.  Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, Tom worked with children diagnosed with autism as a senior therapist for a play-based behavioral therapy program.  He also has training in Motivational Interviewing and the Early Start Denver Model.  Tom enjoys playing instruments with fun names like charango and djembe both on and off the job.  Tom is overjoyed to collaborate with the families and staff at CI!

Tori Aho, Front Office Assistant

Tori hates breakfast food, her favorite food is mashed potatoes, and her favorite place to vacation in is the Dominican Republic.

Tori is currently an undergraduate student at UW-Madison. She is studying Pre-Occupational Therapy and will obtain a degree in Rehabilitation Psychology in the Spring of 2017. Tori is very passionate about working with children, and is excited for all of the opportunities and experiences CI provides. During her free time she loves staying active and being outside. Tori's favorite things to do are swim, hike and camp. While staying busy she enjoys spending time with her family and dog from back home in Milwaukee, WI.

Victoria Ito, BS, Administrative Assistant

Victoria played for the UW-Madison Women’s Volleyball team and loves watching the TV show Parks and Recreation. She adores pugs and is always listening for a good pun.


Victoria graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in three years with a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Psychology. In her undergraduate career, Victoria interned with the UW-Madison Adapted Fitness program for four semesters where she learned how to incorporate adaptive equipment into fun activities and free play in land and water settings. Victoria also worked as an undergraduate research assistant at the Waisman Center to study how having a child with autism affects a marital relationship. Before becoming a member of the Communication Innovations staff, Victoria volunteered at CI with SOS Group, Violet Group, Regulation Group, and Messy Group. She loves the flexible and creative atmosphere of CI! Throughout volunteer work and professional experience, Victoria has worked with children with a diverse array of special needs including autism spectrum disorder, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and Angelman Syndrome. Victoria hopes to further her education by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. She is interested in learning more about the relationship between sensory integration and behavioral disorders and is passionate about creating a positive outlook and improving advocacy for children with diverse abilities.

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