LEAP for Kids Staff

At LEAP for Kids OT & SLP we employ New York State Certified/Licensed teachers and clinicians. Our staff are professional, dynamic, timely and nurturing. We support our staff through mentorship and continuing education to meet state requirements as well as offering the most current treatment techniques for the children and families we serve. We are proud to be able to offer DIR® trained and certified staff.
 
Kim Mauro, M.S. SLP CCC, Owner/Executive Director of RS and EI Services has a master's degree in Speech and Language Pathology from SUNY Fredonia and is NY State Certified. She has worked with children in early intervention and preschool for over 17 years in a variety of settings including preschool classrooms and home based services.  She has over 10 years of administrative experience including supervision of EI and Preschool staff as well as Speech Language Pathologists at the Syracuse University Clinic.  Kim is currently completing her certification in DIR(R) therapy for children and specializes in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Kim founded LEAP for Kids in 2008 in order to create DIR(R) teams that are skilled in working with children with ASD. Kim also has extensive experience working with children with oral motor/feeding delays, verbal apraxia (PROMPT certified), global developmental delays and language delays.  Kim enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children.

Christy Coles, M
.A. Ed., Executive Director of SpEd Itinerant Services /Director of Autism Services, joined the LEAP for Kids staff after 10 years of DIR experience. Since coming to LEAP, she has become certified in DIR, being one of only three individuals in Monroe County with that distinction and the only certified Early Intervention Provider. Christy has extensive experience in leading teams of therapists to deliver high quality programming for children on the spectrum. Together with Kim Mauro, she helped develop the DIR program delivered to Early Intervention and Preschool families within Monroe and Ontario Counties. She currently spends her time managing and mentoring the staff at LEAP for Kids making them the most highly trained teams in the county. An important aspect of her life is her family. She enjoys spending her
free time with her husband and her three children.






Special Education Teachers
Melissa Bonfield, M.S. Ed., SpEd Department Manager/Core Evaluation Coordinator is a New York State Certified Special Education teacher with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Nazareth College and a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education from the State University of Buffalo.  She has been a teacher since 1994.  Melissa has nine years of experience teaching young school aged children with varying levels of abilities in a classroom setting where she worked closely with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to best serve her students.  Since 2004, Melissa has conducted evaluation and provided direct service for children in Early Intervention and Preschool across a variety of setting including daycare, preschool, and home-based services.  Melissa is DIR trained and receives mentorship in this approach.  She is the EI Evaluation Coordinator for LEAP as well as an evaluator and consultant teacher.  Melissa is skilled at utilizing a variety of strategies, works closely with service coordinators and team members to provide the best service to each child.

Cheryl Fleitman











Devorah Hertzel










Rachel Smith, M.S. Ed., is a New York certified teacher with certifications in Special Education, Elementary Education (PreK-6) and Literacy Education.  She received her Master's Degree from Nazareth College and her Bachelor's Degree from State University of New York at Geneseo.  She has been a teacher since 1994.  Rachel has over 15 years of experience working with children at the preschool and early intervention age.  She has worked across a variety of settings including homes, daycare and preschool.  She has also been an evaluator using a variety of diagnostic tools to help determine strengths and needs for children.  Rachel has worked with students with various abilities and disabilities, run several parent/child programs and had her own preschool classroom.  She has also worked with school-aged children in the school district as a teacm member for struggling learners within multiple classrooms.  Rachel has always worked closely with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to create programming that best meets the need of the individual child.  Rachel and her husband have 3 children who are growing quickly and they enjoy every minute they can spend with them.


Speech Language Pathologists




Vicky Britton, M.S. CCC-SLP














Kristen French, MS-SLP, is
a New York State licensed Speech Language Pathologist. She attended SUNY Geneseo for undergraduate and Nazareth College for graduate school. Kristen entered the field of speech pathology in 2002 with the Rochester City School District in which she did direct speech-language therapy for ten years. She is now entering her sixth year as full-time SLP in specialized integrated classroom. In addition to these experiences, she has worked for summer programs in the Livonia and Honeye Central Schools and was an evaluator and did some home based therapy for the Communication Center for Hearing and Speech. Kristen has experience working with children of various needs including language based delays and disorders, mild to profound speech intelligibility, cued speech, fluency, autism, and social-emotional and behavioral needs. Kristen is most passionate about the families in the City of Rochester and providing them support to help them flourish. In her free time, Kristen volunteers throughout the community, participates in running races, travels, and spends time with her husband and furbabies a.k.a. pets.

Lisa Harrison










Heidi McCarthy, M.S. CCC-SLP, is
a graduate of SUNY Fredonia where she completed her Bachelor's degree in 2010 and Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in May 2012.  Heidi is excited to begin her career at LEAP for Kids.  She is currently completing her CFY and has her initial certification in New York State as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities.  Heidi has experience with early intervention, preschool, and school aged children.  She is DIR trained and continues to receive mentorship in this approach.  Heidi is passionate about helping and working with children and their families. Heidi is interested in expanding her knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  In her spare time, Heidi enjoys baking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.


















Sarah Segal













Nicole Seward















Dianne Whitmore














Occupational Therapists



Jennifer Campa
nella, OTR/L, OT Department Manager, is a New York State licensed and certified Occupational Therapist.  She has worked in early intervention and preschool for over 15 years and it our Senior OT at LEAP for Kids.  Jen is a fun and dynamic OT who is talented in the areas of sensory integration and craniosacral therapy.  She is skilled in her ability to turn just about any play opportunity into a therapeutic moment full of opportunities for growth for the kids as well as offering suggestions and education for our families!  She is a true advocate for the kids and families she works with and is a steady resource of ideas for our staff and families.  She has a hidden talent for sewing weighted blankets and vests!  Jen is happily married and a proud mama of two litt
le ones.


Devin Bosch, OTR/L













Patricia Campo, M.S.
O
TR/L














Hannah Doo










Claire Houghton








Jodi Kania, OTR/L is a
Keuka College graduate who earned her B.S. in Occupational Therapy in 1995.  Jodi has over 13 years of experience working with the pediatric population.  Following graduation, Jodi began working for CP of Rochester where she spent 10 wonderful years.  She provided both home-based and center-based therapy to Early Intervention and Preschool aged children.  Jodi gained experience in the areas of sensory integration, feeding and oral motor skills, pool therapy, infant massage, and well as basic sign language.  After her 2002 marriage to her husband, Jodi moved to Canandaigua.  She then began to work for Korpiel Physical Therapy for 3 years providing only home-based therapy to children with various disabilities.  Prior to joining the LEAP for Kids team, Jodi spent 5 years at home raising her newly adopted twins, Teddy and Safia.  Jodi is excited to be returning to work and has greatly missed working with children and their families.  She plan to broaden her knowledge and become certified in infant massage in the sp
ring and complete her training in REIKI.


Stephanie Pontes, OTR/L, earned her M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Keuka College in 2013.  After graduation, she started off working as an aid at a private pediatric clinic in New Jersey where she had previously completed a three month internship during her master's year.  The clinic mainly provided services for children with sensory integration needs.  It was during this time that Stephanie discovered her passion for working in the pediatric setting.  Stephanie grew up in New Jersey and recently moved to New York where she began her career in a skilled nursing facility.  She is eager to expand her knowledge in the pediatric setting and is excited to be working with the LEAP for Kids team.  In her free time, Stephanie loves the outdoors, running, working out and spending time with family and friends.





Alyssa Sajdak, OTR/L










Physical Therapists


Autumn Bell,
PT, MPT, CWS, CLT, PT Department Manager is a NY state licensed PT.  Autumn is a former special education teacher, who is now a physical therapist with a varied background in neurology, orthopedics, wound care and lymphedema.  She has experience both as a clinician and as an administrator and clinical director.  In addition to supervising the PT department at LEAP, Autumn teaches at Winston-Salem State University in their physical therapy doctorate department, lectures at national conferences and works as an educational consultant.














Pam DeMarsico, PT is a New York State licensed Physical Therapist who graduated from University at Buffalo in 1994 now with over 20 years of experience working with pediatrics.  She started her career at Park Ridge Hospital (now Unity Hospital) with experience in acute care, acute rehabilitation (stroke care), nursing home setting and outpatient clinic and continues to work for them on a per diem basis on weekends and during the summer months.  In 1996, Pam began working for BOCES II, working with children ranging from Birth-21 years of age in multiple west side school districts.  Pam began working for Gates Chili Central School District in 2003, treating school aged children and continues to do so on a full time basis.  She has been working, on a per diem basis, for LEAP for Kids since 2016 and enjoys this population tremendously.  Pam has strong experience working with children with autism, idiopathic toe walking, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, developmental delays and retained primitive reflexes.  She prides herself in creating “playful” therapy sessions that meet the child’s needs and believes it is important to build strong relationships with the children and their families.  On a personal note, she is happily married with one son who just graduated high school and will be enlisting in the Army. 

















Administrative Staff

Jennifer DeVos, Administrative Assistant, earned her Associate Degree in Accounting from Bryant & Stratton in 1997.  For several years, her passion was working for her Hometown Credit Union.  She loved working with the community and making great friends.  After having her first child, a daughter, in 2000, her passion became being a stay at home mom.  In 2004, her family was completed with a son.  Both children keep Jen and her husband very busy, which makes life crazy and rewarding all at the same time.  Jen joined the LEAP team in 2012.  Her position at LEAP is a perfect fit.  She enjoys all the duties and responsibilities that go along with being an Administrative Assistant.  Most importantly, Jen enjoys the wonderful and friendly people she gets to work with and talk to on a daily basis.  Jen enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, family and friends.


Debbi Goldfischer









Alexandra Liberty – SLP Intern & Administrative Assistant
,
Alexandra graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2016. She will start graduate school at La Salle University in the fall of 2017 to pursue her Master’s in Speech Language Pathology. She started with LEAP in 2015 to experience all that a private practice has to offer and explore more of what Speech Language Pathologists in an EI setting do on a day-to-day basis. She hopes to work as a pediatric feeding therapist once she gets her degree.