|Support and Resource Team|
Therapy in Action|
Therapy in Action is a nationally recognized premier pediatric occupational and physical therapy facility that has been providing services since it was
established in 1978. They are dedicated to providing the highest quality, evidence-based therapy and enrichment services for children or adolescents
and their families within an open environment of collaboration, communication, and mutual respect.
Therapy in Action therapists are experts in pediatrics with specialty certifications in sensory integration and feeding and provide services to children with difficulties
and diagnoses such as Neuro-Muscular and Orthopedic Dysfunction, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Integrative Dysfunction, Sensory Processing Disorder,
Self Regulatory Disorder, and other learning and developmental challenges.
Lara Haddad, MS, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist
Lara earned her Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University Medical Center in 1993. She has more than 17 years of
experience as a speech-language pathologist working in early intervention, and with school-aged children, adolescents, and adults in
a variety of settings. Before starting her private practice, Lara worked as a speech-language pathologist and lead therapist at Cedars-Sinai Medical
Center and as a school-based speech-language pathologist and therapy supervisor at the HELP Group, providing assessment and therapy to children with
learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and developmental delays. In addition, Lara has worked with the K.I.D.S. program providing
comprehensive speech and language assessment and intervention services.
Lara has a passion for helping unintelligible and non-verbal children become verbally competent. She utilizes her talents and research-based best
practices to provide the highest level of care possible to all her patients while working collaboratively with other professionals and families. Lara
has experience working with a wide range of clients including, but not limited to, children with: articulation delays, phonological disorders,
childhood apraxia of speech, expressive and receptive language delays, and pragmatic/social skill delays. Lara is a certified member of the
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice speech and language therapy with the State of California. She
performs speech and language screenings in private schools and provides home based evaluations and therapy to children of all ages.
Dani Sigal Leon, OTR/L CPCC|
Dani is a Licensed Occupational Therapist and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Her passion is helping children and families thrive. Dani
completed her degree in Occupational Therapy at USC, graduating Magna Cum Laude and as part of the Occupational Therapy Honors Association in 2001.
Since then, Dani has practiced as a pediatric occupational therapist in clinic, school, and home settings, continually building upon her education.
Dani opened her private practice after having her daughter in 2007. She also offers educational and supportive “Inspired Motherhood” mommy and me
classes for new parents. She has found her passion in combining her expertise in child development with empowering children and families to
create lives rich in fulfillment and personal meaning. Dani has extensive experience in the following areas: sensory processing, autism spectrum
disorders, developmental delays, sensory-motor skill development, fine motor development, and handwriting skills. She lives in Sherman Oaks with her
husband, 3-year old daughter, and baby boy Jaime!
Dani can be reached at: OTbyDani@gmail.com, website:
Nicole Downey, Psy.D.
Dr. Downey has been working with children and families since 1993 in typical as well as therapeutic settings. She began as a pre school teacher out
of college and then began to pursue internships, as well as jobs working with children, once in graduate school.
While earning her Master's and Doctorate Degrees in Psychology, she worked as an intern, fellow, and volunteer in the Cheerful Helpers Pre School and the
Beig Programs at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The primary population of these programs included children and their families who had been diagnosed
with spectrum disorders. From there she worked as a shadow guide for children with developmental delays in their school and home settings.
Dr. Downey achieved both her MA and Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the California Graduate Institute in Westwood, CA in May of 2000, with an
emphasis and special certificate for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.
She was able to further her education and career while working in a day treatment program for almost 5 years. The main population there was children
at risk and those with developmental delays, ranging in ages from 3-17, that were struggling with numerous issues, including, but not limited to
spectrum disorders, ADHD, and learning disabilities all combined with challenging family situations.
Dr. Downey currently is in a private practice right near We Rock The Spectrum Kid's Gym here in Tarzana.
Linda is a board certified licensed clinical social worker and marriage family therapist. She is a graduate of U.S.C. and has practiced in the
San Fernando Valley for 20+ years providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families. Linda works to help clients identify and understand
the many intense emotions, such as depression and anxiety, that arise in response to issues, such as divorce, addiction, infertility, the effects and
impact on the family of children with special needs, illness, etc.
She is dedicated to teaching and maintaining honest and open communication with her clients in a warm, safe, and supportive environment. She works
towards helping clients in identifying, understanding, making constructive decisions, learning open communication techniques, etc. She utilizes
such techniques as EMDR, hypnotherapy, guided imagery, voice dialogue, and the 12 step program philosophy.
Linda has worked in various agencies that have provided services to individuals, families, children and groups. She currently sees adults in
individual, couple and relationship therapy.
Kema Norris (Coach Kee)
Kema is a certified children’s fitness specialist who says, "Motivating your children to work out is a technique. If your child prefers sedentary activities
they are not going to be enthusiastic about a workout program that they think they can’t do. An organized sport is not always the answer."
Coach Kee of Effective Youth, specializes in building self-esteem, self-confidence and self- awareness in children. She has now brought her youth fitness
classes, bootcamp classes and toddler classes to "We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym"! To find out more about Coach Kee or to contact her directly, visit her website
Nellie R. Akalp
Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business advocate and mother of four. As CEO of CorpNet.com, a legal document filing service, Nellie helps
entrepreneurs start a business, Incorporate, Form an LLC, or set up Sole Proprietorships (DBAs) for a new or existing business. She has formed more than 100,000
corporations and LLCs across the U.S., building a strong passion to assist small business owners in starting, running, and protecting their small
businesses the right way.
To learn more about Nellie, view free guides on starting and running a business, and see how she can help your business get off the ground
quickly and affordably, please visit the www.CorpNet.com site.
Daniella is a longtime child educator in the west San Fernando Valley. She taught kindergarten and elementary school classes in Tarzana and Woodland Hills
for over ten years in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her teaching experience also includes private tutoring, as well as swimming instruction for young
children and toddlers.
Mrs. Stark received a B.A. in Liberal Studies and her teaching credential from California State University, Northridge. She lives in Woodland Hills
with her husband Derek and their three children, Abigail, Oskar, and Elizabeth.
Bari grew up in Woodland Hills, California. She graduated from El Camino Real High School and then attended The University of Irvine graduating in 1992.
Since Bari has always been interested in exercise and nutrition, she became a personal trainer while attending CSUN for dietetics. Bari met her
husband Pat in 1992 and is a stay-at-home mom to her three beautiful children.
She became interested in making slideshows after her first son Ben was born. The slideshows started like scrapbooking for her children and it took off
from there. She realized this is a one of a kind heirloom to pass along to her children. With the urging of family and friends Bari has made it
possible to share her work with others. You can visit Bari's website at
** Slide shows by Bari is a great way to make all the memories you take with your camera come to life. For just $2 a photo she can create a lifetime gift that you
and your family will treasure forever. See a sample of Bari's amazing work: www.youtube.com/watch?v=skJpy5XEjI8 **
Cindy was born and raised in AZ, CA, VA, AZ, UT, and FL. She finally settled in CA where she started her family. She is inspired by many influences scenically, but also loves meeting and photographing children and families. “I love photography and visual remembrances of days gone by.”
Cindy’s young daughter is her finest inspiration. She considers observing her and her friends throughout their young lives both a privilege and a blessing. “I capture those moments for myself, and now share my ability with family, friends, colleagues, and clients!”
It's truly an honor for Cindy to be part of your special celebrations and help you remember those special moments with your children. “The memories created that day are captured and preserved for years to come. Now that brings a smile to my face!” Cindy's website: www.CreativeFocusWithCindy.com
Tess is an award winning producer in the edu-tainment industry and has been a specialist in children’s development and entertainment for 20+ years. She has
a Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree from Stephens College (Columbia, MO), with a minor in child psychology studies. Tess is dedicated to the well being of
children from all walks of life, as she is also the founder of the World Trust Foundation - whose mission is to mentor the future leaders to
create a sustainable world.
Tess is also a children’s book author (non de plume Tessa May) with her highly acclaimed book called Bella Wishes. Tess’s extensive dance background
for 30+ years gives her the experience to do several interactive workshops that include: story time, cooking in the kitchen, arts & crafts, dance,
yoga, stretching and meditation.
Andrew has enjoyed working in the entertainment industry as an actor and professional DJ for over 25 years. After numerous off-Broadway appearances and guest spots on daytime soap operas as a well as a variety of commercial and film work, Andrew took a leap of faith and started his own DJ and entertainment company in 2002. Today, with a growing company of over 15 talented performers and wide array of entertainment services, he has had the pleasure of helping 1000’s of Southern California families create a lifetime of memories at their special events.
Andrew currently resides in the West Valley with his wife Susie and daughter Emma. He continues to have a love of the arts and enjoys sports and outdoor activities with the family!