AMANDA LEDERER – OWNER & SPEECH PATHOLOGIST
Amanda is the founder and owner of Soundbox Speech Therapy. She specializes in both children and adults, and in a variety of environments including schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home health, and private practice. Amanda’s expertise focuses on language disorders (expressive and receptive), reading and literacy, social language and feeding disorders.

Through combining both — her love for acting as a client teammate, along with her commitment to practical, personalized treatment — Amanda is able to ally with the children, adults, and families in her work while also creating tailored materials to target goals for each client. Amanda understands the process for children, adults and their families can be difficult and the impact it has on all contexts of life. In addition to her certificate of clinical competency with the American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA), Amanda holds a professional educator license (PEL). 

Amanda makes her home with her husband and daughter in the Logan Square area of Chicago.  They enjoy time in the park as a family with their two rescue dogs.

Interesting fact about Amanda:   Amanda has traveled to 18 countries throughout Europe while studying abroad in Italy.  She enjoys exploring culture and photographing it.  Amanda is also an admitted foodie.

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders –  University of Wisconsin –  Madison

Master Of Science in Speech-Language Pathology –  Northwestern University

SARAH KLUSAK – SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST
Sarah brings a passion for helping her clients speak directly and profoundly.  Sarah attributes building positive relationships with all her clients to the success they are able to achieve in speech therapy. 

The tool Sarah uses the most with adult clients is a straw.

Surprisingly, a straw can be extremely helpful when working on breathing and voice techniques.  Kids love Sarah’s Go Fish game and “Peanut Butter and Jellyfish” book to work on articulation and language skills.

Sarah grew up in Morris, IL and now makes her home in Evanston with her two cats named Simon and Max. They enjoy cuddles, playing with ribbons and meowing loudly when they want treats. Sarah also enjoys singing at weddings on the weekends and playing her ukulele! 

Interesting fact about Sarah:  Hermione Granger is a favorite fictional character of Sarah’s because she is super smart, talented and loyal to her friends.

Education:

Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with a specialty in opera –  Illinois Wesleyan University

Post-baccalaureate Pre-Speech Pathology Program –  Northwestern University

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorder –  New York University

COURTNEY GANSHO – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Courtney’s favorite treatment tool in working with children of all ages, ranging from birth to twenty-two years of age, is Thera Putty. It is a tool that can address many different needs such as hand strengthening, fine motor coordination and sensory needs. She loves working in the occupational therapy field because it is fun and flexible. Courtney loves seeing her clients engage and enthused with her creativity.

Courtney is from Chicagoland and makes her home with her new husband in Ukrainian Village. She has a supportive family with whom she is very close with. They have a twelve-year old Chihuahua named, Harlow, and their newly adopted one-year old cattle dog named Ruby Roo.

Interesting fact about Courtney: Courtney loves Venice because of its architecture and history. She also says it is close to her heart because she got engaged in Venice in a gondola.

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology –  University of Illinois at Champaign

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy –  Concordia University –  Wisconsin

ELISE HARRIGAN – LEAD SPEECH THERAPIST & CLINICAL COORDINATOR

Elise loves being able to connect with a multitude of diverse children and families. Being able to touch the lives of those with and without their own voice is very special to her. Elise has experience working with both children and adults, though her expertise focuses on pediatrics – primarily with early intervention, developmental delays, speech sound disorders and feeding disorders. She brings creativity and fun into her therapy sessions and believes a mix of play-based and structured tasks can enhance progress in all areas. Elise takes pride in her communication skills and her ability to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to facilitate growth for the company as well as the clients and families they provide for.

Elise grew up in the south suburbs from Chicago and comes from an exceptionally large close-knit family. She is the youngest of four and now has 8 nieces and nephews whom she adores. Elise currently lives in Chicago with her husband, Ryan. They love trying new restaurants and exploring the city!

Interesting fact about Elise: Outside of work, Elise loves to sing. She grew up performing and still does today – you may see her singing at weddings in the Chicago land area. She likes to incorporate music into her sessions whenever applicable!

Interesting fact about Elise: Elise enjoys visiting Marco Island, Florida. She grew up traveling there. The beautiful weather, beaches, and sunsets all give her a sense of peace and calmness.

Education:

Bachelor of Science: Speech Language Pathology – Western Michigan University
Master of Science: Speech Language Pathology from Midwestern University

DR. RISA UMENO – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Risa’s favorite aspect of being an occupational therapist is such a niche area that has many overlaps with other healthcare professionals; this makes collaboration with a multidisciplinary team that much more meaningful.
She enjoys problem-solving and thinking of creative ways to motivate clients to help them gain the skills and confidence to participate in meaningful and fulfilling activities.
She loves being able to continually learn about evidence-based practices and effective interventions
that she can implement with clients. In turn, she can educate clients and related personnel on how to increase autonomy and independence!

Risa lives in Chicago, IL. She specializes in pediatrics and has experience with clients with Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and Developmental Delay.

Interesting Fact: Her favorite song/band is “September ” and “First Day of My Life”.

Education:
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Huntington University

ASHER CRAWLEY – SPEECH THERAPIST

Asher was born in St. Kitts, a Caribbean Island, and grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She now lives on the northside.

Asher specializes in developmental language disorders, pragmatic/social communication, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and speech sound disorders.

As a therapist, Asher enjoys watching clients develop confidence and independence in their communication skills. While it is fantastic to watch clients progress during sessions; it brings Asher special joy to see them carry their progress into their everyday lives.

Interesting fact about Asher: Asher’s family is incredibly loving, fun, and loud. Her mom is from the Caribbean and her dad is from New York City. Asher has a sibling who is an acting student and the family loves spending time going to performances together. She feels very lucky growing up around a lot of diversity. Asher is always eager to learn about others in her support of client’s needs.

Education:
Bachelor of Science: Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences – University of Minnesota
Master of Science: Communication Sciences and Disorders – St. Cloud University

Miles Callahan – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Meet Miles Callahan, an Occupational Therapist based in Jefferson Park, Chicago. With a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and specialized training in floortime, regulation, and sensory processing, Miles is dedicated to helping children reach their full potential. He brings enthusiasm and creativity to therapy sessions, using engaging games and activities to facilitate growth. Miles’s favorite tool? A simple small ball, perfect for honing motor skills and fostering interaction. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his 3-year-old daughter, savoring a cup of coffee, and dreaming of adventures on his boat, aptly named The Odyssey. With a love for Scotland’s beauty and a penchant for “The Count of Monte Cristo,” Miles is ready to embark on every child’s journey towards success.

Education:
Master of Occupational Therapy

Paige Cianciolo– SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPIST


Paige’s favorite treatment tools are the books “Pete the Cat” and “There Was an Old Lady”! Pop the Pig, play dough, and music! She also enjoys connecting with children and their families in a variety of settings. And she enjoys making therapy creative and enjoyable! She enjoys working on her feet and collaborating with other healthcare professionals to meet the needs of her clients and families. Paige is constantly learning new things, whether it’s a new treatment method, disorder, or therapy activity! She enjoys using her educational knowledge to assist children in finding their voice. She will always be pleased by the light and happiness it brings them.

Paige is originally from Guilford, Connecticut, but now lives in Chicago. She is the oldest child! She has a sister who works as a nurse in Boston and a brother who plays baseball at a college in Vermont. She is very close to her siblings, as well as her mother and father!

Interesting fact about Paige: Rome, Italy, is the most beautiful place she has ever visited! The people, culture, architecture, and food were all memorable. She visited her family for Christmas in 2019 and made wonderful memories. Her Italian family’s favorite part was the food:)

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders – Springfield College in MA

Master of Health Science in Communication Disorders – Governors State University

ELISE KRAUSE – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Elise lives in Wicker Park/East Ukrainian Village with her boyfriend, Max, who is also an occupational therapist. Her hometown is Mechanicsburg, PA. They rescued a new foundland-lab mix, Finn, five years ago.

Elise loves having the ability to bring creativity and FUN into her treatment sessions. Having families involved in therapy is one of her favorite things because occupational therapy really is a team effort. Elise enjoys “messy play” like writing on table tops with fingers in shaving cream, using q-tips in water to write on chalkboards for increased sensory input, trying to help make something fun, like handwriting, that children don’t normally enjoy.

A fun fact about Elise is that she is a fan of Harry Potter movies. She can sit on the sofa while watching a Harry Potter movie and quote almost every line. She is a real Hufflepuff, which is the most inclusive of the four houses and are known to have a strong moral code and are usually accepting of everyone.

Education:
Bachelor of Science: Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology – University of Delaware
Doctor of Occupational Therapy: University of Pittsburgh

MAX CARLSON – Lead OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Seeing the joy in a child’s face when they can successfully complete a task that was difficult for them previously is a favorite aspect of being an occupational therapist for Max. It means so much to both child and parents in everyday activities like brushing teeth, tying shoes, or holding a pencil to write a complete sentence. Max enjoys collaborating with clients spanning all age ranges. He does have a special interest in the pediatric and young adult population.

Max and his wife Elise, who is also an occupational therapist, make their home in Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village. He is originally from Baltimore, Maryland.

An interesting fact about Max is that he comes from a family of therapists. His parents are both social workers with over 30 years of experience. Max loves camping. The most beautiful place he has camped is the Canadian Rockies with the drastic size of the mountains and bluer than blue lakes.

Education:
Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science: Anthropology and Sociology – University of Pittsburgh
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy- University of Pittsburgh

BIANCA JOSEPH – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Bianca was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and currently resides on the Southside of Chicago with her parents, siblings, and dog named Papi. Bianca is an avid reader who loves to travel and speaks three languages- English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish. Bianca enjoys being a therapist because her work allows her to help clients build confidence and positive self-esteem. She believes the sky’s the limit with or without a disability. After all, disability does not mean inability.

Bianca is the eldest of four children. She loves her family with all her heart and she would not be where she is today without their love and support.

Bianca believes laughter is the best medicine. Her favorite movie is A Walk to Remember because there is nothing as heartwarming as a good love story.

Education:
Bachelor of Arts: Psychology – University of Illinois at Chicago
Master of Science: Occupational Therapy – University of Illinois at Chicago

Tani Maitra – SPEECH THERAPIST

Tani relocated to Evanston in 2017 after growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents and older sister reside in the US, although the majority of her extended family is based in India. There, she experienced some of her greatest adventures, including becoming stranded in the Sundarban Tiger Reserve with her father, sister, and uncle and nearly turning into tiger meal.

During her time in quarantine, Tani adopted a cat she named Rani. Fun fact about Rani has picked up the art of the high-five and can actually hold back-and-forth talks.

Tani loves working with adolescents and helping them gain the communication skills they need to ease their transition into college or work. One of the greatest benefits to this job is watching how her clients gain confidence as communicators and in themselves as their speech and language skills improve.

Tani is a specialist in adolescent transition services, fluency, social communication, and supra-linguistic abilities.

Education:

Bachelor of Arts: Psychology and Cognitive Science – Case Western Reserve University

Master of Science: Speech, Language, and Learning – Northwestern University

LE ANN DUNNE – ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER

Le Ann supports the therapists in the administrative arena working in accounting and marketing. Her favorite aspect of her accounting work is connecting with the clients. She really enjoys creating marketing pieces and implementing them into social media.

When not working Le Ann enjoys swimming and gardening.  Spending time with her daughter, family and friends is usually where you will find         Le Ann when she is not in Latin America or Europe exploring.

Interesting fact about Le Ann: Le Ann was awarded the Patriotic Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Army, the fifth highest award given to civilians, for her volunteer work supporting the Army and Iowa National Guard.

QUIN LITTLEJOHN – OPERATIONS MANAGER

Meet Quin, an Operations Manager based virtually in the DFW area of Texas, originally from Edmond, OK. With a passion for helping clients succeed, Quin is dedicated to providing top-notch service in everything she does.

As an Operations Manager, Quin finds fulfillment in ensuring her clients receive the best possible support to reach their goals. Her commitment to excellence shines through in every aspect of her work.

Outside of the office, Quin’s world revolves around her family. She shares her life with her college sweetheart husband and their two sons, creating cherished memories together.

In her downtime, Quin enjoys a variety of entertainment, from classic movies like “Sabrina” with Harrison Ford and “Father of the Bride” to TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and anything related to criminal law, such as “Law and Order” and “Leverage.”

With an eclectic taste in music spanning from Jimmy Allen to Kenny G to DeBarge, Quin’s playlists are as diverse as her interests, reflecting her vibrant personality and love for all genres.

Nicole Kocanda – SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPIST

Hailing from the southern Chicago suburbs, Nicole specializes in alternative and augmentative communication for individuals on the autism spectrum. Her approach is client-centered, focusing on practical items that benefit her clients. Nicole seamlessly integrates play-based therapy and speech therapy into academic activities, finding joy in witnessing her students grow, acquire new skills, and build confidence.

Outside of work, Nicole is a family-oriented individual who frequently visits her loved ones, acknowledging their crucial role in her journey to becoming the speech-language pathologist she is today. Adding to her life is Bella, her beloved black lab, who holds a special place in Nicole’s heart and is the object of her utter obsession.

Education:

Bachelors in speech and hearing science – University of Illinois-Champaign

Master’s in communication science and disorders – University of WIsconsin-Milwaukee.

Mallory Lustbader – SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPIST

Meet Mallory, our dedicated speech-language pathologist! Originally from Northbrook, IL, Mallory holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from St. Ambrose University. Mallory’s approach to therapy is infused with creativity, making the journey to achieving speech and language goals both effective and enjoyable. She loves incorporating innovative tools, with favorites like Articulation Station and Tactus Therapy App. Beyond her passion for speech therapy, Mallory finds beauty in Park City, UT, where she enjoys skiing, hiking, and exploring with her family. Join Mallory on the path to enhancing communication skills through personalized and fun therapy sessions!

Education:

Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences – University of Colorado Boulder
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology – St. Ambrose University

Kirsten Amundson – Occupational THERAPIST

Meet Kirsten Amundson, an Occupational Therapist nestled in the charming Old Town neighborhood of Chicago, originally hailing from Arlington Heights, IL. Kirsten’s journey into therapy began with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science and a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, both from Saint Louis University.

As a licensed MOT, OTR/L Occupational Therapist, Kirsten specializes in pediatrics and pediatric pelvic health therapy. What she treasures most about her work is witnessing children discover their independence and confidence through various creative modalities.

One of Kirsten’s go-to tools in therapy sessions is Theraputty, a versatile activity that she adores for its effectiveness in hand strengthening, regulation, bilateral coordination, grasping, and more.

When she’s not working, Kirsten enjoys spending time with her family, including her parents and younger sister who reside in the suburbs. Her furry companion, Benny, a 3-year-old lab mix with dwarfism, holds a special place in her heart.

As a dog enthusiast who appreciates both coffee and tea, Kirsten finds joy in life’s simple pleasures. Her travels have taken her to breathtaking destinations like New Zealand, Norway, and Australia, each leaving an indelible mark on her heart.

In her downtime, you might find Kirsten watching her favorite movie, “The Lion King,” or listening to a wide range of music, with a recent love for Teddy Swims. With a boat named “A Wave From It All” and a desire to meet any of the “Friends” characters, Kirsten brings warmth, dedication, and a touch of whimsy to her practice as an occupational therapist.

Education:

Bachelors of Science in Occupational Science at Saint Louis University

Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at Saint Louis University

Rebekah Stanish – SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPIST

Meet Rebekah (“Becky”) Stanish, a dedicated Speech-Language Pathologist residing in the vibrant Wicker Park/Noble Square neighborhood of Chicago. Originally from South Bend, IN, Rebekah pursued her passion for language and communication, earning a BA in English Literature from Michigan State University in 2015.

Driven by a desire to make a difference, she continued her studies with a Post-Baccalaureate and MS in Communication Disorders from Grand Valley State University, graduating in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Rebekah holds a license in Speech-Language Pathology and specializes in a variety of areas, including pediatric articulation disorders, early language development, and stuttering across the lifespan.

What Rebekah enjoys most about her work is using creative approaches, like art projects, to make therapy engaging and effective. Her furry companion, Joanne, a cat named after one of Lady Gaga’s albums, keeps her company in her apartment. Rebekah’s family includes a brother and sister living in Austin, TX.

As a self-proclaimed cat lover and Nespresso enthusiast, Rebekah finds joy in the simple pleasures of life. She draws inspiration from her travels, with Kerala, India, holding a special place as the most beautiful destination she’s experienced. When she’s not working, you might find Rebekah enjoying her favorite movie, “Wet Hot American Summer,” or jamming out to Lady Gaga’s tunes.

With a boat named The Sea Schwa and a desire to meet the fabulous Moira Rose from “Schitts Creek,” Rebekah brings warmth, creativity, and a touch of whimsy to her practice as a speech therapist.

Education:

BA in English Literature from Michigan State University, 2015

Post-Baccalaureate in Speech-Language Pathology from Grand Valley State University, 2016

MS in Communication Disorders from Grand Valley State University, 2018

Samantha Gilligan – SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPIST

Meet Samantha Gilligan, a dedicated Clinical Fellow Speech Language Pathologist (CF-SLP) living in the vibrant River North neighborhood of Chicago. Originally from Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Samantha is nearing the end of her fellowship and specializes in working with the pediatric population. She loves the creativity and social aspects of her job, cherishing the opportunity to see both short-term and long-term growth in her clients while building positive relationships.

Her favorite treatment tools include wordless movie/video shorts and Google GIFs, which never fail to make her young clients laugh and elicit plenty of language, perfect for targeting a variety of goals in group sessions.

Family is important to Samantha, with her parents living in the Philadelphia suburbs and her little sister, Jamie, studying nursing as a sophomore at Pitt. Her extended family is spread between New Jersey and Florida. While she doesn’t currently have pets, Samantha and her boyfriend frequently watch his sister’s puppy, Romeo, who loves visiting the city.

Samantha has a love for both cats and dogs, having grown up with cats but hoping to own a dog someday. Her caffeine fix comes from espresso, iced lattes, and matcha lattes.

Traveling and being outdoors are among Samantha’s favorite activities, with New Zealand, where she studied abroad, and Costa Rica, which she visited last summer, ranking as the most beautiful places she’s been. Her favorite movie is “The Last Song,” and her go-to emojis are OR.

A big fan of Taylor Swift, Samantha’s favorite songs include “Invisible String,” “Speak Now,” and “Our Song.” She also enjoys music by Noah Kahan, The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, and a variety of country artists.

If she had a boat, she’d name it “The Gills,” and the fictional character she’d love to meet is Russell from the movie “Up.”

Samantha brings warmth, creativity, and a love for building connections to her work, making a positive impact on every child she works with.

Education:

Undergraduate Degree: Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!)
Master’s Degree: Temple University in Philadelphia for Speech, Language, and Hearing Science