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.
AMANDA LEDERER – OWNER & SPEECH PATHOLOGIST
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.
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.
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.
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 means everything to her. Elise specifically enjoys working with children with developmental delays, language disorders and those who present with sensory or oral motor feeding and swallowing difficulties.
Elise comes from an exceptionally large close-knit family from the south suburbs of Chicago. She is the youngest of four children and is fairly new to the “auntie life” with two nieces and two nephews. Elise’s large family is impressive. Her dad is one of 13 children. There are 54 grandchildren and 89 great grandchildren.
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.
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”.
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.
Bachelor of Science: Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences – University of Minnesota
Master of Science: Communication Sciences and Disorders – St. Cloud University
HANNAH SMITH – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Hannah enjoys that each day is different and it’s a great feeling finding new ways to get kids excited about therapy. She enjoy’s working most on fine motor, sensory, and functional self-help skills. Her favorite treatment tool is Handwriting Without Tears because of the many interventions that accompany it. She also love’s the Zones of Regulation because it is applicable to anyone!
Hannah’s home is Southside of Chicago. She is the oldest of 6 and has 3 younger sisters and 2 younger brothers.
An interesting fact about Stacey is that her favorite movies are Coco, and any Miss Congeniality / Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queenesque early 2000s movies.
Bachelor of Occupational Science – Saint Louis University
Master of Occupational Therapy – Saint Louis University
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:)
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.
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 girlfriend 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.
Bachelor of Science/ Master of Science: Anthropology and Sociology – University of Pittsburgh
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy- University of Pittsburgh
Natalie Belling – SPEECH THERAPIST
Natalie grew up in Chicago, IL. She’s a fourth generation Chicagoan from a close-knit and die-hard White Sox family. She unfortunately married a Cubs fan.
Natalie believes all people should feel confident, successful, and empowered in their speech, language, and voice, and she loves working collaboratively with her clients to help them reach their goals. She is a person who stutters, and so she is able to use both her clinical training and her personal experience living with a neurodiversity to problem-solve and think creatively on how to best support her clients.
She loves counseling and thinking of communication in a holistic way. What we think and how we feel can be just as important to our progress as the skills we practice in therapy.
Bachelor of Arts: Loyola University Chicago: English
Master of Science: Speech, Language, and Learning – Northwestern University
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.
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
Quin is dedicated to enhancing organizational processes, striving to elevate quality, productivity, and efficiency.
Outside of work, Quin cherishes moments with her husband, two sons, and her furry companion “Koda.” When not engaged with her family, you’ll find her immersed in the world of music, exploring documentaries, and enjoying movies.
An intriguing detail about Quin: despite being the oldest sibling, both of her younger siblings tower at 6’4″ and above.
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.
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!
Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences – University of Colorado Boulder
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology – St. Ambrose University