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
CAITLIN SULLIVAN – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Caitlin hails from Reno, Nevada, and currently makes her home in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood of Chicago with her boyfriend, Mike, and their boxer named Dale.
Caitlin has a background in pediatrics working in homes, schools, and clinical settings. She likes to see children make progress in different areas that enable them to be more independent in their daily activities. Caitlin enjoys working on fine motor, visual motor, and visual perception skills, especially because she finds ways to turn the “treatments” into fun games that are engaging and motivating for children. Caitlin loves that her job is to “play” with children in a therapeutic manner.
Interesting fact about Caitlin: Taylor Swift is Caitlin’s favorite artist because of her song writing abilities. Caitlin and Taylor are close to the same age, so she relates to Taylor’s clever and thought out lyrics.
Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience – University of Nevada
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy – Tufts 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 – SPEECH THERAPIST
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. Here 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
STACEY VILLALOBOS – SPEECH THERAPIST
Stacey enjoys working with children with early speech and language delays, developing social communication skills and articulation. She enjoys the individuality of each client she works with to incorporate their individual needs while creating fun and positive experiences. Children’s books are one of Stacey’s favorite tools to use in sessions because they offer a variety of opportunities to develop early speech language, work on language delays, communication skills and articulation.
Stacey’s home is Melrose Park, IL. She has an awesome Peek-A-Poo (Pekingese and poodle mix) named Creamy who is 16 years of age. He has been with Stacey since she was in the third grade.
An interesting fact about Stacey is that her favorite movie is Ratatouille from Disney. It has been a go-to movie since she first watched it in middle school. She still finds it enjoyable as an adult. Another fun fact about Stacey is that her last name, Villalobos, means Village of Wolves.
Bachelor of Science: Communication Sciences and Disorders – Illinois State University
Master of Science: Speech Language Pathology – Rocky Mountain University of Health
CARA BRENNA – SPEECH THERAPIST
Cara most enjoys being able to connect with her young clients while sharing support and strategies with families. While she is the expert in the speech therapy field; families are the experts in the client’s needs. It takes a team effort to meet a client’s goals. Cara enjoys working with pediatric clients, specifically those with language delays or disorders. Her specialties include working with Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) children, AAC, pediatric language delays and disorders, and ASD.
Cara grew up on the east coast, in New Jersey, and moved to Chicago seven years ago. Her family in New Jersey consists of her parents, brother and two pups. In Chicago, Cara’s family consists of her partner and their adorable, energetic Catahoula Leopard pup named Nola.
One of the most beautiful places Cara has toured is Cinque Terre in Italy. There are five little towns are all located directly on the water and are walking distance from each other. The views from these towns and the trails in between them are just stunning. The houses are vibrant and colorful, and the water is gorgeous.
Bachelor of Science: University of Michigan
Master Of Science: Speech and Language Pathology – Northwestern 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 – 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
MARY HERZOG – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Mary’s favorite treatment tool is coloring because it works fine motor, visual motor, and visual spatial skills. Coloring has endless possibilities for creativity and incorporating the kiddo’s interests.
Mary simply finds that it is both a great privilege and great joy to be able to be instrumental in helping children. She loves how collaborative she can get to be with parents, family members and schools. The nature of occupational therapy is broad and dynamic. Each day looks different, and every client is uniquely their own.
Mary considers it an honor to work with many individuals on the autism spectrum, those with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, among many others. Mary loves being able to bring an individual’s likes and interests into therapy.
Mary grew up in Crystal Lake, IL and now makes her home in Arlington Hts. with her outgoing pug named Appa. Not surprising, the puppy emoji is one of her favorites.
The Wizard of Oz is Mary’s favorite movie. She has it memorized and finds it very comforting and nostalgic to watch with a good cup of coffee anytime of the day.
Bachelor of Science: Occupational Therapy – Mount Mary University Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Master Of Science: Occupational Therapy – Mount Mary University Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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 supports, and improves organizational processes, and works to improve quality, productivity, and efficiency.
When not working: Quin enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 sons & her Fur pup “Koda”. If she’s not spending time with her family, you will catch her listening to music, watching documentaries, & watching movies.
Interesting fact: Quin is the oldest sibling in her family but both of her younger siblings are 6’4 and up.