Play for Real welcomes Maria to our team!

 

A picture of Maria, our receptionistPlay for Real welcomes Maria to our team!

Play for Real is delighted to welcome our new receptionist, Maria Malone, to the team! Maria will be working for you on Monday afternoons and all day Tuesday and Friday, so this is when you stand the best chance of talking to a real person if you call our office!

Maria was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.  She lived there most of her life until she relocated to Viera, Florida with her family in September 2017. Maria began working as an Orthopedic transcriptionist and secretary in 1989 while in college and continued in that field for over 20 years. She is excited to be using her many years of office experience at Play for Real.

Maria also developed a great interest in natural childbirth and breastfeeding after the birth of her youngest daughter in 2006. She is a certified childbirth educator with Lamaze International and a certified lactation counselor with The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice.

Maria has been married to her husband Rich for nearly 23 years and they have three children. As the mom of a child who has received both speech and occupational therapy, Maria is intimately familiar with the positive impact these interventions can have.

In her spare time, Maria enjoys taking long walks with her dog Hope, singing and reading books and articles about anything “birthy.”

Welcome Brittany Davis, MS, CF-SLP

Picture of Brittany Davis, MS, CF-SLP

Welcome to Brittany Davis, MS, CF-SLP, our new speech-language pathologist!

Play for Real is delighted to welcome Brittany Davis, our new speech-language pathologist to the team! 

Brittany is a recent graduate from the University of Central Missouri, where she earned her Master’s degree in speech-language pathology. She attended the University of Missouri for her undergraduate degree, where she discovered her passion for communication disorders. She believes communication is the basis of life, and is excited to help children reach their potential.

Brittany was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Her first job was babysitting, which she continued throughout college. These days, her passion is still working with kids. Her particular interests are in early intervention, but has found she enjoys working with children of all ages.

In her spare time, Brittany enjoys cuddling with her rescue animals, finding new brunch spots with her husband, and watching sports. She is a book lover, and can often be found reading a good book.

 

 

Welcome, Kim Acosta, MS, OTR/L

A picture of Kim Acosta, MS, OTR/L

Welcome to Kim Acosta, MS, OTR/L, our new occupational therapist!

Play for Real is delighted to welcome Kim Acosta, our new occupational therapist to the team! She is a recent graduate of Florida International University, where she completed her master’s degree in occupational therapy. Kim attended the University of Central Florida for her undergraduate degree, where she first discovered her love for the central Florida area. Ever since her first job teaching swimming lessons, Kim knew she wanted to work with kids. She learned about occupational therapy after searching for a hands-on profession where she could help children of all abilities do amazing things. After further research, Kim knew that was the profession she was meant to be in.

As a Spanish speaker, Kim was able to complete some of her fieldwork abroad in Costa Rica. There she learned the value of helping people even with very limited resources, something she had not been exposed to prior in her education. This learning experience later matured to an interest in working with a local under-served population – youth in the juvenile justice system. As a graduate student, Kim went on to lead a research project exploring the role of occupational therapy in the juvenile justice system. She hopes to expand that research further during her career.

You may notice that Kim likes to be in motion; she doesn’t like to sit still for very long. She enjoys taking her dog on walking trails, going to the gym, and attempting yoga. When it’s time to refuel, she loves trying new places to eat and indulging in a dessert or two! She also loves to read, so if you can recommend a good book, don’t hesitate to tell her about it.

Welcome Kim, it is great to have you aboard and we look forward to working with you!

Play for Real Therapy welcomes Amy Gadapee, MS, CCC-SLP, pediatric speech-language pathologist

PlaAmy Gadapee, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologisty for Real Therapy welcomes Amy Gadapee, MS, CCC-SLP, pediatric speech-language pathologist to our team!

Amy is excited to join the Play for Real staff!  She has 25 years of experience in a variety of settings, but Amy’s passion is early intervention and helping children learn to communicate effectively with their family and peers.

Amy has an undergraduate degree in American Sign Language with a specialty in Deaf Language Development. She began her career in the Pinellas County School system while also earning her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology.  She then moved to Jacksonville where she worked for Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital and Baptist Hospital providing inpatient and outpatient pediatric speech therapy for children birth through 16 years of age.  In 1998, Amy joined a private practice in St. Augustine, Florida and fell in love with Early Intervention Services and private practice.  This led her to begin researching best therapeutic intervention for children with childhood apraxia of speech.

In 2000, Amy and her husband decided to move back home to Titusville to raise their family. Since returning, she has worked part time as a contractor with Space Coast Early Intervention, Brevard County School System and Parrish Medical Center providing a wide range of pediatric therapy services including articulation, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), language, and feeding services. Amy is licensed by the Florida Department of Health and has her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)

Amy and her husband have been married for 20 years and they have two teenage boys, Chace and Ian. Her spare time is spent supporting her boys as they pursue their passions of sports and the theater, which sometimes includes joining her son Ian on stage.

 

Meet Chelsea, our new admin assistant!

Our office staff - meet Chelsea, our office assistant Meet Chelsea, our new admin assistant!

Play for Real is delighted to welcome Chelsea Rhoades, admin assistant, to our team. She will be working Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm and Friday 9 am to 3 pm, so this is when you stand the best chance of getting a real person if you call our office!

Chelsea is a Mid-Western girl who grew up around cattle and cornfields for 22 years and then decided to make a change of scenery to a much more tropical view of the beach and palm trees. She was born and raised in Illinois and graduated from college in Missouri. Chelsea has a Bachelors Degree from Culver-Stockton College in Management, Marketing, and Communications, with an emphasis in sports. She has been living in Florida for close to 3 years and cannot get enough of the sunshine and great people.

During her time up north Chelsea spent most of her days on the court. She played collegiate volleyball for 5 years during her time at Culver-Stockton College and also coached a 12-14 year old youth girls team on her own for 3 years. Teamwork and working together plays a huge role in Chelsea’s life and makes her part of who she is today. Team work makes the dream work, and that is something she strongly believes in.

Some of Chelsea’s favorite things to do are to bake and cook. She has a huge sweet tooth! She also enjoys being outside and reading a good book.

Goodbye Kerry!

A photo of KerryGoodbye Kerry!

At the end of February, we said goodbye to Kerry Rowland, who had been a part of the Play for Real team for the last year. Kerry is going back to school to pursue a degree in education and we wish her every success in her future endeavors!

Please bear with us for the first week in March as we shall be without office support. We shall respond to your emails and phone messages but there may be a delay before we get back to you. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Watch this space for our new office assistant who will joining the Play for Real therapy team soon!

Welcome to Deb Bannon, MS, CCC-SLP, Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist

Play for Real Therapy welcomes Deb Bannon, MS, CCC-SLP, pediatric speech-language pathologist to our team!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Deb Bannon, MS, CCC-SLP, pediatric speech-language pathologist to our team! We are particularly happy that she has joined us at this time as, in the last quarter of 2017, we said goodbye to Miss Meg and Miss Liz, who had both decided the time had come to enjoy a full retirement.

She relocated  from Rhode Island to Florida in September of 2017 to be closer to her family and is excited to be working for Play for Real.  She attended the University of Rhode Island for both her undergraduate degree in Psychology and her graduate degree in Communicative Disorders.  Deb has 26 years of experience evaluating and treating children aged birth to high school that present with a wide range of communication impairments.  Her professional career began in Early Intervention in January 1991 where she worked providing speech-language services for the birth to 3 year old population.  In September 1992, she obtained a job providing services in a small rural school district where she enjoyed her career for last 25 years.  Most of her professional career was spent with children in the early elementary grades (K-2) who had a variety of speech language needs.  Deb has a passion for  working with children of all ages with speech, language, and learning needs helping them to build the foundational skills necessary for being successful communicators across settings.  

Deb is licensed by the Florida Department of Health, has lifetime certification from the State of Rhode Island Department of Education, and has her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA).  She recently earned the Award for Continuing Education (ACE) from ASHA and strives to be a lifelong learner in her professional career.  

Deb has been married to her husband, David, for 33 years and has raised three beautiful daughters, Kristen, Jenn and Amy,  who also have careers in the helping professions (look for Jenn on our occupational therapy staff page!).  In her spare time, Deb enjoys spending time with her family and her pets, Ellie and Reese.  She loves taking walks on the beach, boating, exploring new places and living vicariously through her children and their adventures!  

Play For Real Wishes You All A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Play For Real Wishes You All A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Picture of Turkey with Happy Thanksgiving greeting

Play for Real Therapy Services will be closed on Thursday November 23rd and Friday November 24th to celebrate Thanksgiving. We are grateful for the privilege of working with our clients and families and to our dedicated staff! We will be open for business as usual on Monday November 27th.

 

Play for Real limited opening on Tuesday and open as usual from Wednesday

Play for Real limited opening on Tuesday and open as usual from Wednesday

We hope you all weathered the storm safely and with minimal damage! Play for Real Therapy Services will be open with a limited staff on Tuesday, September 12 and may offer some sessions in the afternoon as clients and staff are available. We will be open as usual from Wednesday September 13. Once again we hope you all fared well and look forward to seeing you all again as things get back to normal.