Jane Erbe, OTR/L, SIPT Certified

As a mother of two children I know how devastating it can be to hear that your child is struggling, but I can help.  From the moment I speak with you on the phone to the day I tell you that your child no longer needs therapy, I'm here to help you.

 

Navigating the road of being a parent is often confusing and at times overwhelming. My goal is not only to help your child gain strength and skills but also to help you understand every aspect of your child's development.  With this knowledge, you will be empowered to advocate for whatever your child needs to be successful.

 

I am passionate about helping children overcome their difficulties since I have seen first-hand the profound impact sensory integration and reflex therapy can have on improving a child's ability to move, play, learn and grow in their cognitive and emotional well-being.  I want your child to be the best he/she can be and achieve every goal that you and your child set.

Living in Stamford, and engaging the public school system with my own children, has allowed me to develop relationships with a variety of professionals in the Fairfield County area.  This includes a network of teachers, speech and language pathologists, pediatricians and behaviorists. Should your child need additional services or school advocacy, I can help.  I've attended many IEP meetings and know how overwhelming and difficult it can be for parents to advocate for their own child.  

As the owner and director of SMART Pediatrics, I also know that having two working parents can make it challenging to find time for therapy sessions.  While therapy is absolutely a time commitment, it is one that will pay off exponentially in the long run, for both you and your child.

 

The focus of therapy is on the goals that you and your child set.  And we revisit goals often to make sure we are making progress and going in the right direction.  But the ultimate goal is for your child to no longer need therapy.  It may seem like a never-ending road at the beginning, but your commitment and consistency will ​help your child achieve great things.

After graduating in 1992 from the University of New Hampshire with honors in occupational therapy, I continued to expand my knowledge in the areas of pediatrics and sensory integration therapy.  Below is a list of the extensive training and education I have pursued, including but not limited to:

 

  • Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT)

  • MNRI Reflex Integration

    • Dynamic and Postural  Reflex Pattern Integration

    • Tactile Integration

    • Proprioceptive and Cognitive Integration

    • Maximizing Brain Potential in the Classroom

    • Intronaut and Infant Reflex Integration

  • Integrated Listening Systems

  • The Listening Program

  • Wilbarger Deep Touch Pressure Protocol for Tactile Hypersensitivity

  • The FOCUS Program for Eating and Mealtime Success

  • Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders: The SOS Approach to Feeding

  • Handwriting Without Tears

  • Sensory Integration for those with Developmental Learning Disorders and Dyspraxia 

  • Praxis and Motor Planning

  • Brain Gym

  • Yoga for Children with Special Needs

  • MINDS Group Lectures (MNRI):

    • Applications in Neurodevelopment: Tongue Ties and MNRI Oral Motor Reflex Training.  Child Motor Development and Milestones​

    • Advancements in Neurodevelopment:  MNRI for Brain Oxygen Deprivation, MNRI for Eating Development in Children, and MNRI for Self-Feeding

Caitie Nesi, OTR/L

I began my college studies as a physical therapy student but quickly realized that I my passion and interests were best suited to being an occupational therapist.  I was fortunate to be able to enroll and graduate with honors from Quinnipiac University’s with a Masters in Occupational Therapy 

Throughout my life I've always had a special place in my heart for inclusion. Even in high school I was involved in a program that paired students together from regular education and special education, that allowed us to spend part of our days together to help both with facilitating friendships along with helping navigate the day to day challenges of being a student. I've always enjoyed working with children, and sought opportunities to develop my skills relating and engaging them by babysitting and being a camp counselor for more than 10 years. 

Now, by working alongside Jane and building upon my occupational therapy experience, I get to collaborate with speech and language pathologists, ABA therapists, and physical therapists.  I'm passionate about sensory integration and reflex integration.  I see the impact these foundational skills have on a child's social and emotional development. I am continually seeking out educations on these topics and have completed training and education with the following courses:

  • MNRI Reflex Integration

    • Dynamic and Postural Reflex Pattern Integration

    • NeuroTactile Integration

  •  Vital Links: Therapeutic Listening

  • Swim Angelfish Totally Treatment

Nikki May, OTR/L

I am thrilled to be joining this amazing team of therapists.  I've been working alongside them for years, initially as a student, but now as a registered and licensed occupational therapist.  

 

Throughout my life I have been fortunate to work with children of all ages.  My mother was the director of a preschool program here in Stamford and I spent many days there helping the teachers with their programs and activities.  I learned to be able to engage with children in a playful way, which allowed them to put their trust in me.  It was there that I was introduced to occupational therapy and was able to see how it changed the child's life. Watching a child accomplish a task or activity that he/she has been working diligently on, is one of the greatest pleasures of being an OT. 

I've feel lucky to have become a part of this amazing team of child development specialists.  I look forward to working with each child, and the satisfaction of helping them achieve every task they set for themselves.

Current courses:

  • MNRI Dynamic and Postural Reflex Pattern Integration-Part 1

Erika Garvey, RPT

As a mom of 3 young children and a Pediatric Physical Therapist, I absolutely love watching kids grow, change and learn every day.  Their energy and perseverance is what gives me the inspiration to help them along the way.  I enjoy working with children to help them achieve their unique goals while making it playful and fun.  

 

After graduating from the University of Vermont in 2001, I have worked in a variety of pediatric settings including school-based physical therapy, aquatic therapy, and clinic-based therapy.  I have had the privilege of working with several therapists, teachers, administrators, pediatricians, neurologists, orthopaedists throughout Fairfield County and during my time working at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.  I have experience working with children from birth through young adulthood, with diagnoses including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, Torticollis, Osteogensis Imperfecta, Arthrogryposis, Rett Syndrome, as well as a variety of congenital and genetic disorders.  I have worked with many different vendors on adaptive equipment including wheelchairs, standers, walkers, etc and orthotists on bracing and prosthetics. 

It's a joy to see the freedom that comes from a child being able to move their body, either by rolling, crawling, or taking their first steps. I'm truely fortunate to be a part of that journey every day.

"Coach" Mike Elsemore

I began my journey in health, wellness and pediatrics in 2002 as a certified personal trainer with The National Academy of Sports Medicine. During the year 2007 I began teaching children, starting as early as 4-months up to 12-years old.  I worked building not only their gross and fine motor skills, but their social-emotional and play-skills. I used creative gymnastic activities in an educational environment to help foster self-confidence through play.  I understand the connection between the body and the brain. By providing fun and engaging  movement activities, I help children develop a better sense of their body as well as proper emotional, cognitive and social development.

I enjoy collaborating with specialists, including both occupational and physical therapist.  Under their supervision, I’ve carried out therapuetic coaching sessions that incorporate reflex development, gross-motor skills, and fine-motor acquisition.  I have extensive experience carrying over listening programs within the clinic setting, using a variety of auditory systems.   I’ve also worked alongside some of the top speech and language pathologist, psychologist, psychiatrist and behavioral therapist in the Fairfield County area since 2012. 

I have a love for sports and being outdoors.  While I may not be the best bike rider, I have a passion for teaching children of all levels how to ride a bike.  I feel like there is no better feeling than the freedom you feel when riding.

I am an advocate and a friend to all children.  And because of this, I am able to challenge kids to try their best, even when it seems impossible. I try to instill the lesson of time to children; that it often takes time to succeed and accomplish their goals, but that anything worth attaining takes time.  And I always guide them find their own path to success.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to be working with Jane and I’m looking forward to collaborating with this dynamic team of therapists.   

It is important to know that while early intervention is always ideal, issues with sensory processing and primitive reflexes can be treated at any age. It is NEVER too late to begin addressing your concerns.