Jane Erbe, OTR/L, SIPT Certified

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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

  • A Holistic and Integrative Approach to Pediatric Pelvic Health

  • 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

Nikki May, OTR/L

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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.

Kelly Martin, OTR/L

I went to Sacred Heart University with one goal, to pursue a career helping others. I majored in Psychology when my sister, a teacher, suggested I look into Occupational Therapy. I then observed a school based OT and I realized it combined my passion of helping people physically and emotionally with my love of working with children.

 

From there I was determined to get into the OT program with a focus in pediatrics. I graduated with my Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2012 and after completing my fieldwork in a Sensory Clinic I really found my passion, where, let's face it, I get to play all day! Working in this setting allows me to strengthen a child’s foundational skills in order to achieve higher level goals.

 

I have years of experience working in pediatrics and continuing education with a focus on sensory integration/reflex therapy and am Handwriting Without Tears certified. My number one goal for all of the children I work with is that they learn to feel comfortable and confident in their body. Equally important I aim to educate family and school staff to better support the child and to better understand the challenges they are facing. I have worked with Jane in the past and I am so thrilled to be working with her again and joining this wonderful team of therapists. 

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Tara Buckman, OTR/L

I graduated from Quinnipiac University with a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2009 and immediately began my career as a Pediatric Clinician. My passion for working with individuals with special needs began when I was in high school and lead me to where I am today.  Throughout my tenure, I have worked in a variety of settings including both public and private schools as well as in pediatric outpatient clinics throughout Connecticut.  In addition to my role as a clinician,  I have also enjoyed having the opportunity  to educate Occupational Therapy Students as part of their fieldwork experience for many years for Colleges and Universities across New England. I specialize in supporting individuals with sensory processing difficulties and I have advanced expertise in the area of feeding and oral motor therapy interventions.  I am passionate about working with children and their families to help all of my patients live happy, independent and fulfilling lives.

Julia Schiavone, OTR/L

While completing my Masters degree, I was lucky enough to complete a fieldwork rotation at SMART Pediatrics, which I thoroughly valued and enjoyed! My passion for working in pediatrics began in college during fieldwork rotations at various school systems while learning about the importance of sensory integration for child development. When I was in middle school, I watched my younger brother greatly benefit from sensory-based interventions to improve his gross motor, fine motor, and visual skills. I love helping children accomplish their developmental goals and daily tasks in a similar way to how my brother did. I am grateful to join a group of skilled OTs and PTs at SMART Pediatrics and l look forward to working with children and their families!

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Olga Kolenberg, RPT

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I've spent over 20 years specializing in pediatrics and truely love working with the families of my clients to improve physical obstacles that these infants and children come to me with.  I graduated from the University of Hartford and am also employed with the Yale New Haven Health System, where I get to work with both adults and children. This allows me to share my wealth of knowledge and experience a wider range of clients while treating a range of neurological and orthopedic conditions as well as post concussion syndrome.  

My broad treatment experience incorporates MNRI (reflex training), manual therapy, vestibular therapy,  and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation). I am so excited to be joining SMART Pediatrics to collaborate with a group of highly experienced occupational therapists.  When not working, I enjoys traveling with my husband and two amazing daughters.

"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. 

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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.