Our goal is to help children achieve THEIR goals.
In 2000, School Based Therapy Services and the Center for Children’s Therapy were established to meet the growing demand for highly skilled pediatric therapy services across New York City and New Jersey.
Since then, we have firmly established ourselves as leaders in the field. Our therapists are experts in their professions and are often invited to lecture at universities, hospitals, schools, and local community centers. Together, we create safe, nurturing, and productive environments in which children can reach their full potential.
Our interdisciplinary staff includes:
Occupational Therapists (OTs) • Physical Therapists (PTs) • Speech Therapists (SLPs)
School Psychologists • Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) • Social Workers • Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultants (LDTCs)
Anna-Angela Lupinacci, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - Columbia University
Anna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Seton Hall University (1997) and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University (2000). She is currently a licensed, registered, and school-certified pediatric occupational therapist. Anna has extensive clinical experience and has treated infants, children, and adolescents with various diagnoses such as Autism, feeding difficulties, sensory processing disorders, attentional disorders, anxiety, developmental delays, and upper extremity orthopedic conditions.
She serves as the founder and CEO of a well-established staffing agency, School Based Therapy Services, or SBTS. Over the past two decades, SBTS has proudly grown to a staff of 40 knowledgeable and caring professionals providing occupational, physical, speech, and behavioral therapies, and child study team services to school districts throughout New Jersey. Anna and the clinical team members develop therapy programs and carry out treatment plans on a permanent basis. This outsourcing model allows school administrators to focus on education, while SBTS manages and delivers the highest quality services in a cost-effective manner.
At this point in her career, Anna is dedicated to expanding and sharing her knowledge base, advancing the field of occupational therapy, and advocating for children. She is frequently invited to give lectures at various schools, hospitals, universities, and parent support groups. In addition, she gladly serves as a clinical supervisor for graduate-level occupational therapy students fulfilling their Level 1 and Level 2 pediatric internships.
Anna has extensively studied world religions, is a registered Yoga instructor, and has a profound interest in the intersection of science and mindfulness-based practices. Currently, Anna is working toward an educational doctorate degree in movement sciences at Columbia University. She is conducting original research on the utility of specific breathing techniques on perceived stress, measured physiological stress, and motor performance.
Robert McMahon, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - Columbia University
Robert McMahon earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kean University (1997) and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University (2000). He is a licensed, registered, and school-certified occupational therapist in both New York and New Jersey. Robert has extensive experience working in public and private school settings with children of all ages and diagnoses. He has worked as an assistive technology evaluator and has provided therapy for the Early Intervention Systems, as well as worked with adults in community hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, and specialized medical centers. Along with Anna, Robert has served as an integral partner of School-Based Therapy Services; collaboratively creating programs with public and private schools, which promote mainstream education.
Recognizing a need for an electronic record system in school-based practice, Anna and Rob created School Based Therapy Assistant—a software solution designed specifically for the unique needs of professionals working in schools.
Allison Salomon, MS
Master of Science – New York University
Allison “Aliza” Salomon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Yeshiva University (2011) and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from New York University (2012). She is a licensed, registered, and school-certified occupational therapist in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Aliza has spent the last 8 years working as an OT in New York City and Boston Public Schools with some Early Intervention work on the side. Aliza has worked with a broad range of students and enjoys discovering and developing each child’s strengths and areas of growth. She works to collaborate with each child’s multidisciplinary team to provide quality care. Aliza is determined to assist each of her students maximize their greatest potential.
Brooke Figueroa, MA, CF-SLP
Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology – Kean University
Brooke received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Deafness at Kean University in Union, NJ. She then received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Kean as well. Brooke has practiced speech therapy in several settings including public school, specialized school, and university clinics. Brooke has treated and evaluated individuals with articulation and phonological disorders, language disorders, childhood Apraxia of Speech, fluency disorders, Autism Spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, Down Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Cerebral Palsy. Brooke has experience with individual and group therapy, and augmentative communication (including picture and device-based communication).
Christina P. Fisher, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science – The Richard Stockton College
Christina P. Fisher graduated from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2007. During Christina’s graduate level of education, she participated in a research study that examined the Effectiveness of a Supported Education Program for Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities: The Bridge Program. During one of her School-Based OT fieldwork assignments, Christina participated in a new grant: “Water Survival and Basic Swimming” program for special education students from ages 5-17. Christina has a proficient level of experience in working with adults with neurological injuries such as brain injury and stroke. She was a Co-Facilitator of an inpatient rehab hospital’s Medication Management Group and Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) protocol with neurologic patients. She possesses strong leadership skills as she was one of the Team Leaders of an adult neurological inpatient gym, and successfully supervised Fieldwork Level II students. Christina has attended various continuing education courses pertaining to the Neurodevelopmental Treatment Approach (NDT), Examination and Treatment of Vestibular Disorders, Assistive Technology in School Based Setting, Yoga Therapy in the Classroom, and Handwriting Without Tears. Christina is National Board Certified in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and has her NJ Teacher’s Certificate. She also holds a certificate for Àrnadóttir OT-ADL Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Treatment (A-ONE), Treatment of Upper Extremity Dysfunction NESS H200, Modalities Intervention Part 1 Electrotherapy and Part 2.
Elisa Rotonda, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science – Columbia University
Elisa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Montclair State University (2009) and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University (2011). She is currently a licensed, registered, and school certified Occupational Therapist, practicing within the pediatric population. Elisa also has experience working in inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation with adults who have suffered traumatic/acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, and various orthopedic conditions. Elisa has worked on several research studies, including one in the area of mental practice/visualization, of which she presented to the Columbia University student body. She is also a co-author of Hard-Wired for Groups: Students and Clients in the Classroom and Clinic, which has been published by AOTA in the Mental Health Special Interest Section Quarterly.
Elisheva Willig, MS, OTR
Master of Science, Touro College
Elisheva attended Touro College in Bay Shore, Long Island. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2018. She is a member of Alpha Pi Epsilon Honors Society. Elisheva is National Board Certified in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and is licensed in New Jersey. Elisheva chose to complete her specialties in Pediatrics, working with children with a variety of disabilities and continued to work in the pediatric field after graduating. She has worked in public schools, ABA centers, Early Intervention and Sensory Integration clinics.
Gabriela Yllatopa, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science, Salus University
Gabriela “Gaby” Yllatopa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Montclair State University in 2020 and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Salus University in 2023. During her time in school, she worked as a full-time special education paraprofessional with children ages 3-5 years old for over 3 years. Additionally, she worked as an ABA Therapist for about a year where she implemented treatment plans and programs developed by the supervising BCBA to improve the child’s cognitive and social skills. Her recent clinical internship included working in a public school setting with students ages 3-21 years old under the supervision of an OTR/L. She is currently a licensed, registered, and school-certified occupational therapist in New Jersey and is bilingual in both English and Spanish. In her leisure, she enjoys going out for long walks and spending time with family and friends. Gaby is dedicated to helping her students reach their full potential.
Inna Galeta, MS
Master of Science, Hunter College
Inna Galeta graduated from Hunter College majoring in Psychology and got her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from Long Island University in 2008. Inna is a licensed Physical Therapist in both New Jersey and New York and a School Certified Physical Therapist in New Jersey. Inna has over 15 years of experience evaluating and treating children of all ages starting with Early Intervention with a variety of diagnoses. She has worked at multiple inpatient and outpatient facilities in the NY/NJ region and has held managerial roles as well as staff-level positions. Inna is passionate about working with young children with special needs and works hard to ensure all of her patients are provided with the best care possible
Jaime Zirk, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science, Utica College
Jaime Zirk obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University majoring in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Utica College. Jaime has worked in a variety of school settings (private and public schools) with children of all ages and disabilities. In addition to her school-based work, Jaime has worked in other settings, such as; a private practice setting and early intervention. Jaime’s areas of expertise include working with students across the Autism spectrum and sensory processing disorders. She has been Trained in the DIR/Floortime model (the Greenspan-Wieder Developmental Individual Relationship-based therapy), Handwriting Without Tears, The Astronaut Training Program, The Listening Program, MNRI trained, as well as Brain-Based Pediatric Yoga and Mindfulness. Jaime’s passion is working with children and assisting them to reach their greatest potential.
James L. Sell, MA, LDT-C
Master of Arts, Montclair State University
James received his Master’s Degree from Montclair State University and is certified in the State of New Jersey as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDT-C) and Teacher of the Handicapped (K-12). James recently retired from the Morris School District after devoting nearly 40 years to educating and case-managing students with special needs. James is CEO/Owner of Educational Resources of Morris, LLC a private practice specializing in educational assessments, test preparation, and advocacy support. In his leisure time, James enjoys spending time at Long Beach Island, listening to music, running, and motorcycle riding.
Jennifer Hughes, PsyD, BCBA
Masters in Clinical Behavioral Applications – CUNY Queens College Master of Clinical Psychology – Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Jennifer obtained her undergraduate degree from Hofstra University (1996), her master’s degree in Clinical Behavioral Applications from CUNY Queens College (1998), a second master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (2001), and her doctoral degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology (2005). She has over 10 years of experience working with children with autism, medical disorders, and other developmental disorders with behavioral challenges. Jennifer has worked as a home-based behavioral therapist, and instructor in an ABA School, overseen home-based programs and clinic-based programs, designed and ran social skills training groups, trained ABA therapists, provided parent training to parents in both group and individual settings, and consulted with schools. Jennifer’s goal is to help as many children develop and increase appropriate skills and decrease maladaptive behaviors utilizing efficient, effective, evidence-based Applied Behavior Analysis practices while at the same time empowering their parents, caregivers, and teachers to do the same.
Marisa C. Hajart, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science – Seton Hall University
Marisa Hajart received a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2002 from Seton Hall University after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Science from the same institution in 1999. Marisa joined School Based Therapy Services in August of 2012 and has since been enjoying working with a collaborative team of therapists. She was previously employed as the Director of a Staffing Company serving the northern Hudson County region with Pediatric Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Prior to her time there, Marisa was a staff Occupational Therapist for Trinitas Children’s Therapy Services, providing school-based and clinic-based services. Mrs. Hajart has extensive training and experience in Pediatric Occupational Therapy. She is Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) certified and has a special interest in Yoga Therapy for children. Marisa’s post-graduate interests include the treatment of complex feeding issues, yoga, and functional exercise in pediatric patients. She is an approved TLP (The Listening Program) provider and is a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist.
Nadine Distefano, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - Dominican College
Nadine earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing Management from Dominican College of Blauvelt, NY in 2001. After working for many years in the marketing field, she followed her passion for helping others and went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2022. Nadine is a licensed Occupational Therapist in New Jersey and New York and is school-certified in New Jersey. She has experience working with pre-school and middle school aged children in both classroom and sensory gym settings, and with adults in skilled nursing and hand clinic settings.
Pasqua “Patty” Uykan, MS, CFY
Master of Science - William Paterson University
Patty earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Linguistics with a Minor in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from Montclair State University. She earned her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from William Paterson University. Patty’s training includes public, private, and special education elementary schools. She is experienced in helping children with Expressive and Receptive Language Delays, Articulation Disorders, Pragmatic Language Delays, Language Learning Disabilities, and Feeding and Swallowing Therapy. Patty is dedicated to establishing a strong therapeutic relationship to facilitate positive outcomes and is passionate about connecting with children to help them achieve their goals.
Rebecca L. Schaeffer, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - Columbia University
Rebecca "Becky" Schaeffer graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Dickinson College. Following graduation, Becky worked for several years in the nonprofit sector. She then returned to school to pursue a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Columbia University. Becky is currently a licensed, registered, and school-certified occupational therapist in New Jersey. She has spent her career as a therapist dedicated to pediatrics. Her experience includes working in early intervention, a preschool program, an elementary school, a vocational high school, and a children's hospital. Becky has completed numerous continuing education courses on various topics including Handwriting Without Tears, Keyboarding Without Tears, The Listening Program, and How Does Your Engine Run?
Talia Forman, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - New York University
Talia earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Biology from Yeshiva University (2009) and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from New York University (2012). She is a licensed, registered, and school-certified occupational therapist in New York and New Jersey. Talia has spent the last 4 years working in a private school in New York City for children with Autism. She has worked with students across the spectrum focusing on their physical, visual perceptual, visual motor, graphomotor, attentional, and fine motor needs. She has collaborated with a multidisciplinary team to provide quality care and ensure that student’s needs are being met in and out of the classroom. Talia is dedicated to helping her students reach their full potential.
Tamar Friedman, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science, Touro College
Tamar Friedman graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Health Science and a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Touro College. Tamar is currently a licensed, registered, and school-certified occupational therapist in New Jersey.
She has worked with students ages 3-18 to address their fine motor, gross motor, visual perceptual, visual motor, and self help skills. Tamar is dedicated to helping her students reach their fullest potential.
Therese Dublin, MA, CCC-SLP
Therese graduated from Montclair State University in 2012. She has been working with students from two years old to high school in the Early Intervention setting and the school-based setting for nine years. She loves incorporating literacy-based language intervention into therapy activities, and has a special interest in disfluency disorders.
Yafit Finkelstein, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - Columbia University
Yafit earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary School Education from Levinsky College of Education (2005) and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University (2012). She is a licensed, registered, and school-certified occupational therapist. Yafit’s areas of expertise include Learning Disabilities, Developmental Delays, Sensory Integration, orthopedic conditions, mental health, etc. She is passionate about working with children and dedicated to helping her students reach their full potential. Yafit has two children and resides in Bergen County, NJ.