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Our Professionals

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-Angela Lupinacci, MS, OTR/L

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, MS, OTR/L, occupational therapist at School-Based Therapy Services in Cedar Grove, NJ

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.

Danielle Uber, MA, BCBA

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis– Columbia University

Danielle Uber earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Lehigh University and a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with experience working with children ages 2-12 years old diagnosed with autism, ADHD, neurological disorders, pathological demand avoidance, and a wide range of other developmental disabilities in both home and school settings. Fueled by compassion, Danielle is passionate about utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and evidence-based practices to help children learn new skills and acquire socially significant behaviors. She is an open minded therapist who is constantly learning and researching new methodologies, who is equally passionate about partnering with and supporting teachers and parents. Danielle is particularly passionate about the areas of functional communication and language development, replacing maladaptive behaviors with functional skills, toilet training, and parent training. 

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.

Lindsey Curtin, MS, OTR/L

Master of Science - Dominican College

Lindsey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ramapo College (2016) and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Dominican College (2022). She completed her clinical rotations at a hospital’s outpatient clinic, working with patients who had upper extremity orthopedic conditions and neurologic conditions, and at a private preschool designated for children ages 2-5 with special needs. She is licensed and registered in the states of New Jersey and New York, and school-certified in the state of New Jersey. She has clinical experience working with children with various diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorder, developmental delays, chromosomal conditions, sensory processing disorders, communication impairments, learning impairments, and behavioral deficits. Lindsey enjoys helping the pediatric population grow and develop their strengths, and assisting them in reaching their full potential and level of independence. She is understanding of each child’s needs, and is considerate of their preferences and interests during therapy sessions. 

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, CCC-SLP

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.

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.


Amy Solano, PTA 
Essex Community College - Associates of Science

Cyndi Shah, OTR/L
Bachelor of Science - Quinnipiac University

Katherine Gribbon, COTA 
Associated Degree in applied sciences - Eastwick College

Kara Grifonetti, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - University of Scranton

Kellie Fitzpatrick, PTA
Becker College - Associates of Science

Kristen Cuneo, COTA 
Associates of Sciences - Keiser University

Laura Jean Liu, MA, CCC- SLP
Master of Science, Southern Connecticut State University

Luz Tarra, COTA /L
Associates of Sciences – Rutgers University
 

Nidhi Gupta, DPT
Doctorate in Physical Therapy - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Nicole Johnson, MA, CCC-SLP 
Master of Arts – Kean University

Nicole Thawley, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science – Columbia University

Paulette Green, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science – Columbia University

Rebecca Schwartz
Dual Master’s in School and Educational  
P
sychology - Columbia University

Sara Krinitz, MA, OTR/L
Master of Arts – New York University

Shira Burstein, MS, OTR/L
Master of Science - Tuoro College

Vivian Stamos, MA, CCC-SLP
Master of Arts - Seton Hall University

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