Founder and Supervisor
Dinah Leiter OTR/L is the founder and clinical supervisor at Kid Clan. Dinah graduated from Downstate Medical Center and has been a practicing occupational therapist for over twenty years. Dinah is a certified provider of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, and a certified provider of Interactive Metronome. In addition, she has received advanced training in Therapeutic Listening and MEDEK. She has undergone training in Brain Gym, ABA, and DIR. Dinah has completed the intensive mentorship program provided by the SPD foundation. She is also certified in the ILS program. Before Dinah founded Kid Clan she worked in a variety of settings including public and private schools, outpatient clinics, NICU, and PICU.
Dinah provides frequent workshops to parents sharing knowledge and practical tools on how to parent a child with sensory integration challenges. She also provides workshops to preschool and elementary school staff on the following topics:
Incorporating sensory integration strategies into the classroom setting
Myths of bad behavior and how sensory integration deficits affect behavior
Components of normal and abnormal handwriting
Visual perception and how it affects classroom learning
Dinah is passionate about children. Her mission is to help them make changes in themselves to empower them to make a difference in the world. Dinah is a devoted mom, and loves spending time and having fun with her beautiful family.
Dina Alper, M.S., CCC-SLP, received her Master’s Degree in speech-language pathology from Teachers College, Columbia University and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Dina is licensed in New York and New Jersey and is certified by the New Jersey Department of Education as a Speech Language Specialist. She has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for over twenty years, and has worked in a variety of pediatric settings including birth-3 centers, programs dedicated to children with autism, and public and private schools where she has serviced both the regular education and special education population. Dina has extensive experience treating all aspects of pediatric speech-language disorders. She is a skilled clinician who utilizes evidence based therapeutic approaches to individualize treatment and achieve therapeutic goals. Parent involvement in the therapeutic process is always welcome.
Dina provides workshops to parents and teachers on topics related to speech and language development.
Outside of work, Dina enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren! She also enjoys baking, going to the gym and is an avid reader.
Michal, a speech language pathologist for the past sixteen years, has been part of the Kid CLAN team since 2007. She received her Bachelors of Communication Arts and Sciences and Masters of Speech and Language Pathology from Queen’s College. Michal has been providing therapy in preschool as well as early intervention settings. Her specialty is working with babies, toddlers, and pre-school children with speech/language delays, physical challenges and oral motor deficits. Michal places a strong emphasis on caregiver involvement facilitating increased carryover. Since 1998, Michal has devoted her summers working at Camp HASC in Parksville, New York. There, she provides therapy to children aged 5-21, with speech language delays, learning disabilities, physical challenges, genetic diseases and various syndromes as well as helping over 300 campers as the supervisor of the feeding program. Michal is licensed in New York and New Jersey and holds bilingual Hebrew Proficiency Certification.
Outside of work Michal loves to travel around the world, backpack, hike, dive and run marathons.
Zisel Faitler joined the Kid Clan therapy team in 2013. She achieved her Masters Degree in 2010 from Kean University, receiving the “Who’s who among Colleges and Universities” award. Zisel’s warmth and passion for her clients is apparent in her commitment to helping the child and family thrive. Her work experience is diverse, and includes Center-based Therapy, Early Intervention, School based-therapy (working with children with sensory, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs), and Geriatric Rehabilitation. Zisel is committed to furthering her education, having completed numerous continuing education courses on sensory integration, praxis, reflex integration, visual processing, and neurodevelopmental theory. She is a certified provider of Integrated Listening Systems and is trained on Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration and the H.O.P.E Method. Zisel has provided many parent and teacher workshops on the topics of fostering and nurturing a self-regulated child.
Nicole Halliwell is a graduate of the Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She has been a part of the Kid Clan Therapy team since 2014. Her professional background is a blend of experience in social work, brain and spinal cord injury, psychiatrics, and pediatrics inspiring the holistic approach she uses with her clients. Nicole’s treatment philosophy focuses on facilitating meaningful occupational and working with the child in context. Her primary treatment experience has been in pediatrics in a variety of settings including school based, clinic based, and home instruction. She is also a NJEIS trained early intervention service provider. She has experience working with children from ages 0-21 years with various diagnoses including autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, ADD/ADHD, and various neurological, psychiatric, and developmental disorders/syndromes.
Nicole has a strong drive for keeping up with current research literature and continuing to develop her professional skills. She has completed continuing education courses focused on balance and vestibular processing, sensory integration (SI), neuro-developmental treatment (NDT) and the facilitation of functional skills through play. Nicole has a personal and professional interest in the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga and has been trained in Get Ready to Learn, a developmentally sequenced yoga program which she integrates into her therapy practice. She has recently completed the American Hippotherapy Association Level 1 Course and is able to provide occupational therapy services on a horse utilizing the therapeutic power of equine movement. Nicole is a proud member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and she is currently enrolled in the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as a doctoral student pursuing her Doctorate of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences with a focus in Pediatrics.
In her free time, Nicole enjoys taking yoga classes, hiking, cooking, and relaxing with her family and friends.
Chaya Hyman completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida International University (Miami, FL) in 1997. She subsequently trained at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Experimental Education Unit of the University of Washington. She proceeded to earn an advanced Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Science from McGill University (Montreal, QC) in 2001, specializing in Developmental Pediatrics. At McGill, Chaya was awarded a Canadian grant for research at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Montreal Children’s Hospital and Jewish General Hospital and her findings were published in the medical journal Pediatric Rehabilitation (2005). She later worked as a developmental specialist for the SUNY Downstate Infant Child Center (Level-3 NICU) at the Long Island College Hospital evaluating and treating extremely-premature and medically-critical infants.
Chaya has treated a wide range of pediatric developmental diagnoses, neurological impairments, and sensory processing disorders. Her training includes Medek Level 1, NDT, Therapeutic Taping, Therapeutic Listening, Feeding, Rhythmic Movement Training, The Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration-MNRI ® Method (10 courses completed), INPP, Cranial Sacral techniques, Interactive Metronome, and the H.O.P.E. Method. She is certified in SI Treatment by the University of Southern California/WPS. Before joining KidClan in 2015, Chaya provided home-based treatment for 9 years through NY Early Intervention and was an EI Supervisor for 5 years. As a supervisor, she led training courses and workshops for therapists and parents.
Chaya passionately believes that the goal of pediatric Occupational Therapy is to unlock the unique greatness of each individual child. She develops a treatment plan from a holistic frame of reference that looks at the total child within the context of their life. She strives to help each child, and their family, become free and empowered to live to their full potential with joy. Chaya has recently become a Certified Mastery Coach and augments her pediatric treatment with
parenting and life coaching to address the whole picture. In her private time, Chaya enjoys hiking, biking, learning something new each day, and spending time with her husband, children, and new grandchild.
Jodi joined the Kid Clan team in 2006, and has been working as an Occupational Therapist for close to 30 years, treating children from early intervention to age 21. Jodi has worked with a wide range of diagnoses, including cerebral palsy, autism, learning disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, and developmental disabilities. She graduated on the Dean’s List from SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy, and provides services in public and private schools, as well as in the clinical setting. Jodi employs a variety of treatment techniques, with extensive training in MNRI, RMT, Massery, Astronaut Training, Therapeutic Listening, Craniosacral Therapy, Handwriting Without Tears, S’cool Moves, Bal-a-vis-x, Sensory Integration, and Vision Therapy. Licensed in both New York and New Jersey, Jodi has developed a hands-on workshop for early childhood educators, providing an understanding of the importance in the development of fine motor skills in preschoolers. Jodi spends her summers providing occupational therapy in camps for children with disabilities. When not at work, Jodi enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.
I have been a practicing Physical Therapist for over 40 years. I received my BS in Physical Therapy from Downstate Medical Center, New York; my MS in Motor Learning from Columbia University, New York; and my Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of St. Augustine, Florida. I continue to attend post graduate courses. I trained in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) for children and babies and I have extensive experience working with children of all ages from infants to teenagers. Additional areas I focus on are normal development, ribcage dysfunction and breathing. I address treatment of children with Torticollis in a unique and gentle manner which avoids pushing on the baby’s head. In addition, some of the children I have worked with are afflicted by brain injuries, Cerebral Palsy, CranioSacral dysfunctions, developmental delays, Down’s syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, genetic disorders, musculoskeletal problems, pelvic asymmetries, and postural difficulties.
Furthermore, I have unique experiences with children who are recovering from fractures or have other orthopedic conditions, children who toe-walk or have orthotic needs, and children born prematurely. It is important to me to treat the underlying causes of physical disorders and not only to address what is obvious. I always say I have the best job in the world. I love my kids and I am thrilled to see them improve and thrive.
Lauren Martini has been part of the Kid Clan therapy team since 2009. She received her training at Quinnipiac University and has been a pediatric occupational therapist since 2002. She is in the process of completing her masters. Lauren’s passion for her field is apparent in her diverse approach to treating the whole child, viewing each child as a whole person with individual needs. Lauren’s work experience is diverse. She has extensive experience in home and clinic based early intervention, in addition to school based therapy working with children with limited mobility as well as children with autistic spectrum disorders. Lauren has experience with assistive technology and adaptive equipment. She has learned to effectively include the use of the iPad and many other devices in treatment.
Lauren is committed to furthering her education, completing numerous training courses on topics including sensory integration, feeding, NDT, and assistive technology. She is a certified and preferred listed provider of Therapeutic Listening. Lauren has completed all levels of the Handwriting without Tears (HWT) courses and is certified to administer the HWT evaluation – the Print Tool. Lauren is level 1 certified in Myofascial Release for pediatrics.
Lauren owns a certified therapy assist dog named Chaney. She loves bringing him to therapy or volunteering with him as much as her hectic schedule allows. Lauren is an emergency medical technician. For fun, she enjoys working out, going to the beach, traveling, and eating out at a variety of restaurants. Lauren has a boyfriend of four years and a dog and 2 cats. Spending time with family is always a priority.
Deb McCarthy is a practicing Speech Language Pathologist for more than 30 years. She received her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and an M.A. in Speech and Language Pathology from Montclair State University. She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and licensed in the State of New Jersey. Deb has serviced special needs children in a variety of settings including Public Schools, Montclair State University Demonstration School as well as the University’s Early Intervention Programs. She spent the last 13 years working as a member of a Transdisciplinary Team providing services for EI children within inclusive classrooms at the Ben Samuel’s Children’s Center at MSU. She focused on developing communication skills in young children within the daily routines and schedules of their classrooms while supporting and training staff members to utilize strategies for optimum growth. As a team member she participated in weekly meetings with colleagues in the fields of OT, PT, Special Education and Psychology to discuss the function of specific children as well as plan and make modifications for their participation in Inclusion. Parents were included in many meetings and Staff had the opportunity to dialogue with families on a daily basis. While at MSU Deb had the opportunity to supervise students in training both in clinical settings as well as the Inclusive setting provided at BSCC. This opportunity has enriched her professional career allowing her to share knowledge and experience while learning from and mentoring students within their programs.
Presently Deb is providing intervention to children at Kid Clan and most recently she has begun to reach out and service children in Community Pre-School programs, supporting development of Social Communication Skills.
While not working, Deb enjoys time with her family traveling. Reading, Pilates and Barre classes, gardening, knitting and baking are her go to activities.
Board Certified ABA Therapist
Felicia received her Bachelors at Montclair State University and her Masters at William Paterson University in Education with a concentration in Special Education. She has been teaching special education students for over fifteen years and has worked with students from 3 years of age through 21 years of age. In 2008, she received her certification in Applied Behavior Analysis and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). In the same year, she joined the team at KID CLAN. She works full time as a special education teacher and afterschool, she works five days a week with special needs students and their families. She not only works with students, but provides parent training and consultation as well. Felicia is also a supervisor and mentor to future BCBAs and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT). Felicia uses observation, functional assessments, data collection and analysis to promote positive behavior change in order to assist individuals reach their goals!!
Brooke graduated from Kean University with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2010. She has dedicated her career to helping children achieve their potential ever since. She has experience providing OT services in special needs and public schools, outpatient clinics, and early intervention settings. Brooke has worked with clientele of differing age groups throughout her career. While she has worked with patients of all ages, she has specialized in working with individuals ranging from birth to age 21. Brooke has treated individuals spanning a variety of pediatric diagnoses including but not limited to cases of neurological impairments, blindness, visual impairments, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, and sensory processing disorders. She is licensed in New Jersey as well as in New York, and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Brooke has received advanced training and certifications in Therapeutic Listening, Handwriting/Learning Without Tears, Yoga and Mindfulness for children, HANDLE, Rhythmic Movement Training, and Kinesiotaping (KT1 and KT2). She is always looking to further her education to best treat her clients.
When Brooke is not working she enjoys sending time with her husband and adorable children.