Jo-Anne was one of the first 3 physiotherapists in the World to be accepted to complete the Level III course in Cuevas MEDEK therapy, a very specialized technique in Physiotherapy for children.
Jo-Anne’s objective has always been to provide the best services to the children that she works with. so in January 1999, she started working privately in a part time capacity and by 2002 she was working full time. Jo-Anne then opened S.M.I.L.E. Therapy for Kids private practice that specializes in child development, to meet the demand for physiotherapy in children. She continues to research and find the best treatments for all the children that are under her care and connects with specialists all over the world to achieve this.
Jo-Anne also travels to various countries to provide the specialized CME therapy for Groups of families who request her services. Jo-Anne is looking forward to continue to mentor and train/teach new therapists to become stronger in this field and will carry on traveling and teaching as many people in as many places to help children all over the world.
Jessica graduated from Queen’s University with her Masters in Physiotherapy in 2011. She has always had a passion for working with children. Jessica has been working in various clinic and home care paediatric settings gaining experience in orthopAedic, developmental and neurological conditions. She has completed post-graduate courses in but not limited to CME Level 1 and 2, Introduction to NDT, NDT for Children with Autism, 4 courses in Craniosacral Therapy, Paediatric Developmental Core, Soft Tissue release as well as her TheraTogs certification. She aspires to achieve her CME Level 3 training in the future. Jessica has a passion for dancing and has passed her pre-professional ballet exam through the Royal Academy of Dance. She is a member in good standing with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
Sarah Makary graduated from Queen’s University in 2016 with a Masters degree in Physical Therapy. Born and raised in Toronto, she also graduated from York University with specialized honours in Kinesiology in 2012. Sarah’s passion to work with children led her to pursue her career as a physical therapist with a specialization in paediatrics. In addition to her practical experience gained as a student in paediatrics, Sarah has had experience working in the community, entering the homes of children and providing treatment and recommendations to parents within the child’s daily environment. Sarah has accumulated experience in working with children who have a variety of conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, pre and post selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery, low muscle tone, gross motor delay, developmental coordination disorders, general balance and coordination difficulties, torticollis, flat feet, toe walking, and cancer among other conditions. Sarah is certified in level 1 Cuevas MEDEK Exercise, with a strong interest in pursuing higher levels and has taken other courses such as APTEI acupuncture and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Sarah believes in ongoing education and is always ready to further her knowledge and expertise to provide evidence-based, best-practice care for clients through ongoing mentorship and courses. When Sarah is not at SMILE therapy for kids, she enjoys being outdoors doing anything active, she loves to travel, eat and spend time with friends and family!
Lisa graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters degree in Physiotherapy in 2014. Lisa was honoured to receive the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Award for the highest aggregate mark in academic and clinical courses throughout her entire Masters program. Lisa also received the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy’s Therapy Scholarship.
She received the majority of her paediatric training at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in the Neuromotor Department working with children with a variety of conditions such as cerebral palsy and chromosomal abnormalities. Lisa has volunteered with organizations such as Best Buddies, the Special Olympics, and the Parapan American Games.
She is certified in level 1 and 2 Cuevas MEDEK Exercises. She has also completed her level 1 and level 2 lower Diploma of Manual Therapy through the Orthopedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Lisa is also certified in Rhythmical Movement Training, which is a series of movements to help integrate retained primitive reflexes to help overcome balance, sensory, emotional and behavioural challenges. Lisa has also taken courses on Paediatric Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), Kinesio Taping, Soft Tissue Release, Non-Internal Pelvic Health, the Mulligan concept, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Managing Children with Cerebral Palsy, Orthopaedic Physiotherapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy, Toe Walking, and Sensory Processing and Emotional Issues in Early Childhood.
When Lisa is not at SMILE Therapy for Kids she enjoys travelling, playing soccer, training for triathlons, and spending time with her family.
Kali received her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto in 2012. Kali is a passionate occupational therapist who strives to enable children and families to participate in meaningful and essential daily occupations. She utilizes an evidence-based and family-centered approach to guide her therapeutic interventions, which are targeted towards enhancing functional independence and quality of life. Kali has experience working with children/youth of various ages and abilities in schools, outpatient clinics, and in the community. She designs and facilitates treatment plans using sensory/emotional regulation, and neurodevelopmental techniques, cognitive strategies, life/social skills training, Handwriting Without Tears programs, as well as specialized equipment and assistive software. Kali has training in sensory integration, including the Astronaut Program, as well as the Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) approach, The Listening Program, and the Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) approach to feeding. She continues to work diligently to incorporate fun into her sessions, while developing positive, therapeutic relationships in an effort to discover new possibilities.
Tina Gasee is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist with a Master’s of Health Science degree from the University of Toronto, and has been in practice for over 20 years. Tina’s passion includes working with children & teens with various syndromes as well as with children with CP, DD, ASD, LD, hearing loss & apraxia. Tina offers individual therapy sessions and also group social communication skills programs. She is the Founder & Director of the Saturday Speech Club & Kitchen Talk programs.
Tina’s professional training & practice approaches include:
- PROMPT- level 2, Introduction to Prompt Technique and Prompt Bridging
- Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol
- PECS-Picture Exchange Communication System
- Hanen principles
- Social Thinking Curriculum
- PEERS-Program for the Education & Enrichment of Relational Skills
- Precision Fluency Shaping Program
- Literacy skills
Throughout her career Tina has primarily worked in the private sector. Other experience includes working for the Speech Foundation of Ontario Stuttering Centre, the York Region Preschool Speech & Language Program, the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto, & the York Region District School Board. Tina has held a teaching appointment at the University of Toronto and at Georgian College, providing clinical training to students studying to become Speech-Language Pathologists & Communicative Disorders Assistants.
Tina’s message to families: Whether your child is currently nonverbal, is ready to start speaking or is already speaking, I strive to ensure that their treatment goals are practical & achievable. Therapy should make sense–therapy should lead to a significant difference in your child’s daily interactions. I look forward to working together with you, your child & members of their educational and health care team.
Mohamad A. Mohamad
SWALLOWING, VOICE AND SPEECH REHAB
Mohamad A. Mohamad is MA, PHD, CCC-SLP, C-SLP, Reg. CASLPO Certified Orofacial Myologist. He has long experience in Swallowing, Voice and Speech Rehabilitation
Kayla is a graduate of the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program at Georgian College. Through her placements with Children Development Services at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie and her volunteer work at Hikewood Hippotherapy, she has fallen in love with working with children. Since joining the SMILE Therapy team she has been amazed by the work all the kids do and all they can achieve. Her passion is to support the kids and their families through weekly and intensive therapy sessions and is continually blown away watching these superhero’s!
Born and raised in the Philippines. After finishing College and graduating from the field of Hotel and Restaurant Management, my only dream was to leave my country for a better opportunity to help my family. I was a caregiver for two years in Hong Kong before I pursued immigration to Canada in order to keep finding greater opportunities. While working, I was able to finish a short term course as a Personal Support Worker. I was trained to care both for adults and kids, but my great love for kids found me working as a therapy assistant. After acquiring my immigrant status, Jo-Anne Weltman who is the founder of Smile Therapy for kids, trained me to be a skilled therapy assistant.. Her passion and commitment to help kids inspired me. It brought me great joy as I watched the kids progress. I have been working with kids for over 15 years now, specifically working with kids with special needs and they have taught me to be more compassionate and caring. As Smile Therapy for Kids has been continuing to expand, I have also taken up the role as administrative assistant. Apart from working, I have my own family and spending time with them is what I love to do.
Jamie is a proud graduate of McMaster’s Honours Kinesiology program, minoring in Theatre/Film studies. She is thrilled to work with such incredible kids every day, and aspires to complete her Masters in Physical Therapy in the future. To complement her rehabilitation practice, Jamie is also a Zumba, kickboxing and group fitness instructor at various gyms across the GTA. Her most memorable collaboration was working with MotionBall McMaster, where she lead Zumba classes, fundraisers and special events for families living with disabilities. In her spare time, she has a passion for musical theatre and strives to keep music and dance in her life by partaking in community theatre productions.
Jen joined our team as a clinic volunteer in 2017 . She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health sciences, and a minor in Psychology.Throughout her undergraduate degree, Jen has gained great experience in hospitals, clinics and the community. This includes Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital, where she aided in research in childhood obesity and health and wellness. Further Jen has great experience with many children of various ages. She is an instructor for classes of children ages 0-5 years old, where she creates classes with play based learning which facilitates healthy development per each milestones. At the clinic, Jen likes to make kids laugh and she creates a fun and enjoyable environment. She likes to make sure that therapy is a positive experience for everyone.
When Shira was 7 years old, she decided she wanted to become a physical therapist. Watching her little cousin in therapy and actually being present when she finally learnt to walk, sealed the deal! Shira is currently studying kinesiology at York University and hopes to apply to graduate school in 2021. Shira enjoys making therapy a fun environment for the kids at SMILE and she feels so lucky to be a part of their amazing team.
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