our mission

To help children achieve their fullest potential by building life skills, sparking creativity, and finding solutions to life’s challenges.

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 MEILANI
 CONNOLLY 
OTR/L
PEDIATRIC
OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPIST

MEILANI has 16 years of experience in occupational therapy, the last eight of which have been focused on treating children in school-based and hospital setting. Since graduating from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in 2001, Meilani has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home-based, early intervention, and school setting in San Francisco. She traveled as an occupational therapist for two years all over the United States prior to meeting her husband in Washington, DC in 2006. In 2008, Meilani and her family moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Meilani's husbands job. In Malaysia, Meilani used her knowledge in occupational therapy to mentor occupational therapists in Kuala Lumpur, where she volunteered at a children’s clinic to help treat underserved children with cerebral palsy, learning disorders, and other neurological conditions.


Meilani has her advanced certification in Physical Agent Modalities (PAM) and has used this to treat patients who have had a stroke. Meilani has participated in continuing education programs in Sensory Processing and Regulation, the ALERT Program, the Zones of Regulation, the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, and Handwriting Without Tears. She recently took courses on Understanding and Managing Visual Deficits, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia, and Executive Dysfunction skills and treatments for kids with or without disabilities. Meilani has used her knowledge in all settings to treat children of all ages in order to increase a student’s learning and abilities. Meilani has two boys, ages 11 and 10. Meilani enjoys spending time with her family during her free time.

 
 SARAH 
 GRAGNAGNI 
OTR/L
PEDIATRIC
OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPIST

SARAH has been practicing occupational therapy for 7 years since graduating from the University of Sydney, Australia. Sarah has been working in the field of pediatrics in the school based setting for 4 years. Sarah has experience working with children with fine and gross motor delays, difficulties with visual perception and visual motor skills, sensory processing difficulties, autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays. Sarah has continuing education in the Handwriting Without Tears program, the Alert Program, Sensory Integration, Pediatric Yoga and Oppositional and Defiant Behavior. In her spare time, Sarah likes to walk on the beach with her dog, explore California and spend time with family and friends.

 
 
 CATHERINE 
 COWEN 
OTR/L
OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPIST

CATHERINE has been an occupational therapist in a variety of settings for the past 14 years and currently provides services to children in public schools.   Some of her Continuing education courses include "Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders: SOS Approach”, “Visual Vestibular Treatment to Improve Sensory Processing, Motor Skills and Behavior”,  “NDT Treatment of Baby and Young Child."  She completed her 200 hour yoga alliance certification as well as pediatric training through "It's Yoga Kids" in SF.  Using a playful individualized approach she loves helping others make healthy changes in many areas like strength, motor coordination, and self regulation. 

 

clarice has been a pediatric occupational therapist for 15 years. She has worked with kids of all ages with neurological, musculoskeletal, and developmental disabilities. She’s passionate about finding the unique abilities in all kids and what motivates them. She has a playful spirit and loves the part of her job where she can be silly to facilitate engagement with her clients.

 

Clarice has been driven throughout her career to explore how technology can be used to improve outcomes. She has a special interest in 3D printing and the creativity it reveals. She believes that everyone is creative and that teaching kids problem-solving, creativity, and resilience will serve them throughout their lifetime.

 

Clarice has been dedicated to continuing education. She has studied self-regulation and created groups to develop self-regulation skills and interception awareness. She has also developed groups and individual intensives using a treatment protocol called modified Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy. She has her advanced certification in Swallowing, and is skilled at oral motor and sensory-based feeding difficulties. She is trained in sensory integration, neurodevelopmental treatment, Kinesiotaping, physical agent modalities, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, seating and positioning, Wilbarger brushing protocol, and the Zones of Regulation.

 
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OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPIST

JULIA has been working as an occupational therapist for three years since graduating from Columbia University in New York. Julia works at a children's hospital in acute care and has experience at private practices for children with fine and gross motor delays, feeding difficulties, and sensory processing difficulties.

Julia has spent time teaching at an elementary school in Spain as well as working in South America at clinics for children with developmental delays.  Julia has continuing education and mentorship in the SOS approach to feeding, sensory versus behavior, and handwriting without tears.

 

On her spare time, Julia loves hiking, running, traveling and spending time exploring San Francisco.

SARAH is an occupational therapist working in a school based setting. Previously, she worked in early childhood education as a head teacher/director of a preschool program. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in architecture from UC Berkeley and completed her Masters in occupational therapy from San Jose State. She is a certified Music Together teacher.

She has recently taken classes in Supporting students with autism in the classroom, Strategies for learning disorders, Sensory strategies for optimal brain function and postural control, and a sensory approach to potty training.

 
 

RACHEL has been a physical therapist for the past 12 years and has been working exclusively with children for 5 years. It’s tough to say who likes playing with the toys and blowing bubbles more: Rachel or the children she is working with! When she is not working, she enjoys camping, working on her campervan, biking, or seeing live music.

LILY is a dedicated speech language pathologist who utilizes evidence-based treatment interventions. She has experience working with individuals of all ages who have autism spectrum disorders, articulation disorders, expressive/receptive language disorders, acquired neurogenic communication disorders, cognitive linguistic impairments, and etc.  Lily is passionate about working with individuals with special needs.  She has experience providing speech and language assessments and treatment under various capacities, including home-based early intervention, school-based services within Bay Area public schools, and clinic-based treatment for adult inpatient population within medical facilities.  Lily completed her B.A. in Sociology & Chinese at University of California Davis, M.A. in Chinese at San Francisco State University and M.S. in Communicative Disorders at California State Eastbay. She is native to San Francisco and enjoys attending conferences/workshops for continued education and traveling during her breaks.

 
SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST

ERICA has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for 5 years since graduating from the Nova Southeastern University, in Florida. Erica has worked with both adults and children in several settings such as in-home care, school setting and private practice. Erica is excited to join the weekly play based therapy groups alongside an occupational therapist Hunter’s Threads! 

 

She has experience evaluating and treating a variety of disorders including: autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, articulation and phonological disorders and receptive and expressive language disorders. 

 

In her spare time, Erica enjoys staying active outdoors with her friends and family. Erica has lived in San Francisco for the past 4 years and is falling more in love with the bay area every day!

 

SUSAN Dambroff is a special educator, specializing in early intervention.  Susan plays guitar, and incorporates music activities into her work with children. She worked for 25 years for SFUSD, as a Special Education teacher, Autism Specialist, and Coach in Inclusive Practices.  She specializes in working with children with social and communication challenges, working to provide play and language rich environments that promote learning and facilitate engagement.

 

WE TAKE "FUN" SERIOUSLY

Every kid is unique and we celebrate that by offering a diverse range of services that will ensure you and your child receive the tools you need for him/her to truly thrive. We care about making all of your experiences with us fun and easy, without missing any of the important details.

LET'S CHAT

Email us with questions or to set up a  FREE 15-minute consultation call 

415-702-0028
3425 Balboa st
San Francisco
CALIFORNIA
94121 USA

©2019 Build Learn Thrive, LLC