LuAnn realized her dream of opening a pediatric speech and language therapy clinic in July 2012 when she founded Blast Off Children’s Therapy Services. That dream was furthered when she added occupational therapy and physical therapy to the clinic so that the families she served could have the benefit and convenience of multiple therapies at one location. LuAnn loves watching the progress that is made when children, families and therapists all work together toward one goal!
LuAnn has been a certified speech-language pathologist since 1982. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in education in the area of speech and hearing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and her master’s degree in speech pathology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Over the years, LuAnn has worked in a variety of environments including hospitals, developmental centers, preschools, and outpatient multidisciplinary clinics. LuAnn specializes in pediatric speech and language pathology and has significant experience in Early Intervention and in the diagnosis and treatment of the range of pediatric communication disorders. LuAnn’s experience includes working with children who have diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delay, Cleft Lip and Palate, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Articulation Disorder, Phonology Disorder, Receptive and Expressive Language Impairment, Pragmatic Language Impairment, Voice Disorder, and Fluency Disorder. LuAnn also has experience in supervision of new speech pathologists and has a commitment to continuing education. She has introductory training in the PROMPT technique and DIR Floortime® and has completed advanced training in SCERTS®, an educational model addressing the key challenges facing children on the autism spectrum. In addition, she is certified by The Hanen Program® to teach the It Takes Two To Talk and More Than Words courses for parents. She is a recipient of the ASHA Award for Continuing Education (ACE).
Mary was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she lived for 5 years. Mary returned to San Diego in 2018 and started working with children pre-k to fourth grade as a teacher’s aide. She then began working with children aged from 3 to 16 with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a Registered Behavior Technician for two and a half years. She provided ABA therapy in-home, in-school and in clinic before beginning her new position at Blast Off in August 2022. Mary is interested in pursuing a Master’s in Psychology or Speech Language Pathology, but is most excited about working with children in the future. Mary is fluent in English and Spanish and currently learning Korean. She loves learning languages because she values connecting with others in the language they are most comfortable speaking. Mary is hoping to one day be able to learn even more languages!
Dana graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Linguistics from the University of California at Davis, where she also competed as a collegiate athlete. While at Davis, Dana worked at the Center for Child and Family studies, a program funded to research interactions influencing children’s development of self, relationships, social-emotional competence, and cognitive development. Post graduation, Dana worked as a preschool teacher, where she learned more about speech-language delays and augmentative and alternative communication. One student in particular motivated Dana to apply to graduate school in order to better support the student’s communication needs. Dana obtained a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Northern Colorado and is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Her clinical experience includes outpatient for pediatrics and adults, inpatient rehabilitation for pediatrics and adults, and school-based settings, including early childhood, elementary, and high school. She has treated communication disorders associated with autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Down syndrome, hearing loss, intellectual disability, augmentative and alternative communication for gestalt language processors, executive function, and dynamic and temporal tactile cueing. Dana’s goal as a speech-language pathologist is to promote communication skills, self-confidence, and independence at home and within the community.
Casandra graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders & a Minor in Psychology in 2013. She then graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2015. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Casandra has many years of experience working with the pediatric population within multi-disciplinary outpatient clinics and strives to meet the dynamic needs of each client. She has experience working in Early Intervention and with clients between the ages of 3-14 years of age with diagnoses including but not limited to Autism, Down Syndrome, Apraxia of Speech, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Hearing Impairment. Further, her expertise includes promoting multilingual language development for bilingual families and treating motor-based speech disorders. Casandra has been formally trained in PROMPT, Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC), the Kaufman method for treating Childhood Apraxia of Speech, DIR Floortime®, and Natural Language Acquisition. Therapeutic intervention strategies employed include the principles of motor learning, developing functional communication skills, and coaching the caregiver. Over the years, Casandra has held the title of Clinical Supervisor for multiple Speech Therapy Clinical Fellows and Speech Language Pathology Assistants. When not at the clinic, Casandra is working towards her Associate of Art in Spanish in hopes to better serve the Hispanic population.
Jessica has been working as an Occupational Therapist since 2018. She has practiced throughout the U.S including Arizona, New York, and California. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California in 2013. She received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona in 2018. Jessica has worked in various pediatric settings including an inpatient behavioral hospital for adolescents 8 to 17 years old, the public school setting for Pre-K to 5th grade, and in-home early intervention for newborns to 3 years of age. Jessica has worked with children with developmental and intellectual delays, Autism, and sensory processing disorders. This includes intervention focused on self-regulation, self-help, visual motor, and fine motor skills to gain independence in daily tasks/routines. Jessica is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She is interested in obtaining certifications in the future geared toward helping children with feeding challenges related to sensory processing issues.
Jessica’s favorite thing about working in pediatrics is the creativity piece behind therapy. She strongly believes that a collaborative approach with family and other providers is essential to a child’s success in achieving their goals!
Kennedy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Medicine and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Saginaw Valley State University. In her time there she completed undergrad as a collegiate athlete and had the opportunity to complete an internship with the mission of creating adaptive sports opportunities for children and adolescents impacted by physical disabilities. She also had the opportunity to gain experience as an ABA technician to further her expertise with children with ASD and behavioral challenges. Kennedy’s clinical OT experience has included time spent in outpatient pediatric clinics, school districts and in-home early intervention. She has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of children affected by various neurological and physical disabilities. Her areas of expertise include but are not limited to interventions targeting sensory integration, social-emotional development, feeding, fine and visual motor skills, reflex integration and other skills to support each child’s independence and success in meaningful and functional daily activities.
Kennedy has always been passionate about working with children and putting a creative and fun spin on her interventions to support the best, possible outcomes. She has a strong desire to enhance independence and quality of life of children and their families through providing the highest quality family-centered care.
Alyssa has been a licensed physical therapist since 2008 and recently became a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy. She graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Dance and went on to obtain her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at University of Southern California. Alyssa has experience working in private practice with pediatric and orthopedic patients ranging from infants to geriatrics, home care providing Early Intervention services to the 0-3 year population, and school districts with preschool through high school students. She performs gross motor and orthotic evaluations, consultations and treatments and has provided trainings for school staff and parents regarding lifting/handling techniques, equipment, and motor development. Alyssa’s experience includes working with a variety of neurologic, genetic, and orthopedic diagnoses including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Torticollis, Muscle Diseases, Hypotonia, Traumatic Brain Injuries as well as children with vision and hearing impairments.
Alyssa has received further training including adaptive yoga for children, infant massage, pediatric vestibular rehabilitation, sensory integration, and neurodevelopmental treatments. She is also a professional dancer and dance teacher. Alyssa enjoys working in a team environment and regularly collaborates with Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Behavioral Therapists. She believes families are an integral part of the team to maximize a child’s level of function and independence.