Meet the Therapists

meetcarmieCarmie Leister, MS, CCC-SLP (Founder and owner of Bright Horizons Pediatric Therapy, LLC) is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist who has been servicing the Atlanta area for the past 17 years. She relocated with her husband  from South Florida and moved to Georgia in 2003. She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Central Florida, and received her Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University.

Her clinical practice experience includes the following: public school system, private practice, Babies Can’t Wait and outpatient rehabilitation. She has serviced children with a variety of delays/disorders which include the following: Early Childhood Language Delay, Articulation/Phonology, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Oral Motor, Auditory Processing, Receptive and Expressive Language Delays, Voice, Fluency (Stuttering), Pragmatics (Social Skills), Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC), Cerebral Palsy, and Down Syndrome. Her love and passion for treating children has allowed her to establish an excellent reputation within the community.

Carmie and her husband have two lovely children as well as an Australian Cattle dog. When Carmie is not working she enjoys spending quality time with her family, traveling, gardening, exercising and volunteering within her church community.


ther3Christine Edge, MS Ed., CCC-SLP is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist who has been servicing the Atlanta area for the past 13 years. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees in Communication Disorders and Sciences from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. Prior to changing her focus to Speech Pathology, she received an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

She specializes in working with infants and children aged birth to 19 years old with focus on the following areas: pediatric feeding difficulties, medically fragile children, severe language delays, early childhood language delay, apraxia of speech, oral motor difficulties, behavioral difficulties, autism and articulation.

In her spare time, Christine meanders through a series of hobbies including: gardening, cooking, pottery and reading. She lives with her two crazy cats who never fail to make life interesting.

 


Allison Otting, MA, CCC-SLP, has been a certified Speech and Language Pathologist since 2001. A former Midwesterner, she graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders (along with a minor in Psychology) and from Kent State University with a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology (along with an educational certification). While attending Kent State University in Ohio, Allison completed specialized coursework and clinical experiences as a chosen recipient for the Low Incidence Grant by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. She has worked in a variety of settings including: private therapy practice, pediatric hospital, public and private schools (preschool-12th grade), early intervention, and adult residential and vocational settings.

Allison enjoys working with both children and adults and their families. She recognizes her clients as unique individuals and provides family-centered care. Allison has clinical experience across a variety of areas including: Receptive/Expressive Language, Articulation/Phonology, Stuttering/Fluency, Voice Disorders, Augmentative Communication (low tech-high tech), Autism/PDD, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Hearing Impaired/Cochlear Implants, Cleft Palate, Oral-Motor/Sensory Feeding Disorders, Early Intervention and School-Age Speech/Language, Consultation and file review for IEP meetings, Pragmatic/Social Language, Cognitive Impairments, Learning Disabilities, and Other Health Impairments.

When not working, Allison enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and baking, and spending time outdoors enjoying the warm weather in Georgia. She is also an avid college football fan and is very loyal to her former hometown teams (Go Fighting Irish and Buckeyes!).

 

 


Melissa PictureelissaPicMelissa Newton, Ed. S., CCC-SLP, is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist who has been treating students in Cobb County School District for 12 years. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Linguistics and her Master’s  degree in Communication Disorders and Education Specialist degree from Valdosta State University.

Her clinical practice experience includes the following: public school system, private practice, Babies Can’t Wait, home health, and skilled nursing facilities. She has serviced children and adults with a variety of delays/disorders which include the following: Early Childhood Language Delay, Articulation/Phonology, Oral Motor, Receptive and Expressive Language Delays, Voice, Fluency (stuttering), Pragmatics (Social Skills), Autism, Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC), Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Dysphagia (Swallowing), and other genetic disorders.

Melissa has two children and 2 dogs. When Melissa is not working, she enjoys spending quality time with her family, playing tennis, doing crafts around her house, and traveling.

 


Loresta

Loreta McPartland, MA, CCC-SLP, is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist with 11 years of clinical experience.  She received her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.

Her experience includes 7 years at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Hospital) in the Department of Speech and Language as well as in the Department of Assistive Technology.  While at Kennedy Krieger, Loreta specialized in pediatric communication disorders and treated children with a variety of speech and language disorders including receptive and expressive language disorders, apraxia of speech, dysarthria, learning disabilities, stuttering, articulation, and phonological disorders.  She also evaluated, recommended and programmed augmentative communication devices for patients presenting with severe apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorders, ataxia telangiectasia, and cerebral palsy. Prior to working at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Loreta worked in both private and public school settings.  She has extensive experience working in a team approach, communicating and working with doctors, other therapists, teachers and most importantly, parents.

Loreta lives in Roswell with her husband and has 3 children.  She’s an active volunteer at her children’s schools and enjoys traveling, gardening and playing tennis in her free time.

 


 


Leslie Elder, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist who received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Communication Sciences and Disorders and she received her Master’s degree from Valdosta State University in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Her clinical experience includes working in the Fulton County School district and the private practice setting.  She  has serviced children with a variety of disorders and delays including: Articulation/Phonology, Expressive and Receptive Language, Autism-Spectrum Disorders, Pragmatic Language deficits, and Learning Disabilities.

In her free time she likes to try new restaurants with her husband, play tennis, run, and volunteer in her church community.


 

Meredith Paulin, MA, CCC-SLP is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist who has been providing clinical Speech Language services in the Marietta area for 19 years. She received her bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Georgia in 1999, and her Masters in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana in 2001 after which she returned back to her childhood hometown of Alpharetta Georgia to marry her high school sweetheart.

She and her husband of 19 years have 3 daughters, and a 100 pound bull mastiff named Lailah.  In addition to clinic- based experience, Meredith has had prior hospital based experience with feeding and swallowing disorders with infants as well with adults, and holds a specialty certification in neonatal feeding from her experience as a feeding specialists in a level III NICU. Meredith currently specializes in feeding difficulties in the 0-3 population, as well as development of communication and language in preschool and school age children.  She often incorporates art, music, and play based curriculum into her daily therapy practices and enjoys getting to know what motivates each individual client.

On the community front, she participates in a local mother daughter philanthropy organization called National Charity  League, where she is currently the acting president of the East Cobb chapter. In her spare-time she loves art, music, cooking, as well as spending time with her 3 daughters and her family.

 


Elena Kimbrough, MCD, CCC-SLP  is a certified Speech and Language Pathologist who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Carolina. She worked for Gwinnett County Public Schools as a speech-language pathologist assistant while earning her master’s degree and then transitioned to a speech-language pathologist after completing her schooling.

Elena has experience working with children with varying communication needs including the following: expressive and receptive language disorders, apraxia of speech, stuttering, articulation and phonological disorders, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and Down Syndrome. Elena feels passionate about collaborating with parents to provide effective, family-centered therapy that is based on current research. Since she believes that communication is the key to connection, helping children communicate successfully is her greatest goal.

 


Damir Hecimovic, MS OTR/L,  is a licensed, registered Occupational Therapist with experience in treating children with developmental disabilities. Damir attended the Brenau University for his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.

Damir has treated children implementing Floortime and sensory integration techniques, improving fine motor skills, handwriting, and activities of a child’s daily living. He keeps current in his field through continuing education and training on subjects such as sensory integration, handwriting, DIRFloortime® and updated research.

Before receiving his degree in occupational therapy Damir worked/volunteered at The Hirsch Academy as a therapy assistant mentored by Shelley Cranes, OTR/L. Damir and his wife are the proud parents of three daughters.

 

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Jennifer DeMastrie, OTR/L is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of New England in Biddeford, ME. Jennifer has always had a passion for working with children, which has led her to working in pediatrics for the past 20 years. She has experience working in a variety of settings such as outpatient clinic, home health care, public school system (preschool through elementary) and private practice.

Jennifer has experience working with children with fine motor, visual motor, visual perceptual delays, developmental delay, sensory processing, Autism spectrum disorder, neurological disorders, Cerebral Palsy and feeding difficulties. She is modality certified and has training in SOS feeding, hand therapy, visual deficits, sensory integration, NDT and kinesio taping.

Jennifer and her husband have two children and an Australian Shepherd, Turner. She enjoys working out, running, going to see Broadway musicals and is a big Braves fan.

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Jennifer Esposito Zimmerman, M.Ed is a Play Therapist/ Behavioral Specialist. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience specializing in children on the Autism Spectrum, birth – 8 years. In addition to this, Jennifer has worked with medically fragile children and children with developmental delays of varying degrees.

Prior to moving to Roswell in 2004, Jennifer ran the model Early Intervention classroom for all of Chester County in Pennsylvania. Jennifer holds Bachelors/Masters degrees in Special Ed, Elementary Ed ,Early Childhood Ed and Multicultural Ed form West Chester University and Eastern University as well as Post Graduate/Doctoral work in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism form the University of Pennsylvania and Penn State University. In addition, Jennifer has attended the National Autism Conference as well as many workshops on various best practice methods for children with special needs. She has also conducted many workshops on behavior and play therapy. Jennifer has been awarded the Outstanding Service Award from The Chester County Intermediate Unit and has been nominated for the Heart of Learning Award.

Since moving to Georgia with her family, Jennifer has taken some time off to raise her two young children age 7 and 11. Recently, Jennifer has begun to accept clients for private play/behavior therapy as well as educational advocacy services. Jennifer and her husband have two amazing kids as well as a schnauzer puppy.

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Stevie Reilly, M.Ed is a certified K-12 Reading Specialist and K-6 Elementary school teacher. She graduated with her Master’s degree from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College and served as a tutor at the Vanderbilt Reading Clinic. She’s taught first, third, and sixth grade, gifted education, and was a literacy coach supporting teachers, students, and parents.  She specializes in remediating reading differences including: dyslexia, specific language disabilities, auditory processing disorder, written language disorder, and reading disorders and is trained in the Orton Gillingham approach and Reading Recovery.  Stevie also supports homeschool students and families providing reading groups, enrichment, and book clubs.

Stevie and her husband, Sean, enjoy spending time together exploring restaurants, cooking, baking, spending time with family and friends, and cheering for Stevie’s hometown teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins!



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