Team

Meet The Playful Strides Therapy Team

Cathy O’Leary

Owner/Occupational Therapist

Cathy has an experienced occupational therapist who specializes in working with children and adolescents. With over 25 years of experience in this field, Cathy has developed a unique approach to therapy that is tailored to each child’s individual needs.  She is passionate about providing children with the tools and support they need to reach their potential.  She is committed to working collaboratively with families to meet their goals.


Cathy has wealth of knowledge in a many areas including sensory processing, fine motor skills, self regulation, feeding and executive functioning.  She is skilled in a variety of therapy techniques, including play-based intervention, sensory processing, eating and feeding, specialized seating supports, and social emotional learning.  


Cathy is dedicated to ongoing professional development and stays current on techniques and research.  She also presents on many topics both locally and provincially.  She has completed training and is certified in The Safe & Sound Protocol, Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Eating, The Get Permission Approach to Eating, Complex Seating & Mobility (ADP) and Handwriting without Tears programming. Cathy opened Playful Strides Therapy in 2014.  Cathy’s warm and compassionate approach, combined with her expertise and experience, make her a highly respected and busy OT.  She has supported and trained other Occupational Therapists in her approach.

Munira Kantawala

Physiotherapist

Munira is an experienced Registered Physiotherapist who has a focus on children for over 15 years.  She holds a Clinical Assistant Professor position at McMaster University, School of Rehabilitation Sciences. At Playful Strides Therapy, she provides a range of physiotherapy services to children with various conditions.  She holds many certifications including in Dynamic Core 4 Kids, Neuro-Developmental Treatment, Incontinence and Pelvic Floor muscle training, TMR Tots & Teens Level I-III, Elastic Therapeutic taping, CME Level 1, Rhythmic Movement Training Level I/II,& Sensory Integration Certification (USC/WPS 1 & 4). 

Neha Rane

Pediatric Physiotherapist

As a skilled pediatric physiotherapist, Neha has over a decade of experience in treating children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, and developmental delay. Her expertise in Sensory Integration Therapy and Neuro-Developmental Treatment enables her to develop effective treatment plans that cater to each child’s individual needs. Her compassionate approach to care, combined with her extensive experience, makes her a valuable asset to Playful Strides Therapy.

Maria Bezerra

Occupational Therapist

Maria Bezerra is an experienced Occupational Therapist who has helped many people of different ages and backgrounds to improve their daily living skills. She has worked in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare settings to help people recover from injuries, illnesses, or disabilities. Maria is also a skilled teacher who enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. She can explain things in an easy-to-understand way and is patient and kind when working with clients, families, and colleagues. Her work involves using fun activities and exercises to help people reach their goals and improve their quality of life.

Aarohi Patkha

Occupational Therapist

Aarohi Pathak is an Occupational Therapist who helps people of all ages with different physical, cognitive and mental health conditions. She especially loves working with children and has lots of experience helping them learn new skills and become more independent. Aarohi is also very good at using technology to help people who need extra support. She can work with other healthcare professionals to make sure her clients get the best care possible. Aarohi is also studying for her PhD at the University of Toronto to learn even more about how to help people with disabilities and their families.

Serena Kern

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)/ Physiotherapy Assistant (PTA)

Serena holds a dual role as an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) and Physiotherapy Assistant (PTA) at Playful Strides Therapy. Graduating with Honours from Humber College’s OTA/PTA program in 2017, she discovered her passion for Occupational Therapy intervention through volunteering with the Dance Ability Movement in 2010. Serena brings enthusiasm and creativity to her work, providing intervention for children under the supervision of Registered Therapists at Playful Strides to ensure skill-focused fine motor and gross motor sessions.

Emma Curtis

Occupational Therapist

Emma is an occupational therapist with a passion for helping children achieve their goals. With experience working at a children’s treatment center, Emma has worked with children aged 2 to 16 with diverse goals. For Emma, it is a privilege and honor to work with each client and support their families in reaching their goals. Emma’s approach is centered around making every session fun for children, believing that children learn best when they are enjoying themselves. Alongside her work in occupational therapy, you may find Emma coaching learn-to-skate and figure skating, hiking the Bruce Trail, synchronized skating, or exploring a range of other activities that she enjoys

Renee Sparkes (on leave)

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Leah Staebler-Abrahams Leah is a passionate Occupational Therapy Assistant. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at Brock University before continuing her education and earning a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy at D’Youville University. Leah has a strong passion for health and wellness, with a particular focus on mental health. Leah’s experience working in various healthcare settings has given her a wide range of skills and knowledge working with people across the lifespan. She has seen firsthand the positive impact that occupational therapy can have on individuals, which has solidified her passion for helping others.

Are you interested in Joining our Team?

We are thrilled that you are interested in working or volunteering with Playful Strides! We are always open to a tour and learning about you and your fit on our team.

 

Volunteers are crucial to our work and their role has never been more important.