Our Team

Our Team

Tara Delaney M.S., O.T.R., Executive Director:is a pediatric occupational therapist who has worked with children for a decade and a half. She founded BabySteps in 1998 to provide consultative, evaluative, and direct treatment services in schools and private settings. Tara specializes in sensory integration, autism, ADHD and learning disabilities. She has developed educational programs that incorporate the developmental needs of children with their educational goals.

Tara Delaney is a nationally known child development expert who specializes in sensory processing, autism spectrum disorders, and social/behavioral issues. She is the author of two books: The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book (Sourcebooks) and 101 Games and Activities for Children with Autism, Aspergerís and Sensory Processing Disorders (McGraw-Hill).She also writes a regular column called “Is This Normal?” for the successful parenting blog, Mommasaid.net, which reaches over 100,000 visitors per month.

Tara regularly conducts seminars through her trademarked Making Sense-oryģ series of lectures addressing such topics as: sensory integration, child development, Autism spectrum disorders, social intelligence, learning, and behavioral issues.

Tara holds joint Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Texas and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Biology and Occupational Therapy. Tara interned in pediatrics at the Waisman Center in Madison, Wisconsin, gaining experience at the Cerebral Palsy clinic, The Autism Clinic, The Genetics Clinic and in the local public schools. It was there that she first saw the benefits of working collaboratively with Speech Pathologists, Early Educators, Physical Therapists, Psychologists and Physicians. As a result, she conducted research at the Harry Harlow Primate Lab while obtaining a Master of Science in Therapeutic Science at University of Wisconsin, Madison. She was also part of a Leadership Training program sponsored by The Mother and Child Welfare Grant through Waisman Center.

Tara has advanced training and education in the following areas: sensory integration, Therapeutic Listening, visual-perception, Visual-Vestibular integration, Brain Gym and handwriting as well as issues pertaining to Autism/Aspergerís.

Tara is a member of the National Occupational Therapy Association, California Occupational Therapy Association, Sensory Integration International and an International Adoption Family Network Organization

Bill Delaney, CFO: Bill has the Chief Financial Officer of Baby Steps Therapy since its inception, taking on the role full time in 2007. Bill is also the CFO of School Steps Inc, a contract therapy company providing services to education entities. He spent more than a decade working for some of the most recognizable companies in the world, including Motorola and Intel. He held positions in accounting, finance, engineering, brand and internet marketing, venture capital and business development.

Bill received his MBA from the University of Texas--Austin specializing in finance and accounting. In addition to his business degree he holds a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Alfred University.

Kimberly Pennington Kimberly Pennington, Operations Manager:

Kim Pennington, Baby Steps Operations Manager, is an Azusa Pacific alumnus. She joined Baby Steps in January, and coordinates schedules, facilitates referrals and works with families to maximize insurance benefits for therapy. Previously she worked for Rocklin Unified school district for 7 years teaching reading, writing and running the science program. Before having children and taking a break from working, Kim spent 22 years in dentistry as a surgical assistant, insurance biller and front office manager.

Ashley Borsch Ashley Borsch: Receptionist:

Ashley Borsch is the administrative assistant for Baby Steps Therapy. She received her Associate Degree in Liberal Studies at Sierra College. Her goal is to pursue a career as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and playing soccer

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS

Katie Powers Katie Powers, OTR/L:

Katherine Powers, M.A., O.T.R./L received her Masterís degree in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. She has been practicing occupational therapy for five years in the pediatric school and clinic settings, with focuses on sensory integration on developmental disabilities. She also had experience in hospital inpatient rehabilitation settings, with a variety of ages and physical impairments. Her professional interests include feeding, NDT, and social skills. In her spare time, Katie enjoys running, swimming, and Pilates.

Christie Kiley Christie Kiley, M.A., OTR/L:

Christie Kiley M.A., OTR/L, received her Masterís degree in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2011. During her time at USC, she was selected for a competitive training program for OT students specializing in pediatrics. She completed an 8-month internship at Center for Developing Kids in Pasadena, where she received training in the SCERTS model (for working with children with autism) and participated in a SCERTS-based early intervention program for children diagnosed with or at-risk for autism. Christie has practiced occupational therapy in the clinic, school, and in-home settings, with a focus on sensory integration and developmental disabilities. Prior to becoming an OT, Christie studied Psychology and Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and coached gymnastics for children ages 1-18 years in North County San Diego. She is passionate about using movement to facilitate whole-body learning and loves to use gymnastics as a therapeutic tool in the clinic setting when appropriate to the child. Christie is trained in Handwriting without Tears and has also pursued additional training in areas related to sensory processing disorder (SPD), emotional regulation, and executivefunction strategies.

SPEECH THERAPISTS

Alba Barraza Alba Barraza, MS-SLP:

Alba Barraza, M.S., CCC-SLP is manager of clinical services, for Baby Steps Therapy. Alba is a bilingual therapist, fluent in Spanish and has over 7 years experience in the field. She specializes in early intervention services and is experienced in treating adult with various communication and or swallowing difficulties. She has experience working with a multidisciplinary team in a variety of settings including, hospital, school and clinic. Her qualifications include a Masterís Degree in Speech Pathology and a state license from the California Board of Medical Assurance. She is also certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and has a Clinical Rehabilitation Services Credential.Additional trainings include various feeding workshops and Hanen Certified.

Lisa Gustafson Lisa Gustafson, M.A., CCC-SLP:

Lisa Gustafson, M.A., CCC-SLP received her Bachelorís degree in Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego and her Masterís degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She taught English as a second language for several years before completing her training as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Her qualifications include the Certificate of Clinical Competence from The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a California State License in Speech-Language Pathology, as well as the Clear Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She has experience working with a multidisciplinary team in various settings including hospital inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, schools and outpatient clinics.

CONSULTANTS

Mary C. HamrickMary C. Hamrick, M.A., CCC- SLP is a speech language pathologist who for over twenty years has been evaluating and providing direct service to students with special needs. Her extensive experience includes children with Autism, Aspergerís, Down Syndrome and specific learning disabilities. Mary has a B.S. in Education from Western Illinois University and a M.A. in Speech Language Pathology from California State University, Long Beach.

She began her career in education with junior high school students where she taught Language Arts. She has worked as a speech language pathologist with preschool, elementary and secondary students in public schools in Illinois and California and for private clinics in Northern California. Mary is an accredited member of the American Speech Hearing Language Association (ASHA) and holds a California license in Speech Pathology.

Her areas of interest and expertise include how language processing deficits affect academic performance. In Illinois, she co-wrote and coordinated a program called CASTLE (Creating and Supporting Total Language Experiences) with a Learning Disability teacher. CASTLE focused on the importance of exposing underprivileged and special needs children to language through real-life experiences. These authentic experiences were funded through grants from National Geographic, the Federal Government (Title 1) and local organizations in Springfield, Illinois.

Her current interest is working with ďsmartĒ but socially limited students and analyzing social interaction and its implications for school success. The Northern California public elementary school she serves has five self-contained GATE classrooms, seventeen regular education classrooms, and a Special Day Class for students with specific learning disabilities including High Functioning Autism.

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