MEET OUR STAFF
Smita Joshi, M.S., CCC-SLP
Founder/Owner, Speech-language Pathologist
Smita is a speech-language pathologist specializing in feeding and swallowing disorders in pediatric populations. She started Assential Therapies Inc in 2002 and she has dedicated her time to helping Assential Therapies grow from within. Smita has experience working in a variety of settings including: IL Early Intervention, pediatric outpatient care, schools, facilities for developmentally delayed individuals, and adult long-term care facilities.
Smita enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She can be found driving her kids to their swimming practices, meets, school events, and taking the kids to their friends’ houses. In her free time, they enjoy going out to dinner and watching movies.
Calli Cosentino, M.S., CCC-SLP
Calli Cosentino is from Addison, Illinois and currently resides in Chicago. She graduated with a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in May of 2015 from her alma mater Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Calli is passionate about working with children, with a special focus on the birth to three population. She has experience working with children with developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, cleft palate, feeding delays, and prematurity.
She is very fortunate to come from a close-knit family consisting of her parents, two older sisters, and one older brother. She is a blessed auntie to two nephews and two nieces! She loves dogs, football (Go Bears!), anything science-related, traveling, and sweets!"
Stephanie Huelsman, M.S., CCC-SLP
Stephanie is from Queens, New York. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in 1999, and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language pathology 2002 from St. John’s University Jamaica in New York.
She has almost 18 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist in the Early Intervention setting. Her clinic experience includes feeding therapy, ABA, PROMPT as well as working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and children with a wide variety of medical and/or genetic issues. Her strengths consist of building a good rapport with children, including children that are difficult to engage, and working with and training families in speech therapy techniques to use during their daily activities.
She has been married for ten years and she has an eight-year-old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the movies, crafting, cooking and baking.
Erika Robeck, M.A., CCC-SLP
Erika received her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Northwestern University, 2001, and completed her M.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University in 2009.
Her clinical experience includes working with children from birth to 3 years-old with speech and language delays, and feeding and swallowing disorders.
She loves helping children learn the gift of communication. When she is not working with children, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, biking, and knitting.
Leslie Swartz, M.S., CCC-SLP
Leslie was born in Rockford, Illinois, and lived there until she was 15, when moved to the southwest suburbs of Chicago, where she currently lives. She received my Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in 1978, and her Master’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1980.
She has experience working with children who have autism. She also has experience with a variety of Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems. She loves being outside and working in my garden.
Kinga Urban, M.S., CCC-SLP
Kinga is from Poland. She moved to the United States 16 years ago. Currently, she lives in Park Ridge.
She graduated with a Master of Science in Speech-language pathology in 2017 from Governors State University in University Park. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Governor’s State University as well. She has experience working with children and adults in a variety of settings such as skilled nursing facilities, schools, outpatient clinics, and home-based settings. She has experience providing speech-language and feeding therapy in a wide range of pediatric cases and diagnoses such as Developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, pediatric dysphagia, and feeding disorders, Down Syndrome, prematurity, cardiac defects, cleft lip and palate, stuttering and hearing impairment. She is experienced in working with bilingual children and families and speaks Polish fluently. She has a special interest in pediatric feeding disorders.
When she is not working, she is busy with my family. She enjoys reading, camping, traveling and swimming.
Stefani Wade, M.S., CCC-SLP
Stefani is from Lexington, Kentucky, and currently resides in Chicago, IL. She received her Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from the University of Kentucky in 2015. She completed her Master of Science degree at Purdue University in 2017.
She has experience working with a variety of pediatric disorders, including augmentative/alternative communication, receptive/expressive language, pragmatic language, speech sound disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and feeding/swallowing disorders.
When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, cooking, yoga, and spending time with family and friends.
Amy Bye, B.S., DT
Program Manager, Developmental Therapist
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with concentration in Early Childhood Special Education from Northern Illinois University, Cum Laude.
Amy has been a Developmental Therapist in the IL Early Intervention Program for over 17 years. She has worked in a variety of settings including as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher in a self-contained classroom and a blended classroom for 3-5-year-olds, led a variety of groups and classes for children birth through Kindergarten. She has also participated in Medical Diagnostic Evaluations as a Developmental Therapist. She has ongoing training in a variety of topics including infant and child development, motor development and coordination, Sensory Integration Disorder and sensory processing difficulties, AAC and other options for communications, feeding development, working in natural environments, addressing behavior difficulties, etc.
Amy enjoys working in a variety of natural environments and with many of the adults involved in helping to raise a young child. She often works with children who have sensory processing and/or behavioral challenges and their families. She also works with many children who have multiple diagnoses, complex medical histories, and children with genetic differences. She enjoys working with a full team to help the child and family learn new skills and strategies to help the child meet their full potential. Amy enjoys reading books, cooking, and watching Netflix with her husband, dog, and cat on the couch. They also enjoy being out and exploring Chicago
Chelsea Lopez, MOT, OTR/L
Chelsea is from Abilene, Texas. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology & Nutrition. She completed her Master of Occupational Therapy at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in 2016.
Her clinical training was primarily focused on pediatrics ranging from NICU exposure to pediatric mental health and both outpatient and home health-based practices. She also has experience working with orthopedic adult patients. Her clinical interest is primarily Sensory Processing.
She met her husband, Tony, while at Texas Tech; after graduating they moved to the Chicago area. They married in 2017 and welcomed their baby girl in 2019.
Sarah Masse, MOT, OTR/L
Sarah is from Cedarburg, Wisconsin. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2009, and minored in Child Psychology and Spanish. She graduated with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Boston University, Sargent College in 2014.
She currently has certifications in SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding, Handwriting Without Tears, Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids: Improve Emotional Regulation and Attention, and Sensorimotor Approach to Arousal Regulation and Developmental Trauma, and Early Intervention Specialist in IL. She is in the process of getting certified as an infant massage instructor through Infant Massage USA. She has worked in a variety of settings from schools, home health, early intervention services, and outpatient pediatric clinics. She worked as a travel OT for two years in California and IL. Her primary experience is in pediatrics. She loves the early intervention population (0-3 years). She is able to communicate in conversational Spanish. And loves to travel, participate in yoga, and cook. Last summer, she went to a yoga retreat in Thailand.
Amanda Micari, MOT, OTR/L
Amanda received her Bachelor’s degree from Drury University in 2013 with a double major in Biology and Psychology and a minor in Global Studies. She completed her Master’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis in 2015.
She has been working for Assential Therapies since May 2016. Most of her experience has been in early intervention, however, has treated several children in the outpatient setting that vary in age from 2.5-15 with a variety of diagnoses (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Angelman Syndrome, Down Syndrome, hypotonia, developmental delay, etc).
She enjoys working with younger children and their families, especially those that have motor delays. Amanda also has experience in the academic setting working with students in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. She enjoys yoga, reading, going to the movies, and live music. She loves animals and has 2 cats at home!
Sarah Roberts OTR/L
Sarah graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI). She completed her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary University (Milwaukee, WI).
Sarah has experience working with sensory processing disorders, muscle tone. She has completed training in NDT, sensory integration strategies, and early intervention (birth to three) development. She loves the creativity and resourcefulness that comes with practicing occupational therapy. She enjoys creating homemade toys and uses the child’s natural environment in therapeutic play.
Sarah is a former gymnastics coach and now coach a gymnastics team for Special Olympics part-time. Her hobbies include traveling, cooking, homemade crafts.
Elizabeth Hare, PT, DPT
Elizabeth is from Starkville, Mississippi where she received her Bachelor of Science from Mississippi College in 2011. She completed her Doctorate of Physical therapy in 2015 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She has clinical experience in an outpatient pediatric clinic setting and has been working for Assential Therapies since 2016. She has primarily worked in Early Intervention with birth to 3 age range but worked with all ranges and children with a variety of diagnoses (delayed gross motor skills, torticollis, hypotonia, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, club foot, rare genetic disorders, seizure disorders). She uses a variety of treatment strategies specifically to what the child and family need primarily through functional play-based positions and transitions, handling, stretching, therapeutic ball activities, kinesio taping, manual myofascial release/massage, proprioceptive activities, vestibular activities, etc.
She has 2-3 wildlings of her own. As in, two children (ages 1 and 3) and her husband. They both grew up in a small town in Mississippi together and moved here with his work. She loves working with children and their families. She loves seeing them grow and form memories and joys along with my family.
Rima Lintakas, PT DPT
Rima resides in Brookfield, Illinois. She graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois in 2018. Her clinical strengths include Torticollis, Plagiocephaly, and prematurity.
She is very involved in the Chicagoland Lithuanian community – Lithuanian dancing, scouting, choir, and She attended Maironis Lithuanian Cultural School for 11 years. She is also involved within the Scouts BSA, as well as, Lithuanian Scout Association; through these organizations, She has earned the Silver Award and Vyr Skaute ranks, which are the equivalent of Eagle Scout within the Scouts BSA. She is fluent in Lithuanian.
Karen Maloney, PT DPT
Karen is from Springfield, Illinois but has lived in Edison Park/Park Ridge for the last 26 years. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1993. She then received her Masters of Science in physical therapy from Finch University of Health Sciences (now Rosalind Franklin University) in 1997. She has 26 years of experience in rehab, outpatient and school settings. She strives to have excellent communication with patients and their families and incorporate them into the development of their treatment plans.
She has five children and coach softball and baseball along with playing tennis. They like to stay active by having family football or softball games!