Bonnie J Hacker, MHS, OTR/L

Executive Director

Bonnie has dedicated a lifetime to helping children and their families. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Florida in 1975 and a Masters of Health Science in Pediatric Occupational Therapy in 1978. Since 1978, Bonnie has practiced in the Durham-Chapel Hill area. Initially she was part of the Division for Disorders of Development and Learning, a training and diagnostic center associated with the University of North Carolina. During that time, she was awarded the Cordelia Myers Writers Award by the American Occupational Therapy Association for her two-part series on Single Subject Research, published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Bonnie has co-authored three books: Pediatric Assessment: A Guide for Therapists, The Carolina Curriculum for Infants with Special Needs, and The Carolina Curriculum for Preschoolers with Special Needs.

Bonnie has attended numerous continuing education courses in sensory processing/integration, autism, cerebral palsy and behavior. She is certified in Neurodevelopmental Treatment, Sensory Integration & Praxis Tests, Integrative Listening Systems, Advanced Therapeutic Listening, and Interactive Metronome.

Bonnie founded Emerge-A Child’s Place in March, 2001 in order to provide services to more children in the Triangle area, to train therapists to provide skilled and caring services and to develop a fully equipped state-of-the-art clinic. In September 2011 that dream was fully realized with the opening of the new, 6500 sq. ft. facility on University Drive in Durham.

Bonnie has two grown children who are both part of the Emerge family. When not working, Bonnie enjoys spending time with her grandson, creating art, reading, and traveling.

Brittni Winslow MS, OTR/L

Clinical Director of Occupational Therapy

Brittni Winslow Brittni Winslow received her master’s in occupational therapy from East Carolina University in 2011. She has always had a passion for working with children and has gained experience in working with children with Down Syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s and Sensory Processing Disorders. She completed one of her graduate fieldworks at Emerge-A Child’s Place where she fell in love with her work and decided to come back to join the Emerge family as a pediatric Occupational Therapist. Brittni has a focus in handwriting and fine motor skill development, and has published a thesis titled “The Effects of the Fine Motor and Early Handwriting Curriculum on the Fine Motor Skills of Preschool Aged Children.” She has also completed advanced sensory training through the Sensory Integration Certification Program. Outside of work, Brittni enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking and leading a healthy lifestyle. Brittni is married, and lives in Durham with her husband, Clint, daughter, Brooklyn, and Border Collie, Bailey.

Kelly Jones MA, CCC, SLP

Clinical Director of Speech/Language Therapy

Kelly Jones Kelly began working with Emerge – A Child’s Place in May 2010. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she worked in a private practice in Gainesville, FL. Kelly graduated from the University of Florida with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She has specialty training in Visualizing and Verbalizing®, DIR®/Floortime, the S.O.S. Sequential Sensory Oral approach to feeding and Kaufman speech praxis evaluation and treatment. Kelly has also completed continuing education courses on subjects including challenging articulation cases, early literacy, and stuttering. By working closely with parents and other caregivers, Kelly strives to create an environment in which children’s speech and language skills are being stimulated and supported in the most effective way. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys being outside, jogging with her dog, Gigi, reading, and watching the Gators play.

Amanda Biesecker MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

AmandaAmanda Biesecker grew up in Pelham, AL. She was greatly influenced as a child by her big brother Josh who was born with Apert’s syndrome. Amanda knew at an early age that she wanted to work kids with special needs. After graduating from Auburn University with a bachelor’s in Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies, Amanda was drawn to the field of occupational therapy. Amanda received her master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2010. During that time she completed her graduate level fieldwork rotations at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and East Alabama Medical Center. Amanda moved to North Carolina and began working at Emerge in the spring of 2011. She has experience working with children ages 2-16 with sensory processing disorders, autism, ADD/ADHD, as well as motor planning and coordination difficulties. Amanda lives in Durham with her husband, new baby boy, and dog “Cookie”. She enjoys riding her bike, playing golf, knitting, and watching Auburn football.

Andrew Klein MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

AndrewAndrew received his inspiration to become an Occupational Therapist while participating in a 10-month volunteer project in Tel Aviv, Israel. During that time, he assisted children with cerebral palsy in outdoor athletics and mobility programs, and discovered a passion for working with children with special needs. He graduated with his Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University, and spent the first 5 years of career working as a pediatric OT in New York City. He is now a proud resident of Durham, and is excited to explore all that North Carolina has to offer. Andrew is trained extensively in the DIR®/Floortime™ methodology, and believes that each child’s individual differences can serve as their greatest strengths. Andrew has also been trained in Handwriting Without Tears®, Thinking Goes to School, Therapeutic Listening®, The Wilbarger Therapressure Protocol (brushing), and Astronaut Training. He has further benefitted from Julia Harper’s insightful course series, “Practical Sense in Sensory Integration.” In his free time, Andrew enjoys traveling with his wife, Emma, and spending time with their cat, Seth

Anna Housman MS, CCC-SLP

Speech and Language Pathologist

AnnaAnna is a North Carolina native, originally from Winston-Salem. From a young age she always knew she wanted to work with children. During her junior year of high school her mother mentioned some of the job openings posted at the local hospital for speech-language pathologists. After reading the job descriptions, Anna knew there was no other profession for her. She completed her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at UNC-Greensboro in 2011 before moving on to complete her graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013. Prior to joining Emerge, Anna worked in both Durham and Wake County Public Schools with students ranging from kindergarteners to high schoolers. During this time she worked largely with, and discovered her passion for, working with children on the Autism Spectrum – mainly in self-contained classrooms. She also gained experience working with children with intellectual disabilities, stuttering, articulation and expressive and receptive language delays and disorders. In her free time Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and her dog, taking numerous pictures of said dog, sewing, reading, antique and thrift store hunting, and obsessively watching home renovation TV shows.

Brooke Brees MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Brooke Damron Brooke is a Michigan native and moved to North Carolina in August 2012. After falling in love with the field of occupational therapy during her years as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, she received her master’s degree in occupational therapy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan in August 2012. She furthered her experience with children during her occupational therapy fieldwork placement at the Detroit Institute for Children working with children with Sensory Processing Disorders and Autism. Brooke joined the Emerge – A Child’s Place team in June 2013. It is her passion to work with children with special needs and sensory processing difficulties and their families in order to help each child become as successful in their daily lives as possible. Brooke recently attended workshops concerning Floortime/DIR and Non-Suspension Therapy Equipment. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Raleigh/Durham area and learning about all the area has to offer.

Dorie Coil, COTA/L

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Dorie Coil Dorie has spent numerous years working with children of all ages and in various capacities. Prior to her work in occupational therapy, Dorie worked as a graphic artist, retail display artist, in home daycare provider, nursery school teacher, camp counselor, team builder, challenge course facilitator, and children’s special needs advocate. She is certified through the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL) as a DIR Floortime provider. Dorie especially enjoys working with children who have sensory processing and autism spectrum disorders. Her recent continuing education courses include: Improving Developmental Hand Function and Handwriting, Brain Rules for Pediatric Treatment: Neuroscience Meets Evidence-Based Practice, Innovations for Maximizing the Power of Suspension Therapy Equipment, and Special Education Law; What You Need to Know to Navigate Public School Services for Your Special Needs Child. In her spare time, you will find Dorie spending time with her husband and/or 3 boys. At Emerge, she aims to treat all her clients with the quality she would expect for her own children. Dorie loves the outdoors, martial arts, gymnastics and ice skating (sensory input!) She also dabbles in painting, baking and other artistic endeavors.

Erica O’Connor MS, CCC-SLP

Speech and Language Pathologist

Erica O'Connor Erica, a New York native, moved to North Carolina and began working with Emerge – A Child’s Place in August 2013. Erica received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in May 2013 from Teachers College, Columbia University. The path that led Erica to Emerge is unique. Erica graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Psychology and then worked in the media and entertainment industry in New York City for 8 years. After volunteering at a clinic for children with developmental disabilities, Erica was inspired to change careers and get her Master’s degree. During graduate school, Erica completed clinical field placements at a Head Start preschool program, and the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. At CERC, Erica discovered a passion for working with children on the Autism Spectrum and received instruction on the Social Thinking treatment framework. After joining Emerge, Erica received training in DIR/Floortime, Visualizing and Verbalizing, and additional training in Social Thinking. Erica aims to help each child she works with reach his or her individual potential to communicate effectively. In her free time, Erica enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, yoga, reading and travel.

Jaclyn Jewett, MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Jaclyn was born and raised in Ohio, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Walsh University in 2012. Jaclyn then continued on to complete her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Milligan College, in Tennessee. During this time, Jaclyn had the opportunity to work with children with a variety of developmental disorders in the school and outpatient settings. Jaclyn completed her graduate level pediatric clinical rotation at Pediatric Therapy Network, a sensory clinic in Torrance, California. While there, Jaclyn was able to gain experience working with children with sensory processing disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Intellectual Disabilities, and many others. Outside of work, Jaclyn enjoy almost all outdoor activities, especially hiking and biking, singing, playing volleyball, and learning new things, most recently, playing the ukulele!

Janet Marron MEd, CCC, SLP

Speech and Language Pathologist

Janet Marron Janet is an Idaho native but has lived in Durham for nearly 20 years now. She and her husband lived in several different cities across the country before settling in Durham to raise their three children. Her daughter is a student at UNC-Chapel Hill and her two boys are at Jordan High School. She spends her time attending high school soccer and lacrosse games to watch her boys play and UNC football games to see her daughter play (as one of the Marching Tarheels), reading, and hiking. Speech-language pathology is at least a third career for Janet. She received a MS in environmental chemistry from Drexel University and worked for many years as an environmental scientist for the US EPA, State of Wisconsin and a non-profit environmental consulting company in NC before deciding to spend more time with her growing family. After her boys graduated from Westminster School for Young Children, Janet joined the wonderful staff of preschool teachers there and enjoyed many years working with young children in a preschool setting. She decided to pursue a master’s degree in communication disorders from NCCU to build on her preschool teaching experiences. Her master’s thesis was a comparison of the effectiveness of treatments for autism as rated by parents. She has additional training in DIR®/Floortime techniques and the S.O.S. (Sensory Oral Sequential) approach to feeding therapy. Janet loves working with children and strives to make each session fun and rewarding for her clients.

Katie Woolard, MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Katie Woolard Katie Woolard received her master’s in occupational therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013. Katie discovered the career of occupational therapy working as an applied behavioral analysis therapist for children with autism, while an undergraduate student at Meredith College. Katie has experience working with children with Autism, Asperger’s, ADD/ADHD, sensory processing disorders, learning disabilities, and motor planning disorders. She completed one of her graduate fieldworks at Emerge – A Child’s Place, before returning as a pediatric Occupational Therapist in the winter of 2014. Katie has completed education with the Vital Links program, completing a course titled, “Building Blocks for Sensory Integration”, focusing on primary movement patterns and sensory integration. She has also received formal education with the Sensory Integration Certification Program (SIPT). Katie has a focus in praxis, completing graduate research alongside faculty and colleagues where she examined children with and without dyspraxia, in order to establish test norms for children with motor planning difficulties. Outside of work, Katie enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, running, hiking and biking. She also enjoys yoga, cooking, and reading.

Megan Seto, MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Megan Seto Megan, a California native, moved to North Carolina and began working with Emerge – A Child’s Place in March 2014. In her undergraduate years at University of California, Berkeley, she became interested in the field of occupational therapy, because she felt it embodies the philosophies and traits that she values, such as viewing the individual holistically – as an integrative unit with psychological, emotional, social, and physical needs. Thus, Megan pursued and received her Master’s of Occupational Therapy in August 2013 from University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Including her fieldworks at Emerge – A Child’s Place and UNC Hospitals in Acute Child Psychiatry, Megan has over 6 years of pediatric work and volunteer experiences with a wide variety of diagnoses (Autism, Sensory Processing and Integration disorders, Psychiatric disorders, and Intellectual Disability), ages, and settings (preschools, elementary schools, daycare, outpatient, inpatient). Megan strives to address her clients holistically through building strong therapeutic rapport, client-centered interventions, and facilitates collaboration with other professional disciplines and family members. In her free time, Megan enjoys bike riding, kayaking, visiting museums, cooking, eating out, painting, and crafting.