Meet Our Team
In-home & Clinic-based Occupational Therapy
Taylor Reckert, MOT, OTR/L
Taylor Reckert is a Chicago-based pediatric occupational therapist. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Eastern Michigan University. Taylor has known she wanted to be an occupational therapist and work with children since high school.
In her years of pediatric experience, Taylor has worked with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), executive functioning deficits, developmental delays, and more. She has also earned her Early Intervention Certification which allowed her to gain experience in working with children ages 0-3.
Taylor loves being an OT because she gets the opportunity to help people participate in the things they need and love to do. She can help people live to their fullest potential and become successful in their daily lives.
Rachelle Halbrook, MS, OTR/L
Rachelle Halbrook is a pediatric occupational therapist. She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Missouri – Columbia, otherwise known as Mizzou. Rachelle is a Missouri native from St. Louis, and upon graduation, made the move to Chicago to begin her career at Chicago Occupational Therapy.
Rachelle has experience working with a wide variety of children, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), cerebral palsy, spina bifida, executive functioning deficits, fine and gross motor delays, as well as other neurological, orthopedic, developmental, and behavioral conditions.
Rachelle has been passionate about working with children from a young age, and is committed to putting her clients and their families first, in order to help them grow and reach their greatest potential. At Chicago Occupational Therapy, she enjoys the opportunity to work collaboratively with other medical and academic professionals, including speech-language pathologists and behavioral analysts, in order to provide holistic and client-centered care. Rachelle’s favorite part about being an OT is experiencing the joy alongside her clients when they reach a new height or achieve a goal that they have worked so hard for.
Elana Monahemi, MS, OTR/L
Elana Monahemi is a pediatric occupational therapist who earned her Bachelor's degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder and her Master's of Science degree in occupational therapy at Columbia University in New York.
Before returning home to the Chicago area to begin her career as a pediatric clinician, she gained a wide range of experience in various settings including, but not limited to, private practice, preschool, outpatient rehabilitation, and hospital-based settings. Her pediatric experience includes working with children with autism, developmental delays, sensory processing challenges, arthrogryposis, dyspraxia, cerebral palsy, executive functioning deficits, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and more.
Elana values a family-centered approach to therapy and the ability to collaborate with children and their families to develop individualized treatment plans to promote progress in daily occupations.
Nikki Lynch, MS, OTR/L
Nikki Lynch is a pediatric occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Nikki completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her master’s degree at Rockhurst University. Prior to working at Chicago Occupational Therapy, she worked as a paraprofessional in Blue Valley School District.
Nikki has experience working with children with Down Syndrome, autism, and developmental delays in school and outpatient settings. When treating a client, she takes a multidisciplinary approach, collaborating with the child’s behavioral therapist, physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, physician, or any other professionals working with the child. This helps her get a better picture of the child and provide the best possible treatment. She also values learning about what interests her clients and implementing that directly within sessions to make treatment more enjoyable and motivating.
Samantha Duff, OTD, OTR/L
Samantha is a pediatric occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT). Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Samantha completed her bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University and received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. After graduating, Samantha moved to Salt Lake City, UT to begin her career as an occupational therapist specializing in pediatrics.
Samantha has worked in a variety of settings, including outpatient pediatrics, inpatient rehabilitation, and home health settings. Her pediatric experience includes working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, chromosomal abnormalities, developmental delays, and more.
Prior to joining COT, Samantha has worked on multiple multidisciplinary teams and values communicating and collaborating across disciplines to provide the most effective and evidence-based care for kiddos and their families. Samantha firmly believes that a child’s most important occupation is play, and is always looking for new and creative ways to facilitate skill acquisition and learning through play-based interventions that challenges and empowers children.
Ashley Sturgeon, OTR/L
Ashley is a Chicago-based occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT). Ashley earned her bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University and her master’s at Elmhurst University. During her master’s program, Ashley completed her Level II fieldwork at COT where she created and implemented individualized treatment plans for kiddos and their families.
Ashley has extensive experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory processing difficulties, developmental delays, and other diagnoses in a variety of therapeutic and recreational settings, such as outpatient rehabilitation, in-home, and teletherapy.
Ashley has a passion for working with children and is dedicated to cultivating strong relationships with kiddos and caregivers to ensure family-centered care. She values interdisciplinary collaboration in its ability to meet the unique needs of each child she serves and help them reach their full potential.
Samantha Holzschu, OTR/L
Samantha is a pediatric occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT). Samantha earned her bachelor’s degree at Purdue University and her master’s at Western Michigan University.
Samantha has worked in a range of settings, including inpatient rehabilitation, therapeutic day school, and outpatient pediatric care. Her pediatric experience includes working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, visual motor deficits, sensory regulation difficulties, and more.
While completing her master’s program, Samantha’s passion for the field of OT led her to start her own podcast, advOcaTe, where she invites fellow occupational therapists and other medical professionals to explore niche areas of practice within the field of OT. Samantha values ongoing communication between clients, team members, and caregivers to provide the most comprehensive and individualized care to the kiddos she serves.
Brenna Casey, OTR/L
Brenna is a Chicago-based occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT) with comprehensive experience working with pediatric and adult populations. Brenna earned her bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois and her master’s at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.
Brenna has worked in a variety of settings, including in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation, elementary school, and a therapeutic preschool & clinic. Her clinical experience includes working with a diverse range of pediatric and adult clients with autism spectrum disorder, sensory regulation difficulties, developmental delays, and neurological, orthopedic and cardio-vascular diagnoses.
Brenna’s specializes in fine motor and gross motor skill development, sensory processing, handwriting development, and sensory-based feeding following a DIR/Floortime approach. She is phenomenal in building strong rapport with clients and caregivers, and values ongoing communication between fellow therapists, families, and clients to ensure optimal family-centered and multidisciplinary care.
Kendra Marais, OTR/L
Kendra is a Chicago-based pediatric occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT). She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Saint Louis University at Saint Louis, Missouri. Throughout her years of experience, Kendra has worked in a variety of settings such as hospitals, early intervention, pediatric outpatient clinics as well as a therapeutic preschool.
Kendra has extensive experience working with children ages birth-18 with a variety of diagnoses including, but not limited to, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder, sensory processing disorder, developmental delays, neurological conditions, genetic conditions, executive functioning deficits and feeding difficulties. Her specialities through continued education programs include Handwriting Without Tears, SOS Feeding Approach, Reflex Integration and sensory integration techniques.
As a clinician, Kendra values utilizing children’s interests to make therapy as fun, playful and engaging as possible. Kendra also prioritizes ongoing communication with families and other members of the child's team to ensure continuity of care and to help the child reach their full potential.
Nicole Blome, OTR/L
Nicole is a pediatric occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT). Originally from Redondo Beach, California, Nicole earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Child Development from California State University. After college, Nicole grew passionate about the field of occupational therapy and worked as an Early Intervention Assistant at a multidisciplinary pediatric clinic. Deciding to continue her education in OT, Nicole went on to earn her master’s degree from North Central College in Naperville, IL.
Nicole has extensive experience working with children with autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, developmental delays, and attention deficit disorder in inpatient acute care, outpatient rehabilitation, and early intervention settings. As a clinician, Nicole is passionate about working with children and the ways occupational therapy can help them regain independence in all areas of their lives.
Asha Moonjely, OTR/L
Asha is an occupational therapist and trained with the team at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT). Asha received both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in occupational therapy at Stony Brook University in New York. Asha is currently the lead OT at our pediatric therapy clinic in Belize.
Asha has pediatric occupational therapy experience with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing difficulty, visual motor delays, and more. She has gained experience in schools, hospitals, sensory based clinics, and home health working with both adults and children with different needs.
Her love for travel therapy has taken Asha from her birthplace of Bronx, NY, to Texas, California, and now Belize City. She is excited to collaborate with like-minded dreamers and doers, explore the islands and jungle hikes, and become trilingual.
Emilee Miller, OTR/L
Emilee is an occupational therapist at Chicago Occupational Therapy (COT). Emilee has experience with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing, visual motor delays, and more. She has worked with children impacted by neurological, developmental, cognitive, and musculoskeletal disorders. She received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary health sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Chicago, and attended graduate school for occupational therapy at Indiana State University.
Emilee has worked in occupational therapy for several years and has additional specialized training in multiple pediatric conditions. Prior to Chicago Occupational Therapy, she worked in acute care at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Emilee is passionate about working with children. She loves the unique opportunity it gives her to have a positive impact on their lives, and help them become the best versions of themselves.
Nina Duric, Occupational Therapist
Education: Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Midwestern University
Nina is most passionate about being able to support her clients and do something meaningful for the first time with them. Watching her kiddos meet milestones and complete goals are the most rewarding moments.
When she is not with clients Nina is running on the 606, cooking with her grandma, and trying all of the restaurants Chicago has to offer! Nina loves Lou Malnatti's large cheese deep dish (uncut, well done, butter crust). The islands of Croatia are her favorite places to travel to.
Ashley Rabell, Occupational Therapist
Education: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Gannon University
Ashley is passionate about working with children! Her kiddos are each so amazingly unique. She loves facilitating interventions that are challenging and engaging to help them build the skills they need to reach their greatest potential. Watching kiddos grow and achieve their goals everyday is beyond rewarding to Ashley!
Outside of work, Ashley loves to travel, cook, explore local festivals and spend time on the lake. She also loves spending time working with the Best Buddies of Illinois program!
Innovative Care Plans
Our team of therapists creates personalized care plans that target individual occupational therapy goals and incorporate every child’s unique learning style.
Multiple Therapeutic Settings
Chicago Occupational Therapy provides in-home and clinic-based therapy, as well as services at CST Academy, the practice’s therapeutic preschool-style program.
FREE Information Packet
Contact our office to request free information about Chicago Occupational Therapy including significant details about our program, team members, and more.