The Child Development Network is proud to be represented by the collaborative work of our team of therapists:
Machel Symons M.A. MFT: Owner / Program Director / Early Interventionist
Machel is the Owner and Director of the Child Development Network. She also works as one of the Early Intervention Specialists. Machel has her teaching credential and Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education. She has been working with children with special needs for over 25 years now. What started out being a volunteer summer job at the age of 12, turned into a lifelong passion and profession in working with children who have various needs. Machel has worked internationally in Romania with children who have been orphaned and abandoned and has also lectured and worked at a school for “Differently Abled” children in India. Machel has also volunteered and consulted at an orphanage for children with special needs in Mexico on numerous occasions. Machel continues to grow and expand her knowledge in working with children and families by attending numerous conferences, workshops and classes every year and earning a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hope International University in 2013.
JoDee Marquardt, M.S., CCC-SLP : Licensed Speech and Language Pathologist
JoDee graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Master of Science in Communicative Disorders and Sciences degree. She worked in the Los Angeles area at a private practice serving preschoolers up through high school age students in the clinic, home and school-based settings. JoDee moved back to Santa Barbara in 2000 where she began working primarily with the pediatric (birth to three years) population. JoDee currently sees children through the Early Start Program and has had the pleasure of working with an amazing interdisciplinary team while serving this young population.
Gwen Harris: Early Interventionist / Case Coordinator
Gwen has worked with children, ages 0 – 5, for the past 20 years in the areas of mental health and child development. She has worked in the Early Start Program in Santa Barbara for the past 7 years, along with time spent working in the Welcome Every Baby (WEB) program and with A Child’s Path mental health program. Prior to this, Gwen was the Mental Health Coordinator for the Head Start Program in Las Vegas Nevada for 3 years. She also worked with very young victims of abuse and neglect at a residential facility, Child Haven, in Las Vegas for over 10 years. She holds degrees from California State University, Long Beach and The University of Phoenix.
Kris Pilkington M.S. OTR/L: Licensed Occupational Therapist
Kristine Pilkington, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with over 30 years’ experience working with young children and families. She specializes in understanding how sensory processing and other developmental factors influence a child’s participation in everyday routines,activities and relationships. Kris is a nationally recognized speaker and writer in the field of early intervention. She developed and directed local programs including the Welcome Every Baby Newborn Home Visiting Program and Early Start programs. She participates on the California Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Intervention and is a consultant for WestEd Center for Prevention and Early intervention in Sacramento. She has a current private practice in occupational therapy in Santa Barbara and consults to early childhood organizations around California.
Talea Miles M.A., CCC-SLP: Licensed Speech Language Pathologist.
has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist with children 0-5 for the last 5 years. Talea earned her Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology at San Diego State University (SDSU) and her Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Talea has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist with children and adults in the home and clinic settings since 2011 in San Diego. She moved to Santa Barbara in the beginning of 2016 to continue her work as a Speech Language Pathologist with with young children and their families. Talea is certified in the Hanen programs, "It Takes Two to Talk" and "SPARK Communication: Coaching Parents to Use Hanen Strategies." In the field of Speech Language Pathology, Talea is most passionate about working with young children.
Mona Sethi : Early Interventionist
Mona has a BA in Early Childhood Development and her CA teaching credential. Over the last 20 years, she has worked with children and families in a variety of settings. Before transitioning into Early Intervention in 2008, Mona volunteered with organizations that taught young mothers pre and post natal infant development, job training and general life skills. She taught preschool and elementary school in California, New York and Arizona. Mona worked as a Developmental Specialist in Charlottesville, Virginia prior to moving back to California. Mona and her husband have four young children and she is thrilled to be using her knowledge and experience as an early interventionist in Santa Barbara.
Ann Blanton M.A. : Early Interventionist (picture coming soon)
Ann is a graduate of San Diego State University with a BA and teaching credential in Social Science/Political Science and a Master and Special Education credential from San Francisco State University in Communication Disorders. She worked at California School for the Blind, with deaf/blind students for 6 years and for Santa Barbara County Schools for 20 years as an Early Intervention specialist and 10 years as an Individual Education Program chair. She recently retired from Santa Barbara County Schools, joined the staff at CDN and has returned to her love of working with the birth-3 year old population.
Carol Urwick M.A. : Early Interventionist
Carol has a B.A. from UCSB, an Early Childhood Special Education credential from California State Northridge and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education also from UCSB. She has worked in the field of Early Intervention for over 30 years. Her previous work includes working with the Santa County Office of Education, Tri-Counties Regional Center, and the WEB (Welcome Every Baby) program.
Jasmin Reyes-Corona: Bilingual Early Interventionist
Jasmin graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Chicana/oStudies and a minor through the Education department in Applied Psychology. She has worked with children for more than 5 years as a teaching assistant, as a mentor and as and instructional teacher, ages ranging from 3 months- 5 years old. She has earned her ECE units from Santa Barbara City College and is also in the process of applying and obtaining her Child Development Master Teacher Permit. She hopes to pursue and earn her Master's degree in Educational Counseling in the near future.
Laura Kinney CCC-SLP: Speech and Language Pathologist
Laura graduated from San Diego State University with a Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology and her Bachelor's degree from University of California Santa Barbara. Laura has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist with preschoolers in the Santa Barbara area in the home and school setting. Laura is certified in the Hanen program, "It Takes Two to Talk" and is passionate about working with young children and their families
Jeanette Le Renard: Physical Therapist
Jeanette earned her Physical Therapy degree from Ithaca College. She has over 20 years of physical therapy practice with emphasis on treating individuals of all ages with neurological and orthopedic disabilities. She has served as adjunct faculty at California State University, Fresno presenting a course on neuromuscular processes in human development and aging with a focus on concepts integral to the evaluation and treatment interventions for neurological disability. Jeanette also has extensive experience in case management of individuals with life changing diagnoses. She completed a post -graduate certificate program on Life Care Planning from the University of Florida, expanding her abilities to help individuals and families plan for all the needs of a child today and throughout the lifespan. Jeanette and her husband have two young children of their own and Jeanette is excited to us her experience to help children and families in Santa Barbara.
Alma Prado: Bilingual Early Interventionist
Alma has a BA in Child Development Family and Education from Antioch University of Santa Barbara, as well as her Early Childhood teaching credential from Santa Barbara City College. Her experience includes being the general education teacher in the Garden Preschool, and inclusion program affiliated with Santa Barbara County Education Office. She has been working as an Early Intervention Child Development Specialist for the past five years. She is fully bilingual in Spanish and English, a talent that she uses extensively to help parents become strong advocates for their children. Alma brings a passion for her work with young children and families along with a great deal of energy, patience and enthusiasm.
Mary O’Dell-Doiron, M.A., CCC-SLP (Licensed Speech Language Pathologist)
I received both my Bachelor and my Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, doing my thesis under Dr. Robert Koegel and the Autism Research Center. I have worked as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools for the last 33 years in both Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. I have worked with multiple types of language disorders with children and young adults ages 1 ½ years to 20 years, in a variety of class settings and in the community. My passion has always been with the young children and since 2011 I have taught the Hanen “It Takes Two to Talk” program to parents with children with language needs. I am also certified in the Hanen “More Than Words” program, which provides instruction to parents with children on the Autism Spectrum. I am excited to share these strategies that support language development in everyday environments with parents and professionals. I love being able to partner with parents to help their children communicate and gain confidence in managing many aspects of their development.