"Laura and my son have great relationship. He no longer experiences regular anxiety over reading and writing assignments and has gained confidence and skills in both of these areas. His entire outlook on school and learning has improved dramatically since he began working with Laura, she is fantastic! "
Her approaches vary from student to student as she adapts to each of their needs. Throughout the years of working with Laura, I have watched students thrive under her guidance."
-Teacher, Grade Head,
Laura Wahl McAlpine, M.Ed. CCC-SLP
Laura Wahl McAlpine is a Speech and language Pathologist with over 33 years of experience working with students to provide contextualized speech/ language intervention programs. Her experience includes 11 years in the public school system with extensive work in language learning disability classes, high school curriculum development for speech/language-impaired learners and as a diagnostician for augmentative/alternative communication. She has been a private practitioner for the past 16 years working with the school age population in areas of speech articulation, pragmatic language, reading, and writing development. Most notably, Laura has co-facilitated and developed Act As If, which is a cutting edge social cognition and social skill development program incorporating social communication research and behavior modification concepts. Laura is certified through the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. Her coauthored book: ACT AS IF Improvisational Activities for Social Communication is now available through ACTASIFproducts.com.
Lisa Jan Sherman
Lisa Jan Sherman is an actress, improvisational acting teacher, and cognitive skills coach. After earning her BA in Theatre and Speech at University of Maryland, she began her theatrical career. She has been a member of (AFTRA) American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and (SAG) Screen Actors Guild for over 30 years, and has performed on stage, television, film and radio. Lisa is a founding member of the totally improvised, musical comedy troupe NOW THIS! It is there that she and fellow cast members make music in the moment, create customized shows, mysteries and facilitate corporate team building. Lisa has enjoyed volunteering time with the mentally disabled, mentally ill, and animals rights welfare groups. In her sidetracked past life she has also opened over a dozen restaurants. 'What was I thinking'? Lisa has been co-facilitating skills groups with children since 1995, finding that the improvisational 'piece' created a natural basis for social skill development and cognition. With Laura, Lisa is the co-developer and facilitator of the 'Act As If' program and products.
Tina Ghandchilar, M.S. CCC-SLP
Tina Ghandchilar, M.S. CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist with experience in Louisiana and Virginia. She currently works full-time for a local Virginia public elementary school, (pre-k through 5) in addition to her work at Interactions. She enjoys providing speech and language therapy to students with a variety of disabilities, including Autism, intellectual, social, emotional, and/or delays, working in both classroom and therapy room settings. Her main areas of interest include voice and vocal rehab, as well as social pragmatic skills that can be channeled into creative outlets. Other skills include: articulation, expressive/receptive language, fluency, comprehension strategies, and augmentative/alternative communication (AAC). Tina really enjoys the entire collaborative process at Interactions, as well as working with the Act As If students. Tina is an active member of the American Speech and Language Hearing Association (ASHA). In addition to speech language therapy in the school systems and work with Interactions, Tina enjoys acting and singing professionally in the DC theatre community.
Alexandra Knight, M.S., CCC-SLP
Alexandra Knight, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with experience in New York and Virginia. Currently, she works full-time for a local Virginia public elementary school (kindergarten-5th) in addition to her work at Interactions. She provides speech and language therapy to students with a variety of disabilities, including PDD/Autism, intellectual and emotional challenges, intense behaviors, traumatic brain injuries and speech and/or language impairments or delays, working in both the classroom and therapy room settings. Alex utilizes an energetic approach to therapy, focusing on functional receptive/expressive goals through creative activities. Targeted skills include: pragmatic language, articulation/phonology, memory and comprehension strategies, fluency and augmentative/alternative communication (AAC). At Interactions, Alex enjoys collaborating with and co-treating Act As If students.
Sarah is a Wilson Level I Certified instructor with 8 years of experience working with students with dyslexia and other language based learning disabilities of all ages who struggle with reading and spelling. Ms. Ciota works both privately and as a contractor for Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia as well as students in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to provide individual, one on one instruction in the WRS program. She is a member of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and is a Level 1 Dyslexia Practitioner. Ms. Ciota worked in Travel and Conference planning for 20 years prior to becoming a Wilson Certified Instructor. Her passion is to help students who struggle to read and spell; this passion stemmed from her own son’s disability and wanting to help others.