September News

A big thank you to our Milestones’ team as we gear up for an active fall, not just at our lively therapy center where we see over 240 children per year, but in the communities around Downers Grove, Illinois, which Milestones – For Kids’ Success calls home.

  • Administrative Director Gretchen Manske recently hosted a “Thank You” indoor-picnic-themed luncheon for the Milestones team as a way to reward everyone’s efforts to keep our therapy center looking clean and tidy. Thanks, team!
  • Clinical Director Janet PuderbaughMS, OTR/L, explored the countries of Belgium and the Netherlands this month, touring through multiple cities and seeking out windmills and cheeses. Renewal through relaxing things like vacation travel is important for everyone! Parents, if you missed our August blog on “5 Ideas for Self-Care” why not check it out right now. Maybe you can’t get away from it all, but there are things you can do right at home.
  • Nine children made new friends and grew in their ability to successfully relate to each other and new acquaintances during our two Social Skills Groups that wrapped up in August. These groups were led by Rebekah Doyle, LCSW, and Roopleen Rai, OTR/L (4-6 year olds) and Angela Frontera, MA, CCC-SLP, (7-9 year olds). Another group of five 4-6 year olds started in September. Inquire any time this fall if you have an interest in groups potentially starting in January. Call us at 630-792-1800.
  • Free Screenings for preschoolers are being arranged now as teachers move past the first weeks of a child’s new school year and suspect that progress in certain developmental milestones merits a closer look. Preschools can arrange for a simple, 30-minute free screening to take place right in the classroom (includes therapist observation and a conversation with the teacher). Parents who have similar concerns can initiate a free screening for children under age 5 at our therapy center in Downers Grove, Illinois. If you are a teacher or parent with questions, review our developmental milestones information guides and then give us a call, 630-792-1800.
  • Milestones’ therapists are starting to schedule presentations for the 2017-2018 school year in the Downers Grove, Illinois, area for teachers, parent groups, Moms’ gatherings or other supportive groups on red flags in children’s developmental milestones. If your group would like to learn more about development in children and early warning signs, call us today at 630-792-1800.

August News


New Additions – Part 2! 

We keep growing here at milestones, both in family size and through professional development! We are proud to be celebrating 15 years in business, serving children and families all over the Western suburbs. Check out what’s new here at Milestones as we close out summer!

  • Congratulations and much happiness to team member Shefalie Patel, MA, CCC-SLP as she and husband Rishi welcome their daughter to the family. Jaina Shreya Patel was born on August 11th weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces and measuring 20 inches. We are so excited for the Patel family and look forward to meeting little Jaina!
  • Administrative Director Gretchen Manske recently attended a course titled “The Price We Pay for Caring: Stress and Anxiety Management for Social Workers, Teachers, and Early Interventionists.” During the presentation, she had the opportunity to explore options for the Milestones team to manage stress while continuing to coach those we serve.
  • Lead Therapist Rebecca Doyle, LCSW has been educating the Milestones team on Trauma-Informed Care in her inservice presentations titled “Trauma and the Brain” this month. Having trained with Bessel van der Kolk, MD, an internationally recognized leader in the field of psychological trauma, Rebecca is our in-house expert on this important work.
  • We are taking registrations for our fall offerings of our social skills groups. The fall session of our BFF Clubs will run for eight consecutive weeks starting the week of September 4th.
    We have group offerings for children ages 4 – 6 years and for ages 7 – 9 years. Our group participants always have fun while learning important social skills!
  • The transition to fall schedules begins the week of August 21st – summer has flown by and we are prepared for fall!
  • A big Milestones THANK YOU to Mary Juda,MS, OTR/L for helping out over the summer months. We enjoyed having Mary with us and are delighted that she will be staying on to help with the after school hours!
  • Congratulations also to team member Brittney Wierbicki, LCSW on her recent marriage! After the nuptials Brittany and new husband Jeff had an opportunity to relax and enjoy the tropics in Hawaii.
  • Welcome back to Lead Therapist Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L as she returns to work after her maternity leave!
  • Milestones team members will celebrate the 15 year anniversary of Milestones this month! Clinical Director Janet Puderbaugh, MS, OTR/L will host the team at her home for an evening of games, food, and drink.
  • Lead Therapist Ashley Valosek, MS, OTR/L will have a much earned vacation and enjoy sun and beaches in Bermuda with husband Jon this month.

July News

New Additions

We are multiplying around here! We have a new additions in both family members and staff this summer and couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Read on to learn more!

  • In her ongoing efforts toward continued professional growth, team member Krista Shutvet, MOT, OTR/L recently attended courses entitled “Get Set for School Readiness & Writing Workshop” and “Handwriting Without Tears K – 5 Handwriting Workshop.”

  • A big Milestones welcome to new team member Brittany Wierbicki, LCSW. We are so excited to have her join our team and our efforts to continue to support families through our social work services!

  • A big welcome also to team member Kelly Shaw, MS, CCC-SLP. Kelly brings with her many years of experience working with children and their families and we are excited to have her join our team. She will be assuming the caseload for team member Shefalie Patel, MA, CCC-SLP as Shefalie prepares to go on maternity leave.

  • Congratulations and much joy for team member Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L and her husband Matt on the birth of their son. Ty Douglas Skupien made his debut on July 5th at 10:56 am weighing 8 pounds, 0 ounces and measuring 21 inches!! We are so thrilled for Jessica and Matt and can’t wait to meet little Ty. 

  • Team member Roopleen Rai, OTR/L  took an extended vacation over the month of July, traveling to Europe to visit numerous cities. We look forward to hearing all about her adventures!

June News

Great Expectations

Summer is underway and we are busy as ever! We’re expecting great things out of our clients and staff this summer as they continue working towards their goals. Here are a few of the main happenings around the practice.

  • Lead Therapist Rebecca Doyle, LCSW will be providing a presentation titled “Trauma and the Brain” at the Attachment Matters Educational & Networking Series hosted by the Theraplay Institute this month. This essential topic will be of interest to mental health and healthcare providers, early childhood professionals and educators. 

  • Administrative Director Gretchen Manske and Lead Therapist Rebecca Doyle, LCSW will be attending the Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child Conference hosted by the Partnership for Resilience at Governor’s State University. Multiple topics will be presented, including a focus on trauma informed care and creating environments for learning where children are healthy, safe, supported and challenged.

  • We are excited to have two social skill offerings this summer!  Our BFF club for children from 4 – 6 years of age is being co-led by Rebecca Doyle, LCSW and Roopleen Rai, OTR/L while our 7 – 9 year old group is being led by Angela Frontera, M A. CCC-SLP. Participants will have fun while learning important skills about how to be a good friend. 
  • A sad farewell and best wishes to Erin Barham, M.S., CCC-SLP and Allison Rolinskas, MS, CCC-SLP who are leaving Milestones this month. We will miss you!

  • The Milestones team will be gathering in honor of team members Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L and Shefalie Patel, MA, CCC-SLP as they both are preparing for the birth of their first child. We are so excited for them and looking forward to meeting the new additions to their families!

May News

New Routines & Relaxation

We are psyched for summer around here! It’s always great to see our clients and families in a bit of a more relaxed state, enjoying a little more free time and a different routine. We’ve been continuing our education and extending our relationships with professionals in our field. Below is more detail on what’s happening around here… happy Summer to you and yours!

  • Lead Therapist Ashley Valosek, MS, OTR/L participated in a webinar titled “Trauma Informed Approach to Sensory Processing Disorder and Arousal Regulation” with instructors Shelia Frick, OTR/L and Tracy Bjorling, MS, OTR/L

  • Team member Kelly Grisafe, MA, CF-SLP recently attended a two day course titled “AIEOU:  An Integrated Approach to Pediatric Feeding” presented by Nina Ayd Johanson, MS, CCC-SLP; CEIM; CHHP.

  • In our ongoing efforts to establish relationships and build connections with other professionals whose clinical values align with ours, team members Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L and Rebecca Doyle, LCSW  recently met and visited with Dr. Val L. Scaramella-Nowinski, Psy D.

  • Our Spring session of our social skills group will wrap up this month.  Our most recent session of our BFF Club was co-led by Rebecca Doyle, LCSW and Roopleen Rai, OTR/L.  The participants had fun while learning important skills about how to be a good friend. 

  • Many of the Milestones team members recently participated in a spring cleaning event at the therapy center.  Our Milestones “Spring Soiree”  was effective in providing an opportunity to de-clutter and do some deep cleaning.  Thanks to all that participated!

  • Summer schedules are forming and set to start in mid-June.

  • A fond farewell and best wishes to team member April Pruin, MOT, OTR/L as she leaves Milestones to prepare for her upcoming marriage and a move to a new home.  We will miss her!

April News

Growing & Learning

We’ve had a busy month here at the practice, filled with fun, growing and learning for both our clients and staff. Hop down below to see what we’ve been up to this month at the practice! 

  • The Easter Bunny stopped by Milestones 4 Kids Success and left a scavenger egg hunt for the kids! The eggs give clues that have the kids hopping, galloping, climbing, and doing animal walks all over the clinic to find their prize!
  • Clinical Director Janet Puderbaugh, MS, OTR/L recently attended a refresher course in Neurofeedback hosted by EEGInfo in Los Angeles which included lecture, demonstration, discussion, and lots of hands-on practical experience. 
  • A big Milestones welcome to our newest team member Megan Szarzynski, MOT, OTR/L.  We are excited to have Megan join our team and are confident that our families will enjoy having the opportunity to work with her!
  • Our spring session of the BFF Club is underway!  This group focuses on developing social skills while having fun with peers and is co-led by Rebecca Doyle, LCSW and Roopleen Rai, OTR/L. 
  • Team members Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L and Administrative Director Gretchen Manske had the opportunity to tour and learn more about the Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder this month.  The Star Institute is the premier treatment, research and education center for children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorder and is located in Greenwood Village, CO.
  • Have a favorite sports team?  Milestones recently hosted a Sports Week for our team members and families! 

March News


Bring on Spring

Spring is marching in and we couldn’t be happier! Some of our clients just completed a successful session of social skills, and we’re continuing our professional development. We’re wishing you a very happy Spring! 

  • In their ongoing efforts towards continued professional development, therapists Kelly Komperda, DPT and Maura Kelly, DPT, recently attended a course entitled “Torticollis & Plagiocephaly: Assessment & Treatment of Infants & Children, Evidence & The “Rest of the Story” presented by Cindy Miles, PT, PhD., PCS, CNDT at Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley.
  • Team member Rebecca Doyle, LCSW will be presenting to the team on Trauma Informed Care while utilizing the movie “Zootopia” as a platform for discussion.  Learning and fun combined!
  • The winter session of social skills group held its final session this month.  This session or our BFF Club was for children aged 4 – 6 and was co-led by Rebecca Doyle, LCSW and Roopleen Rai, OTR/L.  We made new friends and learned important skills while having fun!  We are so proud of all of our participants and the gains that they have made. 
  • Best wishes and a sad farewell to team member Sarah Sadofsky, Ms, OTR/L as she returns to her home state of Pennsylvania.  We will miss her and wish her well. 
  • Team member Kelly Grisafe, MA, CF-SLP recently attended one of her client’s school play productions to show her support and investment in her clients. 

February News


Welcome Krista!

A bit of a quieter month here at Milestones but we’ll take it! We’ve been focusing in on our clients and families and enjoying the un-February-like weather! Here are a few updates:

  • A big Milestones welcome to the most recent addition to our team, Krista Shutvet, MOT, OTR/L.  Many of you may remember Krista from her Level II Fieldwork placement with us last fall; we are excited to have her return to Milestones as a team member!
  • We are continuing our discussions surrounding Gentle Parenting and continue to receive guidance and resources from our in-house expert Rebecca Doyle, LCSW. The Gentle Parenting approach originated from the same brain-based and developmental science as the trauma informed movement in mental health. Look for more information on this topic in an upcoming blog.
  • Speaking of blogs, have you read our latest? Here’s a link to our January blog that provides ideas for sensory smart outing ideas for families.
  • Be sure to ask team member Shefalie Patel MA, CCC-SLP about her adventures vacationing in Australia this month.
  • Before beginning her work here at Milestones, Krista Shuvet, MOT, OTR/L traveled through Costa Rica with family this month. 

January News


Ringing in the New!

  • We hope the new year has started off well for all of you and your families. We’re focused and excited to help our clients reach their goals in 2017!
  • The Milestones team has recently begun to engage in learning about and discussing Gentle Parenting and strategies such as Staylistening, a useful tool for when children are experiencing big emotions such as fear, grief, tantrums or passionate anger.  A big thank you to our own Rebecca Doyle, LCSW for leading us in this learning experience.  
  • We are excited to share that our winter session of our social skills group has started this month!  The current B.F.F. Club is for children between the ages of 4 – 6 years and is being co-led by Rebecca Doyle, LCSW and Roopleen Rai, OTR/L.
  • Welcome to OT student Stephanie Nereppil who will be with us for 12 weeks to complete her Level II fieldwork experience under the supervision of Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L. 

  • Thank you to Ashley Valosek, OTR/L for hosting a post-holiday gathering at her home for the Milestones team.
  • Team member Kelly Komperda, DPT travelled to Playa Del Carmen Mexico this month for a family member’s wedding.

December News


Happy Holidays!

Hard to believe the end of the year is here! We hope you are enjoying the holiday season and we want to thank all our clients and staff for a terrific year. We look forward to helping even more children and families reach their goals in 2017! Here’s a brief update on what’s been happening here this month:

  • Several team members recently attended a course titled “Parent Coaching: Incorporating Parent Participation for Effective Interventions” instructed by Beth Osten, MS, OTR/L and hosted by the Erikson Institute.
  • We are continuing to enjoy and value our monthly mentoring sessions with Beth Osten, MS, OTR/L and are learning more ways to integrate relationship-based interventions into our practice.
  • Administrative Assistant Donna Cooper recently spent time in Arizona visiting her son and his family.
  • Some of our team members will be spending the holidays out of state with family members.  Safe travels to Sarah Sadofsky, MS, OTR/L as she travels to Pennsylvania and Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L and Monica Bennett, both of whom will be traveling to Ohio.   


November News

Many Thanks!

During this time of thanks we want to express our gratitude to all our Milestones families, employees and community liasons. Each of you work so hard to make a child or many children’s lives more fulfilling and this is one of the most important and selfless things you can do. We hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving with friends, family and of course delicious food!  Here are a few of the latest happenings here at the practice.

  • Clinical Director Janet Puderbaugh, MS, OTR/L recently attended the “19th International 3S Symposium: Strategies, Science and Success” in which the most recent research relating to Sensory Processing Disorders and corresponding intervention methods were presented.
  • Team Member Rebeca Doyle, LCSW will be attending and hosting a vendor table at the upcoming 35th annual conference of the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health titled “The Multiple Lenses of Infant and Early Childhood Therapy:  Integration and Applications.”
  • Welcome back to team member Elizabeth “Liz” Rose MA, CCC-SLP!  We are delighted to have Liz returning to Milestones upon completion of her maternity leave.
  • We have enjoyed having OT student Krista Shutvet, OTS who will be finishing up her Level II Fieldwork placement with us this month.  Best of luck to her as she enters the professional world of occupational therapy!
  • Lead Therapist Ashley Valosek, MS, OTR/L recently acquired her Level I certification for the Handwriting Without Tears program and is now a recognized Handwriting Without Tears Handwriting Specialist.
  • The Milestones team members will be enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with family and cherished friends.  Administrative Assistant Monica Bennett will be traveling to Arkansas to do so while Lead Therapist Ashley Valosek, MS, OTR/L will be traveling to Pennsylvania.
  • Team member Shefalie Patel, MA, CCC-SLP will be traveling to Indiana this month for a wedding. 

October News


Trick or Treat!

Halloween is almost here and there is sure to be excitement, tricks and treats around the practice! We have a new staffer to introduce and additional training to report on. Hope you and your family are having a wonderful fall!

  • October is Sensory Awareness Month! While most of us have occasional difficulties processing sensory information, for children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorder, these difficulties are chronic, neurological and they disrupt everyday life. Spread the word by downloading this image and sharing it on your social media sites!
  • Welcome to team member Angela Frontera,  MA, CCC-SLP who will be seeing clients in the after school hours. We are pleased to have Angela’s knowledge and enthusiasm on our team. 
  • Later this month, Milestones team members will be attending a continuing education course titled “Trauma, Attachment & Neuroscience with Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.:  Brain, Mind & Body in the Healing of Trauma.”
  • In our continuing efforts to make a shift to a more relationship-based approach to therapy, the Milestones team has embarked on monthly training sessions with Beth Osten, MS, OTR/L of Beth Osten and Associates.  We will be using videotaping as a means of reflecting on and improving our methods and interventions. 
  • Be prepared for fun and antics at Milestones as Halloween approaches!
  • Other fun practice news includes time in Wisconsin over the long Columbus Day weekend for Administrative Director Gretchen Manske and family; a trip to Michigan for a friends reunion for Lead Therapist Jessica Vickery, MS, OTR/L; a welcome visit with her brother for team member Sarah Sadofsky, MS, OTR/L; a trip to southern California for Maura Kelly, DPT to attend a wedding; a trip to Minnesota for Lead Therapist Ashley Valosek, MS, OTR/L to attend a wedding.

September News


Learning & Growing!

This month, we were very pleased to host the iLs Practitioner Training Course. This Foundations & Implementation session provided Milestones team members and professionals from around the community with hands-on training on how iLs’ sound and movement program addresses sensory processing, cognitive functions and emotional regulation. In addition, we’re very happy to welcome new team members to the practice this month. Read on to get all our latest and greatest news!

  • In her continuing commitment to professional development, team member Shefalie Patel, MA, CCC-SLP will be attending a continuing education course this month titled “Eating with Ease:  Managing Complex Feeding & Swallowing Problems in Children.”
  • Welcome to new team members Allison Rolinskas, MS, CCC-SLP, Kelly Komperda, DPT, and Kelly Grisafe, MA, CF-SLP!  We are excited to these dynamic and talented therapists have joined our team!
  • Welcome also to occupational therapy student Krista Shutvet, OTS as she joins us for an 12 week fieldwork placement. Krista will be working with Milestones clients under the supervision of Lead Therapist Ashley Valosek, MS, OTR/L.   
  • The Milestones team enjoyed some down time outside of work at our 14th annual summer outing. An enjoyable time was had by all as we pampered ourselves with manicures/pedicures along with wine and appetizers. Thanks to Administrative Director Gretchen Manske for organizing this event for us.
  • Congratulations to team member Sarah Sadofsky MS, OTR/L on her recent engagement!
  • Congratulations also to team member Elizabeth “Liz” Rose, MA, CCC-SLP on the birth of her son Aaron James.
  • Farewell and best of luck to Courtney Leonard, CCC-SLP as she leaves Milestones to pursue other opportunities.
  • Finally, more travel for our team members this month as April Pruin, MOT, OTR/L traveled to China, Clinical Director Janet Puderbaugh, MS, OTR/L traveled to Sonoma CA and to London, England, and Administrative Director Gretchen Manske traveled to Phoenix, AZ and San Diego, CA.

August News


New Beginnings

Summer is coming to an end and this means we’re transitioning to fall schedules in mid-August. For some of you, school days for your child are just beginning and others of you are old pros. Please know that here at Milestones, we are ready to welcome our clients and families into a new therapy schedule that best fits their school routine. Here are updates from what’s happening here at the practice, including news of a brand new marriage!

    • Team member Rebecca Doyle, LCSW completed her certification in Trauma Studies from the Trauma Center led by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston, MA. Big congratulations for earning this certification and completing all of the work that it required.
    • Wedding bells were ringing earlier this month as Ashley Valosek, MS, OTR/L and her husband Jonathan exchanged vows on August 13th in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. They spent their honeymoon in Hawaii touring and soaking up some sun.
    • Congratulations to team member Justine Cabrera on her acceptance into Midwestern University’s Occupational Therapy Master’s Program.
    • We will be offering our BFF Club social skills group starting in mid-September. Contact Administrative Assistant Donna Cooper for more information.
    • A bit THANK YOU to Nicole Sauer, PT, DPT for helping us out over the summer months. We will miss seeing her around the clinic but wish her the best as she resumes her school position. 
  • A few team members have been traveling this month:
    • Julie Channell MOT, OTR/L traveled to Iceland, Finland, and Estonia
    • Nicole Sauer, PT, DPT traveled to Hawaii
    • Maura Kelly, DPT enjoyed trips with family and friends to Door County, Wisconsin and to Willamette Valley, Oregon this month
    • Administrative Director Gretchen Manske traveled with family to Wisconsin and Minnesota 
    • April Pruin, MOT, OTR/L traveled to New York and Canada
    • Erin Barham M.S., CCC-SLP spent time in the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota


Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps children develop the skills to be successful during play, socialization, activities of daily living, and learning experiences. Learn More

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps children gain critical skills related to independent mobility and gross motor functioning. Learn More

Speech / Language Therapy

Speech/language therapy helps children develop the skills to effectively interact and communicate with the world around them. Learn More

Social Work Services

We invite any of our families to meet with our social workers if they feel they could benefit from support or counseling. Social work services are a great resource to strengthen families and children. Learn More

Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurofeedback is a type of brain training therapy that has proven to be a very successful intervention for children (and adults) with a variety of symptoms and disorders. Learn More

Social Skills Group

Social Skills Groups help children build relationships with peers and develop important social pragmatic skills. Learn More

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