We believe the Play Works team has the ideal balance of Master Clinician and mindful compassion. Our practice is science-based and research driven, but we also believe we get better results by nurturing personal relationships and emotional connections. We’re here for you and your child. To listen, seek to understand, and then to offer support, coaching and guidance. Our goal is to equip your child with the tools, training and coaching to be successful in life.

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Sarah Mcdonnell, MA CCC-SLP

info@gorgeplayworks.com

Sarah McDonnell is the founder and Director of Play Works Children's Therapies. She received her M.A. in Communication Disorders and Sciences from SUNY Buffalo in 2006, and since that time as dedicated over 12 years developing her clinical skills as a pediatric speech language pathologist. Sarah has a special interest in treating children with childhood apraxia of speech and severe speech sound disorders. Among her professional experiences are inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, early intervention, and pediatric multidisciplinary clinics. She is a graduate of the 2011 CASANA Intensive Training Institute. Sarah brings to Play Works the CAS Therapy Intensive Program which utilizes an eclectic model following evidence based practice in the context of play. She is an invited speaker for local and regional conferences, as well as a university guest lecturer. Sarah holds the experience of providing peer review for continuing education courses related to pediatric motor speech disorders. Her passion for play and social connection is made evident by her approach to treatment.

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Torie Weprin, LMT

torie@gorgeplayworks.com

Torie Weprin graduated from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science. She then attended MountainHeart School of Bodywork in Crested Butte, Colorado where she received training in infant massage and became a certified massage therapist in 2014. She is now a licensed massage therapist in Oregon and has been practicing at Holistic Massage of Hood River for over a year now. As a former high school and NCAA top athlete, she is passionate about inspiring an interest in health and wellness in all ages. Torie will work with the PTs and OTs at Play Works to help include massage therapy into the personalized treatment plan for your child. She is also very excited to work with parents to help coach them through providing massage for their infants to promote healthy growth and development.

 Rachelle Walters, COTA/L  Rachelle Walters earned her Associate of Occupational Science degree from Pima Medical Institute’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant program in Denver, CO in 2012. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Humboldt State University.  Rachelle has worked with children for 13 years in a variety of settings. She has worked in WA schools, as a school-based COTA for the past 4 years. She has also provided OT services in Acute Care, Long Term Care and Rehabilitation hospitals.  Rachelle has had specialized training in the areas of sensory processing, handwriting, assistive technology, Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism and behavioral interventions. Before her OT career, she taught Art at a K-5 Charter school. She then left the classroom for the woods, where she worked as a Wilderness Guide and a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor with at-risk youth before going back to school to become a COTA. Rachelle participated in a study abroad program in Chile where she became fluent in Spanish. Rachelle enjoys providing children with the necessary tools to increase independence while watching their confidence grow.  

Rachelle Walters, COTA/L

Rachelle Walters earned her Associate of Occupational Science degree from Pima Medical Institute’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant program in Denver, CO in 2012. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Humboldt State University.  Rachelle has worked with children for 13 years in a variety of settings. She has worked in WA schools, as a school-based COTA for the past 4 years. She has also provided OT services in Acute Care, Long Term Care and Rehabilitation hospitals.  Rachelle has had specialized training in the areas of sensory processing, handwriting, assistive technology, Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism and behavioral interventions. Before her OT career, she taught Art at a K-5 Charter school. She then left the classroom for the woods, where she worked as a Wilderness Guide and a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor with at-risk youth before going back to school to become a COTA. Rachelle participated in a study abroad program in Chile where she became fluent in Spanish. Rachelle enjoys providing children with the necessary tools to increase independence while watching their confidence grow.  

 
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Anna Diem, MA CCC-SLP

anna@gorgeplayworks.com

Anna Diem earned both her graduate and undergraduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology, with a minor in Elementary Education, from Western Michigan University. Anna has worked in diverse environments as a pediatric SLP including elementary schools, a pediatric clinic in Ireland, and for the past 12 years with the Hood River County School District Early Intervention Program and elementary schools. These experiences have allowed her to work directly with parents, teachers, child care providers, therapists, and other professionals to support optimal communication abilities for children. She has extensive experience in treating children with ASD, CAS, phonological & articulation disorders, dysrthria, and overall language development. She specializes in helping parents develop deeper understanding of their child's communication needs during daily experiences. Anna is excited to continue serving children and families throughout the gorge within the Play Works community. 

 

 

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Heather McClure MOT, OTR/L

heather@gorgeplayworks.com

Heather McClure earned her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch and her B.S. in Social Science from Portland State University. She was born and raised in the Northwest, and is excited to provide excellent occupational therapy to kids in the Gorge! Her experience in OT ranges from behavioral health (inpatient and partial hospital psychiatry) to acute care/sub-acute rehabilitation as well as outpatient pediatrics. She has specialized training in the Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI) method, Astronaut Training Program and Therapeutic Listening. She is extremely interested in sensory processing, the auditory/visual/vestibular triad, reflex integration and how neurological differences affect behavior in children (and adults!!). She is a wife, mom, dog-mom, avid reader, crossword puzzle junkie, novice gardener, locavore foodie and outdoor enthusiast.

 
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Paige Blodget, MA CCC-SLP

paige@gorgeplayworks.com

Paige Blodget is excited and honored to offer speech therapy services at Play Works. She has known from a young age that communication is an essential human need, so training to be an SLP was a natural calling. Paige received her Master's Degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences from Portland State University. During her professional career, she has had the opportunity to work with a variety of populations and disorders. Her experiences include early intervention, early childhood special education, public schools, and outpatient clinics and rehabilitation centers.  Her specialty interest and experience is in treating children with language disorders, speech sound and phonological disorders, and social language development in older children and adolescents. Paige's most influential teachers in the school of life have been her two young children. Paige enjoys hiking, yoga, cooking, swimming, and spending time with her friends and family. 

 

 

 

 

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Angela Ripley, DPT

angela@gorgeplayworks.com

Angela Ripley earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from D’Youville College - Buffalo, NY in 2011. With a passion for pediatrics, her goal is to analyze movement and develop creative individualized treatment strategies to improve patient safety, efficiency and independence navigating their environments.  She has diverse experience treating pediatrics to geriatrics in multidisciplinary outpatient clinics, inpatient units, acute rehab, home health and an early childhood program. Angela’s heart for medical missions led her to volunteer with CURE International in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a PT program in a pediatric orthopedic hospital.  She has been fortunate to work with unconventional treatment strategies such as hippotherapy (PT on a horse) and an outdoor aquatic setting (with dolphins as motivation). Her specialty is movement but her focus is providing holistic care. For every child to reach their potential, Angela believes it’s the therapist and caregiver’s responsibility to find what motivates the patient and cultivate an environment of intentional play supporting learning opportunities and high expectations.  

 

 

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Emily DeCarlo, MA CCC-SLP

emily@gorgeplayworks.com

Emily DeCarlo earned her graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology, with a concentration in bilingual development, from Portland State University in 2013. She grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish Language & Culture from California State University, Chico in 2005. She speaks Spanish fluently and taught English as a second language to children and adults in Spain for a few years. Emily is experienced in collaborating with diverse populations, from working with children with multiple disabilities at a neuro - developmental clinic in Ecuador, to helping middle school students improve their fluency skills in Seattle. Recently, Emily has collaborated to provide culturally appropriate assessments, birth-to-three services, and improve our understanding of typical early Spanish-English bilingual language development in young children. Emily is thrilled to join the Play Works team and provide speech and language services to families of all backgrounds in the Gorge.  

 

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Chelsey Alberts, BS RD CDE

chelsey@gorgeplayworks.com

Chelsey received her B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Idaho in 2007. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She has spent a large part of her career working with children and adults with type 1 and 2 diabetes and diabetes prevention. She has developed a fondness for working with children and their families over the past several years working in a pediatric endocrinology clinic. Her focus has been helping a variety of families manage diabetes, Celiac Disease,  and other Medical Nutrition Therapies. Through inpatient and outpatient care she also has gained extensive experience with Medical Nutrition Therapy including nutrition support, special diets for various disease, and difficulty with picky eating. Helping children and their families discover a love for healthy eating and active lifestyles is her passion. She is excited to be part of the Play Works team and work with families in the Gorge!