Kirsten Metzger-Gilbert, MA, CCC-SLP
Kirsten is the Director of Building Blocks Therapy. She purchased the practice from the previous owner in 2008 after working for Building Blocks for the prior 4 years. Kirsten received a Bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and Master’s degree from George Washington University. She became interested in working with kids with special needs after having a cousin diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kirsten enjoys working with children with dyspraxia, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, and feeding and swallowing challenges. In her spare time, (now non-existent with a 4 1/2 year old and 2 year old!) she loves watching college basketball, the Red Sox, Nationals, and Patriots, reading and traveling.
Jess DiNenno, OTR/L
Jess joined Building Blocks Therapy in May 2017. She has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist in the DMV area since 2014. Jess completed her Masters of Occupational Therapy at James Madison University. Jess is certified in Handwriting Without Tears, The Print Tool, and The Alert Program. She also has experience with Zones of Regulation and Social Thinking curriculum. She has special interests in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Sensory Processing Disorders. In her free time she enjoys [solidcore], playing with her puppy, running/biking, and spending time with her family and friends. She is excited to start working with the families at Building Blocks Therapy!
Melissa Mimidis, MS, CCC-SLP, PROMPT trained
Melissa has been with Building Blocks Therapy since 2007, after working for a pediatric rehabilitation clinic in Pennsylvania. Melissa completed her undergraduate work at Penn State and received her Master’s degree from James Madison University. She is a native of the northern VA area. Melissa has received training in the following areas: Talk Tools, Beckman, Introduction to Floortime, and PROMPT. Melissa recently got married in the Spring 2016.
Rachel Hicks, MA, CCC-SLP
Rachel has been with Building Blocks Therapy since June 2015. She completed her undergraduate work and received her Master’s degree from Indiana University Bloomington. Rachel completed her externship practicums at an Indiana elementary school and IU Health North Hospital serving students and patients with a variety of needs. She has special interests in Autism Spectrum Disorders, developmental delays, feeding and swallowing difficulties, and AAC. Rachel recently completed the Introduction to PROMPT course and attended a conference on AAC and Literacy, held in Washington DC. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys swimming, running, and spending time with friends and family.
Cristin A. Brophy, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Cristin has been with Building Blocks Therapy since March 2011. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and received her Master of Education from the University of Virginia. Cristin has completed the Introduction to PROMPT Technique and the second level of PROMPT: Bridging Technique to Intervention, the Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders: SOS Approach to Feeding Conference, TalkTools Oral Placement Therapy Program, and the Beckman Oral/Motor Protocol. She also has special training in social and pragmatic language skill development with the use of the DIR/Floortime Approach and Social Thinking. Cristin recently became Hanen certified in the It Takes Two to Talk® Program for groups of parents of children with expressive and receptive language delays. Cristin works with children with developmental delays, apraxia of speech, Autism Spectrum Disorders, fluency and language disorders, and feeding and swallowing difficulties. She enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, trying new restaurants, and having fun with friends and family.
Amy Benitez, MA, CCC-SLP
Amy joined Building Blocks’ Therapy team in 2007. She worked full-time for us for 3 years before having her first child, Reesa. While pregnant with her second child, Amy returned to Building Blocks to work every other Saturday. And, after the birth of her son, Cruz, she is back with us on an every other Saturday basis. Amy completed her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Indiana University. Before joining our team, Amy worked in the public school system in Indiana and for the government-funded birth to three program in Indiana, called First Steps. Amy completed the Introduction to PROMPT course in 2009 and the Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention course in 2011. She enjoys working with early speech & language development as well as school-aged speech and language disorders. Amy supports parental involvement by providing parents with activities to complete at home in order to promote and reinforce the target therapy goals and maximize progress. In her spare time, Amy loves being a Mom and spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys traveling, shopping, running and exploring new restaurants with her husband, Greg.
Tere Maher, MA, CCC-SLP
Teré has been with Building Blocks Therapy since 2004. Teré completed her undergraduate work and received her Master’s degree from Northwestern University. Before coming to work with Building Blocks Therapy, Teré worked in the public school setting and in private practice serving students and families with a variety of needs. She has special interests in fluency disorders, Autism Spectrum disorders, voice disorders, and dyspraxia. Teré enjoys reading books from Oprah's Book Club, playing games, outings with her own children, and quiet moments with her husband.
Alyssa Falbo, MA, CCC-SLP
Alyssa is a full-time Speech Language Pathologist with Arlington Public Schools (APS). She was born and raised in Montgomery, West Virginia, and have been in Washington, D.C., for the past six years. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders from Marshall University located in Huntington, West Virginia, in 2007. After graduation she began her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology at Nova South Eastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, via their online student program. She graduated with her Master’s in June of 2011 and began working with APS in September of 2011. While completing her Master's she had the pleasure of interning at Building Blocks Therapy for several semesters. She is thrilled to have reconnected and joined their team working after school hours in the DC office!
She has a four-legged fur-baby named Gino, who thinks he’s human. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, work-out classes, spending time with friends and family, and eating her way through the DMV any chance she gets. Living in D.C. has been a dream come true!
Ashley Schlich, MS, CCC-SLP
Ashley is joining Building Blocks in June of 2016. Ashley is a native of Florida, between Pensacola and Destin, and moved to the NOVA area in August of 2014. She completed her undergraduate work and received her Master’s degree from Florida State University. Before coming to work with Building Blocks, Ashley worked in the public school setting for 2 years. In the schools, she worked with elementary students with various disabilities ranging from kids with articulation needs and fluency to kids with severe autism. She worked with students on articulation, receptive and expressive language, stuttering, and alternative and augmentative communication. Ashley loves being with family and friends and enjoys running, playing soccer (or any sport honestly), watching Florida State Football and all Pittsburgh teams, being at the beach, hiking, kayaking, and just exploring/going on adventures. Ashley just got married in October of 2016!