Starbright (COCDA) » Find Professionals

Are you looking for specific professionals to work with your child? In order to access autism funding for children under six, parents must employ professionals who are on the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP). Search the RASP here. For children over 6 (and for all other professionals that may or may not be listed in the RASP), we hope that our Professionals Directory (below) will help you find who you are looking for.

Tip: You will want to use the “Select Category” drop down menu below to narrow down your search, or you can use the Search box.

Please note: If you encounter any listing that is out of date, we would love to know about it. Please contact us.  Also if you know about a professional not yet listed in our database, you can add a listing to our directory here.


Starbright (COCDA)

Contact: Karina Frisque
Work 1546 Bernard Ave Kelowna BC V1Y 6R9 Work Phone: (250) 763-5100Work Phone: 1-877-763-5100Website: Starbright
Photo of Starbright (COCDA)

Biographical Info

Infant Development

The Infant Development Program is a home based, community orientated program for children who are either at risk for developmental delay or who have identified delays.

Betty Teigen, IDP Consultant  (Team Leader)

Betty Teigen is a Registered Nurse and has been an Infant Development Consultant since 1980.  Betty has accessed professional development in Prematurity, Down Syndrome, Facilitating Speech and Language Development, Family Support, Typical and Atypical Growth and Development, Attachment as well as many other areas.  Betty has been a certified Infant Massage Instructor since 2007.

Anke Purnell, IDP Consultant

Anke Purnell has worked at the Child Development Centre since 2007 as an Infant Development Consultant.  Anke has training in Early childhood Education and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Linguistics.   She worked as a preschool teacher for over 13 years and managed a preschool program for 5 years.   Anke had the opportunity to work for a preschool in Australia that served the needs of children with hearing loss.   Anke enjoys working with children and families and finds the work very rewarding.

Nikki Williams, IDP Consultant

Nikki graduated from Okanagan University College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998. She has been working with children in a variety of settings since 1995. Programs included  After-school Programs; School Districts in Kelowna and Calgary; Preschool Program for Children with Autism and Intensive Behaviour Intervention Programs. Nikki has been working at the COCDA since 2005 and has stated that “It has been a wonderful learning experience working so closely with such knowledgeable professionals.”

Karen Hartley, IDP Consultant

Karen Hartley has worked with children and families for the past thirty two years.  Her post secondary education is in Early Childhood Education and Psychology.  Karen’s  work experience includes ten years as a  Child Development Program Supervisor,  2 years as a College Instructor for the Early Childhood Development Program and the last 20 years as an Early Intervention/Infant Development Consultant.  She has also worked with deaf children and adults and continue to be part of the Early Hearing Program team at the COCDA.  Karen’s passion continues to be, working with families who have children birth to three years old.

Karin Hesketh, IDP Consultant

Karin Hesketh has her Masters degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.  Karin lived and worked in several different countries, including the Netherlands,  United States, Luxembourg and Indonesia. She has worked as an Infant Development Consultant at the COCDA since July 2009.

Autism Program

The Autism Program provides behaviour intervention for children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays.

Guifre Calderer B.Sc, Behaviour Intervention Consultant (Team Leader)

Guifre has been working with children with autism in Intensive Behaviour Intervention programs since 1998. He has extensive experience implementing and developing programs through his work with Autism Partnership, Renfrew Educational Services and the COCDA. In addition to skills with traditional ABA programming, Guifre also has experience with the DIR model (Floortime). Guifre is currently working on his Masters of Education.

Henrietta Penney B.A.M.S.Ed, Clinical Advisor

Henrietta has been offering behaviour services for over 30 years.  Her expertise has been accumulated from education, supervision and hands-on experience.   Her detailed profile can be viewed at Autism qualified Service Provider ACTBC.  Henrietta has trained over 800 Behaviour therapist and provides Quality Assurance for several agencies.   She strongly believes that if a child is not learning then we have to change the way we are teaching.

Stacey Jmaeff, Behaviour Intervention Consultant

Stacey Jmaeff graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.  Stacey returned to school and in 2010 graduated with Distinction from Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, Alberta with a Diploma in Speech Language Pathology Assistant.  Stacey education in Speech is a definite asset to the Autism Program.

Heather Maschek, Behaviour Intervention Consultant

Heather Maschek’s experience and education as an Early Childhood Educator as well as her training in the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis gives Heather a strong background to work with the children in the Autism Department.  She seizes every opportunity to implement these skills when working directly with the children.

Erin Campbell, MS-LP

Erin Campbell recently joined the Autism team in a consultative position.  The COCDA received funding from BC Gaming to fund this position and is excited to have Erin’s expertise as a Speech Pathologist as part of the Autism Team.   Erin is also part of our Speech Early Intervention Team and you will find her profile under that department.

Supported Child Development

The Supported Child Development Program (SCD) is intended for children who require extra support to be included in a community early child care centre.

 Margaret Blair-Cook, SCD Consultant – Team Leader

Margaret Blair-Cook has been employed with the Central Okanagan Child Development Association since 1993.  Prior to that, Margaret had volunteered in the Integrated Preschool at the Centre.  Her volunteer position put her on a new life path.   Margaret returned to school and received her diploma in Early Childhood Education.   She has worked in a young parents program with infants and toddlers, and in 1993 started at the Children’s Centre Preschool at the COCDA where she discovered that exceptional children were her first love.   After the opportunity of acting as supervisor in the preschool for three years, Margaret entered the Supported Child Development Program and has been a Supported Child Development Consultant since 1996.

Cheryl Fralick, SCD Consultant

Cheryl Fralick has dedicated her career to working with children and their families for the past 30 years – 7 of which have been with the COCDA.   A diploma graduate of the Early Childhood Education with Special Needs and Infant Toddler, she has supervised in various integrated settings such as; daycare, preschool, and toddler programs.   She also worked as a Behaviour Interventionist in the COCDA Autism Program.   Cheryl has worked as a Supported Child Development Consultant since 2005.  She considers her work a privilege and enjoys the continuous learning growth, laughter and challenges that come with working with children and their families.

Terri Russell, SCD Consultant

Terri Russell has been employed with the Central Okanagan Child Development Association since 200.  Prior to the Supported Child Development Consultant position, Terri was a Supported Child Development Program Assistant for three years.   Terri graduated with her Early Childhood Certificate in 1996 from the University College of the Fraser Valley and has experience working in and operating family daycare, preschool, group daycare and out of school care.   Terri graduated in 2009 from the Okanagan University of British Columbia with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work with a Child Welfare Specialization.

Jackie Shiosaki, SCD Consultant

Jackie holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education with Special Needs and Infant Toddler and a Degree in Psychology with minor in Sociology.   She has worked with children and family in this community for over 20 years in various positions: daycare/preschool teacher, respite provider, supported child development assistant, Thompson Okanagan Autism program, behavioural intervention, School District #23 – teach assistant, and consultant for Special Needs Adoption.   Jackie currently hold two positions at the COCDA – Case Manager Consultant and Supported Child Care Development Consultant

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy addresses function and promotes independence through skill development, and adaptation of activities, equipment or the environment.

Suzanne Lauzon, Occupational Therapist (Team Leader)

Suzanne Lauzon’s career as an Occupational Therapist (OT) began in Ontario after graduating from the University of Western Ontario.   Suzanne has worked in the field of paediatrics with children from birth to nineteen years of age.  Prior to joining the COCDA in 2001, Suzanne worked at a variety of children’s hospitals and school districts in five provinces.

Diana Kriel, Occupational Therapist

Diana Kriel graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University Stellenbosch (South Africa) in 1982 and obtained Canadian Occupational Therapy Certification in 1994, American Board certification in May 2002. She has 26 years paediatric experience in evaluating and treating children with a variety of neurological and developmental disabilities such as: down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, asperger syndrome, sensory processing disorders, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. International experience provided flexibility as a therapist, with client centred practice and providing therapy in a variety of settings, (schools, preschools, playground, home, daycare, and sensory integration clinic)   She has worked as a member of a transdisciplinary team, consulting to the child and family and providing community education on sensory integration and autism. Diana is certified in Sensory Integration testing, interpretation  and treatment.   Diana is a certified infant massage instructor. Infant development, promoting parent/infant bonding, and preventive therapy has been her primary focus while working with medically fragile infants in the United States.

Lourine Welding, Occupational Therapist

Lourine graduated as an Occupational therapist in 2003 in South Africa.  She has focused most of her working career on children with developmental and learning difficulties.  Lourine has gained experience abroad and locally working with children in hospitals, special needs school environments and private practice.  She aims to meet the needs of the children and the families that she works with through intervention with the child and those involved in his/her life.  She has worked with a diverse group of children with diagnoses ranging from Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, visually impaired, quadriplegia, hemiplegia, paraplegia, Down Syndrome and Premature babies.

Catherine Brandon, Occupational Therapist

Speech Language Therapy

Speech Language Pathologists strive to help each child become the best communicative partner he or she can be.

Deni Skutshek, S-LP (Acting Program Director)

Deni Skutshek is a Speech Language Pathologist with over 25 years of experience.   She has an undergraduate degree from University of Northern Colorado in Deaf Education and a masters in Speech Language Pathology from San Diego State University.  Her areas of interest are hearing loss, sign language, cued speech and incorporating music into  intervention.

Karen Bylsma, MS-LP

Karen graduated with a Master’s of speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alberta in 2011.  Wanting to work with preschool aged children, Karen worked at a Child Development Centre in Northwest British Columbia for a year before joining the COCDA team in 2012.  Karen is interested in a wide variety of communication areas and is pleased to have the opportunity to work with her colleagues, families and children she serves at the COCDA.

Erin Campbell, MS-LP

Erin obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Victoria and went on to complete the Therapist Assistant Diploma (studies in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy) at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, AB.  After working as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant for the Capital Health Region, she completed her Masters of Speech-Language Pathology degree at the University of Alberta.  Erin joined the COCDA team in 2005 to provide early intervention services and is a Registered Autism Service Provider, as well as a current member of BCASLPA, CASLPA and CSHHPBC.

Diane Gretzinger, S-LP

Diane Gretzinger has been working with the COCDA as a Speech language Pathologist since 1996.  During the past few years, Diane’s specific areas of expertise and interest have included Apraxia, Hearing Impairment and Augmentative Communication for children at risk for developing intelligible verbal language.  Diane is also a designated service provider for the Early Hearing Intervention Program at the COCDA.

Lucy Ruthven, S-LP (Team Leader)

Lucy Ruthven is a Registered Speech Language Pathology (M.Sc) with sixteen years of clinical experience providing assessment and intervention services to young children with a wide spectrum of communication needs, including children with complex medical, physical and developmental disabilities.   She is a member of CASLPA, BCCASLPA and RASP.  She is the Speech Pathologist on the Interdisciplinary CDBC Assessment Team (ASD stream).

 Sarah Dhooge, M.Sc., H.B.A., B.A., MSC., S-LP(C)

Sarah joined the COCDA Speech Department in June 2013.  Sarah is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist.  For the past 15 years Sarah has been dedicated to working with children, specifically young children with Autism spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the fields of education, recreation, research and Speech-Language Pathology services.

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists use their knowledge of anatomy, neurology and physiology to promote physical development, mobility, and functional independence.

Carol Peter, Physical Therapist (Team Leader)

Carol Peter received her Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree from the University of Manitoba.  Moved to Kelowna in 1990 and has had the pleasure of working with the children and families at the COCDA since 1991.

Kim MacLeod, Physical Therapist

Kim MacLeod graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University in 1994.  Earlier in her career she greatly enjoyed working with adults with strokes and brain injuries.  Prior to her current position at the COCDA she worked at BC’s  Children’s Hospital from 1995 until 1999.  She is particularly interested in helping children with neurological impairment.

Tracey White, Physical Therapist

Tracey graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Physiotherapy (B.H.Sc. P.T.)  Tracey has been with the COCDA since 1998.  Tracey is the head physiotherapist for the Hippo-therapy Program.

Lanna Brydges, Physical Therapist

Since convocating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, Lanna has worked in a variety of settings including all hospital units, home care, and private clinics in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Germany.  Paediatric experience includes NICU, hospital and outpatient paediatrics and has now worked at the COCDA since 2007.  Lanna has Advanced Level 2 Hippo-therapy and Therapeutic Riding Certification and works with the HATRC Program

Tasha Carmichael, Physical Therapist

Counselling Services

The COCDA provides family counselling for clients and families.

Heather Pattison, Counsellor

Heather Pattison graduated with a Masters Degree in Psychology (Antioch University, Seattle WA) and a Bachelors Degree in Sociology (Simon Fraser University).  Heather has a vast experience in children and family counselling.  Heather uses various approaches and interventions to tailor a treatment plan to meet each child’s academic, social, emotional and behavioural goals.

Traci Mainstone, Counsellor

Hippotherapy (HATRC)

Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding is a unique type of program where a horse is used to deliver physio and occupational therapy.

Categories: - List by Region, Behaviour Consultants, Behaviour Interventionists, Central Okanagan, Counsellors, Occupational Therapists, Professionals, Resources, Speech Language Pathologists

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Okanagan Family Autism Connection does not interview the professionals or resources listed in this directory, nor do we guarantee anyone's references or qualifications. We highly recommend you do your due diligence and perform a criminal record check as well as confirm references before hiring any person or agency.