About Our Team

About Our Team

Lanni Zinberg-Swartz

M.Sc.(A), S-LP (C), Reg. CASLPO

Lanni is a speech-language pathologist who is passionate about working with children and teens with social communication needs and has done so for over 20 years in the public system. Her extensive clinical experience supporting social learning through parent coaching has highlighted the need for a focused, strengths-based, parent and child service, and she created Connections SLP to fill this gap.

Lanni is a certified PEERS® and PEERS® Telehealth Provider. She is a consultant for The Hanen Centre® and is one of four international instructors for TalkAbility™ certification workshops for SLPs. Lanni also developed and instructs Hanen’s Connecting the Dots and Creating Conversations workshops and webinars for supportive personnel. She is certified to provide TalkAbility™ and TalkAbility™ Offered via Telepractice.

Lanni has represented her SLP colleagues in provincial advocacy and is currently the speech-language pathologist member of the Ontario Autism Program Implementation Working Group.

She has worked with Child Development Programs at Markham-Stouffville Hospital since 2000. She is the Autism mentor for the program and leads the development of innovative services for children with social communication needs and their families in the York Region Preschool Speech and Language Program. She has facilitated More Than Words® and TalkAbility™ programs for hundreds of families in her role with YRPSLP. Lanni is also a long-time member of the Developmental Assessment and Consultation Services team for Children’s Treatment Network, one of Ontario’s five Autism Diagnostic Hubs. At DACS, she partners with a developmental pediatrician to assess school-aged children and teens.

Lanni was recently recognized by the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists for outstanding contributions to the association and the profession. She is the 2020 recipient of OSLA’s Honours of the Association award.

At home, Lanni is mom to a pre-teen and a teen. She and her family enjoy singing along to musicals, reading, doing karate, travelling and finding great places to eat ice cream.

Lisa Drake

Speech-Language Pathologist

Lisa has been a speech-language pathologist since 2003. She has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and has worked with these children in clinical partnership with their families towards improving functional social communication outcomes.

As former Director of Autism Services at The Hanen Centre®, Lisa has delivered presentations and trainings about autism development to professionals from around the world. She uses her knowledge of adult learning to help parents and educators understand and effectively use strategies to support social learning with children and adolescents.
Lisa is currently the Chief of Speech Language and Hearing Services with the Durham District School Board, where she leads teams of language and hearing professionals to support students across the system. When she is not at the school board, she loves spending time with her creative school-aged son and training for triathlons.

Marika K. Holmes

Speech-Language Pathologist

Marika recently celebrated 18 years as a clinical speech-language pathologist and manager of clinical services. Married to an air force pilot with two children, Marika has moved back and forth between Halifax (Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres) and Ottawa (First Words), managing speech-language pathologists and working in private practice. For the past four years, Marika has been manager of the Infant Hearing and Blind Low Vision programs of Eastern Ontario and of the Preschool Speech and Language Program for Ottawa and Renfrew County. This year, Marika worked with The Hanen Centre® to deliver More Than Words® and TalkAbility™ Offered via Telepractice for the Ontario Autism Program. Marika is thrilled to join Connections SLP to continue providing TalkAbility™ Offered via Telepractice to families in Ontario and Alberta. 

When Marika isn’t working, you can find her outside with her family, taking on new adventures and trying to keep up with her kids…and not break a leg!

Jamie Lee, M.H.Sc.

M.H.Sc., S-LP(C), Reg. CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologist

Jamie is a registered speech-language pathologist who completed her Masters of Health Sciences program at the University of Toronto. Through her experience with the York Region Preschool Speech and Language Program as well as Children’s Treatment Network’s Developmental Assessment and Consultation Services, she has had the opportunity to work with preschool and early school aged children in the areas of assessment, treatment, consultation, and ASD diagnostic assessment. 

Jamie is certified by The Hanen Centre® to lead the It Takes Two to Talk®, More Than Words®, TalkAbility™ and TalkAbility™ Offered via Telepractice programs. She enjoys working with children to develop their social communication and peer interaction skills. She feels strongly that parents and caregivers play a key role in helping their children reach their full potential. She is passionate about working closely with families to provide them with the tools to support their child’s communication skills.  

When she isn’t working, you might find Jamie rock climbing, trying out new recipes, or hanging out with her spouse and her two cats. 

Jennifer Levine

BScOT, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Intake Co-ordinator

Jennifer brings clinical experience from a variety of settings, including Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Kidtherapy community services. She was a founding clinician of Integrated Services for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ISAND). In addition to clinical occupational therapy, Jennifer’s role at ISAND included meeting with families upon intake in order to determine needs and appropriate intervention for their child. In this role she developed her special interest in advocacy and service navigation. Jennifer also has an interest in research and worked in the Autism Research Unit at SickKids on a variety of research projects.

Jennifer continues to develop her skills and knowledge through courses and multidisciplinary clinical collaboration. Jennifer has worked with children and youth of all ages and has extensive experience with parent coaching.

In her free time, Jennifer loves playing cribbage with her son, watching musicals with her daughter and going for long walks with her husband and fur-baby Samson.

Loan Nguyen

M.H.Sc., Reg. CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologist

Loan has had a special interest in working with children and youth with social communication needs since very early in her career. She has been practicing since 2006, and spent 12 years as an SLP with the York Region Preschool Speech and Language Program, providing assessment and support for children and their families in a variety of settings. She has served as a consultant for families, childcare centres and behaviour teams.    

Loan is currently on staff with the Peel District School Board, where she is one of the ASD-Special Needs Resource Consultants, supporting her SLP colleagues and school teams with programming for children with ASD and special needs. She also provides professional development to her colleagues and school professionals. Loan joined the Children’s Treatment Network Developmental Assessment and Consultation Services in 2017, where she continues her role as a member of the preschool diagnostic multi-disciplinary assessment team.

Loan holds certifications in Hanen’s TalkAbility™, More Than Words® and It Takes Two to Talk® programs and has led many programs for families. She also has training in Auditory-Verbal Therapy for children with hearing impairment.

Her two young children keep her busy at home with their extracurricular activities. In her free time, she enjoys reading romance novels and cooking up a storm with her family.

Emily Sidsworth

M.H.Sc., S-LP(C), Reg. CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologist

Emily has been a speech-language pathologist for over 10 years in the York Region community. She has worked as a private practitioner in the community and with Five Counties Children’s Treatment Centre and has worked with preschool and school-aged children as well as young adults. She currently works with the York Region Preschool Speech and Language Program. Emily has pursued professional development in social interaction and is certified by The Hanen Centre ® to lead More Than Words® and TalkAbility™ programs.
Emily enjoys working collaboratively with families to create successful playdates for their children. She loves working within her own community because of the connections made and the joy that families receive by learning more about their child’s communication style.

As a speech-language pathologist and sports enthusiast, Emily loves coaching families to create learning opportunities. She believes in the philosophy of parents as partners within therapy and practice, and enjoys guiding parents to coach their children to make significant gains and foster a positive experience in their development. It is her goal to work closely with families to facilitate interaction with their children and their friends to establish a foundation for successful friendship building.

Outside of her passion for communication, Emily enjoys family time with her partner Kyle and their fur-baby Riley. You will likely see Emily jogging around the community, knee-deep in the dirt in her garden, riding on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, or running around the soccer pitch.