Group of teenage girls and boys smiling, with their arms around each other

About Us

Our therapists are dedicated to improving the lives of children and teens with disabilities, as well as their families. Building Bridges Therapy was founded to provide the “Next Step” in therapy programs targeting life, social, and vocation skills in functional environments. We provide the opportunity for children of all ages to make life-changing strides, no matter where they are on the spectrum of development.

We also recognize that parents of children with disabilities also need support. We provide parental support including consultations and feedback to help parents establish realistic goals and expectations for their children.

Meet our Therapists:

Speech Therapists

Marla Mann, M.Ed. CCC-SLP

Marla Mann, M.Ed. CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and owner of Building Bridges Therapy. Marla graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She completed her Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders at Georgia State University. Marla has had clinical experiences in the school system, private clinics, and hospitals. She was a presenter at the 2005 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in San Diego on Child Abuse and Communication Disorders. Marla has received three Awards for Continuing Education, ACE Awards, from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association demonstrating her dedication to provide the most up to date and evidenced-based treatment. She has lectured throughout the Atlanta area on pediatric feeding disorders, social skills, and bullying. Marla has completed extensive training on Pediatric Feeding Disorders and has also attended courses on Oral Motor Treatments, Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, Social Skills. She is a certified provider of the FastForWord program and has experience treating feeding disorders, language delays, apraxia of speech, articulation disorders, auditory processing disorders, and social skills.

Lorissa Alexander, M.A., CCC-SLP

Lorissa Alexander, M.A., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist for Building Bridges Therapy. Lorissa graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in Speech Pathology in 2003. She then received her M.A. in Audiology and Speech Pathology from the University of Memphis in 2005. Lorissa completed her clinical fellowship year working in a speech and hearing clinic treating children in the clinic and in the community at local United Way facilities. She has also had experience working in school systems in elementary, middle, and high schools and in an extended care facility. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and holds her GA speech-language pathology license. Lorissa is a PROMPT trained provider and has experience treating children with motor speech disorders, such as Apraxia. She has also received training on feeding problems with children, assessing and treating motor speech impairments, and Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices/programs, including DynaVox and Boardmaker Plus v.6. She has experience in language development, articulation, fluency, feeding and oral motor skills, as well as social skills groups.

Jorri Sanders-Marchi, M.Ed. CCC-SLP

Jorri Sanders-Marchi, M.Ed., CCC-SLP is a Speech and Language Pathologist, working full-time, providing Speech and Language therapeutic services for Building Bridges Therapy, Inc. Jorri obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in the area of Communication Science and Disorders from Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA. She received her Certificate of Clinical Competence through ASHA in August 2009 while working with a diverse population in East Haven, CT. Jorri has gained invaluable insight, direction and experience in the field of Speech and Language Pathology while working for the Connecticut Public Schools Systems, the Georgia Public Schools system and with wide variety of persons ranging from birth to twenty-one presenting with speech and language related disorders. She recently completed continuing education courses in the areas of pediatric feeding, specific language disorders and oral motor activities and dysfunction. Jorri also has extensive experience in the areas of treating language disorders, feeding, Apraxia, fluency, articulation, oral motor dysfunction, treating receptive language deficits, and developing/ implementing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques as a method of treating individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Rachel May, M.S. CCC-SLP

Rachel May, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist for Building Bridges Therapy. Rachel graduated from Auburn University in 2005 where she received her undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders. She then pursued a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of South Alabama in 2007. Rachel has worked as a speech-language pathologist in Atlanta for over 5 years and joined Building Bridges Therapy in 2011. Rachel has had clinical experiences in the school system, private clinics, and hospitals. She has experience working with children who have a variety of needs, including sensory processing disorders, apraxia, autism, language delays, phonological/ articulation disorders, mild intellectually delayed, and moderately intellectually delayed. Rachel is a certified provider of the Fast Forward program and has attended courses on the Beckman Oral Motor Program and Pediatric Feeding.

Brittany Avera, M.A. CCC-SLP

Brittany Avera, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist for Building Bridges Therapy. Brittany graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She completed her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Central Florida as well. Brittany has had clinical experiences across the life span including skilled nursing facilities, home health, and pediatric clinics. Brittany is a certified member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and holds her GA speech-language pathology license. Brittany has attended continuing education courses on Beckman Oral Motor intervention, pediatric feeding disorders, and apraxia of speech. She has experience treating children in the areas of language development, articulation, feeding and oral motor skills, fluency, voice, and cognitive/linguistic development. Brittany is a certified Fast ForWord provider.

Meagan Kidd, M.Ed. CCC-SLP

Meagan Kidd, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, earned a Master’s in Education in Communication Disorders from the University of Virginia and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Collaborative/Special Education from Birmingham-Southern College. Meagan has experience working in outpatient pediatric clinics, early intervention, public schools, and rehabilitation hospital settings. She has participated in extensive continuing education study to further her knowledge base in assessment and treatment of children with communication disorders. Meagan has been awarded Award of Continuing Education (ACE) from the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association for completing 70 hours of continuing education in a three year period. These programs have included information in autism spectrum disorders, feeding issues, nutrition, social skills, and apraxia. Meagan has completed P.R.O.M.P.T. training and Debra Beckman’s Oral Motor Assessment and Interventions training. In addition, she has completed Sara-Rosenfeld Johnson’s oral motor courses and she is certified in Fast Forward. Other continuing education courses she has attended are Strategies to Help Children with Sensory Processing Disorder, Special Topics in Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing, and Nutrition Therapy Feeding Interventions for Autism, Asperger’s, and ADHD. Meagan particularly enjoys working with children with early language development, apraxia of speech, and autism spectrum disorders. Meagan has been a Hero for Autism nominee from Greater Georgia Chapter of the Autism Society of America.

Occupational Therapists

Barbi Ward, MS, OTR/L

Barbi Ward, MS, OTR/L is an occupational therapist participating in running several of the groups, individual therapy and consultations for Building Bridges Therapy. Barbi graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences in 1999. She completed her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2002. She has focused her occupational therapy career in pediatrics. Barbi has clinical experience including outpatient rehabilitation, private clinics, school system, and hospitals. She has attended courses on Autism, Asperger’s, Social Skills Training, feeding, handwriting (Handwriting Without Tears), and extensive training in aquatic therapy.

Jill Feldman, OTR/L, C/SIPT

Jill Feldman, OTR/L, C-SIPT, is a native New Yorker and graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2001. Since that time, she has solely practiced in the pediatrics, in nearly all settings. Jill has received several speciality trainings/certifications, such as being certified to administer the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, Therapeutic Listening Basic and Advanced, The Listening Program, Oral Motor Beckman Interventions, Basic Myofascial Release Techniques, and Handwriting Without Tears. In addition, Jill enjoys providing community outreach to pre-schools, counselors, teachers, parents, daycares, and elementary schools on the benefits of addressing developmental concerns early and how occupational therapy can help children in all areas of their lives. In 2009, she presented at the GPAT conference in St. Simons, Georgia on the subject matter of Sensory Integration in the Classroom. She thoroughly loves working with children, their family’s, and all others that interact with that child to ensure expedited progress towards success and independence. Jill lives in Cumming, Georgia with her wonderful husband, daughter, and 75 pound boxer. She enjoys being with family, reading, exercising, and going out to eat with friends in her spare time.

Cadie Denbow, MHS, OTR/L

Carolyn “Cadie” Denbow, OTR/L, attended the Medical College of Georgia where she received a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, graduating with honors. She has worked in a variety of settings including pediatrics, in-patient rehabilitation, mental health, skilled nursing facilities and various hospitals specializing in brain injuries and strokes. Cadie is a member of The American Occupational Association and continues to further her education through this organization. Due to her love of children, she is specializing in pediatrics with a focus on developmental delays, oral motor/feeding, sensory integration, social skills, and aquatic therapy. Cadie also enjoys leading vocational groups for young adults. Her interests include spending time with her friends and family, including her three precious nieces and nephew. She loves reading, running (including half marathons) and playing tennis.

Physical Therapists

Sumi Chatani, PT, DPT

Sumi Chatani, PT is a physical therapist and member of the Forsyth County team for Babies Can’t Wait, participating in individual therapy and coaching visits for Building Bridges Therapy. Sumi graduated from Knox College in Illinois with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Biopsychology in 2000. She completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Emory University in 2004. She has experience in a variety of settings including acute care and long term rehabilitation centers, but has focused primarily in pediatrics. She has over 6 years experience in out-patient and home health pediatrics. Sumi is also a certified TheraSuit provider, and has led several intensive therapy programs combining traditional land based and Aquatic physical therapy.

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