Our Mission

The Clubhouse is a multi-disciplinary, integrated team of professionals who empower parents to enhance the lives of their family members. It is the mission of the Clubhouse to celebrate a client’s strengths while fortifying them in their areas of need. We do this through partnership with the family.

Communication Clubhouse

Communication Clubhouse is the realization of a professional dream — a center where families can help their children grow with pride and confidence. Founded by Susan Raad, M.A. CCC, a licensed Speech/Language Pathologist with over 35 years of experience, the Clubhouse embodies the philosophy that communication is the cornerstone of human interaction. As the mother of special needs children, founder Susan Raad knows it takes a joint effort, combining the talents of highly trained professionals and family members to guide children in reaching their potential.

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OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

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Susan Raad

M.A., CCC-SLP

Founder/CEO

Susan Raad opened the Communication Clubhouse in 2002 to provide an integrated, family centered approach to addressing specialized therapeutic needs. As the mother of children challenged by deafness, Susan sought to break the traditional mold in favor of a cohesive center which is highly focused on the family needs, education and support. After a wonderful response from the suburban community, a second Clubhouse location was opened in 2006 in Jefferson Park, and a third location was opened in Roscoe Village in 2018.

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Nina Riedy

B.S., Public Relations and Marketing

Executive Director

Nina received her Bachelors Degree in Public Relations with an emphasis in Marketing from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2012. Prior to joining our team, she served as the clinic manager for a pediatric therapy clinic in Phoenix, AZ for two years. She has a passion for working with children and our diverse clinical staff. In her free time, she enjoys golfing and working on DIY projects.

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Natalie Loewe

MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapy Department Lead

Natalie Loewe, MS, OTR/L, graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with her MS in Occupational Therapy in 2002. She has over 10 years of experience in Early Intervention and joined the Clubhouse in 2008. She has experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses from infancy through the teen years. Natalie has had the pleasure of mentoring fieldwork students and new graduates. She frequently shares her extensive knowledge of Sensory Integration Dysfunction by doing professional presentations for community schools, parents, CFC offices and other professionals. Natalie also presents on the topics of home programming and pediatric Aquatic Therapy. Natalie spends her free time playing with her own children, dancing, learning Tae Kwon Do, and exploring outdoor activities such as walks at the zoo and swimming. Natalie continues to pursue further education with numerous continuing education courses on various aspects of sensory integration and sensory integration dysfunction.

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Alexandra Gantner

M.A., CCC-SLP

Lead Speech-Language Pathologist; Chicago Site

Alex joined the Clubhouse in 2004. She received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Saint Louis University, one of the top rated graduate schools in the U.S. Alex’s areas of interest include childhood apraxia of speech, autism, articulation, and phonological speech disorders and picky eaters/feeding concerns. Alex is a credentialed early intervention evaluator. She also has extensive community service experience, working with many different cultures in a variety of settings. Alex serves as our Lead Therapist at the Chicago Site.

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Elizabeth Nicholson

Director of Developmental Therapy
Infant Mental Health Certificate

Early Intervention Developmental Therapist & Evaluator

Elizabeth joined the Clubhouse in 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree from MacMurray College and completed graduate work with Northern Illinois University in the field of Curriculum and Supervision with an emphasis on testing. Additionally, she earned her Infant Mental Health Certificate from Erikson Institute in 2018. She continues to pursue her graduate studies in the field of Master of Social Work. Elizabeth has served as an early intervention provider for over 21 years. She is a credentialed early intervention evaluator and specializes in working with a diverse population. Elizabeth was awarded Teacher of the Year (1984) in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, The Illinois Developmental Therapy Association awarded her the Wehman Award of Excellence in 2018.

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Kate Gilliat

M.S., CCC-SLP

Lead Speech-Language Pathologist; Chicago Site

Kate joined the Clubhouse in 2008, after receiving her Masters degree from Gallaudet University. Kate’s areas of interest include sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, cochlear implants, and auditory processing disorders. Kate is fluent in American Sign Language and often works with children in Deaf families. Kate is passionate about working within both the home and school environments to help children with hearing loss achieve their fullest potential. Kate is also a credentialed early intervention evaluator.

Amber Hardy

M.S., CCC-SLP

Lead Speech-Language Pathologist- Downers Grove; Clinical Operations Manager

Amber joined the Clubhouse in 2005 with a Masters Degree from Western Illinois University. She brings years of experience working with children and adults who have special needs. Her primary areas of interest include articulation and phonological disorders, fluency disorders, expressive/receptive language delay, and apraxia. She has spent a decade with the Clubhouse seeing clients in the public schools, the Center, Early Intervention and serves as the Clubhouse Clinical Specialist for School Diagnostics and internal operations.

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Marra Robert

OTD, OTR/L

Lead Occupational Therapist; Chicago Site

Marra graduated with Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. She began working in pediatrics at the Communication Clubhouse in June 2017 and has experience working with children with diverse diagnoses and abilities from infancy through teen years. Marra enjoys mentoring OT students and new hires. She loves expanding her OT knowledge and discovering new ways to support child development through continuing education opportunities and reading. In her free time she enjoys yoga, reading, movies, an participating in outdoor activities. Marra is currently incorporating her love of yoga into her work with children via individual treatment sessions, and yoga groups.

Mary Stanton

M.S., CCC-SLP

Lead Speech-Language Pathologist; Chicago

Mary joined the Clubhouse in 2014. She earned her Masters degree from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, a top-ten graduate program with a nationally-recognized literacy specialization. Her primary areas of interest include dyslexia, articulation and phonological disorders, bilingual and bicultural services, expressive language delay, and health literacy. Mary has received training in evidence-based literacy programs including Wilson and Orton-Gillingham. She enjoys collaborating with families and teachers to support children’s communication in the home and school environments.

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Kristen Kilinskis

M.A., BCBA

Board Certified Behavior Analyst; Chicago

Kristen joined us in 2020 with seven years of ABA experience. Her many ABA-related professional experiences include working in a therapeutic day school, in-home therapy company and pediatric clinics. Kristen grew up in Palos Heights, received her undergrad degree in Speech Pathology from St. Xavier University and her Masters in ABA from Ball State University. She currently lives in the South Loop with her sometimes sassy but always adorable roommate, a 70lb rescue greyhound named Gryphon.

Jordan Norwood

MEd, BCBA

Board Certified Behavior Analyst; Downers Grove

Jordan joined The Clubhouse in 2019. She has two years of direct ABA experience and has been working with individuals with different abilities for more than 8 years collectively. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Masters in Special Education with a concentration in ABA from University of Houston – Victoria. When she’s not in the clinic, you can typically find Jordan volunteering at an animal shelter or catching up on her endless to-be-read bookshelf. Jordan currently lives with her wife and their two cats, Frankie and Slade, and their goofy dog, Mordecai.

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Sherrie Katauskas

Clinic Manager – Downers Grove

Sherrie received a Bachelors Degree in Management with a minor in Business Law from The Pennsylvania State University in 1991. She joined The Clubhouse in October 2018 with almost 30 years experience in collections, office management, and training. Having had pediatric clinical services for her three children has helped prepare her for a pediatric work environment. Sherrie recognizes that it can be very overwhelming when families realize that their child needs help, so she strives to ensure an effortless and efficient process for new families. When not at work, she enjoys reading, baking, and taking care of her family and 2 dogs.

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Emily Bauer

Clinic Manager – Chicago

Emily has worked in multiple medical settings for more than five years including, OB/GYN, neurology, and chiropractic services. She is a nationally accredited CMA since 2014 and has been in office management for the last three years. Pediatric therapy has always had a special place in her heart, as her mother has been a pediatric occupational therapist for over 35 years. Emily is dedicated to finding innovative and efficient solutions while providing passionate care to her team and clients. In her free time, she loves to hike, travel, and crochet while watching her favorite tv shows.

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Christine Bigol

B.S. Health Care Management

Assistant Billing Director – Downers Grove Site

Christine received a Bachelors Degree in Health Care Management from Southern Illinois University in 2008 and joined the Clubhouse in 2012. Her prior experience included Service Coordination in Early Intervention and volunteer work in hospitals. She is an expert in collaborating with families to find the best Intervention team for their child. Christine oversees billing operations in Downers Grove.

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Susan Fitzpatrick

Assistant Clinic Manager; Chicago

Susan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She joined the Clubhouse in 2015. Prior to joining the team Susan worked as an Administrative Assistant in the plastics industry, and spent time being a stay at home mom. She loves getting to know the children and seeing them progress. In her spare time she enjoys travel and family time watching movies.

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Deb Minarick

Billing Manager – Downers Grove

Deb joined the Clubhouse in June 2019 as the billing manager. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska Omaha and then earned her Associateship in the Society of Actuaries. She worked in the actuarial consulting field before taking time off to raise her family. Prior to joining the Clubhouse, Deb was the accounts receivable/billing manager at an outpatient surgical facility. In her free time, she enjoys puzzles and games, and visiting her three adult children.

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Caroline Sheen

Clinic Manager; Chicago

Caroline received a Bachelor’s Degree in Bioanthropology from Loyola University Chicago. This is where she first became passionate about pediatric public health. Before joining The Clubhouse team, she held both clinical and administrative roles in chiropractic and physical therapy settings. Caroline strives to create a positive and flawless experience for all families at The Clubhouse. When out of the office, she enjoys exploring Chicago and trying new foods.

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Cheri Ann Taylor

Assistant Clinic Manager – Downers Grove

Cheri Ann has an education from St. Ambrose University, and is working toward her license in Pastoral Studies. She joined The Clubhouse with many years of experience in administration and logistics. Her extensive experience working as a leader in the youth ministry has provided a foundation for working in a pediatric environment. Cheri Ann’s work goals are to keep the therapists and team members equipped with the tools they need to provide an exceptional experience for the kids. At home, Cheri Ann enjoys crafting, going on mission trips, and providing leadership with teenagers in youth ministry, while finding time to spend with her husband and dog.

Jennifer Johantgen

ABA Program Manager

Registered Behavior Technician

Jennifer joined the Clubhouse in 2020. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, San Marcos and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Arizona State University. She has been working with kids with autism and other various developmental disabilities for four years in clinical, school, and in-home settings. Some of her roles at the Clubhouse include the ABA Program Coordinator, working as an RBT, and working alongside her BCBA as a practicum student. Outside of work she enjoys pasta making, baking, hiking, and spending time with her family.

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Yvonne Sorby

Clinic Coordinator; Chicago

Prior to starting at the Clubhouse in 2016, Yvonne was an office manager for several years. She loves seeing how much the kids enjoy coming to the Clubhouse and watching the progress that they make.

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Bianca Roe

OTD, OTR/L, RDN, LDN

Feeding & Nutrition Department Lead

Bianca joined the Clubhouse in 2020 after graduating with her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Northern Arizona University. Bianca has a unique combination of credentials combining education and training as a Registered and Licensed Dietitian specializing in genetic disorders, pediatric feeding disorders, tube feedings, and food allergies. She loves all things food-related including a good food pun, experimenting in the kitchen, and helping families establish positive routines and relationships with mealtimes. Bianca fell in love with feeding therapy working alongside Marsha Dunn Klein, OTR/L, MED, FAOTA as a dietitian for children with feeding challenges which influenced her path into occupational therapy. During her doctoral capstone, Bianca had the incredible opportunity to receive mentorship from Dr Kay Toomey, PhD and complete the SOS Approach to Feeding Basic and Advanced training. Bianca follows a child responsive feeding approach using both her dietitian and OT lenses and is excited to provide community education and multidisciplinary professional workshops. If you have any nutrition questions, Bianca would love to Taco’bout it.

Laura Doherty

M.A., CCC-SLP/L

Speech-Language Pathologist
AAC & Feeding Specialist

Laura earned a Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2009 and started as a Clinical Fellow with the Communication Clubhouse immediately following. Special interests include the following: early language development, pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, and use of Assistive Technology (AT) to support developing language. Laura recently completed training as an SOS Feeding Specialist. Laura draws from a variety of evidence-based practice strategies, tailoring her approach to fit the needs of each family and child. A strong focus on family education and support is key, including strengthening a family’s ability to make decisions for their child and take ownership of their child’s goals.

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Jessica Tarence

PT, DPT

Physical Therapy Program Lead

Jessica joined The Clubhouse in 2019 to provide physical therapy services privately in the clinic and through Early Intervention. She also provides PT services remotely via telehealth. She earned her Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in psychology from Elizabethtown College in PA. She attended graduate school at Arcadia University and graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2016. Throughout her career, Jessica has treated children with a variety of needs and diagnoses including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, torticollis, plagiocephaly, idiopathic toe-walking, developmental delay/premature birth, and a variety of rare genetic conditions. Jessica enjoys seeing her clients meet new developmental milestones and reach functional goals to help them become more independent. She especially loves sharing those special moments with their families. In her free time, she loves going for walks with her dog Corey, indoor cycling, and volunteering with the “Crawlers and Walkers” group at Gigi’s Playhouse, a non-profit organization that serves individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.

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Justin Talaga

ABA Program Manager

Social Media Coordinator

Justin joined the Clubhouse in 2021 as the Social Media & Marketing Coordinator. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College Chicago, Justin spent six years working in Los Angeles before moving home to help grow local, impact-driven businesses. Justin has previously worked to help children and their families in education, advocacy, and youth basketball coaching. In his free time, Justin enjoys painting, trying new foods, and watching movies.

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Kathryn Prahin

LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Katie joined the Clubhouse in 2021 with 16 years of social work experience. She received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College in Early Childhood Education, and received her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago in 2005. She worked in school settings as a school social worker for 13 years in Chicago and a northern suburb. Katie also worked as a Family Support and Assessment Officer and Social Worker with children, adolescents and their families for a period of three years in London, England. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 2010 and received a Certificate in Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools in June 2009 from Loyola University Chicago. Katie is dedicated to ensuring the social-emotional wellbeing of children, adolescents and partnering with parents. 

Diagnostic Team

The Clubhouse is home to a multidisciplinary team to assess needs in a family centered environment. Families secure a full range of testing – all under one roof – and in the company of an integrated team who collaborate on both the clinical assessment and family recommendations. Families save time in scheduling while enjoying the enhanced quality of a team approach to their child’s needs. Diagnostic testing is available in the areas of speech, language, sensory, motor, cognitive and social/emotional growth.

Specialists in Hearing Loss

Our Aural Habilitation Services are led by Susan Raad. As a Licensed Speech/Language Pathologist and Developmental Therapist, Susan has specialized in pediatric hearing loss for the past 25 years. She brings a parent perspective as well as years of specialization in working with deaf and hard of hearing children. She is joined by Kate Gilliat, who oversees our clinical work with Deaf/HH kids in Chicago. Kate received her Masters in Speech/Language Pathology from the famed Gallaudet University.

The Clubhouse advocates for family choice by offering an array of options. We have a high degree of expertise in the areas of cochlear implants, cued speech, ASL and other signed communications, auditory oral approaches and auditory verbal techniques.

Susan is very proud to have co-founded Child’s Voice, the only Oral School for the deaf in Northern Illinois.