Debra Nipp OTR/L
Owner/Clinic Director
Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Debra has been practicing pediatric occupational therapy since 2000. She has been the co-owner/director of a private practice since 2014 and founded PlaySpace Therapy in 2018. Debra has post-graduate training in Sensory Integration Theory and specializes in treating children with sensory processing disorder. She is certified in the administration of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) and the Perceptual Enrichment Program.  She is also certified in the Zones of Regulation, Integrated Listening Systems, Therapeutic Listening, Handwriting Without Tears, Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding, Bal-a-Vis X, and Matsugova Nuerosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI) Method. She received her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Puget Sound. Debra has a passion for working with children with sensory processing disorder, visual perceptual challenges, motor skill delays, handwriting, and learning disorders.  When not at work, you can find Debra spending time with her husband and three young children, as well as tending to her goats and chickens on her small urban farm.

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Karin Loar, MOT, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Feeding Specialist

Karin has been practicing as a pediatric OT since 2000.  Karin’s post graduate work includes certification in advanced practice for swallowing and intervention through the California Board of Occupational Therapy (CBOT) and certification as a Level 1 handwriting specialist through Handwriting Without Tears (HWT).  She is also trained in Integrated Listening System (ILS), Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding, and Neurodevelopmental Techniques (NDT).  Karin has a strong interest in working with children who have feeding challenges, sensory processing disorder, motor delay, and handwriting.  Karin received her Bachelors in OT from USC in 1999 and her Masters in OT from Tufts in 2001.  She lives in Walnut Creek with her husband and two sons.  


Cheryl Nolan, MS, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Cheryl has been an Occupational Therapist since 2001 and has 12 years of experience working as an OT in local Bay Area school districts. She has an extensive and experiential understanding of the school environment and academic demands placed on children in our community. Cheryl has advanced training and certification in Sensory Integration. Using this specialization and experience, she works collaboratively with children and their families to utilize sensory-based strategies that facilitate growth and development.
Cheryl received her undergraduate degree in Child Development and a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy, both from Tufts University. Her continuing education coursework has included the DIR®/Floortime™ Model, sensory diets, executive functioning, attention deficit, visual dysfunction, pediatric yoga, and mindfulness.
Cheryl has a passion for connecting children to nature and has training and experience working with TimberNook, a nature and play-based program developed by an OT. When not in the clinic, Cheryl can be found hiking in the East Bay and skiing at Squaw Valley with her husband and two sons.


Nan Arkwright, MOT, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Social Skills Group Facilitator

Nan Arkwright, MOT, OTR/L is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who has practiced for more than 20 years in a variety of settings, including schools.  In her private practice, she works with children from ages 3 through middle school. She volunteers at San Ramon Valley Christian Academy as the school occupational therapist.
She is the author of An Introduction to Sensory Integration and is co-author of ready-to-go programs for handwriting success. She is trained in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) and is a member of AOTA and OTAC.
She enjoys a variety of sports, travel, lifelong learning, animals, national parks, and reading. She has two adult children and a cat (and is thinking about adopting a dog).

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Natalie Powell, ET
Educational Therapist

Natalie Powell is an Educational Therapist specializing in dyslexia assessment and therapy. She blends approaches from Orton Gillingham, Lindamood Bell, and Making Math Real with her own unique methodology, and her students learn using active, multisensory methods that help information stick. (For a look inside Natalie's sessions, click here.) Natalie received her Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Therapy from UC Riverside Extension, her instruction in dyslexia screening through the Dyslexia Training Institute, and her B.A. with honors from UC Davis. Natalie is an Associate member of the Association of Educational Therapists, a Certified Irlen Screener, and a professional member of the International Dyslexia Association. 

Jessica Shafer, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

Jessica Shafer is an American Speech, Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified and California licensed Speech Language Pathologist.  She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University in Medford, MA and holds a Masters of Science in Communication Disorders from San Francisco State University.
She has been a practicing speech language pathologist since 2007 in a variety of settings including private practices, hospitals, early intervention programs, schools and in the home. Her areas of expertise include apraxia, articulation, phonology, language and social thinking. Jessica brings a unique perspective, being a parent of a child who has benefitted from early intervention and has learning challenges.  She lives in Moraga with her husband and three sons.

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Nina Kazemi, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

Nina Kazemi is a licensed speech-language pathologist who has been practicing speech therapy since 2006. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida with a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.
Nina has extensive experience in various areas of the speech and language disorders as well as on going training in oral motor therapy.  Nina has had experience in both the adult and pediatric population, but her special interests include treating children that have expressive and receptive language delays, articulation concerns, phonological disorders and oral motor delays. Nina’s proven clinical experience is a result from working in early intervention, home settings, hospitals and private practices.
In addition, Nina is a trained Myofunctional therapist working closely with speciaists in the community and treating clients who demonstrate tongue thrusts and oral phase dysphagia.
Nina is a dedicated and highly qualified speech-language pathologist who enjoys building relationships with the families and children she treats as well as teaching and collaborating with other professionals along with learning from them.