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A Multidisciplinary Evaluation Center for Early Childhood Development and Inclusion

"The human brain develops more rapidly between birth and age five than during any other subsequent period." (Wisconsin Council on Children and Families: Brain Development in Early Learning, 2007)


About | Meet the Clinical Team | Parent Testimonials
 

Gan HaNeshama helps to identify areas of your child's development that need support while fostering areas of strength. This will sustain the child’s self-concept and self-esteem in order to preserve their inner soul, their neshama. Gan HaNeshama's mission is to serve all children between the ages of two and five years who may need support or specialized therapy to solidify foundational developmental skills and maximize their day-to-day experiences. We are all b’tzelem elohim - made in the image of God - and deserve to be celebrated and nourished for who we are and what we bring to this world.

The multidisciplinary team consists of a social worker, developmental neuropsychologist, speech/language therapist, and occupational therapist, with pipelines to additional pediatric specialists.

Gan HaNeshama is here to support families with young children now. After a year without formal preschool, we know parents are worried about the resulting impact on their child’s development. Furthermore, the months of isolation restricted opportunities for additional eyes to observe their development and growth. Come meet our clinicians, get a better understanding of any supports your child needs, and know you are not alone. Speech/Language, Occupational Therapy and Developmental Screenings are being offered  in May 2021. 

Contact Stephanie Slater for more information on how you can access our developmental screenings and support.

 

Requesting an Evaluation 

If you would like to schedule an evaluation for your child, complete our Evaluation Request form. Send the completed form to GanHaNeshama@AdasIsrael.org; Stephanie Slater will be in touch with next steps.

Evaluations will begin October 2021.

 



Stephanie Slater, MSW
Director of Early Childhood Development & Family Support

Social Worker & Early Interventionist
Stephanie is a clinically trained social worker who has worked in the field of Early Childhood Development for 28 years. Stephanie believes young children are competent, capable and resilient. She relishes in their untarnished view of the world and is delighted by the joy they bring to every experience.

Stephanie has worked at the Gan for 18 years. Through individual consultations and community-wide webinars, Stephanie has supported an innumerable amount of families navigating parenthood, and has significantly grown Gan HaYeled’s capabilities for supporting young children with developmental delays and/or special rights. Her work has laid the foundation for a culture of developmental diversity and inclusion, and her vast network of clinicians in the DMV area has supported students and propelled them toward an upward trajectory for future learning. 

Stephanie holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY College at Oneonta and a Master’s in Social Work from Adelphi University. Stephanie has a Certificate in Early Intervention from Georgetown University and serves as a consultant for The Matan Institute. There, she develops workshop curricula and trains teachers on the benefits of Early Identification and Intervention.  Her work with Matan supports the efforts of Early Childhood Educators to build Inclusivity into their programs. Stephanie also serves the community as a diversity and inclusion expert, participating in local and national conference panels geared toward creating and sustaining inclusive settings in early education. She is a Certified Children’s Yoga Instructor. Her most rewarding role is mother to Sophie (19) and Macie (16) and wife to Matt.


 

Jenny Post Gorski, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist
Jenny is a pediatric Occupational Therapist with over 10 years experience specializing in working with toddlers and children in both the clinical and school settings. Jenny earned her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY. She has been working for Teri Kozlowski since 2007, where she has experience treating a range of developmental problems and delays, including those with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, Genetic Syndromes, Developmental Delays, Learning Disabilities, Fine Motor (handwriting, manipulation or dexterity) and Gross Motor Delays, and Visual System (perceptual, efficiency and information processing) Delays. 

Jenny strongly believes in the dynamic and integrated approach that TeeKoz Kids Pediatric Occupational Therapy provides to families. Jenny enjoys working on a more direct and personal level with not only the children but with families and professionals; to work toward achieving a child’s full potential. She is certified in The Listening Program, Integrated Listening System and Interactive Metronome and has attended numerous continuing education courses to build her knowledge base on Sensory Integration, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Social Thinking ™ curriculum, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Praxis, Gross and Fine Motor Development and Visual Efficiency and Information Processing, as well as Motor Impairments.  Jenny is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist in both Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Meghan Carlson, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist 
Meghan is a Speech-Language Pathologist working with Little Sprout Therapy & Metro Myo, LLC.

Meghan is originally from Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the Pennsylvania State University. She received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola University Maryland. Meghan is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, is licensed in both DC and MD and has been practicing Speech and Language Pathology for 6+ years. Meghan has a passion for working with children and has a variety of experience across therapeutic settings having worked in outpatient clinics, pediatric hospital settings and schools/daycares. Meghan is now a clinical supervisor of speech-language pathology graduate students. She has experience helping children from birth to 21 years of age in the areas of expressive and receptive language, articulation, social skills secondary to autism spectrum disorders, oral motor/feeding, AAC (augmentative and alternative communication), and working with medically complex pediatric patients with a variety of diagnoses. Meghan has completed various trainings including Social Thinking courses, Hanen It Takes Two to Talk/More than Words, Feed The Peds and others. Meghan loves to spend time with friends and family, cooking, traveling and watching/attending sporting events.

Patricia Ulanet, PsyD, Developmental Neuropsychologist
Dr. Ulanet is a Developmental Neuropsychologist with a specialization in Behavioral Medicine and Applied Development at the Center for Assessment and Treatment where she oversees the Developmental Clinic, specializing in children aged 0-6.

Dr. Ulanet’s career has focused exclusively on assessment, diagnoses and treatment of toddlers, preschoolers, and young school aged children with developmental concerns, including those with complex learning profiles. She has advised the Montgomery County DESC Team for diagnostic support and IEP development, provided faculty in-service training and parent education, and consulted for The Treatment and Learning Center, Katherine Thomas School regarding diagnostic assessment of complex cases.

Previously, Dr. Ulanet held a faculty position on the Diagnostic Team of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital and participated as researcher and clinician in the Research Unit in Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP). She succeeded the Director of the Clinic for Complex Developmental Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center in 2000, and stayed on through the program transition to the Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (CASD). At that time, Dr. Ulanet also became Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at the George Washington University Medical Center. In 2005, Dr. Ulanet was offered the position as Director of Psychological Services at the River School in Washington, DC; a role that included assessment of neurodevelopmental progress in young children with cochlear implants and various neurodevelopmental concerns including behavioral, neurological, attention, memory and learning difficulties as well as providing early differential diagnosis of ASD and hearing loss. Dr. Ulanet’s research includes identification of a specific subtype of neurocognitive processing in young children with cochlear implants. These findings were presented at the international Symposium for Cochlear Implants in May of 2012 and published in 2014.


Dr. Ulanet has also developed and implemented an early social emotional learning curriculum for young children (ages 2 years through 3rd grade). She is current on the trends in the early child development literature and the importance of identifying each child’s strengths to support areas of vulnerability in order for children to meet with educational success and a bright and fulfilling future.

She holds a BA in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, an MA in Mental Health and Human Development from John Carroll University, and was awarded a Doctorate of Psychology in 1992 from Nova Southeastern University. She conducted Internship and Residency in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Miami Children’s Hospital through the divisions Behavioral Medicine, Neuroscience and Psychiatry. She is licensed in DC and Maryland, is a member if the American Psychological Association and a parent.



"As the parents of a Gan HaYeled student over the past three years, we cannot say enough good things about Stephanie Slater, the Gan's Director of Early Childhood Development and Family Support. In our son's second year at the Gan, Stephanie helped us identify certain areas in our son's social communication that required additional support."
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"At the suggestion of a dear friend, I called the Gan at Adas Israel Congregation. After the initial conversation with the Director of Early Childhood Development and Family Support, Stephanie Slater, for the first time, I hung up the phone feeling hopeful."
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"When our older son was 3½ and at another pre-school, he was unhappy and did not want to go to school.   We moved him to the Gan and he was struggling early on and frustrated with class activities. Stephanie identified that his fine motor skills were slow to develop and she recommended 'Finger Olympics,' a therapy program to improve fine motor skills."
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"The Gan is a no judgment zone.  At another preschool, inclusion is catchphrase.  At the Gan it is real.  We have had two children go through the Gan, one on the spectrum and one with a significant speech delay.  As a parent of a child on the spectrum, you always fear that the next phone call from the school will be the one saying, 'Pick up your kid, we can't handle them.'"
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"Stephanie Slater has been an invaluable leader at Adas Israel’s Gan HaYeled Preschool as the Director of Early Childhood Development and Family Support. When our son entered the Gan as a Dagim in the fall of 2019, his teachers expressed concern about his limited speech, and encouraged us to speak with Stephanie. From the moment we met her, we knew we were working with someone special – a dedicated, and experienced professional committed to providing support and care for children with special needs and their families."
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"When we first investigated preschools for our son, who was having developmental challenges, Stephanie Slater fully reassured us that there was a place for him.  He was not yet walking, and we were unsure whether he would walk by the time he would enter the Gan.  But Stephanie was exceptionally calming.  'We’ve had non-walkers before,' she said.  And that was that.  We knew we’d found the right place."
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"
We were so lucky to have our daughter Natalie at the Gan for three years.  She started the full day program at two-and-a-half years old and the teaching team promptly realized that her low muscle tone was interfering with her oral and gross motor development.  The teaching team and Stephanie did a fantastic job in explaining to us what they saw in the classroom and supporting us in coming up with a plan to address Natalie’s challenges."
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Sat, September 18 2021 12 Tishrei 5782