MERZIA MASKATI (M.A., CCC-SLP, CPSP)
Founder & Clinical Director
Merzia Maskati is the founder of SDLC. She is also a consulting Speech Therapist at the American School of Bombay and at the Breach Candy Hospital Trust.
Merzia received a Bachelor of Science in Hearing, Language and Speech (BScHLS) from Topiwala National Medical College (Nair Hospital). She received state-wide gold medals from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences for standing first in all the years of her bachelor's degree program. She received her Masters of Art in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University (USA) and holds a certificate in Sensory Integration from the USC Chan Division of Occupational Therapy. She is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), Speech Pathology Australia, the Rehab Council of India, and Hanen.
During her Masters degree, Merzia's research interests were in speech disfluency; she researched the development of stuttering in young children in her capacity as a Research Assistant. Prior experience includes working at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA and at Easter Seals Disability Services, Boston, MA. Merzia specializes in autism spectrum disorders, social communication disorders, augmentative and alternate communication systems, and 'fussy/picky' eaters. She has trained and certified several clinical fellows.
ALIFIA BHARMAL (M.S. AUDIOLOGY & SPEECH THERAPY, BOARD CERTIFIED COGNITIVE SPECIALIST)
Alifia Bharmal is an ISHA (Indian Speech and Hearing Association) and RCI (Rehab Council of India) registered therapist. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Audiology & Speech Language Pathology from Topiwala National Medical College, Mumbai. She received her Masters Degree in Audiology & Speech Language Pathology from Bharthi Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune. She is also an LSVTLOUD Certified Therapist.
Alifia's experience includes working at the Epilepsy Foundation, as an honorary consultant at Asha Dan Missionaries of Charity, and Chesire Home India, where she focused on children with Cerebral Palsy and other paediatric musculoskelatal and neurological problems. Her cases ranged from muscular dystrophy, movement disorders, post operative care, stroke, etc
Alifia was awarded the Gandhi Scholarship at the Indian Federation of Neurorehabilitation (IFNR) 2015. Her publications include "A comparative investigation of neurological soft signs in persons with stuttering" (3rd prize at Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune), and "An investigation of the speech and language deficits in children with epilepsy with and without cognitive deficits" (presented at IFNR 2014).
DEVLINA DALAL (M.A. CCC-SLP)
Devlina Dalal earned her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology (M.A. - SLP) from Indiana University, USA. She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC). Devlina was awarded the ‘Outstanding Clinician 2017’ title from the Indiana Speech-Language Hearing Association (ISHA) and ‘Psi Iota Zeta Chapter Outstanding Student Clinical Award’ from Indiana University. She also has a post-graduate diploma in Early Childhood Education from SNDT University, Mumbai.
Devlina has previously worked as a speech-language pathologist in the public school system in California and Indiana (USA), with students from the ages of 3 to 18 years. She has worked with students on the autism spectrum, with developmental disabilities, articulation and phonological disorders, language and fluency disorders in general education and special day classes.
Devlina has also worked at the IU Health Bloomington Hospital (USA), where she provided cognitive-communicative therapy and swallowing therapy to adults, subsequent to traumatic brain injuries, strokes and other neurodegenerative diseases. She administered and interpreted video fluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) daily. Devlina has organized and facilitated several support group meetings for adults with brain injuries and Parkinson’s Disease, respectively.
PREKSHA GADA (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, CERTIFIED SI/SIPT PRACTITIONER)
Preksha is a certified Sensory Integration Therapist and SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis test) practitioner from University of Southern California, Los Angeles (USA). After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Seth G.S.Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, she completed her Diploma in Rehabilitation (OT) from AIIPMR (All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mumbai). She is a certified Aqua Therapist as well as Brain Gym and Handle techniques.
Preksha has completed her observerships at various facilities, such as Harkisandas Hospital and Umeed Child Development centre. Her work experience includes working at private paediatric set ups where she evaluated, set treatment goals and provided intervention to kids with diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, learning disabilities like dysgrahia, dyslexia and dyscalculia, cerebral palsy, ADD and other paediatric neurological and musculosketal disorders. She has successfully used different treatment approaches to deal with kids having low attention span, gross motor and fine motor difficulties and other academic related difficulties.
KIRAN KHIALANI (BASLP, MS, CCC-SLP)
Kiran Khialani received a Bachelor of Science in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology from Topiwala National Medical College (Nair Hospital) and her Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Emerson College (Boston, USA). She is an ASHA certified therapist and is registered with the Rehabilitation Council of India. She is training in working with infants and children with feeding related needs.
Kiran’s prior experience includes training at Boston Children’s Hospital where she administered and interpreted Modified Barium Swallow Studies for individuals from birth to 21 years of age. She worked inpatient with infants with complex medical needs and outpatient patients at the hospital to address feeding and swallowing needs. She worked with the Thom Boston Metro Early Intervention program with the birth to 3 age group in a family oriented model to address developmental needs including communication and feeding and participated in a team to pilot a kindergarten social skills group program at the Robbins Speech Hearing Center at Emerson College. Kiran specializes in working with the birth through 5 age group with various speech, language and feeding disorders including late talkers, autism spectrum disorders, children with complex medical and feeding needs and or apraxia of speech.
JAIEE KOLWANKAR (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST)
Jaiee Kolwankar completed her Bachelors of Occupational Therapy from Seth G.S. Medical College & KEM Hospital, Mumbai under Maharashtra University of health Science (MUHS) and went on to continue her education further to secure Master of Occupational Therapy from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Karnataka, specializing in Developmental Disabilities.
She has experience working with children of all ages, adolescence and adults focusing on abilities to help them participate in activities that help them learn, enjoy and develop life skills. Currently, she is undertaking a play therapy certification. She works closely with family members to develop a plan based on the family’s priorities, child's strengths & challenges and the environmental context. In her 3 years of pediatric experience she has worked with populations with varied needs including working on gross & fine motor skills, cognition & perception, social & behavioral skills.
HETAL LAKHANI (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, B. O.TH, SI CERTIFIED)
Hetal completed her Bachelors of Occupational Therapy from Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Navi Mumbai. She holds a certificate in Sensory Integration from the USC Sensory Integration Continuing Education (CE) program.
She is also a certified therapist in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) & Handling Technique. She has hands-on practice in Snoozelen Therapy. In addition, Hetal has been trained in the Handwriting Assessment and Model of Intervention protocol, Matrix Rhythm Therapy, physical agent modalities for hands and upper extremity rehabilitation and neurodevelopmental assessment & intervention of neonates & infants at risk protocols. Hetal's prior experience includes working in a Stem Cell Therapy centre in which she dealt with individuals with neurological disorders like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, motor neuron disorder and cerebral palsy.
ANVITAA MARFATIA (M.S. AUDIOLOGY & SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPY)
Anvitaa Marfatia earned her Bachelors and Masters degree in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology from AYJNISHD(D), Mumbai. She his a Rehab Council of India (RCI) certified therapist. Anvitaa started at SDLC as an Intern before starting her Masters Degree course. Since then, she has worked in various government hospitals, school setups and private clinics with different age groups. Her main interests lie in cognitive-communication disorders in adolescents and adults, specific learning disabilities, dysphagia, cochlear implant users and articulation disorders. Anvitaa’s Masters thesis was in the field of in neuro-communication disorders in adults with cerebral palsy. She works with various publications focused on neuro-communication disorders.
FARZEEN SURVE (M.A. SLP)
Farzeen Surve is a member of ISHA (Indian Speech and Hearing Association), MISHA (Maharashtra branch of the Indian Speech and Hearing Association) and RCI (Rehab Council of India). She received her Bachelors degree from Topiwala National Medical College (Nair Hospital), and received her Masters degree from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech & Hearing Disabilities. Farzeen has completed autism intervention training program and is an Austism intervention certified therapist.
Her professional experience includes working at Fortis Hospital, Mulund where she observed and provided therapeutic intervention for patients with childhood speech and language disorders, articulation disorders, voice disorders, fluency disorders, adult neurological language disorders and dysphagia. Her research interests are on attitudes of teachers towards children who stutter.
She has actively participated in various seminars and workshops, and was a participant in making the Guinness World Record for "most BTE Hearing Aids fitted within 8 hours" in September at Navsari, Gujarat.
BINDI VORA (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, CERTIFIED SI/SIPT PRACTITIONER)
Bindi Vora completed her Bachelors in Occupational Therapy from Seth G.S. Medical College & K.E.M. hospital, Mumbai. She received her Masters of Art in Occupational Therapy from University of Southern California, Los Angeles (USA). She is a certified Sensory Integration Therapist and a SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis Test) Practitioner from University of Southern California.
She has done certificate courses in Dance Movement Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro Developmental Techniques. She has worked with children, adolescents and adults in a clinical set up as well as a school set up. She loves creative activities and believes that the work involved in a child’s development should include play and fun. As a therapist, she tries to bring in novelty in her therapy sessions to keep the children actively involved.