About Us

About Us 2017-04-27T11:19:43+00:00

About Play2Learn

The occupational therapists at Play2Learn work with each child to be successful in learning and playing. Because no two children have exactly the same skills, an evaluation will be completed at the initial visit. The evaluation will reveal strengths, weaknesses, and which skills need improvement. From this, the therapist can tailor a program to meet the specific needs of the child.

The earlier the intervention, the better. Early treatment can help make the transition from pre-school to school much smoother. If a child is already in school but struggling, then therapy in a play environment may be the solution.

Foundational Skills

Play2Learn was founded in 2009 by Marla Shyken. Marla opened the business to give parents an option to help their children work on foundational skills. She realized that while schools have great programs to help children with sensory disorders and disabilities, not every child’s deficit is enough to qualify for services through school. Sometimes, delays caused by disorders aren’t always recognized in the school setting, either.

Play2Learn offers therapy services for children who are picky eaters, who have feeding issues, sensory challenges, motor delays, and speech and language delays. The clinic offers a therapy gym and listening programs that can be tailored to meet your child’s needs. Play2learn empowers families with knowledge and encourages parents to be involved in every therapy session. Play2Learn also provides First Steps and in-school services.

After hearing a diagnosis, many parents aren’t always sure of the next step. No matter the diagnosis, Play2learn has something to offer. Contact Play2Learn to schedule an evaluation.

Zach started Play2Learn in October. I see positive results from him daily, and am excited to see what the future holds for my big guy! My whole family has seen a difference in Zach. The results we’ve noticed are that he is more calm, tolerable to directions, makes eye contact, is more loving and wants to be loved from more people than just myself and grandma. He’s sociable and is now talking in sentences! Zach was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2 years of age. It felt like something was taken from him, but now I feel like I am getting my little boy back! Slowly but surely!
Thanks for all you do for him. It is greatly appreciated from my family and me!
Amanda
I cannot express how thankful we are for all of your hard work with Thomas. My husband and I both believe that your intervention has had the most impact on him. I remember our first meeting when I was near tears and you said that this would not be a quick solution. Very true, but it has made the biggest difference in my son’s ability to interact with others and his environment. He now feels more comfortable with his peers and has made friends. In turn, this has improved his confidence and given him a feeling of belonging among his peer group. At home, firm boundaries have helped him understand expectations and really improved our relationship with him. We are very lucky to have found you, and I hope you understand the difference you are making for kids like my son!
Adelaide
As a mother of 3 daughters with special needs, I was in a constant state of “What more can I do to help my girls?” Halle, my oldest, was born with club feet. She didn’t take her first steps until she was 18 months old. Her first words didn’t come until after she turned 2 ½. Verbalizing a complete, grammatically sound sentence, I didn’t think would EVER come. Along with the speech delay there were extreme gross and fine motor delays. She started EI at 2 and went to school where she was placed in the early childhood education classroom at 3. She was later diagnosed with CAPD, and ADHD. I sought out help online through CAPDsupport.org. It was there that I found iLs and Marla. I knew this was our answer. I explained, I had seen the News clips on her website and wanted more info. She asked many questions some I had answers for and others I never thought of. My biggest reservation was finances. Our insurance does not cover OT. My husband and I decided that we would give it 2 months. If we didn’t see positives by then we would chalk it up to “We tried; it didn’t work.” Just like all the others. Within 3 weeks, we were eating our words. Halle was expressing herself more, not only more, but appropriately. Her coordination had improved, and she wasn’t chewing on EVERYTHING. She had more facial expressions, and was becoming more affectionate with my husband, sisters, and myself. By the end of the 2-month mark we went from not being able to make out a letter she was writing now able to read an entire work. We are continuing to do iLs at home and at Play2Learn once a week. We drive an hour one way to get there, but it is worth every mile and minute to see the success that this program has brought our family!
Danielle
Luke really has come such a long way. He hasn’t had any behavior problems at all. He is able to use strategies that he has learned to self regulate!
Jenny
We wanted to thank you so much for working with Evan and Jack this past year, providing months of consistent therapy. Your patience and expertise helped them develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. We can see a big difference in both of their skill levels. And they had so much fun doing their work! They both seem to be really enjoying kindergarten.
The W Family
Thank you so much for all your wonderful help! It has been so awesome to see Austin gain more confidence and self esteem!!! We appreciate all that you do!
The K Family

The Team

Marla Shyken

Marla Shyken

Donna Winkleman

Donna Winkleman

Aley Babb-Keeble

Aley Babb-Keeble

Marla Shyken, owner and occupational therapist, has over 22 years experience working with children, both the school and home settings. Realizing a need, she opened her clinic to offer and sensory-rich environment where children can succeed while having fun. She loves working with children and watching the progress each child makes as therapy continues. Marla prides herself on offering unique programs and therapies that make a big impact. She is certified in multiple listening programs, Handwriting Without Tears, Zaner-Bloser Training, Beckman Oral Motor, and she is Sensory Integration and Praxis Test certified.

Donna Winkleman is a certified occupational therapy assistant. She has personal experience working with children who have ADHD and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She is certified in the Integrated Listening System program (iLS) and an experienced tutor. She enjoys tutoring kids struggling with reading. She is very creative and creates a treatment plan engaging the interests of each child in order to keep active engagement in therapy.

Aley Babb-Keeble graduated with a master’s degree in occupational therapy from WashU and started working at Play2Learn in 2011. She specializes in children with anxiety disorders and feeding difficulties (picky eating, oral motor delays, low tone). Aley is certified in iLS, Beckmann oral motor, SOS feeding and has completed over 100 hours of continuing education in feeding therapy. Aley has a two year old son and personal experience with dietary interventions.

Mary Georgen has a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy. She has experience working with adults and children with autism, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, spina bifida, and gross and fine motor delays. Dancing throughout her life and instructing dance for nine years inspired Mary to incorporate dance into therapy. She is an Autism Movement Therapy Instructor, the first in the St. Louis area.

Jill Solomon provides speech and language therapy services. She has a Masters in Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences and has experience working with children through the Special School District. Jill loves seeing each child’s progress and improvement with therapy.

Ginger Doherty is the administrative assistant for Play2Learn. She handles the office, keeping everything running smoothly. She also handles insurance and billing.

Mary Georgen

Mary Georgen

Jill Solomon

Jill Solomon

Ginger

Ginger Doherty

 

The team at Play2Learn is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families. Each has specific skills and a passion that makes her uniquely qualified to help children and teens struggling with sensory and developmental disorders. To learn how these ladies can help, give Play2Learn a call to schedule an evaluation session.