Meet the Staff

These individuals are truly passionate about what they do and are committed to making a difference in your child's life. We thank them all for joining us on this project.

Melissa Gagnon

 I received my Masters degree in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Toronto and previously worked for a children's treatment centre. I am certified in both Hanen "It Takes Two to Talk", a family-centred program for young children who are language delayed and Hanen "More than Words", a language program for parents with young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

As a mother and Speech Language Pathologist, I can't help but be excited watching children learn to communicate for the first time. I am passionate about working with children. Working with children and teaching them skills that are required to communicate with others and to be successful in their everyday interactions. I have worked alongside other health professionals treating children with multiple needs and delays, both individually and in group settings and I look forward to teaching your children as well. 

Christina Burns

I attended Humber College to obtain my diploma in Early Childhood Education and a certificate in Advanced Studies in Special Needs. I also attended York University where I completed a

degree in Psychology and Education. I have additional qualifications to teach English as a second language and as a Special Education Resource Teacher.  I believe that through providing gentle guidance in a language rich, safe environment, every child is able to unlock their own potential. They do this by exploring their world through a variety of different sensory experiences. I am confident that through observation, patience, caring and understanding of each child's view that there is no limitations to what they can achieve!

Helen Antonio

Hello family!  I am Helen and I am an Instructor Therapist and Office Manager at My Place Learning Centre.  I am also a Special Educational Assistant and the Director of Operations for my family business. I am happy to be part of such a dedicated and bonded team of caring individuals.  I have an awesome son who is 6 and he is on the spectrum.  Since we learned about ASD at the age of 18 months, I did what any parent would do and I sat with it in my head, and then I let my heart take over.  I have since been active in my community advocating for education, equality and acceptance.  I have participated in many workshops, parent training for ABA and most recently completed the Hanen More than Words workshop. I have also completed the certificate for Principals of ABA from the Geneva Center for Autism.  I have spent years learning about ABA and speech and language conditions and treatment.  In 2015 My gorgeous and funloving daughter was born.  She surpised us all 6 weeks early!  She was mighty at only 3 lbs and determined to leave the NICU.  She also surprised us because we had no idea that she would be born with Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21).  Both my children are blessings and give me strength to push for my dream of a compassionate and accepting world.  I want to make My Place Learning Centre a home for all of us, where you can go and know you are always accepted.

Julie Cordasco

Hi, my name is Julie and I am honored and excited to work with my daughter Monica who is an Occupational Therapist. I have been working in Halton Region in the healthcare field for over 25

yrs. My role at My Place Learning Centre will be to assist Monica in her role. In my spare time, I love to volunteer in my community of Burlington, and spend time with my family (watching movies or


Monica Cordasco

Hello, my name is Monica and I am an occupational therapist. I am a graduate from the University of Guelph in Child, Youth and Family Studies and a minor in French. I also completed my Masters in occupational therapy at the University of Toronto. Furthermore, I have completed the online Autism ABA Help: Early Learner Course and three Learning Without Tears workshops (Kindergarten to Grade 5 Handwriting, Pre-Kindergarten Readiness & Writing, and Pre-Kindergarten Literacy and Math). My passion for working with children began through my various experiences in different recreational and therapeutic settings. I have been working with children for over ten years on achieving their goals to complete daily activities that are meaningful to them. 

Allison Rudland

Hi, my name is Allison and I am an occupational therapist. I am excited to be part of the team at My Place Learning Centre. I completed a Bachelor of Science (Biological Science major) at the University of Guelph and also obtained a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Western Ontario. In addition, I have also completed the online Autism ABA Help: Early Learner Course, as well as three Learning Without Tears workshops (Kindergarten - Grade 5 Handwriting, Pre-Kindergarten Readiness & Writing, and Pre-Kindergarten Literacy and Math). I am very passionate about working with children with all different abilities and enabling them to complete meaningful activities and to reach their full potential. I have gained experience in doing so in both therapeutic and recreational settings. This passion for working with children really took hold when I was a high school student and has only continued to grow over the years through personal, volunteer, and professional experiences.

What is occupational therapy?

 A healthcare profession that focuses on enabling individuals to participate in activities of daily living. Our role is to foster health and well-being through occupation. Occupational therapists (OTs) accomplish this by collaborating with clients, communities and stakeholders to enhance their (clients) abilities to participate in the occupations that are meaningful to them. OT's also assist clients by modifying the environment or occupation to support their occupational engagement. (WFOT, 2012) What is occupation? This term refers to any activities that individuals do throughout the day. (WFOT, 2012)
Occupational Therapy services include addressing and supporting areas such as: self-care (e.g., dressing, toileting, eating, etc.), independent living skills (e.g., laundry, cleaning, and vocational goals, etc.), printing and pre-printing, fine motor skills (e.g., scissor cutting, colouring, etc.), gross motor skills, sensory processing, assistive devices recommendations (e.g., adaptive kitchen tools, reachers, etc.), play skills, and social skills. Our services also include promoting prosocial behaviours and positive learning since we are a part of the team that delivers ABA therapy. We believe in the importance of a holistic, client-centred, and family-centred approach. We look forward to meeting and working with you and your child(ren) at My Place Learning Centre. We are excited to support your childs engagement and success in daily life activities, as well as in group programs and individual one to one therapy. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us (Monica Cordasco at and Allison Rudland at

Nimra Khan

I completed my Bachelors degree in the Honours Cognitive Science of Language program (combines psychology and linguistics) from McMaster University in April 2017, graduating with highest honours. I am currently completing the Behavioural Science certificate program at Humber College in order to gain a better understanding of ABA and become certified.  My passion has always been in Speech Pathology, which has led me to seek many experiences in the public and private sectors. Prior to working at the Centre, I  assisted SLPs in creating activities for children with communication disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder at a speech therapy clinic and in hospitals. I have worked alongside therapists and one-on-one with stroke patients with varying degrees of aphasia, dysphasia and dysarthria.  I believe this field always requires constant updating and learning, which is why I am elated to be a part of a team with individuals from so many professional backgrounds. I currently assist therapists in various classes, as well as providing individual behaviour therapy programming. After completing my certificate at Humber, I'm excited to begin my Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology!  


Tanya Woods

I have been working with children and families in a number of different capacities for the past 15 years. I began my journey when I obtained my diploma in Recreation and Leisure services.

Within that field I worked as a lifeguard, swim instructor, camp supervisor, before and after school programs as well as a Recreation Director, this allowed me to meet many children and

families many with special needs. It was through this that I discovered my passion for working with  children of all abilities. I received my diploma in Early Childhood Education from Durham College. I have since spent the latest 4 years working in both licensed and early years programs as an RECE,  I have worked closely with both children and families with variety of needs. My passion is to see all people succeed.

Penny Peters

Hi, my name is Penny and I am very excited to be working at My Place Learning Centre. I have been working with children for the past 29 years. 20 of those years was as a nanny for various

families and children from 6 months to 16 years old. I have also worked with children with special needs for 9 years in various programs. I have spent the last 6 years working as a Resource

Consultant within the community. My education is both from England and Canada with a diploma from England that is similar to Early Childhood Education. I have a diploma from

Conestoga College for Early Childhood Educational Resource Teacher and I am currently enrolled at Loyalist College in the Early Childhood Educator program to be registered with the

College of ECE. On a personal level, I am the mother to a 16-year- old boy who was diagnosed with various needs when he was 4 years old. My son inspired me to return to school so I could

assist other families of children with special needs. I look forward to meeting all of the families that become part of the My Place Learning Centre and helping your child to meet their full


Kelsey Gillan

My name is Kelsey and I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a post graduate

diploma in Advanced Studies in Special Needs and a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Early Childhood Studies. I attended Humber College and the University  of Guelph-Humber to obtain

my diplomas and degree. I have many years of experience working with children both in a private and workplace setting. I have worked in a childcare centre for many years and have been

a supervisor of a childcare centre. I have worked as a Resource Consultant and enjoy supporting children within centres. My passion is working with children and helping them reach their full potential. I strongly believe that every child is a unique human being with the capabilities of learning and growing at their own pace. With support, guidance and adaptations when needed

each child will have the opportunity to fully participate in all programs. I enjoy hikes, swimming and spending time with my family. I also enjoying working out and going to the gym. It is my goal to support your child(ren) and family in all areas of the program. Feel free

to ask any questions you may have!

Dorothy Lo

Hello, my name is Dorothy, and it is an honour to hold the role of Special Education Teacher at My Place Learning Centre. I am a proud graduate from The University of Western Ontario and hold a Masters in Teaching.  Throughout the past two decades I have had the opportunity to live, teach and travel in 3 different continents. I have worked with individuals who range in ages from preschool through to adults in the corporate world.  I have spent the past 4 years teaching in a comprehensive Intellectual classroom which specializes in teaching and supporting students with behavioural and other special needs. Teaching is my passion and I am so blessed to find a

career that I get to contribute to each and every day. I take great pride in my work both in and outside of the classroom and feel that my unique set of skills and experience can be extended to all individuals who I will meet at My Place Learning Centre.