Watermelon Sessions was inspired by a young client who in his speech therapy would elongate the 'a' turning watermelon into Waaatermelon. Sometimes the teacher becomes the student. Watermelon Sessions is a social based approach for treating autism and is inspired by client based research. Created with children in mind, the goal became about providing a solid foundation of development; a skill set that can be used and developed as they grow in to adulthood. That's why we focus on developing an understanding of communication for verbal and non-verbal students, while also focusing on familiarizing them to overstimulating environments. As Autism gets a greater understanding in the public forum we want to acclimate our young students so they may have a bright future with more opportunity and independence.
Meet The Team
Sasha Lebedeva received her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology at the Wallenberg Institute of Special Education and Psychology, St Petersburg, Russia. She has been working with children and adults as a speech pathologist since 2010.
In 2013 Sasha moved to Canada and focused on working with individuals with diverse abilities. Watermelon Sessions was created by Sasha to nurture independence; helping those with communication difficulties and teaching them how to interact with the world on their own terms.
Sean Is originally from New Zealand and has been living in Canada for the past three years. He graduated university in 2016 with a diploma in exercise and bachelors degree In health. He loves working with children & youth, and providing recreational therapy to improve motor skills, coordination, spatial awareness, confidence, balance lifelong skills and more.
Christel Brockerman is a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist working in Vancouver, BC. After graduating with her MA in communication sciences and disorders from Western Washington University in 2014, Christel moved up to BC to begin her practice specializing in neurological disorders. Christel has worked as a school based SLP as well as a district wide AAC specialist and as a private clinician working directly with families. Christel believes that therapy goals should be as functional as possible and utilize her clients’ strengths as well as target areas of need.
Watermelon Sessions collaborates with Physio2U therapists who provide comprehensive assessments and treatment plans in the comfort and convenience of your home, local park or swimming pool. Many pediatric-based clinics are designed for young children. For children over 12 years old, outdoor or home-based physiotherapy sessions are ideal to further improve walking, motor planning and physical literacy. Physio2U therapists work in conjunction with assistants from Watermelon Sessions to optimize the funding provided to help improve your child's movement.
Brian Lai, the founder of Sense Ability, has B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy and Master's in Health Science. He received his certification in Sensory Integration Theory and Practice through the University of Southern Carolina. Brian has 20 years of international working experience (USA, Taiwan, Canada) in various settings such as hospitals, child development centers, clinics, communities, schools and client's homes. He focuses his practice on children and teens 3-18 years old who are experiencing developmental challenges including but not limited to the following: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Difference, Written Output Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disorder, Gross and/or Fine Motor Delays.
We are committed to helping young children learn in the best way possible. Studies have shown incidental learning through social experience is inherently and profoundly effective in developing constructive life skills. Incidental learning refers to learning unintentionally through experience and its critical to language development and learned behavior. Our social programs are the heart of our unique approach to working with autism. In developing speech and behavior, it is in our social therapy that we see the most significant improvement in our students. We are all social animals and the right environment inspires us to learn and grow.