Skills For Life
Our Skills For Life Occupational Therapists are specialists in guiding neurodivergent adolescents and young adults through their transition to adulthood. They have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that this transition may bring. Our occupational therapists collaborate with clients and their families utilizing a holistic approach to support individuals as they embrace this new life stage.
Occupational therapists are unique in their approach of using meaningful activities (“occupations”) – anything from learning how to cook to getting a job – as both a means and as an end. We use an ecological lens to help clients achieve their goals by adapting the environment to fit their strengths and needs. It is through this evidence-based work that occupational therapists empower people with disabilities to be change agents of their own lives.
Click through our process for partnering with clients to build skills:
Step 1: Assessing Needs
A member of our team consults with the client and their family to identify areas of strength and need.
Step 2: Identifying Goal Areas
One of our clinicians, an Occupational Therapist, joins the client’s team. The OT collaborates with the client and their family to complete an assessment and identify their goal areas.
Step 3: Creating Action Steps
The client breaks their goals into small action steps with support from the clinician.
Step 4: Prioritizing and Planning
The client and their clinician collaborate to prioritize goals and map a plan for their work together.
Step 5: Building Skills
Through weekly work with the clinician and follow-through during the week, the client builds skills, develops habits, learns and uses strategies, and leverages resources to meet their goals.
Step 6: Tracking Progress
Together, the client and their clinician track progress, using the client’s goals and action steps as metrics.
Step 7: Reaching Goals
When the client’s goals are reached, new goals are set or services are ended.
Jane HannafinProgram Director
Jane Hannafin, MS, OTR/L has a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from The University of New Hampshire and her undergraduate degree in Occupational Science from The University of New Hampshire. She joined the team at Ivy Street School in 2012 after working at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital on the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit for several years. From 2012 to 2016, Jane worked in various capacities at Ivy Street, with a specific focus on the transition and vocational programs. Since 2016, Jane has been a founding partner of Ivy Street’s community-based program, Skills for Life where she works in the community with young adults who seek to gain more independence.
Brooke HowardExecutive Director, Ivy Street
Brooke Howard, MS, OTR/L is the Executive Director of Ivy Street and a Skills for Life Occupational Therapist. Brooke has a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Sargent College at Boston University and an undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Oberlin College. Brooke has been working as a licensed Occupational Therapist since 2005 and at Ivy Street School since 2009. Before coming to Ivy Street, she worked in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and supervised the outpatient program at Franciscan Hospital for Children. Brooke also worked as an adjunct faculty in the Occupational Therapy department at Sargent College from 2010-2014. Brooke was a founding member of the transition program at Ivy Street and has continued to grow, develop and support the program since. Brooke was a founding partner of Ivy Street’s community-based program, Skills For Life where she works in the community with young adults who seek to gain more independence. Most recently, she became the Executive Director of Ivy Street, overseeing all of Ivy Street's programs, including Skills For Life.
Aileen CoenOccupational Therapist
Aileen Coen, MS, OTR/L has a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to joining the Skills for Life team, Aileen worked in home and community-based pediatrics. Through this role, she developed a unique skillset in aquatic and recreation-based therapeutic approaches to promote regulation, self-advocacy, leisure exploration, and motor development. Prior to transitioning into occupational therapy roles, Aileen worked in several areas of higher education, including Student Accessibility Services, research in vocational engagement and assistive technology, and teaching roles in pediatric development and anatomy. Growing up in a neurodiverse family, Aileen has a deep passion for supporting individuals and families as they discover and develop their own unique goals surrounding independence, quality of life, and meaningful engagement.
Miranda FoxOccupational Therapist
Miranda Fox, OTD, OTR/L has a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and a Bachelor’s degree in public health from Elon University. Prior to Skills for Life, Miranda worked in Early Intervention in the greater Boston area supporting children birth-3 years old with various developmental delays. She began working with the young adult population in 2018 through a community-based organization, Next Step, located in Cambridge, MA, which supports young adults living with chronic illnesses through their transition into adulthood. She is currently involved with the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation where she is conducting research focused on social participation. Miranda has always had a passion for adolescent and young adult care and enjoys collaborating with young people to promote their independence and participation in meaningful tasks.
Kim GreenbergOccupational Therapist
Kim Greenberg, OTD, OTR/L has a doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Spanish from Amherst College. She is currently a LEND fellow (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) at UMass Chan Medical School. She also works per diem at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown and completes part-time research for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health needs. Her interests include helping teens and young adults develop the self-advocacy and executive functioning skills needed to achieve their goals and support their independence in the community.
Tom HeneghanOccupational Therapist
Tom Heneghan, MS, OTR/L, has a master's degree in occupational therapy from Queen’s University and an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences from Carleton University. Tom previously worked as a member of a Program for Assertive Community Treatment team in the area serving individuals with complicated developmental and mental health conditions. He partnered with his young and older adult clients to identify ambitious personal, professional, and community goals and supported them as they navigated the complicated process of moving forward. Change can be challenging, and for this reason, Tom is always looking for a bit of levity and a chance to smile.
elly kalfusCommunity Enrichment Coordinator
elly kalfus is a peer personal organizer who helps people get organized, so they can focus their energy where they want. elly grew up in the Bronx, NY and received a bachelor of arts degree in Literature from Brandeis University in 2013. elly is passionate about improv comedy, mental health, and antiracism, and is committed to challenging the prison industrial complex. elly has a background in criminal justice reform, and received a masters degree in oral history from Columbia University documenting the history of Massachusetts prisoners fighting for their right to vote. In 2019, elly launched her business, Organizing with empathy, informed by her ongoing work to get her life in order, which caters to Neurodivergent clients of all ages. In 2021, elly joined Skills for Life as the Community Enrichment Coordinator, where she facilitates connections between clients and helps clients hold themselves accountable to their goals.
Jenna SanerOccupational Therapist
Jenna Saner, OTD, OTR/L has a master’s and Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Connecticut College. Jenna has been working as a licensed Occupational Therapist since 2018 and joined the team at Skills for Life in 2022. Prior to working at Skills for Life, she worked in inpatient mental health and substance use with both adolescents and adults. Jenna is passionate about supporting young adults in achieving the goals that are important to them.