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The Thomas Center for Down Syndrome is home to specialists with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus. As a team, this diversity makes us better prepared to care for your child's unique needs.
Jennifer J. Bekins, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist II, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 513-636-0520 email@example.com
Anna J. Esbensen, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Behavior management; depression
Anna Esbensen is an assistant professor of psychology in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's within the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She studies the lifespan development of individuals with Down syndrome and provides clinical services through the Thomas Center. She also studies the mental health of individuals with intellectual disability.
PhD: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2004.
MA: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2001.
BScH: Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada, 1997.
Esbensen AJ. Health conditions associated with aging and end of life of adults with Down syndrome. Int Rev Res Ment Retard. 2010;39(C):107-126.
Esbensen AJ, Bishop S, Seltzer MM, Greenberg JS, Taylor JL. Comparisons between individuals with autism spectrum disorders and individuals with Down syndrome in adulthood. Am J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2010 Jul;115(4):277-90.
Esbensen AJ, Greenberg JS, Seltzer MM, Aman MG. A longitudinal investigation of psychotropic and non-psychotropic medication use among adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Sep;39(9):1339-49.
Esbensen AJ, Seltzer MM, Lam KS, Bodfish JW. Age-related differences in restricted repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Jan;39(1):57-66.
Esbensen AJ, Seltzer MM, Krauss MW. Stability and change in health, functional abilities, and behavior problems among adults with and without Down syndrome. Am J Ment Retard. 2008 Jul;113(4):263-77.
Esbensen AJ, Seltzer MM, Greenberg JS. Factors predicting mortality in midlife adults with and without Down syndrome living with family. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2007 Dec;51(Pt 12):1039-50.
Serovich JM, Esbensen AJ, Mason TL. Disclosure of positive HIV serostatus by men who have sex with men to family and friends over time. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Jul;21(7):492-500.
Esbensen AJ, Benson BA. An evaluation of Beck's cognitive theory of depression in adults with intellectual disability. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2007 Jan;51(Pt 1):14-24.
Rojahn J, Esbensen AJ, Hoch TA. Relationships between facial discrimination and social adjustment in mental retardation. Am J Ment Retard. 2006 Sep;111(5):366-77.
Esbensen AJ, Benson BA. A prospective analysis of life events, problem behaviours and depression in adults with intellectual disability. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2006 Apr;50(Pt 4):248-58.
Emily A. Mertz, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist I, Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy 513-636-4651 email@example.com
Andrea L. O'Brien, PhD, MSW, LSW
Social Worker II, Division of Social Services 513-636-3880 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonya G. Oppenheimer, MD Pediatrician, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 513-636-4611 email@example.com
Pediatrician, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Director, Thomas Center for Down Syndrome
Emerita, UC Department of Pediatrics
Down syndrome; spina bifida
Sonya Oppenheimer, MD, has been committed to the field of developmental disabilities her entire professional career. She recently retired as director of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and director of the University Affiliated Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders, which was established in 1946 and is recognized nationally and internationally as a center for children with developmental problems.
The Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics provides interdisciplinary training programs funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau for the past 27 years. The center is also recognized for its community outreach programs, clinical service programs, diagnosis and treatment program, and research programs.
Dr. Oppenheimer is recognized as an expert in spina bifida and has been director of the UACCDD multidisciplinary spina bifida program established in 1965. She has served on the professional advisory board of the Spina Bifida Association of America and the Cincinnati Spina Bifida Association.
Under her direction, Dr. Oppenheimer co-sponsored three International conferences on Spina Bifida. Along with Marlene Lutkenhoff, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic nurse specialist, Dr. Oppenheimer recently co-authored a book for teenagers and young adults, Spinabilities -- A Young Person's Guide to Spina Bifida, and a new book titled Children with Spina Bifida -- A Parent's Guide is in press for families and professionals.
Dr. Oppenheimer has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on children with disabilities and currently chairs the Ohio Department of Health Committee on children with disabilities and the joint Myelomeningocele Committee. She serves as the governor appointed pediatrician on the State Early Intervention Council.
Dr. Oppenheimer joined the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 1969. Prior to being appointed director of the division, she served as the director of the Department of Pediatrics of the Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders.
Dr. Oppenheimer attended Radcliff College Boston, Mather College Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. She had a developmental fellowship at Case Western Reserve University under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Spock and Dr. John Kennell.
MD: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.
Residency: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.
Certification: Board Certified American Board of Pediatrics.
Schorry E, Oppenheimer SG, Saal HM. Valproate embryopathy: clinical and cognitive profile in 5 siblings. Am J Med Genet A. 2005 Mar 1;133A(2):202-6.
Oppenheimer S, Dignan P, Soukup S. Partial trisomy 20p: familial occurrence. Am J Med Genet. 2000 Dec 11;95(4):316-9.
Davidovitch M, Manning-Courtney P, Hartmann LA, Watson J, Lutkenhoff M, Oppenheimer S. The prevalence of attentional problems and the effect of methylphenidate in children with myelomeningocele. Pediatr Rehabil. 1999 Jan-Mar;3(1): 29-35.
Ris MD, Ammerman RT, Waller N, Walz N, Oppenheimer S, Brown TM, Enrile BG, Yeates KO. Taxonicity of nonverbal learning disabilities in spina bifida. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2007 Jan;13(1):50-8.
Schorry EK, Oppenheimer SG, Saal HM. Valproate embryopathy: clinical and cognitive profile in 5 siblings. Am J Med Genet A. 2005 Mar 1;133A(2):202-6.
Oppenheimer S, Dignan P, Soukup S. Partial trisomy 20p: familial occurrence. Am J Med Genet. 2000 Dec 11;95(4):316-9. Review.
Davidovitch M, Manning-Courtney P, Hartmann LA, Watson J, Lutkenhoff M, Oppenheimer S. The prevalence of attentional problems and the effect of methylphenidate in children with myelomeningocele. Pediatr Rehabil. 1999 Jan-Mar;3(1):29-35.
Lanphear N, Lamb A, Oppenheimer S, Soukup S. Supernumerary chromosome marker (1) in a developmentally delayed child. Am J Med Genet. 1995 Jul 3;57(3):400-2.
Yassin MS, Sanyurah S, Lierl MB, Fischer TJ, Oppenheimer S, Cross J, O'Brien K, Steinmetz C, Khoury J. Evaluation of latex allergy in patients with meningomyelocele. Ann Allergy. 1992 Sep;69(3):207-11.
Kelsey M. Snyder, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 513-636-0520 firstname.lastname@example.org
Katherine R. Thoman-Godshalk, MSN, APRN, CNP Nurse Practitioner, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 513-636-4611 email@example.com
Nurse Practitioner, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
BS: University of Cincinnati, OH, 2003.
BSN: University of Cincinnati, OH, 2005.
MSN: University of Cincinnati, OH, 2007.
Krystin Turner, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist II, Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy 513-636-4651 firstname.lastname@example.org
Melinda Wendland, RD, LD
Registered Dietician, Cerebral Palsy 513-636-4611 email@example.com
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