Michelle Hand and Keiri Porter, the owners of Butterfly Paediatric Therapy Inc., are Physiotherapists with a combined 35+ years experience in paediatrics, working in the community, at Children’s Treatment Centres, and in private practice.
While their focus and education have gone in slightly different directions, their treatment philosophies, passions and goals are similar. Butterfly’s vision is to be the #1 paediatric therapy service provider in the GTA, providing families with specialized care for their children.
Whether your child has special needs, an orthopaedic injury, sensory processing difficulties, fine motor delays and handwriting difficulties, feeding issues, challenges with school performance or a communication disorder, Butterfly’s therapists will work one-on-one with your child to enhance performance, increase independence and decrease frustrations.
Butterfly’s goal is to increase access to care, provide a convenient location for families and offer multidisciplinary services in one central location. Butterfly is an environment designed specifically for children to be fun and motivating while also being therapeutic.
Michelle Hand – Clinic Owner
Michelle’s interest in working with children started at a young age. Her first job was as a downhill Ski Instructor and she coached ski racing for children ages 6-12 for 11 years. Michelle’s interest in the body and physical fitness lead her to an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and then naturally to a Master’s Degree in Physiotherapy. It was always Michelle’s goal to open her own clinic.
Working with children with special needs became a passion for Michelle when she was in school for Physiotherapy and inspired her to start her career at ErinoakKids Children’s Treatment Centre. Michelle’s skills as a therapist include Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME Level 3), Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), functional strength and exercise, Kinesiotaping and gait training. Michelle believes in a hands-on treatment approach, and sees the potential in every child she works with, challenging them to be the best that they can be!
Opening Butterfly Paediatric Therapy with Keiri Porter was the most challenging and exciting thing Michelle has ever accomplished. Working with children of all abilities, in an environment that is created for them to thrive, is what gets Michelle out of bed every day. As a business owner and mentor, Michelle is looking forward to sharing her experiences and knowledge with the wonderful staff around her at Butterfly in hopes of growing the business and helping more children spread their wings!
Keiri Porter – Clinic Owner
When Keiri was first interested in being a Physiotherapist she was passionate about anatomy, and loved teaching. With increased experience and a few opportunities to see children, Keiri realized how inspiring and empowering it was to use play as a tool to make therapy fun and result in functional change.
As her education and career progressed, she was consistently drawn in by making meaningful physical change and creating connections with children and their families.
Keiri enjoys treating using a very hands-on approach – sometimes trying things that might fail, and being pleasantly surprised with the response. She likes to challenge the kids and then give the families ideas and tools to be involved and push their kids without it seeming like therapy. Keiri is amazed by the children that she treats every day!
The decision to start Butterfly with Michelle Hand was a work in progress over a few years, one that comes with no regrets. Having the business actually allows Keiri to treat kids on a regular basis, to make change, to impact families, to work alongside an amazing friend and therapists everyday, and now – going back to her original passion – to teach and mentor others.
Over her career she has found that what works best for her is an eclectic approach. Having different options and therapy approaches depending on the needs or sometimes even the moods of the child provides for more meaningful change. Keiri has taken her 8 week Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), has her level 3 Cuevas Medek Exercise (CME) Paediatric Kinesiotaping, Functional Strength Training, Pilates for Neurological Impairments, Body Weight support Treadmill Training and draws on these to create fun and functional treatment sessions.
Lisa Guidoni – PT Clinical Lead
While in high school, Lisa became fascinated by the human body’s ability to move, adapt and repair. As a result, Lisa completed an Honours Bachelor of Science Kinesiology degree at McMaster University while also obtaining a minor in Psychology. During this time Lisa volunteered countless hours in multiple physiotherapy clinics, helping individuals recover from various workplace, sporting or recreational injuries. She developed a passion for helping others optimize their mobility, function and overall quality of life. This passion is what led Lisa to further her education at McMaster University and complete her Master’s of Physiotherapy degree, with additional courses taken in Musculoskeletal Soft Tissue Release and External Pelvic/Core Health. Lisa’s interest in pediatrics stems from her previous experiences both as a Summer Camp Counsellor and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist where she has worked with youth athletes of various ages and skill levels to help improve their performance in sport and in day to day life. This interest led Lisa to pursue a clinical placement in pediatric physiotherapy with a focus on the assessment and treatment of children with neurological conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Delay.
Since this time, Lisa has completed further continuing education courses related to infantile torticollis and plagiocephaly, pediatric scoliosis and pain in pediatrics. She is also a Certified Concussion Practitioner through Complete Concussion Management Inc, as well as a Level 1 Cuevas Medek Exercises practitioner.
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys staying active through strength training, spending time outdoors hiking, bike riding, golfing or skiing, watching movies and attending country music concerts in the summer time!
Nikhita is a bubbly and outgoing therapist who strives to create an engaging therapy experience that makes kids excited to come to physio!
She graduated from Western University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. During her time at Western, she discovered her passion for strength training and the complexities of human movement. Her aspirations to work with children and infants along with her interest in physical development led her to discover the role of a physiotherapist in the paediatric population. She pursued her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto, and has been practicing with the paediatric population since graduating in 2020.
Her eagerness to work with children motivated Nikhita to gain clinical experience in paediatrics throughout her degree. During her clinical internship at Sick Kids, she witnessed the importance of early physiotherapy intervention on the development of infants and children. Nikhita gained practical skills in assessing developmental milestones, implementing creative treatment sessions, and treating children with a variety of common conditions such as: torticollis, plagiocephaly, developmental delay, and cerebral palsy. She is excited to continue building her knowledge as a paediatric physiotherapist and plans to complete her certification for Level 1 CME this year.
Nikhita has a passion for strength training, so she loves to find creative and fun ways to incorporate weight lifting in her treatment sessions. When she is not at the gym, Nikhita can be found in the kitchen cooking new recipes, or continuing her hunt for the most unique and tasty restaurants. She loves to read, so come in with a good book recommendation during your next appointment!
Sandy initially chose Physiotherapy as a career as she was interested in Sports Science and movement of the human body. During her training she was exposed to working with babies and children in a variety of different settings. It was very rewarding and Sandy quickly found that her interest and passion was being directed towards paediatrics with a special interest in paediatric neurology.
In order to pursue her career in paediatrics and to have a well-rounded approach, Sandy’s continuing education includes being trained in Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT), Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME) Level I and II, kinesiotaping, core stability and infant mental health, Prechtl Method of General Movement Assessment certification and Certified Infant Massage Instructor by the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM).
There has been a strong drive to increase the early detection of cerebral palsy in infants by using the General Movements Assessment. Sandy is interested in this assessment and would like to be certified in this assessment over the next year.
In her spare time Sandy enjoys cycling, running, ice hockey, skating and hiking.
Emily’s passion for physiotherapy began with her experiences growing up as a competitive horseback rider. She was exposed to physiotherapy with her own injuries and was also able to see and experience the impact rehabilitation can have for horses as well. This led Emily to pursue her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto after completing her Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Now, Emily is combining her passion for movement and rehabilitation with her love for working with kids to work as a paediatric physiotherapist.
Her interest in working with children sparked her desire to pursue a clinical internship at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital working with children with neurological conditions. Emily was able to gain valuable skills in assessing children’s development and their functional mobility, implementing fun and engaging treatments, and working collaboratively with children and their families to help them reach their goals. Throughout her clinical experience, Emily also has experience treating individuals with stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions. She is committed to continue growing and learning as a paediatric physiotherapist and has completed courses in Concussion Management and plans to complete courses in Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT) and Dynamic Core for Kids.
Outside of the clinic, you can find her walking or hiking with her dog, doing yoga, or watching Disney movies. She’s also searching for the best tacos and donuts in Toronto, so if you have any tasty recommendations, let her know!
Taylor D’Souza – OT Clinical Lead
Taylor received her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from The University of Toronto after completing her undergraduate degree in Biology at Wilfrid Laurier University. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Taylor took a year off and completed training in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) for children with Autism. She then worked as an ABA Therapist for one year until she was accepted into the occupational therapy program at UofT. Working as an ABA Therapist, Taylor realized that her passion was to work with children and their families.
During her Masters, Taylor had the opportunity to have a clinical placement at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation in the Communication and Writing Aids program, as well as in the Neuromuscular Clinic. Taylor also had the opportunity to learn about the role of an occupational therapist during an international clinical placement in Port of Spain, Trinidad. She worked at a school for children with special needs, where she was able to become the most creative during treatment sessions with her kiddos.
Taylor has completed courses and workshops in the following: Eating and Feeding Matters: From Science to Strategies by Kim Barthel, Sensory processing and sensory interventions for children, ASIST and most recently the SOS approach to feeding course!
In her spare time, Taylor enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, travelling and running. Taylor’s goal at Butterfly is to enable children to live to their full potential and to have equal opportunities and experiences that are meaningful to them.
Lareina graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1997 with a Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation in Occupational Therapy. Throughout the past 24 years, she has dedicated her practice to paediatrics. She has worked extensively with children from birth to 19 years with a variety of diagnoses, who experience challenges in meeting developmental milestones, fine, visual and perceptual motor skills, motor planning, executive functioning, sensory processing for self-regulation, oral motor and feeding difficulties.
Lareina has worked in a variety of settings including private therapy clinics, Children’s Treatment Centers, as well as in the community providing home, daycare and school based Occupational Therapy services. The focus of her career has been providing therapy and collaborating with families and schools to help clients reach their goals for independence and optimal participation in their home, classroom or community environments.
Lareina is committed to continuing education to ensure she remains current with relevant topics related to client needs and developing skills to better meet the evolving demands of clients and their families in the home and school settings. Courses attended include: Handwriting Without Tears, Assistive Technology, Introduction to Neurodevelopmental Therapy, Splinting to Manage Abnormal Tone, Transitions Workshop for the School Based Practitioner, Geneva Centre for Autism Level 1 Certificate, Listening with the Whole Body, Mental Health, Sensory Processing and Challenging Behaviour, Oral Motor Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Paediatric feeding and swallowing: Managing complex issues, When and How To Initiate Tube Weaning.
Lori O’Keefe – SLP Clinical Lead
Lori is an enthusiastic and dedicated Speech-Language Pathologist. After graduating from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, she pursued her Masters of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Western University.
Lori is passionate about ensuring children have the absolute best start in life by giving them the tools needed to improve their communication. She enjoys working with children and their families on a variety of skills including use of language, understanding of language, stuttering, speech sound production and early reading skills. She also has experience working with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A lover of the arts, Lori works hard to create therapy sessions and activities that are individualized and salient to the passions of the client.
In her spare time, Lori enjoys reading mysteries, doing puzzles and making crafty things. Born and raised in New Brunswick, Lori enjoys travelling home to spend time with her family, friends and cats.
Marika is a Speech-Language Pathologist with an undergraduate degree from Laurentian University and a master’s degree from Western University, both in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. She joins us after working within a school board where she provided a range of assessment and treatment services to children with a wide variety of needs, including articulation, oral language, early literacy, stuttering, augmentative and alternative communication and social skills needs. She is passionate about working alongside parents and caregivers to support their child’s development, and in servicing families from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
In her spare time, Marika enjoys volunteering within her community and advocating for social justice issues. She also enjoys spending time outdoors running and biking, organizing social events with her friends and coworkers, and watching Netflix with her cat Jiji.
Mikyla is an enthusiastic Speech-Language Pathologist with a demonstrated history of working in the health care industry. She is passionate about delivering quality care through communication expertise that is evidence-informed, compassionate, holistic, and fun! These principles guide her practice to empower children to thrive.
Mikyla has diverse experience working with children, adults, and seniors in a variety of disorder areas. She is trained to support children with stuttering through the Lidcombe Program. Mikyla received her Master’s of Health Science degree from the University of Toronto. She also holds national clinical certification credentials from Speech-Language and Audiology Canada.
In her spare time, Mikyla enjoys traveling and exploring outdoors. Whether it’s reading by the water, perusing boutiques in a cobblestoned village, or taking the trail less travelled, she’s always ready for an adventure!
Jessica Leggett – Culture Officer
Jessica received her Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Western University. She has had many opportunities throughout her studies and years at Butterfly to work with children of all ages with a variety of communication difficulties including: speech sound disorders (articulation), language delays, fluency disorders (stuttering), and motor speech disorders. Jessica’s passion especially lies within early language learning and articulation therapy! She also believes wholeheartedly in family-centred care.
In her spare time Jessica loves the outdoors! Her love of working with children was inspired by the camp she attended and worked at for many years up North, and has continued to grow as she has worked with many families here at Butterfly! She is passionate about helping children find their way to successful communication and loves to watch each of her clients find their voice and spread their wings!
Mary has been part of the Butterfly family for over 4 years and she is continually impressed by the genuine interest by all the therapists to not only help the children reach their full potential, but also for the support that the therapists provide to all members of these children’s families. Mary has previously worked in the private sector as a coordinator, providing patients with access to nurses and the services they provide.
The fun, innocent, and courageous spirit of the children that enter Butterfly is what helps Mary thrive in helping Butterfly run seamlessly. She succeeds to support and be a resource for our current and future families in our environment and the community as a whole.
As a mother of three, Mary enjoys spending time with her kids on hiking trips as it helps keep her mentally and physically healthy. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking dishes from different parts of the world and travelling in order to learn about new cultures and traditions.
Client Experience Manager
Riley Shippel – Client Experience Manager
Riley was first introduced to Butterfly at age 11, while accompanying a family whose children were receiving therapy from Keiri and Michelle. These visits in her early teen years inspired her to pursue an education in Kinesiology at Western University, which provided the foundation of education in healthy living practices. She enjoyed studying about the connection between exercise and nutrition to physical and mental health, and she continues to build upon this learning today. Having always loved being around children of all ages and varying needs, Riley volunteered at McMaster Children’s Hospital in the Child Life Unit and in school settings. She is happiest when supporting and learning from children. They keep her grounded and offer a perspective that often helps her make sense of the world around her.
Riley has dedicated herself to a holistic approach to daily living, and has learned a great deal from years of working in the natural supplement industry. Having been a manager in retail, she has had a significant amount of practice in balancing administrative duties.
When Riley isn’t spending her free time with family, she is exploring the outdoors with her loveable corgi, Bunker.
She is excited to be a part of the Butterfly team, so that she can help support the wonderful therapists who are helping children reach their absolute full potential.
Client Experience Coordinator
Lori has extensive experience working with Occupational and Rehabilitation Therapists. In her full-time role as an elementary school head secretary, Lori works closely with her students, families and resource teachers and therapists, ensuring seamless communication. Lori is excited to work alongside the Butterfly Therapists and staff in order to share her organizational and creative talents.
Lori is a busy wife and mom to three. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, loves to bake and enjoys travelling.