About Us

Fun, Play-Based, Nurturing, and Calming Environment.

Abilities was co-founded by an Occupational Therapist and Speech Language Pathologist who share a similar vision for addressing the developmental and educational needs of children in a fun, play-based, nurturing, and calming environment.

Our mission is to prepare individuals with and without special needs for life success within their community and home.

Our philosophy incorporates the best of various developmental models to collectively address all aspects of a child's development. We believe in the strength of the family and we promote wellness and development of all children.

We strive to help your children learn and grow which means we want to provide your children with top-quality care, including a supervised environment, a secure building with restricted access, and a nut-free facility.

Our Staff

Valerie Keen, MS, CCC-SLP

Co-founder

Val Keen is a Mastered level, NYS Licensed and ASHA certified Speech/Language Pathologist. She maintains a high level of continuing education to remain current on the newest techniques for both language and feeding therapy. She received her undergraduate degree in Hearing and Speech science with a minor in audiology from Plattsburgh State University specializing in feeding disorders in young children. Val received her Masters Degree from Adelphi University in Communication Disorders with a strong emphasis in Feeding and Swallowing Disorders from Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Val brings 30 years of excellence in providing therapeutic services to infants and toddlers with a variety of difficulties such as language delays or disorders, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Feeding swallowing difficulties, and sensory difficulties. Val utilizes a multi-modalic approach to learning, incorporating all of the senses to maximize each child's learning potential. She has worked extensively in a variety of settings including, co-teaching in special education preschool classrooms in North Bellmore, Long Island, at the school for Language and Communication Development, kindergarten teacher in a self-contained 6:1 :2 class, speech and language clinic director, feeding specialist on an interdisciplinary team, and home-based individual speech/language therapist for Washington and Saratoga Counties. Val brings extensive training in the evaluation and treatment of language and feeding disorders and works closely with the Gastroenterology team at Albany Medical Center.

Stacey Frasier, OTR/L

Co-founder

Stacey Frasier is a registered Occupational Therapist. She has worked with children in the Warren, Washington and Saratoga County regions for 23 years, providing services in the home, clinic and daycare/preschool settings. Stacey earned her degree at Utica College of Syracuse University in 1996. She has concentrated her study in Pediatrics, extensively in the area of sensory integration and its relation to motor skills. She excels in the treatment of sensory processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders and ADD/ADHD. She utilizes a multi -faceted approach to treat children with developmental diagnoses including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down syndrome.

Stacey maintains a high level of continuing education and is certified with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Stacey is trained in the Wilbarger Therapressure Technique and is currently pursuing certification in Ayres Sensory Integration. Stacey is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the New York State Occupational Therapy Association. Stacey provides fun, multi sensory based learning and therapeutic techniques to assist children to engage in their occupation of playing and learning, building the skills and confidence to thrive in their environments.

Jennifer Claeson

Preschool Director- Lead Teacher Pre-K

We have the privilege of introducing our highly qualified preschool director, Mrs. Claeson. After 23 years of working directly with children, Jennifer has joined our team and brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience, and of course fun! Jennifer holds a dual bachelor degree from Rhode Island College in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. As a Preschool Teacher, Head Teacher, Assistant Director, and Director in a variety of preschool settings, Jennifer feels that play is a child's most important work, and she strives to create and maintain an environment where your child can grow and thrive while exploring the world around them.

Darcy Battuello

Special Instruction Lead Teacher

Darcy earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in Elementary Education and English from Russell Sage College and then continued her education by earning a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Russell Sage College.  Darcy has been teaching for over 8 years in various grade levels.  Darcy is proud to now be a full-time member of the staff here at Abilities when she accepted the position of Special Education Teacher.  Darcy believes that creating a classroom where a student feels they are at home is essential.  She strives to educate and nurture young minds while meeting the needs of every individual child.  

Kelly McQueeney

Lead Teacher-Blended 3's & 4's

Kelly earned her Bachelor's Degrees in Elementary Education and English and then continued her education by earning a Master's Degree in Special Instruction. Kelly has been teaching for over 30 years in various settings with the majority of her time teaching the 3-5 year old population.  She is also proud to be a full-time member of the staff here at Abilities. Kelly believes in the education of young learners that is packed with language enrichment and hands on sensory experiences.  She believes that creating a classroom where routines are predictable and teach children independence and social emotional development.

Lydia Colombo

Lead Teacher-Blended 3's & 4's

Miss Lydia joins us as a graduate of SUNY Cortland where she earned a degree in Education and is pursuing her graduate studies in early childhood education.  She strives to promote social emotional and physical development of children,  and excels in the creation and application of STEM projects and child-centered, multi-sensory instruction through play.   Miss Lydia focuses on hands on and personalized learning with children based on a child's personality and interests, and develops classroom curriculums emphasizing multi-modality education and learning through play.

Jennifer McConkey

Lead Teacher -Toga Tykes program

We are pleased to introduce our Toga Tykes head teacher, Miss Jenny, who brings with her 10 years of experience working with children.  Her love for children sparked her desire to study Art and Early Childhood Education.  Miss Jenny's gentle, soft spoken, yet fun approach, creates the ideal learning  environment.  Patience, creativity and a passion to teach are among Miss Jenny's many assets.