Speech/Language Pathologists

Christina B., MS, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Lake County First Steps

Meet Christina, a Speech/Language Pathologist who attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2011, followed by a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2013. She earned both with distinction from St. Xavier University. Her exceptional dedication and aptitude were recognized when she was honored with the Outstanding Communication Sciences and Disorders Student Award in 2011. She acquired a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2014, a hallmark of her proficiency and commitment to the highest standards of clinical practice. Christina has worked in schools and early intervention programs. She has touched the lives of children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including autism, apraxia, expressive and receptive language delays, central auditory processing disorder, articulation and phonological disorders, fluency problems, and an array of developmental and chromosomal conditions. She stays at the forefront of evidenced based practice and has advanced education in feeding and swallowing, articulation, phonation, assistive technology, and sensory processing. Christina’s enthusiasm is palpable, and her commitment to your child’s development is unwavering. With Christina as your therapist, you can rest assured that your child’s path toward speech and language development will be a playful, rewarding adventure filled with newfound abilities!

Anneke D., MA, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Dyer Clinic & Lake County First Steps

Meet Anneke, whose educational journey took place at Calvin University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree (2021) and Master’s degree (2022) in Speech-Language Pathology. In her dynamic clinical experience, she had the privilege of interning at Wee Care Therapy, which solidified her passion for pediatrics. Anneke’s commitment to excellence is exemplified by her acquisition of the Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2023. In her professional journey, Anneke has worked with children to enhance a wide array of speech, language, and feeding abilities. Her expertise extends to those grappling with articulation and phonological disorders, receptive and expressive language delays, apraxia, fluency disorders, and social communication difficulties. Each child she encounters becomes a unique canvas for her therapeutic artistry. Anneke is a dedicated advocate for your child’s individuality and potential. She eagerly anticipates learning about your child’s distinctive goals and interests, an essential step in delivering therapy services that are not only effective, but also functional and engaging. What truly ignites Anneke’s professional fire is her unwavering belief in the power of your child’s strengths. She doesn’t just see challenges; she sees opportunities for growth and success. With Anneke on your team, you can be confident that your child’s unique journey of speech and language development will be an inspiring and transformative one!

Melissa (Missy) D., MHS, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Dyer Clinic, Lake County First Steps & Remote Office

Meet Missy whose professional voyage began at Purdue University-Fort Wayne, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Audiology and Speech Sciences in 2008, setting the stage for her illustrious career. Missy pursued further academic excellence, culminating in her Master of Health Science degree in Communication Disorders from Governors State University in 2010. She has lent her expertise to outpatient clinics, schools, and early intervention, providing her with a well-rounded perspective on the needs of her clients. To stay at the forefront of her field, Missy has actively engaged in continuing education, exploring areas such as food chaining, gestalt language processing, speech sound disorders (including childhood apraxia of speech), floor-time approach, and augmentative and alternative communication. In her practice, Missy has had the privilege of serving diverse populations, including individuals with autism, Down syndrome, apraxia, g-tubes, and those experiencing velopharyngeal dysfunction. Beyond her professional pursuits, Missy finds solace and joy in spending quality time with her family, actively participating in the sporting and after-school events of her many nieces and nephews. She also values her moments of relaxation, often taking leisurely walks with her dog and engaging in invigorating rides on her exercise bike. Missy believes that therapy should be a fun, client-driven endeavor. She understands that when the team and family are aligned in support, the possibilities for a child’s growth and achievement are limitless. Prepare to witness the incredible strides your child will make under Missy’s compassionate expert guidance!

Kelly F., MS, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist 

Location
Dyer & Portage Clinic Lake County First Steps Porter ED Team & First Steps as needed

Meet Kelly who began her educational journey with a Bachelor’s degree in 2002, and culminated it with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Indiana University in 2004. In 2005, she earned the prestigious Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2022, Kelly was honored by her Wee Care Therapy peers as the state recipient for the First Steps Excellence in Early Intervention Award. She possesses a natural gift for leadership, and leverages this talent as a Lead Speech/Language Pathologist and supervisor of students and clinical fellows at Wee Care Therapy. Kelly has remarkable versatility in working with children who present a spectrum of speech, language, and feeding difficulties. Her expertise spans diagnoses, including autism, aphasia, apraxia, articulation and phonology disorders, developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, and feeding difficulties. Kelly is commited to staying at the forefront of her field, and attends numerous continuing education seminars in the areas of sensory integration, social communication and interaction, neurodevelopmental treatment, and oral motor feeding skills. What sets her apart is how she seamlessly incorporates sensory-based strategies into her individual and group sessions, making the learning experience engaging and enjoyable for her young clients. She believes in the power of family involvement. With Kelly as your child’s speech-language pathologist, you will embark on a therapeutic journey of learning and development, where each session is a delightful adventure in speech and communication!

Ashley H., MA, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Dyer Clinic

Meet Ashley, a Speech/Language Pathologist who obtained her Bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Elmhurst College. Fueling her passion further, she pursued her Master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from The University of Central Florida in 2022. She acquired the prestigious Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2022, a hallmark of her proficiency and commitment to the highest standards of clinical practice. Her comprehensive experience with pediatric communication disorders spans diverse settings, including bustling school environments and intensive therapy clinics. Ashley is competent in working with articulation and phonological disorders, fluency, social communication difficulties, apraxia, augmentative and alternative communication, receptive and expressive language delays, feeding difficulties and developmental delays. She believes each child has a unique way of communicating and unwrapping their gifts amidst their difficulties is what Ashley strives to do. With a compassionate heart, and keen eye for individuality, she believes in uncovering the strengths within every child’s journey, fostering growth, and achieving functional outcomes. With Ashley by your side as your child’s therapist, you can expect a compassionate and joyful approach to reaching your child’s speech and/or feeding goals!

Rachel L., MA, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist (CF supervisor)

Location
Dyer & Portage Clinic Lake County First Steps Porter ED Team & First Steps as needed

Meet Rachel who embarked on her path after graduating with a Master of Arts degree in 2008 from the prestigious Northwestern University. She underscored her journey when she earned a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Rachel is a born leader. She acts as a Lead Speech/Language Pathologist and supervisor of students and clinical fellows at Wee Care Therapy. She is certified in CPR. Her wealth of experience is drawn from comprehensive training and the direct application of behavioral and sensory-based therapeutic techniques. Her repertoire encompasses working with children diagnosed with autism, apraxia, expressive and receptive language disorders, social language delays, auditory processing disorder, tethered oral tissues, feeding disorders, and fluency challenges. For Rachel, Wee Care Therapy is not just a workplace; it’s her “happy place.” As a Speech Language Pathologist with Wee Care Therapy, she extends her expertise as a provider for First Steps, clinic-based therapy, and private schools. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they are the proud parents of two beautiful children. Rachel considers “the whole child.” in her holistic approach. She takes the time and care to honor each child’s unique sensory needs, creating a therapeutic environment that nurtures their growth and development. Rachel firmly believes in the power of family involvement. Her dedication to empowering families is further demonstrated in her role as a First Steps Assessment Team evaluator, where she assesses and supports young children’s developmental needs. Rachel eagerly anticipates the opportunity to engage in a dynamic process of growth and progress together with you and your child!

Mandy N., MHS, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Lake County First Steps & Insurance/Self-Pay (Virtual Only)

Meet Mandy, an amazing speech/language pathologist and true luminary in her field! She earned a Master of Health Science degree in 1985 from Governor State University after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University in 1983. Mandy then obtained her Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2011, she received the Autism Association of Northwest Indiana’s prestigious Shining Star Award. In 2020, Mandy was honored by her peers at Wee Care Therapy as the recipient of the state’s First Steps Excellence in Early Intervention Award. She is certified in CPR. She has experience treating sensory processing disorder, prematurity, oral-motor challenges, feeding difficulties, communicative/interactive delays, and autism. Her quest for knowledge and professional growth led her to delve deeper into learning more about sensory integration, engagement, apraxia, neurodevelopmental treatment, and oral motor/feeding techniques. Her insights and expertise are sought out internationally, as she presents on sensory processing, engagement and feeding. Mandy possesses an unwavering belief in the importance of family involvement, and currently channels her expertise through Wee See Teletherapy, where she focuses on caregiver coaching. She recognizes the transformative power of interactive skills that form the bedrock of meaningful communicative development. She knows that functional skills are best acquired in an environment that fosters play-based learning and fun. As your child’s therapist, Mandy brings a wealth of experience and heart full of compassion to ensure that you are comfortable helping your child reaches their fullest potential!

Crystal R., MS, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Language
Dyer Clinic & Lake County First Steps

Meet Crystal whose journey in the world of speech and language is a testament to her unwavering dedication and quest for excellence. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Hearing from IN University in 2007, followed by a Master of Science degree from St. Xavier University in 2013. Before joining our esteemed team, Crystal gained invaluable experience as a speech/language assistant in the school system. She earned a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2014. She is CPR certified. Crystal’s expertise encompasses a wide spectrum of communication disorders, making her a versatile and invaluable resource for children and families. She has worked with children facing expressive and receptive language delays, central auditory processing disorder, articulation and phonological disorders, apraxia, fluency challenges, autism, sensory processing disorder, and various social-emotional differences. Her professional diversity includes clinic and early intervention programs, where she has made a profound impact on the lives of countless children and their families. Crystal’s commitment to her craft is evident in her pursuit of continued education, where she has delved into areas such as feeding, sensory processing, therapeutic adaptations, torticollis, and treatment perspectives. Crystal views parents and caregivers as vital partners in the therapeutic process, actively involving them in their child’s treatment journey. With Crystal by your side, you can expect a fresh perspective and a dynamic approach to working with your child!

Cindy S., MA, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Portage Clinic

Meet Cindy whose illustrious career in the realm of speech-language pathology is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence. Armed with a master’s degree from Ball State and a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association earned in 1999, Cindy stands as a paragon of expertise in her field. Her dedication to honing her craft is exemplified by her training in the Beckman oral motor protocol, and food chaining, among other specialized areas. This unwavering pursuit of knowledge has allowed Cindy to provide cutting-edge therapeutic interventions to her clients. Throughout her career, Cindy has left an indelible mark, working with individuals across the age spectrum, from neonates to adults. Her extensive experience encompasses a wide array of speech and language concerns, including but not limited to autism, apraxia, sensory processing disorder, expressive and receptive language disorders, social language delays, auditory processing disorders, feeding challenges, and fluency disorders. Cindy possesses a special passion for addressing feeding disorders and has a wealth of experience in conducting swallow studies. Her approach is characterized by a relentless positivity that fosters an encouraging and empowering environment for children and their families. Above all, Cindy is dedicated to making therapy an enjoyable and engaging experience for her clients as a testament to her passionate commitment to helping others find their voice. Under Cindy’s expertise, you can anticipate not only top-notch care but also an expedition filled with positivity and enjoyment!

Rachel S., MHS, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Dyer Clinic & Lake County First Steps

Meet Rachel, an amazing Speech/Language Pathologist who embarked on her journey at Governors State University, where she earned her Master of Health Science degree in 2021. During her clinical rotations, she had the privilege of working with the little ones at Wee Care Therapy, as well as in an elementary school setting. In 2022, she proudly obtained her Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is also CPR certified. In her past experiences, Rachel has found joy in working within special recreation settings to promote program inclusion for individuals with exceptionalities, using movement as a teaching tool. She is a talented singer and musician and incorporates music into many of her sessions. Rachel thrives on providing both individual and group speech therapy sessions to enhance fluency, boost intelligibility, enrich language comprehension and expression, strengthen burgeoning social skills, and support those using alternative communication methods to enhance the quality of their communication with loved ones. She’s a firm believer in the research-backed connection between high-quality play and early cognitive language development. She has attended advanced trainings in the areas of feeding, communication and sensory-based strategies, Rachel is enthusiastic about getting to know your family, understanding your strengths, interests, goals, and unique dynamics, and working together to achieve success!

Laura W., MS, CCC/SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist

Location
Lake County First Steps (Virtual Only)

Meet Laura, a Speech/Language Pathologist and internationally recognized expert in the treatment of a wide array of feeding disorders. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communication Disorders and Sciences from Eastern Illinois University in 1994 and 1996, respectively. With an impressive track record spanning over 25 years, Laura’s expertise shines in her work with pediatric patients who grapple with speech disorders, feeding difficulties, and dysphagia. Laura’s specialization extends to the treatment of various complex issues, including breastfeeding problems, selective eating, pediatric dysphagia, and paradoxical vocal cord dysfunction. These days, she lends her invaluable support through Wee See Teletherapy, where her focus is on coaching caregivers to assist children with feeding difficulties through First Steps. Laura’s pioneering work in the field of feeding disorders has not only made waves nationally but also internationally, where her work is featured prominently in esteemed medical journal periodicals and conference presentations on pediatric feeding disorders. Laura is also a co-author of the books “Evaluation and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders: From NICU to Childhood” and “Food Chaining: The Six-Step Solution to Stop Picky Eating, Solve Feeding Problems, and Expand Your Child’s Diet.” Throughout her career, she has primarily provided her services in hospital acute care and outpatient settings. However, with Wee Care Therapy, she’s taking her expertise into the virtual realm. Virtually speaking, Laura can’t wait to make a profound impact on your child’s progress!