First Steps Speech Therapists
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
I received my B.A. in speech-language pathology from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN and received my M.S. in speech-language pathology from Radford University in Radford, VA. My prior experiences providing pediatric services are in school and clinic settings. Within these experiences, I developed a passion for working with young children and their families. The birth-3 population is a favorite of mine because working with this age group affords me the opportunity to provide services in their natural environments while utilizing fun, play-based treatment approaches! I have experience working with children with autism spectrum disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, articulation/phonological disorders, expressive/receptive language delays, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other syndromes. I am so excited to collaboratively work with you and your family to have a fulfilling First Steps experience!
Maria graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2009. In 2013, she completed an M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina where she was the recipient of the Charles E. and Geneva S. Scott Scottish Rite Scholarship for Clinical Excellency. Maria has experience with a variety of speech and language disorders, hearing loss, and augmentative and alternative communication in a variety of settings, which include schools, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, and home health. She has also completed courses in pediatric feeding and augmentative and alternative communication.
My father was born in 1928 with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. He had dysarthric speech as the result of Cerebral Palsy. For much of my early life, I facilitated communication for him with inconsiderate clerks and people in the outside world who didn’t even try to understand him due to his unusual speech patterns. They seemed to write him off as a person of below average intelligence. As a sophomore in college, I made the decision to transfer to Michigan State University to pursue an undergraduate degree in Audiology and Speech Sciences after realizing my interest in working with people with communication challenges generally and with hearing loss in particular. Next, I entered Purdue University, where I completed dual Masters degrees in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology in 1983. I hold dual ASHA Certificates of Clinical Competence. My Indiana State Licenses in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology have allowed me to work as a diagnostic/dispensing Audiologist and a speech-language pathologist working with children and adults with hearing and hearing loss at the Indianapolis Speech and Hearing Center (1983 to 1986), a diagnostic/programming audiologist and aural (re)habilitation specialist with the Cochlear Implant Teams at Methodist Hospital Indianapolis and Riley Hospital for Children (1986 to1993), a Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in therapy with children with hearing loss in the Speech Department of Riley Hospital (1993 to 2000), and as an Early Intervention Specialist with Indiana First Steps (2000 to present). Currently, I work with children from 0 to 12 with communication delay, and with children with hearing loss who communicate orally and using simultaneous communication. I have received Hanen Centre training and certification, and have worked with many children considered to be late talkers. Early in my career, I received beginner level training and brief experience using Cued Speech. I have taken many courses in Signing Exact English and am conversationally fluent at the early education level. It has been an honor to work with so many wonderful families over the years. They have taught me so much, and have enriched my life beyond measure.
I grew up knowing I was a little different, but I didn’t know why. By the time I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at 22, I was already working on my Master’s in Bilingual Speech Pathology at Indiana University. Having an insider’s perspective has helped me in my work with kids on the Autism Spectrum. My specialty is in treatment of language disorders in bilingual children. I am fluent in French, Spanish, and German, and I speak some Mandarin, Farsi, and American Sign Language. My goal is to become proficient in Burmese Chin.
I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech Pathology from Ball State University in 1993 and 1994. I have worked in many different environments during my career as a speech therapist - nursing homes, public schools, a small community hospital, home-health care, private practice and early intervention. By far, my favorite, and my preference, has been providing services to families through the First Steps program, which I have been doing for 24 years. As a mom of 4, I understand how important family life and routines are to the development of young children and enjoy working with families so they can help their child(ren) to communicate and engage in family activities. I use a playbased approach to therapy, including use of simple signs/gestures, picture communication, modeling and parent coaching to help children achieve the goals set for them by the family. I provide services in southeastern Shelby County, as well as Decatur County with a second agency.
Ryan received two Bachelor degrees (BA in Linguistics and BS in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences) from Purdue University in 2009. In 2011, she completed her Masters in Communication Disorders and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since then she has worked primarily with children and adults, ranging from newborn to 23. Ryan currently works with FirstSteps servicing children in Hancock Co. and by providing online speech and language services to students who attend a virtual school. Ryan enjoys working with families and empowering parents to be agents of change. Ryan's preferred disabilities include late talkers, articulation, motor speech disorders including apraxia of speech, and phonological delays. Personally, Ryan is an avid reader, averaging about a book a week. She loves hiking with her family and playing with her own toddler.
I received both my B.A. and M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and minors in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University. I have experience providing therapy to children in school and clinical settings as well as two years experience as a Behavior Technician at an applied behavior analysis center. I have experience working with children with speech and language disorders, Developmental Delays, Autism, Down’s syndrome, Childhood Apraxia, hearing impairments, and swallowing disorders. I am conversational in American Sign Language and experienced with Augmentive and Alternative Communication (AAC). I feel that working together as a team with family members to help a child is the key to their future success. I am passionate about helping children reach their full expressive and receptive language potential!