What is speech therapy?
Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders.
A pediatric speech-language pathologist (SLP) works to improve a child’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills. An SLP will utilize articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and other interventions depending on the type of speech or language disorder.
Indicators that your child may benefit from speech therapy:
Difficulty communicating verbally
Difficulty understanding what they’re told
Delay in speech and language milestones
Questions or concerns? Contact us today to set up an assessment.
Common diagnoses we treat:
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) provides this reference for your child’s communication milestones from birth through age five. Click the link to access the free guide.
What will a speech therapist work on with my child?
A speech-language pathologist interacts with your child through talking, playing, books, pictures, and other objects to help stimulate language development.
They model correct sounds and syllables during age-appropriate play to teach your child how to make certain sounds.
The therapist will provide individualized strategies and activities for your child that can be carried out at home. Completing the activities at home with your child will maximize the progress they make during visits.
Meet our Speech Therapists
Stephanie Ayers, MS, CCC-SLP
Stephanie attended California State University, Sacramento where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and then her Masters degree in Speech Pathology. Stephanie has over 10 years of experience working with children of all ages in a variety of settings including public schools, private clinics, preschool centers, and homes. Stephanie is constantly expanding her repertoire of skilled interventions with professional competency courses. She has attended a variety of conferences and professional trainings, including Hanen and PROMPT trainings. Stephanie enjoys working with families to help them learn how to facilitate their child's communication skills, and loves seeing new communication skills emerge! She is happily married and a mother of three.
Cathryn Caldwell, MEd, CCC-SLP
Cathryn received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a Concentration in Communication Disorders from North Carolina State University in 2005. She then went on to obtain a Master of Education in Communication Disorders from North Carolina Central University in 2008. Since completing her master's degree, Cathryn spent 5 years in Los Angeles, California working in a fast-pace pediatric practice in a multi-disciplinary setting alongside physical therapists, occupational therapists, child development specialists and ABA/behavioral therapists. She has a passion for early intervention and was lead therapist in an early intervention program for children with global developmental delays and various genetic diagnoses. Upon returning to her home state of North Carolina, Cathryn has since gained experience in the hospital setting with a focus on pediatric feeding. She has extensive experience in evaluating and treating children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), developmental delays, genetic disorders, Down syndrome, articulation/ phonological disorders, central auditory processing disorder, fluency disorders, and oral motor/feeding/swallowing disorders. In addition, she is formally trained in Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, CAN-EAT Approach, and DTTC (Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing). Cathryn is highly passionate about the multi-disciplinary approach for optimal learning and to best serve your little ones needs. Cathryn and her husband reside in Goldsboro with their two young daughters, Evie and Claire. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, music, cooking, and NC State football games, Go Pack!
Julianne Russo, MS, CCC-SLP
Abil-OT Clinical Director
Julianne completed her undergraduate studies in cognitive science at the University of Delaware, and her graduate studies in communication disorders at SUNY New Paltz. Throughout her educational career, she has gained experience working with a variety of populations as a student clinician. While studying upstate New York, she provided in-home services to children 0-3 years of age; worked with a geriatric population in an audiology clinic; and served pre-teen and teenage children in a middle school setting. She graduated in 2016 with a M.S. in Communication Disorders, and began working on Long Island shortly thereafter. Julianne completed her clinical fellowship year working with children 3-16 years of age. She has experience serving children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Nagar Syndrome, as well as children with developmental or speech delays. During her time as a clinical fellow, Julianne worked to become level 2 PROMPT trained and attend many continuing education courses in Applied Behavior Analysis. In 2017, Julianne moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and has loved the change of pace! She has been working in elementary schools for the past 3 years, and has found her passion working with children of all ages. She is enthusiastic about working with other professionals and family members, and incorporating a team approach into her therapy sessions.