info@handinhandtherapy.com | 9426 Lima Rd, Ste A, Fort Wayne, IN 46818
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our Staff Fort Wayne IN

First Step Services

Developmental Therapists

 
 
Ruth Baumgartner, M.S., First Steps Clinical Director, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Ruth Baumgartner, M.S.
 
Ruth Baumgartner, M.S.

Ruth graduated from Indiana University with a Master's degree and has completed many additional trainings in early childhood education – including sign language. Ruth has worked as a developmental therapist for many years and is typically referred to, in a loving way, as the grandma of the team. She has worked with children that have had delays in speech. Fine motor and gross motor, behavior problems, prematurity, hearing loss, vision problems, cognitive delays, autism, etc. Ruth believes strongly in the benefits of early intervention and working closely with the families to achieve goals. Ruth provides a very individualized session with a lot of activities designed specifically for the child.
 
 
Sherry Beech, DTA, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Sherry Beech, DTA
 
Sherry Beech, DTA

Sherry has an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Development. Since 2001 Sherry has been a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, CIMI. Also she has been providing developmental therapy to infants and toddlers through First Steps for 17 years. Sherry's purpose is to work with families and children to achieve their developmental milestones.
 
 
Dayle Brundage, B.S., M.S. Candidate, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Dayle Brundage, B.S., M.S. Candidate
 
Dayle Brundage, B.S., M.S. Candidate

Dayle received a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Wayne State in Detroit and is currently working towards a Master's in Speech Pathology through Nova Southeastern University. Dayle is super passionate about children! She adores their childlike wonder – making her appreciate this beautiful life. Dayle loves to see them grow and develop, whether it be leaps and bounds or tiny little steps, any progress is a huge accomplishment. Dayle has been working in the early childhood field for the last 5 years.
 
 
Elizabeth Cabello, M.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Elizabeth Cabello, M.S.
 
Elizabeth Cabello, M.S.

Elizabeth graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne, with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and completed a Master's Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) with emphasis on Autism through Ball State University. As of January 2016, she initiated her Master's in Speech Language Pathology through The University of Cincinnati. With her career choice and life experiences, she has gained a passion for working with children with needs. Elizabeth's heart is filled with passion for the area of communication and developmental needs since growing up with a sibling who was hearing impaired. She loves working with children.
 
 
Dawn Case, B.A., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Dawn Case, B.A.
 
Dawn Case, B.A.

Dawn earned a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She is passionate about working with children and families. Early intervention has provided the ability for Dawn to fulfill this passion. Being a mother of three, Dawn understands the importance of early intervention She enjoys being involved at church, camping, the outdoors and music.
 
 
Tiffane Creager, M.A., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Tiffane Creager, M.A.
 
Tiffane Creager, M.A.

Tiffane graduated from Taylor University with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and went on to work on her Master's at Concordia University where she received a Master degree in early childhood. She has been working with children of all ages since 2000. Tiffane continues gain knowledge through additional trainings and certifications, such as High Scope. Tiffane has three children who assist her in growing and learning everyday. She enjoys volunteering at her children's school and through Girl Scouts.
 
 
Ashley Finucan, M.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Ashley Finucan, M.S.
 
Ashley Finucan, M.S.

Ashley has been working in First Steps since 2012 as a Developmental Therapist – Communication Specialist. She earned both her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and her Master's degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Ball State University. In her spare time she loves traveling, reading, going to concerts and is an avid Green Bay Packer fan. One of the reasons she loves working with First StepsIs for her love of children and the ability to see each of her clients grow and learn each week.
 
 
Delanie Foley, B.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Jenna Neuenschwander, B.S.
 
Jenna Neuenschwander, B.S.

Jenna graduated from Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Over the past years, she has worked with children through daycare, church activities, tutoring and student teaching. Her experiences have included teaching two-year-olds and assisting in inclusive classrooms. Jenna had her first encounters with First Steps in high school through job shadowing a Developmental Therapist. She appreciates the mission of First Steps to work with families and knows that the impact she can have will be multiplied many times over through this team approach. Jenna enjoys making people feel comfortable and has a joyful, playful nature that helps her connect with little ones.


 

 
Samantha Joley, B.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Samantha Joley, B.S.
 
Samantha Joley, B.S.

Samantha has a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education. She has worked within First Steps for 10 years. Samantha loves being a developmental therapist. It gives her great joy to be able to work with families, using a team approach, to help children soar to their potential. Samantha has 4 children of her own.
 
 
 
 
 
Helen Laverghetta, B.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Helen Laverghetta, B.S.
 
Helen Laverghetta, B.S.

Helen graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne in 2010. She was involved in Speech and Hearing Club and ASL Pah! Club. Helen has work experience with children of all ages. She really loves children and helping them learn and grow. Helen has the ability to converse in Spanish and sign language. Helen enjoys talking to children and listening to them vocalizes their wants and needs. She enjoys being a part of a child's experience as they learn to do something for the first time. She feels great reward in being a part of new experiences.
 
 
Linda Okleshen, M.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Linda Okleshen, M.S.
 
Linda Okleshen, M.S.

Linda teaches Special Education Preschool in an area public school system. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Special Education. Linda is part of the Autism Team and Assistive Communication Team in her school district and has been a developmental therapist with First Steps since 2005. Linda is best known for her abilities in working with difficult behavioral situations. Her loving nature allows both family and child to feel safe in her treatment.
 
 
Tina Peaks, B.S., M.S. Candidate, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Tina Peaks, B.S., M.S. Candidate
 
Tina Peaks, B.S., M.S. Candidate

Tina is a Developmental Therapist – Communication Specialist. She received a Bachelor Degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. Tina is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology at the University of Cincinnati. Tina believes it is a joy to work with children ages 0-3 as they progress and grow in their language development to be the best communicators possible. She not only finds passion in working with children, but loves working with the entire family.
 
 
Sara Stepinski, B.A. , Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Sara Stepinski, B.A.
 
Sara Stepinski, B.A.

Sara has a degree in Elementary and Special Education. Prior to serving young children through First Steps, she has had unique opportunities to teach special education, life skills, and English as a second language in various settings. Sara taught children with moderate disabilities on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona for 3 years, and spent seven years in Argentina doing volunteer mission work. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys working with various multi-cultural settings. Sara is passionate about working with young children and their families to creatively assist them in achieving what they never thought possible.
 
 
Diana Wayman, B.S. , Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Diana Wayman, B.S.
 
Diana Wayman, B.S.

Diana is a Developmental Therapist – Communication Specialists. She received a Bachelor Degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2013. She enjoys working with children and their families. Diana's warm personality allows children to feel safe while working towards their goals. Diana is married and has 2 wonderful children. Diana enjoys spending time with her family, camping, and traveling.
 
 
Ashley Finucan, M.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Jodie Walton, B.S, M.S. Candidate
 
Jodie Walton, B.S, M.S. Candidate

Jodie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Psychology from Purdue University in 2014. She is currently working on her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology through the University of Cincinnati. Jodie also has a background in Montessori education and has an American Montessori Associate Credential for the infant and toddler age group. Jodie enjoys working with children and has a passion for helping them reach their greatest potential. Watching a young child learn about the world is one of her greatest joys.
 
 
Ruth Baumgartner, M.S., First Steps Clinical Director, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
MacKenzie Taylor, M.S.
 
MacKenzie Taylor, M.S.

My name is MacKenzie Taylor and I am a recent graduate from Indiana University South Bend. I always knew when I was growing up, I wanted to work in a field where I would get to assist and help children and their families. I believe the cycle of working with children is a magical experience and something I live for. I enjoy seeing the excitement in children's eyes when they do something new for the first time. I have a three year old daughter and seeing that type of excitement never gets old. The best part about working with children is not only do I get to help teach them something, but they always end up teaching me something as well! I also look forward to building memorable relationships with the families!

 
 
Mallory Fries, B.S., M.S., First Steps Clinical Director, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Mallory Fries, B.S., M.S.
 
Mallory Fries, B.S., M.S. Candidate

Mallory received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from IPFW in 2014. Since graduation she has worked and gained experience as a speech-language pathologist assistant and a registered behavioral technician in the pediatric population. She is currently completing a Master’s of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University. Mallory enjoys working with the birth to three population as the children grow and development so much during that time. She believes these children soak up every little bit during that time and it’s her goal to provide them with positive and educational experiences that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives. Mallory believes that her presence in your home is only a small part of your child’s progress as she strongly believes in family involvement. Mallory will work hard to provide the family with resources and activities to work on their child’s developmental milestones in between therapy sessions. Mallory is experiencing this birth to three population first hand as she recently became a mommy for the first time. Mallory loves to spend time with her growing family, practice yoga, and take her golden retrievers for long trail walks.


 
 
Tanda Brownlee, BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Tanda Brownlee, B.S.
 
Tanda Brownlee, B.S.

Tanda received her Bachelors of Science degree in communication sciences and disorders from the Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2013. Her love for different cultures compelled her to continue studying Spanish in which she received a minor upon completion of her degree. She has since completed her masters from the University of Saint Francis in 2017. In her free time, she enjoys cooking a variety of foods and spending time with her family. She has a passion for working with children and families and has over 15 years of working with children. "First steps has been a blessing to be a part of. The foundation for our little ones are so important and I strive to be one of the many layers that will help with the development of our children."

 
 
Sarah Miller, BS Communication Science and Disorders
Sarah Miller
 
Sarah Miller

Sarah graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her studies focused on the area of early childhood development and neurobiological development and how they relate to language learning. Her passion lies with helping others and making connections that are both meaningful and helpful to those she supports through First Steps. She enjoys working with children and their families and her past experience as a nanny and a mother led her to pursue a career focused on language development. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys traveling, reading, and photography.

 
 
Amber Kaur, BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Amber Kaur, B.S.
 
Amber Kaur, B.S.

Amber received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2014. Since then, she has worked with children in a daycare, and at an autism center. Amber loves working with children because she believes they deserve the best care as they discover the world. Her passion in helping with children not only brings joy to her day, but motivates her to continue to help children who are in need, as her career excels.

 

Occupational Therapists

 
Joanne Dean, COTA, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Joanne Dean, COTA
 
Joanne Dean, COTA

Joanne is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). She received her Associate's degree from Brown Mackie College in 2013. Joanne has a passion for working with children and currently works with children 0-3 years of age in Early Intervention. Joanne has 10+ years experience working with a wide range of children with Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, communication disorder, and other developmental disabilities as a paraprofessional in the public school setting. She also has 10 years experience working with adults with developmental disabilities in a group home and day program settings. These experiences influenced Joanne to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. Joanne is also certified as a Feeding Specialist using the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding program
 
 
Julia Lange, MOTR/L, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Julia Lange, MOTR/L
 
Julia Lange, MOTR/L

Julia Lange earned her Master's Degree from University of St. Augustine in 2006. She is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist with focus and passion for pediatrics. She is a feeding therapist and certified in Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach, is trained in Handwriting Without Tears, completed Level One Intensive Mentorship program with specialty in Sensory Processing Disorder treatment, and certified in Integrated Listening System (iLs). In addition, Julia has experience in working with children with Autism through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis. Julia enjoyed experiencing a variety of cultures and meeting new people and is involved in Human Engineers, Inc., a nonprofit organization that travels to indigenous regions to provide prosthetic and orthotics to children and adults who cannot afford medical care. She is also involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters in Fort Wayne. During her free time Julia enjoys traveling to new places, spending time with her dogs and family.
 
 
Erica Roberts, OTR, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Erica Roberts, OTR
 
Erica Roberts, OTR

Erica is a licensed Occupational Therapist. Erica received her Bachelor's of Science in Occupational Therapy from The University of Southern Indiana in Evansville. She has been practicing since 2004, working with a wide range of children ages 0-3 (early intervention), adolescents, adults and geriatrics in both Ohio and Indiana. With her primary work in an outpatient/acute care setting, Erica also dedicates her time to supervise for early interventionists. Her focus is set on pediatrics with a desire for sensory processing, emotional/social/behavioral skills, and overall development. Through her professional experiences, Erica has treated children with Autism, sensory processing disorders, trauma, cerebral palsy, ADHD, genetic/neurological disorders, and mental health issues. Erica has a passion for children and family education as she strives daily to maximize an individual's full potential in their personal life and through development.
 
 
Emily Shamp, COTA - Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, in Fort Wayne IN
Emily Shamp, COTA
 
Emily Shamp, COTA

Emily is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). She earned her degree from Brown Mackie College in 2005. She spent 10+ years in neuro rehab. However, her love of children and desire to serve families is what led her heart to First Steps. She takes great satisfaction helping little ones succeed and supporting families during those impressionable first years. While not at work, Emily enjoys her quiet life in the country, spending time with family and raising her 4 beautiful children."
 
 
Keziban Slisher, OTR, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Keziban Slisher, OTR
 
Keziban Slisher, OTR

Kezie graduated from University of Kansas Medical Center in 1997 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Since then she has worked in many settings, allowing her to add to her knowledge and experience base. She has a combined 19 years experience as an occupational therapist with 7 years in First Steps alone. She has extensive, advance training and experience in diagnosing and treating sensory disorders.
 
 
Renee Welch, COTA, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Renee Welch, COTA
 
Renee Welch, COTA

Renee is a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant that has worked in Pediatrics since 2011. Renee is and certified in Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach lead by STAR Center, which is an effective way to address problematic feeding behaviors by allowing the child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way. Renee is passionate about working with not only the child, but collaborating with the family for the greater success in developmental therapy.
 

Physical Therapists

 
Lisa Hoipkemier, DPT, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Lisa Hoipkemier, DPT
 
Lisa Hoipkemier, DPT

Lisa received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Indiana University. She has been working as a First Steps provider for the past two years. Her passion is working alongside families and helping children achieve success through developmental milestones. She has experience working with other disciplines and practices to fit children with the equipment they need to reach full mobility and success in their environments. Lisa is excited to continue to work with kiddos and their families and to see them reach their full potential.
 
 
Nicole Mahler, DPT, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Nicole Mahler, DPT
 
Nicole Mahler, DPT

Nicole earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Grand Valley State University and her Bachelor's of Science in both Athletic Training and Exercise Science with a Minor in Spanish from Ball State University. She also is a certified Educator of Infant Massage. Nicole has a passion for continuing education and therefore enjoys mentoring students working towards becoming physical rehabilitation professionals. She also has a strong passion for working with children and their families. She aspires to find the “Just Right” challenge for each child and their family by learning about each person's goals, strengths, and challenges and what is most important to them.
 
 
Rita Spears, DPT, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Rita Spears, DPT
 
Rita Spears, DPT

Rita has been a PT for 30 plus years. She is NDT (Neurodevelopmental Treatment) Certified in pediatrics. She has owned and operated her own small business for 15 years. Her first love is working with babies and she finds helping families learn to incorporate positioning and exercise into their daily routines very rewarding. She has worked with children with a variety of diagnoses. She has been fortunate to have been able to team with some excellent therapists over the years and feels teamwork among therapist, service coordinators and most importantly with families is the best path to success.
 
 
Lindsay Wolff, PTA, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Lindsay Fuller, PTA
Gretchen Klinker, PTA
 
Lindsay Fuller, PTA

Lindsey graduated from the University of Saint Francis with a Physical Therapist Assistant degree in May 2015 and recently earned her Bachelor's in Health and Exercise Science in December 2015. Having the opportunity to work with children has allowed her to feel she has the ability to impact their life in ways that will carry over into their future, as well as it helps her to grow as an individual herself. When she is not working, Lindsey enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling when she has the opportunity.

Gretchen Klinker, PTA

Gretchen graduated from the University of Saint Francis with a Physical Therapist Assistant degree and a Bachelor in Health & Exercise Science in May 2016. Working with these children has influenced person growth and allowed her to feel like she is making a difference in someone's life. Gretchen enjoys teaching yoga on the side & spending time with family and friends.
 

Speech Therapists

 
Abby Crouse, M.S. CCC-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Abby Crouse, M.S. CCC-SLP
 
Abby Crouse, M.S. CCC-SLP

Abby is originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, and attended Indiana State University for both undergraduate and graduate school. After completing the Speech-Language Pathology master's program, she moved to Fort Wayne, hometown of her husband. She loves working with young children and enjoys helping them develop, grow, and learn to communicate. Abby has experience with children of all ages in various areas of speech, language, and hearing disorders. She loves the journey of building relationships with the children and families, as well as finding therapeutic methods that are the most successful for each child as an individual.
 
 
Beth Early, M.S. CCC-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Beth Early, M.S. CCC-SLP
 
Beth Early, M.S. CCC-SLP

Most families and children fondly refer to Beth as “Miss Beth”. Miss Beth has been a full-time First Steps practitioner for over 15 years. Beth graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She believes that in order to best serve her families she needs to have knowledge of a diverse range of topics including eating/swallowing disorders, nutrition, sensory based disorders, discipline practices, toilet training, play therapy, emotional development, and hearing disorders in addition to speech/language. So, Beth regularly attends classes, reads books, and attends seminars. Miss Beth's promise to the parents is to be truthful, informative and work diligently to bring relief to the frustration and worry that may sometimes be present. Her goal is to replace those emotions with JOY.
 
 
Beth Early, M.S. CCC-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Malarie Chartier, M.S., CF-SLP
 
Malarie Chartier, M.S., CF-SLP

Malarie is a Speech-Language Pathologist transplanted in Indiana from Michigan (Go Green!). She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from Northern Michigan University and holds her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Marshall University. Malarie has a passion for exploring development throughout the lifespan. She strives to provide families with applicable tools specific to fostering the development of communication and feeding skills with their child. In her free time, Malarie loves eating candy, reading, being outdoors and spending time with her family and friends.
 
 
 
 
 
Chelsi Huff, M.S., CCC-SLP, PTA, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Chelsi Huff, M.S., CCC-SLP
 
Chelsi Huff, M.S., CCC-SLP

Chelsi works full time as a speech therapist in the Huntington County Community School Corporation and part time for First Steps. Chelsi has experience in providing direct speech services in the following areas: Apraxia, mild to severe articulation disorders and delays, cleft palate, language disorders and delays, stuttering/fluency, Autism, Down's Syndrome, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, and Pierre Robin Syndrome.Specialized trainings include: Verbal Behavior; Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS); Teach Me To Talk; iPad technology to assist in reinforcement, direct instruction, and assistive technology; Kaufman Apraxia of Speech. Her Licensing includes: Indiana Teacher's License, Indiana Health Professional License, and Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) through the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Chelsi is passionate about working with children and loves the ability to assist children in reaching their goals.
 
 
Karen Koch, M.S., CCC-SLP, PTA, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Karen Koch, M.S.
 
Karen Koch, M.S.

Karen Koch received her Master's Degree in Audiology and Speech Sciences from Michigan State University. She has been a licensed First Steps provider for 10 years. She specializes in feeding disorders for preterm infants. Karen believes strongly in a family-centered approach to therapy and establishing trust with each family she works with and working toward goals together.
 
 
Natalie LeFever M.A., CF-SLP, CCC-SLP, PTA, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Natalie LeFever M.A., CF-SLP
 
Natalie LeFever M.A., CF-SLP

Natalie earned her Master of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Ball State University in 2015. She has experience working with individuals across the lifespan with varying speech and language disorders. Natalie is certified in the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol. Natalie currently provides First Steps services and individual speech and language therapy at Hand In Hand. She enjoys working with individuals and their families to provide intervention and support specific to the client's needs.
 
 
Cathy Lehman, M.A., CCC-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Cathy Lehman, M.A., CCC-SLP
 
Cathy Lehman, M.A., CCC-SLP

Cathy is a speech therapist who has specialized in pediatric speech therapy for the past 17 years. She obtained her Master's Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University in 1997 and is certified and licensed with American Speech and Hearing Association and Indiana Speech and Hearing Association, respectively. Cathy has enjoyed servicing a wide population of children with speech and language needs. She has completed specialized coursework with experience in infant-toddler communication, oral-motor assessment and treatment, voice care, video stroboscopy, aerodigestive tract disorders- infant/child dysphagia, autism, Down Syndrome, sensory processing disorders, and is a Samonas trained specialist- therapeutic listening- trained in use of music to facilitate language. Cathy loves providing family-centered, comprehensive speech therapy for infants and toddlers, and finds great joy in finding the “gold” in each child, seeing them reach their highest potential, while collaborating with parents to see increasing levels of growth. While Cathy thoroughly enjoys her job as a speech therapist, her greatest reward has been in being a wife and mother to her 5 children. There is never a dull moment in her adventuresome home, and although she cherishes rare times of quiet, she wouldn't have it any other way! Cathy enjoys singing, playing the piano, laughing, decorating, speaking at conferences, writing, reading, hiking, exercising and having a peppermint mocha latte with a good friend.
 
 
Allison Sebastian, M.S., CCC-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Allison Sebastian, M.A., CCC-SLP
 
Allison Sebastian, M.A., CCC-SLP

Allison earned her Master's degree at University of Toledo in Speech-Language Pathology. Allison is a nationally certified with Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Allison's passion is with pediatric and school-aged children. She has most focus and knowledge with speech articulation, developmental language delay, cognitive-communication and social-language. She is certified in Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach lead by STAR Center, which is an effective way to address problematic feeding behaviors by allowing the child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way. Allison is certified in the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol. Allison also has knowledge and experience with children who are on the autism spectrum, including an intensive autism camp during her graduate school program and continuing into her current case-load.
 
 
Chelsea Schmidt, M.A., CF-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Chelsea Schmidt, M.A., CF-SLP
 
Chelsea Schmidt, M.A., CF-SLP

Chelsea is a Speech-Language Pathologist who is currently completing her Clinical Fellowship Year as a First Steps provider. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Communication Disorders from Indiana-University Purdue-University Fort Wayne and received her Master's Degree in Communication Disorders from Marshall University. She has completed and presented research at the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and West Virginia Speech Language Hearing Association (WVSHA) conventions. Chelsea is certified in the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol. She has a passion for prevention and early intervention, and she looks forward to providing these services through First Steps.
 
 
Pamela Schue M.A., CF-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Pamela Schue M.A., CF-SLP
 
Pamela Schue M.A., CF-SLP

Pamela Schue earned her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Toledo in August of 2015. In addition, she graduated as a member of the Graduate Student Consortium for Listening and Spoken Language with a certificate focusing on childhood hearing loss and aural rehabilitation. Pamela has a passion for helping others, and she strives to provide her clients with assistance in reaching their highest potential and quality of life.
 
 
Debra K. Wylie M.A. CCC/SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Debra K. Wylie M.A. CCC/SLP
 
Debra K. Wylie M.A. CCC/SLP

Debra Wylie is a speech-language pathologist in Fort Wayne Indiana. Debra received her B.A. from Purdue University-Fort Wayne and M.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington. Debra is an active member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence. Debra has worked with the First Steps program for the last 16 years. She has experience in various areas of speech-language development such as, articulation and phonological disorders, apraxia, augmentative communication, developmental delays and oral motor deficits. Debra has worked with children with various conditions such as, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), sensory delays, language and learning disorders, auditory processing disorder and phonological delays. In addition to working directly with the children she also has extensive experience in parent education. Providing parents with knowledge concerning their child's speech-language issues, as well as, effective strategies that can be used outside of therapy sessions to facilitate their child's speech and language progress is an essential part of Debra's speech therapy program.
 
 
Amy Yoder, MA, CCC-SLP, CCC-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Amy Yoder, MA, CCC-SLP
 
Amy Yoder, MA, CCC-SLP

Amy Yoder holds her Bachelors of Science, Speech and Hearing Sciences – Indiana/Purdue University, Fort Wayne and obtained her Masters of Arts, Speech Language Pathology- Indiana University, Bloomington. She has been working as an ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist for the past 10 years. Four of those years, Amy worked in the school system providing services to preschool-fifth grade students. For the last 6 years, she has worked as an early intervention service provider through First Steps. Amy's love or working with the little ones demonstrated through her passion in her work. She loves seeing little voices come alive. Amy is a mother of three and believes her children have made her a better therapist through patience, perseverance, problem solving, and much more.
 
 
Delanie Foley, B.S., Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Meredith Dorsch, MA-SLP
 
Meredith Dorsch, MA-SLP

Meredith earned her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Ball State University in 2016. She has had experience with clients of all ages with various speech and language disorders, but her passion is working with children helping them and their families to reach their highest potential. She loves experiencing the moments when the child or parent is feeling excited and successful after all of the hard work that has been put in to a goal.
 
 
Chelsea Schmidt, M.A., CF-SLP, Hand in Hand Comprehensive Therapy Specialists Inc, Fort Wayne IN
Lindsey Mosier, B.A.
 
Lindsey Mosier, B.A

Lindsey earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech and Hearing Science from The Ohio State University. Her hopes are to get her Master's degree in the near future! Lindsey's passion is helping children with their communication needs. She loves watching children grow and develop; it really is an exciting time! Lindsey loves spending time on her family's farm, traveling and watching the buckeyes win!
 
 
Kristy Smith, BS Applied Human Service & Infant Mental Health endorsed
Lindsey Mosier, B.A.
 
Kristy Smith, BS

Kristy Graduated from Baker College in Jackson, Michigan in 2006 with a bachelor of applied science Human service. In 2013 she became infant mental health endorsed. She is passionate about promoting a secure attachment with caregiver and child. Kristy has been working with early childhood development for eight years.
 
 
Lauren Johnson, M.S. CF-SLP Communication Disorders
Lauren Johnson, M.S. CF-SLP
 
Lauren Johnson, M.S. CF-SLP

Lauren Johnson is a Speech-Language Pathologist who received her Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Communication Disorders from Marshall University. Lauren enjoys working with a wide range of ages with a focus on pediatrics. She has experience working with hearing impaired children, and utilizes "learn to listen" strategies to assist little ones in reaching their communication milestones. Lauren also has a passion for emergent literacy skills in children. In her free time, she spends time with her friends and visits her family in West Virginia.
 

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