Meet the CAS Team


Meet Our Team: Bringing you 50+ years combined experience and more than 25 areas of specialization- served with passion.

Administrative Team

Jamie Putnam,>M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist/ Clinic Director

Jamie Putnam

M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist/ Clinic Director

Education:

  • B.S. Speech Pathology and Audiology: Texas State University
  • M.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders: Texas State University
  • Licensed: State of Texas Certification of Clinical Competence: ASHA

Additional Certifications/Training:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Learning Disabilities Certification
  • Licensed Hanen ® provider, with certifications in the parent programs:
    • It Takes Two to Talk
    • More than Words®
  • Fast ForWord Provider®
  • Michelle Garcia Winner “Social Thinking”
  • Wilson Reading Program

Member:

  • American Speech – Language – Hearing Association
  • Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association
  • American Telemedicine Association
  • National Stuttering Association
  • Stuttering Foundation
  • American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology.

Experience:

  • Private Practice
  • Round Rock ISD (pre-k, elementary & high school age students)
  • Seton Hospital- adult patients
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Outpatient therapy services

Community Involvement:

  • Northwest Austin Young Life – Committee Member
  • Travis County Center for Child Protection – Family Support Volunteer

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My 3 children, my little nieces and nephews, healthy living, and other’s life stories. 

How did you choose this field?

My grandmother worked at a hospital and when I was young she would take me to work with her. She let me observe various hospital employees so I could see all the different types of careers. The speech pathologist was my favorite! I wanted a career where I could make a difference, work with people, and continually be challenged. In my 25+ years as an SLP, I haven’t been disappointed! I love being a part of the therapy team. I look forward to meeting every individual who walks through our doors and especially enjoy getting to interact with the children. I look forward to talking with you and answering any questions you may have about our clinic and team to ensure a positive experience here at Capital Area.

Kristin Higginbotham Scheduler/Intake Coordinator

Kristin Higginbotham

Administrative Manager
k_higginbotham@capitalareaspeech.com

Education:

  • Studied Psychology and Paralegal Studies at McNeese State University, in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My dog, Royce. I also love talking about my family, mental health care, cooking, podcasts and movies. I’m from Louisiana and will talk to you about anything Cajun, especially about the food and the Saints football team.

Community Involvement:

I’ve volunteered at food banks and most recently at Communities for Recovery. I’ve gone on Mission Trips to Oklahoma and Florida. I love being of service to others, so anywhere I can help others, I’m there.

How did you choose this field?

I love working with people and hearing their stories!
Angie Tobin

Angie Tobin

Receptionist/ Intake Coordinator
a_tobin@capitalareaspeech.com

Education:

  • Associates Degree in Medical Assisting & Office Administration at Career Technical College in Shreveport, Louisiana

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My family, books, podcast, relaxing at home, and meeting new people.

How did you choose this field?

I chose Capital Area Speech because I am the parent of a child with Autism. I know first hand the unique circumstances that parents with children with disabilities face. I also know how important it is to have a village of caring people on your team to help to navigate the sometimes challenging life of having a child with a disability. Anything that I can do to pay it forward to the next family would be awesome!!

SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY TEAM

Amy Delk, B.S.,CSD/ Speech Language Pathology Licensed Assistant

Amy Delk

B.S., CSD/ Speech-Language Pathology Licensed Assistant
Administrative Assistant/Intake Specialist

Education:

  • B.S. in Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Graduate work completed in speech-language pathology at UT Austin Licensure
  • Licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant- State of Texas

Experience:

  • Public School
  • Private Practice
  • Hospitals Served as the UT Chapter President of NSSHLA

Community Involvement:

Certified/Licensed Tour Director

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about my kittens, Mims and Rhannin and my puppy Beasley. Travel is my passion. I have been to West Africa to volunteer with a friend in the Peace Corps. The Highlands of Scotland is my favorite place to visit and spend time. I enjoy live music of all kinds. I love to talk and get to know new people!

How Did You Choose This Field?

I have chosen to be a speech therapist because I love to help people communicate and I have always had an interest in language, words, and reading.
Meredith Peyton, M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Meredith Peyton Meagher

M.S., CCC/SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology: Texas Tech University Health Science Center.
  • M.S. in Communication Disorders: University of Texas at Dallas.

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language – Hearing Association.
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Vital Stim
  • Neuhaus Dyslexia Program Assistive Technology

Affiliations:

  • Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association.
  • American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
  • National Stuttering Association
  • Texas Voice Project

Experience:

  • Public School
  • Private Practice
  • National Stuttering Association
  • Texas Voice Project and Assistive Technology Team
  • Pre-verbal Program at the Callier Center Dallas Parkland Memorial Hospital: FEES evaluations for adult patients, Rehabilitation services and Cochlear Implant Camp Facilitator

Pasadena ISD:

Implemented Phonics intervention program and established Pasadena area NSA kids support group through the National Stuttering Association. Region 4 Houston area: Assistive Technology Implementation.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My two kids! Recipes, music, speech and language newest research and interventions, movies, my doggie, Pearl; travels, my family, and connecting with new people and hearing their stories.

How did you choose this field?

A good friend of mine was in the Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences undergraduate program at Texas Tech University (Wreck ’em Tech). She would come home with interesting stories involving cochlear implants, stuttering, and traumatic brain injuries. This sparked an interest, so I applied, was accepted and the rest was history. I love interacting with people and making a difference in their lives.
Stacey Rosensteel, M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Stacey Rosensteel

M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences; Communication Disorders; San Diego State
  • M.S. Clinical Speech Pathology; Northern Arizona University

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Level 1 PROMPT trained

Experience:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Oral motor Development
  • Down Syndrome
  • Feeding Disorders
  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Voice Disorders and Speech Production Impairments
  • Pediatric practice since 2002 in private practice, schools, and hospitals. I have been a graduate student supervisor for 9 years.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My two young children and my husband, cooking, gardening, music, and theater.

How did you choose this field?

I knew I wanted to do something to help others and make a positive difference in their lives. I love this field and have found my calling to work with children with special needs and help them reach their highest potential.
Yvonne Smith, M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Yvonne Smith

M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology from California State University, Sacramento
  • M.S. Speech and Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Continuing education in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, including principals of motor learning and DTTC.
  • Trained in PROMPT and the parent program It Takes Two to Talk.
  • Natural Language Acquisition Trained
Experience:
  • Early Intervention
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  • Speech Sound Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

I have served as president of the Sacramento Area Speech and Hearing Association (SASHA), and for several years I was a board member in my children’s school PTO. I love to read any genre, and I love creating materials to use in therapy.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My super supportive family, that helped me get back to my home state of Texas!

How did you choose this field?

I always knew I wanted to be in a helping profession, and I considered teaching and child psychology. I started my college days thinking I would be a physical therapist, but the school I was enrolled in did not have a PT program. As I completed my general education coursework, before transferring to a PT school, I stumbled across an introduction to speech pathology class. I decided to check it out for the semester, and I was hooked. I love seeing the difference I help make with the children and families I work with. After 20+ years, I still love what I do!

Megan Moore

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Behavioral Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene TX
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Abilene Christian University, Dallas TX

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Parkinson Voice Project SPEAK OUT!® Provider
  • Hanen’s Four I’s to Socialize
  • Natural Language Acquisition Trained

Experience:

  • Pediatric experience in school settings and private practices.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love talking about my two dogs, Maizy (a mini Yorkie) and Maya (a lab/great dane mix)! They are the sweetest pups and have the biggest personalities. I also enjoy talking about sports; I love all sports and all teams so it’s always easy to root for someone. I’m still fairly new to the Austin area, so I enjoy learning about new restaurants and fun things to do around the city, as well.

How did you choose this field?

I have always known that I wanted to help others in a big way, and what better way than helping others communicate. I started off my undergraduate degree as an Education major, however I quickly fell in love with my language and literacy development classes. My advisor in school redirected me to the Speech Pathology program and I knew instantly that was where I was meant to be! I have loved getting to work with clients and their families and I am excited to be a part of the Capital Area team!
Julia Tomlinson

Julia Tomlinson

M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.F.A. Performance and Production from Texas State University
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Stephen F. Austin State University

Licenses/Certifications/Training

  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Parkinson Voice Project SPEAK OUT!
  • Hanen’s Four I’s to Socialize
  • Feeding Infants in the NICU and Beyond
  • Natural Language Acquisition trained clinician through Meaningful Speech
  • ADOS assessment
  • Play Based Therapy

Experience:

  • Private Practice
  • NICU
  • Outpatient rehabilitation center

Community Involvement:

  • Round Rock Community Choir member and board member
  • Mentor to current graduate students

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My incredible husband, Trevor, and my adorable dog, Milo. I love cooking, singing, traveling, theater, and hiking. I also enjoy discussing my field. Speech – Language Pathology is such a diverse area and being able to provide intervention for our precious clients is a true joy to me.

How did you choose this field?

As a 3-year-old, it is expected that they have 900 – 1,000 words in their vocabulary and are speaking in 3–4-word sentences. The first day I shadowed an SLP, I was able to witness a 3-year-old boy say his first word. The joy in that moment sealed it for me. From that moment on, I could not wait to help others find their voice and improve their quality of life. Being an SLP allows me to combine my loves of voice, feeding infants, and helping our children to develop into wonderful people.

Blake Colburn

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • M.S. in Communication Disorders from The University of Texas at Dallas

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
  • CPR Certified

Experience:

  • Home Health Care
  • Public School
  • Private School
  • Preschool Language Development Program and MBS studies at Pediatric Imaging Center

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My dog Asher, my friends and family, movies, music, fitness, and travel.

How did you choose this field?

I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. The idea of being able to improve someone’s life from the inside out is very inspiring to me. I first learned about speech pathology when I was in high school while shadowing a long-time family friend who was an SLP at a preschool. I knew immediately that speech pathology was the career for me. This discipline allows me the opportunity to help patients of all ages overcome daily obstacles and succeed in their everyday lives. I am forever grateful for the field of speech pathology and I feel that that is reflected in my passion for what I do every day.
Lindsey Rutherford

Lindsey Rutherford

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos TX
  • Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos TX

Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
    • CPR Certified
  • Continuing Education in the following:
    • Beckman Oral Motor
    • Hanen’s ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ Parent Training Program
    • PROMPT: Introduction to Technique (Level 1)
    • PECS Level 1 Training

Experience:

  • Paediatric experience in the school
  • Private practice
  • Home health settings
  • Adult experience in outpatient/inpatient rehabilitation

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about my favorite sports, football and basketball! I also love talking about my family and friends, food, working out, gardening, music, books, movies and anything that brings a smile to peoples’ faces.

How did you choose this field?

I first became interested in the field of speech-language pathology after a close family friend had a stroke, which impaired his ability to speak. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career involving language/communication, and after pursuing a Spanish degree the first two years of my undergraduate studies…I did not feel fulfilled. I wanted to pursue a career that combined my love of language and my passion for helping others, so I changed my major and never looked back! My favorite part of this profession is not only helping people, but also the trust and meaningful relationships that I’m able to establish with my patients and their families.

Michele Reeder

M.S., CCC/SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology: Northern Arizona University
  • M.A. in Communicative Disorders: California State University Long Beach

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Licensed Hanen® provider, with certifications in the parent programs:
    • It Takes Two to Talk
    • More Than Words®
    • Target Word
  • Level 1 PROMPT Trained

Member:

  • American Speech–Language–Hearing Association
  • Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association

Experience:

  • Private Practice
  • Public Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about my kids and my husband!

How did you choose this field?

While I was in college, I observed my younger brother’s speech therapy session. I loved the idea of helping people communicate and giving a child confidence in his/her voice.

Maura Brown

Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Columbia University, New York, NY

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Level 1 Prompt Trained
  • BLS Certified

Experience:

  • Public Schools
  • Hospital-based out-patient pediatrics
  • Acute and long-term acute care hospitals (adults)
  • In-patient rehabilitation hospital (adults)

Favorite Things to Talk About:

After watching all the Marvel movies during the pandemic, I love talking about the brilliance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For something a little more realistic, I love talking to people about traveling and hearing their recommendations for places to put onto my travel bucket list, both within the United States and around the world.

How did you choose this field?

Before some friends traveled to Russia to adopt their 7-month-old daughter, they signed her up for speech therapy services so she could start as soon as they brought her home. I was surprised to learn that the baby was already at significant risk for speech and language delay. The work that the speech-language pathologist was doing to encourage her to speak was so fascinating to me, I decided to make a career change and go back to school to become a speech-language pathologist. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Jenna Lane

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, Texas State University
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Texas State University

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • CPR Certified

Experience:

  • Pediatric experience in school settings and private practices.
  • Adult experience in a in patient rehabilitation hospital.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My favorite things to talk about are my love for dogs, my family and my friends. In my free time, I enjoy being active by being outside or working out in the gym, watercolor painting, and reading.

How did you choose this field?

I love helping people. I knew that at the end of a tough day, I could walk away feeling like I made a difference, and the tough day would be worth it. I fell in love with the field of Speech-Language Pathology because it’s a practical and functional way to help others. Not only that, but what is a greater gift then the ability to communicate functionally?! I continue to enjoy learning about my field and each one of my clients. I am so happy to be a part of the Capital Area family.

Bethany Waltman

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, Texas State University
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Texas State University

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • CPR Certified

Experience:

  • Pediatric experience in home health and school setting.
  • Adult experience in an inpatient skilled nursing facility.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My favorite things to talk about are food, movies, cats, my family and friends. In my free time, I enjoy being outside exploring Austin, trying new food spots, and creating new art with my Cricut.

How did you choose this field?

From an early age I grew up helping children since both of my parents were teachers however, I didn’t know what that would look like for me. One of my friends in college encouraged me to take a class in Communication Disorders and I fell in love with the field. I knew with this job I could make a big difference and I could find passion each and every day when I come into work. I enjoy getting to know people and learning fun ways to assist people in communicating functionally. I am grateful to be a part of the Capital Area Speech family.
Michelle Haines

Michelle Haines

M.S.,SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.S. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Specialized training in Language Intervention as a Foundation for Transition (LIFT)
  • Qualified instructor in Project SKILLS – training for parents and caregivers of children with ASD
  • Basic Life Support (CPR and AED) Training for Healthcare Providers

Experience:

  • The University of Texas Speech and Hearing Clinic
  • The Lang Stuttering Institute at UT Austin
  • Private Practice
  • Capitol School of Austin
  • Lockhart Independent School District (elementary, middle, and high school)
  • The Comprehensive Memory Center at UT Health Austin

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I am always looking for a new book to add to my reading list! Share a book that has impacted your life in some way and I will do the same! When I am not bundled up with a novel and some coffee, I love hiking around Austin’s endless outdoor spaces. I actually met my husband rock climbing on the Greenbelt, but have more recently invested in birdwatching as my favorite pastime!

How did you choose this field?

I was caught between a love for teaching and a desire to help people heal. Speech-Language Pathology felt like the perfect mixture of science and socializing. I was hooked from the start. This career allows you to work with individuals of all ages and find what you are passionate about. For me, I have a myriad of experiences working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I never knew until graduate school that I also had a passion for working with individuals who stutter. What I have learned from my clients has had a profound impact on my life and I am devoted to being the best speech therapist that I can be for my clients and their families.
Anna Dillard

Anna Fox Dillard

M.A., CCC/SLP, bilingual speech language pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders: University of Texas at Austin.
  • M.A. in Communication Disorders: State University of New York at Buffalo.

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language – Hearing Association.
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Hanen “It Takes Two to Talk”
  • Compton Accent Modification

Affiliations:

  • Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association.
  • American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
  • ASHA SIG 9: Childhood Hearing Disorders

Experience:

  • Early Childhood Intervention
  • Clinical Supervision at Texas State University
  • Public School: Round Rock ISD Capital Area Regional Day School Program for the Deaf, Transdisciplinary Play-based Assessment Team
  • Pediatric home health
  • Bilingual Assessments for various entities (Bilinguistics, Del Valle ISD, Bastrop ISD)

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My family, current events, travel, good books.

How did you choose this field?

I started as a Linguistics major at UT because I love languages. When I told my advisor, Dr. Harvey Sussman, that I didn’t see myself as a researcher he said that Speech Language Pathology was the applied version of Linguistics. It turned out to be such a great match! I also met a child who was deaf at a summer camp as a child. I could see her struggles to communicate with hearing people. I wanted to help!
Kristen reagor

Kristen Reagor

M.S., CCC – Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Applied Learning and Development, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Bachelor of Communication Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Texas Woman’s University

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Beckman Oral Motor Training
  • Previously certified by DARS ECI as an Early Intervention Specialist

Experience:

  • Public Schools
  • Pediatric home health
  • Early Childhood Intervention
  • Skilled nursing facilities (adults)

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love discussing books and podcasts covering a wide range of topics as well as sharing and receiving music from friends. In my free time, I see as many live music shows as possible and have just started collecting vinyl. My family and I enjoy spending as much time as possible at the ranch in the hill country enjoying the wildlife and the amazing sunsets and starry night skies.

How did you choose this field?

During my first undergraduate degree, I was included in an invitation-only sensory integration program at UT Austin which would later become the UT Autism Project. There, I discovered that I wanted to work with people of all abilities. As soon as I graduated, I became a child development specialist through Early Childhood Intervention. After working with children and families and collaborating with SLPs and OTs for several years, I decided to obtain a second bachelors degree and pursue my masters in Speech Language Pathology. While I love providing therapeutic services to adults, I find that my background in child development is a unique asset when working with children. I am truly thankful to have discovered this field and have the opportunity to work with so many children and their families.
Paige McCollum

Paige McCollum

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
  • Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas State University, Round Rock, TX

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • BLS/CPR Certified

Experience:

  • Pediatric and adult experience at Texas State Speech-Language-Hearing clinic
  • Pediatric experience in private practice setting
  • Geriatric experience in a skilled nursing facility
  • Applied Behavior Analysis clinic
  • Pediatric feeding therapy

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love talking about my puppy, family, football, and movies. I love to travel and spend my time on the water (paddleboarding or on a boat).

How did you choose this field?

I always wanted to work in a field where I had the opportunity to build relationships and fundamentally aid others to live to their full potential. I have found my greatest passion is to serve others who may be overlooked due to a communication or language disorder. My joy is helping a child find their words, whether verbally or with the use of an Augmentative Alternative Communication device. I am extremely honored to be a member of the Capital Area Speech & Occupational Therapy team.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY TEAM

Kelsi Knife, M.O.T, OTR Occupational Therapist

Kelsi Knife

M.O.T, OTR Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Health Sciences: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • Master of Occupational Therapy: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Experience:

  • Fieldwork experience at University Medical Center Brackenridge: Austin, TX
  • Fieldwork experience at Round Rock Independent School District

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

I love exploring new places with my husband and our dog. I also enjoy reading, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about everything! Some of my favorite subjects are my family, my three sweet baby boys, my dog, and fun new therapy ideas.

How did you choose this field?:

I shadowed a pediatric occupational therapist as a teenager and have been in love with the profession ever since! I get to play with children all day, while also working on important skills. Pretty awesome, huh?
Heather Celkis, OTR Occupational Therapist

Heather Celkis

OTR, Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Occupational Therapy: Eastern Michigan University with Departmental Honors

Certifications:

  • Certified to administer the Sensory Integration Praxis Test
  • Therapeutic Listening Provider
  • Michelle Garcia Winner: “Social Thinking” SOS Approach to Feeding
  • Beckman Oral Motor Training NBCOT Certified
Experience:
  • Pediatric practice since 2001- both school and clinic based.

Community Involvement:

I served as co-chair for the Association of Pediatric Therapists in the San Francisco Bay area.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My adorable little boy, a wonderful husband, and two very large cats! I also love to talk about international travel, fun things to do in Austin, and good books.

How did you choose this field?

I volunteered under an occupational therapist in high school and fell in love with the field and working with kids. I adore my job, believe that the best kind of therapy looks and feels like play, and can’t wait to help the kids here at Capital Area Speech and Occupational Therapy reach their goals!
Caitlyn Gaston, MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist

Caitlyn Gaston

MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Kinesiology -Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Master of Occupational Therapy- University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Experience:

  • Fieldwork experience at Outreach Pediatric Therapy in San Antonio, Texas
  • Fieldwork experience at HealthSouth RIOSA in San Antonio
  • Texas Handwriting Without Tears K-5 Certification
  • Beckman Oral Motor
  • Trained in Effective Interventions for Oppositional and Defiant Behaviors

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

I am a Texan born and raised but am new to the Austin area and look forward to exploring all that this wonderful city has to offer. I enjoy the outdoors, reading a good book, dabbling within the realms of cooking, and spending time with friends and family. I am an active member of the Texas Occupational Therapy Association and have done outside involvement work with the Special Olympics and Lion’s Low Vision Centers.

Favorite things to talk about:

Just about anything! I enjoy meeting new people and always love to hear interesting stories of others experiences in life.

How did you choose this field?

I was introduced to occupational therapy at an early age through my involvement as a camp counselor for children with disabilities. I was able to see the direct impact that was made on the lives of these children and their families. From then on I knew that this was the career path for me and not to mention, its a lot of fun and very personally rewarding.
Ruth Gonzalez, M.O.T. OTR Occupational Therapist/ SLPA Licensed Speech Language Pathology Assistant

Ruth Gonzalez

M.O.T. OTR Occupational Therapist/ SLPA Licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Master of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University-Houston

Continuing Education:

  • Handwriting Without Tears Program
  • Social Thinking Programs
  • Size Matters Writing Program
  • Reflex Integration
  • Sensory Integration
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

Certifications/Training:

  • Bilingual (Spanish)
  • Beckman Oral Motor Training
  • PECS Communication System
  • National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners

Experience:

  • Fieldwork Experience at Methodist Hospital of Sugarland, OT
  • Fieldwork Experience at Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation in Houston
  • Bilingual (Spanish and English)
  • Pediatric OT in a pediatric outpatient clinic for more than 5 years
  • Pediatric SLPA in a pediatric outpatient clinic for 7 years

Outside of Work:

I love listening to music, learning to dance, watching movies and exploring good restaurants around the Austin/Cedar Park area. My favorite color is purple, my favorite animals are felines, and my favorite food is all things chicken!

How did you choose this field?

I’ve always wanted to be in the health/medical field. As a child, I wanted to be a veterinarian, an optometrist, a nurse, a pharmacist, or a zoologist. I have always had the desire to help others. As a speech therapist assistant, I worked alongside occupational therapists and enjoyed learning from them. I decided to go back to school to get my master’s in occupational therapy and absolutely love it! I love working with children and have been doing so for over 12 years!
Jennifer Glover

Jennifer Glover

OTR, Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Occupational Therapy: Texas Woman’s University

Certifications:

  • Certified to administer the Sensory Integration Praxis Test
  • Michelle Garcia Winner: “Social Thinking”
  • Beckman Oral Motor Training
  • Trained in Handwriting without Tears and Typing without Tears

Experience:

I started my career in 1998 working with adults in both the acute hospital setting as well as in patient rehabilitation. I have been working in a clinical and home health pediatric setting since 2001.

Favorite things to talk about:

I will talk about most anything! I love to talk about my wonderful family, traveling to new places, a good book or podcast.

How did you choose this field?

I have always wanted to work with kids and began to look at various careers that involved helping kids. I began to shadow an occupational therapist after graduating high school and was hooked. I absolutely love my job because it brings new challenges each day and I get to work and play with so many amazing kiddos!
Marissa Rivera - OT

Marissa Rivera

Occupational Therapist, OTR/L, MOT

Education:

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences: Quinnipiac University – Hamden & North Haven, CT
  • Master of Occupational Therapy: Quinnipiac University – North Haven, CT

Experience:

  • Fieldwork Experience:
    • Pediatric-based mental health
      • Residential and therapeutic day school incorporating both nature and animal-based programming with a strong focus on emotional regulation, crisis intervention, and use of appropriate coping skills.
      • Common diagnoses included: bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, ADD/ADHD, developmental delay, intellectual disability, reactive attachment disorder, PTSD/trauma, apraxia, oppositional defiance/conduct disorders.
      • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (NO restraint use) trained during this experience.
    • Vocational transition program
      • Ages 18+ with neurological-related diagnoses with a strong focus on community reintegration and independent living.
      • Common diagnoses included: TBI, autism, Down’s syndrome, schizophrenia, OCD, ADHD, conduct disorder, intellectual disability, seizure disorder.
    • Hospital-based care
      • Focused on acute care, subacute rehabilitation, and outpatient rehabilitation.
    • Skilled nursing facility
      • Focused on short-term rehabilitation with some long-term rehabilitative care.
  • Other relevant experience:
    • School-based occupational therapy
      • Fieldwork experience in two different elementary schools, grades K-6th
    • Early intervention exposure
      • Completed a semester long service-learning experience with an occupational therapist for the birth to three population at a community resource center
    • Muscular Dystrophy Association – Camp Counselor

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

Outside of work you can typically find me with my significant other, family, friends and/or my dogs! I tend to spend my time relaxing (both inside and outside) and love to do anything involving games, crafts, or going out to new restaurants/places to eat with others – especially ice cream stands! I just recently made the big move from upstate New York to Austin, so you will definitely find me out and about exploring this beautiful city for many months to come!

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I always enjoy talking about my dogs (three back home in NY and one here with me in Austin!), my family, friends, upcoming trips and fun places to go to – I am always up for traveling to new places!

How did you choose this field?

I have always wanted to go into a field where I can help others on a daily basis. Then, an event occurred within my immediate family and I was introduced to the work of occupational therapists. I immediately knew that this field was where I was meant to be. I truly believe that each person, whether young or old, is unique and has a lot to offer to this world. I wish to help all of the individuals that I work with find out what means the most to them, what allows them to be as independent as possible, and of course, help them achieve all of their desired goals and more!
Ellen Stimson

Ellen Stimson

MS, OTR Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology; Michigan State University; East Lansing, MI
  • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy; Western Michigan University; Grand Rapids, MI

Licenses/Certifications:

  • National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners: License to Practice
  • Basic Life Support (CPR and AED) for Healthcare Provider
Continuing Education:
  • MNRI Dynamic and Postural Reflex Integration
  • Sensory Integration and Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Pediatric Functional Strength Training
  • Strength Training in Children with Neurological Disorders
  • Pediatric Motor Development

Experience:

  • Fieldwork experience in outpatient pediatrics
  • Fieldwork experience in skilled nursing
  • Private practice (pediatrics)

Outside of Work:

I was born and raised in a small town in southern Michigan. I moved to Houston, Texas in 2018 where I began working in private practice pediatrics. My fiancé and I are new to the Austin area and have enjoyed exploring all the city has to offer. Outside of work you can find me planning my wedding, attending Cedar Park High School football games, exploring new hiking trails, and visiting with friends and family.

How did you choose this field?

I was first introduced to occupational therapy when a knee injury led me to receive therapy services myself. From my first experience job shadowing the profession, I knew it was for me as it allows me to combine my strong scientific background, creative problem-solving skills, and love of pediatrics.
Bailey Bowlen

Bailey Bowlen

MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Health, Lamar University
  • Master of Occupational Therapy, University of Texas Medical Branch

Certifications/Training:

  • The SCERTS Framework – Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Supports
  • DIR/Floortime
  • Sensory Processing
  • The Interoception Curriculum
  • Autism LevelUP
  • Management of ADHD
  • Handwriting Without Tears

Experience:

  • Pediatric private practice
  • Pediatric home health

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

I love a good hike or bike ride, going to restaurants, reading, baking, watching a good movie, and snuggling up with my three precious pups. My husband and I also host community-wide events twice a month at our apartment complex.

Favorite things to talk about:

I enjoy hearing people’s stories, discussing a good book or movie, and swapping stories about fun travel or restaurant experiences.

How did you choose this field?

My older sister has Down syndrome, which inspired me to want to work with people with special needs. While in college, I discovered the field of occupational therapy, and I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. Over the years, I have become passionate about play-based therapy that promotes development, socialization, and sensory integration.
Anna Pashas

Anna Pashas

COTA, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Education:

  • Associate of Applied Science Occupational Therapy Assistant, Lone Star Community College Tomball, Texas
  • Bachelor of Science in Community Health, University of Texas at San Antonio

Licenses/Certifications:

  • National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners: License to Practice
  • Basic Life Support (CPR and AED) for Healthcare Providers

Continuing Education:

  • MNRI Dynamic and Postural Reflex Integration
  • Handwriting without Tears and The Print Tool
  • Michelle Garcia Winner: “Social Thinking”
  • Brain and Sensory Foundations from Move – Play -Thrive
  • Zones of regulation
  • Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding

Experience:

  • Pediatric private practice
  • Pediatric home health

Outside of Work:

I am a native Houstonian who has just moved to join my fiancé in Austin. We have two beautiful dogs named Bella and Buddy. In our free time we enjoy spending time with family and friends, exercising, cooking at home, and listening to live music.

How did you choose this field?

I worked in an occupational therapy clinic as a tech during the final semester of my undergraduate degree. It did not take long for me to fall in love with occupational therapy. Each child has such unique abilities and gifts they bring to therapy. Seeing their smiling faces after they learn a new skill or take a small step toward a goal really makes me feel like I am doing what I was put on this Earth to do. I also believe in the multidisciplinary approach that a private practice can offer patients. I love to learn, and as a practitioner, I will always be eager to further my knowledge in the OT field.