Meet Our Team: Bringing you 50+ years combined experience and more than 25 areas of specialization- served with passion.
Jamie Putnam, M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist/ Clinic Director
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 and 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, DiningForWomen.org – Chapter Leader, Travis County Center for Child Protection – Family Support Volunteer
Favorite Things to Talk About: My 3 children, my little nieces and nephews, and my dog, Ellie.
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.
April Halpin, Office Manager/Billing Specialist
SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY TEAM
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. 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.
Noelle McNeil, M.A., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist
B.A. in Communication Disorders from Auburn University
M.A. in Communication Disorders from Auburn University
Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language – Hearing Association
Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
Licensed Hanen ® provider certified in the parent program It Takes Two to Talk
PROMPT Level 1 Trained
Experience: Pediatric practice in the school setting, pediatric practice at Capital Area Speech since 2009
Community Involvement: I am involved in the children’s ministry at my church and volunteer at my son’s elementary school.
Favorite Things to Talk About: My children, Alabama, and Auburn football! War Eagle!
How did you choose this field? I wanted a profession that allowed me to help people and work with young children. I got exactly what I was looking for!
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Bachelor of Science Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
Certification of Clinical Competence for the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association
The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol Certification
Pediatric experience in school settings and outpatient clinics.
Favorite Things to Talk About:
I love to talk, so I suppose I chose the right profession. I enjoy talking about travel, my family (especially my adorable nephew) and my dog Chuy! I’m still fairly new to the Austin area, so I enjoy learning about new restaurants and fun things to do around the city.
I like participating in races for a cause, such as Race for the Cure.
How did you choose this field?
I always knew I wanted to work with children and as I was taking a course in early childhood development, speech pathology was brought to my attention. I took my first course and never looked back. I honestly love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Meredith Peyton Meagher, M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist
B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology: Texas Tech University Health Science Center
M.S. in Communication Disorders: University of Texas at Dallas
Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language – Hearing Association;
Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
Neuhaus Dyslexia Program
Affiliations: Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association, American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, National Stuttering Association, Texas Voice Project
Public School, Private Practice, and Assistive Technology Team
Pre-verbal Program at the Callier Center Dallas
Parkland Memorial Hospital: FEES evaluations for adult patients, rehabilitation services
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: 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.
Education: BA in Speech-Language Pathology & MA in Speech-Language Pathology- University of Tennessee
Licensed to practice speech-language pathology by the State of Texas
Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association
Trained in Hanen It Takes Two to Talk
Licensed WeeHands instructor
Experience: Early Childhood Development, Oral motor Development, Down Syndrome, Feeding Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Community Involvement: I am a member of Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT) and volunteer at Austin LifeCare and Autism Speaks. I am also on the prayer team at Austin Christian Fellowship.
Favorite things to talk about: My two young daughters, anything to do with Tennessee (Go Vols!), and any outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping.
How did you choose this field? I took a class to find which career interest matched my strengths and skills and scored high for speech-language pathology. I didn’t know exactly what that was at first, but became inspired to be a positive part of people’s lives and to make them feel important.
Education: B.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences; Communication Disorders; San Diego State M.S. Clinical Speech Pathology; Northern Arizona University
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.
B.S. in Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Austin
M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Texas at Austin
Licensure/Certification: Licensed to Practice Speech Pathology by the State of Texas, Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)
Experience: Private Practice and Private Schools
Community Involvement: Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Mentor
Favorite Things to Talk About: Hiking trails and parks, My favorites are Zilker Park, Hamilton Pool, and Mayfield Reserve.
How did you choose this field? My passion for speech pathology stems from my desire to help others by doing something that brings me joy.
Yvonne Smith, M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist
B.S. Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology from California State University, Sacramento
M.S. Speech and Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento
Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association;
Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas;
Trained in the parent program It Takes Two to Talk, PROMPT, and Michelle Garcia Winner “Social Thinking”
Experience: Early Intervention, Private Practice, School (ages PK-HS), Skilled Nursing Facility and a Rehabilitative Hospital
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. When I’m on a roll, I probably read about 3-4 books a week.
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 18+ years, I still love what I do!
Lauren Wiley, M.S. CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist
B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University
M.S. in Speech, Language, and Learning at Northwestern University
Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA)
Beckman Oral Motor
Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS)
Experience: Skilled Nursing Facilities, Public Schools, and Private Practice
Favorite Things to Talk About: I enjoy talking about Austin restaurants, recipes, fitness/health, my Australian Shepherd named Roo, and travel.
How did you choose this field? I’ve always enjoyed learning about the anatomy of the human body, especially how the brain works in regards to language and motor function. Being a speech pathologist allows me to bridge my interests in both science and helping others improve their quality of life. I am fortunate to work in a field where I get to interact with patients and their families, rather than sit behind a desk!
Elizabeth Alaniz, MS., CF/SLP Speech Language Pathologist
B.A. in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton
M.S. in Communication Disorders & Sciences from California State University, Fullerton
Licensed to Practice Speech Pathology by the State of Texas, CPR Certified, Safety-CareTm Behavioral Safety Training, student member of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences
Pediatric Private Practice, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Acute Rehabilitation Hospital, Behavioral (ABA) Therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Community Involvement/Interests: I love volunteering with adults with early Alzheimer’s through Memory Connections at the AGE Institute. I also volunteer with Meals on Wheels’ Connecting Seniors with Technology. I am an avid trail runner and love watching the sun rise on my morning runs!
Favorite Things to Talk About: My amazing husband and daughter, anything running-related, and the latest speech therapy research/treatments.
How did you choose this field? I like to think this field chose me, as it was personal experiences with speech-language disorders that drew me to it. I watched my brother struggle with stuttering growing up, as well as my grandfather’s communication difficulties after multiple strokes. As a speech-language pathologist, I knew I could couple these experiences with my strong desire to help others.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY TEAM
Kelsi Knife, M.O.T, OTR Occupational Therapist
B.S. Health Sciences: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Master of Occupational Therapy: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
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 two 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
Education: B.S. Occupational Therapy: Eastern Michigan University with Departmental Honors
Certified to administer the Sensory Integration Praxis Test
Therapeutic Listening Provider
Michelle Garcia Winner: “Social Thinking”
SOS Approach to Feeding
Beckman Oral Motor Training
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!
Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Master of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University-Houston
Beckman Oral Motor Training
PECS Communication System
Experience: Pediatric SLPA in an Outpatient Clinic
OT Fieldwork Experience at Methodist Hospital of Sugarland
OT Fieldwork Experience at Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation in Houston
Favorite Things to Talk About: Music, movies, makeup, my niece and nephews, music festivals, food festivals, travel, and my cat, Mia.
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, so I’ve always had that desire to help others.
And a very special member of our team, Ellie.
Ellie enjoys her days serving as a therapy support dog and making new friends as often as possible