About Us

Meet the Team

Alaina Kelley - MA, CCC-SLP

Alaina received her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 2009, after receiving her bachelor's degree in Linguistics from Macalester College. She is a current member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a participant in the Reggio-Inspired Network of Minnesota.

Alaina's style of speech-language therapy grows out of a deep respect for each child as a competent person and a member of a family, classroom, and community. If you observe her in a therapy session, you will see her closely observing the child to hypothesize what the child is ready to learn; developing a relationship with the child that strives to support his or her growth as a self-motivated learner; and documenting the learning process in order to give the child and his or her family another way of seeing the child's competence.

Her style of speech-language therapy is strongly informed by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy that views children, parents, and teachers as co-researchers who are collaborating to learn from each other, as well as by the SCERTS Model, a model for assessment and therapy of children with autism that uses observation to understand a child's social communication, emotional regulation, and transactional supports. She draws inspiration from therapeutic processes across a range of disciplines, especially the writings of Richard Bromfield, Anat Baniel, Jesper Juul, Patty Wipfler (Hand in Hand), Lawrence Cohen, Brene Brown, The Wakanheza Project, Michelle Garcia Winner, and Stanley Greenspan.

Alaina has expertise and experience seeing clients with a wide range of communication challenges, in the areas of expressive and receptive language, autism, speech-sound production, fluency, and cleft palate. She particularly specializes in communication growth for children who:

  • Are minimally verbal or nonverbal
  • Use echolalic speech (repeating or "scripting"), and / or
  • Are growing up in bilingual or multilingual families

As a student, she completed the Bilingual-Multicultural Emphasis Program Certificate and traveled to Mexico to study cross-cultural approaches to special education. Alaina is able to offer speech and language services specific to multilingual and multicultural families, with a focus on supporting the development and maintenance of both / all languages the family uses. She has a professional working proficiency in Spanish, which allows her to communicate with Spanish-speaking parents and children, and provide some basic speech and language services in Spanish.

Papers and Presentations: 

  • Kelley, A. & Kohnert, K. (2011). Is there a cognate advantage for typically developing Spanish-speaking English-language learners? Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 43, 191-204. 
  • Kelley, A. & Kohnert, K. (November, 2009). Cognate advantage in vocabulary performance of typically developing bilingual children. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, New Orleans. 

 Andrea Howard - COTA/L

Andrea has an Associate Degree from Anoka Technical College and has been a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant since spring of 2008. Andrea has worked with children and young adults with disabilities for 15+ years. She has been a nanny for children with special needs and has also worked as a personal car attendant before attending school as a COTA. She has particular experience working with diagnoses of Down Syndrome, Autism and developmental delays. Andrea has been trained in the SCERTS Model, ILS and Handwriting Without Tears. She has a strong focus working on handwriting skills, gross motor strength and coordination, activities of daily living and executive functioning skills. Andrea strives to develop a relationship with each child that will help build independence, confidence and success.

Andrea lives in Inver Grove Heights, MN, with her husband, Brian, and son, Landon. She enjoys exploring life as a new mom, baking, crafting, and spending time with family and friends. Andrea can usually be found with a good cup of coffee nearby.



Rachael LeVahn - COTA/L 

Rachael graduated from Anoka Technical College in May of 2013 with an  Associate of Applied Science Degree as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.  From her early years, Rachael has always enjoyed interacting with children.  She previously worked as a personal care attendant providing services to a variety of children with special needs and collaborated with families to best meet the needs of the children. 

As a student, Rachael gained experience in both pediatric and adult out patient settings.  Working in the pediatric occupational therapy field fulfills her passion of utilizing playful engagement to help children meet the demands of their daily life with success. 

In her free time, Rachael enjoys spending time outdoors, photography, games, drinking coffee and engulfing herself in a good book, and being with friends and family.


Alexandra Kuch - MA, CCC-SLP

Alex received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech-language pathology at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. As a graduate student and as a clinician, she gained experience in a variety of pediatric settings, including schools and outpatient clinics. Alex has a passion for helping children of all abilities, with a particular interest in autism spectrum disorders.

Alex’s clinical approach is best described as one that addresses individualized functional communication needs, and focuses on developing skills that will improve everyday life for each child. Her clinical approach draws particular inspiration from the works of Barry Prizant and Michelle Garcia Winner. Alex enjoys developing strong connections with each of her clients in a fun, playful environment.

Outside of speech-language pathology, Alex loves attending live music shows, travelling, and spending time with family and friends. You can usually find her engrossed in a good book of any genre!


Anne Nelesen - MS, CCC-SLP

Anne received her Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1999 after receiving her Bachelor’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Marquette University. Over the past 17 years Anne has worked with both pediatric and adult populations across a variety of environments including schools, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient centers. Anne has a special focus in the area of Augmentative / Alternative Communication with an interest in mounting of communication systems and considerations due to access limitations.

Anne joined the CSLL team in 2016 after working for 8 years with the MN/ND/SD Chapter of the ALS Association and three years with a state-funded grant program in Minnesota called Technology for HOME. Her philosophy is that therapy should be fun and goal-focused. Anne continually consults with families of the children she serves to ensure parents and caregivers are a part of the child’s goal creation and their progress in and out the clinic.

Anne is married and has four children, two of whom have special needs. Being both a provider and a parent of kids needing extra assistance has made her acutely aware of the needs of families that she works with.


Erica Needham - MA, CCC-SLP

Erica graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2014, after receiving her bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Michigan University.

Erica joined the CSLL team in 2016. Erica aims to provide each individual with the necessary tools, confidence, and individualized support in order to fulfill that individual's goals, to become lifelong learners, and to realize his/her full potential. Erica has experience working with adults in a skilled nursing facility and with children in school settings. Erica has a special interest in pragmatic language treatment and the frameworks created by Michelle Garcia Winner, autism spectrum disorders, literacy-based intervention, and multicultural/multilingual considerations.

In her spare time, Erica enjoys reading, participating in yoga and Pilates, biking, and spending time with family and friends.



Jenna Elliot - MOTR/L

Jenna received both her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy and Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences from The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She has gained clinical experience at an inpatient rehabilitative setting as well as at a pediatric outpatient setting that provides services to a high population of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Jenna always had a passion for helping children learn, grow, and reach their full potential. Prior to obtaining her occupational therapy degree, Jenna worked as a toddler, preschool, and school age teacher at a childcare center and nannied for a family of three children. 

In her free time, Jenna enjoys traveling, being on the lake and outdoors, fishing, playing tennis, and spending time with family and friends.


Laura Klug - COTA/L

Laura graduated in 2015 from Anoka Technical College with her Associate of Applied Science Degree as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Since she graduated she has worked at Transitional care units, and as a pediatric OTA for children with Autism.

As a child she grew up with four siblings. She spent hours across the street helping the neighbors take care of their children with disabilities and playing with neighborhood friends and her cousins. In high school she worked many jobs including: A Direct support professional in group homes, personal care assistant, nanny, and a server in a Senior and Assisted living facility serving the elderly.

Laura loves coming to work and coming up with creative and new ways to engage children in tasks and activities to increase their understanding of this big world and to help them build skills to thrive as the unique individuals they are. Laura is creative and fun-loving and lives to make this world a brighter better place.

When Laura is not at work, it is likely that she is spending time with her close friends, family or “Future Hubby”- John Michael. She likes to explore the outdoors, long board and drink coffee.


Lily Daws - COTA/L 

Lily graduated in 2017 from Anoka Technical College with her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Since graduation she has worked at a senior day center, working with adults with disabilities.

Prior to obtaining a degree as a COTA, Lily worked as a nanny for many years with school age kids as well as infant triplets. In high school, Lily worked as a PCA for a young girl with Angelman Syndrome, gaining experience with a child whom is nonverbal and needed care 24/7. Lily has always had a passion to help kids grow to their greatest potential and reach a level of independence to send them off on their own. Lily loves to challenge herself to learn something new everyday and to bring new creative ideas to each child's session.

Lily enjoys almost anything outside: biking, hiking, boating, running. She loves watching live music and spending time with her friends and family.


Christine Van Jaeckel - MA, CCC-SLP

Christine received her master’s degree in 2009 from Montclair State University and her bachelor’s degree from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2006. She moved to the Twin Cities in 2018, after working in Philadelphia for the majority of her career. Christine loves working with children using naturalistic play-based therapy. She places strong emphasis on teaching functional communication skills that will have immediate and meaningful impact on the lives of the children she works with. Christine specializes in feeding treatment including motor, sensory and infant feeding therapy. Christine is trained in PROMPT, SOS approach to feeding and PECS.


Chou Xiong - Administrative Assistant 

Chou joined our team April 2018 and comes to us with over 10 years of office experience. Chou performs general office duties and contributes creativity, organization and a delightful energy. She is the smiling face you are greeted with when you come through our front door and the happy voice on the other end of your phone call to CSLL.

Chou lives in Woodbury, MN with daughter and husband. In her spare time, Chou enjoys reading, paper crafting, cooking and learning new recipes, and spending time with family and friends.

                                                         

                                                               

                                            

Testimonial

"Thanks for all the work with Maddison. Her progress since coming to your clinic is impressive. Under your guidance she has made great strides and Bruce and I really appreciate you and your staff."

Janice


Locations


   

Oakdale Clinic

 

fax: 651-739-2302
phone: 651-739-2300

 



fax:
651-739-2302
phone: 651-739-2300 

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