Meet our therapists!

The CI team works in a collaborative manner. Each of our amazing staff members has specific areas of training and expertise. We encourage you to visit us for a free consultation so that we can pair you with the therapist that best meets your needs!


Abbey Eckhoff, BS, Support Services

Abbey wanted to be a veterinarian when she was a kid, her favorite thing about being a kid was innocence and playing nonstop and her secret talent is that she is super flexible.


Abbey has always taken interest in working with children and takes pride in working at Communication Innovations. Abbey completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently attending graduate school for Occupational Therapy. Throughout undergraduate coursework Abbey has had experience working with many children on the autism spectrum and with down syndrome working in homes as well as providing respite care to families and doing volunteer work. At Communication Innovations, Abbey continues to develop professionally and coordinates with insurance companies advocating for therapy services for families. She provides educational and daily living therapy, interactive metronome, handwriting, and yoga support. Abbey enjoys the sense of team collaboration and meeting all the families within the work environment. Outside of work Abbey enjoys hanging out with family and friends, yoga, running, skiing, and making crafts. Maybe someday she will go to India to get her Yoga Certification. Overall, she feels extremely grateful to be a part of a team where families can feel welcome and achieve milestones!

abbey@communicationinnovations.com

Abby Roth, MS, OTR/L, Middleton Clinic Manager, Occupational Therapist

Abby lived in Italy for a semester, she is ambidextrous and her perfect morning always includes breakfast at Bluephies in Madison.


Abby earned a bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Studies and Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from UW-Madison. She is trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding and is honored to guide families through the process of teaching their children to enjoy food. She is passionate about sensory integration and educating families on how to best support children’s sensory needs. During her therapy sessions, she can often be seen crawling, climbing, swinging, and jumping through an obstacle course with her friends. Her best sessions are ones that follow the lead of the child with Abby’s support to infuse a therapeutic twist to them. Abby absolutely LOVES being a part of the CI team and enjoys working closely with children and their families to create a family-centered therapy experience. In her free time, Abby enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the dog park with her enthusiastic dog Wren, being outside, and trying new restaurants.

abby@communicationinnovations.com

Alison S. MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Alison’s favorite holiday is Halloween. She is embarrassed to admit her love for quirky ‘jingles’ in commercials. She says "y’all" due to her childhood upbringing.


Alison completed her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy at UW Madison.  She has practiced as a pediatric occupational therapist in various settings including school-based and clinic environments. Alison enjoys working with children of all abilities and has worked with children with a variety of disorders. She has completed the Handwriting Specialist certification with Handwriting Without Tears ®. She has experience and training with sensory processing and sensory motor treatment. Alison has years of experience and knowledge working with children with autism including ABA therapy, programming and staff education. Alison encourages and guides families to help identify the specific skills or interests to be incorporated into therapy so that it is meaningful to the family unit and/or the individual. When not caring for her 3 young children, Alison enjoys the outdoors, reading, and loves animals.

alison@communicationinnovations.com

Amanda Houdek, MS, CCC-SLP, Director

Amanda loves thunderstorms, cupcakes and as a child, was convinced that she was going to be in the rodeo.


Amanda is the director of Communication Innovations, Inc. Amanda has extensive experience with early-childhood, public school, and private speech therapy service models. Amanda's goal is to provide all of the therapy services a family could need under one roof! She oversees and is certified in a variety of specialty therapies including Auditory Integration Training, Interactive Metronome, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Autism based language development, and Social Groups. Amanda is a Certified Autism Specialist. Amanda is proud and excited to be part of this amazing team!!!

amanda@communicationinnovations.com

Anna Vierck, MS, CCC-SLP, Director of Speech Therapy

Anna's favorite food is spaghetti, her ultimate stress reliever is playing the piano, and her best loved childhood toys are strawberry shortcake and lemon meringue dolls.


Anna received her Masters of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Anna’s 10+ years of experience has made her into a well-rounded clinician with a variety experiences. Her passion is with utilizing all modes of communication including augmentative and alternative communication. She has a background with treating autism, apraxia, auditory processing, pediatric feeding, language development and parent education to name a few. Anna’s continuing education has consisted of: learning the PROMPT technique for apraxia, receiving the Hanen certificate in the program “It Takes Two to Talk”, attending the “More than Picky: Food Chaining” course, and completing the Beckman Oral Motor Approach Program. She also has received additional graduate credits in supervising graduate level students and she enjoys coordinating with area universities and colleges to provide extraordinary internships. Anna loves the energy and enthusiasm from the families and the community at CI! 

anna@communicationinnovations.com

Ashley Verbick, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

Ashley is ambidextrous, she could eat bagels everyday, and when she was a child she wanted to be a figure skater when she grew up. 


Ashley is a graduate from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison College.  Prior to beginning life as a COTA/L, Ashley earned her Bachelor's Degree in Educational Studies from Carroll University, taught early childhood for four years, and worked as a behavioral therapist for children diagnosed with autism. Ashley has experience working with children who have cerebral palsy, sensory processing disorder, autism, down syndrome, fragile X, ADHD, bipolar disorder, childhood depression and anxiety disorders, along with a variety of other medical diagnosis.  Ashley has always enjoyed working with children and proudly began her path with the Communication Innovations team during her last internship through school.   During her free time, Ashley enjoys running, cooking, and reading.  

ashley@communicationinnovations.com

Becky Lotto, MSW, ECPC, Director of Support Services, Clinic Administration

Becky would eat pancakes every day, she plays roller derby and she absolutely loves being outside in all seasons! 


Becky has a Master of Science degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she specialized in school social work and completed a certificate program in Educational Policy Studies.  In January of 2015, she completed a certification in life coaching through Erickson Coaching International.  She has over 10 years of experience working with children and families with special needs and her formal training encompasses Verbal Behavior, Applied Behavior Analysis, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.  Becky is passionate about enhancing client and family well-being and supporting the family through life changes.  Through coaching, she aims to better support clients and families to achieve a greater quality of life and to reach their fullest potential. Becky also specializes in transition to adulthood services, educational support, self-esteem development, family support and educational advocacy. Becky loves being a part of this creative and comprehensive team!  In her free time, she enjoys running, painting, yoga and reading. 

becky@communicationinnovations.com

Beth Larson, PhD, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Beth loves chocolate, has enjoyed doing all kinds of crafts since she was a young child, and once rode her bike from San Francisco to San Diego.


Beth Larson is a pediatric occupational therapist with 20 year clinical experience and 10 years in academics. She has a bachelors in OT and masters in motor learning from UW-Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in Occupational Science from the University of Southern California. She has worked in school systems and in private practice in Wisconsin and California with children with autism, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, severe multiple disabilities,and developmental delays. She has served as a consultant to the Frostig school, a specialized center for children with learning disabilities, and to the M.O.V.E. program (a top-down program to develop sitting, standing and walking for children who are not yet walking at three years of age). She has expertise in the development of fine-motor skills and handwriting; assistive technology for school-based applications and mobility; and collaborative practice with families. Her research was inspired by her work with families in practice; she continues to study the needs and experiences of caregiving families. Recent publications have examined dimension of caregivers' well-being, vigilance in mothers caring for children with autism, and parents attitudes toward caregiving that support well-being.

Beth Laurent, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

When Beth was little she wanted to be a professional figure skater, She has a dream to own a raspberry farm one day, and her favorite activity is camping!


Beth earned a bachelors degree in Psychology and Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from UW-Madison. Working in pediatrics has always been a passion for Beth and she has had the opportunity to work with children with autism spectrum disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sensory processing disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, and behavioral disorders. Outside of work, Beth enjoys spending time with family and friends, the outdoors, running, yoga, knitting, and gardening.  Beth is excited to be a part of the CI team and to continue collaborating with children and families!

bethl@communicationinnovations.com

Bill Guetschow, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

As a child, Bill wanted to be an astronaught, he played the man-eating plant, Audrey II in a college theatre prodcution of "Little Shop of Horrors," and, as a true Wisconsinite, his favorite meal is a fish fry! 


Bill is a graduate of the Madison College Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Before becoming an OTA, Bill made careers in several different fields, including television news and, more recently, information services. However, his most rewarding pre-OT career occurred when Bill was a stay-at-home dad when his children were small. Bill first considered a career in occupational therapy when his son received OT services when he was in elementary school. After exploring it further, Bill knew that OT was the career for him. Bill has always enjoyed working with children but this was further solidified after a school project providing activities programming for kids at Gio’s Garden and an internship in the Madison School District. Bill has had the opportunity to work with children with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. In his free time, Bill enjoys bicycling, cooking, making music with his friends in a local band, and most of all, spending time with his wife and two teenage children. Bill is proud and thrilled to be part of the CI team.

bill@communicationinnovations.com

Breana Mudrock, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Breana was captain of the UW-Madison cheerleading team, she has a wire-foxed terrier named Daisy, and her favorite recipe is her mom’s enchiladas.


Breana received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Communicative Disorders, and her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Speech Language Pathology. She is trained and certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding and is excited to empower children and their families with techniques to enjoy their mealtime experiences! Breana has experience working with children of all ages with a variety of communication needs. She is passionate about the birth-to-three population, early childhood intervention, pediatric feeding, and social language development. In her free time, Breana enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, crafting, reading, and exploring all that Madison has to offer. Breana loves the collaborative and creative atmosphere at CI, and is absolutely thrilled to be a member of the Communication Innovations team!

breana@communicationinnovations.com

Courtney Cullen, BS, Clinic Administration

Courtney grew up in a town with one stoplight, was featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show when the show hosted a contest in Madison and while in high school, she performed with her show choir at Epcot in Disney World!


Courtney received her B.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout her undergraduate career, Courtney enjoyed gaining experience working with individuals with a wide variety of abilities through work and volunteer opportunities, including working as a personal care worker for a young woman with muscular dystrophy and volunteering as an inclusion facilitator with United Cerebral Palsy. She also loved volunteering with the Meriter Hospital Pediatric Therapy Department, where she assisted the therapists with their Developmental Assessment Clinics, for babies and toddlers who had spent time in the NICU. During her semester studying abroad in Galway, Ireland, Courtney volunteered with a non-profit organization that assists families in finding the best possible services and resources for their child with autism. She enjoyed getting to know the children and families and learning about disability services throughout Ireland! When Courtney is not working, she enjoys crafting and scrapbooking, cheering on the Badgers and singing in her church choir. Courtney loves working with such a positive and collaborative team at CI!

courtney@communicationinnovations.com

Jennifer Aney, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Jennifer is a southern girl at heart, she loves to read and she is crazy about dogs. 


Jennifer spent her youth soaking up the sun and sand in Virginia Beach, VA and she returns to the beach as often as she can and loves making new beach memories with her children.  She obtained her Bachelor's degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.  Upon graduation, she met a Navy man who wanted to return home to Wisconsin after serving 8 years in the Navy.  She moved to Stevens Point, WI and I obtained her Master's degree from UW-Stevens Point in 1999.
She has been a school based speech language pathologist for the past 15 years, first in Mineral Point and currently for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District.  AT MCPASD, she works with Early Childhood, 4K, and elementary age children.  She also leads a social language group and phonology class for 3 and 4 year olds.  She loves to work with children of all ages and feels very fortunate being a part of the CI Team.  She enjoys the variety that CI offers and is so excited to be working with a great team of VERY talented people and wonderful, supportive families!

Jennifer Rae, MT-BC, Music Therapist

Jen's favorite pastime is hanging out with her three daughters dancing, singing or playing sports, she loves to be silly and she could eat ice cream everyday!


Jennifer is registered with the state of Wisconsin in music therapy. Since graduating from Alverno College, Milwaukee WI, she has served adults and children with physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and neurological disabilities. Jennifer began her private music therapy practice in order to serve people around the Madison area and raise her family. This has led to her working at several places including Sun Prairie Area School District, Madison Area Rehabilitation Center, Prairie Music Academy, VSA of Wisconsin, The American Family Children’s Hospital, and in private practice. She is excited to bring her experience in early childhood education and music therapy to Communication Innovations. As Public Relations Chair for the Wisconsin Chapter for Music Therapy, Jennifer promoted the profession of music therapy and became an advocate for her clients. Her work in music therapy was highlighted most recently as she appeared on “Live at Five” channel 3000, Madison WI.

Jenny Gilles-Bauer, BS, Clinic Administration

Jenny's childhood dream was to own a flower shop, she caters for social events and parties and her favorite food is red gummy bears.


Jenny holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Studies from Edgewood College. She brings many years of experience as a reading and and academic support specialist for students of all ages. In addition to working directly with clients to support their learning, Jenny also enjoys helping coordinate the best possible individual programming through CI and supporting the whole family. Jenny enjoys party planning in all forms and spending time anywhere with her two rambunctious kids! 

jen@communicationinnovations.com

Jenny Kuckuk, MSW, Support Services

Jenny loves dogs (especially huskies), chocolate, and hiking and exploring outdoors.


Jenny has a Master of Science degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology specializing in mental health. She completed a certificate in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health through UW Madison and is in the process of becoming nationally endorsed. She has experience working with children and families with developmental disabilities, a variety of mental health concerns, and providing psychotherapy. Jenny is passionate about promoting mental health and well-being while working with children and families. Outside of work Jenny enjoys running and exploring National Parks.

jennyk@communicationinnovations.com

Jill Quinn, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Jill studied abroad for 6 months in England and would love to go back, she never saw snow until she was 10 because she grew up in Texas, and the most random place she has ever traveled to is Kusadasi, Turkey.


Jill completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and her graduate degree  at Washington University in St. Louis.  She has worked in pediatric clinic and early intervention settings.  She has experience working with children with autism spectrum disorder, down's syndrome, stroke, sensory processing disorder, seizure disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Something she enjoys about pediatrics is helping children and their families work on goals that are meaningful and make a difference in their everyday lives. Outside of work Jill enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, yoga, and reading.  Jill is excited to learn and grow as a part of the CI team!

jillp@communicationinnovations.com

Joan Abendroth, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

Joan's favorite snack is goldfish crackers, she can sing the ABC's backwards and her most loved childhood toys are the etch-a-sketch and crocodile dentist.


Joan received her Associate Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1990. She started her career as a COTA in the Madison Schools where she has worked for 20+ years. Her passion for working with children with disabilities is evident as she has worked with a variety of children with various disabilities including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, mental health illness, autism, traumatic brain injury, and developmental delays. Joan has experience and training in assistive technology, sensory processing, self-care needs and specific fine motor delays. She is also a certified provider of the Interactive Metronome. In her free time Joan loves spending time with her husband and two sons, hiking, doing yoga and reading a good book!

joan@communicationinnovations.com

Joshua Brown, OTD, OTR/L, Director of Occupational Therapy

When Joshua was little he had a pet chicken named Candy that rode around on the handlebars of his bike.  He once played the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical and his favorite food is hummus and he could eat it for every meal.  


Joshua graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences in 2003 and a master’s degree in occupational therapy in 2005. After practicing as an OT for several years, he went back to USC in pursuit of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree, which he completed in 2013.  Joshua’s doctoral work focused on utilizing drama as a therapeutic tool to address social skills challenges in children with mental health diagnoses.  Joshua is also a graduate of the California Interdisciplinary Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders fellowship, which is located at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Joshua has presented his work utilizing drama in his practice at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s national conference, and his work addressing complex feeding challenges at the Occupational Therapy Association of California’s annual conference.  Additional teaching experiences include guest lecturing to master’s and bachelor’s students, as well as co-teaching a course on fine motor development and handwriting to occupational therapy practitioners in Mumbai, India. Clinically, Joshua is passionate about working with children of all ages to reach their highest potential, and he uses a variety of treatment models to address the individual needs of each client and family. In his spare time, Joshua directs youth theater and acts in shows from time to time.  He loves to travel and has been to such places as Nepal, Thailand, Scotland and Costa Rica.  

josh@communicationinnovations.com

Katie Taylor, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Katie went skydiving on my 18th birthday, before moving to Madison for school, she had only spent a few hours in the cit and her favorite candy is Reese's Fast Break.


Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  During her time at the University of Wisconsin, she was fortunate to work as a research assistant at the Waisman Center and teaching assistant for a pediatrics course in the UW Occupational Therapy program.  She has had a long-standing passion for pediatrics and has experience with children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, stroke, fetal substance exposure, and developmental disabilities.  She enjoys collaborating with families to promote independence and facilitate growth in each child she works with.  Some of her favorite things to do with kids at CI are developing self-regulation and self-care skills through play.  She enjoys being a part of such a fun-loving and collaborative team at CI!  Outside of work, Katie enjoys warm weather, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

katiet@communicationinnovations.com

Katie Zumwalde, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Katie loves fresh spring rolls, enjoying sunsets, and going for long walks. Katie is a huge Green Bay Packers fan and also loves supporting her alma mater, the Badgers.  


Katie graduated from UW-Madison in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology and received a Masters of Occupational Therapy in 2008. She has worked at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare for almost 4.5 years primarily working with children ages 2-months-old to 21-years of age treating individuals with a wide variety of diagnosis, including: cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, Autism, hypotonia, hemiplegia, Spinal Bifida, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Muscular Dystrophy, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Arthrogryposis, Epilepsy, Down Syndrome, Brachial Plexus, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and other genetic and metabolic conditions. Katie has also worked in a sensory specific clinic where the primary focus of therapy was integrating a child’s sensory experiences into functional tasks. She has experience in splinting, aquatics, feeding, Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach, alternative and augmentative communication, wheelchair and positioning assessments, sensory integration, handwriting, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, and constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). Katie moved to the Madison area in August of 2013 and has loved raising her family here thus far. In her free time, Katie loves spending time with her amazing family, her beautiful children, and supportive friends. Katie is passionate about her role as an occupational therapist and making positive and lasting changes in other’s lives. 

katiez@communicationinnovations.com

Kelly Lonergan, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, Speech and Language Pathologist

Kelly wanted to be an astronaut and went to Space Camp in Florida when she was 8 years old.  She enjoys riding her bike in the summer and eating ice cream of almost any flavor.


Kelly grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and moved to Wisconsin where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders at UW- Eau Claire and her Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology at Marquette University.  Kelly brings with her over 7 years of experience working with children and adults in clinics, hospitals, and in the Wisconsin Birth to Three program.  She has a lot of experience treating patients with neurological, feeding, and swallowing difficulties, including, but not limited to craniosynostosis, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, SMA, cleft lip and palate, and seizure disorders.  Kelly is passionate about helping and empowering her patients and their families to reach their goals.  Kelly is certified in the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding, Beckman Oral Motor Approach, SOFFI (Supporting Oral Feedings in Fragile Infants), and is trained in rib cage mobility techniques.  In 2014, Kelly completed her certification in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT).    

Kelly moved to Madison in October 2013 and enjoys exploring the city.  She also enjoys traveling with her husband, shopping, and getting together with friends.

kellyl@communicationinnovations.com

Kim Zaspel, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy

 Kim loves traveling and has been to 6 countries in 6 years. Her favorite seasons are fall and summer and her favorite food is pizza rolls. She is a huge Packer fan and loves going to Brewer games in the summer!


Kim is a graduate from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison College. Prior to studying OT, she completed 2 years of coursework in Special Education- Early Childhood at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. Prior to college, Kim completed 350 hours of volunteer work in an adaptive physical education class, where she developed her passion for working with kids with unique challenges. She is certified in the Intensive Model of Therapy and the TheraSuit Method ® and is also trained in the Handwriting Without Tears ® method. Kim loves working at a place where a team approach is emphasized and fun and play are requirements. When not at work, Kim loves to go to dog parks with her husband and two Weimaraners, Mia and Willy.

kim@communicationinnovations.com

Kris Wright, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

The weirdest place Kris has ever visited was the glow worm caves in Waitomo, NZ, her secret talent is singing karaoke and she has cycled around the world on a tandem bike! 


Kris received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.  After graduation, she traveled through 29 countries on 5 different continents with her husband on a tandem bicycle.  It was on this trip that she discovered speech-language pathology, and she pursued her goal of being a therapist at UW-Madison where she earned her Master’s Degree.  During graduate school she gained experience working with children and adults in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Head Start, and public schools.  While Kris enjoys all aspects of speech pathology, she is especially excited about working with children who use alternative and augmentative communication devices (AAC).  When she is not providing therapy, Kris enjoys biking, doing yoga, cooking, and making her own jewelry.

kris@communicationinnovations.com

Kristin Hurley, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Kristin learned how to Surf and Hula dance in Hawaii, her favorite musician is Jack Johnson but she also enjoys country music, and most of all she loves dancing!


Kristin received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  She is the Wisconsin State Representative for the Pediatric Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and has completed several different courses specific to pediatric physical therapy.  Kristin has experience working with children with Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delays, Hypotonia, Spina Bifida, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Spinal Cord Injury, Epilepsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hydrocephalus, and Down Syndrome, among others. Prior to working at Communication Innovations, she gained pediatric experience in a variety of different settings, including schools, Birth to Three home health, and community locations. Kristin believes that by using therapy to benefit individuals at such a young age she can truly help to make a positive difference that may last a lifetime. Outside of Communication Innovations, Kristin enjoys warm summer weather and accompanying outdoor activities.

kristinh@communicationinnovations.com

Kristin Ward, MA, CCC- SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Kristin loves watching college basketball and football and is a HUGE Michigan State fan, the weirdest place she has ever traveled to is Turkey and she moved to Madison from Louisiana.


Kristin earned her Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and a Master's degree from Indiana University-Bloomington in Speech Language Pathology. After working in a pediatric outpatient facility in Louisiana, Kristin recently moved to Madison and is excited to join the CI team. Some of her favorite clinical experiences include working with preschoolers in an Early Child Special Education program and participating in a multi-disciplinary screening and and intervention team for any child, birth-3 that was born in the NICU to promote early intervention and educate parents. Kristin has worked with children with a variety of syndromes and speech/language disorders. In her free time, Kristin enjoys reading, watching funny movies and being outside.

kristin@communicationinnovations.com

Laura Nagel, MS, OTR/L, Clinic Administration, Occupational Therapist

Laura absolutely loves cheese, she knows how to play the clarinet and sing, and she likes to do scrapbooking on the weekend.


Laura completed her collegiate career at UW-Madison, with degrees in Rehabilitation Psychology and Occupational Therapy. Throughout her collegiate career, Laura conducted research on children's executive functioning and worked extensively with children on the autism spectrum for over 5 years while providing in-home Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. Laura is now a Certified Autism Specialist, though she has also worked pediatric and adult populations across a variety of diagnoses, including burns, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, traumatic burn injury, spina bifida, and other medically fragile populations. Additionally, Laura has experience with Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), Intensive Method with TheraSuit, Alert! Program (Engines), and adolescent transition groups. Laura also enjoys pursing leadership opportunities at the community and state levels. In her free time, Laura enjoys hiking, coloring with crayons, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

laura@communicationinnovations.com

Liz Hedrich, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Liz is a Packers shareholder, has been to Hawaii five times, and spent a semester in college studying tropical biology in Costa Rica.


Liz received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UW-Madison. Before becoming a speech therapist she spent three years providing in-home therapy to children with autism. During graduate school she gained experience working with children in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, the Waisman Center, Head Start, and public schools. She was also part of the LEND program at the Waisman Center where she received specialized training in interdisciplinary care for children with developmental disabilities. While she enjoys working with children of all ages, she especially loves providing early intervention services. In her spare time, Liz loves cooking, watching Packer and Badger football, and playing outside with her dog.

liz@communicationinnovations.com

Luke Lang, BS, Support Services

Luke used to work with monkeys, he won a hula hooping contest when he was a kid and he likes to do things around his house with his eyes closed. 


Luke has has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and is currently enrolled in the Physical Therapy Assistant program at Madison College.  Luke has a wide variety of experience within the field of therapy.  He has worked within the Madison School Distrist, where he focused on adaptive physical education,and has done in-home therapy, where he created individualized strength and conditioning programs.  He also has experience with geriatrics and manual therapy, but his true passion is pediatrics.  Luke is fascinated with the human brain and the powerful effects it has personal function.  He enjoys reading about the brain during his down time and gets very excited when he learns a new "brain game."  Luke is also an avid sports fan, which includes watching and playing almost every sport that exists. He especially loves basketball, football, baseball and golf.  Luke has been a part of the CI team for the past four years and is thrilled to continue to be a part of the team. 

luke@communicationinnovations.com

McKenzie Hoffman, MA, CCC-SLP, Director of Feeding Therapy, Achieve Program Coordinator

McKenzie adores the beach and spent one summer living the island life in Okinawa, Japan. She loves boating and can slalom ski and she used to be an extra on the TV show One Tree Hill.


McKenzie received her both her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Northern Iowa. She grew up in Freeport, IL and moved to Madison from Des Moines, Iowa. In Des Moines, she gained experience working with feeding and swallowing in the NICU at Mercy hospital and experience working with a variety of children at a pediatric outpatient clinic. McKenzie has a great deal of experience working with individuals with autism, Down Syndrome, language disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, neurological disorders and feeding and swallowing. She is trained and certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding, Pediatric Dysphagia and the treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech. When she is not at work, McKenzie loves spending time with friends and family, running and being outdoors. McKenzie loves being a part of the CI Team!

mckenzie@communicationinnovations.com

Meg Leonard, MS, CCC-SLP, Clinic Administration, Speech and Language Pathologist

Meg can ride a unicycle, was homeschooled throughout elementary school and loves urban hiking.


Meg attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she earned both her Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders and Master of Science degree in Speech and Language Pathology. Meg has worked in the public education system with students of a variety of ages and joined the CI Team in 2010. She has always had a special interest in language and enjoys supporting others as they grow in their ability to communicate in all contexts. Although Meg has gained professional experience working with a diverse group of children and families, a wealth of personal experience comes from growing up in a household with five siblings. Meg loves sharing delicious meals with her family and exploring Madison in all seasons!

 

meg@communicationinnovations.com

Megan (Janssen) Wisniewski, MS, OTR/L, Sun Prairie Clinic Manager, Occupational Therapist

Megan's favorite part of childhood was having picnics in her backyard, she wanted to be a princess when she was a kid and her secret talent is that she can touch her tongue to her nose!


Megan earned her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, and then moved back to Madison to complete her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has experience working with individuals with a wide variety of diagnoses including cerebral palsy, autism, TBI, burns, SCI, stroke and developmental disabilities and she has attended continuing education in the Analysis of Movement from an NDT Perspective. Megan loves being a part of the CI team! Her favorite thing to work on with kids is self-care skills through play contexts. She also love to problem solve adaptive strategies and fabricate devices to help kids increase their level of independence. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with her family, running, playing with her dog (Bear), traveling and spending time outdoors. 

meganw@communicationinnovations.com

Megan Dieringer, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Megan studied abroad in Buenos Aires, loves cribbage and her favorite candy is Junior Mints.


Megan earned her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from UW-Madison in 2014. Prior to OT school, Megan lived in Chapel Hill, NC and gained therapeutic experience through positions at a wilderness therapy organization for young adults in substance abuse recovery, in a group home supporting individuals with special needs in their daily routines, and volunteering at a pediatric therapy clinic. Through volunteer work and professional experience, Megan has worked with individuals with a variety of special needs including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, down syndrome, traumatic burns, cerebral palsy, anxiety and behavioral disorders. Megan has completed continuing education in Yoga and Pilates in Pediatric Practice, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness Meditation, and has also volunteered with a local adaptive climbing group. In her free time, Megan enjoys playing outside with her husband and her black lab Jasper, running, yoga, cooking, crafting, and live music. Megan is thrilled to be part of the CI team and excited to collaborate with children and their families!

megand@communicationinnovations.com

Megan Gross, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Megan ran the 2014 Chicago Marathon on the Autism Speaks team, spent a year teaching English in Siberia, and bears are her favorite animal.


Megan received her Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences and Russian from Wellesley College. After graduation, she spent a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Tomsk, Russia. Upon returning to the U.S., she decided to apply her love of languages and teaching to a career in speech-language pathology. She earned her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently working on her PhD with a focus on bilingual language development and assessment. She speaks Spanish and Russian and has worked with many Spanish-speaking children in public schools. Through her graduate training, Megan has gained experience in a variety of settings, including public schools, a preschool Phonology Classroom, and the Autism and Developmental Disabilities clinic at the Waisman Center. She particularly enjoys conducting evaluations, working on developing children’s speech sounds and language skills, and learning about different systems of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Megan loves the family-centered and collaborative inter-disciplinary environment at Communication Innovations and is thrilled to join the CI team!   

Megan Schiele, MS, OTR/L, Aquatics Program Coordinator, Occupational Therapist

Megan has moved 6 times in the past 2 years, she wanted to be a ballerina when she was a kid and she could not live without tea.


Megan has a Bachelors of Science Degree and a Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary College.  She received her NBCOT in June of 2011. She has had the pleasure of working in the area of birth to three in Lake County, IL where she found joy in being able to help families and children at a young age.  She is trained in Brain Gym, Kinesiotaping, Tools for Tots, Using Infant Massage as Therapeutic Tool, Analysis of Movement from an NDT Perspective, Sensory Defensiveness: A Comprehensive Treatment Approach (Therapressure and Oral Tactile Techniques), Aquatic Therapy, Promoting Motor Skills Postural Control and Motor Planning in the Classroom (Drive Thru Menu) and Therapeutic Listening.  Through both clinical and work experience Megan has had the pleasure to work with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, DiGeorge Syndrome, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Perinatal and Neonatal strokes and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Megan has enjoyed using her talents in the areas of sensory processing, fabrication of splints, assistive technology, and aquatic therapy. In her time outside of work Megan loves to be outside and practice yoga. She is very excited to be part of the collaborative and always welcoming environment at CI!

megan@communicationinnovations.com

Melissa Schlimgen, COTA/L, Clinic Administration, Human Resources

Melissa used to sing in a rock and roll band, she does flower arrangements for weddings and her favorite candy is sour patch kids.


Melissa graduated from Madison Area Technical College in 2007. She began working at Communication Innovations shortly after becoming a licensed COTA. Melissa has a passion for working with children in the private pediatric model where she has the ability to work one to one directly with the child and the family. Melissa has experience with the Therasuit Method and utilizing the Intensive Model of Therapy. Melissa is also well versed in the Hand Writing Without Tears program as well as creating a variety of sensory diet options to fit any child's needs. She is trained in Interactive Metronome, The Alert Program, and the SOS Approach to Pediatric Feeding. Melissa is a Certified Autism Specialist Associate. Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and crazy dog. She is delighted to continue to learn and grow through her work at CI.

melissa@communicationinnovations.com

Mike Sansom, BS, Support Services

Mike was born is Australia, he likes to DJ and he wanted to be a soccer player when he was a kid. 


Mike earned his B.S. in Movement Science from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. He was born in Australia where he lived until 2001, when he moved to Royal Oak, Michigan. Mike has had a variety of experiences working with children including coaching soccer, tutoring, being a summer camp counselor, teaching kids how to sail and most recently teaching at a child care facility. Mike is trained in multiple different early childhood programs including the Pyramid Model.

 

Outside of work, Mike enjoys reading, playing video games, watching Netflix, exercising, and taking care of his 5 fish tank aquariums!

mike@communicationinnovations.com

Molly Palzkill, BS, Support Services

Molly wanted to be an architect when she was a kid, she loves kayaking and yoga and she is a photographer in her spare time. 


Molly received her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin Madison.  In her undergraduate career, Molly gained a great deal of experience working at the Waisman Center assisting with research on how having a child with autism affects a marital relationship. Molly also worked as an inclusion staff member for Madison School and Community Recreation where she worked directly with children with a wide variety of disabilities. Molly is particularly interested in how adolescents with autism spectrum disorder transition into adulthood. She plans to continue on in her educational path and receive a Masters Degree in Special Education.  When Molly is not loving her work at CI, she spends time working on her photography business taking engagement and family portraits, going kayaking, watching Netflix documentaries, and discovering new places to eat fish fry. 

molly@communicationinnovations.com

Patricia Smith, OTR/L IBCLC, Occupational Therapist

Patty loves to play Banana Grams, she has been to 12 countries and 40 states, and she could not live without her homemade pizza!


Patty is a Chicago native and received her BS in Public Health from Northern Illinois University and her OTR from University of Illinois. She has worked in a variety of settings from schools, NICU, Birth to three, hospitals, the Madison Birth Center and in Integrative medicine.

She is an internationally board certified lactation consultant as well as an infant massage instructor. She has a special interest in feeding issues and has specific training in Cranial Sacral therapy, visceral manipulation and lymphatic techniques, Neurodevelopmental treatment, Sensory Integration, Advanced kinesiotaping, the ALERT program, and the Engine Program. She loves working with children of a variety of ages and enjoys thinking outside the box for treatment solutions and finding practical ways to help families and kids feel successful.

When she is not working at her private practice or CI , she enjoys doing anything outside no matter what the temperature, biking, skiing, playing music, cooking and yoga and travel, travel, travel! She spends a lot of time with her husband, two kids and sweet puppy.

patty@communicationinnovations.com

Rachel Roman, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Rachel has been a camp counselor in rural France, she could eat breakfast food for every meal, and loves watercolor painting. 


Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in French and Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University.  Before discovering Speech-Language Pathology she worked as an English Teacher in France and a paralegal in New York City.  Drawn to Madison by its friendly reputation and delicious cheeses, she earned her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from UW-Madison.  Rachel has previous clinical experience working with children in the public schools, Head Start, outpatient clinics, as well as a preschool Phonology classroom.  She loves working with children of all ages and is especially passionate about finding fun and functional activities to encourage communication!  In her free time Rachel likes visiting with friends, traveling to see family, and exploring new hobbies such as bowling, karate, and ultimate frisbee.  She is thrilled to be a part of CI's amazing team!  

rachelr@communicationinnovations.com

Rachelle Eugster, MA, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Rachelle considers herself a “foodie” and a lover of anything with coffee! Her perfect Saturday morning starts with a trip to the Madison Farmer’s Market.


Rachelle received her B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Marquette University and received her M.A. in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University. She has experience in both the medical and private practice setting, including Pediatria Healthcare and Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Clinic. Rachelle has always loved being involved in the community and has worked closely with Autism Speaks to promote autism awareness and the advancement of autism research. She has a great deal of experience working with individuals with autism, language disorders, pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, and neurological disorders. She is trained and certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding with advanced training in feeding therapy with the autism population, as well as the SOS Food Science model. Rachelle is passionate about using a family-centered therapy approach to provide support, education, and carry-over to the home environment so that children of all abilities can reach their fullest potential! In her free time, Rachelle loves to cook, try new restaurants in the area, watch movies, and spend time outdoors. Rachelle is honored to be a part of CI’s collaborative team! 

 

Rachelle@communicationinnovations.com

Sadie Bassette, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Sadie has been to the home of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, she volunteered for a Scottish SLP at a boarding school for kids with special needs in Scotland and her secret talent is that she can make ANYTHING fit in a suitcase!


Sadie received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. Sadie has long had a passion for supporting academic and social development in the pediatric population. She has experience working with children and adults with a variety of communication disorders, and is especially interested in early childhood, school age language, phonological disorders and childhood apraxia of speech. Sadie enjoys working closely with parents and other professionals to help every child reach their greatest potential. Sadie enjoys the energy and creativity found at CI! Outside of work, Sadie enjoys being active outside, no matter what the season, reading, and traveling.  Sadie is originally from Rhinelander, Wisconsin and enjoys weekend trips back to Northern Wisconsin to spend time with her family!

sadie@communicationinnovations.com

Samantha Boll, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Sam was a New Years baby, has run 2 half marathons, and has a big sweet tooth!


Sam graduated from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) and a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  She gained pediatric experience in PT school helping run an after school program to increase physical activity in kids with disabilities, researching the effects of martial arts on children with autism spectrum disorder, and acting as a personal care assistant for a young boy with cerebral palsy.  After completing a pediatric clinical in Abilene, TX, she knew a career in pediatrics was the right choice for her! Seeing kiddos achieve their own goals to help make daily life easier and more fun became her passion. Sam has experience working in outpatient pediatrics and school based physical therapy. In her free time, Sam loves doing anything outside- including volleyball and softball, as well as hiking and running.  She also enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Sam is so excited to be part of the Communication Innovations team and work in such a fun environment!

samantha@communicationinnovations.com

Shannon Lisowe, MS, CF-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist

Shannon can walk on her hands and loves to travel! She's been to 9 countries including two trips to Kenya to work on engineering and education projects!


Shannon earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and her Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from Radford University in Virginia. Before moving to Virginia, she worked for Communication Development Center, Integrated Development Services, and United Cerebral Palsy in Madison. She has experience working with children with a variety of communication needs, and is particularly passionate about beginner communicators and those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Shannon enjoys working closely with families and loves to help empower children with communication, in whatever form it may take! Outside of work, Shannon enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, watching too much TV, and playing with her two goldendoodles. Shannon is so incredibly excited to be part of the CI team!

shannon@communicationinnovations.com

Tabitha Gehrmann, PT, Physical Therapist

The weirdest place Tabitha has ever traveled to is Fairbanks, Alaska during the month of July (daylight 24/7), she cannot live without her dansko clogs and she cannot help but pick up every frog or toad that she sees.


Tabitha has been practicing physical therapy for the past eighteen years.  After graduating from UW-Madison in 1996, she began her career at United Hospital in St. Paul working with adults in the outpatient clinic, inpatient orthopedics, acute care and sub-acute rehabilitation.  She was a prenatal instructor, teaching exercise, positioning and body mechanics to pregnant women in the community.  From there, she moved to the Boston area and gained experience working with the elderly in skilled nursing facilities, specialized in pulmonology and neurology at Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital, and specialized in spinal cord injuries with teens and adults at New England Rehabilitation Hospital.  In 2001, she moved back home to the Madison area and began working with infants and toddlers through Dane County’s Birth to 3 program.  In Birth to 3, she met inspiring children and their families and developed a passion for helping children who face physical challenges. Tabitha has been delighted to work with children of all ages since 2012 at CI, as well as recently through the Madison Metropolitan School District.  She has experience working with kids with Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delays, Hypotonia, Spina Bifida, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Congenital Heart Defects, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Epilepsy, Autism, Down Syndrome and other genetic conditions.  Tabitha is renewed by spending time in nature (walking, hiking and mountain biking).  She also enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband, son and daughter.  

tabitha@communicationinnovations.com

Taylor DeValk, PT, DPT, Director of Physical Therapy, Advance Program Coordinator

Taylor is a high school and college basketball referee, loves country music, and could eat pizza every night, including Hawaiian pizza!


Taylor received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been trained in the Intensive Model of Therapy and TheraSuit Method. Taylor specializes in working with children with neuromuscular disorders, pediatric orthopedic rehabilitation and working with siblings to enhance the overall therapy experience for each child and their family. Taylor's prior work experiences include: working with the Birth to Three Model, school-based physical therapy and outpatient rehabilitation. Taylor is passionate about pediatric therapy because of his two sisters with neuromuscular disabilities who are his inspiration. In his free time, Taylor enjoys to play golf, referee basketball and football, and read.

taylor@communicationinnovations.com

Tom Miller-Bishoff, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Tom wanted to be a music teacher when he was a kid, loves board games, and has a schnoodle named Tonks.


Tom received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Africana Studies from Luther College and his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  During his time at UW-Madison he completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program at the Waisman Center and published research with Dr. Beth Larson on family routines and caregiver well-being in families with children with disabilities.  These experiences deepened his passion for supporting families in functioning and flourishing within their real-life contexts.  Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, Tom worked with children diagnosed with autism as a senior therapist for a play-based behavioral therapy program.  He also has training in Motivational Interviewing and the Early Start Denver Model.  Tom enjoys playing instruments with fun names like charango and djembe both on and off the job.  Tom is overjoyed to collaborate with the families and staff at CI!

tom@communicationinnovations.com
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