Meet Our

Speech-Language Pathologists

Our team of Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are dedicated to improving communication skills and enhancing quality of life for children with speech and language disorders. Meet our compassionate SLPs who are here to support your child’s journey to success.

Michele C.

Michele C.

Clinical Director, Speech-Language Pathologist (M.S. CCC-SLP/L)

Meet Michele, a dedicated member of the Step Forward Therapy team since June 2017. Michele holds a Bachelor of Science degree earned in 2003 and a Master of Science degree obtained in 2004, both from Marquette University. Following her education, Michele completed her Clinical Fellowship in 2005 and received her Certificate of Clinical Competence.

With a wealth of experience, Michele has previously worked in the Illinois Public Schools and another private clinic before joining Step Forward Therapy. Her areas of specialization include articulation/phonological processing, cleft lip and palate, pragmatic language, and multi-lingual language development.

Michele is passionate about building strong relationships with each child’s team and family. She believes in providing comprehensive support by fostering an understanding of speech and language development. Through collaboration and communication, Michele strives to empower families to facilitate their child’s development and ongoing success.

Mike M.

Mike M.

Speech-Language Pathologist (M.A., CCC-SLP/L)

Meet Mike, a valued member of the Step Forward Therapy team. Mike graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Illinois State University in 2019, where he also pursued a double major in Spanish. He furthered his education by obtaining a Masters of Arts degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington.

During his graduate studies, Mike participated in the Speech Therapy Education, Practicum, and Services (STEPS) program at Indiana University. This specialized training equipped him with the necessary skills for appropriate treatment and diagnostic practices for multilingual children, with a focus on serving Latine families.

Mike’s professional journey includes a Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) in a local school district, where he continued for an additional year. Throughout his tenure, he collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to support children’s expressive and receptive language skills, fluency, and social/pragmatic skills across preschool to eighth-grade levels.

Passionate about serving children of all ages and communication needs, Mike’s particular interests lie in working with children who stutter, speech-sound/articulation disorders, and providing culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment and treatment for multilingual children. He strongly advocates for his clients, believing in holistic care that empowers them to advocate for themselves.

Outside the clinic, Mike enjoys biking, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and embarking on adventures with his fiancée Breanna and their dog Jovi.

Valeria (Val) A.

Valeria (Val) A.

Speech-Language Pathologist (M.S., CF-SLP)

Meet Valeria, a dedicated member of the Step Forward Therapy team. Valeria completed her Bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders with a minor in family and child studies at Northern Illinois University. She furthered her education by earning a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Western Illinois University.

Throughout her clinical placements, Valeria gained invaluable experience working with individuals of all ages in diverse settings, including schools, pediatric outpatient clinics, and hospitals. Her expertise encompasses the treatment of speech, expressive and receptive language, pragmatic/social skills, fluency, and swallowing disorders.

Valeria’s passion lies in working with children, where she strives to help them discover functional means of communication tailored to their unique needs. She approaches therapy with a focus on individualized strategies that foster each child’s progress and success.

Outside of work, Valeria enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, staying active at the gym, and indulging in some retail therapy.

Rachel H.

Rachel H.

Speech-Language Pathologist (CF-SLP)

Meet Rachel, a valued member of the Step Forward Therapy team. Rachel holds a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Concordia University Wisconsin.

Throughout her clinical experiences, Rachel has had the privilege of working with clients spanning various age groups, from preschoolers to geriatric populations. However, her true passion lies in working with children. Rachel finds immense fulfillment in helping children shape their communication skills and fostering positive relationships with others.

Rachel has a particular interest in working with children who stutter. She is dedicated to helping them develop resilience and confidence in their communication abilities, empowering them to navigate the world with ease.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Rachel enjoys immersing herself in a good book, honing her crocheting skills, and cherishing moments spent with friends, family, and her beloved animals.

Charlotte D.

Charlotte D.

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

Charlotte is an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist licensed in Illinois. She received her Master’s degree in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Carleton College. 

Prior to joining Step Forward Therapy, Charlotte worked at a private clinic providing services to children with motor speech disorders, auditory processing disorders, and children on the autism spectrum. She also has experience working with Chicago Public Schools. Charlotte is trained in Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC), PROMPT Level 1, Multisensory Grammar, and Nancibell Visualizing and Verbalizing. She enjoys being a part of a multidisciplinary, collaborative team in order to provide the best possible services. 

Charlotte is an enthusiastic and compassionate therapist who creates individualized treatment plans based on her client’s needs and interests. Her goal is to support families in carrying over speech and language gains from the therapy environment to all speaking situations. When Charlotte is not working, you can find her at the pottery studio, walking her dog, or exploring book stores around Chicago. 

Interested in Joining Our Team?

Client Testimonials

At Step Forward Therapy, we take great pride in the positive impact our team has on the lives of our clients and their families. Here’s what some of our clients have to say about their experience with our staff:

Our daughter has worked with OT’s, PT’s, and SLP’s and the progress she has made during the two years we have been with them is tremendous! From the scheduling and billing staff to the owner to the therapists, they are all friendly, detail-oriented, kind beyond belief, awesome with kids, and phenomenal therapists!!

Emily R.

worked with OTs, PTs, & SLPs

Step Forward Therapy is a wonderful place for pediatric therapy support. The therapists are kind and energetic, and the administrative staff is prompt and helpful. Have to give a shout out to Ms. Claire! She is a super talented OT and my son grew so much thanks to her.

Amy W.

worked with OTs