Amy Price and Amber Ladd are Speech Language Pathologists with over 31 combined years of experience. They are extremely passionate about working with children, specifically those with behaviors that interfere with communication. Amy and Amber are the co-owners of The TALK Team, a pediatric speech therapy clinic located in Fresno, CA. They each received their Masters of Arts in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies, with an emphasis in speech language pathology from California State University, Fresno. In addition, they are both Board Certified Behavior Analysts. They have been employed in the public school system as well as private practice. They have extensive experience working with children on the autism spectrum, with sensory processing disorders, pragmatic language disorders, oral placement, feeding disorders and extensive language needs. In addition to working directly with clients and managing The TALK Team, Amy and Amber also supervise graduate students working with children on the Autism spectrum at California State University, Fresno. Amy and Amber are active members of the California Speech and Hearing Association and Amy is the former CSHA president of District 5. Amy and Amber are impassioned about training speech language pathologists, behavioral therapists and parents to work effectively with children with communication needs. They have presented numerous times at the annual California Speech-Language and Hearing Association conference, as well as at various private clinics and school districts within the state of California.
Aubrie is a Speech Pathologist who has been working in the pediatric private practice setting since graduating from California State University, Fresno in 2010; she is the fourth Speech Pathologist in her family. She holds a Speech Pathology license in the state of California, as well as a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), motor speech, and speech intelligibility have become Aubrie’s areas of specialty. She has received training in PROMPT and TalkTools (Oral Placement Therapy and Therapeutic Feeding), and is recognized by Apraxia Kids for Advanced Training in Childhood Apraxia of Speech. She also has provided therapy to children with Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dyslexia/Reading/Attention difficulties, and Articulation/Phonological Disorders. Aubrie was published in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology alongside California State University, Fresno professor, Dr. Steven Skelton, for their research study “Using Randomized Variable Practice in the Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech” in November 2014. Aubrie presents to other professionals on the topics of CAS and Oral Placement Therapy, and is a volunteer walk coordinator for the Apraxia Kids Walk for Apraxia.
Lessa Strickland is a PROMPT-trained, licensed speech-language pathologist at The TALK Team. She didn’t settle on a career path immediately out of high school. Instead, she kept her eyes open and searched for a field that combined all of her passions and talents. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Lessa has found a path that she loves and allows her to do “great work”. Her desire to help children and their families is revealed in her passion and enthusiasm. Lessa believes that speech and language therapy should be fun and engaging! She makes a point to never stop learning and continues to try and better herself, in order to help her clients. Lessa received her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology with distinction, as well as her B.A. in Communicative Disorders at California State University, Fresno.
Lessa and her husband welcomed a sweet baby boy in January 2018. Becoming a mother has awakened a deep love she never knew before. This is truly a joyous time for the Strickland family. Her favorite moments outside of work are spent with her husband and loving on their new bundle of joy. She also enjoys spending time with friends, watching baseball, going to concerts, doing yoga, and taking trips to the beach.
Karen graduated from California State University, San Marcos in 2008, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Upon graduation she began working with families of children with autism, inspiring her to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist. She then took part in a Post-Baccalaureate Leveling Program at Texas Tech University and later earned her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Longwood University. Karen is a licensed speech-language pathologist with experience working with children of varying communicative abilities and has been trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding. She believes in a multidisciplinary approach, working closely with teachers, parents, and other specialists to provide the best possible care. She also incorporates speech generating devices and picture boards into therapy in order to help nonverbal children express themselves. Karen enjoys working with children of all ages and believes in making therapy fun and motivational.
Jannetta is a Speech Language Pathologist and a Registered Behavior Technician who is devoted to working with children and their families. She was born in Ukraine and moved to Fresno when she was a year old. Jannetta has adequate skills in speaking and reading in Russian. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree at Fresno State University. She currently works at The TALK Team. Jannetta is enthusiastic about her job and desires to never stop learning and growing in the field of communication disorders. Her goal is to encourage, support, teach, and empower families to help their children no matter where they are in their lives. Jannetta believes kiddos learn best when they are having fun! Speech and language therapy should be exciting, engaging, and, motivating because words have power. When Jannetta is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends. Among other things, Jannetta enjoys traveling, running, and Pilates.
Melissa is a Speech Language Pathologist and a Registered Behavior Technician who is dedicated to addressing the communication needs of children. She attended college at Fresno State University, where she completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree, in addition to obtaining her Conversationalist Certificate in American Sign Language. Melissa possesses an eagerness to learn, and has recently attended the ILISA Instituto de Idiomas in Costa Rica to expand her Spanish skills. She also has a passion for literature and enjoys spending her free time reading. Melissa currently works at the TALK Team, where she strives to aid in the development of children’s communication skills and to provide support to their families.
Kendall is a Speech Language Pathologist, Clinical Fellow, with a background in applied behavioral analysis. She graduated from Fresno Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, pre-Physical Therapy. After graduation, she worked in the Los Angeles area for about five years as a behavior interventionist with clients ages 2-21 and their families. While working with this incredible population, Kendall’s passion for supporting the development and growth of communication skills grew, and she completed Chapman University’s post-baccalaureate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She moved back home to Fresno with her husband and earned her Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Fresno State University. Kendall has received additional training in the areas of Executive Function, Sensory Processing Disorders, and TalkTools (Oral Placement Therapy and Therapeutic Feeding). She was a Registered Behavior Technician and has been trained in Crisis Prevention Intervention Techniques. Kendall enjoys working with children of all ages as well as providing intervention for adults and older adult populations.
In her spare time, Kendall enjoys spending time with her husband and their dogs. She loves running, hiking, traveling, and enjoying time with her family and friends.
Amy Lehman is a licensed speech-language pathologist at The TALK Team. She grew up in Fresno, California, and attended California State University, Fresno, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology and a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. During her time in the Master’s program at Fresno State, Amy obtained experience in working on a variety of speech and language goals with children ranging in age from preschoolers to high school students. She has a special interest in helping children to achieve academic language and literacy goals. She also has experience conducting assessment and treatment with children in Spanish. Amy enjoys creating activities for therapy sessions using highly engaging materials creatively and purposefully to make targeting speech and language goals both fun and functional. She is enthusiastic about expanding her knowledge of evidence-based therapy techniques and continuing to broaden her experience in the field of speech-language pathology. Outside of work, Amy loves to read, cook, and enjoy quality time with her family and friends.
Erin Pachelbel is a speech-language pathologist who earned both her bachelors and masters degree at California State University, Fresno. She discovered her passion for working with children as a Applied Behavioral Analysis Instructional Aid at a local early intervention program. Erin is passionate about her work and clients. She is thankful for an environment that allows her to teach and guide children, parents, and caregivers. She loves to collaborate with all professionals in order to provide the best therapy possible. Outside of the office, Erin spends her time with her family, friends, and dogs.
Nicole Cadenasso earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. After college, she worked as an instructional aide in both general and special education, where she discovered her passion for speech and language development. She continued her education and obtained a Master of Science degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona. After graduate school, she returned to her hometown of Fresno.
Nicole is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She has previous experience in the public schools as both a Speech-Language Pathologist and an Assistive Technology Specialist. She holds the following Hanen Certifications: It Takes Two, More Than Words, and Talkability. She has basic training in Oral Placement Therapy and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) through Talk Tools and Pyramid Educational Consultants, respectively. She has engaged in a variety of continuing education in the area of Assistive Technology/Augmentative and Alternative Communication, including a Certificate in Advanced Professional Development for Assistive Technology Applications, through California State University, Northridge and participated in the Bridge School’s Augmentative and Alternative Training Institute. Throughout her career, she has enjoyed working with children and families to address a variety of communication needs. She has a particular interest in helping children who would benefit from the use of augmentative and alternative communication tools and has sought a variety of experiences in this area. Nicole lives with her husband and cat. She’s a hobbyist artist and outdoor enthusiast, who loves swimming, hiking, rollerblading, and skiing.
Cara is a speech-language pathologist at The TALK Team. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degree at California State University, Fresno majoring in communicative disorders with an emphasis in speech-language pathology. Cara began working as a dance instructor in high school where she discovered her passion for working with children. While attending college Cara continued to work with kids in the school setting. She worked in an early intervention program and worked with many speech therapists. Cara is inspired by children in many ways. She is inspired by their genuine nature, their ability to keep adults on their toes, their individuality, and their ability to make her smile every day. Outside of work Cara enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, yoga, and dancing. Most importantly, Cara values time spent with her friends and family.
Samantha Jeske is a Speech Language Pathologist at the TALK Team. Samantha completed her undergraduate and graduate degree at California State University, Fresno majoring in Communication Disorders with an emphasis in speech-language pathology. Samantha developed her love and compassion for children at an early age and has continued to be an advocate for children throughout her adult life. She started this journey as a Sign Language Interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing. During this time she discovered the field of speech-language pathology. While pursuing her continued education, she worked as a Paraeducator and a Substitute Teacher. Her hope and desire is to provide each and every child every opportunity to grow and develop their communication skills. She is a loving and proud parent to her son who inspires her each and every day. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends or just curling up with a good book.
Kathryn is a speech-language pathologist at The TALK Team with a passion for making a difference in the lives of children and adolescents. She received her undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders, with a minor in Psychology from the University of Redlands and moved on to complete her graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Fresno. While growing up in Fresno, Kathryn spent the majority of her free time in the dance studio, training in various dance genres and developing a strong work ethic, leadership skills, and a positive attitude. Kathryn also had the privilege of teaching dance to children while in high school and college, which was the catalyst that sparked her passion for working with children and adolescents. Upon moving back to Fresno, Kathryn dove full-heartedly into the graduate program at Fresno State, soaking in as much knowledge and experience as possible. Kathryn is excited to continue her journey as a speech-language pathologist at The TALK Team and is inspired to motivate and encourage young children and adolescents to overcome challenges in a fun and supportive way.
Morgan Barker is a Speech-Language Pathologist at The TALK Team. She received her undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Fresno State and continued on to earn her Master’s degree in Spring 2019. Morgan began babysitting and nannying as a teenager and quickly realized she loved pouring into children. This passion helped guide Morgan as she chose her career. Upon beginning her educational career in Speech-Language Pathology, Morgan began working as a Speech Aide in the school setting. It was here that she truly discovered her passion for this area and the children with whom she worked. Morgan is a strong believer in focusing on the strengths of those with whom she comes into contact, which influences her ability to have compassion and engage with children and adolescents with communicative disorders. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, her goal is to empower those she works with and help them find their voice, in whatever form it takes. In her free time, Morgan loves spending time with her family, reading, and exploring all that Fresno and the surrounding areas have to offer.
Irene has been with The TALK Team since December 2016. She received her Bachelor’s in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Fresno. She joined our team as an Administrative Assistant and is now on the path to getting her Speech-Language Pathology Assistant certificate, as well as becoming a Registered Behavior Technician. Irene has always loved working with people, especially children. In high school, she was a Special Day Class Tutor and that is when her love for the special needs community began. Irene is also our Consultation Representative. Her knowledge and compassion make her a great asset to our team. She is also fluent in Spanish. Outside of work, Irene enjoys being surrounded by family and friends, especially if it involves music and dancing.
Tamara joined our team in January 2016. Her love of organization and attention to detail makes her the perfect fit for her role as our Director of Operations. Her past work experience in project management has given her a big picture mentality. She is skilled at problem-solving, follow through and putting into place procedures to ensure success in all she does. She supports the vision of The TALK Team by managing all our medical and contracted billing. She also maintains and renews the variety of contracts and ensures compliance with the agencies we partner with. In her free time, Tamara enjoys living a healthy and active outdoor lifestyle with her husband and son. She continues to push herself to achieve new goals by competing in marathons and other physical activities.
Lauren Downum is the Scheduling Coordinator at the TALK Team. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from California State University, Fresno. Her prior experience in the financial and customer service industries helped her develop the organizational and problem solving skills critical for her role with our team. She is passionate about helping others and strives to provide a positive experience to all of our families. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys
going to local music venues, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
It was shortly after graduating from the fire academy that Mark found his love and passion for working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Although it was a huge career change, it was a change that changed his heart and professional career for the better. Mark has been in the field for over 8 years and half of that time was specifically working with individuals with Autism. He enjoys putting a smile on the face of every person he meets as well as ensuring that he can be a positive role model in the lives of every kid. Mark is a huge advocate for these individuals and is a firm believer that one’s disability cannot hinder their ability to accomplish anything in life. Outside of work, Mark enjoys physical activity, church, sports (especially football), music and spending time with his Husky. Go Ducks!