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Our experienced team is made up of 6 speech-language pathologists who are specialists in child-led play & social communication, echolalia, language & fluency.

Alexandria Laris Zachos, MS, CCC-SLP/L
Founder & Clinical Director
Speech-Language Pathologist

Alexandria is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of Illinois and has been practicing since 2003.  Over the past eighteen years, she has provided therapy for all ages in a variety of clinical settings, including public schools, home therapy, acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, and outpatient clinics. She received her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA in 2003 and her Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2001.

In both November 2017 and 2018 Alexandria presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing (ASHA) Convention in Los Angeles, CA, and Boston, MA on Natural Language Acquisition and delayed echolalia.  She has an on-demand webinar available for CEUs through ASHA on this topic. She is passionate about educating others on gestalt language processors and how to treat delayed echolalia.  


Alexandria created in 2020 to educate SLPs, professionals, and parents on gestalt language processing, echolalia, and the step-by-step approach to helping support a child from delayed echolalia to original language using the Natural Language Acquisition framework developed by Marge Blanc (2012).  Meaningful Speech provides self-paced learning through educational modules, handouts, and monthly webinars featuring experts in the field for both parents and professionals.


Alexandria is an international speaker and often presents on gestalt language processing, echolalia and NLA both virtually and in person.  She has provided trainings, webinars and has spoken to clinics, school districts, speech-language associations, and parent groups.

Alexandria is also a fluent Greek speaker and is available to provide therapy and evaluations in Greek.  She has completed several bilingual Greek-English evaluations for many Chicagoland school districts.

In her free time she enjoys reading and going on adventures with her husband and two daughters.

Alexandria's specialized training includes:

  • NLA Trained Clinician

  • Natural Language Acquisition In Autism: Echolalia To Self-Generated Language

  • Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking Program

  • Visualizing and Verbalizing Program by Nancy Bell

  • Greenspan Floortime approach

  • Using SCERTS to Identify Evidence-Based Practices for Children with Autism

  • Person-Centered Assessment and Treatment for Adults Who Stutter

National ASHA Presentations:

  • Echolalia and Gestalt Language Processing in Children: It’s Not Just About Autism, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Los Angeles 2017

  • Language Sample Analysis: Guiding Treatment For Gestalt Language Processors With and Without AutismAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Boston 2018

Kierstin Barth, MA, CCC-SLP/L
Speech-Language Pathologist

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Kierstin is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in her third year. She currently works in a preschool in addition to her part time work with Social Butterfly, Inc. Kierstin has worked in a variety of settings, including therapeutic day schools, elementary schools, preschool, and clinics. Kierstin’s areas of interest in the field include echolalia/gestalt language processing, neurodiversity affirming therapy for autistic individuals and their families, alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), early childhood speech language and fluency, and bilingual (English/Spanish) treatment and evaluation. Kierstin is bilingual herself, values cultural and linguistic diversity and takes pride in helping to differentiate between a language difference versus a true language disorder.


Kierstin holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), a Professional Educators License (PEL) issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, and is a certified member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA).

Kierstin’s therapeutic philosophy is centered on building a foundation of mutual trust, connection, and respect between clinician and client, as this is the most important initial building block in the therapeutic relationship. Kierstin strives to ensure her clients and families feel comfortable, understood, supported and respected. Families are integral team members because they know their children best! Kierstin also ensures each of her sessions are child/client led and focused on the interests and strengths. 

In her free time, Kierstin enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, trying new restaurants, catching concerts, and hanging out with her 3 cat fur babies.


Kierstin’s Specialized Trainings Include: 

  • Natural Language Acquisition Trained Clinician

  • Zones of Regulation Trained 

  • Learn With Less (Infant/Toddler Caregiver and Me Group Developmental Enrichment Classes) Licensed Facilitator

Alyssa Giacalone, MS, CCC-SLP/L
Speech-Language Pathologist
DIR®-FCD/FloorTime Provider

Alyssa has been working with children and families over the past seven years in the Chicagoland area. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a master's degree from Midwestern University. She spent the beginning of her career in a therapeutic preschool learning about developmentally informed practices and immersing herself in a transdisciplinary setting putting play in the forefront of her practice. 

She learned how to incorporate several aspects of development into her therapeutic interventions from occupational therapists and mental health therapists to create supportive sensory environments and social-emotional support and development. This experience led her on a year-long journey to become a DIR®-FCD/FloorTime provider supporting children with developmental differences. This model of development provides a foundational framework for understanding how each child perceives and interacts within their world. The beauty of this model lies in its ability to build connections, authenticity, resiliency and understanding. 


When she is not working, you can find Alyssa spending time with her niece and nephews, getting outdoors, or trying new restaurants with her husband. 


Alyssa's specialized trainings include:

  • DIR®-FCD/FloorTime

  • Natural Language Acquisition Framework 

  • PROMPTs for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT)

  • Language Acquisition and Motor Planning Approach to AAC (LAMP)

  • Trauma-Informed

Abby Lynch, MS, CCC-SLP/L
Speech-Language Pathologist
Clinical Manager

Abby is a licensed speech-language pathologist who has over 10 years of experience working with individuals aged 1-21 to achieve their communication goals. Abby has a passion for working with children on the autism spectrum as well as with those who stutter. She has worked in both therapeutic day school settings and private clinics. She received her Master of Science degree from Rush University Medical Center, holds a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) and is accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Associated (ASHA). 


Abby places an emphasis on finding each client’s motivation, whether that be a special interest or a specific goal, to guide her therapy. Focusing on fun and maintaining client engagement, Abby and her clients partner together to achieve the goals they desire. Her history working on a variety of multidisciplinary teams has equipped her with the skills to collaborate across disciplines. She strongly values input from all stakeholders (e.g., school team, parents, etc.) in her clients’ lives and takes a whole-team, collaborative approach to therapy. Abby believes everyone deserves the tools they need to become competent communicators and to develop meaningful relationships across the lifespan. 


Abby is originally from New England, but is happily settled with her family in Naperville, IL. In her free time, Abby enjoys skiing in the winter, playing tennis in the summer, and everyday adventures with her two young children. 


Abby’s specialized trainings include:

  • NLA Trained Clinician

  • Natural Language Acquisition in Autism: Echolalia to Self-Generated Language

  • Lidcombe Program for Early Childhood Stuttering

  • Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Programs

  • Collaborative & Proactive Solutions/Collaborative Problem Solving (Dr. Ross W. Greene)

  • Sarah Ward Executive Function Interventions

  • SCERTS: A Comprehensive Educational Framework for Autism

  • Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP)

Alexis Nowak, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
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Lexi is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of Illinois and has been practicing since 2020. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Master of Science Degree from Saint Xavier University. She currently holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a certified member of ASHA. She also has her Professional Educator License (PEL) issued through the Illinois State Board of Education. 


Lexi has experience working with children in early childhood through high school in a therapeutic day school and private practice. Lexi has programmed and utilized communication devices with various applications (i.e., TouchChat, LAMP Words For Life, GoTalk Now).  She has trained various team members and family members on how to implement communication techniques to promote language growth and generalization of skills across different settings. Lexi has been a member of a variety of multidisciplinary teams. Lexi believes that team collaboration with other therapeutic disciplines and the family is essential for the child’s progress. 



Lexi is a firm believer in supporting children using a developmental language model. Motivating, inspiring, and always presuming competence while challenging a child within his/her comfort level allows for growth and development. Her goal for each therapeutic session is to create meaningful experiences that focus on connection and trust. Lexi is genuinely invested in all of her clients and enjoys celebrating every success and achievement with them and their family. 



Lexi’s interests include spending time with family and friends.  She also enjoys swimming, running outside and creating projects with her Cricut.



 Lexi’s specialized trainings include:


  • NLA Trained Clinician

  • Natural Language Acquisition in Autism: Echolalia to Self Generated Language

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) 

  • Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication

  • Ultimate Play-Based Speech Therapy Course

Maison Tollas, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
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Maison is a neurodiversity affirming speech therapist, licensed in Illinois and California. She holds a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She completed her undergraduate studies at Elmhurst University and graduate studies at Northern Illinois University. 


Maison has worked with individuals across the lifespan through telehealth, adult outpatient, pediatric outpatient, skilled nursing, and home health settings. She has experience with assessment and treatment of cognitive-communication, dysphagia, dysarthria, acquired and childhood apraxia of speech, speech sounds, aphasia, alexia, expressive/receptive language, gestalt language processing, and AAC. Maison has experience with many different speech generating devices and access methods including direct selection, eye gaze, and switch. 



Maison utilizes a strengths-based approach to therapy. She prioritizes sensory and emotional regulation, authenticity, well-being, connection, client-directed intervention, and self-determination. She works to gain new approaches, tools, and resources to best support her clients. 



Maison’s specialized trainings include: 


  • NLA Trained Clinician

  • AAC for Gestalt Language Processors Course for SLPs

  • SCERTS Model

  • Learn Play Thrive Approach to Autism

  • The ALERT program 

  • Fundamentals of Trauma-Informed Care


About me: “I love ABBA, spicy food, frogs, and the color green. I enjoy playing The Sims, deeply researching new topics and interests, and caring for my carnivorous plants!”


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