Pediatric Therapy Center

Speech Therapy

Our pediatric speech language pathologists serve children and their families to address typical and atypical communication and feeding skills. Common treatment techniques may include oral motor strengthening and range of motion exercises, reciprocal interaction through modeling and play, training on the use of audio-visual aids, the use of assistive technology, and strategies to facilitate functional communication.

Who are your therapists?

Hollis Pass, Speech Department Lead, is a Speech and Language Pathologist licensed by the State of California; she has held the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists for 17 years.  Hollis received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Physics, from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and her Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of British Columbia.  She was a recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.  Hollis also holds a Clinical or Rehabilitative Services Credential in Language, Speech, and Hearing in California.  She has worked in a wide variety of settings, including preschool clinics, schools, and private practice.  Hollis has helped hundreds of children and adults with mild to severe speech, language, social, or cognitive delays, tongue thrust, and/or accents improve their communication skills, as well as their overall quality of life.

Jeanne Nielsen is a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant licensed by the state of California.  She has been with us since January 2009 and loves working with the pediatric population.  Jeanne' has previously worked for a school district for 4 years before joining UCP.  She has worked with children of all ages such as; early start, preschool. elementary and middle school.  Jeanne' graduated from Cal State Long Beach in May 2008 with a BA in Communication Disorders and has been a member of CASHA since January 2009.  She has also been teaching swimming lessons for over 14 years to children and adults and loves spending time with friends and family.

Laurisa Schwer is a Speech and Language Pathologist licensed by the state of California and a holder of the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech and Hearing Association for 15 years.  She received her undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Redlands and her Master of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Washington.  Laurisa specializes in early childhood, Autism, Down syndrome, fluency, Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders, and social skills disorders.  Laurisa’s motto is “turning fun and laughter into growth” as she believes that when treatment is presented in as fun a manner as possible learning and progress are maximized.  As an SLP, Laurisa is constantly striving to increase her knowledge by taking courses and collaborating with other SLPs to benefit the children that she serves and SLPAs she supervises. 

Pati Skinner is a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant licensed by the state of California, and Child Development Specialist for UCP for 7 years.  Pati received her SLPA from Santa Ana College and  is a member of CSHA  (California Speech Language, Hearing  Association).  She has been in the medical field for 34 years as a Nurse, specializing in Dialysis, Pediatric Oncology, home care for children with ventilators, and Pediatric home care for terminally-ill children.  She is involved in the Special Olympics Program and volunteers in the local school district. As a nurse and SLPA she frequently takes classes to increase her knowledge to benefit the children that she is serving. Pati and her husband, Jim, enjoy traveling and keeping up with their 7 children and 10 grandchildren.

Alicia Houn is a Speech and Language Pathologist completing her clinical fellowship year in pursuit of a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Development from California State University, Long Beach, before travelling to the United Kingdom to undertake her Master of Science degree in Speech and Language Sciences at the diverse and prestigious University College London. There she gained clinical experience working in a variety of settings including preschool, community, and rehabilitation clinics; special and mainstream schools; and hospital settings. Alicia's passion for evidence based speech and language therapy stems from her own experience growing up with a younger brother with autism. This firsthand experience has instilled in her a profound belief that communication is a powerful, fundamental part of an individual's quality of life. In her free time, Alicia enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, cooking, travelling and spending time with her family. 

Megan Feist is a Speech Language Pathologist licensed in the state of California and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Megan completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry, prior to completing a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, both at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Megan started her speech pathology career in Vancouver, Canada, first working with adults in acute care and rehabilitative hospital settings. After about two years in the medical setting, Megan started working with the pediatric population in clinics and assisted in starting the Speech Pathology Program at Children’s Hearing and Speech Centre of British Columbia, a listening and spoken language school for children with hearing loss. Megan has pursued a wide variety of continuing education including counseling training in Motivational Interviewing, Introduction to PROMPT Therapy, and Hanen It Takes Two to Talk®. Megan also completed an intensive, yearlong training course and mentorship called Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants (PPCI). PPCI is offered through Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, Smith College, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  PPCI prepares clinicians to provide early intervention and school-aged services to children with cochlear implants. Megan has a passion for working with parents and families to better improve their child’s communication. She loves celebrating small and big milestones with children and their families. When Megan is not working she enjoys traveling, surfing, yoga, pottery, and riding her bike around South Orange County.

Angelie "Geli" Bala is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathology Assistant licensed by the state of California. She fluently speaks, reads, and writes Tagalog as much as she does English. She received her undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton. Geli is an active member of CSHA (California Speech-Language-Hearing Association). Prior to working at UCP-OC, she volunteered in a wide array of settings such as elementary schools, skilled nursing facilities, adult day healthcare centers, and also worked in private practices in both in-clinic and in-home settings. Geli has experience with working with ages ranging from 18 months to geriatric population. Geli continues to expand her knowledge in the field through continuing education and by collaborating with her colleagues and supervisors. During her free time, Geli enjoys spending time with her family and doing arts and crafts.