Speech Therapists

Andrea Balan-Vogt, SLP: I have provided First Steps services for over 11 years, focusing all of my time, research, and resources on this age group. I use a play-based approach to make therapy fun and meaningful. I am familiar with sensory processing disorders and I incorporate many strategies into my sessions. I am trained in PECS (picture communication) and am comfortable using simple sign language when appropriate. I consistently attend workshops to update and broaden my skills. My experience includes expressive and receptive language delays, articulation and phonological disorders, apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, prematurity, cognitive impairment, and international adoption. Please feel free to call me before choosing a provider.

Erin Bradley, SLP: Before becoming a First Steps provider, I worked in both public and private early childhood programs where children coming from the First Steps program were transitioned at age three. I have experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses resulting in speech delays/disorders. I enjoy providing treatment through a play-based approach, emphasizing total communication (e.g., verbal, use of sign language/gestures, pictures) as a base on which to expand a child’s communicative abilities. I incorporate activities that are fun for the child and easy for the parent to carry over into their daily routine. As a mother of two young children, one of whom is currently enrolled in the First Steps program, I can appreciate hands-on learning and encourage parent participation in every aspect of their child’s development. I have also worked with several Spanish speaking families and am comfortable incorporating Spanish throughout a therapy session.

Kristin Copeland, SLP:


Laura Dawson, SLP: I have been a Speech Language Pathologist for 23 years.  I have a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders.   My experience includes working with children that have a variety of disorders or developmental delays such as, articulation delays, language delays, autism, cerebral palsy, apraxia, autism, ADHD, dysphagia and oral motor delays.   I enjoy working with families and encourage their participation.  My therapeutic approach is play based which is motivational and fun for younger children.  I like to use a variety of toys, such as, books, puzzles, games, play food items, pretend play toys, etc.  I find it challenging and rewarding to assist families to develop strategies in helping with everyday activities.

Becca Derado-

Angelia Eneix, SLP: I have been practicing as a Speech and Language Pathologist for 11 years and have worked in a variety of settings including an Early Childhood program, private practice, and First Steps. I have experience working with a variety of disorders resulting in speech and language delays. I implement a play-based approach during therapy with activities that are most motivating to your child. I encourage a variety of communication modes including sign language, vocalizations, and pictures to help your child be successful in their communication attempts. I also enjoy working closely with parent to provide suggestions for every day interactions. I find early intervention to be extremely rewarding and I look forward to the opportunity to work with your child.

Emily Gray, SLP:I’m have been a pediatric speech pathologist for 7 years. I absolutely love working with children and specialize in the early intervention population. I use play based therapy to help facilitate the development of a child’s speech and/or language skills. I also believe in the importance of family involvement and carry-over. I  have experience in working with children with social disorders, articulation disorders, apraxia, language delays, developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, oral motor disorders, Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders. I would love the opportunity to serve your child and family

Rachel Hatcher, SLP:I have over 15 years experience with the First Steps program as an ongoing provider and assessment team member.   I have worked with children in a variety of settings (i.e. clinic, hospital, developmental preschool and home environments.) My experience includes, but is not limited to speech and language delays, apraxia of speech, autism and oral-motor concerns. I specialized in early intervention and autism spectrum disorders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Therapy sessions are play-based and most importantly fun! Using your child’s interests, I help them learn to communicate more successfully using many strategies, such as sign language and pictures.   Training is provided to families so they may  carry over therapy activities and techniques into their everyday activities. I also work closely with other members of your child’s team to provide cohesive services.

Michelle Johnson, SLP: Learning to communicate can be challenging! However, giving a family and caretaker ideas to incorporate improving communication skills into everyday situations can make it less work and more fun. I enjoy working with children in a variety of settings and situations. I welcome family participation including parents, siblings and childcare providers. I use books, games, puzzles, crafts, songs and other hands on activities to stimulate language in a play based approach which makes learning fun. I have experience both within the First Steps system and the Early Childhood system which provides services after a child turns three. I am comfortable working with a variety of developmental delays including, but not limited to, language delay, articulation, apraxia, feeding/swallowing/oral motor and autism. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or for references. Thank you!

Jen Kortepeter, SLP: I love working with children and helping them to become better communicators. I have experience with receptive and expressive language delays, articulation disorders, autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay. My three young children and three years as an elementary school speech-language pathologist have given me good insight into the ways children learn and succeed. Parents are a vital part of the speech therapy process. I enjoy partnering with them to enhance their child’s speech and language development. I am available Monday through Thursday 9:00am – 3:00pm.

Lindsay Larger, SLP: I love working with children and believe that each child and family is unique. I use play based therapy to help facilitate the development of your child’s speech and/or language skills. I believe that it is important to focus on your child’s strengths & not their weaknesses. I have experience in working with children with articulation disorders, apraxia, language delays, developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, oral motor disorders, fluency & autism spectrum disorders. I would love the opportunity to serve your child and family. I can do early evening appointments and Saturday appointments. Lindsay serves both First Steps clients as well as clients at TTLC for outpatient therapy.

Kristen Longfellow, SLP:

Marilyn Neff, SLP: Both my clinical experience and training are focused on the infant – toddler aged child. In addition to developing and implementing early speech and language stimulation programs, I can provide training and materials for the Kaufman Praxis Program and the use of baby signs/gestures. I have extensive experience and enjoy working with children who have a variety of speech and language delays, including late-talkers, expressive/receptive language delays, children with Down Syndrome, motor-speech delays, apraxia, autism/PDD, genetic syndromes, and oral motor/swallowing and feeding problems. Please feel free to contact me to obtain additional information that will assist you in the selection of a speech and language service provider for your child. Recommendations from families I have worked with are available at any time upon request.

Jill Owens, SLP: I have been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for seventeen years. I am comfortable working in home and community settings. I am the mother of four and love working with young children. I will work closely with parents, caregivers and other team members to ensure carry over of speech and language skills targeted in therapy. I am available to speak to parents prior to their choosing a provider.

Angie Pantos, SLP :I am married with 2 children. I work in the schools and I work First Steps part-time. I have been working as a speech therapist with First Steps for 6 years. I have also been working in the school system with school-aged children for 11 years. I have experience with speech and language disorders, articulation/phonology disorders, cleft palates, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, and developmental delays. I provide services in Marion County and Hamilton County. I greatly enjoy working with children of all communication levels and I feel that therapy should be fun, motivating, and play-based.

Christine Renz, SLP:  Hi, my name is Tina Renz. I have been practicing in KY First Steps for over 10 years and have moved to Noblesville. I did First Steps of Indiana from ‘98-‘00. I have 2 children, 9 & 6. My daughter received First Steps. As a parent and therapist, I empathize with you and know how difficult it is to be both. I offer parents information regarding any diagnosis, and insight to what has worked for me, and what the parents I have worked with for over 10 years say has worked for them. It is a partnership between parent and professional. The child achieves the greatest success when the parents can practice the strategies at home in their daily routines. I have experience with children with speech and language delays, Autism, SI, feeding challenges, Dyspraxia, oral motor strengthening, PECS and other forms of AAC. I will attend all meetings and get reports in a timely manner. PLEASE CALL FIRST 652-4388

Ali Richardson, SLP: I am an energetic passionate, motivated, speech language pathologist. I’m a firm believer of individualized instruction and structuring therapy to best empower the child and their family. My therapy is fun and functional! My interests are working with children with feeding, swallowing, and oral motor disorders. I also enjoy and have experience in children with autism spectrum disorders, apraxia, articulation and phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language delays, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with your child and family. Please feel free to contact me with any questions before choosing a therapist.

Kathryn Rudolph, SLP:  Kathryn is a Speech Therapist with experience working in the hospital setting, primarily pediatrics. After obtaining her degree, she worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in a pediatric rehab unit. Upon moving to Indianapolis she took a position at a local hospital working with the pediatric rehab department, where she gained experience in language/articulation development as well as feeding & swallowing. Kathryn currently only sees First Steps clients on Fridays.

Crystal Scott, SLP:  Read description under “Meet the Director”.

Kristi Sturwold, SLP:

Laura Wellington, SLP:I received my undergraduate degree at Indiana University and my Master’s degree at Northwestern University in 2009. Since then I have worked at the Riley Child Development Center at Riley Children’s Hospital servicing as an SLP on a diagnostic team and as an SLP in an elementary school. I have been a First Steps provider for 2 years. I have experience working with children with genetic disorders, autism, development delays, and speech/language disorders. I have 2 children of my own, a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. I truly enjoy working with young children and developing relationships with them as well as with the family. Every child is unique and learns in different ways which is why I love this job!