Meet Gia’s Therapists © Pure in Art Photography

Anna-Alyse Tellez, M.S., CF-SLP

Meet Miss Anna-Alyse…

In 2012, I received my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arizona where I majored in Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences and Family Students Human Development. In 2014, I completed my clinical Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I first became interested about Childhood Apraxia of Speech while working on my undergraduate degree at the UofA. I worked in a research assistant in a lab that focused on the theoretical aspects of CAS and studies focusing on the speech production process in typically developing children, adults, and children with CAS (with and without compounding language deficits). Upon entering graduate school, my interest in the clinical and applied treatment approaches for CAS peaked.

When looking for my final graduate school internship, I was searching for a placement that could give me first-hand experience working with children with CAS. Just as others have described, finding Foundations Developmental House was truly a blessing. When the opportunity came to work directly under Lynn Carahaly and not only learn, but implement the Speech EZ Apraxia program on a daily bases, I could not pass up the opportunity.

Working at FDH has thus far been a journey that has begun to shape my career, as well as help me to find my passion. Working with children with CAS is the most rewarding and challenging experience. I am continually amazed by the work ethic of these young children; who day in and day out put forth their best effort, work through frustration, and diligently practice sounds, sound patterns, and sequences repeatedly.

There are no doubt good days and not as good days when working with these little ones. But how can you blame a young child who just so desperately wants to communicate, but simply cannot. Every session, I feel I learn just as much from my clients as I hope they are learning from me. It is truly an honor to be a part of these childrens’ journey as they strive to find their voice!

Michelle Bio Pic

Michelle Woods, SLP-A

Meet Miss Michelle…

After moving to Arizona 5 years ago from Southern California with my husband and son, I began my journey into the Speech and Language field. With a background of over 15 years as an American Sign Language Interpreter and an Early Childhood Educator, I knew that I wanted to enter this field and make a difference in the lives of children who needed my help. I currently hold degrees in American Sign Language, Early Childhood Education, and Speech Language Pathologist Assistant as well as a California Teaching Credential in Child Development. I am enjoying my break from school but in the near future I will be pursuing my Master’s degree in Speech Pathology. The best part of my job is that my own children look up to me knowing that I am making a difference and are proud to call me their mom!



Heather Baumgartner

Meet Miss Heather…

My name is Heather Baumgartner and I am the founder, owner, and primary therapist at Way to Grow Pediatric Therapy. I graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1995, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy. Through the years and scope of my practice, I have had a wide range of experience in pediatric OT through home health, clinic based, hospital, and school settings.  I specialize in the treatment of pediatrics with emphasis on Sensory Integration therapy, NDT (Neurodevelopmental therapy) and motor learning theories. I have an abundance of experience with childhood development, as I was a SAHM for 10 years while our 4 beautiful, young girls were growing and attending elementary school. That was a true blessing, not only for them, but for me! I feel those years have made me become a better clinician as I can relate to parents on a deeper level-from their struggles to their celebrations! I have also devoted many hours of study and continuing education to keep up with the latest information on SPD research, Autism and pediatric information by attending conferences, completing continuing education course work, and studying independently to be knowledgeable in applying a Sensory Integrative approach to Occupational Therapy based off of Dr. Jean Ayres. I am certified with “Handwriting Without Tears” program, a certified provider for the “Integrated Listening Program” (iLs) and recently became certified as a provider for the S.O.S feeding program (Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Program). I will also be attending an advanced mentorship/training program at the STAR Center (Sensory Treatment And Research) in Colorado, this June 2015,which is a non-profit treatment and research facility run by the nationally and world renowned SPD Foundation and Dr. Lucy Miller.

Words cannot express the pure joy and satisfaction I receive by working with special kids who have special needs! I take pride in working closely with parents and families to educate and inform them on strategies they can incorporate at home, in their daycare settings and at school to help their child grow and prosper in their family life. It is a true honor and privilege to be able to nurture, support and challenge these beautiful human beings into being the best that they can be!


5 thoughts on “Meet Gia’s Therapists

  1. Hi I am dealing with my daughters doctor right now. My daughter is 11 years old and was diagnosed by Duke university medical hospital when she was three with Apraxia/ a smidge ( they said ) of Dysarthia she is fully potty trained but she sleeps SOOOO hard that she just doesn’t wake up with a screaming alarm in her ear a busing vibrating alarm under her and one on her arm. We cut her off with liquids at 6:00pm when she was potty training so that was never an issue. We have to wake her up from the alarms and tell her she has pee’d the bed walk her to the bathroom when have her pee more get in the shower and take a shower clean her pee sheets put new ones down and get her back to bed. The next morning she has no idea she was ever even awake. She has always slept this hard. It isn’t obstruction, she had her tonsils and adenoids removed at 3 and a doctor went as far as to tell me my daughter is down right lazy in front of her. I just about GASPED! She is the furthest thing from lazy she is such a people please-er I have to tell her to stop because I am always afraid as a parent someday a predator would take advantage of that. I said to the Dr. That if she has Apraxia and it is a problem with the brain sending signals to the muscles ect wouldn’t it also be possible that the brain isn’t sending signals to the bladder as well? Please help and what do you know? Any help you can give me so I can be well armed going into her well check coming up soon would be great coming from a professional. My daughters speech specialist is a school one and can’t help.
    our insurance wont pay for outside speech help. 😦


    • Thank you for your comment! I will do as much as I can to give you some insight on this subject, but I don’t have any personal experience or knowledge on it.

      The first thing I would ask you, is if your daughter has been re-evaluated anytime recently? As long as she’s still in therapy, they should be re-evaluating her every 18-36 months. I only ask, to see where she’s at developmentally compared to others her age.

      As far as any relation between apraxia and bed wetting, I have never heard of any connection between the two, but that doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be in her case. I would assume the only time there may be a connection, is if the child has been diagnosed with Global Apraxia, and not just verbal. Is this the case with your daughter? If so, I definitely think it’s worth bringing up to her doctor.

      Now with apraxia aside, bed wetting is super common. I have known several, neuro-typical kids who wet the bed till they were 12 years old. It’s just something in their genetics, and they have just had to outgrow it on their own. Even the way she sleeps probably has a genetic component. I do know that there are some medications out there meant for that particular issue, but I don’t know if you want to go that route. I personally would look into some different types of natural medicine, which I think could help her a lot.

      I wish I could be of more help, but feel free to ask me questions anytime! Good luck, Sommer!


  2. Hello Shelia, my name is Ibeth I am Evan’s mom. Our son Evan was evaluated and diagnosed with Apraxia last Spring at FDH when we began the long journey of this mystery speech and I felt that my world was going to end. But I am so glad after browsing through the web I found your blogs/journey and they have been so helpful and provided me with a peace of mind that there is lots of hope. I have seen you and Gia at FDH but haven’t approach you since your usually leaving when we are coming in for Evan’s therapy. After Evan’s diagnosis, everything has change it’s filled with more purpose, more determination, more motivation, more optimism and more passion we LOVE our new life even if it’s difficult at times. I just want to thank you for having this out there for people like ourselves to try to understand what we are face with. If possible Shelia, I would like advice of what activities or anything you do to help Gia improve her speech. Thank you once again for your blogs! Here’s my email


    • Hello Ibeth,

      Thank you so much for reaching out! I have had to take a bit of a leave from my blog unfortunately, but I’ll be starting up again shortly. I really appreciate you reading and so happy to hear it has helped give you hope and peace of mind. You definitely sound like you’re in a good place!

      Gia struggles just as much with her language skills as she does articulation. So as far as helping Gia with her speech, I don’t know that I would call what I do “activities”, but I try to incorporate language reinforcement anywhere I can, based off of goals she might have on her progress report. So for example, Gia gets confused with positional language – so if she wants to play hide and go seek, every time I go to find her I say things like, “Are you UNDER the bed?” “Are you BEHIND this door?” “Are you NEXT TO the couch?”. I talk and talk and talk the entire time, and I really emphasize that positional word so that it’s reinforced in a real life setting. But as far as her actual articulation goes, my biggest thing is making sure I give her consistent but positive reminders when she makes a speech error. This goes for language and grammar errors too, which she makes constantly. It’s quite the job to keep up with correcting, haha! But repetition is the KEY to their success!

      If there are specific goals you’re working on with Evan, I’d be happy to give you some ideas for ways that you can spontaneously incorporate them. Just let me know and thanks again for reaching out 🙂



      • Thank you Shelia for responding back I greatly appreciated. Evan is currently working in his hand/sound cues with Mrs. Jo she’s Evan’s therapist and she’s wonderful I’m so thankful to be at the right place. She’s currently having Evan say a 3 word sentence as well as I mention adding new sounds and hand cues. Shelia when Evan was diagnosed with Apraxia we purchase the The Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program but I feel that we aren’t taking full advantage of the program. I did read in one of your blogs how Gia uses it at home daily. What are your suggestions to encourage Evan or stimulate him on the use of the program or how is it that you encourage and help Gia daily. At times I feel lost but I know there is hope.


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