About Excel Speech Therapy Center

Excel Speech Therapy Center, Inc is a centrally located private practice specializing in providing speech and language therapy services to children, teens, and adults. Excel therapists are energetic and dedicated to providing quality therapy services in family-centered clinics. Excel therapists are highly skilled, state licensed, and nationally certified.

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Meet Our Staff.

Katherine


Katherine, owner of Excel Speech Therapy Center for over 16 years, is originally from Turlock, CA. A family friend encouraged her to explore the field of speech pathology since Katherine babysat for many families, was an instructional assistant for children with special needs and enjoyed working with children. She received her Masters at California State University Fresno and completed an internship in the skilled nursing facilities. Katherine thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the patients and staff and learning how to complete Modified Barium Swallow studies and diet modifications for patients in the SNFs. She moved to Los Angels to become a traveling speech therapist in the schools, then moved back home to Turlock shortly thereafter, working for a private pediatric practice in Modesto for several years. After a few years, she decided to move to San Diego to be near the beach and open up her own private practice. While Excel was starting up, Katherine became a traveling speech therapist for the San Diego schools and worked evenings and weekends as a home health contractor and in skilled nursing facilities. Within a year, Excel flourished and Katherine decided to dedicate all of her time and energy into the business, hiring two SLPs. Excel Speech now has clinics in San Diego, Chula Vista and San Marcos. Katherine enjoys collaborating with Excel staff and continues to strive to streamline the business to provide excellent speech therapy services to Excel’s families at our family oriented clinics. Contact at katherineexcelspeech@gmail.com

Brigid


M.A., CCC-SLP - Brigid has worked as a speech-language pathologist since August 2005. Brigid, originally from Athens, Georgia, received a baccalaureate degree in Music Therapy from Immaculata University in PA and received a Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Memphis. She is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist and a current member of ASHA.

Originally, from Athens, Georgia, Brigid began volunteering at a camp for youth with disabilities when she was 15 and worked in camps until she graduated from her undergraduate program. She found her passion in working with children and adolescents who did not communicate in the “typical” verbal way. She found that music and using a more total communication approach opened the pathways to be able to communicate. Brigid is certified by The Hanen Program® to teach the It Takes Two To Talk course, The More Than Words course, and the Talkability course for parents. She has been trained and received certifications in PECS (the Picture Exchange Communication System), PROMPT, SCERTS, and Beckman Oral Motor Technique.

Aside from providing speech-language evaluations and individual and group therapy, Brigid has provided parent education through running More Than Words, a program for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. She is dedicated to involving parents and family in the child’s treatment to reach the best outcomes. Contact at brigidexcelspeech@gmail.com

Janet


M.S., CCC-SLP: Janet is originally from Western Massachusetts and received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Southern Connecticut State University. She moved to San Diego in August 2008 where she earned her California license and Certificate of Clinical Competence. Her professional experience includes work in school-based and clinic settings with children and adolescents who have a variety of communication needs, including deficits in language, pragmatics, articulation, motor speech, fluency, and voice. Janet is trained in the following areas: The Hanen Program’s® It Takes Two to Talk, More Than Words, and TalkAbility, SCERTS®, Introduction to PROMPT: Technique, Bridging PROMPT Technique to Intervention, and Lindamood-Bell’s LiPS: The Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing® Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech, and LAMP (Language Acquisition for Motor Planning). Janet provides individual and group (BUDS) speech-language therapy in the Kearny Mesa and South Bay clinics. She currently leads Hanen’s More Than Words® program on Tuesday evenings.

Rachel


Rachel graduated with her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from San Diego State University. Prior to becoming a speech-language pathologist, she worked as an elementary school teacher and has a passion for literacy. Rachel is certified by The Hanen Program® to teach More Than Words® and TalkAbility® courses. She has also been trained and received certifications in PRT (Pivotal Response Training), PECS (the Picture Exchange Communication System), PROMPT (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets), and Lindamood-Bell’s Seeing Stars® program. She provides individual and group (BUDS) speech-language therapy at the Kearny Mesa and San Marcos clinics and also coordinates Excel’s SPLASH therapy program. She currently leads Hanen’s More Than Words® program on Tuesday evenings. Contact at rachelexcelspeech@gmail.com

Alexa


M.S. CCC-SLP: Alexa is originally from Minnesota and received her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Missouri State University. Alexa moved to San Diego in 2011. Her professional experience includes working with children in the public school systems, early intervention and private clinics. Alexa has extensive training in motor speech production and in early Autism intervention. Alexa is constantly furthering her knowledge with continuing education to ensure she is aware of the newest research and treatment techniques. Alexa provides individual and group speech-language therapy in the Chula Vista and San Marcos clinics. Contact at alexaexcelspeech@gmail.com

Sarah


Sarah is originally from Los Angeles, but is happy to call San Diego home. She completed her Master’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University following internships in both the public school system and an out-patient care facility. Sarah became interested in the field of speech-language pathology after volunteering at a preschool for children who had recently received hearing aids or cochlear implants, and after working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). She is trained in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) and enjoys incorporating it into her treatment sessions. She runs both individual and group therapy sessions at the Kearny Mesa and Chula Vista clinics. Contact at sarahexcelspeech@gmail.com

Michelle


Michelle Trenka, M.A., CCC-SLP: Michelle received her Master's in Speech-Language Pathology at San Diego State University. She coordinates and provides individual and group (BUDS) speech-language therapy at the Kearny Mesa and South Bay clinics. Michelle's clinical experience includes working with adults and children in a variety of settings including: preschool, elementary school, private practice, and outpatient clinics. Michelle became passionate about working with children with speech and language disorders after her nephew's diagnosis of autism and her involvement in his speech therapy program. Her experience sparked a desire to help children communicate. She is very passionate about her work and strives to make her therapy sessions individualized to support each child's needs. She is a strong believer in a collaborative approach and encourages family involvement throughout the therapy process. Contact at Michelleexcelspeech@gmail.com

Annais


Annais received her B.S in Communication Disorders and Sciences from CSU Northridge, then went on to receive her Speech Language Pathology Assistant license from Loma Linda University. She is originally from the bay area. She started her career in this field 3 years ago because of the love she has for communication and human interaction. She wanted to be a part of something that was geared towards helping others succeed in life. From this field she has decided to further her education and is currently attending University of San Diego. She is pursuing a Masters in Education with an emphasis in Special Education with a credential in Education Specialist.

Katie


Katie Ayres, M.S. SLP Katie received a Masters of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. After attending graduate school in Nashville, Tennessee, she is happy to be back in her home town of San Diego. She has specialized in working with children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and speak, and has clinical experience working with toddlers, children, and teens with a variety of communication impairments in both individual and group treatment settings. Katie is passionate about providing family-centered, individualized speech-language services for her patients and their families. She currently provides group and individual therapy at our San Marcos and Kearny Mesa clinics.

Julie


Julie is one of the newest members to our Chula Vista team. Julie comes to us most recently from working with moderate to severely impaired high school students with Autism and other disabilities as well as the pre-K to 5th grade setting at an elementary school. She has been traveling for the last two years as part of her job up and down California as a traveling Speech Language Pathologist. Julie has worked in schools, acute hospital settings, skilled nursing facilities, private practice as well as at a men’s prison. She feels she has seen all the ages except the early intervention kiddos and she is very excited to work with you and your children to help you on your communication journey.

Excel’s Speech-Language Pathologists are CA licensed and members of ASHA. Our therapists continue to obtain evidence based certifications and continuing education curriculum, including the following:  

  • PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
  • Beckman Oral Motor Technique
  • PROMPT (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets)
  • SCERTS®
  • Social Thinking®  curriculum.
  • Hanen’s It Takes Two to Talk®
  • Hanen’s More Than Words®
  • Hanen’s Talkability®
  • Lindamood-Bell’s Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing® Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech (LiPS®)
  • Lindamood-Bell’s Seeing Stars for Reading and Spelling
  • LAMP (Language Acquisition for Motor Planning)
  • PRT (Pivotal Response Treatment)