Our Speech and Language Specialists
Speech-Language Pathologist, Clinician Supervisor
Ciara Nally, M.A. CCC-SLP/L, earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in Speech and Hearing Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2012 and 2014 respectively. While in her master’s program, Ciara completed independent research on language acquisition and development from birth to 3 years of age. Additionally, Ciara completed placements in an Early Childhood program focusing on speech and language development as well as an internship at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, focusing in the areas of cleft lip/palate, fluency and apraxia.
Upon graduation, Ciara moved back home to the northwest suburbs and began working at the Center for Speech and Language Disorders. She has gained a wealth of knowledge working in and case managing the charter schools in Rockford as well as providing services at the Lombard clinic. She has gained experience evaluating a variety of disorders as well as developing comprehensive treatment plans for patients of all ages ranging from early childhood to adulthood. Ciara also has experience teaching Literacy and Social Programs through CSLD. She has provided services for clients with varying disorders including but not limited to; Hyperlexia, Apraxia of Speech, Fluency Disorders, Articulation disorders, Phonological disorders, Auditory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, Specific Language Impairments and Literacy deficits. She is especially interested in Apraxia of Speech, Fluency and ASD.
Ciara maintains membership with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and maintains licensure with both the Illinois Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. In her free time, Ciara enjoys volunteering and traveling. Her favorite places to visit are Australia and Ireland as they are where her family resides. When at home, she enjoys volunteering at local stables providing speech therapy for children while they interact with horses and other animals. Her greatest passion is her dog, Bentley, and training him to be a therapy dog for future clients!
Andrea Pearlman, MS, CF-SLP graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She received her Master's degree from Midwestern University and was a member of the inaugural speech-language pathology class. Andrea has been with the Center for Speech and Language Disorders since 2012. She first began as an aide in special programs and created materials for both special programs and charter schools. Andrea transitioned from her role as an aide to a licensed speech-language pathologist in August 2015. She is member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and is currently working toward her Certificate of Clinical Competence. Andrea enjoys hiking and camping in her spare time and frequently visits Colorado to partake in these activities.
Jamie, M.A., CF-SLP/L attended the University of Colorado-Boulder and received a double B.A. in Communication Studies and Sociology. After graduating college, she taught preschool at a Montessori school in Boulder and organized social skills groups at GARDEN, an organization that serves children and families affected by autism. Working in these capacities, Jamie discovered an interest and passion for working with children with developmental delays and communication disorders. Jamie’s experiences motivated her to later earn an M.A. in speech-language pathology from San Jose State University in California.
Jamie has experience serving a breadth of clients with a variety of communication, feeding, and swallowing disorders across several settings. Jamie became a licensed speech-language pathologist and joined the Center for Speech and Language Disorders (CSLD) in fall 2015. She is currently working toward her Certificate of Clinical Competence and is a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. Through CSLD’s Charter School contracts, Jamie provides speech and language services to elementary and high school students, and she also provides assessment and intervention to clients in the Chicago clinic. In her free time, Jamie enjoys staying active, cooking, and traveling.
Kathleen (Katie) Trainor, M.S. CCC-SLP/L graduated in 2012 with her Masters’ of Science in Communication Disorders from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. She started her career working in public schools in Kankakee, IL. Katie moved to Chicagoland area and has been at the Center for Speech and Language Disorders (CSLD) since, working full time in the clinics and school contracts. Katie enjoys the diversity of her work with CSLD, which allows her to work with 1:1 and group sessions in the clinic and partner schools, as well as collaborate with teachers, social workers, behavior therapists, and occupational therapists to provide care to the entire child.
Katie enjoys working with the pediatric population from toddlers to teenagers. She has experience with receptive and expressive language disorders, articulation and phonology disorders, literacy diagnosis and treatment, social/pragmatic language disorders, fluency, executive functioning, and special programs for Language to Literacy and Social Communication. Additionally, Katie has worked in a therapeutic school environment and has experience with non-verbal students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) including picture exchange, switches, static display devices, and dynamic display devices. She has a special interest in executive functioning and completed graduate level research in this area. Katie has presented this research at state and national conventions. Katie maintains membership with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and maintains licensure with the state of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Education.
Katie grew up in Pontiac, IL with her parents and 2 brothers. She currently lives in Elmhurst. She has a large extended family and enjoys spending time with them as much as possible. She enjoys traveling throughout the United States and vacations with her family every year in Door County, WI.
Speech Language Pathologist
Katherine (Katie) Wilkie, M.S. CCC-SLP/L has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for the past 4 years, having graduated in 2012 with her Masters’ of Science from the Rush University in Chicago, with a diverse and non-traditional path to speech through the University of St. Thomas and Northwestern University. She has worked in suburban public school districts, as well as with acute level hospital therapy, around Chicago-land. Katie has seen patients at the Center for Speech and Language Disorders (CSLD) for the past 2-3 years, starting as a part-time worker running a language to literacy after school program, and eventually being hired full time in the clinics and working with school contracts.
While she enjoys pediatric school-based cognitive-linguistic therapy, she has experience including Neonatal Intensive Care feeding, cleft-palate and resonance therapy, adult dysphagia diagnostics and treatment including video fluoroscopic evaluation, Aphasia diagnosis and treatment, treatment after right hemisphere and traumatic brain injury, literacy diagnosis and treatment, special programs for LEAP and Language to Literacy Programs, Autism Spectrum Disorders, cognitive impairment, head and neck cancer, Acquired Apraxia of Speech (AOS) and Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Katie has a loose grasp on conversational Spanish and some basic American Sign Language. She has worked with students and their Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC).
She enjoys the variety of team-roles she plays with the Center, including assessment and diagnosis, treatment, client and co-worker advocacy, peer support, and internal and external presentations. She maintains membership with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and maintains licensure with the state Illinois Board of Education.
Miss Wilkie grew up and currently lives in Oak Park. She enjoys biking for purpose and fun, including the MS150 in Minnesota, and enjoys travelling both nationally and internationally. She has a background of diverse extra-curricular activities including volunteering, improvisational comedy, kickball, and trivia games with friends and her family.
Rachel attended Purdue University for her Bachelor Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a double major in French. She received her Master of Science in Speech Pathology from the University of South Carolina in 2009. Rachel enjoys working with a variety of clients and has worked in a variety of settings including hospital, clinic, school, and in early intervention.
In her career, Rachel has treated adults and children with swallowing disorders in a variety of settings. She continues to work with adults in a hospital setting, where she assesses and treats language, cognitive, and speech disorders such as aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, dysphagia, and traumatic brain injury. Rachel has experience working with children with a variety of speech and language disorders including cleft palate, Autism, apraxia, Down syndrome, and fluency.
At the Center for Speech and Language Disorders, Rachel sees clients in both the clinic and school setting. She is certified in Greenspan Floortime, Interactive Metronome, and VitalStim therapy.
Rachel is fluent in the German language and conversationally proficient in French. She has taught some basic American Sign Language and worked with pediatrics and adults and their Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC).
Sarah Levinsky, M.S. CCC-SLP, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She worked in a variety of settings during her master’s program, including a school, private practice, and outpatient pediatric specialty clinics (The Newborn Follow-up Clinic, The Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Clinic, The Down Syndrome Clinic, and the Neuromotor Development Clinic). The fast-paced and often unpredictable nature of each environment allowed her to develop a greater sense of flexibility, quick thinking, and implementation of appropriate goals and resources, including multidisciplinary collaboration.
She returned to Chicago (her hometown!) and began working at the Center for Speech and Language Disorders (CSLD) in 2014. She enjoys running the social language and language to literacy programs, as well as providing 1:1 therapy and family consultation within the clinic. Sarah is also grateful to provide therapy within school contracts through CSLD. She feels that the variety of settings allows for greater collaboration and opportunity for growth as a therapist, as you are constantly communicating with other speech-language therapists, families, teachers, social workers, and occupational therapists. She is very passionate about providing family-centered care, and enjoys collaborating with families for carryover of skills from the clinic or school environments to everyday life.
Sarah has experience working with individuals with a variety of communication needs, and is particularly passionate about pragmatic (social) language skills. Sarah enjoys the variety of roles and settings in which she works with CSLD, including school contracts, individual and group therapy at the clinic, external presentations, and she greatly enjoys running the literacy and social communication programs, as well as providing 1:1 therapy and family consultation.
Brittany Armstrong, MS CCC-SLP/L graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2013 with a major in Anthropology and minors in Linguistics and Spanish. Brittany completed an internship with the Center for Speech and Language Disorders before graduating and that ultimately led her to pursue her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, which she received from Boston University in 2015. During graduate school, Brittany had the opportunity to gain experience working with both adults and children in schools, hospitals, and clinics with receptive and expressive language disorders, articulation and phonological impairments, aphasia, dysphagia, and many other disorders. At Boston University’s Academic Speech, Language, and Hearing Center, Brittany helped to run groups for people with aphasia and individuals with fluency disorders as well as a group for children who had difficulty with executive function, and provided services during the summer Aphasia Intensive Program.
After graduate school, Brittany moved to Chicago and began working in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, where she gained experience working with adults with communication, cognitive, and swallowing disorders. She joined the Center for Speech and Language Disorders (CSLD) team during the summer of 2016 and couldn’t be happier to be back! She is gaining more experience working in the school and clinic environments, where she sees students with receptive and expressive language disorders, autism, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, and many others. Brittany maintains membership with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and maintains licensure with both the Illinois Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Brittany grew up in New Jersey, but has since lived in a number of very cold places and is enjoying living in the Midwest. In her free time, Brittany enjoys trying new recipes, traveling, listening to live music, and curling up with a good book (and her cat).
Hannah Thiesfeldt, M.S. CF-SLP/L, graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and minors in Communication Disorders and Spanish from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. She received her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Minnesota State University, Mankato. While pursuing her Master’s, she had the opportunity to go to San Pedro Island, Belize, where she provided speech, language, and hearing evaluations to children in the preschools around the island and educated teachers on child developmental norms.
After graduating with her Master’s degree, Hannah relocated to Chicago, IL and joined the Center for Speech and Language Disorders (CSLD) team. Hannah has experience in clinic, elementary school , and acute adult rehabilitation settings serving clients with expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation and phonological impairments, literacy difficulties, Autism, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and Aphasia.
Hannah enjoys cooking her latest Pinterest find, going to Chicago Cubs games, running, reading, and exploring new parts of the city.