About Us 2020-05-21T14:10:57+00:00

At Now We’re Talking Pediatric Therapy

How We Came About:
In April of 2003 Kim Sherwin and Michelle Helmes both working with children as speech-language pathologists decided to combine their love and passion for their careers and begin their own company “Now We’re Talking” Pediatric Therapy, Inc in order to provide the best services for the communities in which they live.

Speech Therapists
Occupational Therapists
Physical Therapists
Office Staff

Kim Sherwin, MS CCC-SLP
Kim is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Co-Owner of “Now We’re Talking” Pediatric Therapy, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University at New Paltz in 1995 and her Masters of Science in Communication Disorders from The College of Saint Rose in 2001. She is an active member of ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association) where she holds and maintains her Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathology. She is North Carolina licensed and a member of the North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association. She has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 25 years, with all her professional experience working with infants, toddlers, preschool, and elementary ages with various disabilities and disorders. She has worked in many settings including the home, preschools, daycares, elementary schools as well as a clinic setting. Her goal as a provider is to serve children within their most natural environment and provide their caregivers with the knowledge, tools, and support to carry through with intervention. The journey to effective communication for young children is attained through fun everyday experiences and routines with the support of a team.

Michelle HelmesMichelle Helmes, MS CCC-SLP Michelle is a Speech and Language Pathologist and co-owner of “Now We’re Talking” Pediatric Therapy, Inc. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in May 1993 from The University of NY at New Paltz in Speech and Hearing. Michelle then received her Master of Science degree in December of 1996 from The College of Saint Rose in Communication Disorders. Along with her Master’s degree, she earned her Certificate of Clinical Competence from The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Michelle has been professionally involved in a speech and language career for 23 years. During this career, she has focused on the needs of children who exhibit many varieties of speech, language, and feeding concerns. Michelle has provided therapy in many settings which include the following: homes, daycares, clinics, preschools, special needs preschools, and elementary schools. Regardless of a child’s diagnosis, Michelle provides a fun, nurturing environment which allows a child to reach his or her full communication potential.

Our Speech Therapists

Kristen Carman M.ED CCC-SLP Kristen Carmen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from James Madison University in 2010. Before receiving her Master’s degree, she confirmed her passion for the pediatric population by working at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia providing aide in the therapy department to a variety of developmental disorders. In 2013, Kristen graduated with her Master of Education in Speech-Language Pathology from North Carolina Central University.

She has experience working in an assortment of settings including outpatient clinics, schools, daycares, and rehabilitation centers. During her clinical experience, she gained knowledge in the areas of evaluating and treating children with expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation disorders and delays, phonological disorders, and fluency disorders as well as facilitating language development to children with autism. Kristen has gained experience working with a variety of populations including autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, developmental disorders, behavioral difficulties, and learning disabilities.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with her dog, running, cooking, crafting, and enjoying the outdoors.

Andrea Behrns-Miller MA CCC-SLP

Andrea Behrns-Miller MA CCC-SLP is an experienced pediatric speech-language pathologist and is highly skilled in evaluating and treating children with all types of communication delays and impairments, including early intervention, language delays and disorders, autism spectrum disorder, articulation and phonological impairments, fluency disorders, literacy, and hearing impairments. In addition, she has experience working with Dual Language Learners and in using Sign Language and Play-Based therapy to facilitate communication development in young children.

Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, and went on to earn her Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and is licensed in the state of North Carolina.

Stacy Davis MS CCC-SLP – I am originally from Dallas, Texas. I attended Indiana University in order to obtain my bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. I then went to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where I earned my master’s degree in Communication Disorders. When attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I experienced working at a private practice, an elementary, middle, and high school, as well as a skilled nursing facility. Since graduating, I’ve been employed at pediatric private practice therapy companies at which I see kids for evaluations and therapy in order to improve their speech and language skills. I have had experience with children with expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, social and pragmatic difficulties, behavior difficulties, and attention disorders. My favorite part of my job is being able to spend time with kids and seeing their progress! In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, watching movies, doing Zumba, and playing on a kickball team.

Angela Rosino, MA, CCC-SLP Angie is originally from upstate New York. In 1995 she attended the University of Central Florida where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communicative Disorders. She completed her clinical fellowship in the Orange County School district and continued to work within the schools for 3 years before starting a private practice in Orlando, in 2003. While a private practitioner, she worked extensively with children and adults within a variety of settings including daycares, preschools, homes, workshops, and group homes. Her main focus at that time was within the preschool and early school-age population and providing one-on-one play-based therapy. She has experience working with children and young adults diagnosed with a variety of speech and language delays and disorders. She believes in a nurturing therapy environment to help facilitate speech and language development and always includes parents and caregivers to help with the transition of these skills. Angie is licensed by the North Carolina Board of Examiners and holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Ariel Cohen, MA CCC-SLP Ariel received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University where she double majored in Psychology and Educational Studies. She went on to receive her Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Maryland.   Ariel is currently licensed by N.C. Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and has her national certification from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.  She has provided diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to children of all ages in a variety of settings including inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital, preschool, daycare, home, and clinic. She has experience treating children with a variety of diagnoses including receptive and expressive language disorders, articulation disorders, feeding disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder, In addition, she has received specialized training in feeding/swallowing disorders. Ariel enjoys teaching families how to use their child’s strengths and interests to facilitate improved communication. In her free time, Ariel enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her new puppy.

Nadia Abdelkhalek M.Ed CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a license to practice in North Carolina.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware in 2006.  In 2014, she obtained a Masters of Education in Communication Disorders from North Carolina Central University.  She has worked within a variety of settings including home health, private clinics, daycares, school, and nursing home settings.  She has experience with articulation, phonological disorders, and nursing home settings. She has experience with articulation, phonological disorders, language delays and disorders, fluency, and apraxia.  Nadia has worked with children with diagnoses of autism, intellectual disability, Fragile X syndrome, and traumatic brain injury.  She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and has her Certificate of Clinical Competence.  Nadia specializes in working with Spanish Speaking and bilingual community.  Raised within a trilingual household (Spanish, Arabic, and English), she has always had a fascination for language.  Nadia enjoys working with the pediatric population and currently specializes in early intervention, targeting children 2-5 years.  These early years are crucial to a child’s development and future academic success.  She provides educational talks for teachers and parents to inform them of speech and language development during early childhood.  This information helps bridge and carry over strategies from therapy into the home and classroom.

Monica Lorkowski MA CCC-SLP is a seasoned speech-language pathologist that has worked with children who have a wide variety of communication needs.  She has had years of experience in evaluating and treating children with receptive and expressive language impairments, articulation and phonological disorders, auditory /verbal therapy for hearing impairment, and fluency disorders to name a few.  Monica has worked with children who have different medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, down syndrome, hearing loss, and various neurological diseases/disorders.  Her extensive experience lies with children who are nonverbal and require the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems and strategies to support their communication throughout their day.  Monica works through an implementation plan with families to ensure her client’s reach their communication potential.  Monica received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The University of Akron in Akron, OH.  When she is not seeing clients, she enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with her husband and King Charles Cavalier Evie.

Julie Graves MS CCC-SLP is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in the state of North Carolina and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Bachelor of Art in Music degrees from the University of Montevallo in 2013. She continued on to earn her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Montevallo in 2015. She previously served communities in Alabama and South Carolina in the home, clinic, preschool, elementary, and middle school settings. She has experience working with children ages 24 months to 11 years to facilitate speech and language development. Julie has provided therapy to target receptive and expressive language disorders, speech sound disorders (articulation and phonology), Childhood Apraxia of Speech, hearing impairment, cleft lip and palate, Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), and fluency (stuttering). She worked in training and programming high-tech speech-generating devices (LAMP-WFL, Proloquo2Go, Unity, Snap + Core). Julie has experience in collaborating with an interdisciplinary team including the child’s family, educators, and other therapists to provide a comprehensive and individualized approach to therapy. She believes in using play-based, motivating activities to facilitate language development. Julie loves singing musical theatre, trying new recipes, and spending time with her family and pets.

Alexis Oliver, SLP-A Hi my name is Alexis Oliver. I graduated from Fayetteville Tech Community College in May 2017 with my Associates of Speech-Language Pathology Assistant degree. Before completing my speech therapy degree I gained experience in the healthcare field as a CNA in a local hospital and a few living facilities. While in school I completed clinical rounds, which is where I confirmed my passion for working in the pediatric population for speech therapy. During my clinical rounds and since graduating I have gained experience and knowledge treating children with expressive and receptive language disorders, phonological disorders, fluency disorders, and articulation disorders and delays. I have also gained experience through my journey working with a variety of children from different populations including Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, behavioral difficulties, learning disabilities, and developmental disorders. In my free time, I love spending time with my friends and family. I have two daughters of my own, and one beautiful niece who keeps me busy outside of my career.

Grace Sessions SLP-A is a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant.  She has worked in the field for over 10 years and loves it.  She holds a degree in Speech Pathology Assisting and furthered her education in undergraduate coursework in communication sciences.  She encourages families to participate in treatment and works well with other providers to encourage cohesive and well-rounded treatment.  She has successfully applied treatment plans for individuals on the Autism Spectrum, Pervasive Development Disorder Spectrum along with an array of communication challenges.  She is very capable of being flexible in therapeutic approaches as well as scheduling and adjusting locations for therapeutic success.  Grace has an amazing talent for reaching children with her magnetic personality and artistic talents.

Occupational Therapists

Tracy L. Levy, MS OTR/L is a licensed and registered occupational therapist with over 18 years of pediatric experience. She graduated with a combined bachelors/masters degree in occupational therapy from Russell Sage College/Sage Graduate School in Troy, New York. She has worked in daycares, preschools, public and private schools, clinics, as well as in family homes. She has a wide variety of experiences working with fine motor development, sensory integration issues, and orthopedic issues as well as developmental delays.

Alaina Aasen MS OTR/L earned her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Shenandoah University in 2019 and is licensed in both North Carolina and Virginia.  Her love and passion for working with children began formal schooling where she babysat and nannied children.  In her babysitting and nannying experiences, she nurtured children with special needs, autism in particular, and found herself drawn to the field of Occupational Therapy.  She has hands-on experience with applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment as well as working in a variety of settings.  She excels at treating fine motor, sensory integration issues, and ADL’s.  Her goal is to be the best therapist for each and every child and family that she encounters to assist them in obtaining full lives, participating in, and enjoying activities that are fulfilling and productive.

Kristin Patria OTR/L obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences from the University of New England in 2007. After living in Boston, MA for two years, working as a sleep research polysomnography technician with Brigham and Woman’s Hospital and Harvard University, she then went to Philadelphia University in Pennsylvania to obtain a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy (completed in 2012). Kristin developed a passion for working with children and their families during her field-level II internship at United Cerebral Palsy of Tampa Bay in Florida. There, Kristin gained experience in assessing handwriting, sensory integration, visual processing skills, emotional regulation skills, and social interaction skills. She also completed a level I internship with the Pennsylvania Center for Adaptive Sports. During that internship, she worked with individuals of all ages, with a wide range of physical and cognitive deficits, in the adaptive downhill ski program at Camelback Mountain in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. After graduating from graduate school, Kristin worked in Gainesville, FL in an outpatient pediatric clinic. Since moving to the Raleigh, NC area, Kristin has continued to work fulltime in pediatric private practice. She has experience working with a variety of diagnoses including autism, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, fine motor, and visual perceptual/motor issues, sensory processing disorders, ADD/ADHD, and a variety of other syndromes and physical/mental disabilities. She has been trained in Therapeutic Listening Program, “Handwriting without Tears” program, the Astronaut Training Program, the Core Connections program, visual processing, Kinesiology taping practitioner certification, and the Language Acquisition Through Motor Planning (LAMP) program, and has experience with the Interactive Metronome and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding Program. Kristin has also recently become a health and wellness coach for people of all ages and has an enormous passion for nutrition and the important role it plays as a foundation for all the body’s functions and behaviors. She has a strong drive to help instill nutritional values in children of all ages, so they can fuel their bodies with the right foods to allow them to play and learn to their greatest potential. Kristin also has a strong belief in the impact of movement and physical activity has on learning and development and strives to help children migrate from their screens back into their environments for play-based learning.

Courtney Privette COTA/L – Courtney earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services and minored in Psychology from East Carolina University in 2013. She discovered a passion for children with special needs during her spring internship at a local pediatric therapy clinic, where she spent 16 weeks observing a wide variety of diagnoses and assisted with developing and facilitating treatment plans. She relocated to Wilmington, NC to earn her Associate of Applied Science as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She completed several clinical rotations in a variety of settings which included: daycares, a private pediatric clinic, a senior center, and skilled nursing facilities. Her clinical rotations reiterated her love for the pediatric population and the impact she could make in the children’s lives as well as their families. She has experience working with children with a variety of disorders including developmental delays, autism, sensory processing disorder, and Down syndrome. She has been exposed to programs such as Handwriting Without Tears, Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, How Does Your Engine Run?, Picture Exchange Communication System, and Interactive Metronome.  Courtney is licensed by the North Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy and certified by the National Board of Occupational Therapy.

In her free time, Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband and son, doing arts and crafts projects off Pinterest, and trying out new recipes!

Tiffany Benoit COTA/L is a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant who graduated with an Associates’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton Wisconsin in May of 2012. She has since worked with populations ranging from birth to geriatrics. She has found her passion in working with a pediatric population and their families. She provides individualized treatments to children with physical, cognitive, and psychological impairments as it relates to their activities of daily living. She collaborates with families and other professionals to meet each child’s needs. Tiffany is originally from Wisconsin and has lived in Florida a few times before settling in North Carolina. She loves spending time with her husband and two children. Besides traveling back to Wisconsin and Florida to visit family, Tiffany also enjoys doing crafts and scrapbooking. Tiffany has experiences with ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, developmental delays, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Arthrogryposis, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, TBI, DiGeorge Syndrome, Hadju Cheney Syndrome, and neglect. She loves to have fun and is always looking for new creative ways to motivate the children and their families.

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapist Garner NC

Amanda Griffin MPT – Amanda Griffin graduated from Springfield College in Springfield Massachusetts where she received a Master’s degree in physical therapy. She has spent the last 16 years working with children of all ages and just recently relocated from Maine. She loves working with children and their families and getting the opportunity to be a part of helping children learn how to independently explore their environment. She strongly believes that teamwork is the best way to help a child succeed and works hard to involve family, caregivers, and other providers in fostering a child’s success. She loves spending time with her husband, two young sons, and gardening.

Jennifer Rizzardi, MPT – Jennifer Rizzardi is a Physical Therapist who earned her Masters of Physical Therapy degree from The University of Michigan in 1998. Her experience includes working with children in the home, clinic, and daycare settings. Jennifer has worked with a variety of diagnoses, some of which include Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephaly, Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental delay, prematurity, Down’s Syndrome, Torticollis and high or low muscle tone. She truly enjoys working with children and their families as a team, to ensure successful outcomes. Jennifer loves the opportunity to allow children to feel the joy of independent, functional movement while progressing toward their goals. She is happily married with two daughters who are 9 and 6 and loves spending time with her family. Jennifer also enjoys reading, exercising, gardening, cooking, and baking.

Claudia Huntanar, PTA – Hi, my name is Claudia and I am a Physical Therapist Assistant.  I am from Peru so I am fully bilingual. I am married and I have two amazing boys that I love so much, 5 years and 6 months old.   After being an engineer for 3 years I chose to change career paths and become a therapist as a result of my nephew’s experience of needing intense physical therapy at 6 months of age. I became more interested and passionate about kids and therapy. I studied at Mercer CCC in New Jersey and saw multiple cases in all age ranges. I moved to NC in 2015 and started to work in-home care and early intervention.   I’ve had a lot of experience with neurological and orthopedic cases. In my free time, we are a fit family, and love running, biking, hiking with my kids and husband.

The Real Brains Behind the Organization

Melissa Stevenson

Christy Stephens