Meet Our Occupational Therapists & Speech-Language Pathologists

Occupational Therapists

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Maureen A Johnson, OT

Alaska OT Services, LLC.

Maureen is the owner of Alaska OT Services, LLC. She holds a degree in Occupational Therapy that she received from the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center in 1986. She is licensed in the State of Alaska and is Nationally Board Certified in OT. 

Maureen has a special interest in Sensory Integration / Sensory Processing Disorder, and successfully completed the Sensory Integration Certification Program sponsored by USC/WPS, mentorship with STAR Institute for Sensory Processing, as well as completed Hippotherapy Treatment Principles Part I & II courses through the American Hippotherapy Association, and will often utilize the movement of the horse in summer therapy sessions.  Throughout her years, she has practiced in a variety of adult & pediatric settings, including Neonatal ICU, inpatient neuro-acute & rehabilitation, home health care with both pediatrics & geriatrics, as well as early intervention. 

 

Maureen practiced in Peoria and Chicago before moving to Alaska in January 1990 to work at Providence Alaska Medical Center. She was born and raised in La Salle, IL with 4 older brothers and a younger sister. She met her husband, Matt, upon arrival in Anchorage while working a three-month traveling position. They have been blessed with three wonderful children: Michael, Elizabeth, and Julia; as well as two dogs and two cats. Spare time is often spent skiing, biking, camping, or at their cabin in Homer, fishing on their boat.

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Carolyn Michaud, OTR/L

Ability Occupational Therapy Services, LLC.

Carolyn was born and grew up in Pennsylvania, but has been an Alaskan since 2004. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fairbanks, Alaska, and an Associate of Arts in Substance abuse counseling, which then piqued her interest in helping children who have experienced effects from substance abuse, such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Carolyn then obtained her doctorate in occupational therapy with a focus on pediatrics. She also completed the FASD 4-Digit Diagnostic Code course to further understand the effects of alcohol and other substances on children’s development to improve intervention outcomes for this underserved population. Carolyn is excited to work in pediatrics and understands that collaboration and family involvement are the keys to making positive changes. 

Carolyn enjoys sewing, hiking, camping, the outdoors, board games, cooking/baking, and gardening.

Ability Pediatric Occupational Therapy occasionally contracts with an occupational therapist (OT) and pediatric therapist (PT) providers to best serve the needs of our clientele and their families. Contractors include Annette Leier (OT) and Joyce Barnett (PT). 

Speech-Language Pathologists

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Cara Leckwold, M.A., CCC-SLP

Children's Speech Therapy Services

Cara has been an SLP for 33 years. She is the owner of Children’s Speech Therapy Services and has been with the Ability Group since its inception. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she traveled to Newfoundland, Canada to work for the James Paton Memorial Hospital and the Newfoundland Children’s Rehabilitation Centre. Her interest in Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology was sparked when she requested and received, an Apple II E with Adaptive Firmware Card, a Unicorn Board, and the PCS Reproducible Symbol Library. After seeing the potential for increased access with these tools, coupled with the use of battery interrupters and switches made from pie plates, she was hooked!

Cara returned to the US to work at Programs for Infants and Children, followed by the Special Education Preschool program in the Anchorage School District. In 1996, she opened a private practice, specializing in AAC and Assistive Technology (AT). She has presented at statewide and national conferences.

Cara continues to pursue specialized training in AAC strategies and other assistive technologies. She works with a variety of high tech communication systems and software, iPad apps, and low tech communication strategies. Her goal is to educate families and clients about AAC, the variety

of programs and access strategies available, and match these features to the needs of clients

and families.

Nancy Lovering, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech Language Therapy Services, LLC.

Nancy is a speech-language pathologist practicing for 33 years. She received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northern Arizona University and began working for Children's Rehabilitation Clinic (CRC) in Tucson, Arizona. At CRC Nancy worked directly with physicians and other professionals by providing therapy and consultations during specialty clinics serving children from across Arizona and Mexico. In addition, she traveled to the Navajo and the Tohono O'odham reservations to provide both assessment and treatment to children. After moving to Alaska in 1989 she worked for the Anchorage School District for 4 years before deciding to open her practice.

 

She specializes in working with infants and children with feeding and swallowing disorders including children with limited diets. She works with children of all ages with speech and language delays and disorders including apraxia of speech, neurological-based communication disorders, and cleft lip and palate. Nancy contracts with Kids Corps Head Start to provide preschool-based speech and language services for over 25 years. She is active in her national and state professional organizations and is a member of several committees that address professional issues. When not working she absolutely loves spending time with her grandchildren and family, cooking, traveling, and enjoying Alaska.

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Sarah Hagen, MS., CCC-SLP

Speech Language Therapy Services, LLC.

Sarah has been a certified speech-language pathologist since 2017. She is an employee of Speech Language Therapy Services, LLC and has been a member of the Ability Group since 2019. She received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from East Carolina University and began working for the Anchorage School District. While working in the schools, Sarah primarily worked with students experiencing phonological disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, autism, and students with delayed language development. Since beginning at the Ability group, Sarah has gained experience working with children with motor speech disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, social language disorders, autism, and phonological language disorders. Sarah has been trained in PROMPT and she is beginning her training to work with children experiencing feeding disorders. Sarah also assists Nancy with Headstart Kids Corp and works with preschool students that experience speech and language delays. Sarah enjoys working with young children and seeing the positive changes in their lives as they learn to communicate more effectively. 

Sarah was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. She is married with two daughters and has a chocolate lab. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys camping, hiking, baking, and traveling with her family.

Speech Language Therapy Services Team:

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Holly Nunn, MS., CCC-SLP

Speech Language Therapy Services, LLC.

Holly graduated from East Carolina University in 2017 with a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Before that, she worked as a teacher. She has over ten years of professional experience working with children. She enjoys treating young children with speech and language delays. She has specialized interests in Gestalt Language Learning, executive function as it relates to language, as well as motor speech disorders.

When Holly isn’t working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.

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Christal Hays MS., CCC-CF

Speech Language Therapy Services, LLC.

Christal has worked for Speech-Language Therapy Services since 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Science and Disorders from Western Washington University and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University. During her time as a speech therapy assistant at SLTS, she completed her master’s degree, and now works as an SLP. Born and raised in Anchorage, when she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, her dog, reading, and gardening. She participated as a LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders) fellow in 2021-2022 and applies this experience in her clinical work. She’s gained experience in public education and private therapy settings, ranging in population from toddlers to high school students. Christal is passionate about working with early language needs and is experienced in treatment approaches for Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC), phonological disorders, and expressive/receptive language problems. She is excited to begin her clinical education in feeding and swallowing therapy under Nancy Lovering. Most of her treatment methods focus on family involvement, play-based approaches, and interdisciplinary involvement. Christal strives to support her clients in their most important environments and promotes family-centered care for all.

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Anna Spilker, M.S., CCC-SLP

Articulate Speech and Language Therapy, LLC.

Anna Spilker is a speech-language pathologist and owner of Articulate Speech and Language Therapy, LLC.  She is a member of the Ability Group in Anchorage, Alaska, and has benefitted from mentorship and collaboration with this group of interdisciplinary providers. She has 16 years of experience practicing speech in clinical, non-profit, interdisciplinary, and school-based settings. Anna graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology in 2006 and has continued her university affiliations through occasional post-graduate research and clinical supervision. She has worked with children who experience a variety of developmental disabilities and communication needs and has specific interests in motor speech, social/pragmatic language, and collaborative treatment with related healthcare and educational disciplines.  Anna strives to provide family-centered care, involving parents in setting and working cooperatively towards communication goals. She finds fulfillment in empowering children through recognizing their communication potential. She is an active member of the Alaska Speech and Language Hearing Association and serves on the executive board as secretary. She is also a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Group 12: Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Anna participated as a long-term fellow in the 2013/2014 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program through the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Center for Human Development. LEND is an interdisciplinary leadership training program for professionals supporting children and families who experience autism and related developmental disabilities.  In the 2020/2021 academic year, Anna joined LEND as an adjunct faculty member for speech-language pathology. Anna has two children and is active as a board member in her sons’ school Parent Teacher Association. She enjoys exploring Alaska, biking, reading, and cooking in her free time.

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Molly Thompson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Pediatric Speech-Language Services

Molly has been a speech-language pathologist for over 35 years. She specializes in the treatment of childhood apraxia of speech, developmental language disorders and speech-language disorders in Down syndrome. She has presented locally and nationally on speech-sound disorders, language and play skills in Down syndrome and strategies in the treatment of language learning disorders. She is certified in PROMPT © and LSVT-LOUD Pediatric ®. PROMPT© is one of many techniques Molly incorporates in the treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

Educational Remediation Therapy & Dyslexia Services

Anne Hazelton, BEd, MSCEC

The Missing Links

Contact:

Phone: 1-907-952-7923

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