Meet SpeechLeap’s Team

Meet SpeechLeap's Team

Mrs. Sami

Samara Shalom, M.S. CCC-SLP

Samara Shalom M.S. CCC-SLP has been a speech language pathologist for over eight years. The mother of three children of her own, Samara began servicing children in her private practice in 2013.

Samara is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the University of Arkansas Department of Medical Sciences. She is a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and is licensed to provide speech and language services in the state of Maryland by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Samara’s interest in speech and language disorders began as a little girl, watching her Speech-Language Pathologist Mom. Later in life, Samara’s passion for helping others helped launch her career as a successful Speech-Language Pathologist. Samara has experience treating clients from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. She has effectively treated children and young adults with a wide variety of challenges, including:

  • Articulation
  • Hodson’s Approach to Phonological Processes (unintelligibility)
  • Language delays and disorders
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Down syndrome
  • Talk Tools Provider
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Aphasia
  • Dysarthria
  • Literacy (Reading, Writing, and Spelling difficulties)
  • Accent modification
  • Feeding/Oral Motor therapy
  • Certified Fast ForWord Provider

Mrs. Sami believes that everyone who needs speech treatment should be able to get it, no matter what his or her socio-economic background. That’s why Samara is her client’s greatest advocate. Whether working with teachers to incorporate assistive technology in the classroom, or fighting insurance companies to get her clients the services they need, Samara leaves no stone unturned when it comes to advocating for her clients.

Samara sees each client as a world unto him or herself, and believes that her role reaches far beyond the confines of each treatment session. That’s why Samara devotes time to coaching parents, networking with other professionals, and providing in-service training to teachers.

“I received speech services as a child, because of middle-ear fluid. I remember it as a happy place to be, and I try to re-create that for my clients.”

-Samara Shalom, M.S. CCC-SLP

Cree Drayton (Ms. Cree) B.S., SLPA

Ms. Cree is a licensed Speech Therapist with experience in pediatric therapy. She graduated from Howard University with her Bachelor’s degree in 2013. She has since worked in the school setting and private practice setting, providing services to children with a variety of needs.

Ms. Cree is currently obtaining her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from New York University. She enjoys working with children across all communicative domains and advocates for fun, functional therapy.

Outside of the speech and language realm, Cree is a wife and a mother of two little girls. She loves spending quality time with her family and making therapy materials in her free time.

Cicely Hobson, Office Administrator

Cicely Hobson is the Office Administrator here at Speech Leap. She is responsible for scheduling, billing, client communications, and general office organization tasks. She has worked with Speech Leap since 2018, and has thoroughly enjoyed working behind the scenes to meet the needs of our therapists and clients alike. She promises to always try her best to meet your needs efficiently and effectively.
Cicely graduated from Towson University in 2019 with her undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. After spending some time in the workforce, she plans to continue her education to gain her graduate degree. Cicely loves working with children of all ages and has cared for them in a variety of settings, such as daycare, home, and summer camp. As a future health professional, she hopes to devote her career to meeting the needs of children and their families from an interdisciplinary approach. She believes collaboration between parents, professionals and disciplines is key to children growing to their fullest potential.
For pleasure, Cicely enjoys camping, live music events, and spending time in nature.

Miriam Mandel, M.S. CCC-SLP

Miriam Mandel M.S. CCC-SLP holds a Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Western Kentucky University.  She has worked in private clinic, public school, and private school settings with pediatric clients of all ages. Miriam has also planned and implemented summer language and literacy enrichment camps. Miriam’s passion is early language intervention with toddlers and preschool-aged children and she therefore has chosen to specialize in working with children from birth to five. In therapy sessions, Miriam commonly uses a parent/teacher coaching model, multisensory thematic language activities, and multimodal communication such as American Sign Language and/or picture symbols combined with spoken language.  Miriam provides the most important people in the child’s life (i.e. parents, caregivers, and teachers) with tools to maximize communication and minimize frustration. She believes that it is crucial for therapeutic techniques to be implemented frequently during daily activities such as dressing, bathing, eating, and playing to ensure meaningful learning and carryover. Miriam has over five years of experience evaluating and treating pediatric clients in the following areas:

  • Articulation, phonology, and intelligibility
  • Receptive and expressive language delays and disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, and other types of developmental delay
  • Social communication deficits
  • Assistive technology and complex communication needs
  • Literacy (phonological awareness, decoding, reading comprehension, written expression, and spelling difficulties)
  • Stuttering
  • Voice and resonance
  • Hard of hearing
  • Auditory processing
  • Memory

Miriam is a Hanen Centre-certified provider of the Learning Language and Loving ItTM program for early childhood educators and teachers.  She is licensed by the State of Maryland and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Miriam lives with her husband and their young son and enjoys singing, reading, and writing in her spare time.

Avery Borchers, M.A. SLP

Avery Borchers is a licensed Speech Pathologist in her first year following graduate school. She has moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to start her career full-time with Baltimore City Schools working with Pre-k to 8th grade. She received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) and completed her masters at University of Toledo.

Avery has experience in both pediatric and adult settings with an emphasis on Augmentative Alternative Communication. She enjoys building rapport with families, working as a team member to the support needs of the children. She started working for SpeechLeap fall of 2019 and is excited to be apart of the team and a resource for families!

When she’s not practicing as a Speech Pathologist you can find her traveling, attempting to use her roller skates (Watch out Baltimore!) and trying out new recipes!

Elina Mehrabi M.S. OTR/L

Elina Mehrabi is the first licensed occupational therapist to join our SpeechLeap team. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science from Towson University in December 2018. Elina started her career working with both adults and pediatrics with neurological and orthopedic conditions in an outpatient setting. She is enthusiastic to join us now to work with our young clients to enhance their performance and skills in their daily activities.

As a mother, Elina enjoys integrating play-based activities to make therapy fun and goal- oriented for children. By collaborating with Speech Pathologists in SpeechLeap, Elina will help provide a more comprehensive approach to facilitate our clients and families to achieve their goals.

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