Muniba has experience working in hospitals and private practice settings. Her work has included the evaluation and treatment of both children and adults with communication disorders in the areas of expressive, receptive, and pragmatic language disorders, articulation/ phonological disorders, fluency, and dysphagia. Muniba has worked with patients with developmental delays, Autism, Down's syndrome, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and cognitive communication disorders. She has worked in individual, group, and play-based therapy settings with preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school aged children.
Muniba completed her clinical fellowship in Speech Language Pathology in Pakistan, as part of a Speech Pathology program that was the first of its kind in the country. She worked to raise awareness about speech language pathology and educated parents, teachers, doctors, and healthcare professionals, as well as mentored students in the field. After completing her fellowship, she returned to the US and joined The Speech Emporium in 2013.
Vanessa Treece, MS, CF-SLP
Vanessa is new to the Houston area as she just completed her Master of Science decgree in Speech-Language Pathology at Loyola University Maryland. Vanessa is originally from Michigan, but spent a year working in South Texas as a SLP assistant before travleing to Baltimore, Maryland for graduate school.
Vanessa has worked in a pediatric clinic and early intervention programs for children with Autism as a behavior therapist prior to graduate school. During her graduate program, she was also exposed to working in a hospital, voice and swallowing center, headstart programs, and a specialized language learning disorders school. Vanessa is an enthusiastic therapist, excited to be the newest addition to the Speech Emporium Team!
Karen Rivera is a native Houstonian and is bilingual (Spanish and English). In 2011, Karen completed her Master of Science degree in Speech-language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. During her graduate program, Karen volunteered in a variety of capacities: camp counselor at Camp Superstar (a camp for children with cleft lip/palate and craniofacial anomalies); Florida Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (FCPA); and as a research assistant for a FCPA presenter. She attended the University of Houston and in 2001 earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Cultural Anthropology.
Karen also has diverse experience working with the bilingual community in research, social services, and educational settings. Research experience consists of bilingual research assistant, psychometrician, and participant recruiter in studies targeting traumatic experiences, spinal cord injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. As an Education Coordinator, Karen managed bilingual family-based services focusing on early childhood development and adequate prenatal care in the Houston and Pasadena service areas. Karen promoted grassroots efforts as a Family Education Coordinator for overall family wellness and developed Individualized Family Service Plans. Karen has also provided culturally sensitive support to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Karen is currently completing her Clinical Fellowship. Her clinical experience includes working in private practice and a rehabilitation hospital. She has experience in the evaluation and treatment of adults and children with communication disorders in the areas of receptive/expressive language, articulation, feeding/swallowing, cognition, fluency, Autism, oral-motor functioning, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of neurological diagnosis.
Karen volunteers at a non-profit created by her husband targeting at risk youth to promote emotional intelligence and effective communication skills to further students’ personal, professional, and educational achievement.
In her personal time, Karen enjoys spending time with her family and perusing professional and personal goals. Presently, her main focus is enjoying motherhood and running after her toddler.
Chi Smith, MS, CCC-SLP
Chi earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Relations and Child Development with a minor in Art History from Oklahoma State University in 2001 and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of Tulsa in 2008. She is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association (TSHA). Chi also serves as a mentor through the Student to Empowered Professional (STEP) program through ASHA. Her work has included evaluation and treatment of children and adults with communication disorders. Chi has experience working with those with autism, traumatic brain injury, language disorders, voice, articulation, and dysphagia in a variety of settings ranging from the public schools to acute care. In addition to her work as a speech pathologist, Chi enjoys volunteering, painting, and outdoor activities.
Julie Kastor, M.Ed, SLP-A
Julie has a bachelors degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Houston and a masters degree in Special Education from Sam Houston State University. She has worked in the public school setting for over 20 years in several capacities which include speech therapist, general and special education teacher, PPCD teacher (preschool program for children with disabilities), and an educational diagnostician.
Kaye McLaughlin, BA, SLP-A
Bio coming soon!
Erika Cornejo, OTR
Erika graduated from Texas Woman's University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. She earned a Minor in Spanish, including foreign coursework completed at a national university in Lima, Peru. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was also a member of Pi Theta Epsilon Occupational Therapy Honor Society.
Erika is licensed to practice Occupational Therapy in the State of Texas through ECPTOTE. In addition, she holds certification through NBCOT, with practice emphasis in Pediatrics. Erika has experience working in the public school setting, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, an adult inpatient rehabilitation unit, and early intervention programs. She has served as a lead therapist in school and outpatient rehabilitation settings. Erika is also a Level I and Level II fieldwork educator for occupational therapist students and occupational therapy assistant students completing clinical fieldwork in pediatric settings. She is fluent in Spanish and able to conduct caregiver interviews, evaluations, and treatment sessions in Spanish, when needed.
Erika has experience working with children and adolescents with a variety of disabilities/conditions, including: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder (with and without Hyperactivity), learning disabilities, developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, genetic syndromes, traumatic brain injuries, Aspergar's Syndrome, seizure disorders, coordination difficulties, and feeding aversions. Erika has completed trainings for handwriting intervention (including Handwriting Without Tears), Brain Gym, Therapeutic Listening, assistive technology, sensory processing/sensory integration techniques, and behavioral interventions, among others. She believes in assessing the impact of the child's disability on everyday occupations, such as learning, play, daily living/self-care skills, and relationships. Erika encourages active caregiver involvement in developing goals and setting priorities for intervention and strives to equip caregivers with strategies for use at home, school, and in the community to promote the highest levels of function with daily tasks. She is excited to develop and lead the Occupational Therapy program at The Speech Emporium!
Tiffany Kirk - Office Manager
Tiffany is the Office Manager for The Speech Emporium. She is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and earned a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Merchandising and Business in 1998. Tiffany's career background includes work in medical sales, retail management, and most recently non-profit. Tiffany joined The Speech Emporium team in September 2011.
Cherish Whitfield - Evening Administrative Assistant