Meet The Staff
Karen Pieters M.S., CCC-SLP has 14 years of experience in speech speech pathology and 4 years of experience in school psychology for a combined total of 18 years. Karen joined Monkey Mouths from a practice in Irving where she helped to start the clinic’s feeding program. She has worked as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in Georgia and Texas. Karen has had extensive feeding training with Deborah Beckman M.S., CCC, Lori Overland M.S., CCC-SLP, and Sara R. Johnson M.S., CCC-SLP. These skills along with her training in Sensory Integration with Kathryne Carnissa, OTR make her a well-rounded oral-motor/feeding therapist. She is also trained in myofascial therapy and Vocal Cord Dysfunction to assist with both swallowing and voice disorders as well as posture and positioning. Karen has also completed training with Tamara Kasper, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA in the areas of behavior modification, and is certified in the use of Interactive Metronome. She has attended Social Thinking training with Michelle Garcia Winner in order to add to her expertize developing a child's social language skills. Karen has presented “Rapidly Increase Intelligibility in Young Children” at the TSHA convention and enjoys working on children's speech intelligibility and with motor-planning disorders; her use of PROMPT therapy, the Sound Card System, and the Kaufman Apraxia System is essential in the treatment of motor-planning disorders. Her experience in speech and psychology make her a great therapist for children who are experiencing speech/language issues that affect school learning. Karen sees parents as partners in the therapy process, and enjoys giving families simple yet effective ideas for home carry-over. Karen is married and has one daughter.
Audrey Powell M.S., CCC-SLP graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and worked at a private practice in Richardson while obtaining her Certificate of Clinical Competence. As the clinic’s primary feeding therapist, she pursued certification in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding Program. She also treated children with articulation and language disorders. While employed with Monkey Mouths, Audrey completed an extensive continuing education protocol to improve upon her strong clinical skills, which included the Sound Card System, PROMPT, Talk Tools Oral-Motor Placement Therapy, Sensory-Motor Feeding by Lori Overland, M.S., CCC-SLP, the Kaufman Apraxia System, and NMES training in order to utilize Vital Stim Therapy. Audrey was recently trained in Myofascial therapy to assist with swallowing and voice discorders as well as posture and positioning. Audrey believes that positive professional communication and rapport with the family is essential in order to increase the generalization of the patient's new skills to their home environment. Audrey enjoys cheering for the TCU Horned Frogs with her husband.
Nikki Wensel Rustad, M.A., CCC-SLP has been sharing the power of communication with children and their parents for over 20 years. She also worked for Children's Medical Center of Dallas, and in management at Cook Children's Medical Center as the graduate student liaison. Nikki has a passion for educating familes on the power of play (90% of what preschoolers learn at school is through play) and has trained with the Social Thinking Program designed by Michelle Garcia Winner M.A., CCC-SLP. She also has significant experience with behavioral and communication strategies for children with autism including training with Vincent Carbone PhD, ABA, Mark Sundburg PhD, BCBA, Tamara Kasper, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA, Crafting Connections program, and Love and Logic. Based on a child's specific needs, Nikki has used auditory-verbal techniques and total communication to treat speech and language issues related to hearing impairment. She uses PROMPT therapy, the Sound Card System and the Kaufman Apraxia System in treating her patients with motor-planning disorders and apraxia. Nikki has had extensive training in oral motor and feeding issues with such experts as Deborah Beckman M.S., CCC-SLP, Lori Overland M.S., CCC-SLP, Sara R. Johnson M.S., CCC-SLP, Catherine Shaker, M.S., CCC-SLP, and Jeri Logemann PhD, CCC-SLP..Nikki loves to use books whenever she can--which is what prompted her to begin utilizing the Literacy Speaks program. She believes that therapy should be fun and functional and that parent education is crucial for each child's success. Nikki enjoys spending time with her husband Eric--who is also a speech pathologist--and their son. She also loves baking, gardening, volunteering, and decorating for the holidays.
Rebecca Lamke Sas, M.S., CCC-SLP has over 13 years of experience working with children to meet their speech and language needs. Prior to joining the Monkey Mouths team, she worked at the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center as a SLP and Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) specialist. In this position she provided evaluations, classroom consultations, training programs, and information on Assistive Technology (AT) to Oklahoma Public Schools, administrators, educators, service providers, and parents. Rebecca has also worked in the public school setting. As a school speech therapist she served students ages 3-21 providing evaluations and interventions for articulation, fluency, voice, and language disorders. She is skilled at using various approaches to therapy including use of the Sound Card System, Assistive Technology, total communication, principals of ABA, and social stories. She also served as a member of the school district’s AT team providing evaluations, interventions, and consultations to students, staff, paraprofessionals, and therapists related to AT/AAC. She has training in SETT Framework with Joy Zabala, Ed.D and the Every Move Counts, Clicks and Chats program from Jane Korsten, M.S., CCC-SLP. Rebecca also has experience working in a hearing-impaired pre-school and helping families incorporate the use of signs with infants and children. Rebecca has completed training in PROMPT, the Kaufman Apraxia System, Talk Tools Oral Placement Therapy, Sensory-Motor Feeding with Lori Overland, M.S., CCC-SLP, and Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD). She believes in a child-centered team approach to speech and language therapy using positive feedback while focusing on functional outcomes. Rebecca is married to Ed and is involved in her church. She enjoys being creative with the help of Pinterest.
I have tried other therapists in the past.
My child either never took to the therapist or we never saw any results. When we came to Monkey Mouths, Aaron started to thrive. His vocabulary... more