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MEET THE THERAPISTS

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Certifications and Trainings

Speech, Language, and Feeding Trainings:

  • DIR Floortime

  • Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing

  • Natural Language Acquisition Trained Clinician (Gestalt Language Processing) 

  • Neurodiversity Affirming Goals

  • Responsive Feeding Therapy

Rachel has recently completed post-masters comprehensive coursework in regards to treatment and diagnosis of pediatric feeding disorders from birth to 4+, tethered oral tissues, orofacial myofunctional disorders, and various medical complications that impact feeding (NICU stay, prematurity, craniofacial disorders, neurological disorders, airway considerations, etc). 

Rachel Hemer, M.A. CCC-SLP

Rachel received her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Northern Iowa. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Langauge-Hearing Association (AHSA) and is licensed to practice in Iowa.

Prior to opening Rise Pediatric Speech Therapy, PLLC, Rachel provided speech therapy services to children in outpatient clinics and public school settings allowing her to gain valuable experience in helping children develop speech, language, feeding, and social skills. 

She has experience in evaluation and treatment of children with childhood apraxia of speech, speech sound disorders, feeding disorders, fluency disorders, intellectual disabilities, expressive and receptive language disorders, pragmatic disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Down Syndrome. Additionally, she has experience with high and low tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices and working with children with hearing loss. 

Rachel values using strengths and evidence-based approaches throughout therapy. She believes that building a strong relationship built on trust is essential to facilitate a learning environment. 

In her spare time Rachel enjoys playing with her dog Bryzzo, exploring restaurants with her husband, and spending time with family and friends. 

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Certifications and Trainings

Speech, Language, and Feeding Trainings:

  • Responsive Feeding Therapy

  • Neurodiversity Affirming Goals

  • AAC Vocabulary Competence

Grace has recently completed post-masters comprehensive coursework in regards to treatment and diagnosis of pediatric feeding disorders. Coursework included assessing signs for distress and/or disengagement, treatment for medically complex children (NICU stay, G-tube, NG-tube, prematurity, craniofacial disorders, neurological disorders, etc), advancing pre-feeding skills for non-oral feeders,  implementing treatment plans for oral feeding that expand taste/texture acceptance by implementing strategies for mealtime environment, seating/positioning, oral-motor and sensory deficits. 

Grace Donner, M.A. CCC-SLP

Grace received her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from St. Ambrose University. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice in Iowa. 

 

Grace began her career in Minnesota, practicing in skilled nursing facilities. Prior to joining Rise Pediatric Speech Therapy, Grace worked with children in both the public school setting and outpatient clinics in Minnesota and Des Moines, providing her great experience helping children develop speech, language and social skills. 

 

Grace has experience in evaluation and treatment of children with speech sound disorders, fluency disorders, intellectual disabilities, expressive and receptive language, pragmatic disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, hearing loss and high and low tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. 

 

Grace focuses on a strength-based approach to therapy and creating therapy that is unique to each child and their individual wants/needs. Grace strives to build a strong relationship with both the child and their family to ensure that speech therapy is a positive experience. 

 

In her spare time, Grace enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends, reading, being outside and trying new experiences. 

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Certifications and Trainings

Speech, Language, and Feeding Trainings:

  • DIR Floortime

  • PROMPT-trained

  • Responsive Feeding Therapy

Allyssa has recently completed post-masters comprehensive coursework in regards to treatment and diagnosis of pediatric feeding disorders. Coursework included assessing signs for distress and/or disengagement, treatment for medically complex children (NICU stay, G-tube, NG-tube, prematurity, craniofacial disorders, neurological disorders, etc.), advancing pre-feeding skills for non-oral feeders, implementing treatment plans for oral feeding that expand taste/texture acceptance by implementing strategies for mealtime environment, seating/positioning, oral-motor and sensory deficits.
Allyssa is trained in PROMPT cueing which includes integrating input from various sensory-motor systems to improve planning and coordination of movements for speech production. This involves tactile-kinesthetic cues to guide the individual’s articulators into the correct positions for accurate speech sound production.

Allyssa Richards,

M.S. CCC-SLP

Allyssa received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Texas at
Dallas. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice in Iowa.


Before becoming a SLP, Allyssa was a social worker for Children’s and Families of Iowa for two years. Allyssa began her career in Texas, practicing in a pediatric private practice. Prior to joining Rise Pediatric Speech Therapy, Allyssa worked with children in both the public school setting and outpatient clinics in Texas, providing her great experience helping children develop speech, language, and social skills.


Allyssa has experience in evaluation and treatment of children with speech sound disorders, fluency disorders, intellectual disabilities, expressive and receptive language, pragmatic disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, and high and low tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.


Allyssa focuses on a strength-based, child-led approach to therapy and creating therapy that is
unique to each child and their individual wants/needs. Allyssa strives to build a strong
relationship with both the child and their family to ensure that speech therapy is a positive
experience.


In her spare time, Allyssa enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, being outside,
reading, and being with family.

Certifications and Trainings

Occupational Therapy and Feeding Trainings:

  • SOS Feeding

  • Responsive Feeding Therapy

  • SOFFI (Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants)

  • Primitive Reflex Integration Specialty 

Lily has recently completed post-masters comprehensive coursework in regards to treatment and diagnosis of pediatric feeding disorders. Coursework included assessing signs for distress and/or disengagement, treatment for medically complex children (NICU stay, G-tube, NG-tube, prematurity, craniofacial disorders, neurological disorders, etc), advancing pre-feeding skills for non-oral feeders, implementing treatment plans for oral feeding that expand taste/texture acceptance by implementing strategies for mealtime environment, seating/positioning, oral-motor and sensory deficits.

Liliana Roman

OTD, OTR/L

Lily received her Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) from Drake University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Health Science and Family Studies from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. While completing her undergraduate studies, Lily also performed an OT internship in Cape Town, South Africa.  

 

Before becoming an occupational therapist, Lily was a CNA and a patient tech at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in their inpatient pediatric unit. Lily began her career as an Occupational Therapist working in Early Intervention.  Lily is bilingual and has provided many OT services in her native language, Spanish.

 

Lily has experience in evaluation and treatment of children with intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, cerebral palsy, medically complex children, low vision, and many more diagnoses. 

 

Lily focuses on a strength-based, child-led approach to therapy and creating a plan of care that is unique to each child/family and their individual wants/needs. Lily values building a strong relationship with both the child and their family. Her goal is to help children feel successful and confident when mastering new skills. 

 

In her spare time, Lily enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Lily has 2 doodles and enjoys taking them for walks. Lily loves to travel, she has been to 13 different countries!

MEET THE STAFF

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Nicole Martin

Nicole received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) with a specialty in Mental Health. She is also certified in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Nicole has a lot of experience with children of varying ages having five nieces and nephews, but she was also a day camp counselor and daycare provider during her time at UNI.

Prior to Rise, Nicole worked in client services and event planning! Her diverse experience has developed and strengthened her skills in communication, organization, and public relations.

You will see Nicole at the front desk welcoming clients and managing our clinician's busy schedules, but she is also your go to for insurance or billing questions. When she's not serving as our admin, she is also managing our social media and preparing fun activities for our kiddos to do during sessions!

In her spare time, you can find Nicole at the dog park with her pup or cozied up on the couch with a book! Her primary goal is to be a supporting role to our families, so don't hesitate to approach her with questions and/or concerns.

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