About Us

Speech Therapists

All of our speech-language pathologists are licensed by the Board of Texas and hold their Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. 
Our entire speech therapy team is skilled in treating the following areas of concern: speech sound disorders, expressive/receptive language delays, fluency, executive functioning, social pragmatics, Attention Deficit Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and developmental delays. 
Additionally, several of our therapists specialize in the following treatment techniques:  PROMPT therapy, auditory processing, reading difficulties, stuttering, apraxia, AAC devices, sensory feeding, and oral motor feeding. 


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Ashley Dearth, M.S., CCC-SLP  Speech-Language Pathologist, Team Lead

Originally from Northern California, Ashley received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from California State University, Sacramento. She went on to earn her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Chapman University in Southern California and moved to Austin in September of 2018. Ashley’s professional experience has been centered around pediatric therapy and she loves making a difference in the lives of her patients and their families. During her free time, she enjoys working out, eating out, and exploring the city of Austin.


Zahava Merlis, M.A., CCP-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist

Zahava Merlis received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women in Manhattan. She then went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Speech-Langauge and Hearing Sciences from Lehman College (CUNY). In private practice, home, and public/private school settings she has evaluated and provided treatment to children with various diagnoses and severity levels. Zahava is trained in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, which is a holistic, dynamic, multi-sensory therapy approach for individuals with speech production disorders. Zahava also received a bilingual SLP certification to diagnose and treat in Hebrew. She just moved to Austin and is excited to join the Big Sky team and explore the city with her boyfriend and his three rescue pups! 
Specialty Certifications: PROMPT trained, Bilingual-Hebrew, TSSLD Certification


Michele Curtis, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist, Mentor Therapist

Michelle moved to Austin from Washington DC in May 2011. She received her Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Chemistry and Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University. Michelle has worked in the private practice setting providing passionate, quality care to patients ranging from infancy to adolescence. Michelle is trained in PROMPTs for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, which is a holistic, dynamic, multi-sensory therapy approach for individuals with speech production disorders.
Specialty Certifications:  PROMPT trained


Carly Newhouse, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Carly moved to Austin from New York in April 2013. She received her Bachelors of Science in Speech and Hearing Science from Arizona State University and her Masters of Science in Communication Disorders from Mercy College. Carly has worked in elementary school settings, pre-schools, and home care. Carly is trained in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets which is a holistic, dynamic, multi-sensory therapy approach for individuals with speech production disorders.
Specialty Certifications: PROMPT trained


Chris Sidoff, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Chris earned her Bachelors's degree from the University of Wisconsin in Communication Disorders with a minor in Audiology and a Masters's degree in Communication Disorders from Our Lady of the Lake University-San Antonio. Chris has 25 years of experience in pediatric private practice, educational settings, both private and public, and outpatient rehabilitation facilities. She is trained in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets and remediates communication disorders resulting from mild to severe hearing loss through aural rehabilitation therapy. Chris resides in the Lakeway area with her family. Her spouse has practiced general dentistry for 25 years. Their oldest child is a speech-language pathologist, and their second child is preparing for graduate school in the same field. Their youngest is completing his first year of college classes. Chris enjoys spending time with friends and family hiking, camping, boating, skiing, reading, cooking, gardening, and watercolor painting.
Specialty Certifications: PROMPT trained


Mary Lowery, M.A., SLP-CF Speech-Language Pathologist

Mary holds a license within the state of Texas and is a Clinical Fellow in the process of achieving her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) under the supervision of Michelle Curtis. Mary received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Cognitive Science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio; she then earned her Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Texas at Austin. During graduate school, Mary completed clinical rotations in a pediatric private practice, a skilled nursing facility, and the UT Speech and Hearing Center, and she is passionate about working with children with various communication needs. In her free time, Mary enjoys reading, playing piano, and spending time with friends and family.


Margaret Saied, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Margaret graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of   Science in Human Development and Family Sciences. After interning at a clinic for children with learning differences, she developed a fascination with the field of speech pathology. She moved forward by attending The University of North Texas to earn her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She is trained in Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) therapeutic approach for individuals with limited verbal abilities. Margaret loves working with her patients and their families and believes in working collaboratively with other professionals to address each child’s unique needs comprehensively.


Ellie Buescher, M.S., SLP-CF Speech-Language Pathologist

Ellie Buescher grew up just outside of Austin and knew from an early age that she wanted to stay in the area for as long as possible. She received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Texas and then went on to earn a Master’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Texas State University. She is now a Clinical Fellow, pursuing her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) under the supervision of Ashley Dearth, M.S., CCC-SLP. As a student, Ellie's clinical rotations included an elementary and middle school in Round Rock ISD and St. David's Inpatient Rehab. She specialized in fluency disorders during graduate school and loves working with both children and adults of that population. When she isn't working, Ellie loves playing frisbee, going on long runs, eating as much good food as possible, and hearing people's stories.