What Sets Us Apart

We understand that searching for a therapist can be a stressful time for your family. We’re here to help. We will walk you through every step of the process from assessment to treatment and graduation from speech therapy, language therapy, or feeding therapy.

Take a look at our reviews on Facebook and Google for testimonials from satisfied parents of children who have worked with a Speech & Health therapist.

Maria Chisolm

M.S., CCC-SLP – Founder and Director of Speech & Health, LLC

Bringing over 10 years of expertise and experience, Maria Chisolm specializes in evaluations for the culturally and linguistically diverse, with a particular focus in the Spanish and English speaking populations. She completes speech and language evaluations for school districts in the Denver Metro area, family assessments for Early Intervention, independent educational evaluations, and consultative examinations for the Social Security Administration.  She also gives presentations to various groups in Lakewood, Jefferson County and the Denver area on typical language development, red flags, when to refer to a speech-language pathologist, language building strategies, cultural and linguistic diversity, and how to effectively work with interpreters.

Maria is no stranger to any situation or circumstance as she has worked in a wide variety of settings including inpatient acute care, spinal cord injury and degenerative disease centers, otolaryngology clinics, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, and the public education system. She is fluent in Spanish and English.

Setting the foundation for her career in speech-language pathology is a Bachelor of Arts degree in linguistics and Master of Science in speech-language pathology which were both awarded to her by the University of New Mexico. She also has her Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Additionally, Maria is certified in the Hanen’s It Takes Two to Talk program; a workshop that empowers parents and provides them with practical strategies to help their children learn language naturally throughout their daily routines. She has also completed the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding workshop, a transdisciplinary program designed for evaluating and treating children with feeding difficulties. She served a member of the Global Outcomes for Infants and Toddlers (GO4IT!) Implementation team with Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS) and the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC).  Maria is a member of RMHS’s southwest Denver transdisciplinary team and serves on the Board of Directors of Right On Mobile Education.

Although she has extensive training and experience in speech, language, and feeding therapy, she keeps an open mind and is committed to constantly improving her knowledge of the field through continuing education.

In her free time, Maria enjoys every moment she can with her two young children. She is a certified yoga instructor who particularly enjoys being outdoors in the beautiful states of Colorado and New Mexico. Maria also takes great pleasure in the culinary art of healthy living through good food.

Lydia Benally

Administrative Specialist

Lydia has experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse families in Boulder, Larimer, and Denver counties. Lydia spent many years working in a community health center as a Patient Care Advocate and administering a literacy program. She has also worked with families as a Respite Provider and as an Early Intervention Service Coordinator. She is fluent in English and Spanish.

Lydia has lived in Colorado most of her life. She recently moved back to Colorado after spending a few years in New Mexico. Lydia completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and completed her Speech Language Pathology Assistant Certification.

Lydia enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children. She loves to read, eat, and travel. She is slowly learning to speak Navajo and decorate her new home.

Shannon Salazar

M.A., CCC-SLP – Speech-language Pathologist

Shannon has an extensive professional background working with socially and culturally diverse families in the Denver Metro area. A Colorado native, Shannon completed a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver before beginning a career in the non-profit sector, primarily working in homeless support services and as a health educator in a community health setting.

Her love of languages and desire to continue supporting underserved communities in Colorado soon led her to the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Shannon earned a Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2015 and has been in the field since, mostly working with bilingual (Spanish-English) children aged 3-18 years. She has a particular interest in literacy skill development for school-aged children.

Shannon is the founder of Speakeasy Spanglish, an ongoing Spanish-English conversation event in Aurora and has also served on the board of directors for Intercambio de Comunidades Denver, a non-profit organization providing English as a Second Language classes to immigrant adults.

Lauren Laurelli

M.A., CCC-SLP – Speech-Language Pathologist

Lauren started her career working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations in Brooklyn, NY as a bilingual SLP at the outpatient facility of NYU Langone- Brooklyn. She is a NY native who recently moved to Denver. Lauren completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at St. John’s University, with a heavy focus on culturally responsible treatment of speech and language disorders. Additionally, she completed post-grad coursework at Columbia University, focusing on evidence based practice for diverse populations.

Lauren has worked with a diverse spectrum of people, including pediatrics and adult age with varying etiologies. Since moving to Colorado, she has focused on working with school aged children. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, reading and exploring new neighborhoods in Denver.

Melinda Czaja

MA, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist

Melinda has been caring for children in some capacity for over 20 years. Beginning as the neighborhood babysitter, nannying through college and graduate school (and beyond!), and now providing speech-language therapy to children in schools, clinics, and in their homes. When she is not with kiddos or on her yoga mat, Melinda enjoys hiking the beautiful Colorado trails, growing and sharing veggies, preparing plant-based meals or a delicious cup of coffee. A self-proclaimed naturalist, Melinda leads a holistic lifestyle and loves to guide and cheerlead anyone who asks along the same path.

Melinda studied speech-language pathology at Hofstra University, where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings in the NY metro area, including schools: public, charter, and preschool, as well as for nearly 5 years in the private practice setting. Upon moving to Colorado, she entered the early intervention arena and also continues to see school-aged children for articulation and myofascial therapy.

Yoga found Melinda through Groupon (the Universe works in mysterious ways). After taking her first class, she was hOMe – and less than a year later began a year-long, immersive yoga teacher training with Karuna Yoga. She remains a student of yoga over 6 years after becoming a certified yoga teacher, in turn sharing what she has learned along the way. She practices yoga on and off the mat, since yoga asana (or poses) make up just one of the 8 limbs of this sacred practice. Another aspect she loves to teach.


Ilana Oliff


Ilana brings over a decade of experience providing speech, language, and swallowing services to culturally and linguistically diverse populations across the lifespan. She has worked in a variety of settings including acute care hospitals, in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation, and public schools. Ilana is originally from New Mexico, and lived in Costa Rica and the Washington, DC area before moving to Colorado.

Ilana is passionate about making therapy functional and relevant to her clients and their families. She tailors therapy activities to an individual’s interests and needs, and helps families understand the “why” behind everything she recommends. Ilana has a long history of working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations and loves to learn about traditions and customs of the families she works with. Ilana is fluent in English and Spanish.

In addition to her career as a speech-language pathologist, Ilana has worked as an elementary school teacher, a consultant for a non-profit educational organization, and for the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). This work has allowed her to travel around the United States as well as to Nicaragua and Tanzania where she helped introduce educational technology to high school teachers and students in rural areas.

Outside of work, Ilana is a dedicated yogi and has been regularly practicing yoga for over 20 years! She also loves to cook, snowboard, read, travel, garden, and enjoy the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico.


Shannon Powers

M.A., CCC-SLP – Speech-language Pathologist

Shannon Powers, M.A., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist currently providing services in public and charter school settings. She has experience working with a wide variety of pediatric populations including children and adolescents with receptive and expressive language deficits, auditory processing disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, pragmatic language disorders, fluency disorders, articulation and phonological delays, autism spectrum disorder, and cognitive impairments. She also brings experience and training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) technology and devices for minimally verbal individuals and those with medically complex needs. Shannon focuses on individualized, engaging treatment approaches derived from evidence-based research. She believes in person-centered and family-centered care as the basis for improved outcomes.

Shannon received her Master of Arts from the University of Colorado – Boulder in speech-language pathology and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Denver. With a background in counseling and rehabilitation ranging from young adults to seniors, Shannon enjoys forming new connections and fostering growth and development in people of all ages. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is dedicated to ongoing development of her knowledge and skills with continuing education.

As a Colorado native, Shannon is drawn to the outdoors in her spare time, enjoying camping, fishing, hiking and learning about native flora and fauna. She also creates art, runs trails and enjoys dark chocolate!