Meet Our Speech Therapists

Sierra Barham-Upshaw, M.S., CCC-SLP

Master of Science in Communicative Disorders from the University of Alabama
Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders from the University of Alabama
Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Alabama

Sierra was introduced to speech pathology because of her cousin, who has autism. As a young child, she wondered why he didn’t talk and how she could help him. In college, she job shadowed a speech pathologist and chose to become a pediatric speech therapist. She especially enjoys working with children on early language and with those who are minimally verbal. She believes that all milestones should be acknowledged and loves witnessing children’s accomplishments, both big and small. She is also passionate about working with multicultural families.

A native of Birmingham, Sierra enjoys both relaxing at home and exploring her new home city of Atlanta. Because of her relationship with her cousin, she is passionate about Autism Speaks and volunteers at the local autism walk.

Elena Freeman, MEd, CCC-SLP

Master of Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders from University of West Georgia
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Georgia State University

Elena discovered a passion for speech-language pathology after she spent six months observing in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Center for Craniofacial Disorders. During that time, she enjoyed working with a diverse population of children with unique needs and saw the impact an interdisciplinary team approach could have on children and their families. Elena is trained to work with clients suffering from velopharyngeal insufficiencies (VPIs) and maladaptive articulation errors. She enjoys working with voice and resonance clients and children with special needs, including autism spectrum disorder.

Elena has a passion for learning and continually seeks out the latest research and therapy techniques she can incorporate into sessions with her clients. Because of her prior experience with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, kids with cleft and craniofacial disorders have a special place in her heart, and she wants to not only work with this group of kids but to also train other SLPs how to best serve them.

A native of Augusta, Elena has embraced the big city feel of Atlanta. She loves new adventures and has a passion for cooking which she learned from her family members who are of Japanese and Italian descent. She is an avid fan of Atlanta’s Falcons, Hawks, and United teams and loves playing fantasy football.

Sarah Gonzales, M.A., CCC-SLP

Master of Arts in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton
Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton

Sarah has been a speech language pathologist (SLP) since 2005, and in that time she has worked with children from age four months all the way up to young adults. When she was growing up, she loved working with children, and when she was a senior in high school she found her life’s calling when she interviewed an SLP and recognized what she wanted her career path to be.

Sarah has been trained in Integrated Listening Systems, Beckman Oral Motor, Interactive Metronome, and LAMP Words for Life. While her experience with speech and communication disorders is broad, she is most passionate about childhood apraxia of speech. She loves playing a role in helping a child gain his or her voice, whether through use of a device or verbally. She is known for her creative solutions for incorporating speech “homework” routines into her clients’ daily lives.

Although Sarah grew up in southern California, she relocated to Georgia in 2007 and now lives in Alpharetta with her family. She volunteers with a local American Heritage Girls Troop and the children’s ministry at her church and is an avid fan of the Atlanta United soccer team.

Jessica Orlick, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Therapist/Clinical Director

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, East Carolina University
Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, Longwood University

Jessica has been practicing since 2011 and enjoys the challenges and rewards of working with children. She has worked in early intervention/home care, schools, and clinic settings providing treatment to children ranging from birth to eighteen years old who present with an array of disorders including, but not limited to: autism spectrum disorder, apraxia of speech, feeding difficulties, genetic syndromes, articulation and phonological disorders, developmental delay, and receptive/expressive language disorders.

Jessica has been trained in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) techniques, in addition to attending multiple other continuing education courses to add to her therapeutic tool box. She strives to improve each child’s quality of life and provides individualized therapy that best fits a child’s needs.

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