About Us

Alexia D. Mazzone
Sarah A. Clapper Lopez
Mari A. Yao
Alyssa N. Novales
Shivani N. Bhakta
Elizabeth R. Handler
Janette E. McAfee
Alyssa M. Winn
Julie M. Marcel
Sarah M. Horst
Emily I. Beiers
Wendy Y. La

Alexia D. Mazzone, M.S., CCC-SLP
Owner and Director

Alexia

Alexia Mazzone is the founder, co-owner, and director of TALK. She has a passion for working with children and loves watching them achieve their communication potential. Alexia takes great pride in her ability to connect with kids and reach out to families. She enjoys watching the profound change often seen in a family dynamic as the child develops and increases their communication skills. Alexia worked with children in private practices in Honolulu, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Diego, before opening TALK. She loves the personalization and intensity that is possible in a private setting as she sees faster gains and greater family involvement in this environment.

Alexia earned her Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Santa Barbara, then her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific. She holds a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), the national association for Speech Language Pathologists. Alexia is also licensed by the state of California Department of Consumer Affairs Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board. She has experience working with local Regional Centers providing early intervention services for children three years of age and under.

Alexia has worked for over 15 years with the pediatric population and has worked as certified speech language pathologists for more than ten years. Her experiences include working with children with developmental delays such as Autism, various syndromes including Down syndrome, and neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy. Alexia is trained in oral placement and motor planning techniques such as Talk Tools and PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Targets), the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding, Lidcombe Program for Stuttering, the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading, spelling, and writing through the Institute for Multisensory Education (IMSE), and she is proficient in Sentence Writing Strategy. She is committed to continuing her education and staying current on the latest research-based treatment methods for communication disorders. Alexia believes that every child has the potential to improve; therefore she sets high standards so that the children she works with will perform to higher levels of success.

Sarah A. Clapper Lopez, M.S., CCC-SLP
Owner and Assistant Director

Sarah

Sarah Clapper Lopez, is the co-owner and Assistant Director at TALK, and is an enthusiastic and dedicated speech-language pathologist.

Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Davis, then her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific. She holds a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), the national association for Speech Language Pathologists. Sarah is also licensed by the state of California Department of Consumer Affairs Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board.

Sarah has experience working with children in public schools, a non-profit school for children with Autism, private practice settings, and has provided treatment to children with a wide variety of communication deficits including: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), articulation, phonology, receptive and expressive language, and pragmatic language disorders. Sarah has attended training courses in Talk Tools, Advanced Social Communication/ Emotional Regulation/ Transactional Support (SCERTS), The Sentence Writing Strategy, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP), Lidcombe Program for Stuttering, and The Hanen Program, More Than Words®.

Sarah loves working with children and has been helping them strive to meet their full communication potential for over eight years. She specializes in Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) and social communication. Sarah believes it is important to foster strong relationships with the children, their parents, her co-workers, and other team members, in order to both provide positive and valuable therapy and promote generalization across all settings. Most of all, she believes that therapy should be fun!

Mari A. Yao, M.S., CCC-SLP
Owner and Assistant Director

Mari

Mari Yao, co-owner and Assistant Director at TALK, is passionate about providing services to improve communication for children with speech and language difficulties, as well as support for their families. She holds her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development from the University of California, Davis. Mari went on to pursue her post-bachelor degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from the University of Washington and earned a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific. She holds a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), the national association for Speech Language Pathologists. Mari is also licensed by the state of California Department of Consumer Affairs Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board.

Mari has experience throughout the Bay Area working in both the public school and private practice settings. She has evaluated and provided treatment for a wide variety of speech and language deficits, and has developed a special interest in motor speech disorders, phonological disorders, and receptive and expressive language delays. Mari has worked with both typically developing children as well as those with special needs for over twelve years and enjoys helping them reach their full communicative potential. Her motivation and passion stem from seeing the positive changes and confidence that result from improved communication skills. She feels that the most effective therapy is based on collaboration with a child’s team that includes the family, school, and other professionals, and results in sessions that are fun and functional. Mari is certified in The Hanen Program It Takes Two to Talk® and the Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding, and has also received training in the areas of narrative building skills, social communication development, and executive functioning. In her role as Assistant Director, Mari is delighted to provide support and supervision to therapists and is excited to work with TALK families to manage their child's therapy program and progress in order to become better communicators and achieve their full potential.

Alyssa N. Novales, M.S., CCC-SLP

Kathryn

Alyssa Novales is an enthusiastic speech-language pathologist who received her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz. Alyssa has experience working in settings including: elementary schools, middle and high schools, university clinics, and a rehabilitation hospital unit. She has served children and adults with a variety of communication disorders and diagnoses including: Autism Spectrum Disorders, craniofacial syndromes, traumatic brain injuries, hearing impairments, expressive and receptive language deficits, voice and fluency disorders, aphasia, apraxia, articulation, and phonology disorders. Alyssa’s experience has strengthened her passion for helping others navigate their world through effective communication. She strives to provide children and their families with engaging and evidence-based therapy. Alyssa is excited to work closely with families and the innovative therapists at TALK!

Shivani N. Bhakta, M.S., CCC-SLP

Shivani

Shivani Bhakta is a dedicated and enthusiastic speech-language pathologist who received her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics and Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. Shivani has experience working at a research language lab, an early intervention program for children with autism, an elementary school, a hospital, and university clinics.

During her program, Shivani has gained experience serving children and adults with a variety of communication disorders and diagnoses including: Autism Spectrum Disorder, fluency disorders, hearing impairments, expressive and receptive language deficits, aphasia, dysarthria, apraxia, and articulation and phonology disorders. Her experiences have taught her how to be flexible and the importance in building a foundation with clients and their families. Shivani is dedicated in providing engaging therapy in order to help clients reach their full communicative potential. She is very excited to work with the families and be a part of the TALK family!

Elizabeth R. Handler, M.S., CCC-SLP

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Handler is a New York native who recently moved cross-country from Boston to the Bay Area. She is dedicated to providing functional, effective therapy sessions and believes that children learn best when they’re having fun. Elizabeth has a passion for helping children be heard and communicate their ideas to loved ones.

Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University and her Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Emerson College. She is ASHA certified and licensed in both California and Massachusetts. Elizabeth is also Prompt trained and holds an additional license as an Early Intervention Specialist in Massachusetts. Elizabeth worked as a speech-language pathologist in Early Intervention for over three years before joining the TALK team. She provided individualized, play-based therapy for children under the age of three with a variety of speech, language, and feeding disorders. Her clinical experience also includes working with young children in private practice and school settings.

Janette E. McAfee, M.S., CCC-SLP

Janette

Janette McAfee is dedicated to providing effective and functional speech and language therapy, incorporating each child’s interests and developmental needs. She is interested in supporting children holistically; she strives to support sensory motor, fine motor, or gross motor needs whenever possible. Janette enjoys forming supportive relationships with clients, parents, and caretakers and is known for her dedication, flexibility and compassionate care.

Janette earned her Bachelors and Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology at Illinois State University. Janette’s pediatric experience includes providing speech and language services in elementary and middle schools on the Peninsula and working with children ages two to ten in a private practice setting. She has helped children with a variety of communication challenges including: articulation disorders, phonological disorders, apraxia, Autism Spectrum Disorders, social/pragmatic delay, receptive and expressive language delay/disorder, auditory processing disorder and voice disorders.

Alyssa M. Winn, M.S., CCC-SLP

AlyssaW

Alyssa Winn is a Bay Area native with a life-long affinity for language and communication. After graduating from University of California Santa Cruz, she worked with children with autism at The Bay School. It was there she was introduced to the world of Speech Pathology. While working in a Special Day Class, Alyssa spent her nights earning a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders and later graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Science in Communicative Disorders with a specialization in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Alyssa is excited to work with children and their families to create an environment in which communication can flourish both in the clinical and home setting. She believes strongly that all children have something (amazing) to say, it’s just a matter of giving them the necessary tools. With her background in AAC devices, Alyssa finds joy in creating innovative ways to help her clients get their message across. She is excited to join the TALK team in working towards the mission of individualized care for children of all abilities to ensure that they are heard.

Julie M. Marcel, M.S., CCC-SLP

JulieM

Julie Marcel is an Ohio native that is eager to explore the beautiful Bay Area! Her passion for working with children began while volunteering with a non-profit adaptive sports organization. She later stumbled upon speech therapy while babysitting for a child with autism and partaking in in-home therapy sessions on a regular basis.

Julie received her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI) and her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing at Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH).

Julie’s clinical experience includes working with a diverse pediatric population across the following settings: university clinic, summer language program, early childhood education classroom, and pediatric outpatient clinic. Julie believes the key to enhancing a child’s communication abilities is including the entire family in the treatment process. Julie is excited to join the positive environment at TALK.

Sarah M. Horst, M.S., CF-SLP

Sarah

Sarah Horst, a San Francisco native, is overjoyed to join TALK, putting to work her passion for pediatric speech-language pathology. Sarah graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. She has worked with children of all ages through vocal direction and theater. Working one-on-one with a child with autism sparked Sarah's interest in creating safe environments for successful communication.

Sarah moved cross-country to earn her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Syracuse University. She gained experience working with a variety of pediatric communication disorders including: autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, phonological disorders, hearing loss, and apraxia of speech. Sarah worked in an itinerant pediatric practice, assessing and treating early intervention and preschool aged children. Sarah also worked as the research assistant in Syracuse University’s Stuttering Lab, administering comprehensive language and fluency evaluations for preschool aged children.

Sarah found her voice through song. She believes in providing positive, functional, and engaging therapy with the hopes of helping all children find their voice.

Emily I. Beiers, SLPA

Emily

Emily Beiers is a Bay Area native who has enjoyed working with children since she was in middle school. She has worked with children of all ages through summer camps, academic tutoring and youth sports coaching. She received her B.A. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her SLPA Certification from Cal State University Northridge.

Emily completed her clinical hours in the San Carlos School District working with children from pre-k though 5th grade. Emily worked with kids with communication disorders including articulation disorders, phonological disorders, social/pragmatic delays and receptive and expressive language delays. Emily embraces the uniqueness of every child she works with and is excited to partner with them and their families to strengthen their ability to express themselves and gain confidence.

Wendy Y. La, SLPA

Wendy

Wendy La is a Bay Area native, born to Chinese-immigrants, and grew up speaking English and Cantonese. She received her first Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at University of California, Irvine, and was a former volunteer at TALK, where she was first introduced to the field of speech-language pathology. Through TALK, her interest took off as she continued to explore speech pathology in various settings and with diverse populations. She was dedicated to pursuing this passion of hers as she recently received her second Bachelors of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology at California State University, Sacramento. 

During her journey to pursuing a career in this field, she has observed in medical, private, and school settings. She has gained experience serving a variety of communicative disorders: articulation and phonology disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, aphasia, dysarthria, apraxia, fluency disorders,expressive and receptive language deficits, and more. Through her past internships, she has led social groups for middle and high schoolers with ASD and the severely handicapped. 

One thing she loves about TALK is the safe and supportive environment it brings forward. She knows the importance of such an environment in order for children to learn and is dedicated to providing the same for clients! Wendy is excited to be back and be a part of the TALK family!