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Speech, Language & Learning Center, Inc. was originally established in 1992 as Jefferson Speech and Language Center of St. Tammany.   Since its inception, the business was exclusively located in the Mandeville area.  We launched our Slidell Branch in 2017 to assist the growing needs of children in the eastern part of St. Tammany Parish. SLLC employs Masters leveled Speech-Language Pathologists who hold Louisiana Licenses and are nationally certified from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.  We are philosophically committed to the patient’s total communication and learning needs through family involvement, coordination of school and professionals, counseling and referral for associated services where indicated.

In treating the child, we emphasize earliest possible intervention, as the most critical age for speech and language development extends from birth to three years.  The more sophisticated skills of reading, writing and math build on this already established system.  Reading comprehension is a secondary language skill that has phonetic, grammar, semantic and memory components.  If secondary learning (Reading, Writing, and Math) do not proceed satisfactorily, then the language system should be examined.  Research and clinical experience overwhelmingly demonstrate that intervention and remediation at a young age contribute to a child reaching his/her full potential.

Our Team

Dawn V. Skinner, M.A., CCC-SLP


Dawn has been working with children displaying various types of communication disorders for over 30 years. As a Louisiana State University graduate, she received a B. S. in Education in 1985 and a M.A. in Communication Disorders in 1987. She specializes in early intervention, language and developmental delays, and phonological disorders in children.  She also enjoys helping school age children learn how to read using various approaches including "Lively Letters" (Nancy Allemian Telian, M.S., CCC/SLP and Penny Alemian Castagnozzi) and "Communicative Reading Strategies" (Janet Norris, Ph.D., CCC/SLP).  

Freddy G. Tisdale, M.A., CCC-SLP

Freddy has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of settings: Ochsner Clinic of Baton Rouge, St. Tammany Parish School System, Early Steps of Louisiana, and private practice.  She has been a valued member of our team for 15 years. Freddy received her degrees (B. A. in 1995 and M. A. in 1997) from Louisiana State University.  She specializes in phonological disorders, early intervention, and language disorders.  Freddy’s love for children and rapport with parents has been invaluable to our team!

Gretchen S. Bourgeois, M.C.D., CCC/SLP

Gretchen is a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist with experience in private practice, the St. Tammany Parish school system, as well as a rehabilitation hospital.  She graduated with a B.A. in Communicative Disorders from The University of Mississippi in 2001. She then received her Master’s degree in 2003 from LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. She specializes in language and articulation disorders. Her compassionate and enthusiastic nature is a successful tool when helping children reach their communication goals!

Lauren S. Maestri, M.C.D., CCC-SLP

Lauren Maestri is a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist with a variety of clinical experience. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.A. in Communication Disorders in 2012, and received her Master’s degree in 2014 from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has obtained clinical experience from the St. Tammany Parish School system, Neurological Rehabilitation Living Centers, and St. Tammany Hospital Outpatient Center.  She is passionate about early intervention and school age articulation and language.

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Slidell Office

Kelly E. Buras, M.S., CCC/SLP

Kelly is a graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University. She worked as a Speech Therapist in St. Tammany Parish schools for 18 years as a school based therapist and for Child Search with pupil appraisal services.  Kelly’s passion is in early intervention focusing on speech and language development. She specializes in phonological processing deficits, articulation disorders and picture exchange communication systems. Kelly’s caring personality, flexibility and creativity have assisted many children during their communicative rehabilitation.

Theresa D. Foley, M.A., CCC/SLP

Theresa received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from LSU Baton Rouge.   In 2016, she retired from St. Tammany Parish School System after working there for 31 years as a Speech Therapist and Diagnostician on a multi-disciplinary team.  Her experience involved evaluating children suspected of speech and language delay, planning and implementing treatment plans and consulting with other professionals and parents.  She enjoys working with school aged children by enhancing communication and language related academic skills. Theresa’s extensive experience and interpersonal skills has been an asset for the Center.

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Meet Our Team
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