Meet Our Staff

Call us: 704.307.9541
Ashlyn Lelej, MS, CCC-SLP

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Ashlyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Carolina State University with an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders. She attained her Master of Science in Speech-language Pathology from East Carolina University. Since her graduation, she has worked in many different settings since 2002, including home health, inpatient and outpatient medical facilities, the school setting and private practice.


  • Certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Lee Silverman Voice Program
  • Debra Beckman Oral Motor Program
  • Numerous Continuing Education Programs (Autism spectrum disorder, apraxia and oral-motor and feeding issues.)

Ashlyn enjoys working with all ages with many different speech, language, voice and feeding/oral motor disorders and  truly loves her work. She opened Speech Matters, LLC with the intention of creating a warm and effective therapy environment for all ages that focuses on client and family-directed individual care while utilizing the most current research and intervention techniques.

Licensed in North Carolina (#6505)

Heather True, MA, CCC-SLP

hTrueHeather earned her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Missouri State University in 1995 and her Masters in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University in 1997. She has been with Speech Matters since 2012. Heather has worked in various settings such as, skilled nursing facilities, home health/early intervention and the school system. She has experience in working with individuals with severe to profound developmental disabilities, children with language disorders, autism spectrum disorder and stuttering.  Her passion is working with children with speech sound disorders.  Heather enjoys her job and loves seeing her clients make progress in their abilities to communicate!

  • Licensed in the state of North Carolina (#8752)
  • Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Association
  • Multiple continuing education courses related to speech, language and swallowing disorders. A recent focus on speech sound disorders


Anna Caldwell, MS, CCC-SLP

annaAnna obtained her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Appalachian State University and completed her Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of South Carolina. She has experience with various delays and disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Expressive and Receptive Language Disorder, and Apraxia. Anna has worked with a variety of populations, ranging from birth to geriatric, and enjoys working with clients of all ages. Anna loves encouraging others to reach their full potential both in and out of the speech classroom.

  • CPR and AED trained
  • MBSImP Dysphagia trained


 Kristen Karanikas, MS, OTR/L


Although she is a Pennsylvania native, she completed her undergraduate studies at James Madison University in Virginia, where she obtained her degree in Early Childhood Education, including a minor in exceptional education. Prior to becoming an OT, Kristen taught children of various age groups in a variety of settings including public schools, a private day school, and a daycare. Due to her love of working with children and their families, she pursued a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. Previously as an OT, she has worked with a variety of populations in early intervention and home health.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and their golden retriever! Kristen is passionate about helping children reach their full potential, and looks forward to working with you and your family.

  • Licensed in the state of North Carolina (#12938)
  • Licensed in the state of South Carolina (#5827)
  • Awarded certificate of clinical competence from National Board of Occupational Therapy (#429259)
  • CPR and AED trained


Katherine Mullikin, MCD, CCC-SLP

MullikinKatherine received both her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and her Masters in Communication Disorders from the University of South Carolina. Katherine has experience working with both children and adult populations in diverse inpatient and outpatient settings, including homes, daycares, clinics, nursing homes, and schools. Katherine loves serving the pediatric population and has a special interest in early intervention, language delays, and feeding and swallowing disorders. She enjoys developing a strong rapport with her clients and their families while implementing fun, functional, and effective therapy activities! Katherine also believes in fostering a nurturing environment to promote confidence and successful development for her clients.


  • CPR and AED trained 
  • Licensed in the state of South Carolina (#7021)
  • Licensed in the state of North Carolina (#14618)
  • Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Association 
  • Participation and completion of various continuing education programs related to speech and language development as well as feeding disorders


Christy Daniel

DanielChristy graduated from Jefferson College in Virginia in 1999 with a degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She also has a degree in early childhood education. Her love of children brought her to work in a variety of settings including, school system, preschools, early intervention, home health and clinic settings. Christy has experience working with children on the autism spectrum, sensory integration dysfunction, feeding delays, developmental delays and a variety of other diagnoses. Christy has a team approach and is passionate about education and helping children and families succeed and thrive.

  • Licensed in North Carolina (4055) 
  • Licensed in South Carolina (2308) 
  • Certificate of Clinical Competence from National Board of Occupational Therapy (1026787) CPR/ BLS trained 
  • Trained in Handwriting without Tears, Sensory Motor Integration and Feeding Delays


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