OUR OFFICE STAFF
Erica Azucena, Group Aide
Jen has a delightful, energetic and sunny manner. She is a natural "cheerleader" for every child on her caseload, helping even the most reluctant participants feel confident! It is clear from the moment you step into her room that Jen loves what she does. Jen uses motivating multi-sensory strategies and play-based activities to facilitate speech, language and auditory processing improvement. Prior to becoming a speech pathologist, Jen worked with children with autism spectrum disorders as an ABA therapist and continues to have a special interest in this population, as well as language delays, social language development and auditory processing disorders. Jen is trained in the PROMPT technique. PROMPT is a therapy method used with children who have apraxia. Jen holds a Master's Degree from San Jose State University in Communicative Disorders and the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Jen and her husband Shawn are the proud parents of two children, Mason and Taylor. Jen works three days a week and is on-site at the Athena Academy in Palo Alto on Tuesdays during the school year. She has been with the practice since 2008.
Amber graduated from Baylor University with an outstanding GPA and is very experienced with children. She is warm, sweet and enthusiastic, but also does an excellent job handling children who need structure and boundaries. She has advanced training in auditory processing, apraxia (including PROMPT), as well as language development, autism and articulation. She connects well with both parents and children. Amber holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Amber enjoys games, sports, running and food-eating it and cooking it! Amber joined our practice in 2013 and works full time.
Let me introduce our fantastic team. I am so proud of the dedication and expertise of this wonderful group of professionals. Not only are they top-notch clinicians, they share a passion for helping children reach their potential. Every step, every new skill, reminds us we are truly fortunate for the deeply rewarding opportunity to work with your child. We truly love what we do and cannot imagine doing anything else!
Taylor Gralak, Covering Group/Office Assistant
Taylor is currently a student at San Francisco State University obtaining her master's degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences. In her spare time, she volunteers coordinating and working as an assistant instructor at a therapeutic riding program for children with special needs. In addition to volunteering, she enjoys horseback riding, snowboarding, hiking, and spending time with family. Taylor likes to stay busy doing the things she loves.
Patti McAleer Hamaguchi, M.A.,
Alynna is currently a Psychology student at San Jose State University. She has a passion for working with children and has a background in ABA therapy. She has worked with children of all ages. In her free time, she enjoys staying active by biking, snowboarding, and hiking. Alynna currently works on Tuesday afternoons.
Kristen brings a warmth, energy and creativity to every session, while balancing her carefully-designed activities with structure and playful routine for those children who need it. She has a natural instinct for finding just the right combination of strategies to optimize every child's session, yet make it all "fun"! Kristen has a particularly strong background in motivating new and emerging talkers, using visual supports (such as PECS) and sensory inputs (music, tactile) to facilitate communicative intent and lay the foundation to support verbal speech. Before becoming a speech pathologist, Kristen was an ABA therapist, and continues to have an interest in working with children who have challenging behaviors as a result of their communication difficulties. Kristen’s experience also extends to facilitating pragmatic/social language development, working with apraxia and articulation disorders (including those pesky “r” sounds!), and teaming closely with families to ensure carryover and support at home. Kristen is trained in the PROMPT technique (for apraxia). She holds a Masters Degree from San Jose State University in Communicative Disorders and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Kristen and her husband Matt are the proud parents of a little girl, Lucy, and twins Adam and Ryan. Kristen works three days a week. She has been with our practice since 2008 and is on maternity leave until December 2017.
Our newest addition to the office team, Helen Berman, is a resourceful, proactive, and highly organized Office Assistant. Her Business Economics degree from UC Santa Barbara and previous experience as an Office Assistant in a children's occupational therapy practice gives her the unique skill set to be an asset at our practice. Helen and her husband, Brian have a beautiful daughter, Audrey. In her free time she consistently volunteers at her daughter’s school and leads the Arts Alive program for the class. Helen works part time to support the office as needed.
OUR GROUP AIDES
Amie has been with Hamaguchi & Associates in one capacity or another for over ten years! We first me Amie as a student group aide while at San Jose State University, then helping with the front office, and eventually as a speech-language pathologist with her master's degree as well as Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Amie has a strong background working with language, auditory processing, and oral-motor/apraxia. She particularly enjoys social/play groups and has extensive additional experience with children on the autism spectrum, CAPD and dyslexia. Amie and her husband Danny are the proud parents of Jack and Liam. Currently Amie is filling in for Kristen while she is on maternity leave, as will work on Tuesdays beginning in January.
Patti McAleer Hamaguchi is a speech-language pathologist. She is the founder and Director of Hamaguchi & Associates, Inc. and is the author of the book, Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know (John Wiley & Sons) which is available in major retail bookstores and Amazon.com, including Chinese and Spanish versions. She developed and field-tested a program to teach children with weak listening skills, A Metacognitive Program for Treating Auditory Processing Disorders (Pro-Ed, Inc). Mrs. Hamaguchi authored two chapters in the text, “Auditory Processing Disorders” (Plural Publishing).
Patti is also the founder and CEO of our spin-off company, Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development. Hamaguchi Apps produces high-quality, colorful and engaging apps for the iPad and iPhone that support speech, language and listening development. www.hamaguchiapps.com
Prior to moving to California in March (1996), she maintained a private practice in Brookfield, CT, and was with Sara Johnson Oral-Motor Speech & Language Associates in South Salem, NY. From 1987 through 1995, Mrs. Hamaguchi was on staff with Region 14 Public Schools in Woodbury, CT. Before moving to Connecticut in 1987, Mrs. Hamaguchi worked for Wall Township Public Schools, NJ, for six years as a speech-language pathologist and reading consultant.
Mrs. Hamaguchi has served as Selectman in the town of Brookfield, CT, and was named "Connecticut's Outstanding Young Citizen of 1990" by the CT Jaycees and WVIT-TV. In 2008, Mrs. Hamaguchi received several awards for her service to the profession, including the “Islands of Excellence” award from the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Patti has recently been chosen to receive one of the highest awards from CSHA in 2014, the "Fellow" award, which is given to an outstanding speech-language pathologist each year. She received the ACE award in 2017.
Patti received her M.A. degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Trenton State College (now called "The College of New Jersey") and her B.A. degree in Elementary Education from Glassboro State College (now known as "Rowan University") in Glassboro, NJ. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and licensed in the state of California. Patti served as the chair of the California Speech-Language Hearing Association's Task Force on Central Auditory Processing Disorders and was the Commissioner for Professional Services for Speech Pathology and Audiology 2005-2007.
Patti's role at the practice is one of mentoring staff, meeting families during the initial assessment appointment, writing the assessment reports, and handling administrative issues. She occasionally sees children for therapy when covering for other therapists on leaves as well.
Her newest projects? Patti is the co-author of a standardized test for children, the RESCA-E (Receptive-Expressive-Social Communication Assessement-Elementary) with Dr. Deborah Ross-Swain. This test was released in November 2015 by Academic Therapy Publications of Novato, CA. Here is a review: http://my.ilstu.edu/~wjschne/RESCAE.html In addition, Patti is the author of the revised TAPS-4 (Test of Auditory Processing Skills--4th Edition) slated for release in January 2018, and is also working on developing a receptive, expressive and social/play assessment for children ages 18 months-age 6, which is being field-tested in the CA Bay area, with a projected release date of of late 2019.
Erica has a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics and minor in Health Education and Counseling. She's been a Behavioral Therapist for 2 years and enjoys working with children. Erica has worked in different settings to support children and adolescents, including health, academics or with behavioral support for children on the autism spectrum. Erica is excited to be an aide for Hamaguchi & Associates and looks forward to making a difference in the lives of children at our practice. Erica is currently working on Mondays and Fridays at our office.
Kim Nguyen, Group Aide
Sara grew up around children with disabilities as a result of her mom's work as a speech-language pathologist (yes that Hamaguchi). Sara has boundless energy and a bright smile and is passionate about working with children with special needs. She works as an activities coach/PE teacher during the school day, an ABA (Registered Behavioral Technician) interventionist three afternoons, and at our office on Thursday afternoons.
Fiona Poon, M.A., CCC-SLP
Candace was born and raised in San Jose. She has been our Office Manager since 2013. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, hiking and spending time with her husband, Andrew. Candace is our amazing administrator who keeps the office running, all with a smile! Candace and her husband Andrew are the proud parents of a little boy, Silas!
Sara Hamaguchi, Group Aide
Fiona graduated from San Jose State University with a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She was the recipient of the Hamaguchi Scholarship at SJSU while a student, due to her outstanding academic and clinical work, as well as rave reviews from her clinical supervisors. So it is with great enthusiasm that we recruited Fiona to join our practice in 2016!
Fiona is a cheerful and passionate clinician who enjoys working with children of all ages. Prior to starting her career as a speech-language pathologist, Fiona worked as an ABA therapist for over two years in Los Angeles. She has a special interest and experience in working with children who are on the autism spectrum and also those who have auditory deficits (hearing/listening), having worked with children at the Weingarten Children's Center in Redwood City through the Project Aural Impact grant. Fiona is multilingual and speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. She believes in working closely with parents and families as a team, in order to help their children reach their maximum potential. Fiona loves live music, watching sports, and trying out new restaurants with her friends and family.
A San Jose native, Kim is looking forward to obtaining her bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences at San Jose State University this upcoming spring. A busy bee at heart, she divides her time between working at our office with school, interning at a multidisciplinary therapy center, waitressing at a local sushi joint, and being a social media/community outreach manager at a dance studio specializing in urban choreography. In her spare time, she loves going to concerts and spending time with her friends and family. Kim currently works on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Candace Carson-Brunt, Office Manager
Amie Solomon, M.A., CCC-SLP
Kristen White, M.A., CCC-SLP
Helen Berman, Friday Office Assistant
Alynna (a-LEEN-uh) Hernandez, Group Aide
Amber Freels Antle, M.S., CCC-SLP
Jennifer Huff, M.A., CCC-SLP