Meet Our Team

Vanessa Chan-Felcman, M.A., CCC/SLP


With over 15 years of speech therapy experience, Vanessa founded Family First Speech Therapy in January 2014 and is dedicated to understanding the whole child. As one of only a few fully certified speech pathologists in Profectum and ICDL in DIR® / Floortime™ in all of Houston, she understands her clients’ challenges – how they process language, how they become regulated and how they move their body in order to build a strong foundation for communication. She is passionate about this model and in her sessions, family members are encouraged to join and be part of the interaction with their children. With the support of an incredible team, Vanessa is the guiding influence behind the Family First Speech philosophy.


Sarah Seymour, M.A., CCC/SLP

Sarah returned to her hometown of Houston, TX to join our team in March 2018. She is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist with a passion for working in pediatrics. Sarah fell in love with the pediatric population while training at a DIR®/Floortime™ facility in Austin. She has clinical experience in behavioral/medical dysphagia, articulation disorders, fluency disorders, receptive-expressive language delays/disorders, cognitive delays/disorders, and sensory processing disorders. She has obtained continuing education hours in the evaluation and treatment of behavioral/medical pediatric dysphagia. Sarah views each child as an individual and is dedicated to providing a holistic treatment tailored to his/her unique profile.

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Jennifer Garcia, M.S., CCC/SLP

Jennifer joined our team in May 2018.  She has been providing Speech-Language Therapy to support children and their families since 1998 and has her Expert/Training Leader certification in DIR®/Floortime™ through the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL).  She has advanced training in receptive/expressive language, articulation/verbal apraxia, PROMPT, Autism, voice, feeding/swallowing, Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding, oral placement therapy, stuttering, Selective Mutism, sensory integration, primitive reflex integration, coaching families in learning to implement DIR®/Floortime™, and augmentative communication.  She is dedicated to supporting children and their families in their journey to reach maximum potential.

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Cris Marie Esquivel, B.S., SLP Assistant

Cris joined our team November 2015. She has been working as a dedicated Speech Language Pathologist Assistant since 2007; Providing speech and language therapy while integrating the DIR®/Floortime™model for children with autism and other communication disorders since 2012.  Has over 150 CEU hours in advanced training added to her knowledge and applied practices, some which include: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Disorders, Communication Milestones & etc. Cris truly believes that every child has the ability to improve their communication skills through specific individualized treatment plans and is deeply committed to providing the highest standard of services for all clients and families.


Kenyetta Bolling, M.S., CCC/SLP

Kenyetta Bolling, a native of Houston, Texas has been practicing as a Speech Language Pathologist for over 18 years. Extensive training and continuing education has been acquired in her areas of expertise, which include: Autism, Aural/Oral Rehabilitation with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Language, AAC and Feeding. Kenyetta is passionate about providing supervision and training to speech language pathology assistants, staff and families to help ensure that effective communication engagement is occurring with all stakeholders. In addition to working at Family First Speech Therapy, she is also a clinical educator and adjunct professor at the University of Houston in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department. Kenyetta’s therapeutic philosophies include: focusing on client’s strengths, providing individualized client led therapy sessions, challenging the client’s full potential, involving families and believing that “Impossible is Nothing”.


Charisse Wright, M.S., CCC/SLP

Charisse Wright is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist with a particular interest in autism spectrum disorders. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Utah and has worked in a variety of settings. Charisse has a son on the autism spectrum, and understands the impact that language and social communication problems can have on individuals and families. She is dedicated to continuing education to be able to provide evidence-based therapy to support clients and their families, and received the ACE award in December 2018 for completing over 70 hours of continuing education in three years. She is certified in Hanen: More Than Words and has completed Level 1 training in Pivotal Response Treatment, and is currently working on Level 2. Charisse feels passionate about empowering parents and families to support development of language and social communication with clients, and is excited to join the Family First team.


Jessica Sherman, M.S., CCC/SLP

Jessica joined our team as a certified Speech and Language Pathologist in October of 2014. She is passionate and enthusiastic about working with the pediatric population. She has worked in the field for 9 years in a variety of different settings. Jessica’s experience ranges from articulation/phonological processing disorders, fluency disorders, oral motor disorders, autism spectrum disorders, auditory processing, apraxia, expressive and receptive language delay as well as other learning differences. She uses a multi-modality approach to therapy to help children achieve maximum success during each session. Family input is important to her and she encourages families to be involved as much as possible.


Rebecca Williams M.S., CCC/SLP

Rebecca joined our team as a certified speech language pathologist with a passion for discovering the inner motivation for each child that brings out their desire to communicate. While working at a sensory clinic, she developed skills for using sensory integrative techniques with an emphasis on child lead, movement based therapy. She has clinical experience in the areas of articulation disorders, receptive-expressive language delays/disorders, fluency disorders and pragmatic delays. She has worked with children with a variety of diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, sensory integration difficulties, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome.She values each child as an individual and as being part of a family/community and works to support this connection including families that desire to integrate more than one language.


Amber Mahand M.S., CCC/SLP

Amber  is a new member of our team and has been working since 2016 in the Houston Independent School District. While in the school setting, Amber has served children of varying populations such as students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning disabilities, Down Syndrome, cleft palate, and students with developmental delays. She advocates for children who receive speech therapy services at school and assists teachers in making sure they have the tools they need to facilitate the best possible outcomes for students in the classroom. Amber enjoys sharing knowledge with parents about facilitating language at home, as well as helping parents understand the services their children receive at school and the rights they have as a parent with a child who has a disability. Amber is enthusiastic about helping children reach their  greatest communication potentials and providing excellent service for all clients and families.



Henry H. Chan, MBA, CPA, Office Manager


Henry is an accounting, tax, and finance professional with over thirty years of experience in global treasury operations, including risk management at Compaq Computers, McDermott International (Houston, Texas) and Hewlett Packard Inc. (Palo Alto, California).  He jumped at the opportunity to work with and support such a strong team of dedicated speech and language specialists who love what they do.  Henry is diligent in providing the highest quality finance and operational expertise and is excited to be a part of the Family First community.



Judy Nhan, CCS, Billing Manager

Judy is a Certified Coding Specialist. She joined Family First Speech & Kids Connect Occupational Therapy clinic as a Billing Manager in 2016. Judy has strong knowledge and experience with Medicaid and different commercial health insurance plans, specifically for pediatric therapy services. In addition to her medical and billing experiences, she also has a wonderful way of adapting to her surroundings, even the most stressful environment. She uses her management skills and applications to solve difficult problems for both clients and staff members. Judy is an excellent addition to our team!

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Mercedes Salinas, Therapy Intake Coordinator

Mercedes joined our team in 2019. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Human Development and Family Services. Her knowledge in human development can assist our families to determine appropriate services. Mercedes is passionate about helping every child get the treatment needed for their developmental success. She is fluent in spanish. Her prior experience also includes 10+ years in customer service and appointment scheduling.

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Vanessa Rivera, Patient Account Specialist

Vanessa comes to us with almost 3 years of operations experience in a therapy clinic along with more than 10 years of administrative and office experience.  She displays passion and eagerness to assist our team members, patients and their families. At the clinic, Vanessa does what she enjoys best and maintains a positive and vivid presence in our front office and keeps the clinic running smoothly.  She greets each visitor with warmth and joyousness. Vanessa is also proficient in Spanish and uses her second language to communicate with families and team for accurate translation. She is ecstatic to have gained new relationships at Family First and Kids Connect!

While we do not have any current openings for speech and language pathologists or assistants, you are welcome to submit your resume for possibilities in the future. To apply, please feel free to call 713-522-8880 or to upload your resume.