Mission Statement & Goals

Asheville Speech Associates will offer the highest quality speech therapy services to its clients in Buncombe County and surrounding areas by:

  • Establishing and maintaining excellent working relationships with the current and future referring agencies and physicians to demonstrate responsiveness to their needs;
  • Establishing rapport and maintaining excellent working relationships with clients; and
  • Fostering a climate of integrity, trust, cooperation and professional development among all contractor therapists of Asheville Speech Associates

Client Focused

Our philosophy is and will always be to help individuals maximize their functional abilities. This is accomplished by clearly defining goals and objectives and establishing a care plan specific to each client's needs and those of their families.

Welcome to Asheville Speech Associates.

Janet- Bennett Speech TherapistI am Janet Bennett, the owner and a licensed/certified speech/language pathologist. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Master’s Degree and specialize in the treatment of tongue thrust, oral motor dysfunctions and voice disorders. I enjoy working with all ages.  Adults who experience hoarseness, chronic coughing/throat clearing, and swallowing difficulties can benefit greatly from my experience. Both children and adults who have a lisp can quickly learn how to improve their speech. I have learned, after more than 30 years of being a speech therapist, that one can suffer from a multitude of problems that can be directly linked to the way they breathe and the way they swallow. I can help you.

If you need a speech therapist or if you aren’t sure if you need a speech therapist, call our office and I will help guide you in the right direction. If you like, I will call your insurance company and find out as much as possible about the chances of you or your child’s speech therapy being covered by your insurance. I can never guarantee any of their information because they won’t guarantee me! We file for most insurance companies. If they deny the claim, and we feel that the service meets the requirements of your insurance policy, then we will gladly help with an appeal.

Please continue reading about the other speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists who work with Asheville Speech Associates. They are all very experienced and kind.  

Sarah Hauke

Sarah K. Hauke, M.S., CCC-SLP

I received my master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology at Appalachian State University. I received my bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University with a double major in Speech Language Pathology and early Childhood Education. I have received my national accreditation from the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and hold a teaching license in the state of Michigan.

I have experience working with children age 2-8 years and love working with children, who challenge me to see things from a different perspective. I believe I have as much to learn from them, as they do from me. I also enjoy working with students who have special needs, language disorders, articulation disorders, and stuttering. I am familiar with North Carolina State Standards and keep them in mind as I write goals for school age children and enjoy using literature during therapy paired with hands-on activities.

In my personal time, I love hiking with my dog Lucie, reading at local coffee shops, and spending time with my friends and family. I am originally from Michigan, but have grown to love the Asheville area and call it my home.

Lisa Kayser

Lisa Kayser, M.A., CCC-SLP

Hello! My name is Lisa Kayser and I look forward to helping your child become a better communicator.  I am an ASHA Certified Speech Language Pathologist and received my Bachelor of Education from the University of Toledo and my Master of Arts in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Ohio University.  I have worked with language, hearing impairment and articulation impairments in local schools; and I have worked with aphasia, cognition and swallowing disorders within the adult population.

The experience of raising my own children has led me to believe that incorporating intervention with fun, motivating, real life activities can simultaneously offer an opportunity for children to learn about the world around them. As we work towards each success, they will also learn life skills and build confidence that will prepare them for years to come. 

In addition to my passion for working with children, I enjoy training my Golden Retriever, fostering animals, and spending time with my husband and two daughters. Let me help your little one reach for the stars!



Kristina Kelly, M.S., CCC-SLP

Hi. My name is Kristina Kelly. I am an ASHA certified, state licensed Speech/Language Pathologist who has been practicing for 25 years. I enjoy helping my clients find their voice so they can confidently express their unique individual selves as they interact with the world.

I work with a variety of clients both children and adults. My strong knowledge of neurology and the way the brain processes information, combined with my years of experience in a variety of disorders, allow me to tailor my intervention strategies to work with my client’s strengths and preferred ways of learning. I am a firm believer in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and know that trust and security are the foundation to learning speech and language. For my autistic population, this means easing anxiety through a variety of methods to promote self- regulation so they are willing to accept the invitation to join the “neuro-typical" world. All behavior is communication so it is my job to help parents interpret intended meaning and to provide more effective ways to get that message across.

In addition to spectrum disorders, I also work with adults and children who struggle with communication as a result of Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Aphasia, Apraxia, Cleft Palate, Voice Disorders, Stuttering, Hearing Disorders/Cochlear Implants, Language Based Reading Disorders and ESL. I specialize in the motor training of correct production of /r/ to help children’s speech match their age and cognitive maturity. Feel free to call me and we can discuss your concerns and options. I look forward to being a communication partner with you or your loved one.

Linda Letourneau

Lynda Letourneau, OTR/L

I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida International University. I have experience in Biofeedback (national certification), Pain Management Specialist, Therapeutic Yoga (national certification), Inter Play (national certification), and expert in Neurological Disorders across the spectrum.

I enjoy finding meaningful activities for clients. I offer treatment for patients of all ages and conditions to thrive, recover, and improve the small and large skills that are needed for everyday living and activities of choice.

I am deeply committed to the concept that rehabilitation should weave joy into work. I have been in practice in various settings for over 30 years. My favorite pediatric story is about Emily, born with cerebral palsy, learned how to sit up and self-feed for the first time at seven years of age. Tears of joy were abundant for all. I enjoy helping people move into their next level of function.


Misty Matthews, M.S., CCC-SLP 

Misty attended Western Carolina University, where she earned a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  She has experience with a variety of ages and needs, including articulation, language, and pragmatics, among other things in the field.

In her spare time, Misty enjoys a good book, a good movie, or time and travel with her family. She appreciates the variety of activity that the seasons of Western North Carolina have to offer.  Misty grew up in Weaverville and still lives there with her husband and daughter.

Shannon RoseShannon Rose , M.A., CCC-SLP

Shannon received her Master of Arts in Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern State University in Louisiana. She has 26 years of experience in the schools, private practice, and state programs with children of all ages. She sees children from ages 18 months to 15 years and is interested in Autism, apraxia, hearing impairment, and langauge delay. In her free time, Shannon enjoys gardening, hiking, and kayaking. Shannon speaks Spanish and English.

"I enjoy working with families as a partner in helping their children to improve their communication skills."


Christine “Chrissy” Thompson

Christine “Chrissy” Thompson, M.A., CCC-SLP

I attended Appalachian State University (Go Apps!) and have a Master's Degree in Communication Disorders. I specialize in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Autism, PROMPT Level I & II trained, Expressive/Receptive Language disorders, Social Thinking, Augmentative Communication, Literacy, and Articulation Disorders.

Away from speech therapy, I love to hiking, cook, make crafts, and play with my two daughters, ages two and eight. I alos have a golden retriever name Lily.

Mary Whitenack

Mary Whitenack, PT

Hi! I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the Physical Therapy School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.. I have experience in pediatrics, early intervention, developmental delay, orthopedics, autism, and sensory processing disorders.

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, gardening, cooking, and reading. Assisting families with optimizing their child's potential is a tremendous part of job satisfaction for me. Providing support and an exercise plan that takes a child to the next step in the context of family goals is my focus.

Over the years, I have had numerous stories of success that are unforgettable. In one case, a child who sustained a crushing pelvic injury seven years earlier came to me with weakness of the lower extremity and bouts of sudden loss of sensation causing falls. After six months of work on releasing scar tissue and restoring flexibility and strength, he was no longer experiencing those symptoms and returned to sports.

Another memorable case was of a child who needed a specialized power wheelchair due to his condition. After many letters of justification and nearly having to show up to testify his need in court, insurance agreed to pay and the child became independent in mobility. Sometimes, children have special sensory needs that impact their motor performance. As a PT, I have found that incorporating a sensory approach has been valuable to achieving success in therapy.

julie-woodJulie Wood, M.A., CCC-SLP

Julie has a Bachelor's Degree and Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University. She has experience in Articulation/Phonological Disorders, Language Disorders, Apraxia, Autism, and Stuttering. She enjoys working with families to help their children become better communicators.

Julie enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Mazie & Gracie , Office Kitties Speech Therapy

Mazie and Gracie – Amazing Grace! Our office kitties are so sweet and can’t wait to meet you when you come to visit. Don’t be concerned if you have allergies. We can accommodate you too!

Mazie and Gracie were adopted through the Animal Compassion Network - a local nonprofit organization placing rescued and abandoned dogs and cat into approved permanent homes.