Providers & Staff
Mary L. Nel, M.S., CCC/SLP
Owner and Managing Director of ABG Therapy & Wellness Center, LLC
Speech-Language Pathologist

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Mary has degrees in Communication Disorders and Education. Before her studies in Communication Disorders at Colorado State University, she spent several years working in administration, project development, and teaching for Stimulus, a program for gifted children in Stellenbosch, South Africa. She has been working as a speech-language pathologist since 1992 in medical and educational settings, working with both children and adults. She is the founding member of Fort Collins Therapy Services, LLC doing business as ABG Therapy & Wellness Center, LLC.

Mary is experienced in working with a wide range of pediatric and adult clients. Her practice focuses mainly on autism, Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) for non-verbal clients, and aphasia. She has training in both TEACCH and Verbal Behavior methods for working with autism.

Personal experience in sharing life with a disabled family member has given Mary a good understanding of the impact of disability on the daily routines of differently-abled individuals and the people they share their lives with. One of her favorite parts of managing a therapy practice is being able to work with clients to create programs that work well to enhance the lives of both her clients and their families. 

Erin Mercer, M.A., CCC/SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

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Erin has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for nine years. She has had experience working in various school and rehabilitation settings, working with individuals of all ages and treating diagnoses ranging from swallowing disorders to stuttering to cognitive deficits to speech and language delays and differences. She enjoys the variety that her profession offers and works effectively developing fun and functional activities based on proven intervention methods to support communication development for children with autism, severe and affective needs, and developmental delays.

Erin’s recent experience has included working as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer to develop a sustainable Bachelor’s degree program in Speech-Language Therapy and Audiology (SLT-A) for the University of Guyana. While in Guyana, she also supported the local hospitals, schools, and other health centers by assessing and treating clients with speech-language, cognitive-communication, or swallowing deficits as well as increasing public awareness of such issues. In addition, she provided multiple workshops in cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders to rehabilitation assistants, nursing staff, and other volunteers in Guyana. Erin is currently working on a language-based research project in Guyana as well as providing workshops in Jamaica for increasing language development in young children.

Erin’s research experience includes work with fluency disorders (preschool and adult stuttering). She co-authored an article in the Journal of Speech-Language and Hearing Research regarding fluency inducing procedures in adult stuttering speakers (2009). She presented at the Georgia Speech-Language and Hearing Association (GSHA) conference in 2011 in the area of preschool-aged stuttering. In November 2016, she participated on a panel at the annual American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) on the sustainability of the SLT-A program in Guyana, has recently published an editorial piece for the ASHA Leader also on the sustainability of the SLT-A program at the University of Guyana (March 2017).

Kathleen FitzGerald, M.S., CCC/SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

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Kathleen has over 15 years of experience in working with children with learning disabilities and language comprehension deficits. She is trained in the use of Lindamood-Bell language processing programs, as well as in decoding in remedial reading and reading comprehension, spelling, and math.

Kathleen enjoys working with children of all ages who exhibit language processing deficits. She is able to help them improve their ability to maintain auditory attention, follow oral and written directions, and improve reading skills. She uses well-researched and scientifically-verified interventions and her success-based therapy methods boost confidence, build skills, and change lives.

Jer-Aye Gau, M.A., CCC/SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

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Jer-Aye has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Colorado State University and a Master of Arts in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the University of Colorado. She enjoys using her experience in the assessment and treatment of stuttering to work with preschool and school-aged children, teenagers, and adults. Continuing education includes conferences conducted by the Stuttering Foundation of America and Jer-Aye is trained and certified to treat stuttering using the Lidcombe Program.

Jer-Aye has also completed a graduate program in the area of assistive technology through Assistive Technology Partners at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine. She has knowledge of a variety of devices and enjoys assisting individuals who use devices in improving their social communication skills and language development.

A favorite part of therapy for Jer-Aye is learning each individual's learning style, interests, and personality in order to create therapy plans and activities that improve skills while creating fun and meaningful experiences. 

Jane Metz, B.S., OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

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Jane studied at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, completing her undergraduate degree in psychology in 2009 and her Master of Science degree in occupational therapy in 2011. Her experience as an occupational therapist is varied and includes early childhood, assisted living, orthopedics, rehabilitation, and school-based therapy for children from preschool through high school. Special interests and training include sensory integration, neurodevelopmental treatment, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, feeding, and cognition.

Jane enjoys working as part of a team to address the needs of various populations from developmental delays to more serious diagnoses. She enjoys learning from colleagues as well as participating in more formal continuing education courses. 

Gordon Gilstrap
Billing/IT Manager

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Gordon is the owner of YNI Business Support LLC, a company, which provides contract support to ABG Therapy for computer, billing, and bookkeeping services. His initial link to ABG Therapy was through his wife, who is a speech therapy patient with ABG Therapy.

Gordon values his relationship with the clinic not only for the therapy provided to his wife but also for the excellent therapy it provides to so many children.  While providing operational support to a therapy clinic is very different from his previous roles as an executive at Hewlett-Packard, he considers it very rewarding to have even a small part in helping patients achieve their goals that are so important to coping with the challenges in life. 

Heather Michaud
Office Coordinator 

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Heather joined ABG in October 2014 and, for most people, she is their first contact with the office. If you come in as a client, Heather will make you feel welcome, help with your paperwork, and work with you to schedule your first appointment. If you’re part of another medical office, she will work with you to coordinate referrals and reports. Heather has had years of experience as an office manager in multiple settings and now especially enjoys loves working in a setting where she feels she can contribute to the well-being of the people she serves.

Heather grew up in Fort Collins and takes advantage of every opportunity for spending time with family and friends while soaking up the Colorado sunshine. Having raised four children of her own, Heather loves kids and enjoys being with them. She also knows what organization looks like and how to achieve it.  She makes a huge difference in how the ABG office runs and is an essential member of our staff.