Dr. Deborah Swain is the founder, owner, and director of the Swain Center. She is the former Chief of Speech Pathology at the University of California, Davis Medical Center and held a clinical staff faculty appointment to the school of medicine at the university. She is the past President of the California Association of Speech Pathologists and Audiologists in Private Practice (CALSPAPP). She was appointed to serve on the California Speech-Language and Hearing Association’s Task Force for developing guidelines for Auditory Processing Disorder. Dr. Swain is a former California representative to the Legislative Council for the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. She is the author of six standardized test batteries and six treatment manuals. She has received national media and professional attention for her contributions and expertise in her field. She is married to Richard Swain and is the mother of four children.
“Happiness is walking in the grass in your bare feet.“ —Lucy Van Pelt
Michelle lives in Santa Rosa, California with her son and Paws As Loving Support (PALS) facility dogs, “Austin” Powers and Princess “Nadia.” She has worked at the Swain Center since 2001. Michelle’s passion is working with children on the Autism Spectrum. She enjoys teaching social skills classes. In 2010, Michelle became an active volunteer and puppy raiser for PALS. She wanted to team up with an assistance dog to help her out with her job at the Swain Center. Austin and Michelle graduated on September 11, 2011 as an Assistance Dog Facility Dog Team. Nadia and Michelle graduated on October 20, 2012 as an Assistance Dog Facility Dog Team. Both Austin and Nadia currently work at the Swain Center. Michelle and Nadia are in training to become a Comfort Team for the County of Sonoma. In her free time, Michelle loves to snuggle up on the couch and watch movies. She enjoys scrapbooking, reading, gardening, canning, pickling, hiking and camping.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” -George Bernard Shaw
Jenica lives in the area with her dog, Wheezer. She worked at the Swain Center previously from 2009-2012 and has recently returned. In the interim, Jenica has worked as a traveling bilingual therapist and in educational and acute care rehabilitation/long term care settings. Jenica’s passion is working with culturally and linguistically diverse children and adults with communication disorders. In her free time, Jenica loves to be outside in nature. She enjoys reading, cooking, playing musical instruments, backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, adventures and exploring.
“It is my pleasure to open up the world of communication to children and their families. The joy I receive each and every day in serving those with communication difficulties comes back around in astounding ways!”
Debbie enjoys sharing time with her family and friends. Her two daughters each have a son and Debbie spends as much time with her grandsons as possible. She also enjoys hiking, walking, gardening, going to the beach and discovering the wonders that beautiful Sonoma County has to offer.
“A career in speech-language pathology challenges you to use your intellect (the talents of your mind), in combination with your humanity (the gifts of your heart), to do meaningful work that feeds your soul.”
Taylor was born and raised in Sonoma County, and grew up with a love for working with children paired with a passion for singing. A recent graduate from San Francisco State University, Taylor completed her final internship at The Swain Center in April 2015, and is thrilled to be back and working full time as a Speech-Language Pathologist! Outside of work, Taylor enjoys spending time with her parents and two younger sisters, obsessing over the San Francisco Giants, and spending time in the sunshine.
“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
― Martha Graham
Training and Certifications
Maria was born and raised in Cloverdale, California and was thrilled when she had the opportunity to move back to Cloverdale after spending 6 years in Oregon. Since she was a young girl, Maria has had a passion for finding a way to give people who can’t speak a voice. She delighted in programming different speech generating devices and enjoyed the challenge of making the device pronounce the words properly. Once she found the field of Speech Language Pathology, she knew Augmentative and Alternative Communication would be her passion because it would allow her to give a voice to people. In her free time, Maria loves to spend time with her family, friends, dogs, dance, be outdoors, read and relax.
“What we think, we become.”- Buddha
Jennifer was born and raised in Calistoga, California and was thrilled to be able to move back to Napa Valley after college. Ever since she can remember, she has always enjoyed being around children and knew at an early age that working with kids would be in her future. She enjoys spending time with her family, being active and driving along the coast of California.
Elizabeth lives in Rohnert Park, California with her husband Luis. She has worked at the Swain Center since 2013. Elizabeth enjoys working with children, helping them learn and further there abilities across a variety of areas, it is through this work she has learned “life” teachers can come in tiny packages! Helping the Spanish-speaking community has been a lifelong passion which continues here at the center, helping English-Language Learners in the area of speech and language. She also enjoys helping teach social skills and Tiny Talkers classes. In her free time, Elizabeth loves to spend time with her family and friends. She also enjoys dancing, exercising, hiking, camping, and watching movies.
Lindsay currently resides in Santa Rosa with her husband Brian, son Rex, dog Bella and cat Jack. When not working or studying, Lindsay enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, sports, snowboarding, and traveling.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Katie grew up in Santa Rosa and was very happy to move back to Sonoma County after college. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and three little boys.
Allie is from Orange County, CA. She moved to Sonoma County in 2013 and fell in love with the area, opportunities, and experiences. She took a large part in Public Relations during her time at Sonoma State, and believes that spreading positivity is extremely important in today’s society. She has a passion for working with children, as she believes each child has so much to offer the world. In her free time, Allie enjoys hiking, running, volleyball, and singing.
“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.“
Jacob lives in Santa Rosa and has worked at the Swain Center since 2013. He is a recent college graduate who hopes to pursue graduate school one day in order to delve into the field of clinical neuropsychology. In his free time he enjoys cooking, fencing, fine-arts photography, learning foreign languages, hiking, and drinking entirely too much caffeine.
“When it rains, look for rainbows. When its dark, look for stars.” -Unknown
B.A. Sociology- Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park ‘16
Beyond the Swain Center
Julia lives in Santa Rosa, California and has just recently graduated from Sonoma State University in May 2016. She currently works as a social skills aide at the Swain Center and hopes to be attending a graduate program for Speech Language Pathology in the near future. She hopes to combine her education and love for working with children to make a difference in the lives of those around her. In her free time she enjoys taking trips to bodega bay and playing with her rambunctious dog, Sake.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Tami’s has spent over 20 years working as both a bookkeeper and an administrative assistant. She enjoys doing her part to make the operation run smoothly and efficiently. Tami has lived in Santa Rosa, California for most of her life. She loves spending time with her husband, two grown children and two granddaughters. She enjoys cooking, traveling, Disneyland and the SF Giants. She has been part of the Swain Center team since 2012.