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About Childworks Therapy Clinic

Abbie built Childworks Therapy Clinic on the belief that therapy should be a safe, welcoming and fun place for children to develop critical skills they need to improve basic functions in their daily life. As a mom of two boys, she understands how important it is to create an environment that empowers the entire family to aid in the child’s progress while also highlighting the strengths of the child having difficulties.  It's her mission to positively change the lives of children all over Siouxland with quality therapy you can trust.


Childworks Therapy Clinic takes a different approach by treating the "whole child". They work to incorporate every member of the child’s team into our therapy goals (i.e. family, caregivers, other medical professionals, etc.), and facilitate progress by targeting their strengths and weaknesses in a family centered environment. Children look forward to coming to their sessions. Parents can expect to be heard when it comes to their concerns and goals for their child and receive quantitative and descriptive reports throughout the duration of their child's therapy. 

Abbie Gacke, M.A. CCC-SLP, IBCLC


Abbie has specialized experience in treating children, adolescents and adults with complex medical diagnoses heavily impacted by feeding & swallowing disorders, speech and language disorders, and orofacial myofunctional disorders. Her professional experience began in the Chicago area at an outpatient private pediatric clinic.

Since beginning her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist, Abbie has taken many hours of continuing education in the areas of pediatric/feeding and swallowing, orofacial myofunctional therapy, and motor speech disorders.

Abbie has a Bachelor's Degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Northern Iowa. Abbie is also a Certified Lactation Counselor.


When moving back to the Siouxland area 4 years ago, she was excited to share her passion of empowering families to help their child eat and communicate. 

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Hailey Wagner,



Hailey is a speech-language pathologist who comes to Childworks with a Bachelor's of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Augustana University and a Master's of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Baylor University. She is eager and excited to begin her career with specialized treatment paths in the area of phonological processing and dyslexia. 


Hailey has experience with toddlers, school-age children, and adults treating speech and language delays, phonological processing difficulties as well as feeding and voice disorders. 


Originally from Northwest Iowa, Hailey resides in Sioux City with her husband, Justin, and their goldendoodle, Luna. When she isn't working, she enjoys spending time on the golf course or reading a good book.

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Lea Allbaugh,


Lea comes to us with a non-traditional path to speech pathology. She was a dental hygienist for 15 years before changing career paths to speech pathology.

She received a Bachelor's of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of South Dakota and a Master's of Science in Speech Language Pathology from the University of St Augustine for Health Sciences.

Lea is specialized in myofunctional therapy and has a strong interest in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders. She has a love for learning and a passion for supporting patient and family success when navigating speech/language and feeding difficulties. 


Lea has lived in Northwest Iowa for most of her life and is excited to provide care for families in the area. When not working, Lea enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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Devyn Sponder,



Devyn is a speech language pathologist with specialized experience working with children of all ages. She has years of experience treating articulation concerns, language concerns, and assisting children with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs. 


She worked in the school system for years prior to joining Childworks Therapy Clinic, so she has knowledge of individualized education plans (IEPs) and has collaborated with numerous IEP team members. Devyn's treatment strategies often focus on establishing a child's communication method and then expanding upon these communication skills. She strives to build open and supportive relationships with her patients and families.


Devyn earned her master's in speech language pathology from the University of South Dakota. She grew up in Sioux City and started her professional career here as well. When she isn't working, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. 

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Melissa Cruz Saldana,


Melissa is a speech language pathologist with specialized experience working with toddlers, school-age children, and adolescents with a variety of speech, language, and cognitive delays.

Melissa is also fluent in Spanish and has experience treating children and their families with bilingual needs. She enjoys implementing play-based, neurodiverse-affirming therapeutic approaches into her sessions with children experiencing various communication difficulties.

Melissa earned her bachelor's and master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Dakota. 


Spending most of her life in the Sioux City area, Melissa enjoys serving the place she calls home. When Melissa isn't working, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, shopping, and traveling to different concerts!

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Marissa Weis,



Marissa is a speech language pathologist who has specialized experience working with pediatrics in the areas of articulation, language, and feeding/swallowing disorders. She has multiple clinical experiences working in pediatric clinics here in Iowa. Marissa's clinical approach is based upon research based strategies and sensory-motor methods. She provides her client's a positive, supportive, and play-based therapy environment to expand upon their skills. 


Marissa earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Northern Iowa. She then joined our Childworks Therapy Clinic staff! 


Marissa is originally from Northeast Iowa but has since moved to Northwest Iowa with her fiance, Shane. When she isn't at the clinic, Marissa loves to spend the evenings sitting on her porch swing, shopping, or spending time with her family! 

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Why Choose Us

Who We Serve

Childworks Therapy Clinic Speech Language Pathologists serve children and adults who are experiencing speech, language, cognitive, fluency, feeding/swallowing, and/or orofacial myofunctional deficits.


Providing Quality Care You and Your Child Deserves
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Insurance Policy

Nearly all major insurance plans accepted

Not sure if your insurance covers our services? Call our office, and we will verify your benefits with your provider. Childworks Therapy Clinic is not held liable for insurance denials and cannot guarantee reimbursement of services from insurance. 

Childworks Therapy Clinic is in network with many insurance plans and also accepts private pay. We can also submit claims for out-of-network insurance plans.

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