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Get to Know Me
and My Philosophy

Melissa Santander's Headshot - The founder of Eat Speak Breathe SLP


Melissa Santander, 

Speech-Language Pathologist,


Melissa Santander is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and founder of Eat Speak Breathe. She has a strong passion for helping children and families through her craft, speech-language therapy. 

At Eat Speak Breathe, I take the time to understand your child's unique needs, interests, and abilities to create an individualized therapy plan. My philosophy is to understand developmental abilities, root causes, and intrinsic motivations for success in therapy. I believe in understanding the 'whole' child by considering developmental skills such as cognition (thinking), gross motor (whole body movement), as well as fine motor (precise movement). At Eat Speak Breathe, Speech-language therapy is fun, natural, and motivating for your child to participate and succeed in. 

Licenses, Certification, Education


Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist by the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology & Hearing Aid Dispensers Board (2016)

Certification of clinical competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) (2016)

Masters of Science (MS) in Speech Pathology from New York Medical College (2015)


Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Lehman College, City University of New York (2012)

Lehman College - The City of New York Logo
ASHA Certified - Certificate of Clinical Competence Logo
New York Medical College Logo


Melissa has 10+ years of experience in the field of speech-language pathology. Initially, she started as a research assistant. For the past 7 years, she's become a skilled clinician. 

Melissa has worked in a range of clinical settings including adult/pediatric outpatient clinic, pediatric skilled nursing facility, and early intervention. ​

At Totally Kids, a pediatric skilled nursing facility for medically fragile children, Melissa was lead speech-language pathologist. Melissa gained experience with tracheostomy and mechanical ventilator dependent population. She worked in a multidisciplinary team of occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors. She treated children with medically complex needs and challenges. 

At Family First Speech and Language Center, Melissa worked closely with families, caregivers, and children ages 0-3. Melissa learned and practices a family-centered and child-led approach to therapy. 


Melissa has received specialized training in....

Parent and Caregiver 

Coaching and Education 

Play-based Therapy,

Child-led Therapy

Prelinguistic Skills,

Early Intervention


Language Processing

Social Skills Therapy

Professional PEERS® for Adolescents Certified Trained


Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Picture Exchange Communication System

(PECS) Level 1 Trained


Multidisciplinary Background

Experience working and collaborating

 with OT, PT, MD, Nursing, RT's

Tracheostomy and

Mechanical Ventilation Experience

Passy Muir® Tracheostomy & Ventilator Swallowing and Speaking Valve Training and Application 

Working with

Complex Cases &

Medically Fragile Children

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