Who we are

The staff at Basic Concepts strives to empower children to grow and reach their fullest potential.

It is our philosophy that children learn best in a stimulating and challenging environment where they are able to gain self-confidence and take risks while developing age-appropriate academic and social skills.

Our staff consists of licensed speech language pathologists and certified special educators working together to meet the needs of your individual child. 



Katy Whidden, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a partner at Basic Concepts. She received her master's degree in speech language pathology from the University of Maryland. With over 15 years experience in private practice, public school and hospital settings, Katy specializes in the assessment, evaluation, and treatment of auditory processing disorders, receptive and expressive language delays, articulation disorders, and social skill deficits that often accompany autism disorders, down’s syndrome and learning disabilities. She enjoys implementing programs to enhance children's written communication and reading skills as well. Katy also specializes in designing and implementing therapeutic and educational curriculum for children ages 3-10.

Sarah Graf, M.Ed., CEIM, is a partner at Basic Concepts. She received her master's degree from the University of Maryland in special education. Sarah has worked in a variety of educational settings. With a comprehensive background in early intervention, she is skilled in designing and implementing educational programs for children with disabilities from birth through 5th grade. In addition to educational programs, Sarah specializes in developing social skill and behavioral programs for use in natural environments such as home, private school, and day care settings. Sarah also enjoys her role as a certified educator of infant massage.

Mariel Phillips, M.A., CCC-SLP is a licensed speech language pathologist who received her master's degree from Hofstra University. She has experience in both private and public educational settings. Mariel is skilled in the assessment and treatment of children ages 3 through 18 with various needs including; articulation problems, auditory processing disorders, and receptive/expressive language delays. Mariel also has extensive experience working with children with social skills deficits both individually and in group settings.


Bethany Shoaf, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech language pathologist who received her bachelor’s-master’s degree from College Misericordia in Dallas, PA. Bethany has experience providing speech therapy services both in the public schools and on a private, home-health basis. She has worked with a variety of children from ages birth through 18 and is skilled in assessing and treating language, articulation, and oral-motor disorders as well as social-pragmatics deficits. Special areas of interest include childhood apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorder, and other developmental disabilities.


Stephanie Souder, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech language pathologist. She received her master’s degree from Loyola University Maryland. Stephanie has experience in assessing and treating speech and language disorders with the preschool through elementary population. Stephanie has a special interest in the area of preschool language delays, down’s syndrome and learning disabilities.


Heather McIntosh, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech language pathologist. She received her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Heather has experience treating children and adolescents in both private and public settings. She is skilled in assessing and treating articulation, language, and pragmatic language disorders. Heather specializes in working with children to improve play and social skills.

Emma Shebest, M.Ed., holds a master’s degree in special education from the University of Maryland. She has experience teaching children and adults across all disabilities. She has experience in private and public self-contained and total inclusion classrooms. Emma specializes in working with children to improve academic and social skills and in adapting lessons to meet the needs of all learners.

Becky Thomas, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech language pathologist. She received her master’s degree from Towson University. Becky has experience assessing and treating preschool and school-aged students with a variety of disabilities in the public school and private settings. She is skilled at assessing and treating children with articulation and phonological processing disorders, receptive/expressive language delays and auditory processing disorders. Special training includes PROMPT therapy.





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