Helping children find their voice for over 30 years

1760 E River Road Suite 115, Tucson AZ 85718

phone 520.721.4544  /  fax 520.829.7743


We are hiring SLPs! Please send resumes to office@speechcenteraz.com



Speech Center has been dedicated to helping children find their voice for over 30 years, working with families from all over southern Arizona. We are a privately owned speech pathology practice, established in 1993 by Sherril Howard, M.S. CCC-SLP and Diane Hansen, M.A. CCC-SLP. In the last 10 years, Diane has become the sole owner of Speech Center, focusing exclusively on pediatrics and helping children and their families find answers, reach milestones and accomplish their communication goals. Our licensed speech-language pathologists are highly qualified in the assessment and treatment of speech, voice, and language for children of all ages, from infants to 18 years old.  The children in our care are exposed to language and communication in a healthy, low stress way that considers the "whole child" and not only supports the child's growth, but the family's ability to communicate together. Using these evidence-based methods, we have gotten excellent results with our clients for over three decades. We carefully select SLPs that hold the same values, creating continuity of care for parents and their children.


For 20 years we have 



Today we are located in the cambric Center, centrally located along the Rillito River. The beautiful outdoor space around us provides a wonderful, calm environment for our patients. With pools of fish, turtles, grass and rocks around our office there is plenty of room for little ones to play. Our therapists enjoy taking walks through our offices, giving children the opprotunity to use fresh air and nature to facilitate talking. We strive to provide a low stress experience, with beauty and intrigue for our patients and their families.

Diane Hansen M.A. CCC-SLP and
Sherril Howard M.S. CCC-SLP
Founders of Speech Center - 1993




At Speech Center, all our therapists are ASHA certified and have their CCCs. To learn more about the importance of having a speech language therapist that is fully certified please clink HERE or visit our What is an SLP? page. 

Diane  Hansen,  MA, SLP-CCC

Diane received her Masters from Washington State University in Speech Language Pathology in 1984. She received her Bachelors from the University of Washington in Seattle. She completed her Clinical Fellowship Year in Alaska. Diane is a member of the American and Arizona Speech and Hearing Associations. Until 1988, Diane Practiced in Seattle and Alaska, working with children and adults in hospitals, schools, and child development clinics. She has also served as Communication and Speech Pathology adjunct faculty at the University of Alaska, Washington State University and University of Arizona. Prior to establishing the Speech Center of Southern Arizona, She worked with University of Arizona Medical Center providing inpatient and outpatient care for infants, children and adults. Diane is recognized for her exceptional skills in working with young children and with the family as a whole. In 1992, Diane and Sherril Howard (M.S. CCC-SLP) published "Facilitating Early Language" a guide for parents. Diane worked closely with Ear Nose and Throat physicians and voice therapist Sherril Howard, SLP, for 22 years, giving her expertise in treating pediatric voice disorders and Vocal Cord Dysfunction. Diane's most recent continuing education has been in the areas of Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Voice disorders. She was recently certified through Apraxia Kid's as a SLP qualified to treat Apraxia.

In 2008 Diane completed consultant training, qualifying her to implement customized wellness programs in health practitioners offices.

Christine Butalla,  MS, CCC-SLP

Christine has been at Speech Center since 2012. She graduated from the University of Arizona with her Masters of Science in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences in 2011. She completed her Clinical Fellowship year with Panacea Therapeutics, providing services for individuals across the lifespan. Christine has a breadth of experience in the Speech and Language discipline. In addition to practicing as one of our associates, she also works with adults providing speech, language and swallowing rehabilitation. While obtaining her degree in speech-language pathology, Christine completed her clinical research thesis in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, informing our team of the most current and up to date techniques involved in treating this challenging speech disorder. Prior to completing her degree she was a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant and worked with Special Education students within the public school system, where she gained valuable experience in the field and background in therapy procedures, treatments and interventions for school age children. Christine's willingness to go the distance for each patient and work with parents are some of the many reasons we love having her at Speech Center.

Hannah Irving, MS, CCC-SLP

Hannah came to Speech Center in 2019 to do her internship with Laura Mosier, MS, CCC-SLP before working in the Vail School District as a Speech-Language Pathologist at Vail Inclusive Preschool. She joined our group as an SLP in 2022, bringing experience with preschool and kindergarten children.   She is passionate about the importance of language and literacy and is excited to take on new challenges. She has had excellent mentors with whom she gained experience in a range of ages and diagnosis. Before earning her Master's degree from the University of Arizona's Speech-Language and Hearing program in 2020, Hannah spent several years working as a teaching assistant, an experience that inspired her to pursue her degree in Speech Pathology. She is enthusiastic about working with parents and families to create home care plans and grow their abilities to reinforce strategies in the child's daily routines. We are very excited to have her on our team, our families love the skill she brings and her fun approach to treatment.

Launa Fuhrman, MS, CCC-SLP

Launa joined us in 2023 after years in a private practice in Seattle Washington. She graduated from Medical University of South Carolina in 2010, and moved to Seattle where she worked in a school district that provided her with experience with a wide range of diagnosis and ages. Though she has experience in many areas of speech and language, Launa is passionate about working with children with severe speech disorders of all kinds, including Apraxia and phonological disorders, and speech fluency/stuttering/cluttering therapy. Launa has a wonderful, lighthearted way of engaging teenagers and toddlers alike and we are excited to have her work with us to bring new perspectives and experience! Recently, Launa has been expanding her knowledge and skills in areas including tongue thrust, AAC, and early intervention. 

Whitney de Haseth,  MS, CCC-SLP

Whitney received her Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences from Eastern Illinois University in 2008. In Illinois she served children for seven years with a wide range of developmental abilities in a variety of settings. She then spent four years in England working in a clinic setting. She has skills in the development, training and use of augmentative alternative communication devices (AAC) as well as creating therapy programs for children with language, cognitive and physical disabilities. Whitney is interested in building functional communication skills for children with complex communication disorders and ADHD. In addition to working with development of early language skills and speech articulation disorders, she works with children with autism and other medical diagnoses, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down Syndrome.  She brings a well-rounded approach to treatment informed by diverse clinical experiences. A mother of two small children, Whitney brings compassion and insight when counseling parents and children. We appreciate the intelligent and informed approach Whitney brings to Speech Center.

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