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It takes a community

It takes a community to change lives and build strong communicators. Early Foundations is dedicated to the future success of children in Central and Southern Wisconsin. We lay the groundwork for academic achievement by offering specialized training and seminars for those working with early language learners and dual language learners, and we provide specialty speech and language assessments to school districts, contracting organizations, and private clients.

Early Foundations’ therapists have over 15 years clinical experience as bilingual speech language pathologists. Areas of expertise include early childhood development (ages 0-5), language development of dual language learners, and evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders.

about us / qualifications


Julie Kleinheinz Byrnes, merged her career experience in business with speech language pathology to form Early Foundations in 2005. Julie attended UW-Madison where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She then traveled Latin America, marketing school and office supplies as an international sales and marketing manager. Later, she returned to school at Arizona State University, obtained a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders, and completed the Graduate Clinical Training Program in Bilingual Speech Language Pathology.

As a speech and language pathologist, Julie has worked in a variety of settings, including Birth to 3, early childhood, home, school, and hospital environments. Over the past few years, she has focused on offering professional training seminars regarding the leading concepts in language development, assessment, and intervention techniques for children who are acquiring more than one language.

Julie has lived in Spain and traveled for extended periods in Belize, Mexico, and Latin America. She is married and has two children. Julie spends much of her free time with her family, playing, hiking, and traveling. She also enjoys volunteering. Julie has served on committees for her city and school district and is a board member for a local non-profit organization that provides therapeutic and educational programs for children and adults with Down syndrome.


Gina Nolan is a certified speech language pathologist, fluent in Spanish and English. She received her Bachelor's degree at UW-Madison, double majoring in Spanish and Communication Disorders. Upon graduating, she moved to Honduras to volunteer at an orphanage for a year. After her year abroad, she landed in Austin, Texas, to complete her Master of Arts in Speech Pathology, with a bilingual certificate, at the University of Texas-Austin.

Since 2006, Gina has worked as a bilingual school-based speech pathologist, first in Waukegan, Illinois and starting in 2008, here in Madison with the Madison Metropolitan School District. During her time with MMSD she has been a diagnostician, assessing and diagnosing children who may have a speech and language disorder or delay, providing therapy to the early childhood population (3-5 years), as well as an elementary school speech pathologist in a dual language setting. Part of her responsibilities as a school-based bilingual speech pathologist is providing ongoing speech therapy, in both English and Spanish, in the following areas: articulation, phonology, fluency, language comprehension, language expression and social skills. Other key components of her work include consistent evaluation and assessment of students, in both languages, and report and IEP writing.

In Gina's free time she enjoys reading, camping and travel with her husband and son. Oh, and being from Green Bay, you will likely find her watching the Packers on Sunday afternoon.

leaf with Julie and family
leaf with Gina and family

training & seminars

A trusted resource

Early Foundations conducts professional training and interactive seminars on best practices for dual language learning and development, education, assessment, and intervention. Audiences include speech language pathologists, therapists, school-age educators, early childhood educators, childcare providers, Birth to 3 specialists, and others throughout Wisconsin.

Presenter, Julie Kleinheinz Byrnes, completed the WIDA Early Years Master Cadre program and Wisconsin Training and Technical Assistance coursework. She is qualified to provide one-on-one instruction or group seminars to other professionals in school, early childhood, and childcare settings.

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specialty evaluations & referrals

Experienced Assessments, Trusted Referrals

Early Foundations offers speech and language evaluations to individuals, school districts, and contracting organizations. Whether you are seeking an initial assessment, recommendations, a second opinion, a review of IFSP or IEP, or a referral for ongoing therapy, Early Foundations can help. With more than 15 years of clinical experience, every evaluation is conducted with expertise, caring and professionalism.

Please note: Early Foundations offers a limited amount of on-going therapy at this time; however, we are pleased to provide referrals.

child in leaf
leaf with Julie and child

why choose us?

I am a School Psychologist in two small town elementary buildings, and I have been involved with Julie Kleinheinz Byrnes on two individual assessments of bilingual students. In both cases, the children were young (one was a Kindergartner and the other was in first grade) who were struggling to make progress in their respective grades.

Julie was able to help us sort out many language issues by giving us both English-based and Spanish-based assessment data. Any assessment for Special Education services relies upon multiple sources and opinions and, in these cases, Julie was able to give us a more complete picture of the child’s current skills and developmental capabilities. She also provided the parents with a clear and concise understanding of the assessment and the programming recommendations during the parent meeting. I would highly recommend Julie Kleinheinz Byrnes as a team member in any assessment where Spanish/English language issues play a part in a school development concern.

John Haupt
School Psychologist, Sauk Prairie School District

Julie’s presentation on Dual Language Learners’ development and school readiness skills was very well received by the Birth to 3 staff. She shared her extensive knowledge and experiences with staff in a natural, confident manner. Julie challenged staff with questions and provided an opportunity to process the information in an interactive group activity.

Brenda Vicen
Director/Speech-Language Pathologist, Bridges for Families Birth to Three

Julie has assisted my school district with 6 evaluations of bilingual students. She was professional, reliable, and thorough throughout the evaluation process. Julie not only provided comprehensive evaluation reports, she attended evaluation meetings whenever needed and made suggestions for intervention and goal writing. She comes highly recommended in my eyes.

Julie Powers
Speech Language Pathologist, Clinton Community School District

sobre nosotros

Early Foundations ofrece servicios a clientes en el área de Madison, el condado de Dane, y en el centro o sur de Wisconsin. Early Foundations proporciona evaluaciones del habla y el lenguaje, opiniones segundas, comentarios sobre el plan de servicios (IFSP, IEP), recomendaciones, y referencias. Además, ofrecemos cursos y entrenamiento sobre el desarrollo de dos lenguajes de niños bilingües a profesionales de distritos escolares, guardarías, y organizaciones. Las terapeutas de Early Foundations son fluente en inglés y español, y tienen más de 15 años de experiencia como patólogas bilingües del habla y el lenguaje.

Por favor se nota: En este momento, no ofrecemos servicios continuos de terapia; sin embargo, nos complace ofrecer referencias para la terapia en otros lugares. Para solicitar más información, por favor póngase en contacto con Julie Kleinheinz Byrnes al (608) 347-7794 o por medio de correo electrónico a la dirección: julie@earlyfoundationstherapy.com

early foundations

Julie Kleinheinz Byrnes, MS, CCC-SLP
(608) 347-7794

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We serve Madison and Madison area communities, Dane County, and Central and Southern Wisconsin.

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