What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy helps children develop the skills they need to express and understand language. Speech therapy can improve a child’s fluency, articulation, volume control, appropriate use of language, non-verbal/body language skills, and even feeding and swallowing. Interventions vary from stuttering, phonological disorders, to nonverbal children.
Who makes up the Speech Therapy team?
A team of 7 Speech-Language Pathologists are led by Department Head, Katherine Beck at Blue Bird Day. Each team member has a unique specialty of focus that allows for treatment plans to be tailored to each child.
Katherine Beck specializes in oral motor feeding disorders, social-pragmatic communication, early language development, and group-based intervention.
Sara Gotlieb specializes in receptive and expressive language disorders, phonological and articulation disorders, early intervention, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and PROMPT.
Tina Rakowski specializes in childhood apraxia of speech, articulation and phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language delays, social-pragmatic communication, oral motor feeding deficits, and group-based intervention.
Lopa Mehta specializes in autism spectrum disorder, feeding disorders and childhood apraxia of speech.
Julia Lamb specializes in phonological and articulation disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders, specific language impairment, cleft palate/craniofacial disorders, AAC, fluency and sensory feeding.
Eric Ross specializes in music therapy and creative expression.
Amanda Bird specializes in DIR/Floortime, early language acquisition and development, expressive and receptive language disorders, fluency, autism spectrum disorder, and parent coaching.
Amber Ray specializes in receptive and expressive language disorders, Picture Exchange System (PECS), and early language development.
Together, the SLP team seamlessly collaborates with each child’s therapeutic team to address best practices for communication. The therapists understand the whole child and how other skills are building blocks for communication.
How is Speech Therapy incorporated into the day?
Speech therapy at Blue Bird Day produces better results because of the intensity and frequency of therapy incorporated into the therapeutic rotation and individual services offered. Speech-Language Pathologists lead group therapy sessions in both preschool and kindergarten programs. As part of each child’s therapeutic rotation, they will encounter peer interactions, socialization and individual skill building. Therapists incorporate play to work on fine motor skills, such as moving your lips, tongue or jaw in a specific way. They even get messy with the kids at lunch time and help them explore new foods and how to eat them. In addition to the therapeutic day, Speech-Language Pathologists spend time with families to discuss goals and provide parent coaching. Therapists address all language, articulation and cognitive challenges each child may have in order to facilitate change.
How does Speech Therapy work?
Speech-Language Pathologists use a variety of interventions and strategies to achieve results with their clients. PROMPT is a tool that utilizes a tactile approach, such as touching parts of the face, jaw and lips to learn how to produce sounds and language. Zoophonics is a kinesthetic approach and a common core standard that is a fun and effective way for children to learn the alphabet, spelling and reading. Speech-Language Pathologists also concentrate on language facilitation strategies, theories of language development and core vocabulary instruction. When needed, Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC) can be introduced to facilitate communication for children. AAC can be the Picture Exchange Communication (PECS) programs or other speech-generating devices.
What are the goals of Speech Therapy?
Speech-language pathologists collaborate with the multi-disciplinary Blue Bird Day therapeutic team to create individualized treatment plans for each child. Goals for speech therapy are for each child to achieve effective functional communication. Children should be able to send and receive message correctly and with ease. The SLP team is also dedicated to parent coaching on typical language development and modes of communication.