Speech Therapy Patient Spotlight: Josue

Josue is a very happy 4-year-old boy who loves Lightning McQueen, playing games with his little sister and friends, and watching movies. Josue was diagnosed with a Specific Developmental Disorder of Motor Function and a Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder. He started receiving speech therapy services with Therapy 2000 in May of 2018. When therapy began, Josue had a vocabulary of approximately 5 words, could not follow simple 1-2 step directions, and only communicated via gestures and single word utterances at times. Ashley Jarrett met Josue when she was shadowing physical therapist Emily Parks, as a new employee.  Josue had been waiting for ST services for approximately 2 years, although he was out of her treatment are Ashely wanted to work with Josue over the summer.  After only 2 and a half months of services, Josue is now able to speak in three to four-word utterances, identify all his body parts, label common objects, follow 2-step directions, request help, and communicate wants/needs in English and Spanish. Josue has come a long way in such a short amount of time due to his hard work, mom’s willingness and motivation to work with him daily, and a physical therapist who went above and beyond to recommend speech/language services to help this awesome kid and family! Ashley is so proud of all the progress they were able to make and the goals they were able to accomplish in such a short time! Ashley Jarrett, M.S. CCC-SLP   After Ashley started working with Josue, Emily was able to notice a huge increase in his talking during physical therapy sessions. Josue was able to name all the colors for the toys that we typically play with. Also, instead of pointing at the toy he wanted to play with, he would say words such as “block”, “ball”, […]


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East Texas Patient Success Story: Joe

Finding his voice Through a partner home health agency, Joe has been receiving Speech Therapy from a THERAPY 2000 clinician for nearly six months. His family pursued home-health speech therapy after realizing that teaching Joe to communicate was beyond their expertise. Joe’s primary means of talking is through the Proloquo2Go iPad application, which he uses as an AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) device. During Joe’s initial evaluation, his father had a simple request – he just wanted Joe to use his iPad to communicate with his family at home. Megan Bruney, MS, CCC-SLP, in THERAPY 2000’s East Texas Division, knew from experience that this simple request would require a not-so-simple treatment plan. She spoke to Joe’s dad about the dedicated teamwork that would be required for Joe to meet his communication goals. Teamwork Makes the Difference Joe’s device was initially programmed with an overwhelming number of choices, so Megan spent time after therapy customizing and simplifying the options. After discovering through therapy that Joe responds best to actual pictures as opposed to preprogrammed images, Megan enlisted the help of Jacob, Joe’s older brother. Jacob was eager to help by taking photos of items and activities that interest Joe. To help reduce frustration between therapy sessions, Megan also trained Joe’s dedicated caregiver, Brian, to do basic configuration changes in the iPad app. Brian, Jacob and Joe’s parents were all trained to be effective communication partners for Joe. Communication partners are responsible for walking through different scenarios involving communication opportunities, teaching prompting strategies to initiate folder/button selection in the iPad app and using hand over hand modeling to positively address error selections. Customized Therapy This therapeutic model was implemented from the beginning and is used when a new folder/button is introduced. A notebook is accessible within the home for questions, new folder/button ideas, changes […]


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Patient Spotlight: Brandon

Brandon is a precious 19-month-old boy with an adjusted age of about 12 months. Born at 23.5 weeks gestation, Brandon was in the NICU for 6 months after birth and required intubation. Upon his release, Brandon required round-the-clock oxygen via Nasal Cannula. He had a VP shunt placed in June 2017 and a g-tube placed in July 2017. While in the NICU, Brandon underwent two swallow studies with results of NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) due to aspiration and penetration on thin liquids and penetration on thickened liquids. Besides taste trials, this was his diet upon release from the NICU in August 2017. In September 2017, Brandon began intensive feeding/vital stim therapy with THERAPY 2000. In October 2017, four weeks after starting treatment, another swallow study was conducted, and Brandon aspirated on all consistencies. He remained NPO with taste trials only outside of therapy but was cleared for trials of half nectar up to 15 mLs during therapy. Brandon’s parents and therapist were disappointed that he was not cleared for full PO feeds because he loved and thoroughly enjoyed eating. Nonetheless, Brandon continued intensive vital stim therapy twice weekly for another six months, with a follow-up swallow study in March 2018. Following the study, Brandon was cleared for full PO feeds at home, with restrictions to include nectar thickener for liquids. Due to the outstanding progress he made toward his goals, Brandon’s therapy frequency was reduced to once per week with the final goal to eliminate the need for using thickening agents. In September 2018 – less than a year after starting treatment with THERAPY 2000 – Brandon has fully transitioned back to the community and no longer requires therapy. He is thriving, gaining weight, loves food, and his family is excited that he can eat everything by […]


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Before they were SLP Interns, they were superheroes in Uganda

In Spring 2018, Louise Havron and Marissa Fretz had the unique opportunity to spend their final graduate school externship working with Hope Speaks, a nonprofit organization developed to provide speech therapy, advocacy, and education to children and adults across Kampala, Uganda. While in Uganda, Louise and Marissa worked with children and families who have faced and overcome a variety of challenges. Some lived in 10×10 rooms in a slum, walking several miles each day to then sit in a waiting room until their child to be treated. Others have had to remove their kids from school because transportation became unavailable or tuition could no longer be paid. Through speech therapy, they empowered families to help their loved ones and saw both children and adults who had a lot to say once given the means and guidance to express themselves. Both Louise and Marissa were overwhelmed by the selflessness of the community and the motivation of their patients’ families to find help. They observed that when an individual learned something new, it spread through the community and resulted in greater education, awareness, and acceptance. Louise and Marissa both said that seeing communities work together and take care of each other – striving to help each child reach their full potential and participate more fully in life – was indescribable. They felt extremely blessed to have the opportunity to raise awareness about how speech therapy can increase the quality of life. Both feel that working with and growing with the families in and around Kampala was a life-changing experience. As time goes on, Louise and Marissa pray for increased education greater accessibility to therapy services for communities across Uganda. The experience, they said, both changed and molded their perspectives on life and resilience. They learned that while we don’t get to choose […]


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Save the Date for the North Texas Day of Giving

With constant changes to health care coverage in the United States, families with disabled children often struggle to meet those children’s needs. From transportation to doctor’s appointments and providing care to disabled children to securing the equipment these children may require, many of these families must choose between   meeting other children’s needs and providing for their disabled youth. Luckily, there are fundraising opportunities – that you and your organization can contribute to – that help these children and their families. Chari-T2000 is a charity organization operated by T2000 Healthcare, creating assistance opportunities for families with disabled children up to age 21. The funds raised by the North Texas Day of Giving will go toward the many missions of Chari-T2000, including but not limited to: Providing home modifications for disabled children Securing hearing and communication devices, weighted or sensory support items, assistive devices and more Providing transportation for children and families for appointments and other outings Securing durable equipment for children’s medical needs If you or your organizations would like to be part of this incredible fundraiser, set up a FUNdraising page for your favorite organization or contact the North Texas Giving Day organizers for more information.  


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