Language Success Story- Carolina

Carolina is a joyful (and now) very talkative 5-year-old with a diagnosis of Phonological Disorder. Phonological disorder is a type of speech sound disorder, which means a child or adult has difficulty saying sounds clearly making them difficult to understand. Carolina began therapy with Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) but continued to exhibit difficulty with her speech after turning 3. She was brought on with Green Apple Therapy in September of 2017 at the age of 4. During the evaluation, Carolina was difficult to understand and was easily frustrated when she was asked to repeat herself.   In addition, she could not effectively communicate with her family and friends.  Her mother was concerned and expressed that Carolinas frustration that was only getting worse in the home. She struggled with telling her parents, brothers, and grandparents a story of what happened during the day.   During the evaluation, her speech therapist, Lora, and the student clinician could understand less than 50% of what Carolina said.  Lora diagnosed 6 active phonological processes, which are the patterns of sound errors that typically developing children use to simplify speech as they are learning to talk. Verbal and Visual Treatment Treatment for Carolina relied heavily on verbal and visual modeling from her therapist. They began working on speech sounds that she should have been producing correctly at her age.  Lora had Carolina with practicing the sound by itself, then putting the sound into words, and lastly using the words into a sentence. A significant factor in her success has been her family’s involvement. Her mom has been an active participant in all sessions and demonstrated her ability to model target sounds and carryover therapy techniques into the home. Conversation Queen Carolina is now 85% or more intelligible in conversation and loves to talk to everyone.  At the beginning of each session, she likes to tell […]


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Speech Therapy Success Story- Jane

Jane is an 11-year-old girl who enjoys playing with Beanie Babies and Barbie dolls. Her parents referred Jane for speech therapy due to concerns about her difficulties with speaking clearly and completing given tasks such as daily chores without repeated reminders. Jane’s overall speech intelligibility was notably compromised and was comprehensive to listeners about 50% of the time, especially if the subject of the conversation was unfamiliar to her. She required verbal reminders 100% of the time, even when a single task was given. Initial Speech Therapy Evaluation During the initial speech and language evaluation, the evaluating therapist, Makiko Ogawa, learned that Jane was receiving speech therapy services in a special education classroom at school due to having been diagnosed with intellectual disability. After standardized tests for articulation and language were administered, Makiko gathered additional data and information from Jane and her parents to develop the most appropriate treatment plan. Considering the evaluation results and Jane’s unique learning styles, therapy goals were set in order to maximize Jane’s cognitive-communicative functions, instead of working on specific articulation or language skills. “Things I Can Do Better” Once therapy began, Jane and Makiko discussed what makes a person’s speech intelligible or unintelligible, and they demonstrated intelligible vs. non-intelligible speech. Based on the discussion and reverse demonstrations of the patient’s speaking demeanor by her SLP, Jane chose three elements: the rate of speech, the volume of speech,  and eye contact as “the things I can do better.” Those three elements were practiced repeatedly via a variety of therapy tasks and multi-modal assistance, like using a mirror and creating recordings. As for Jane’s difficulty of completing the given multiple tasks, the visual task board of “First…then…” was introduced. This is a type of low-tech, assistive communication device to indicate with picture icons what needs to be done […]


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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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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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