Frequently Asked Questions

What sets you apart from other SLPs?

I have over 35 years of experience in the field of speech-language pathology. I have been working with children with speech sound disorders, including Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and stuttering for over 15 years. I have extensive training and education in the differential diagnosis and treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech including DTTC (Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing), PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets), Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol, Moving Across Syllables, and ReST to name a few. I am Recognized by Apraxia Kids for Advanced Training and Expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

In the area of stuttering, I have attended advanced training in the assessment and treatment of childhood fluency disorders through the Stuttering Foundation. I have received training and have experience with a number of research supported approaches to the treatment of fluency disorders in children.

My goals are to gain a child’s trust in order to help them to become communication risk-takers, to work closely with parents to equip them to help their child, and to collaborate with others in the child’s community to transfer and maintain skills to all areas of the child’s life.

What should I expect from the first meeting with you?

Prior to meeting face-to-face, we will discuss your concerns over the phone regarding your child’s communication skills and the necessary intake paperwork, which can be completed prior to the first session. This discussion helps me to plan the evaluation.

During the initial meeting, I will conduct an evaluation to assess the areas of concern and provide you with a brief description of the findings, which will also be included in a comprehensive report.

By the end of the first session, you can expect to know if speech-language therapy is needed, how much therapy is recommended and will be followed by a written plan of care. Therapy will begin immediately and you will receive the comprehensive report within two weeks of the assessment.

I was told that my child may have apraxia. What is apraxia and how do I know if my child has this?

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder that affects a young child’s ability to produce the precise movements of the lips, tongue, jaw and vocal cords to produce speech. It is not fully understood why children present with CAS but we know that these children have difficulty planning movements for speech. There are some key characteristics of CAS that help speech-language pathologists diagnose the disorder, but the astute SLP knows that children with other speech sound disorders share some characteristics from the list. Three primary characteristics include:
(q) inconsistent errors on consonants and vowels on repeated productions of the same syllables or words
(b) difficulty initiating or moving from one sound to another at the word, phrase or conversational level
(c) inappropriate stress (intonation) in syllables or words

There are many other signs that the experienced SLP will look for during the evaluation. Children with CAS have great difficulty learning to produce speech sounds and put them in a sequence to make words.

My child is stuttering. How do I know if he needs therapy?

Many children go through a period of disfluency when learning to talk and then they seem to outgrow this problem without any outside help. There are some other children who may need a extra help during this time. We know of risk factors, when combined, that may indicate that a child could be helped by therapy. An experienced SLP will consider the following factors when recommending an assessment. When a child demonstrates some or all of these and there is a concern, scheduling a screening can be helpful in determining next steps. Risk factors include:
(a) Family History (almost half of children who stutter have a family member who stutters—parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle, cousin, etc)
(b) Age at onset (children who begin to stutter before the age of 3.5 years are more likely to outgrow stuttering)
(c) Time since onset (stuttering for more than 6 months)
(d) Gender (more boys stuttering than girls, the ratio is about three to four boys to every girl)
(e) Other speech or language difficulties
(f) Concern—when a parent is truly concerned or a child expresses concern about stuttering

I offer a complimentary 20-minute telephone or video consultation with parents to discuss their concerns and make recommendations as to next steps (follow up in a few months, screening, and/or formal evaluation and therapy)

Where do you offer evaluations and therapy?

I provide evaluations and therapy in the comfort and privacy of a professional office within my home, located in Ahwatukee. The office is conveniently located less than one mile from the 17th Avenue exit off Arizona Loop 202.

What are your hours of operation?

By appointment, weekdays.

How do I initiate assessment and/or therapy?

Please call me for a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation at the number listed on our website. Once we determine that our services are right for your child, we will set an appointment followed by a secure email with intake forms to complete.

What is the duration of a typical assessment?

Comprehensive assessments for younger children (infants, toddlers, preschoolers and early school age children) typically last between 1-2 hours and are performed during 1 visit. Comprehensive assessments for older school age children may last between 4-5 hours and are usually divided into 2 sessions over a period of several days. All assessments are highly individualized and are dependent on the client’s unique needs.

What can I expect as a result of my child’s speech language assessment?

A comprehensive speech language assessment report providing a differenctial diagnosis and details about your child’s performance on administered formal and informal testing. Reports include a descriptive summary of your child's strengths and needs, overall impressions, recommendations, and suggestions for treatment. Specific goals may be added when appropriate.

What if another therapist conducted the assessment, do I still have to repeat the evaluation process?

If the assessment was done within the past year, and the results are still accurately representative of the child’s present performance, therapy may be initiated immediately. Testing will need to be repeated if it has been more than one year, the report does not accurately represent the child’s present skills, the test instruments are outdated or were not comprehensive enough.
In such instances a partial/full reassessment may be recommended in the context of the first few therapy sessions, in order to establish a baseline for intervention provision.

What is the average therapy frequency and duration?

Children under the age of five years with speech or fluency disorders are seen two times per week for a duration of 25 minutes each session. For young children with CAS, shorter and more frequent sessions are recommended. Minimally, we recommend two, 20 to 25 minute sessions per week. Some children may require more sessions each week to make progress.

How long will my child attend speech therapy?

Therapy duration is dependent on many factors including type and level of impairment, presence of maintaining factors such as neurological impairment or structural impairments), other support services (e.g., occupational therapy, school-based therapy), parental involvement in sessions, child motivation, consistent attendance. Children progress at different rates based on their attention, motivation, external support, physical and emotional states, outside factors as well as attendance and practice outside of the therapy session.

How do you determine when the child is ready to be discharged from therapy services?

Discharge from therapy is based on the child’s progress. Progress is monitored throughout the therapy process and is dependent on a many factors.