• speech therapy
    Thank you for visiting my page! I am excited as always to be working with the children at Bergen Boulevard School.   I have been with the district for over two decades entering my twenty seventh year with the Ridgefield Schools.

    Unique from many public and private schools, I am able to offer specialized feeding therapy  to our learning centers including the methods of Lori Overland and Deborah Beckman. My intricate training with TalkTools® and current research and publications allows our students to be on the cutting edge of all the latest oral motor , feeding , orofacial myofunctional and OPT techniques. Children who have complex feeding issues, such as failure to progress to solids, prolonged bottle use receive individualized care to assure safe, effective nutritive feeding here at school. I am  also able to treat Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) with the Kaufman method and PROMPT therapy, and am have taken  CE Credits with Carrie Ebert. I am also able to treat children with tongue-tie, cleft palate and complex conditions because I am a Certified Orofacial Myologist®.

    Many neurotypical children with articulation issues also have oral motor challenges and benefit from tactile cueing methods. For example, a frontal lisp (th/s) is often caused by a orofacial myofunctional disorder in which the tongue pushes forward to swallow. This impacts a child's ability to appropriately position the tongue for speech sounds. The underlying cause of the problem must be treated for the best treatment outcomes. This may include decreasing/extinguishing oral habits like thumb sucking.  With my published program SMILE, I am able to combine oral motor, myofunctional and traditional methods to assist with these issues.
    Food refusal and self-limited diets are my specialty as well. Children with Sensory Processing Disorder and /or Autism Spectrum Disorder often present with challenges in regards to diet and food selectivity. Up to 90% of children with ASD also have some form of feeding issue. At Bergen Boulevard School, this is approached with the philosophy that mealtime is a social function and a part of daily living. If children cannot tolerate eating a group setting due to sensory issues with food , this must be addressed as part of their daily living skills. Mrs. Walsh and Lori Overland have written a text on this topic and lecture nationally and internationally on this subject.
    The speech program works with the grades 1-2 curriculum and the Core Curriculum Content Standards. Each month target vocabulary and themes are based on school events as well as monthly activities and holidays. Monthly newsletters keep the parents informed on the target themes and vocabulary units. Language development and expressive communication are the  major focus for our  self-contained as well as our mainstreamed students. I work very closely with Rethink First, our data tracking system. With training in both ABA and Verbal Behavior, I am able to customize therapy sessions if children require Discrete Trial Teaching. I am also trained in DIR Floortime methodologies, and have worked previously with the Greenspan child centered model. Since each child is unique, so is their speech and language program.
    Speech and Reading  
    RTI and in class support students will receive therapy that is based on their academic goals and vocabulary. Phonics and sound production work hand in hand. By collaborating with the classroom teachers, I can help support your child's academics. Social skills and 
    pragmatic are also critical, so I will be working closely our BCBA ,  OT and PT in order to problem solve with our students, and maintain a bully-free learning environment. I also work closely our ESL teacher and ESLS committee to help those children who have cultural language issues or difficulty producing sounds.

    Communication is the main focus of speech therapy. This includes but is not limited to: 

    • receptive language
    • following directions
    • self-regulation skills
    • attention and focus
    • augmentative communication
    • expressive language
    • sign language
    • fluency/stuttering
    • oral motor  and placement skills
    • articulation and speech clarity

    Parent communication and collaboration is the most important factor in progress. Parents are always welcome to observe (by appointment) and a communication book is utilized to bridge the gap between home and school. Your concerns are my priority.


    Let's Get Talking!