Thank you for visiting my page! I am excited as always to be working with the children at Bergen Boulevard School. While I am new to the school, I have been with the district for over two decades entering my twenty third 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 , 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 .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 tongue thrust 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. 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. 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.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 andpragmatic are also critical, so I will be working closely with Lauren Lavelle , our BCaBa , in order to problem solve with our students, and maintain a bully-free learning environment.
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
- 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!