Today we’re highlighting our speech therapist Jacki, who not only provides therapy but also runs our camps and teaches our yoga classes (you can read more about how much we love yoga for children with special needs here.)
Here’s what our founder, Mandy, says about Jacki: “Jacki is truly passionate. She is a well of fantastic ideas, because there are so many areas related to language development that she loves. She is constantly searching for new information, which helps all of us grow as therapists. She is a smart thinker who gives thoughtful feedback, a team player who takes things on with enthusiasm, and a leader who brings fresh ideas that continually elevate what we have to offer children and families.”
Jacki, why did you get into the speech therapy field?
I started out on a path in special education but changed course after I saw a speech-language pathologist use an alternate communication device with a child and decided I wanted to dedicate myself to helping children who struggle to make connections with the world around them.
What do you appreciate most about your role as an SLP?
I truly love watching the children I work with evolve. It feels extremely gratifying to look back on the months I’ve spent with my clients and their families and reflect on all the obstacles they’ve overcome and all the gains they’ve made. Just thinking about their journey and the fact that I get to have some part in it is overwhelmingly fulfilling.
What stands out to you about working at ICT?
What stands out to me the most is how overwhelmingly accepting and loving this environment is. ICT is a place where not only our clients have the freedom to be themselves, but the therapists and employees do as well. Mandy finds a way to embrace every employee’s interests, dreams, and passions. She will make any idea a reality. As a result, this has created an environment of authenticity and dedication. ICT’s deeply rooted principles of utilizing a team approach, learning as therapists, and educating others is what stole my heart from day one.
What is an intervention or strategy that you find especially useful?
I am particularly interested in treating articulation and motor speech disorders, and I love the PROMPT (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) therapy approach for these. PROMPT uses physical touch cues to help facilitate and develop motor skills for speech and language development. The level 1 PROMPT training I attended has been extremely useful in treating children with motor speech disorders.
What is your top tip for parents?
Read with your child every day! Books are a great way to encourage language development as it provides countless opportunities for learning, engagement, conversation, and fun!