Tagged "oral motor"

Success Story | Diane

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

In celebration of 30 years of successful therapy, we asked you to share your success stories with us at the last ASHA Convention and the response was amazing! Here is Diane Felton’s inspiring testimonial.

“I’m Diane Felton. I’m a speech therapist in Durham, North Carolina. I first met Sara through a patient who was referred to me because the local therapist who has been seeing him said she did not believe in oral motor therapy. So I was fortunate enough to pick him up, and when I was asked about taking him on, I decided to look into TalkTools, and everything that I saw in the program made sense to me. So I agreed to take him on and was fortunate enough to have Sara as a co-treator really throughout the whole process of treating this patient. He was a seventeen-year-old who has been in a car accident, suffered a traumatic brain injury and was non-verbal. He was able to type using a communication typewriter kind of thing that he called “typer,” but he had no speech other than one word which is “ma.” He had been in therapy for two and a half years at that point, which was what caused his mom to kind of go out and look for something else, something she felt like he wasn’t getting in the therapy. She was frustrated and he was frustrated.

“They started the program with Sara and worked at home for six months just on building his strength. He couldn’t blow out a candle, he had really severe verbal apraxia ... so a lot of the initial steps focused on getting his strength back for speech, then later he started working on the apraxia piece which is kind of where I came in and worked with Sara’s guidance on getting him some sounds. It has been seven years since I started seeing this patient and he is completely verbal. He gave up his communication device about two years ago and he is doing great. We are still working on prosody, that’s the main thing that is keeping him from being a pretty normal speaker, he is also a little bit slow still, but he is intelligible to me almost 100% of the time. Occasionally I need him to clarify, but even unfamiliar listeners understand him most of the time. It was a really great experience working with Sara and getting to know this program.

“I have had other patients who have had great success. I saw a three-year-old who was focused on communication devices because she had no speech and basically everyone had decided that she was not going to talk. She had a diagnosis of autism, she was also a twenty-four week premie, one of triplets, and she had no speech. I used the TalkTools program with her and she had a very hard time getting the oral motor planning down, but TalkTools really helped her. It was about a month for her to get the word “up” and her mom asked if every word was going to take that long, but within three months she had a pretty good vocabulary, and a year later she was pretty much completely verbal and only was really working on speeding up her rate of speech which is still slow but she has done great.

“I have had lots of other patients who have done exceedingly well. Sara coming into my life was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I have loved the TalkTools program. I have been just so thrilled to be able to help people who come sort of as their last ditch effort and just kind of not sure if they should continue to even try, and TalkTools program has worked for them. So thank you Sara.” ~ Diane Felton, MA, CCC-SLP

We are incredibly appreciative of those who shared their stories, let us know if you have a story to tell.
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Success Story | Beth and Heather

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

In celebration of 30 years of successful therapy, we asked you to share your success stories with us at the last ASHA Convention and the response was amazing! Here are Beth Marafiote and Heather Peterson's inspiring testimonials.

“My name is Beth Marafiote and I live in Parker, Colorado. I discovered TalkTools and Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson many many years ago after going to many different other people’s workshops on how to help oral motor. They helped a little bit but not much. I discovered her. She revolutionized the way I do therapy. I feel like her products have made me the best therapist. Well, that’s a little exaggeration, but so much better. I am forever ever grateful because I view these products as the miracle of speech therapy.” Beth Marafiote, MA, CCC-SLP

“Hi, my name is Heather. TalkTools has completely changed my life. I think we all start in the same place, where we are gathering information. When I was newer into my career, I found Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson’s first course and I took a video course (the “Level 1” course) and it was really after that that I decided: “Wow, look at all this information that I just learned! I have never heard this before, this totally makes sense to me. I think I’m going to try it!” And so I had a child - actually, it was not a child, it was a teenager - walk in and he had Dandy-Walker Syndrome, he wore a bandana, and he drooled constantly. His mother came in and said: “You know, I would really like to work on this drooling. I want his mouth to close, I want his tongue to be in his mouth, and I really want him to try to use his mouth for speech.” I just remember, I think the weekend before I have been to that course and I just thought: “Ok, I’m going to try this. I’m going to use the Bite Tubes, and I’m going to just order that,” because it was the one thing that I grasped: the jaw was so important. So we used those on him and that mom was amazing. We used those on him for about six months and we were able to close his jaw and his lips, and there was no more saliva. We took off that bandana. For so many of us, we know that perception is so important. Not only had we changed his oral function, but we changed the perception of everybody looking at him and that is really important. That is just one awesome example of what TalkTools has done. If you think about a fourteen-year-old, he was not spontaneously developing, that was something that the mom really did. So that’s a really true testimony to TalkTools. Since then, it has opened up my eyes and I started using it and I really have changed my practice. I predominantly now work with children with Down Syndrome and I watch it every day. Parents comment every day that this is changing the lives and the faces and the structures and the articulation and feeding development of the children. I have really my career I have to thank Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson for creating and I am keeping on with the oral motor movement even when it wasn’t such a hot topic, because clinically - man - it is just so incredible. So thank you TalkTools, thank you Sara, and thank you to everybody in the oral motor community who has come before.” Heather Peterson, MS, CCC-SLP

We are incredibly appreciative of those who shared their stories, let us know if you have a story to tell.

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Inspiring testimonials from ASHA 2015: vote for your favorite today!

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Celebrating 30 years

In celebration of 30 years of successful therapy we asked you to share your success stories with us and the response was amazing!

Here are our three favorite videos. We hope you enjoy and you will cast your vote to help us determine the grand prize winner.


Vote closes January 10, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST.


Emily Chandler, M.Ed, CCC-SLP, BCaBA

“My name is Emily Chandler, I am a Speech Language Pathologist from Atlanta. I was first introduced to TalkTools several years ago. I met Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson and took some more courses. Later I began taking some courses with Lori Overland and her sensory-motor approach to feeding, which truly (in addition to the previous courses) really impacted my overall approach to therapy, and really enhanced my skill set, specifically with feeding, but as well as with speech, through the oral placement therapy techniques and applications. Her class, I love so much I actually ended up taking a second time and because of what I learned and gained from that course, I had several clients that were impacted. I had a child that was not hardly eating at all and now we’ve got them to regular diet with thick liquid consistencies, through a home program that we put together based on her program and the applications and the theories behind it. And in addition to that, I’ve had clients that I’ve have been presented with no consonance at three years of age, with just vowels, and use of the tools and truly understanding the application and the development of motor and the theories behind it really impacted my skill set and changed my practice completely. I recommend the courses to everyone. I’ve purchased the books as gifts for friends and I’ve even now opened my own clinic and I have a full caseload of clients that are really successful and that’s because of everything I’ve learned through these courses. So I’m very grateful for all the hard work they’ve done and I really appreciate it.”

Therese McCoy, MS, CCC-SLP

“Hi, I’m Therese McCoy. I currently live in America’s Georgia (I previously lived in Texas). I wanted to say “thank you, Sara. I learned so very much from you.” 17 years ago in Texas, I attended a conference for five days in Austin. I went to that conference because when I started working for early childhood intervention and making home visits - I have been an adult therapist prior to that -, I walked in to this very first home visit and there was a two year old standing with an open mouth with oatmeal running out of his mouth. And as I was smiling and shaking the parents’ hands, I said to myself: “I have no idea how to help this kiddo right now.” And that lead to the conference. Fast forward a few years, kids with severe impairments became my passion and my love, even though I always thought I would be an adult therapist. And I was really proud to say I really knew what to do with these kids. So, I want to say “thanks.” A lot of kids have benefited from what you taught me, and a lot of families have benefited from what you taught me. Because it was always the family that was really the center of the therapy. Because those moms and dads, they needed to do whatever it was that we were doing and know why. The hierarchical approach to everything really made a difference in all of those kids’ lives. And again, thanks, I appreciate it.”

Elizabeth Riedemann, MS, CCC-SLP

“Hi, I’m Elizabeth Riedemann, I’ve been a Speech Pathologist for forty years. In recent times, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a young lady who has Down Syndrome. When I started working with her, she was fourteen and was very unintelligible. At the time I assessed her, she was approximately twenty percent intelligible in connected speech. Her previous therapist had thought that her speech would never be intelligible and had focused on using automated communication or some other type of systems to get her to communicate. Her mother noticed that as she was entering at a lessons she was becoming more and more withdrawn in family events and would not communicate with her cousins or participate in any type of family activity. The mother requested funding from one of her state agencies and the young girl was approved for services through an agency that I just happened to work for since I retired from the schools. My initial therapy on this girl was not very successful but I had the privilege of seeing Renee Roy-Hill at our state speech convention and Renee’s ideas and speech therapy for people with Down Syndrome really changed how I did my therapy with this young lady and I started using several of their products as well as taking some of their online courses. It really changed my approach with this girl. I truly believe that she also had underlying Apraxia although that wasn’t diagnosed. And utilizing the techniques and materials that TalkTools offers in the three years that I’ve worked with her, she is now at seventy percent intelligibility in connected speech. The services, products are just amazing. I use a lot of their strategies in my therapy with other students. I feel so grateful that I had the opportunity to use these materials and these concepts and strategies with this young lady and that she is now part of her family and is talking and expressing her wants, needs and desires. Thank you.”

We are incredibly appreciative of those who shared their stories, let us know if you have a story to tell.

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Ella under the Spotlight

Posted by Admin TalkTools on

We are proud to show you this video of Ella Kinder, daughter of our presenter Dr. Julia Pewitt Kinder! Ella has Down Syndrome and this doesn't prevent her from singing and dancing beautifully. When she was a little girl, she inspired her mom to develop products and services to help other parents with early education. She is now a gorgeous teen, not afraid to perform in public!

TalkTools | Ella under the spotlight

This video was made by the school where Ella takes voice and dance, ROOTS Academy. Here's what they say:

"Ella Kinder has been a music and dance student at ROOTS Academy for the past few years. Ella is a ray of sunshine, has a heart of gold, and makes a special impact on anyone she comes in contact with. We are honored to have been able to be a part of Ella's life over the past few years, and we wanted to share a piece of her story with you."

Julia Pewitt Kinder, D.O., is a board-certified family practice physician, national speaker, best-selling author, and Down syndrome consultant. Working with parents, therapists, and the medical community, Dr. Kinder provides insight on how to maximize the development of children with Down syndrome. Her daughter Ella, who is thriving with Down syndrome, inspired Dr. Kinder to develop early childhood education products and services. She and husband Mitch reside in Missouri with their three children. For more information please visit www.juliakinder.com. She teaches TalkTools course "Partnering Effectively with Parents: Maximize the Potential of Children Receiving Therapy" with Whitney Pimentel, MA, CCC-SLP.

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