Maybe you are wondering why your child is not yet talking like his/her peers.
Or you have a doctor’s prescription for Speech Evaluation/Therapy, but you haven’t found the right Speech Therapist yet.
Or you are not happy with the results of your child’s initial evaluation and you are looking for a second opinion.
Whatever the case may be, I am here to answer your questions.
The evaluation process
A good speech and language evaluation must be thorough and comprehensive and needs to make you feel confident that the results are accurate. During the assessment, the therapist first ask the parents to fill out the “Case History Questionnaire” and consent forms. Once completed, the therapist interviews them to better understand their concerns and learn about the child’s history, starting at pregnancy.
After that, I conduct a clinical observation during a free play activity with family members. Here is where I gather information regarding the child’s ability to communicate spontaneously with those they are most comfortable with. If applicable, I will do a second clinical observation at school or the daycare center. The goal is to assess the language potential of the child in different contexts.
I will record these interactions with the parent’s permission and transcribe the child’s speech utterances to gather a Spontaneous Language Sample for analysis. These evaluation activities will help me determine the areas of need. Suppose the area of need is speech production. In that case, I will use tests to check for possible speech articulation and phonological disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, stuttering, voice disorders, or oral-motor issues.
Suppose the area of need is language or social communication development. In that case, I will use tests that evaluate the level of language comprehension and expression in terms of vocabulary, grammar, play, and social-pragmatic skills. I will meet with the parents at the end of this evaluation process to explain the results and recommendations.
Still Not Sure Where to Start?
Do you have questions before having your child evaluated? Do you want to know more about therapy and treatment?
At CommuniKids Miami Speech Therapy, I offer various speech-language services, including comprehensive evaluation and therapy, collaborative parent coaching, parent/teacher consultations, and screenings. I work with children with multiple diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), ADHD, Cerebral Palsy/Genetic Syndromes, Speech Sound Disorders, Dyslexia, and Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder.
I fundamentally follow a developmental social pragmatic approach to intervention based on the idea that children learn to communicate in everyday activities and settings. As a certified DIR/Floortime® clinician, my approach to therapy consists of addressing the child's developmental levels, considering their individual differences, and capitalizing on the role relationships play in supporting growth and learning.
I am well versed in various methods and forms of intervention for various challenges, including direct teaching and skill building with tabletop activities, computer activities, reading/writing activities, and experiential/multi-sensorial learning.
I strongly believe in teamwork involving the child's family and other professionals. Also, connection and trust have to come first. Therefore, I conduct therapy sessions based on the child's interests and motivations. I always make sure to finish a session on a positive note, which results in the child looking forward to the next session.
How do I do it? First, through highly motivating and meaningful activities, I ensure that your child is fully invested in the practice, no matter the age or severity of the speech or language problem. And by incorporating best practice techniques suited for the type of speech/language problem the child demonstrates.
Collaborative Parent Coaching
Whether you are a parent of a toddler who may have a language delay or a 12-year-old who has not yet acquired the verbal skills necessary to communicate, my Collaborative Parent Coaching service is specially geared towards teaching parents functional and practical strategies to help their child communicate.
Parent-implemented language interventions result in three positive effects:
- Easy generalization of newly acquired verbal skills into different activities with the same partner.
- Empowered and confident parents/caregivers as they gained some control over their child’s language development.
- Increased intervention dosage without increasing clinician time.
And when working with young children (18 to 36 months), I focus on developing the precursors to language, such as joint/shared attention, intentional use of gestures, vocalizations/word approximations, play skills, and language comprehension. Therefore, I aim to have the young child actively engaged and interacting during the activities of daily living and meaningful play.
At Communikids Miami Speech Therapy, I help children as young as 18 months of age overcome their communication challenges by creating meaningful and motivating experiences for the child and his/her family. As we know from research, children develop language through rich experiences and interactions.
My goal in speech-language therapy is for your child to develop relationships, achieve academic success, and communicate effectively with clear and fluent speech.
In general, Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) refer to “speech therapy” as the treatment of issues related to:
- Speech clarity (pronouncing words clearly)
- Speech fluency (stuttering)
Speech-Language Pathologists refer to «language therapy» when the focus is on issues related to understanding/learning language and expressing language to communicate ideas in a socially appropriate way effectively.
CommunikidsMiami has expanded services to include teletherapy sessions. When addressing cases with young children or those with more involved conditions, we will work together to implement strategies that will assist in the development of your child’s communication skills. You will be able to use these strategies on a daily basis, which can significantly improve speech and language outcomes.
Teletherapy is the use of videoconferencing technology to provide speech-language therapy services at a distance by connecting clinician to client. It is done using a secure platform that is HIPPA compliant.
- Is teletherapy as effective as traditional therapy?
- Is teletherapy appropriate for my young child?
- Is it necessary for the parents to attend each session?
- What are your strategies for incorporating teletherapy into your treatments?
If you have any doubt, I offer a free 30-minute consultation meeting to answer any questions you may have in terms of your child’s speech and language skills. Feel free to click on my calendar link to set up a time.
Who am I?
I am a passionate Speech-Language Pathologist and the founder of CommuniKids Miami Speech Therapy. Since 2001, I’ve been helping children from 18 months to 11 years to overcome their speech and language challenges by implementing best-practice techniques and methods. I conduct the evaluation and therapy sessions primarily in the child’s natural environment (i.e., home or school) via personal visits and teletherapy. Parent collaboration is a crucial component in the therapy process. I ensure that parents and caregivers are involved in their child’s speech and language treatment every step of the way. I can offer my services in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Provide high-quality speech & language therapy services to help children overcome their communication challenges and empower them to connect with the world, succeed in school, and provide parents much-needed relief from the stress caused by speech-language issues.
At Communikids Miami Speech Therapy, I seek to improve your child’s speech and language skills by offering a comprehensive therapy approach that provides meaningful and engaging work for the child and involves the caregiver as an essential partner in treatment.
It does take a village to raise a child. Connection and trust come first. At Communikids Miami Speech Therapy, I believe in teamwork between the therapist and the child’s family. I strive to reach the child’s full communication potential in every session by following their interests. I ensure that each session ends positively, resulting in the child looking forward to the next session.
Excellence, Collaboration, Connection/Engagement, Ethics, Respect, Trust, Love/Care.
What I offer
Evaluation, therapy and screenings in the following areas:
- Speech Articulation/Phonological disorders
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)
- Early Childhood Intervention–for children ages 0 to 3 with possible language and social communication delay.
- Developmental Language Disorder
- Social Skills challenges
- Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder
Collaborative Parent Coaching
Meet Erika Olmedo
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
I’m sure you have questions so this page is dedicated to the most common questions we receive. Read through the questions and answers below.
By 24 months a toddler should be saying at least 50 words and starting to put 2 words together. Some children who are not yet saying 50 words at 24 months are considered to be “late bloomers”, meaning that they are late talkers who will catch up on their own. However, research shows that half of the late-talker population will not catch up and will require intervention. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not wait until the child is a little older to see if he/she will catch up. We can help sort this out by looking at the social communication development in the early months.
Before speaking his/her first words, your child is already communicating wants and needs, sharing ideas and feelings through gestures, facial expressions, sounds, and movement. These are the social communication milestones that will predict speech and language development, play, and academic success.
Children showing delays in social communication may be at risk for autism and other developmental disorders. Finding out whether or not there is a problem in the early stages will put your mind at ease and help you be confident about what steps to take.
Let’s begin by discovering what the issue is.
First, I will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to accurately understand what the problem is and how severe it is. Your child may be having difficulty understanding language; expressing language to communicate wants and needs and sharing ideas; interacting with peers or family members. Also, your child’s speech may be difficult to understand. Once we have a good understanding of the problem, I will design a plan of intervention based on the results of the evaluation. I will take into consideration the child’s speech and language strengths and weaknesses, general interests, academic needs, and your family priorities.
During our speech therapy sessions, my number one goal is to develop a trusting relationship with the child so that he/she remains engaged and invested in learning. Therefore, I will always follow your child’s interests and motivating activities, while focusing on the specific speech/language goals. And this can take different forms depending on the age of your child.
Unfortunately, at the moment I do not work with any particular insurance plan. However, if your insurance plan reimburses out-of-network services, I will provide all the necessary paperwork you may need to receive that reimbursement.
- Speech Sound Disorders
- Articulation disorder
- Phonological disorder
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Oral Motor issues for feeding and speech
2. Receptive and Expressive Language disorder
3. Social Pragmatic Communication disorder
4. Central Auditory Processing disorder
DIR/Floortime® is one developmental approach to intervention that Speech-Language Pathologists like me may utilize as part of their practice of Speech Therapy. Professionals such as Occupation Therapists, Physical Therapists, Mental Health practitioners, Special Educators, etc. may also incorporate the DIR/Floortime® model in their respective practices. D (Developmental) I (Individual differences) R (Relationship) is the framework by which certified clinicians use when evaluating and designing an intervention plan. Floortime is the therapy technique used to achieve the goals that were delineated within their discipline.
You may call (305) 343 8177 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. If you plan to ask your insurance company for reimbursement for out-of-network services, you may need a prescription from your doctor for Speech Evaluation/Treatment prior to the date of the evaluation.
Ready for Screening?
Catch any delays early enough by participating in a secure online research-based screening. It’s Free! It will help you find out if your 9-to-36-month-old child is on track for social communication (e.g., facial expressions, vocalizations, gestures) and language development.