Emily Bobseine, M.A. CCC-SLP or as we simply call her, Emily, is Ethan’s Speech and Language therapist at Kids in Motion, a pediatric therapy clinic in Torrance, CA where he also receives occupational and physical therapy. Emily makes Ethan’s therapy sessions always fun and engaging, and Ethan is always running to her room even when it’s not speech day! Since starting speech at Kids in Motion, along with the Leaps and Bounds program at Pediatric Therapy Network, Ethan has grown leaps and bounds! He has said, “Go!” to complete “Ready, Set, Go!” “I got it!” and started to attempt words present in his favorite nursery rhymes. He has also been mimicking sounds that he’s heard, especially in music. We are positive about Ethan’s speech progress!
Questions and Answers
Can you tell us a little about yourself? What motivated you to become a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist?
I was first motivated to work with children in general. I was never sure under what circumstances, but I have always been extremely patient and have had a true love for teaching. I was always known for being very talkative, social and outgoing, (I even won ‘most talkative’ for a senior superlative in high school), so once I learned there was a career out there that helped people learn how to communicate, I knew it was the path for me.
What is it like working with kids in the spectrum? How has your experience been?
Working with kiddos on the spectrum is extremely FUN. Like all children, behaviors can be challenging, but I love the challenge! I always remind kids I work with that I learn just as much from them, if not more, as they do from me. I have met some wonderful, talented, BRILLIANT kids on the spectrum. It’s one of the best feelings to figure out what motivates them to learn and communicate, whether that be through the arts, music, a specific toy, etc.
What do you love most about your job at Kids in Motion?
One of the best parts of working at Kids in Motion is when you can consult with other team members, (e.g., OTs and PTs). It always makes my day when a co-worker will excitedly walk up to me to tell me something our mutual kiddo did that day with their communication. I also love that I can discuss different strategies they use in their sessions for carryover.
My favorite part about speech therapy is seeing progress IN ANY AREA! Communication is fun because sometimes not everyone realizes all of the parts that go into it (because for them, learning how to communicate with others was naturally easier for them). It also makes my heart warm and fuzzy to hear my parents share new skills they are seeing in their children in the home environment.
What are some social communication challenges that kids in the spectrum often encounter?
Children on the spectrum may have challenges in expressing their emotions and using appropriate greetings/farewells. They may use limited and/or fleeting eye contact, and they may struggle in verbal expression (e.g, to request objects, actions, help; protest with gestures/words; comment on items /objects while directing listener’s attention; answering/asking questions; sharing information about a topic; staying on topic and/or taking turns in conversation).
How can speech therapy help with these challenges?
Speech therapy is a wonderful tool for not only the children themselves, but their families too! We can provide strategies to assist in helping your child to communicate, and we model various play techniques to encourage growth in their play skills and social language skills.
What are some techniques that parents can apply at home to encourage speech, widen vocabulary and improve social engagement?
One of the biggest techniques to apply at home to encourage speech, vocabulary development and social engagement is using every moment, whether it is in play, snack or clean-up time, as a learning moment for communication. When a child is making attempts for a desired item/object, it is encouraged to withhold that item and model gestures/sign (such as ‘more’) paired with verbal descriptors. To widen vocabulary, use books and songs paired with picture/video that contain repetitive lines (e.g., “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?”). Self-talk is an amazing tool to use as well, meaning talking out loud about everything you are doing (example: labeling items/foods and actions when you are cooking). To improve social engagement, try to designate time for play with your kiddo each day, limit distractions and model simple words in anticipatory play routines (e.g., Ready, Set, Go! Faded to… Ready, Set, ___ … [delay in time] Go!).
What is your message to parents of special needs children who may be discouraged about their child’s speech-language development?
My biggest message to parents about a child’s development is to remember that every child is different. Their time to learn a skill and their way of learning is going to differ from someone else. Continue to encourage! Whether it is a child learning their first word or a 6-year-old trying to learn how to correctly produce a speech sound, patience is everything!
What is your message to those aspiring to work in the field of Pediatric Speech-Language development?
My message to those aspiring to work in the field: Do it!!! This career is rewarding, and working with kids is fun and uplifting! 🙂