Monthly Archives: September 2015

September 2015 Newsletter: In the Spotlight



In the Spotlight:

Meet Amanda Charney, SSIS Founder

Small Steps In Speech is a national non-profit, but founder Amanda Charney’s mission to help the less fortunate extends beyond the borders of this country. For the past six years, after losing Marc, Amanda has embarked on summer journeys.

Some have been focused on healing and personal challenges, such as in 2011 when she ran a marathon in Alaska after a TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) session for women who lost loved ones in the military.   Other years she has travelled to impoverished regions of the world to do charity work with children. She’s done this on her own means, without the help of a sponsoring organization or tour guide. Amanda traveled to India in 2012, Tanzania in 2013, and China, Vietnam, and Cambodia in 2014 to volunteer her services as a Speech Language Pathologist in orphanages and schools.         

“It started as a pact between Marc and me for our bucket list,” Amanda says. “We wanted to see the seven wonders and continents.” After his death, fulfilling this pact became a way for her to remember him and self-reflect while still finding ways to help others. And more, she did it in order to prove that she could do it. “The best part is figuring out what as a human you can do by yourself. You have to put yourself in a scary situation, then put your faith in your gut and god.”

Going to these countries involved moments of culture shock for Amanda. At times she faced […]

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September 2015 Newsletter: Back to School Article


Back to School Article

by Joyce Tierney, MS, CCC-SLP

Board Member SSIS and owner of Speak to Me Kids private practice

Are you worried about your child’s speech and language development?  Look below to help you determine if you should seek help for your child…

What is a speech and language disorder: 

Any disorder that affects the way a person understands and produces speech and language such as but not limited to :

  •    difficulty with comprehension of language
  •    speech sound disorder (articulation, pronunciation)
  •     motor incoordination of articulators (tongue, lips, jaw)
  •    difficulty with forming organized, grammatically correct statements
  •    struggles with word finding
  •    difficulty understanding body language, sarcasm and social pragmatic language
  •    stuttering
  •    hearing loss

Signs of a speech and language disorder:

  • between the ages of 6-12 months your child is NOT smiling, babbling, reacting to sounds around them, closer to 12 months your child is NOT pointing to objects/people
  • between the ages of 12-18 months your child is NOT  imitating, waving, using new words, demonstrating an understanding of simple instructions
  • between 18-24 months your child is NOT demonstrating a burst in language with up to 200 words by age 2, labeling familiar objects/people/pets, developing play skills,  identifying body parts, requesting
  • at 3 years of age your child is NOT commenting about their environment, engaging in simple conversations, demonstrating an understanding of basic concepts such as colors, prepositions, etc
  • at 4 years of age your child is NOT asking questions regarding their environment, using up to 5 words sentences, following more complex directions, identifying shapes, colors and letters

Ways to promote speech and language skills:

  • Model language- through song, play and routine activities
  • nursery rhymes
  • pat-a-cake
  • talk through daily routines (dressing, bathing, etc)Read books to your child […]
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September 2015 Newsletter: Thank You From a Grateful Mother


Thank you from a grateful mother…

February 4, 2015Gabriel

Board of Directors,

Gabriel has just finished the speech therapy visits allotted to him by Small Steps in Speech.  We can’t thank you enough for giving our son the opportunity to receive speech therapy especially at a time when our resources were very limited.

Gabriel very much enjoyed the weekly therapy.  He warmed up to his new therapist in no time and worked hard throughout each session.  As Gabe’s mom, I was grateful to be allowed to sit and observe during all of his visits.  Hopefully, that experience will enable me to further Gabriel’s progress at home.

Gabriel continues to make slow but steady gains.  He is currently enrolled in the Preschool Program for Childhood Disabilities at our local school where he will continue to receive weekly speech therapy.

Thank you again for taking the time to read about our son and his challenges.  Approving Gabriel for the Small Steps in Speech grant has been a huge blessing to him and to our family.  May God continue to bless you in your very important work.


Gabriel’s mother and father, Texas

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September 2015 Newsletter: Attention SLPs


SLPs:  Do you know a family who is struggling to afford speech therapy?  We want to help!

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