Why did you become a speech therapist?
I had speech therapy when I was a child, and I remember how much my speech therapist helped me gain confidence in my ability to express myself fully. She was a big influence in my life, helping me to have the skills needed to express myself without the embarrassment I felt when speaking. Her influence stayed with me and when I was deciding on a major in college, I remembered the fun I had going to speech at school and the skills I gained through her help and guidance. While in college at Brescia, I was given the opportunity to observe wonderful speech therapists make such a positive impact in the lives of the children they served and that experience helped me discover the passion I have for helping people find their voices.
Why is high quality speech therapy important at a young age?
High quality speech/language therapy at a young age is critical to future success, when a child finds their 'voice,' they are able to express themselves, not just to have their needs met ('mommy, I'm hungry'), but to also engage in social interactions that will impact their entire lives. The ability for a child to go up to a peer and say 'hi, my name is __' gives them the ability to form relationships. It is my my belief that all learning starts with the ability to communicate and to understand that communication that occurs around a child. When a child learns the meanings of words and then learns how to use those words, they can then take that knowledge with them to school and then learn and use new words. A successful education begins with a child learning the word 'ball.' I also feel that the relationship of a family is critical to the success of a child's development. My favorite thing to hear from my families is when a mom tells me that their child told them "I love you." Knowing that I have been a part of the journey to that often phrase that is often taken for granted by parents whose children do not have language delays is the best feeling in the world.
What is your experience and background?
I began working as a Speech/Language therapist in the school system in Muhlenberg County for 5 years. I was an itinerant SLP, meaning that I traveled between schools to help a variety of students from Kindergarten to High School. When our daughter was born, I began working as an independent contractor with First Steps, Kentucky's Early Intervention Program with children ages birth-3. I have worked with the early intervention population for 13 years, during which time, I have worked with children and their families with a variety of delays/disorders. I have experience working with children who have a "simple" language delay, Down's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, speech sound delays and receptive (understanding) and expressive language delays/disorders.
Tell me a little about yourself
I have a wonderfully supportive family, a husband of 24 years, a 13-year old daughter, a 9-year old son and a huge baby Lab named Daphne. I spend my down time with my family, we love to be outside and enjoy camping, drag racing (when we have the time), softball and cub scouts. My daughter is a fantastic fast-pitch softball player/pitcher and my son has been in cub scouts for 4 years. I love to volunteer my time to help with my children's activities, including acting as part of the leadership team for our cub scout pack, being the coach's wife for my daughter's softball team and an active member of the PTO at my childrens' school. I also have the best job in the world, I love what I do and hope to continue to help children find their 'voice' until I cannot work anymore.
Why did you choose teaching?
I have always enjoyed caring for children and I have a lot of patience so teaching seemed like a natural fit. I love learning and I love watching children learn. I love when a child has that "ah-ha" moment and finally understands a concept they have worked so hard to understand.
Why do you enjoy teaching young children?
I love the natural curiosity that young children have. Everything is a learing experience and opportunity and young children are excited to learn about new things.
What is your philosophy about how young children learn?
A child's "work" is play. I believe young children learn through a balance of structured and unstructured play. Young children need to be able to play to learn social skills and how to manuever working with others but they also need to learn how to listen and follow directions which can also be taught through play. Children also learn academic skills best through play, music, and active engagement.
What is your experience and background?
I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's degree in library media education from Western Kentucky University. I received an early childhood master's degree from Murray State University in 2013. I have taught preschool-third grade but find most enjoyment working with children from birth to age five. I most recently have served the birth to three population as a developmental interventionist with the KY First Steps program for the past five and a half years.
Tell a little about yourself
I am married to Nathan Satterly who is the principal at WLES and have two sons, Connor and Noah. I am also "mom" to two dogs and a bearded dragon and "grandmother" to a Chinese dwarf hamster and a guinea pig. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, yoga, reading, drinking coffee, relaxing in the pool, and embroidery.
Why did you become a physical therapist?
While playing high school basketball, I tore my R ACL sophomore year and L ACL my senior year. I had to do about of year of physical therapy to get me back on the court with each surgery. During my first round of physical therapy, I knew that's the field I wanted to go into.
Why do you work with children?
I love children! It is very rewarding to see them grow, improve, and overcome obstacles.
Why is good physical therapy important for children?
Finding a physical therapist that is a good fit for your child is very important. A PT has to know how to push your child without pushing too hard. Communication is also a key component. A good PT will demonstrate/explain things to work on at home and why those things are important in his/her development. Any family concerns should be addressed to allow the parents/caregivers to maximize participation to help the child progress as much as possible and become an active member in the family.
Tell me something about yourself
I graduated with my doctorate in Physical Therapy from Bellarmine University. My wonderful husband and I have 3 children. My husband and I have always played sports and that love has been passed down to all 3 kids, causing us to be on a football field, soccer field, basketball court, or gym most nights.
What is your experience and background?
I began working with children 6 years ago. I have worked with a variety of medical conditions. Such as Down syndrome, spinal bifida, cerebral palsy, microcephaly, russel silver syndrome, and CHARGE syndrome to name a few.
I have worked in the early childhood field for over thirty years. I have started and directed two integrated preschool programs that served both children with special needs and typically developing children. During this time, I have also worked with the Kentucky First Steps program as a Service Coordinator for twenty- two years. As a Service Coordinator, I provided case management service and assisted families to obtain services for their child as well as assisting with other areas of need. With my knowledge and experience I have been able to help families customize plans to help meet the needs of their individual child and family needs.
Chassidy is our occupational therapist with extensive training in sensory processing disorders, oral motor difficulties, and feeding therapies. She is from Owensboro, Ky and a graduate of Apollo High School who then went on to receive her Bachelor of Science from Western Kentucky University in 2014.
She then received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Tennessee State University in 2017. Chassidy is licensed and certified to practice in the state of Kentucky and has been providing pediatric occupational therapy services since January of 2018.
Chassidy is married to her husband, Brandon and they have 2 children together as well as 2 dogs. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and traveling to the beach whenever possible.
Jenny Likens Richeson, M.S., CCC/SLP is an American Speech, Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified and Kentucky licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Communication Disorders/Speech Pathology from University of Kentucky. Jenny has 20 years of experience working with individuals from age 2 to adults with communication needs in a variety of settings (schools, clinics, home health). She treats all types of speech and language disorders in children and provides reading interventions. She is also trained in cognitive development intervention through Carol Brown with Equipping Minds. Cognitive interventions include activities that address the underlying skills needed to learn effectivity - brain functions such as auditory and visual processing, working and long-term memory, comprehension, attention, logic and reasoning.
What is your background?
I worked for Head Start for almost 10 years. I started as a preschool teacher and later moved into a Family Advocate position assisting families with support and resources. While I loved my time working for Head Start, working with children with special needs was my true passion. I made the difficult decision to resign my position and begin the journey of obtaining my COTA/L licensure. It truly was the best decision I've ever made.
How does occupational therapy benefit children?
I believe that every child should be given the chance at an even playing field. Some children never experience a hardship during development, but when one does, that's where I come in. I help children not only learn functional skills like dressing and eating with utensils, I help them learn how to play. Play is a child's "job". Play is how they learn and grow, and I am very fortunate to be able to facilitate this very important work.
Tell me a little about yourself
My husband, Derek and I have been married since 2007. We have two children, Cohen (11) and Avery (8). We enjoy doing lots of things together, particularly watching movies and swimming.
Tell me a little about yourself:
I recently graduated from USI with my associates of science in occupational therapy assistant. I will be graduating this December with my bachelor of psychology, to continue my education with a master in occupational therapy. My dream job has always been a pediatric occupational therapist so I am so excited for this opportunity at Building Blocks! I grew up in the small town of Utica on a farm with my parents, and two little brothers. One brother of mine has disabilities, so I always say that he is the reason for what I am doing. I love to spend time with my friends and family as much as I can, and love going out on the lake! I am also a dog momma to my yorkie, Layla.
What is your background/experience:
I grew up helping my parents with my little brother who has disabilities. Working with children is what I love to do, so I have always tried to find a job that was around that. I have babysat children with disabilities since my freshman year of high school. I started off working at the Kelly Autism Program through Wendell Foster, while also being a care giver through the waiver program. In 2017, I started my journey in the OTA program and worked at Apex Behavioral Services there in Evansville, and also as a Y-care after school teacher. Once I graduated, I continued working with children through the waiver while riding out the wave of COVID-19.
Area I find interesting:
I love finding out how the brain works. Each person is different, so I always find it interesting to dig into the diagnosis and figure out what it is and why or how it happened. My family calls me the family doctor, because any time somebody has something wrong, I always try and figure it out.
How do you help children grow and develop:
I have always believed that every child has a purpose, but no purpose will be the same. My job is to help children learn different skills like how to dress themselves, tie their shoes, or how to throw a ball back and forth with their friends. When children do not have these abilities, that is where I come in and help them learn how to do these activities in a way that they will enjoy. My goal is when children have OT with me, they will be excited for their session knowing that it is going to be fun, but that they are also learning and growing from it, too.