M.A., Reg. CASLPO, CPAM/PL/SPT/022
Laura graduated from the University at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York) in 2008 with a Masters of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology after having completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics-Communication Disorders from Brock University (Ontario, Canada) in 2003. She also holds a post graduate certificate from the Communicative Disorders Assistant Program at Durham College (Ontario, Canada). Laura has 18 years experience working with children, families, school teams and community partners, beginning as an ABA therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, followed by providing speech and language support to children with varying communication disorders (Cerebral Palsy, Apraxia of Speech, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Cleft Palate, Down Syndrome, learning difficulties, ADHD, expressive and receptive language delays, articulation and phonological delays in addition to several medically and neurologically complex diagnosis’).
Laura’s passion for Autism began in 2000 when she provided private ABA therapy for children in their homes and later went on to working for the regional Early Autism Initiative in Ontario, Canada. She has worked collaboratively with psychologists, OTs, PTs, social workers, music therapists, child and youth workers, ASD Consultants, SLPs, CDAs and ABA therapists, and believes that a team approach is key in providing effective therapy to children with communication disorders. Her experiences with Autism also extend to being trained in Verbal Behaviour and providing direct speech and language support within schools, daycares, homes and clinic settings. Laura also developed various social skills groups based on Social Thinking Methodology for children who have social communication needs.
Over the past 10 years Laura has developed extensive knowledge and experience in giving non-verbal children a voice by teaching them how to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tools. Whether it is a child who uses a gesture for the first time to indicate his/her wants and needs, or points to a symbol/icon on a low tech system, the rewards of AAC are endless. Working as part of an AAC clinic, Laura has extensive expertise prescribing and supporting children who use high tech speech generating devices to help enhance their communication skills. Communication devices and apps include LAMP Words for Life, Proloquo2go, Accent 800/1000, Lightwriter, Touch Chat, Go Talk Now). Laura is committed to providing children with a life-long voice that can be heard by all.
Laura received recognition for her participation on the camp committee team for the 2016 International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) conference in Toronto, Ontario where she developed several camps for children and adults who use AAC from around the world. She was also a co-presenter at the 2014 ISAAC conference.
More recently Laura has worked as part of a multidisciplinary team within two school boards, providing assessment and therapy tailored to a student’s IEP goals. Within the classroom she has implemented the Emotional Literacy program, SRA Phonemic Awareness Program and Zones of Regulation to kindergarten classrooms. She has also provided a multitude of small and large capacity workshops related to AAC, language development, Autism and early literacy skills.
Laura has a keen interest in early intervention, providing direct support and coaching sessions to toddlers, preschoolers and caregivers using strategies from Hanen It Takes Two to Talk to promote early language development. She has also worked to bridge the gap between preschool and school age services by educating kindergarten teachers on the importance of fostering oral language and literacy skills through play and reading.
Laura strives to ensure all of her clients receive personalized programs and goals tailored to their unique communication and learning abilities through a child and family centred approach. She uses both a developmental and behavioural approach with her clients and sees every child as an individual. She is a dynamic team player who strives to provide her clients with the best care possible while tapping into a child’s strengths. Most importantly, Laura believes that all children learn and grow at their own pace. Therapy should focus on the child’s interests and most of all should be fun and engaging.
- Hanen ® Instructor “Learning Language and Loving It” (“Teacher Talk”)
- Hanen ® Instructor “It Takes Two to Talk”
- PROMPT Trained: “Introduction to PROMPT Technique
Training and Workshops attended by Laura:
Hanen ® Seminars:
- Telegraphic Speech – Should We or Shouldn’t We?
- Coaching Parents in How to Play
- Teaching Tuning In – Practical Strategies to promote Theory of Mind for Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum
- Red Flags for Autism: Autism Early Diagnosis
- Building Emergent Literacy Skills in Children with Autism-The Power of Shared Reading
- Applied Behavaioural Analysis Training through the Ministry of Ontario
- Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol
- Introduction to PROMPT Technique (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets
- Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS Training)
- ABA & SLP: An Integrated Approach to promoting Language in learners with Autism Across the Lifespan
- Learning Through Play
- Zones of Regulation: Newest Thinking and Teaching Tools,
- Individual Authorizer (IA) Certification
- Helping Children Overcome Selective Mutism
- Training Language and Cognition in Children with ASD
- Auditory & Language Processing Disorders
- Language Acquisition Through Motor Planning (LAMP) – Center For AAC & Autism
- Integrating AAC Into Intensive Interventions Using a Collaborative Multidisciplinary Team Approach
- Strategies for Transitions From PECS to SGD
- AAC and Down Syndrome
- Using Video Modeling to Enhance Communication in ASD
- Using Visual Scripts to Enhance Play in ASD
- Inside proloquo2go
- AAC and Autism
- Teaching Children with Severe Disabilities To Speak: Current Research and Best Practice
- Oral Placement Therapy
- Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Providers Conference
- Practical Tips & Techniques for Successful Artic Remediation
- Childhood Apraxia: Speech and Stuttering Institute
- Establishing Comprehensive Treatment Programs for School Aged Children Who Stutter