Speech Therapist Jennifer Burns and Multisensory Reading Specialist Sherri Troxler, now business partners at their new Speech and Reading Center in Luling, may never met had it not been for a chance encounter at a local church event.
“I always had a dream of opening up my own clinic or center and had started actively looking [for a location],” Jennifer Burns of the new Speech and Reading Center in Luling, said. “My mom at church one day sat down at a potluck table and started talking to Sherri and ends up mentioning my name and how I was looking for an office somewhere to open up a clinic.”
From there the two, who had not met before but had complimentary skill sets, ended up getting in touch. Troxler was also at the time considering opening a Multisensory Reading Center in Luling and was already operating a location in Metairie. The pair, realizing they shared some of the same goals, decided to open their new clinic in Luling together, which first opened its doors on May 19th at its Point Robert Center location on 50 Wade Street.
Their new Speech and Reading Center offers both speech therapy and multi-sensory reading therapy for local children that may need assistance with either speech and communication development or reading difficulties. The firm offers services to children in the key developmental ages primarily between three and 15, although it does offer some programs that can benefit children even younger than three.
The speech therapy component of the Speech and Reading Center includes work with speech therapist Jennifer Burns, who has worked 18 years as a speech therapist and holds a master’s degree from LSU. Burns explained that children are ideal candidates for speech therapy when they are having difficulty developing proper speech and communication.
“Signs they may need a professional might include younger children who are not hitting developmental milestones such as babbling, or not saying words, not following directions, or getting upset because they aren’t able to communicate their needs,” Burns said.
Older children, Burns explained, might have trouble articulating sounds correctly and can benefit from articulation therapy.
“There are also a lot of challenges for children as they get older with socialization, not being able to socialize appropriately, understand social cues, possibly standing too close to another person, or speaking loudly in someone’s face,” Burns said, regarding additional signs in children that would benefit from speech therapy.
Having had formal training in the multisensory reading approach, Troxler further explained that multisensory reading component of their clinic primarily involves helping children who struggle with decoding language, spelling fluency, and reading comprehension.
“There are many children who do not grasp the reading concept through just traditional methods, and they need a different way of learning to read,” Troxler, who spent several decades honing her skills in the education field, said of her practice. “Research has shown children who use multisensory materials, it enables them to grasp those concepts easier.”
A few signs that a child may need additional help with reading might include children who can’t seem to remember the letters of the alphabet or have difficulty processing information and keeping it in their memory. Some children, Troxler also mentioned, may have fluency problems in reading where they might have trouble putting sounds to words and understand the reading process.
The Speech and Reading Center has developed a large multisensory room for its clients, which includes activities for children to help stimulate them, most notably a large sensory board.
“It’s for kids who are under stimulated, and seeking out sensory input to regulate their system,” Burns explained. “We have another area where if they are over stimulated, they can go sit in a little playhouse where it’s nice and calm and can have a sensory time out for themselves where they can self-regulate to calm their sensory system.”
Parents seeking more details regarding the new Speech and Reading Center, or to schedule an initial visit, can visit the group’s Speech and Reading Center Facebook Page.