Services Offered at Preschools and Elementary Schools
- individual speech therapy for expressive speech and receptive language in the office and outside in natural settings
- organize peer groups with two children for help in social skills and speech pragmatics, and in helping peers to connect socially in the office or in natural settings
- evaluations for speech and language, expressive and receptive language, social skills and literacy skills
- consulting to schools in two ways: to help teachers help a child within a school context or to engage a small group of 2-4 children in a social skills group for several 6 week sessions between October and May.
- trainings for staff in schools or in school districts, or for groups whose specialists need help with young children around language, literacy skills and speech production, and child development issues.
- presentations for small or large audiences on request
- international consultation for individuals for intensive periods of time in the summer/during breaks
I first make a connection with the young child to develop trust, and relate to the child, follow his lead, and develop circles of communication through play. As the child learns to trust, I help him with sound play, sequencing sounds and speech production skills and language, word associations, and syntax (word order) at his developmental level. I include the parents, teachers and peers in each stage of therapy and help them learn how to support their child’s language development and adapt the school’s curriculum. I consult with a child’s teacher and specialists and help parents develop a team. I give trainings to the staff at the child’s school and support the teachers around play therapy, language and literacy development, and executive function skills for elementary students.
My philosophy is that children learn language skills in the interaction. Therefore, I provide therapy services in schools during choice time and also in natural settings, playground, ponds, and farms.
I also provide speech therapy to children in my Lexington office on a 1:1 basis. The session consists of 45-minutes of therapy created with a child’s needs, age, and interests. At the end of each session there is time to talk with parents. I often review suggested activities and therapy goals for home, go over the child’s IEP or help the family with play therapy or speech practice methods. Parents and siblings and the child’s team are an integral part of the speech therapy process.
I frequently consult with teachers and create social skills groups in the schools and help with curriculum modifications. I help parents develop a team to support the child based on the philosophy that specialists, teachers, and medical personnel must work together to help a child make steady progress. I give staff trainings in child development, developmental delays, and social skills in young children, and teach them play therapy methods. I supervise play therapists and speech pathologists in the area of language and social skills.
Speech and language evaluations are complex, individualized assessments. They are tailored for each child, depending on the child’s age, parental concerns, and other information obtained in an initial interview. Evaluations can also be performed periodically once therapy has begun to help monitor the child’s current level of speech, language and social skills functioning. I often perform new patient 1 hour consults that include a short speech and language evaluation.
I present for Harvard University’s continuing medical education, and to professionals in schools and for universities that may need a speaker for a workshop or for a special event.
My clinical methods are described in the following two books I authored and one DVD:
- Your Successful Preschooler: Ten Skills Children Need to Become Confident and Socially Engaged, Ann E. Densmore, Ed.D. and Margaret Bauman, M.D. (Harvard Medical School, Jossey-Bass, 2011)
- Helping Children with Autism Become More Social: 76 Ways to Use Narrative Play, Ann E. Densmore (Praeger, 2007)
- Using Play to Foster Communication in Children with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, created by Ann Densmore, Ed.D., CCC SLP/A, with a grant from Autism Speaks