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Episode #115: Early Intervention Speech Therapy Services – A Talk With Cindy Watson

In this conversation with Pediatric SLP Cindy Watson, you can just see the passion she has for helping young learners communicate and find their voice. 

When Cindy first receives a new Early Intervention case she calls on the parent to talk through the reasons and concerns that led them there and another simple but IMPACTFUL thing…what does the child like? These things establish rapport and give Cindy the tools to enter the first Early Intervention session as she calls “the fun aunt.”

When assessing new toddlers for Early Intervention Cindy starts out with play, observation, and conversations with caregivers. For formal assessments, she uses the Preschool Language Scale and the Rossetti Infant Toddler Language Scale. 

Cindy shares my view on the importance and power of communication and shares a few key focuses she thinks therapists and families at home should consider when working on speech:
Cause and effect communication
Reinforcing language
Joint attention
Building on milestones

Not only does Cindy do incredible work with young children in Early Intervention, but her center also has a really amazing mentorship program for their therapists to give them the tools and confidence to do their best work. You can find out more about Cindy and The Children’s Therapy Team on their website and Facebook.

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Today’s Guest:

Cindy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology / Audiology from the University of Arkansas (1994) and a Master’s of Education Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma (1995).

After graduating Cindy dove into pediatrics while serving as a Speech-Language Pathologist at Thurman G. Smith Elementary in Springdale, Arkansas. At the time the school served as a local epicenter for children with hearing loss. There her proficiency in signing exact English soared. She is a past Parent Adviser for the Arkansas School for the Deaf (2002-2008). 

Cindy later served at the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative before opening her own practice, Watson Speech and Hearing Specialists, Inc. Providing even more extensive services to children and families, Cindy’s company eventually became Children’s Therapy T.E.A.M.

Cindy is the Co-Founder of the Children’s Therapy TEAM. She considers helping kids communicate to be one of her greatest passions in life. One of her many roles at the Children’s Therapy TEAM is offering family support and ensuring that each family has an excellent experience. 

Cindy Watson’s international work with TEAMworks was featured in the Arkansas Speech Language Hearing Association publication, Sounds Expressions, Serving Around the Globe with Cindy Watson. Cindy works diligently to sustain TEAM’s philanthropic outreach in Northwest Arkansas and internationally through her dedicated volunteerism with the TEAMworks non-for-profit.

In the Fall of 2020, a teaching position was posted in the Communication Disorders department. With her passion for Communication Disorders and love of the Razorbacks, she pursued the possibility of serving at the university level. In the Spring of 2021, Cindy began teaching at the University of Arkansas. It seemed to be a perfect fit for her desire to mentor others and share her excitement for the field. She continues to teach Language Development and Language Disorders.

She is currently serving as the Vice President of Speech Pathology for the Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

With her husband Ray by her side, Cindy has been a vanguard for pediatric speech-language pathology treatment in Northwest Arkansas for 27 years. Cindy draws from her life experiences as a mother of two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Mary Claire in her work as a Speech-Language Pathologist.

What’s Inside:

  • How should you begin a new Early Intervention case?
  • Top toys, tools, and resources for Early Intervention Therapy.
  • What assessments should you use in Early Intervention with young learners?
  • What skills and ideas should therapists and families focus on to build communication?
  • A unique and powerful mentorship program for new therapists.

Mentioned In This Episode

Children’s Therapy TEAM
Children’s Therapy Team on Facebook
ABA Speech: Learn About Current ASHA and ACE CEUs

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