Local Speech Therapist Returns Back Home to Caswell
Nothing is more exciting to a chamber director than learning of local talent that has been out of the area for a while and has chosen to return back to Caswell in order to better the community, be closer to family, and experience the quieter rural lifestyle we who live here all enjoy.
On an afternoon in late June, Speech Stars, owner, Jillian Watlington-Kindle spent time sharing how her work as a speech therapist has grown. A graduate from Bartlett Yancey and with a masters in Speech Language Pathology from UNC Greensboro, Jillian and her business partner began a practice in the Raleigh area back in 2017 that has expanded over the years. They currently have an office in Raleigh, Mebane, and most recently Yanceyville. She was very excited to share her plans for the office here in Caswell County.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs, also known as speech therapists), provide care to people with speech, language, cognition or swallowing issues. People of all ages may need the services of a speech-language pathologist.
A speech disorder can occur when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently. Language disorders happen when a person has trouble understanding others or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings. These types of disorders can be spoken or written. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, social communication disorders occur when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication.
These disorders may include problems communicating for social purposes (like greeting, commenting, asking questions), talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and following rules for conversation and story-telling.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social communication problems and disorders are also found in individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury. Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury. Feeding disorders also occur if your child has difficulty chewing/eating a variety of foods.
The Speech-language pathologist assesses a client’s speech, language, or swallowing challenges to diagnose speech, language, and communication disorders. They then develop a plan for treatment and also may assist in training the family and caregivers of those with communication or swallowing disorders.
Speech Stars focuses on servicing children, ages birth through 21, who require speech, language, and feeding therapy services. They primarily serve children in their natural learning environment, typically in daycare, preschool, or home settings. However, in Yanceyville they also see a large majority of their patients in the office due to the rural setting. This allows the therapists to see more children instead of spending time traveling in their car. Speech Stars is a state licensed and nationally certified practice providing speech, language, and feeding therapy services and are qualified to evaluate and treat a variety of disorders and delays including language and articulation, apraxia, feeding and swallowing, oral motor, fluency, voice, pragmatic delays, auditory processing disorder and other communicative disorders.
Now with a family of her own, she and her husband made a change from the faster pace of Raleigh to Mebane, and now back to her home here in Caswell where they are closer to other family members and to an area where Jillian knows her services can make a real difference. With no other speech pathologist in Caswell, and the growing number of children needing assistance, there is a real need for their services. Jillian is looking to expand the Caswell office and is currently seeking an additional full time speech therapist to serve the children of Caswell.
As published in The Caswell Messenger August 3, 2022