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OUR SERVICES

Speech & Feeding Therapy

Chasing Unicorns offers expert speech and feeding therapy services to help children reach their speech, language and feeding goals. Led by an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist, Chasing Unicorns is committed to providing individualized, evidence-based services to each and every one of our clients.

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NICU Grads 

NICU Grads - Babies born early and/or those who spent time in the NICU for medical reasons often need to have someone experienced with this population to follow them post discharge as a precautionary measure. Sometimes, it is just for a few visits to make sure everything is continuing forward in a positive manner; sometimes, it is for longer. I would be privileged to help support you and your baby on your journey.

Infant Feeding

Whether your baby is a recent NICU grad or was a full-term baby without any challenges at birth, feeding often does not look like the beautiful pictures we see on social media. Even more discouraging, sometimes feeding starts out beautifully, then just seems to fall apart! Whether you need follow up care post NICU discharge or are concerned that feeding has changed or just “isn’t right,” this is an area in which I have extensive training and experience.

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Transitioning to Solids

Social media is filled with beautiful images of babies easily and happily transitioning from the bottle or breast to a diet that includes solids. However, the introduction of solids to the diet is not an easy transition for some babies. If your baby seems “stuck” on a certain food or texture, gags, vomits, and/or cries when they get near a highchair, it is time to take a step back and talk to a feeding professional.

"Picky Eaters"

I will be honest up front; I really hate this label. I prefer “selective eater” and my reasons are based on my years working with these kids and my training in a variety of intervention methods. Children tend to be “selective” for very specific reasons, but not necessarily reasons that we, as adults, recognize. Whether your child eats only 5 foods, or tries everything but then spits it out, you need support helping them learn to accept and enjoy a wider variety of healthful foods.

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Tube-fed babies & children

Some children are dependent on NG-tubes or G-tubes in order to obtain the nutrition and hydration they need. Some of these children have never taken anything by mouth as a result of early medical complexities but now, you and your pediatrician have decided it’s time to give oral feeding a try. Whether you are looking for help and support for a tube wean or just want your child to have the opportunity to participate in small tastes, safely and happily at family meals, I am here to help.

Late Talkers/Communication Frustration

Do you have a late talker? Do other kids in their playgroup or daycare use a lot more words and/or signs? According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, delayed language is defined as “a delay in language onset with no other diagnosed disabilities or developmental delays in other cognitive or motor domains.” So, what does that mean in “non-medical speak”? It means that if your child seems to be meeting other milestones, such as sitting, crawling, and walking yet their speech is behind that of their peers, they may have a delay that is exclusive to the area of communication. Early, skilled intervention can help.

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Speech Sound Disorders

Does your child talk but no one but YOU can understand what they are saying? Do they get frustrated when you ask them repeatedly what they are saying, or when you resort to asking, “Can you show me what you mean/want?” Kids with highly unintelligible speech can have one or a mixture of several different speech challenges, often simply labeled as “articulation” problems. A complete and in-depth diagnosis and an ability to meet the child where they are can provide significant improvements in intelligibility while also resulting in permanent change.  

Speech & Language Delays

Speech and Language Delays as a result of other medical impairments. Many children with diagnoses such as Down’s Syndrome, ASD, Muscular Dystrophy, and those with craniofacial disorders, will need help with overall communication including speech and language. If babbling, cooing, calling out, or even protesting or squealing with joy are limited or absent for your child, a full evaluation by a speech pathologist who is experienced with medically complex kids is essential.

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Speech Therapy Services

When you know there is a challenge but you are not quite sure what to call it? Let’s investigate together and see if speech and language are the problem or if perhaps it is actually something else.

Coming soon

ADOS-2 testing - The ADOS-2 is considered the gold standard for observational assessment of autism spectrum disorders. Certification in the ADOS-2 means that I can assess for and diagnose ASD. Currently, in our area of the state, wait times for an assessment by a developmental specialist can take over a year. Early intervention with autism spectrum disorders is essential for best outcomes. Contact me if you think an ADOS-2 assessment is right for your child.

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As time passed and increased milestones met, our family was met with a required relocation across the country. Finding another therapist that has the same awareness of patient needs, passion in profession, knowledge, and indefatigable demeanor is impossible in the region we are located at (Midwest/South). When multiple therapists in the region reviewed notes written by Barbara 2 years prior, they were amazed at not only what she discovered and achieved with our child, but also the parent education given to us by her. This has helped with us being a well-informed advocate for our child. Our child now has the foundation that was set forth by Barbara which has made other therapists’ jobs easier with our kiddo. When a therapist has the ability to impact the lives of her patients and their families years on in such a massive positive manner, and to include future medical professionals nationally, not entrusting her to be your therapist would be leaving out a family member. As Barbara is considered a part of our family for all she has done for our kiddo.   

-Mr. Ortiz

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