Seeking a Speech Therapist

Parent Q&A

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  • Hello network! 

    I live in North Berkeley and am hoping to find a speech therapist for my 2 year old, ideally a short drive away. She is gaining new words each day, but is delayed and frustrated that she can't communicate more. If you know of someone nearby, I would love suggestions.

    Play more with her. And I mean like a lot of play. Do the playground play, board game play, park play, ball play, doll house play, action figure play, play based preschool, play date, church play, kitchen play...etc And when you are playing with her, describe everything that you do using your words. And let her repeat.

    Once she is about to become 3, get a free evaluation from your school district.

    In my experience with my kid (3 yr old), the speech therapist played games and called it therapy. Maybe it's the age?

    And don't forget to check the ears and adenoids and nose and hearing Your ENT and audiologist can do that

    Hi. My wife and I navigated this with our slow to talk two year old. We got her assessed by the regional center, which organizes therapy for children before they age into therapy provided by the school district. They legally have to assess your kid within a certain number of days after you request an assessment, that will happen quickly. Our kid was borderline and the assessor made sure she qualified for free services. Finding a therapist is much more difficult though. There are only a few providers and the times aren’t great. We’re actually going to wrap it up soon because our kid is talking more, and the therapist we were assigned does not seem that great. If you go through with this, make sure the assessor recommends therapy at the frequency you desire. Our kid got got assigned three sessions a month which is not possible logistically for us. Good luck! 

    I don't have a therapist to recommend, but have you reached out to your pediatrician? A referral through your medical provider might point you in the right direction. Often private SLPs will contract with medical providers, and could provide more options of therapists than the Regional Center. 

    In response to some of the other comments, it might look like the therapist is just playing, but they're not! First, it should be fun. Children learn through play. The best therapists will make it look and feel like play, but are actually very intentional and imbedding lessons and strategies into play. While I agree it's good to play and talk/describe/narrate with your child, you know her best. If you think she'd benefit from speech don't wait! In my professional experience in Early Intervention, the school districts are more cumbersome and don't often provide services for "cusp" kiddos. Getting this extra help now is a great help in the long run! 

  • Our soon-to-be 4 year old son has a mild-moderate speech delay, mostly around language expression.  We'd love any private speech therapist recommendations, especially for therapists who could engage a lively 4 year old boy and have fun!   If the speech therapist could travel to his preschool for sessions that would be great, but not necessary.  Thank you!

    Hello! I'd recommend Supreet Kore. My daughter had a speech delay when she was 4-5 and Supreet did great with making sessions fun. She's organized, thoughtful, and makes it so fun!   Here is her webpage:

    Good luck!!! 

  • I  would appreciate some advice regarding an IEE assessment. More specifically, I am looking for psychoeducational, OT, and speech assessments for my 4.9 yo in the Albany school district. I was given a list of practitioners within the North Region SELPA, yet I am unsure if those practitioners are neurodiversity-affirming. Ideally, I am looking for anti-ABA practitioners who are not focused on behavioralism. I am looking for an SLP familiar with Gestalt language processing and NLA (natural language acquisition) for speech. I am looking for a therapist familiar with Dr. Ross Greene's CPS method for OT. I know everything is very specific, but I hope to find the right practitioners for a thorough evaluation.

    On top of that, my school just denied one psychoeducational therapist I have chosen because in the review of her credentials, unfortunately, she does not meet our SELPA  criteria for being able to conduct a school-based psycho-educational evaluation as she does not have her credential as a school psychologist or her license as an educational psychologist.

    Quote" the reason our SELPA board policy details the credentials required for completing a psychoeducational evaluation is to ensure we’re adhering towards the individuals with disabilities education act and providing students with an assessment to determine eligibility for special education. Credentialed School psychologists and licensed educational psychologists are trained and equipped to assess students through the ones of special education and the individuals with disabilities education act. "

    I am very thankful for any input on this matter!

    Hi there! My daughter worked with Supreet. My daughter is "high functioning autism, but was a Gestalt language processor. She would repeat things she heard on TV, songs, etc. Supreet is trained in Gestalt language processing and so lovely to work with. The occupational therapists who work in the same space with her are amazing as well. I was able to work with ERita after being on a waitlist for a couple months.

  • Hi -- my husband and I are look for a reputable private Speech Language Pathologist and OT in the East Bay (we live in Walnut Creek). This is for our 3 yr old daughter. I'm not looking for advice on navigating the public school / IEP system - fully aware of that and have what I need there. Welcome any and all recommendations otherwise - thank you!

    We had a positive experience getting OT at Child's Play in Lafayette. This was during the pandemic, when our son was 8-9 years old and needed help dealing with really intense food aversions. (So I'm not sure how relevant that might be to your child's situation.) Our therapist was named Nikki Zader, and we absolutely loved her. She got to know our son really quickly and tailored the therapy to suit his personality and preferences in a way that was effective and really made us feel that she understood him. She truly helped him make progress.

    Good luck!

    Speech Inc in Oakland has nice speech pathologists. We didn’t continue since we found one closer to us/could provide in home therapy. 

  • Hello--I am looking for recommendation for speech therapy for kids. My son is 7 years old, and he's had some some sessions at BUSD since 1st grade, but I don't think it's enough and would like to seek additional private sessions. Please let me know if you've have had good experience with any in the Berkeley (or nearby) area and what are the costs for this kind of service.

    Thank you!

    Hi! Usually speech therapy isn’t enough if there is a tongue tie involved. I recommend Dr Virgina Downing in Oakland - she completely changed the path for our kids. Best of luck!

  • Hi!

    I was wondering if anyone had any leads on a speech therapist for my 5 year old. He is going to start getting therapy at school soon, but I would love to get him additional help.

    Ideally it would be someone who could come to the house, but any leads are great. I’ve called quite a few places and they are not accepting new clients.

    We are in Montclair in Oakland.



    I would 100% recommend Adara Blake ( We worked with at Kaiser until she left to do her own thing. She is subtle and brilliant with her tracking of  language. She is patient and encouraging with the kids. I think you would really like her as a bridge to school for your young one. Good luck. Ben  

  • Hi. I am looking for a someone who is both a Myofunctional AND Speech Therapist in Berkeley or Oakland (or surrounding areas) for my 4 year old son. I have found people who are one or the other but haven't had any luck finding someone with both skill sets which is what I need. Thank you for any recommendations you have!

    My daughter just finished Myofunctional therapy with Nina Kazemi, who is also a speech-language pathologist in Walnut Creek. She was great. 

  • I have a 5 year old who needs speech therapy for articulation and are currently at Seven Bridges but is starting Kinder in a few weeks and there are no therapists with openings during the after school time. I've now looked around for other clinics but can't find many places and none with availability. Where are they?! Any therapists or clinics you could recommend that are between Berkeley and East Oakland? We can't go east through the tunnel because of afternoon traffic so Orinda and further is out. We are not with Kaiser but do have PPO insurance so we aren't particularly limited. Thanks for any leads.

    If she has availability, we had a good experience with Nathalie Sanchez, SLP. Even though she's in Albany, we did virtual sessions because of Covid restrictions at the time. I had my reservations about the effectiveness of virtual sessions but she really took the time to connect with my child and was able to make good progress. nspeechtherapy [at] (nspeechtherapy[at]gmail[dot]com) 

    Would they be eligible to receive speech therapy through the school district?

    My son, currently does both seven bridges (one of those valuable after school slots!) and he get 30 mins through OUSD/his IEP.

    We absolutely loved our speech therapist (Carol Lettko Email: Carol [at] that we worked with through CEID in Berkeley. Your child does not have to go to the school.

  • Frequency of speech therapy?

    Sep 18, 2021


    My 2 year old has been referred by his pediatrician at Kaiser to speech therapy for an expressive delay.  His receptive language is fine and he has no other developmental delays.  We are currently scheduled for an appointment every 2 weeks.  I am curious if this is a standard frequency or if I should be pushing for more frequent follow up.

    Thank you!

    it should be at least 1-2 times a week

    Typically, anything do you want to get improvement in is best done at least once a week. My kid is now 20, but he had his speech therapy from the school district weekly. It was both at the Berkeley and Oakland School District since we moved, and both were fantastic. Have you done the IEP assessment with your school district yet? I forget if a child needs to be two or three years old for that. Whatever that is, submit a request for an IEP immediately when your child is eligible, even a little bit before that.

    Until then, try to push for more or supplement with private sessions. They simply may not be able to provide you more frequent sessions, so you need to look for other sources of therapy. Take care and good luck

    We took (via video) my now 2.5 year old grandson to speech therapy January-March of 2021.  He is one of the "CoVid kids" who showed the same delays you are describing.  His therapist worked via with me weekly for 12 weeks, and it really got him speaking.  two weeks is a very long time when a child is only 2:  I'd push for more frequent sessions.  BTW, the therapist said that due to CoVid and not being able to be around anyone but our family, he wasn't exposed to other kids' language and kids rely on that to learn speaking.  so even though you are reading to them and talking and singing--they still need other children as models.  He started with nine words of expressive language and at 12 weeks of therapy was at more than 100.  good luck--you will get there!


    Your situation sounds so similar to mine.  My daughter is currently receiving speech therapy through a private speech therapist paid by our Kaiser insurance. Based on reviews, I selected a speech therapist from a list that was given to me by Kaiser. 

    It was her Kaiser pediatrician that first detected the speech language delay and like your son, there's no other developmental delays.  My daughter is a few years older than your son and we were approved to received in-person therapy for one hour, once per week. In our situation, it was determined at her initial assessment that one hour per week was sufficient and matched what our Kaiser plan covered. Perhaps the 2 weeks schedule might have been decided based on your plan benefits.  If that's not an issue, then I suggest pushing for an appointment every week if you feel that's needed for your son.  Parents know their children best and you know what he needs.  It can't hurt to ask and request.

    Having Kaiser cover the services has been so valuable and I can't say enough how speech therapy has been a blessing for my daughter. It's been a wonderful experience for us and changed her life.  She's more confident, able to express herself better and getting the help she needs to thrive. Best of luck to you.

    My sister is a speech therapist. She says if he isn't talking, she would recommend 2x/week for 45 minutes. This is usually covered, although she practices in New York.

    We also received Speech Therapy through the RCEB, had it 1x a week between KP & RCEB. We had Lakshmi from Kaiser & she was AMAZING. I’d recommend seeing how this frequency works for you & your kiddo before exploring more options. I found the sessions more about educating us parents rather than the kid so we could work consistently snd effectively w our kid.

  • Hi there!

    We recently moved from the DC area to Berkeley and I am looking for a speech therapist for my daughter. She was receiving services through the county in DC, but as we wrapped up our services there in preparation for our move, our coordinator told us that she had improved enough that she wouldn't likely qualify for services in CA but still recommended services to help her continue to improve (I agree with her assessment). I am looking for someone who specializes in articulation and possible oral motor delays specifically for toddlers. I'm not sure if SLPs are meeting in person or not, but ideally, I would prefer in person vs. virtual but it is not a deal breaker if virtual.


    I would start by reaching out to the Regional Center of the East Bay: Fellow DC transplant here as well!

    We've had a really positive experience with Nathalie Sanchez. My child is older and while virtual meetings were a concern for me too, she is great at forming a connection. I don't know her plans for going in-person, but I'm sure she would be happy to chat with you and answer any questions. My child can be very challenging and Nathalie is excellent at finding ways to keep him engaged while working on skills. nspeechtherapy [at] (nspeechtherapy[at]gmail[dot]com) Good luck!

  • Toddler speech therapist

    May 15, 2021

    Hi there, 

    My 20month old son seems to be a bit delayed when it comes to speech. We have Kaiser and they haven’t been helpful at all. Does anyone have an independent speech therapist they recommend? Or any guidance with this? Thanks so much. 

    My daughter had a speech delay around the same age and we took her to Speech, Inc in Oakland. We saw Tanya Loker and she was FANTASTIC! Very experienced, patient, engaging, and made speech therapy fun for my daughter. My daughter is now 3 and won't stop talking ;)  Here's their website: Hope this helps!

    I also have Kaiser and voiced concerns at my girls 18 month visit that she wasn't really saying anything, just making noises. They asked if she could name 5 objects, she couldn't. She knew what I was talking about and what things were called, but would never speak the words. They told me if she wasn't speaking by her 24 mo visit they would be concerned. Sure enough, around 22 months she started talking no stop and became quite the chatterbox, now she is 26 mo and knows sooooo many words. After talking to other moms about this, it can be pretty normal to talk a bit later. Anyway, not sure if that's your situation. Good luck!

    The Scottish Rite center in Oakland had a speech pathology program at one time, as I took my preschool aged son there 15 years ago. They initially told me the wait list was 6 to 12 months long. I put my name down, and then a time slot opened up within a month or two. They were helpful and accepted donations in lieu of payment. 

    I can’t say I have experience with them personally, but one of my close friends is a speech pathologist at SPEECH, Inc. They have 2 locations-one in Oakland and one in SF. She has worked there for years and loves it. They have experience with very young kids. 

    I think I understand your concern about your son's delayed speech but the milestones are general averages and some children, often boys, do take longer to speak.   Does he seem to understand everything?   I don't want to be dismissive of your concerns but I want to encourage you to be patient for awhile longer and let him develop at his own pace.    Has Kaiser not been helpful because they think it's too early for him to do speech therapy?   Their pediatrics are excellent so I'd try to listen to them, as hard as it is.    

    Contact your school district and find out how old he needs to be to get accessed for an IEP. My son had an IEP and got speech services through the school district special ed program before he started kindergarten. Good job getting on this early.

    Our daughter received speech therapy at the Scottish Rite Temple. They have been providing this service for many years. Excellent

    I have the same situation with another insurance. All the therapist for some reason are overbooked
    I recommend you to contact to the Regional Center and work with both
    Also ask your insurance if you can find your own therapist and they pay it

    My child got an evaluation from a Kaiser speech therapist at 18 months because he wasn't talking yet. Because he didn't have any other developmental delays and had excellent receptive language, we concluded he was probably just a late talker. Kaiser offered us a few sessions and the Regional Center was an option too, but I passed. A few months later he started talking and caught up. Your pediatrician should give you a referral, but unless you have other concerns about your son, he probably doesn't need speech therapy at this point.

    You have to be pushy with Kaiser. My kid is in similar situation. This was my process:

    - bring up speech delay at regular pediatrician appointments

    - 15 months we did developmental screening test, ie filled out a form that went to developmental pediatrician 

    - developmental pediatrician results said Speech Delay: “take communication with your toddler class,” you may consider contacting RCEB (regional center), don’t hesitate to call us. Do all 3! You want the person at Kaiser to admit you can get a Kaiser speech therapy eval without taking the class & waiting. Get Kaiser speech eval scheduled. Be firm! The class was shockingly useful. Make sure to have your kid do Kaiser speech evals cranky. 

    - through RCEB get evals - if your kid qualifies for RCEB speech therapy, be vague about it to Kaiser. You want as much out of Kaiser as possible.

  • Hi there,

    Our son is 2y1mo and experiencing a language/communication delay, as he didn't reach the expected 50ish words milestone as expected by our healthcare provider. He is exposed to 3 languages (french, english, and spanish), which probably doesn't help. So we would highly appreciate recommendations and available professionals to provide support, or at least help us setup a proper learning environment. If possible we'll prefer in-person visits with obviously proper safety measures regarding health crisis, because our son is not much receptive to video call, at least a the beginning.

    Thank you


    We were in a similar situation with our son not too long ago--he didn't speak any words at 12+ months, exposed to German, English, and some Greek. After his pediatrician suspected a language delay, they referred us for a full developmental assessment, some of which we did in-person (pre-covid), and some through zoom. We've been doing speech therapy (first through Kaiser, now through the Regional Center of the East Bay) for the last ~10 months and it has really helped our son a lot! We were worried about the transition to video calls, too, so I'm happy to share our experience! In the end our son adjusted much more quickly than expected. A lot of our work with the therapists has been focused on teaching us (the parents) helpful techniques. That way, the kiddo doesn't have to directly interact with the therapist on screen much (though by now he's really excited for her to join us!). Our therapist observes our interactions with him, shows us how to set up situations in which he's more likely to learn and use language, and provides guidance and feedback throughout the sessions. And we then practice the techniques at home throughout the week. 

    If you aren't in touch with the regional center yet, I'd highly recommend that. They've been really helpful in getting our son fully assessed and connecting us with a speech therapist in the area (and all that at no or very low cost!). 

    Feel free to message me directly if you'd like more information or the contact details of our current speech therapist--she's based in Oakland and really wonderful!

    You can get in contact with the Regional Center of the East Bay. They can evaluate your child. Or contact the First Five in your area. They have different programs to help the kids and then they will refer to the Regional Center

  • Our 12yo son has grappled with fluency challenges since he was in 1st grade, and has seen speech therapists to help him cope with his stammer -- until March when everything shut down. We have now relocated "back home" to Berkeley from Brooklyn to be closer to family, which means he'll be starting a new middle school in January. Unfortunately this coincides with his struggling with his speech more than I've seen in years, presumably due to the transition and the "break" from therapy. Does anyone have recommendations for local speech therapists, presumably conducting virtual meetings at the moment, who work well with older kids? We're reaching out in parallel to the ones he worked with in NYC to schedule virtually for a while, but I'd love to start getting him into a new, permanent routine here.



    my 12 yo also is disfluent and deteriorated during lockdown. it’s been challenging to get him help as he graduated out of his iep in late 2019 and there is a huge backlog of evaluations needed. i would suggest focusing on scheduling sessions with his old therapists for now while you get him set up with his new school. good luck, remote school is very tough for kids who can’t easily speak up. 

  • Hi fellow parents,

    My 4-year old was recently evaluated by a speech therapist. He struggles with pronunciation and was recommended to begin therapy. Unfortunately, they apparently have a rather long waitlist. Does anyone have suggestions for other places to look into (even if it means getting my name on multiple waitlists in the meantime)?

    We are located in Oakland and I would love to at least try to use insurance (PPO plan). 

    Any recommendations are appreciated!

    Have you submitted your request to your school district for evaluation? The process can be lengthy but when you get through it, you should be able to start an IEP (individualized education plan), and get some speech services through the school district for free. School district start offering services for kids 3 & up. I know it doesn’t help in the moment but good get get started. 

    My son went through speech therapy with Bettina Larroude in Oakland and it was a wonderful, transformative experience. He still dreams of returning to her office and playing with all her toys! We highly recommend her. 

    Our 4y old kiddo sees Teresa from Sound Advice Speech Therapy and she is amazing, has so much expertise and is just great with kids. She can asses your kiddo and come to your house or school. Below the link of her website: is in Oakland and provides therapy at home and in the school. Able to provide a superbill to submit to insurance for reimbursement for services. 

  • My 4year old currently has speech therapy through the school district 2x/week for 30mins. Of course, when summer rolls around the sessions will be on hold since the school year would be over. I don’t want to lose the progress we’ve been making with such a long break. Does anyone have recommendations where I can get speech therapy sessions to fill in the gap? What would those sessions cost? Before starting with the school district we were getting speech through our insurance but only every other week, I’m looking for sessions 1-2 times a week, even 3 depending on cost. Thanks!

    Most of the big school districts offer speech and other special education services over the summer (with a few weeks off, but not 10). It may not be with your regular therapist or at your regular site,  but it will be free. My son was offered speech summer placement in the WCCUSD,  and the year our schedule allowed him to do a couple sessions was the year he backslid least. Talk to your coordinator about lining it up now.

  • Hi, I am looking for recommendations for highly skilled and experienced SLPs to do an IEE (independent educational evaluation) for my 7-year-old child with complex communication needs. This person should be independent from any school district but with experience in and knowledge of the workings of IEPs, as well as apraxia, language disorders etc. We're in Berkeley and have had a whale of a time finding someone who is qualified and available to do it. Anyone have recent experience? Advice would be appreciated for SLPs who have been helpful and those who have not. Thank you!

    Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California in SF did an excellent IEE for a client of mine. Just confirm they will come to the meeting to review the report. Our SLP didn't (we knew this in advance but the parent wanted her anyway) and I wish she had.

  • Anyone have any experience with the following Speech Therapy vendors?  I would love to hear any input you may have.  Or if you can recommend someone you loved, that would be great too!

    Robin Jaye (Walnut Creek)

    Small Talk Speech Therapy (Orinda)

    Child's Play (Lafayette)

    Jewett & Associates (Concord)

    Kelsey Speech Therapy

    Progressus Therapy

    About 12 years ago I took my son to the Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland which offered free speech therapy/assessment. The original wait time was long, but then an appointment opened up very soon. It may be worth looking into their services.

  • My older teen son is kind of difficult to listen to when he speaks. So many "ums," pauses, repeating phrases, starting over, etc. Sometimes I ask him to stop, take a couple of minutes to think about what he wants to say, and come back. It's painful. I don't know how much feedback he gets at school but he'd like to get some support on how to present himself better. I think that planning out his message and having some idea of how to structure a message would be a big help. Although we could record/video him, I think even if he agreed to it, it'd be easier to take from someone else. And an expert would also have better ideas, I bet.

    He doesn't like on-line resources or classes, even skype tutoring. It'd be great to find something over the summer. Recommendations?

    Thank you, BPN community!

    I would recommend Tanya Loker at Speech Inc in Oakland. My son has similar issues - disfluency in speech, and she made a big difference. Part of his issue was lack of awareness of his disfluencies and she worked a lot on this part, which was key to his improvement. She had a lot of good ideas and works with teens. She would likely want to do a speech assessment first, which is common when you start speech classes.

    Have you ever had him evaluated by a speech therapist to see if he has a language processing issue? 

  • Hello,

    I have been referred out from Kaiser for a speech pathologist for my 4 year old with mixed receptive-expressive disorder and ASD. Do any of you have any experience with the following therapy groups?

    Bay Area Speech Group

    Speech 4 kiddos

    Nathalie Sanchez

    Speak Right Now

    Progressus Therapy

    Thanks for sharing any experiences/opinions. 


    We had a great experience with Nathalie Sanchez. My son saw her for about a year and a half for a stammer. She was warm, personable and fun for him to work with. He felt comfortable with her and responded very well to the treatment. 

    Highly recommend Nathalie!

  • We are looking for a Speech Pathology who can provide services for our 3 years old. Ideally we are looking for an specialist who can take our health insurance United Health Care. Any information will be appreciated .

    Kalmanovitz Child Development Center in SF is amazing. I'm pretty sure they will accept your insurance. Get on the waiting list. It is worth it!

    You might try Oakland’s Childrens Hospital.  Their outpatient OT Department is excellent.  We see an Infant OT for feeding issues, her name is Mary Ann. If you’re still looking let me know and I can ask her for recommendations at my next appointment.  She’s awesome!  We’ve also seen Mary at John Muir Pleasant Hill’s OT Department.  She’s a speech therapist who also specializes in suck/swallow issues and we also really liked her. 

  • Hi All,

    i'm looking for a reliable speech therapist for my 2 yr old. Kindly recommend.

    thanks much!!


    Check with your local public school district for early intervention services.

    Check with your local school district to see if your child qualifies for speech therapy (the required age may be three years old) and about the evaluation process.  In addition to speech therapy through his school district, my grandson saw Amy Faltz (Faltz Associates on Piedmont Ave., Oakland) when he was in upper elementary/middle school grades.


    We’ve been working with Kate Carlin at Speech Pathology Group in Berkeley for a few months now, and she is creative, dependable and very communicative.  She’s developed good rapport with our 5-year-old son already, and that isn’t always easy.  In general, look for a certified speech therapist who conducts a proper assessment, talks about setting goals once she or he gets to know your kiddo, and for that age group - a 2-year-old - you want someone who is very engaging, the therapy should be very play-based and geared toward your child’s interests, they should explain what they are targeting and why, show you how to do what they are doing,  and they should focus on developing imitation skills as a foundation for language development.  And they should give you homework to generalize the skills to home.  Good luck!

  • Looking for a recommendation for a great speech therapist to help our 9 year old with speech delays she has as a consequence of many years of intractable absence seizures.  She is having much less of them as of recent (thank God), so we are now looking for help to get her caught up, in the language department. I am hoping to find a speech therapist that may work in groups with kids, to teach them better conversation skills, how to digest info, how to properly express thoughts and ideas.  Hoping someone out there has someone great for my girl!  TIA!

    School? The small group work that you describe is exactly what my 9 year old son is getting for speech services in the WCCUSD. We LOVE his SLP. Truly an amazing vocation with wonderful professionals in it. Anyway, if you request the assessment now through school you can get queued up for service in the fall. You can also go through Kaiser over the summer.

  • I'm looking for someone to do a speech assessment for a child with an Specific Learning Disability - Language Disorder.

    Please let me know if you have any recommendations, why you liked them, and provide contact information. 

    Well, the school district (WCCUSD) did my son's. One year he didn't meet their threshold for services but the next year he did. You can call your district's special education office and ask about how they do it.

  • Hi BPN, 

    We have 20 month old twins in need of local therapies. We need an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. If you have any recommendations, we'd really appreciate it. 

    Specifically for sensory processing disorder and speech/cognitive delay.

    Also, if you have any personal stories of having kids with these needs, I'd love to talk! Feel free to reach out directly. 


    Hi Shannon,

    I have been looking for an OT for my son (3yo, he also has spd) and my research led me to Child's Play in Lafayette. They seem very knowledgeable re: spd, super nice people and they are reasonably priced. I hope this helps! 

    Check with your local school district to see what speech services may be available and at what age.  I think my grandsons were evaluated when they were 3 years old and received services then and these continued when they entered public school.

    Has anyone mentioned the Regional Center of the East Bay? If your twins qualify, you can get free in-home services funded by the State of California. I believe the program is called Early Start. Here is the Regional Center's website:

  • I am seeking a student currently enrolled in an SLP program who would like some hands on experience over the summer with my child.  We are unable to travel to the SLP clinics around the bay area but I hope to find someone willing to come to the East Bay for extra experience.  Please let me know if you would like to speak more.

    As a licensed and ASHA certified SLP with 20+ years of experience, I have to tell you that what you are asking is essentially illegal. SLP students are not allowed to work in the field unsupervised. They have to graduate and complete a Clinical Fellowship Year. If you are looking for a babysitter with some extra skills, that's fine, however it is illegal and unethical to ask a SLP student to engage in practice prior to certification. If your child requires SLP services, they are provided for free as part of Early Intervention Services, which can be accessed through your county health dept. and also through private practices.  As a mom, I also advise against allowing uncertified therapists to work with kids.

    P.S. Early Intervention services usually take place in the home, no travel required.

    I went to graduate school for speech pathology. If you are looking for a student to provide unsupervised therapy, please reconsider. That is against their code of ethics and could result in the student being disciplined by their program (up to expulsion) and/or prevent their ability to obtain professional certification. I believe you could, however, hire a student as a nanny and she can help implement any "homework"  your child's therapist gives, in the same manner and with the same expectations as you or any of your child's caregivers.

  • Thanks to everyone who responded to my post a few months ago and encouraged me to get my 2 year old son evaluated for a speech delay. I followed up with the Regional Center, and he indeed has a mild speech delay. Since our insurance covers speech therapy, I was told RCEB won't provide services for free, and the evaluator suggested I seek in-network therapists from my insurance. I did...and there were none in the East Bay. I will ask RCEB for referrals, but I'd also like to tap BPN knowledge. Anywhere from Richmond/El Cerrito to South Berkeley would work for us.

    Many thanks again!

    We used Speech Inc. on Grand Ave. in Oakland.  All of their therapist are great.  

  • Speech Therapist in East Bay

    Sep 15, 2016

    Greetings Parents,

    Can anyone give me a recommendation for a speech therapist or therapy program in the El Sobrante/Pinole/El Cerrito area? We were referred to the George Miller Center to the bright beginnings program but I am not sure how we would swing the hours so am looking for an alternative for my 21 month old son who has speech delay.

    Thank you.

    Once your child turns 3, you have many more options available through the school district. Until then, it's much farther for you, but I recommend Alta Bates Herrick campus in Berkeley.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Speech therapist for stuttering?

Mar 2012

My six year old son has a stutter. I'm looking for a really good speech therapist who specializes in stuttering. Any recommendations? He has speech therapy at his school, but I don't feel the therapist is dealing with the issue adaquently. Thanks for any help. anon

All the speech therapists at Word Works are wonderful. Gage Herman in particular is a shining star and she can also help you get the most out of the speech therapist you're working with through the school district. Lisa

Your prayers have been answered - see link A Teen's Painful Stuttering Ends - ABC News - Similarto A Teen's Painful Stuttering Ends - ABC News A Teen's Painful Stuttering Ends. Nov. 14. Share. Email. Comments. Print. Single Page. Font Sizes. The story Dr. Joe Kalinowski shared with ABCNEWS' Good Morning America..

I lived next door to Tony Kalinowski growing up in the Boston area and know first hand of his struggles with stuttering. His struggle prompted him to become a successful doctor and inventing a device that helps 90% of stutters imediately after inserting the device. I hope your son is one of the 90% that have experienced this miracle. Good luck ej

Alternatives to school district's 30 min/week?

Nov 2011

Hi, my son has special needs, and this semester he started receiving speech therapy from the school district. He is only getting 30 minutes a week. When we go for his sessions, it feels like as soon as we get there its time to leave. I understand the financial strain that the school district is under, but I feel that 30 minutes a week is just not enough. Does anyone know of any other alternatives for speech therapy. Thank You anon

I have posted here several times that I think that Faltz Associates on Piedmont (Oakland) has been an important support for my grandson who has serious speech processing problems. He goes once a week and his therapist helps him work on strategies for learning. She also attends his IEP meetings and helps his parent advocate for him because it is difficult to get adequate support through the public schools. anonymous

Hi- Anon- Do you have medical coverage? If so, you may be able to use your health insurance to supplement your child's current speech services. Please feel free to email me for more information. I work for a local nonprofit (Easter Seals Bay Area) and we take many private insurances and work with many families who are also receiving therapies through their school district. You should look into your policy.

Also, I saw your question about getting a diagnosis for your child... There are two options of places you can contact: Regional Center of the East Bay ( or a local developmental pediatrician. There are several in the area. Feel free to email me if you have other questions. Take care, Annie

Fun and effective speech therapist for 1st grader?

Nov 2011

We're looking for a fun and effective speech therapist for our daughter, age 6, entering 1st grade. Our daughter needs to work on word recall and expression, and articulation issues. We've had a few recommendations and are wondering if anyone knows any of these therapists. We're open to other ideas as well. We'd really appreciate any thoughts --

My grandson, who is 13, has been tutored by Amy Faltz for the last two years. Her identification of his speech processing issues and intervention has raised his academic level significantly. The other associates in the Piedmont office seem to see the younger children--I'm not sure who Hilda is, but the two associates whom I see when I wait for my grandson seem to have very good rapport with the children. The very young children seem happy and comfortable while waiting, entering the tutors office or leaving. Anonymous

Experience with speech therapist Gerry Fabella?

August 2011

Does anyone have any experience with Gerry Fabella as a ST for their child? anon

I am hugely grateful for Gerry Fabella's work with my child. She was engaging and attentive to my kid, who made great progress with her, and Also a resource to me about child development overall. I highly recommend her. Mom of a talker

Gerry Fabella is awesome! She worked with my apraxic toddler for the better part of a year and helped him go from making monosyllabic utterances to speaking real words. It was a long process, and my child also has the benefit of working with another very good therapist at Communication Works in Oakland. Still, when Gerry became part of my child's team, I believe that her firm approach was the catalist for us to begin experiencing break through after break through. She is throughly knowledgeable and capable of providing excellent speech therapy. In my opinion, your child would be very lucky to work with Gerry. I only have praises for her! I am happy to talk with you about my experiences further if you are interested. Just ask the moderator for my email address. Happy mom of a talker

Speech therapy for 20-year-old?

July 2011

Our now 20-year old daughter has always had problems speaking clearly. Both my wife and I can only understand her maybe 50% of the time. Part of this is just because she speaks quickly but she also has severe articulation problems. We were hoping that when she went away to college that this would get better, but it hasn't. We think she's now becoming aware of how serious this is and how it will effect her future. We're looking for recommendations for a speech therapist who specializes in teenagers and older, and who has dealt with problems like this before. Concerned

While the conventional advice is for children to get speech therapy as soon as possible, I have seen quite a number of students, high school age and older, who were finally ready to address their speech issues and to put in the practice it takes to change longstanding habits. After an assessment to determine just what it is that's getting in her way, this would be the key to your daughter developing clearer speech. Please feel free to email me if you are interested in her working locally or in how to find resources near her college. Carol

Lamorinda Speech Therapist for 5-year-old

April 2011

I have a five-year old son who has been in speech therapy since age two. He will be starting kindergarten in the fall. His current therapy is provided through the school district, but they do not offer the option of continuing through the summer. I hate to lose the progress that we've made throughout the year and would love it if he could progress out of needing therapy before school starts. I am looking for a private speech therapist to carry on his therapy through the summer break. Can anyone recommend a speech therapist in the Lamorinda area? Speechless for the Summer

My grandson lives in the Lamorinda area but his speech therapist is on Piedmont in Oakland. Check Amy Faltz Associates Inc's site: or call 510-654-3381. Anonymous

I would recommend the Speech Pathology Group in Walnut Creek. Pamela Bloch there is excellent. anon

Private pay or Cameron School for 3 y.o. ?

Feb 2011

My son just turned 3. He was in Early Intervention through LIFT program at Cameron school due to a mild expressive speech delay. He also had mild hearing loss due to fluid in his ears. His adenoids were removed and ear tubes put in 11/10. He is cogitively ''normal'' and has caught up in terms of expressive language. He is at or above age level for everything but articulation, for which he is moderatly delayed. He was made eligible for group speech therapy twice a week through WCCUSD/Cameron School in El Cerrito. However, I have concerns about going through WCCUSD for speech therapy, as I was told that they are over-loaded and may not necessarily have an appropriate group for him right away. Also, while they try to make a good match, he may not necessarily be grouped with children who are at his level developmentally or behaviorally. Services are not available durning the school breaks. I am therefore concerned about the quality of the therapy he will be getting.

Is group speech therapy as good as 1:1 therapy for speech articulation problems in a 3 y.o.? Has anyone had experience with WCCUSD/Cameron school group speech therapy for pre-schoolers? Are we better off paying for therapy privately? What does individual speech therapy cost for something like an articulation delay? If we don't pay now will we pay later?

Our child received speech therapy through Cameron School from age 3-5 and it was excellent. For a few months prior to starting at Cameron he had received private speech therapy, and we were pleased to learn that the therapist he had at Cameron was contracted through the same clinic he had previously attended. It is true that the therapy is in small groups (I think we had a group of 3 one year and a group of 4 another year) as opposed to one-on-one, but an added benefit is that if your child still needs services in kindergarten, they prepare a complete transition plan with you and it helps immensely once your child enters elementary school. My suggestion would be to try it, and if you feel that you need to supplement with private therapy, you can always do it then. Cameron School is a real gem in the district! former Cameron parent

My son attended Cameron School for the 2009-2010 school year. He was 3 and also being treated for articulation issues. I would recomend that you give the school a try-- it did wonders for my son. At the end of the year, he had imporoved so much that he was no longer eligible for services. He was placed in a group for 3-4 other kids, and I think that they were all a bit more delayed than he was, but that didn't seem to slow down his progress at all (and as I'm sure you know, in many preschool settings, kids of different ages and abilities are deliberately grouped together).

It was distressing that there were so many days that the school was not open, but two times a week is a pretty significant amount of time when the school is in session.

I wil also tell you that when he ''graduated,'' our Cameron teacher suggested that he get private therapy to give him that last nudge to complete mastery. We saw Frances Grahamjones in Albany (510-524-0350), who I've recommended elswhere on BPN. She was wonderful; her rate was $100/hr.

If you want more info, feel free to ask the moderator for my contact info-- good luck! Susan

Our experience with Cameron School & speech for our 3 year old was mediocre. This was 8 years ago, but with budget cuts in schools . . . I am not sure what insurance will pay for now, but we got a referral from our primary physician and our HMO paid for speech therapy 1:1 sessions and the improvement for our child was really amazing. Unfortunately this was through Children's Hospital, but this department has been eliminated through budget cuts. I imagine your child's primary physician will know who to refer to for your insurance. I know that at times you have to push & speak up to get what you want, but it is worth it as our son does not have any problems with speech now. Children who wait until they are older have a much harder time in correcting speech problems, so I am so glad you are on top of it now. If you have to pay private, it is worth it, but try for a referral first. Parent who has been there

Speech Therapy in El Cerrito, Richmond, Albany

Jan 2011

My three year old son has been evaluated as having an expressive language delay. He is eligible to attend Cameron School, but the times available are during his nap time. If you are a parent of a toddler who has had a positive experience with a speech therapist in the El Cerrito, Richmond, Albany area please respond and include contact details. Getting Beyond Delay

My son saw a wonderful speech therapist, Frances Grahamjones. He had problems with his articulation and attended Cameron School from 2009-2010. He was then assessed as being ineligble for further services but his teacher privately told me that he would benefit from further therapy. I found Frances through BPN and he saw her for about 8 months-- until just after Christmas 2010, when she told us that he is now right where he should be in terms of his speech.

I can't say enough good things about Frances-- she is patient, thoughtful, and determined. She was also very flexible with our schedule. I feel that she tailors her approach to the interests and personality of each child she sees. She was also very helpful in giving us things to work on at home, which I think contributed to my son's progress.

Frances is on Solano Ave just off of San Pablo in Albany; her phone number is 510-524-0350. Ask the moderator for my info if you have any further questions.

PS: You might also try being persistent with Cameron School re schedule. We had only a few days/times that would work for us and they were able to accommodate us after some back- and-forth. I did think it was helpful for my son to be in the group/class setting. Susan

2010 - 2009 Reviews

Speech Therapist for 18 Month Old

Dec 2010

I am looking for a speech therapist for my 18 month old that is covered by United Healthcare. Ideally I'd like someone who could do home visits. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Sarah

I highly recommend Shannon Kong of Spencer and Kong. She is excellent. She has been working with my daughter for a few months. Originally we were using a different therapist who was very good, but for some reason my daughter would not open up with her and was never comfortable. We switched because of this and had the good fortune to meet Shannon. My daughter looks forward to seeing her and playing games with her. She has really come a long way with Shannon. She can be reached at: ofc 415-469-4988, cell 925-708- 9020 and shannon [at] Best of luck to you. Roger

Speech therapist for 3-year-old

Aug 2010

Hello everyone. My wife and I are proud parents of 3 year old twins. Our little boy has been diagnosed with ''A Language Disorder with Social Pragmatic Component''. It has been made abundantly clear that he needs speech therapy training as soon as possible. We've just been told that our insurance will not cover this treatment however. So we are anxious to find an exceptional speech therapist with expertise in this area that provides these kinds of services at a reasonable cost. We are in the Rockridge section of Oakland. Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions! A Concerned Pop

I would try the professionals at Communication Works in Oakland. I am in an allied field and have been very impressed with their knowledge base and their committment to helping kids develop social thinking. They offer workshops periodically and consult with some east bay schools. Elizabeth Sautter is one of the directors of the group practice. An east bay educational therapist

You probably already know this, but your school district has an early intervention program that will diagnose and help your child. The reason I mention this is because I had no idea this resource existed in CA. My first child had speech problems and I didn't know the help was free and located in my own community. My second child also has some speech issues, and I got in touch with my school district and was referred to The Cameron School in WCCUSD. I was and am delighted by the teachers and the class. My child improved a lot. Good Luck

Speech therapy at BUSD

April 2010

My 3.5 year old recently had a speech therapy evaluation and it was recommended that he receive therapy. He has also had vision/hearing exams. I am looking into our options for therapy would like to hear if anyone has experience (good/bad) with the services provided through BUSD. I'm also interested in information on other facility's that could provide speech therapy. A mom who wants to understand

I would strongly advise against BUSD's early childhood services. My child was recently assessed through BUSD and I have opted to figure out how to pay for services myself rather than deal with the condescending and developmentally inappropriate case manager and specialist with whom I met in BUSD. I was shocked by the condescension and lack of professionalism I encountered and, while I am sure that there are great individual speech therapists in the district, I was again so surprised by how poorly my child and I were treated that I am considering moving to another school district if my child attends public school. I know that I could legally file a complaint and just don't have the energy. My advice: don't do it. Paying out of pocket to avoid BUSD

If you want to supplement by going the private route, I would highly recommend The Speech Pathology Group in Berkeley. I've been extremely happy with my son's experience there and am watching him make great improvements. There website is Mary

Good Speech Therapist who takes Medi-Cal

Feb 2010

I'm looking for a speech therapist to help my about-to-turn-three-year-old continue developing articulation, and I need someone who takes Medi-Cal. We have had a GREAT speech therapist through East Bay Regional Center, but my kid will age into the school district this spring at birthday #3. BUSD does not offer speech therapy in the summer, and I'd love to continue. Any ideas? Children's Hospital has cut its formerly excellent speech therapy program. worried mama

Did RCEB provide year round services? Can you get documentation from them that your child needs service throughout the summer? If so, the district is legally required to offer a program that fits your child's ''unique needs,'' which would require them to pay for it. It wouldn't be *easy*, but IEPs are supposed to be data-driven and if you have the data (i.e., evidence of clinical need), it's *possible*. It's good you're asking now. Dana

Speech therapist thru BUSD for private school kid?

Jan 2010

My six year old is in need of speech therapy. She was evaluated in the first percentile thru Herrick, and for the last two months I've been getting the run-around from the BUSD regarding any services that she might be entitled to. We are Berkeley residents but attending a private school. Are we eligible for services, and if so, how do I negotiate the BUSD to get them. Thanks for any help.

If you can afford private school, you can afford a speech therapist if your child really needs one. The amount of money it would cost BUSD to fund a speech therapist for your child off-site is ridiculous. That money comes straight out of the budget for kids who can't afford private school. When our schools are struggling under slashed budgets with astronomical special ed costs, you should be ashamed of yourself for even considering it. Try supporting public education instead. Shocked Taxpayer

I am not sure about speech therapy but I wanted to respond to shocked taxpayer: Dear Shocked Taxpayer, the person who posted is also a taxpayer who lives in Berkeley. They are paying the same taxes as you, possibly more, yet they are not receiving any benefit from the education system like you are, because their child doesn't go to public school. Why shouldn't they use the special education services offered by the school district that they pay for?

I didn't respond at first, because my information about speech and language services through the BUSD is a few years old. Having seen the one judgmental non-answer you received, I'll try to help. Several years ago, public school districts were responsible for serving children in private schools. Since then the law has changed, and I've heard inconsistent opinions about the current situation. You should be able to get a definitive answer from the special education advocates at DREDF: Even if it's possible to get speech therapy through the public schools, it could take a long time to arrange. Speech and language services are accessed through the special education process, and although laws or regulations dictate how quickly this is supposed to proceed, in our personal experience the process tended to drag on for many months. Things seemed to happen more quickly when a teacher or administrator initiated the process based on their experience with the student, rather than when a parent initiated it on the basis of a outside (non-district) evaluation. When we were dealing with the BUSD, I heard there weren't always enough speech and language therapists and that some students had to wait for promised services, although we never had to. Sorry I don't have more recent information, but DREDF could probably offer advice here, too. Depending on what type of support your child needs, there may be waiting lists to see someone privately, but if it were my child I'd start looking for private speech therapy. good luck

Sliding scale or university clinics for speech therapy?

Jan 2010

I am wondering if anyone knows of any sliding scale or university clinics where I might get more speech therapy for my daughter. She started speech therapy last year in April (through regional center) and had it once a week up until this December. It was cut due to the fact that she has speech therapy through the George Miller Center (which she and I LOVE!), but it's broken into two 1/2 hour sessions, and it's with one or two other children. She's 2 yrs 7 months, and her only words are ''apple'' and ''up'', and these are recent developments. She was diagnosed by regional center as being autistic, but I think that it is a misdiagnosis, as does our pediatrician, our O.T., her teachers, our former speech therapist and friends that have kids on the spectrum. Whether she is in fact autistic doesn't matter to me in terms of acceptance- I accept who she is, and wouldn't change a thing about her! I just want her specific needs to be addressed, and I'm running into dead ends everywhere I look. I do think that she has apraxia, as well as sensory integration disorder. I know that apraxia requires intensive, one on one speech therapy, but Alta Bates has a waiting list until July, and I don't feel that this can wait that long. We can't afford private sessions. Any advice on where to find more speech therapy would be greatly appreciated! proud mama of my special needs child

You can try Cal State East Bay or San Francisco State for reduced fee therapy in their graduate school programs. I don't know what their waiting lists are like, but since their semesters must already be underway, and since it sounds like you want something now to cover you until the school district kicks in at age three, then I would look into that option quickly. Otherwise, have you checked yet if your insurance will cover you? With the diagnosis of autism your child has been given it might be easier to get coverage, though that can take some time to determine. I know you said you can't afford the private route, but I did want to let you know that private therapy doesn't necessarily have to mean paying $100+ per session: I'm a speech therapist at The Speech Pathology Group Clinic in Walnut Creek and Berkeley, and we have started offering 30 minute sessions for $65 for children under age three. This was in direct response to recent Regional Center budget cuts which have resulted in many children no longer qualifying for services, and families suddenly having to face paying out of pocket until the school district can take over. Good luck to you and your daughter- Pamela

2008 - 2007 Reviews

Speech therapist for 4-year-old

Oct 2009

Looking for a good speech therapist for my almost 4-year old. This person must be willing to come to her preschool, located in Dublin. anon

We used Kim Scott in San Francisco. She worked with my daughter in pre-school as well as elementary school. My daughter made lots of progress with her. We went through four different therapist who did not make very much progress. Even now, the school speech therapist doesn't do as well with my daughter as Kim so that we are considering going to back to her on our own. She came to my child's school to work with her and that was in El Cerrito. Kim has offices in the Marina, her number is (415) 713-9011. Good Luck Juliet

My son saw Louise Fender for two years. She is azmazing, and I can't recommend her highly enough. At the time, Louise was part of the Berkeley School District's special education team. My son't preschool teacher told us that he will need to be in special ed for good. He's in 3rd grade now, and is one of the top students in his class - and language/writing is his strength.

We all thank Louise for that. Not only she helped him with his speech, but at the same time prepared him for kindergarten. She also taught us, parents, to continuously develop his language skills. It's one thing to drop your kid off to a therapy session and then go on with your usual routine. I sat through many sesions with my son and Louise, and learned some invaluable lessons from her, just by watching her work. I believe that a therapy lesson doesn't end with the child leaving the office. It's up to a parent to continue on with it by weaving the lessons learned into the daily routine. Regards, mother of a non-stop talker:)

Lisping 7-year-old

June 2009

My 7-year-old first-grader has had a lisp ever since he could speak; otherwise he has no other speech issues. In kindergarten last year, we asked the school speech therapist about the lisp, and she suggested waiting until first grade to see if it would correct itself (apparently the head and jaw are still changing in kids of this age). We waited, but the lisp is still there, seemingly unchanged. He still has all but two of his baby teeth, so I imagine there is still more jaw-change to come. I imagine the speech therapist could validly make the same argument as last year. However, I'm wondering if we should be pursuing a speech therapist outside of the school at this point. I personally find the lisp really endearing and will be sad to see it go, but I am reluctant to keep waiting indefinitely because it seems likely that it will be even harder to correct the older he gets. Any BTDT experience with this? Should we be seeking another opinion, or just keep waiting it out? Anon

Our daughter had a lisp when she was young too, and it seemed endearing to me, however I imagined her as a 35 year old woman with a lisp and knew we needed to take care of it. I asked the speech therapist at our school to see her and I think they met 2 or 3 times over a couple of weeks. It was corrected so quickly and she was about your child's age. lark

I love that you love the lisp! Very cute! I was raised in the 70's with a ''why be normal?'' attitude but my poor sibling suffered terribly with his lisp by the 4th grade. Kids are cruel when they get into their tweens, so I would encourage you to positively pursue therapy when appropriate. BTW, my sibling's lisp--gone within months upon starting therapy. Sibling of lisper

As a former speech therapist, I would like to encourage you not to delay getting help in correcting your child's lisp. Even though it seems ''cute'' to you now, a lisp is conspicuous and unattractive in the speech of an older child or adult. The longer you delay, the harder it will be to correct. The length of time needed to correct it is hard to predict and will be a function of the nature and severity of the lisp, your child's responsiveness to therapy, and your support of the therapist's efforts (including having a positive and cooperative attitude). I hope you can abandon the idea that the lisp is ''cute.'' Sometimes a child who persists with immature articulation has a parent or grandma who thinks it is ''cute,'' which makes a therapist's job much harder.

The good news is that it is the beginning of the summer and you have an opportunity to accelerate progress by concentrating more attention on it than might be possible during the school year. Jane

Speech therapist for 3-y-o who's not extremely expensive?

May 2009

Can anyone recommend a good speech therapist that is also not extremely expensive in Walnut Creek/San Ramon area? Looking to supplement the school district therapy. Most of the places I called were charging 100-120/hr, and no one can afford that. They also want to do their own evaluations, which run $200-$300. There has to be something less expensive! A little frustrated

If you don't mind going to Cal State Hayward, you could check out their clinics: I believe they are free, but you would work with a different student clinician (under supervision, of course) each quarter. Good luck! anon

I would recommend The Speech Pathology Group. They have offices in Walnut Creek and Berkeley. Pamela Bloch is great and works in both offices. I also know that they will waive the eval. if you have had one (by the school, I am guessing) within the last year. You can reach them at 925-945-1474. Mary

Stuttering Help needed for 3-year-old

May 2009

My almost 3 year old son has been stuttering for more than 6 months. We talked to a speech pathologist who gave us some suggestions for helping him -- slowing down our speech, repeating back what he said, etc. -- which has helped some, but he's still doing it. Initially the speech pathologist suggested waiting to talk to someone but now its been long enough that he says we might want to find a pathologist who specializes in stuttering. Has anyone gone to a speech pathologist they liked? Worried for my son

Kris Baines is a speech therapist who has made stuttering therapy her specialty for years. You'll find her very experienced and knowledgable. I'm sure she's in the yellow pages/you can find her online. Also, I know that Brittany Struve, with the Speech Pathology Group (Berkeley and Walnut Creek offices) has a lot of experience doing fluency therapy and has a fun and gentle has her bio. Good luck! Anonymous

Speech therapist for 4-year-old

May 2009

Our 4 yr old son stutters or elongates the first syllable of his words, especially when he is feeling anxious or in a new situation. It can get pretty frustrating for him and other kids are starting to tease him. His vocabulary is good and he forms complex sentences; it just takes a long time to get them out. We were evaluated by the OUSD and did get an IEP for speech but it will not start until this fall. In the meantime, we are paying out of pocket for someone but it does not seem like a good fit. Her technique seems very repetitive and not creative or exciting for him (he usually is not interesting in going). Any recommendations for a good speech therapist who is not super expensive and is very engaging for this particular speech problem? Thank you.

I have been really happy with Pamela Bloch at the Speech Pathology Group. My daughter sees her in the Berkeley office but they also have an office in Walnut Creek. Pamela is experienced and has been so effective. She is extremely engaging with kids as well. I don't think you could go wrong with her. Their number is 925-945-1474. anon

My son has been going to Faltz Associates on Piedmont Avenue for language therapy for almost two years and we have been very happy. In addition to language therapy they do speech therapy. pleased parent

Childhood Apraxia Specialist in Bay Area

April 2009

Our 3-year old son has been diagnosed with Apraxia, and I am interested in finding a specialist in the Bay Area with extensive experience in evaluating and/or working with apraxic children. He is not on the autism spectrum, and it appears at this point to be an expressive speech issue only. Does anyone have a recommendation? Any advice/leads would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Concerned Mom

My 3-year-old has extremely severe apraxia and we worked with two speech therapists before we found somebody who specializes in it--Gage Herman at WordWorks in Oakland. Her decades of experience have made a huge difference. You don't say where you're located but if it's Marin, I can connect you with somebody there as well. If your child's delay is significant enough, your school district is required by law to provide you with services which do not come cheap, particularly because best practices for the treatment of apraxia are 3 to 5 one-on- one sessions a week. If you're looking for a preschool where your child will feel supported, check out Sunshine Preschool in Berkeley. They offer a bilingual program in sign language and spoken English and I believe one of the speech therapists they have on staff is also an expert in apraxia. The Signing Time DVDs have also been wonderful for our son. Good luck! Lisa

Speech therapist for 6 year-old

April 2009

Our 6yo has been diagnosed with articulation problems. He is receiving speech therapy through OUSD, although I'm not sure how effective it is. We are doing the drills daily which I understand is key to progress. The problem is that I'm not so sure we're so effective either at helping him learn the physiologically correct way of articulating. And the speech therapist hasn't been able to give us any tricks to help with the drills. The teacher even suggested that we seek treatment privately.

Does anyone have any recommendations? We did do an eval with Alta Bates (Meredith Trowbridte) a while ago although I'm not sure she connected w/my son and he's not so eager to go back.

I've also heard about Faltz and Assoc. on Piedmont Avenue. Has anyone had any good/bad experiences with them? anon

I highly recommend Gerry Fabella (510)684-7659. She has worked for years with children, both privately and with many agencies including Children's Hospital, RCEB, and school districts. All of her therapy is done in your home...good luck! anonymous

Cameron School in El Cerrito is a gem! 7140 Gladys Ave. El Cerrito, CA 94530 510-233-1955

My son--now 6 years old--was referred to Cameron when he was in preschool for ''bumpy'' speech. They are truly an amazing school with tremendous resources, and well known throughout Contra Costa County as a leader in childrens' speech issues. Love, love Cameron School

Speech therapy for 3 year old - weekends?

Jan 2009

I am looking for a speech therapist for my 3 year old son who has has a speech delay. Unfortunately since I work 9 to 5 M thru F, my schedule is limited and I'm looking for SLP that might be able to do visits to his school, our home or has office open on weekends. We live in El Cerrito and his school is in Kensington, we would appreciate any recommendations. We have looked into the school district and prefer to go privately. Thanks! anon

Geri Fabella, gerfab [at], is a great speech pathologist. She has worked with many children with various speech issues in our infant toddler center and preschool. She comes to the school for therapy sessions and meets with the parents periodically. I recommend Geri highly. Liisa

Speech therapy for 2 year old

Jan 2009

My two year old son is speech delayed. We have had him tested with The Regional Center and he qualifies for speech therapy paid by them but they have no therapist available to see us during a time that works. I was going to Alta Bates, but I am very unsatisfied with the quality of care there and am looking for an alternative. Does anyone know of another speech therapist group for very young children. One of the things that was bad about ALta Bates was the room were the therapy was done was tiny, and the toys were old and broken. Kids are smart, they don't want to sit in a tiny room and play with a car that has three wheels. I am looking for a happy fun environment for him to learn in. help please

Speech Inc has an office in Oakland and they are very good. My 2 yo son recently began ST in their SF office. I know they work with the Regional Center because we went through them to get him qualified. Good Luck! Jill

First of all, kuddos to you as a parent, for pursuing services for your child at such a young age. Many families have not been informed or do not realize the importance that early intervention services can have on their child and thus, tend not to pursue them until later in the developmental process. We, at Communication Works (CW), which is a speech pathology private practice in the Oakland Hills, have a long history of working with very young children to provide quality services. Not only do we identify and work with each child's individual strengths to facilitate growth in the areas in which a child exhibit challenges, but we also work with parents/family members to provide a natural environment in which generalization of skills can occur. We teach the best ways to incorporate communication strategies into a child's daily routine. We utilize therapy materials that are not only in excellent condition, but are current, many of which have been highly rated as top picks in parent magazines. CW is an exclusive provider of speech and language services for various public and private center-based early intervention programs in the East Bay and surrounding areas, so we are more than familiar with types of materials and intervention methods that should be used with a young population. Additionally, we are affiliated with training programs which bring in cutting-edge methodologies and concepts throughout the field of Speech Pathology. If you are interested in finding out more about our services for your son, do not hesitate to contact us at 510-639-2929 or visit our website to fill out an intake form: Audra

Speech therapist for 3-year-old

Dec 2008

Does anyone know of a good speech therapist in the East Bay? I have a 3 year old daughter who seems to be meeting all of the development milestones, but isn't talking as much as her peers her age. I'm worried. Any advice? Anon

Angela Korpela & Meredith Trowbridge at Herrick Hospital/Alta Bates Pediatric Speech (located on Dwight at Milvia in Berkeley) are both excellent, 510-204-6729. My child completed a successful course of speech therapy with them, and I was very impressed. I talked to a number of speech therapy outfits in the area and thought Herrick was the best. They also do evaluations, which is the place to start. Ask your pediatrician for a referral/authorization for the initial evaluation, your insurance should cover it. If you are with Kaiser, they likely have in-house pediatric speech evaluation. Do the evaluation, and the evaluator will give you a detailed explanation of what's going on & where to go from there. been there, got through it.

Pediatric speech therapist for 4 year old

Oct 2008

Our 4 year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with a mild-to-moderate language delay. We would like a recommendation for a speech therapist who is warm-hearted and cheerful and can attune to our daughter's playful personality. We are particularly interested in feedback about Angela Korpula at Alta Bates Herrick and about Amy Faltz at Faltz & Associates. Thank you! Anon

Both of our exeriences were productive and positive below: Angela Korpela treated our son for 3 years. She's very enthusiastic (eg. high energy) and experienced. We also spent 2 years at Word Works in Oakland until our therapist left the practice. *SPT Lifer*

I highly recommend Faltz & Associates. Our daughter, who has an auditory processing disorder, worked with Amy Faltz and Hilda Mann (another specialist in the office). We began when she was first diagnosed in the fifth grade, and continued with them through her senior year in high school. They are both warm, knowledgeable, and easy to work with.

I can speak to your question about Angela Korpela. My elder son had a speech delay and he was with Angela Korpela at Alta Bates/Herrick for a year. She diagnosed him with Chilhood Apraxia of Speech, and came up with a plan to help him learn to develop his oral motor skills. My son, husband, and I all really liked her (and still do!), and we only left her care because my son turned 3 and his speech therapy became the responsibility of our school district. Angela is intelligent, forthright, and direct. She is wonderful at answering questions and messages ASAP. When my son turned 4, his speech therapist at the local school wanted to terminate his therapy. We asked Angela for a second opinion, which she gave, along with a thorough report and recommendation for follow-up before kindergarten. She is great with kids, but not incredibly touchy-feely with adults. Best of all, she will work with you, your insurance, and your pediatrician to come up with the best plan for you and your ! child. Fan of Angela

Speech therapist for 7-year-old

May 2008

My son has some speech issues - pronouncing R's and L's and some other things. He has been in therapy in school this past year, but I do not think it is wise to leave him fallow for the summer. Can someone recommend a therapist for summer visits? North Berkeley/El Cerrito location ideal, but not necessary. Thank you.

Meredith Trowbridge or Angela Korpela at Herrick Pediatric Speech (Associated with Alta Bates), located on Dwight Way. They are both fantastic. My 7 year old completed a successful course of articulatory therapy for a difficult issue with Meredith in only 4.5 months, mostly over the summer in fact (better time to concentrate, less distraction from school). The phone # of their scheduler is 204-6729. (One tip: work hard on the daily homework drills, that's where most of the progress takes place.) Been there.

Speech Therapist for Auditory Processing

Feb 2008

Hi, After the exam by an audiologist she recommended a few speech pathologists for an evaluation. I do not see any reviews so if anyone has experience with the ones listed below I would appreciate the feedback. Speech Pathology Group WC, Jakubowitz Associates San Ramon , Joan Chomak Orinda , Mary McPherson Orinda , Thank you in advance

I would go with Walnut Creek Speech Pathology Group. They are very experienced therapists and work very well with kids. I would not recommend Jakubowitz. They have a few good therapists but they have a high turn over rate and are not consistent. I am not familiar with the other therapists you listed. Good luck. anonymous

Speech Therapist for pre-teen

May 2007

Our daughter had been receiving speech therapy thru OUSD, but due to budget constraints, they have ''cut her loose'' (her speech issues were not 'affecting her ability to learn', so they felt she did not qualify for their limited resources). Yes, I can challenge this thru the District, but I wanted to also pursue other options.

Do any of you have reommendations/suggestions for speech therapists who work successfully with classic lisping, among other, related speech issues? My child dreams of being on stage, and while she is not inhibited by her speech issues, she really does need help w/ her enunciation. I would certainly foresee this being a much bigger issue as she hits her teen years, so I'd like to be proactive NOW. Thanks! Concerned Mom of lisp-er

Have you looked into Cal State University East Bay Speech Langauge and Hearing Clinic. Your daughter sounds motivated and that is a key factor in what they look for in new clients. A plus is that it is much more affordable then traditional speech therapy, but you should consider that you are working with students (grad and undergrad). Good luck! anon

I really liked Hilary Kissack. She does individual speech therapy and does groups as well for some kid's needs. You can email me for particulars if you'd like. Her phone number is 925-324-0158. Her email is hilary[at] and her website is

Speech therapist for 7-year-old's lisp

Feb 2007

Our 7 year old son needs some speech therapy for a lateral lisp due to a short frenulum at birth. He has some anxieties about the therapy (''What if I won't like the way I sound when it's done?''). Since the success of the speech therapy depends greatly on his cooperation and motivation, we sense that the personality of the therapist will matter a great deal. We're looking for someone he would click with - he's an extremely bright and creative/imaginative boy who would need someone who would make the therapy games interesting on an intellectual level and engagingly imaginative. He would also respond well to someone with a very cheerful demeanor and a lot of patience. If you have experience with any of the following, could you comment: Katie Pengilly (and any other therapists at Speech Inc.), Amy Faultz, Patricia Dodd, Nicole Karvalo (at Faultz Associates), Herrick Speech, Children's Hospital speech therapy on Clarement Ave, Word Works, Communication Associates (Alameda), Susan Diamond (Alameda). Thanks for any help.

To the parent looking for speech therapy, I would absolutely stay away from all practitioners at Faultz Associates. We took our son there for a short time and were horrified at how he was treated. One example- he was chastised for not having his homework done and he was only four years of age. Additionally, the therapist would meet with my son for about 12 minutes of the 30 minutes. She spent the rest of the time letting him play or bringing him into the waiting room 7 minutes early. For $50. per/ 30 minutes I expected a lot more. Anon

I missed the original post but I had to write after reading a review of Faltz & Associates. My son (then age 5) saw Amy Faltz for several months because he was repeating many syllables & words. Amy is extremely professional and engaged and I believe that she truly cares about my kid. My son loved spending time with Amy; he knew she was really listening to him and present for him. I am so grateful for her efforts to help my family-- she observed my son & talked to him about his ''bumpy words'' and she helped my husband and me support him at home. In fact, just today, a few months after my last visit, I got an e-mail inquiry from Amy asking how my son was doing. Amy Faltz is a gem. I recommend her wholeheartedly!!! Anon for the sake of my son

2006 - 2005 Reviews

Speech therapist for 6-year-old

Dec 2006

Looking for a speech therapist for our six year old daughter to help her learn ''l's, r's, and assorted other sounds. We have Blue Cross thru UC, but will pay out of pocket if we have to. Looking for someone who connects well with children (our daughter is not excited about getting help with this issue), so a wonderful speech therapist in Oakland is what we are looking for kelly

You are entitled to speech therapy through your school district. Though I don't have experience with OUSD speech therapists I have had good experiences with both WCCUSD and BUSD. Speech therapy is offered from early education through 12th grade. You can receive these services by first testing and then getting an IEP (individualized education plan) for you child.

We had a wonderful experience with Sarah Thompson at WordWorks in Oakland--at 318 27th Street (corner of Broadway, where the VW dealership is). Tamara Mueller is also excellent. Tel: 433-0123. Good luck! anon

Try Faltz Associates. Amy Faltz is the owner. She specializes in Pediatric Speech Therapy. I don't have her number but she is probably in the phone book. I believe her office is on Piedmont Ave. Is your daughter's school addressing her speech issues? If they brought this to your attention, they should have a speech therapist assess her. good luck Anonymous

Kelly, I am usually too jammed to respond to most of these inquiries unless I am passionate about a recommendation and one that is soooo important! It is an emotional process to handle a child who is falling behind in their communication...for both the kid and parents. I got teary thinking about my son falling behind. But, lo and behold, I was given the recommendation for Speech Inc, from my neighbor at the time, who is a very respected Pre School teacher at Lakeshore Pre School. She told me of the near miracles they'd made with kids she'd referred. Because I had such a trusted source I felt great relief knowing that this part of the process was secure: I had found a great partnership with the therapists at Speech Inc. Apparently they are so good that people from the east bay had been driving to SF (typically twice a week!!) for their help. Last year they decided to help their clientelle out this way by opening up an office on Grand Avenue! They have done marvels with our son who adores them and runs into the office to begin their play! Wishing you well, comfort and the relief of progression! Their number in SF is 415-563-6541 geri

2004 & Earlier

Speech therapist for diagnosis/evaluation

April 2004

Looking for speech therapist who can also do diagnosis/evaluation. I've checked the archives, but there's not much there. Thanks!

I took my 5 year old son to Robin Sperry in Oakland. She did a initial evaluation and discussed further tretment options. He is not currently seeing her as a patient. We were able to go through the school district which is a lot cheaper. I liked that she suggested that over having to pay her a lot of $$$$. I believe she is on Broadway. There is also a facility in Hayward through the college that sounded interesting. klyn

the Alameda County has many options: here are a few-
- Children's Hospital in Oakland
- Faltz Associates on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland
- Alta Bates Medical Center, Herrick Campus on Dwight in Berkeley

If the child is age three or above, evaluations can also be done through the local school system. Call the office of special services/special education and request an appointment for an evaluation.

If the child is below age three, ask your pediatrician for a referral (perhaps to one of the centers listed above). If your concerns are speech/lang. related and another concern (example, movement, social skills, eating) you may want to look into Early Start or Regional Center of the East Bay. Discuss these with your child's doctor.

Speech therapist for teen

March 2004

Hello all -- this is a follow-up request for a recommendation for a speech therapist who works well with teens. I may have missed it, but I don't think I saw any referrals for a speech, voice, or diction coach -- or even some advice about where to look for such a person -- who has success helping teens with a speech articulation disorder. We are past the games and sticker rewards that are used with younger children. Thanks for the help!

for the person looking for teen speech (voice) therapist. My daughter (16) has been seeing Dr. Rhoda Agin on Solano Ave. in Albany. Dr. Agin does not work on pragmatic speech, but on voice, articulation, prosody, etc. She deals nicely with teens. She meets with my daughter once a week and gives her daily exercises to do at home. My daughter progressed very nicely. Dr. Agin's numcer is 510-549-1359. She'll be away in April. Varda

Speech therapist for stuttering 9-year-old

Jan. 2004

I'd love to hear updated recommendations for speech therapists specializing in dysfluency (stuttering). The website listings are a little old and tend to pertain to younger children -- I'm looking on behalf of a nine-year-old.

We had a visit with Kris Baines in Walnut Creek and liked her very much, but couldn't mesh our schedules (we're on her wait-list, though). We're looking for someone who is pragmatically oriented, as she seems to be.

Mary Gage Herman's name keeps coming up -- do people still like her, and/or is it impossible to get on her schedule? Does she work outside the Children's Hospital environment (private practice)? I think that our health insurance won't work with Children's.

Also, several years back I heard that the then-departing speech therapist at Easter Seals in Oakland was really great -- any leads on that person, or the current speech therapist at Easter Seals? We were pleased with the OT we got there at that time.

Finally, any more thoughts/recommendations for the Scottish Rite program that is mentioned on the website? Thanks in advance --

We worked with Kris Baines for a year or so when my son was younger, then with Sara Thompson at Faltz Associates. Both were excellent. There is also a fabulous private practitioner, Martha Wagele. My son's concerns were not with stuttering but rather with pragmatic language and general delays, but I would go to Martha again in a New York minute. Good luck. Nancy

Speech therapist for 6-year-old

Nov. 2003

I'm looking for a speech therapist near Kensington for my 6 y.o. He's been stuck on the ''r'' for several years now, and it's time to get him some help. The website lists Oakland area folks - anyone nearer? We'll probably have to self-pay, so affordable would help too. Thanks Valerie

Try Faltz and Associates for speech therapy. They have an office on Solano, I believe. The number here is for their main office in Oakland. 510-654-3381 S A

Louise Fender, who comes to your home, is FABULOUS! her # is 655-2175. She has a different activity suited to your child's interests for every week, and has helped my 6-year-old son make great progress with his r's.

Accent correction and lisp in adult

April 2003

Looking for a speech therapist to deal with a lisp and foreign accent reduction in an adult. Thanks Lisa

I am an active member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, not a ''speech therapist,'' but I have specialized in accent reduction for many years, as do many voice teachers. Also, true that a ''lisp'' is most often the territory of a ''therapist,'' but in the context of working with the voice in general I have incidentally had good luck in correcting a lisp. Let me know if you'd like to brainstorm a bit about how you might proceed. The Voice and Speech Trainers Association is at and my website is at Good luck.

Fast Forward Speech Therapy Program

April 2003

Has anyone enrolled their child in the Fast Forward program? Was it worth the cost? Did your child improve their reading skills? Thanks. A.M.

Years ago I considered Fast Forward for my child who has auditory processing/expressive language problems. The reason I did not pursue this program was that there was very little specific data to show how effective the program was for remediating specific language issues. In contrast, the Linda- Mood Bell programs give a lot of data supporting the effectiveness of their (expensive) programs. Another factor that we considered was how well our child could sit at the computer each day. The years when we considered the program were when my child was young: preschool and beginning elementary, when the necessary 90 minutes per day seemed too long for his attention span. Good luck. Kathy

Nov 1999

For speech therapy the Scottish Rite Speech and Language Clinic offers testing and speech and language therapy, including language-related reading problems. They are funded by the Masons and all services are free. Call them at 839-1513 (510) The Director's name is Jane Gould-Caulfield.

Nov 1999

Kaiser Oakland referred us to Faltz Associates on Piedmont Avenue for our then 4 year old son who needed work on his articulation. They did not have speech therapists on staff for his level of problems (or possibly any at all-sorry I don't remember.) At Faltz Associates we dealt with Martha Wagele whom we all really liked. My son was sorry to 'graduate' this summer. Dealing with the speech problem has done wonders for his self esteem and was well worth it. Faltz 510-654-3381

April 1999

Faltz Associates on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland, specifically Martha Wagele. My developmentally disabled daughter sees her twice a week and Martha is excellent. She is a private speech therapist.

If you want the school district to pay for it, you will need to contact the school district so your daughter can be evaluated. If the evaluation determines she should receive speech therapy, you will have an IEP meeting (Individual Education Plan) with Oakland to setup services. The speech would be provided by a speech therapist contracted by the school district. I hope this helps. Susan

April 1999

Our daughter needed speech therapy, she was 4 at the time, and she had terrific results with Louise Fender. Louise works out of Le Conte school in Berkeley, but also sees kids privately who are out of district (our case). She is absolutely wonderful with little ones, our daughter loves her and has responded wonderfully with her. Stephanie

April 1999

My daughter (now 6) was part of the early intervention speech therapy program at SFUSD when she was 4 & 5. I don't know if Oakland Public Schools has one but you should definately check into it. She saw 2 different speech therapists, the first was not a good match for her, wanting her to sit still for long periods, not playful enough, she began to dread going. I then went to the head of speech therapy for the entire district and asked for a different referral and she saw a fantastic pre-school speech therapist Jane Johnson, I cannot say enough about Jane, my daughter was always excited to go to see her, they did small art projects, played games, read books, etc. Be sure to find someone good to work with your child and be your child's advocate throughout the process. The testing was relatively simple word questions and matching geared for the specific age level.

April 1999

Gage Herman is a genius, a wonderful person, and extremely supportive to me when I brought my daughter in for speech therapy. I cannot say enough about her. Kathy

April 1998

We used Gage Herman at Children's Hospital. I highly recommend her. Jean