Growing Kids Therapy Center
Elizabeth Vosseller, MA, CCC-SLP
Hello and thank you for visiting my blog. Wow, amazing how much life can change over the span of a few years or the life of a blog! This update (July 2014) was long overdue. I am still a pediatric speech-language pathologist and the owner and director of Growing Kids Therapy Center. I have been a practicing SLP since 1995. I am also a certified RPM provider.
I received my BA in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 1993 and MA in Speech Language Pathology in 1995 from the University of Maryland. Go TERPS! I landed my first job at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. There, I experienced the joys of multidisciplinary work and eagerly learned as much as possible from my medical colleagues. At Children’s, I began evaluating and treating kids with autism. The more I worked with autism…the more I loved it! This is how a speciality begins….you love it, you attract it, you specialize in it!
What started as an opportunity to teach a class as an adjunct led to a 12 year detour as a full time professor at the George Washington University. There, I taught undergrad and grad SLPs-to-be and supervised their clinical work in GW’s College of Arts and Sciences. I did another teaching and supervision stint in GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development while completing all my doctoral work (minus the dissertation) in Early Childhood Special Education. To this day, my dissertation looms somewhere in my head… teaching, life and clinical practice and not enough hours in the day have kept this dissertation in my head and off of paper! The doctoral study in Education significantly shaped my thinking and pedagogy in ways that I would not have experienced in Speech and Language only. Perhaps that dissertation will get written one day, in the meantime my beautiful family, friends and current work with kids and families keep my challenged and fulfilled!
I have never been able to give up my own clinical practice with kids! While I was teaching at GWU, I saw clients privately to keep my skills fresh. Although I LOVED teaching SLPs and educators and creating courses (in all I taught 12 different courses and over 20 classes), I grew weary of the fickle nature of academia and grant funding! So, in 2009, with a mortgage, a kid in college and an unstable economy, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to open a private practice…Growing Kids Therapy Center!
Growing Kids Therapy Center quickly grew into a busy therapy practice. Since I was already well established in the autism community, I had a caseload of kids who were mostly on the spectrum but a handful of kids with other communication disorders. In May 2013, I met Soma Mukhopadhyay when I began training in Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). I entered RPM training somewhat reluctant and skeptical (I had promised a client that I would check it out) and left the first day’s training enthusiastic and a believer! RPM is not a cure, a miracle or a panacea! RPM is an extremely effective teaching method. It is a method to integrate all parts of the brain to empower the learner. RPM provides a means of expressing what the learner understands via open learning channels – visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic (Mukhopadhyay, 2013).
Once you see RPM working you cannot un-see it! The choice is whether you believe it or not. In the years I have spent working with kids with autism taught me that these kids are SMART! I could see it in their eyes, in nonspeaking demonstrations of comprehension, and in the countless times they outsmarted me, so, for me, believing was easy! Now RPM is the focus of my private practice and my blog. We have so much to learn from nonspeaking kids with autism who can finally share through RPM what they know and have experienced. Thank you for reading!
I welcome and enjoy your questions and comments. Differing viewpoints are acceptable but please be respectful of the kids and families who courageously share their words on this blog. If you would like to contact me directly, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow daily posts about speech, language, education, technology and RPM on our Growing Kids Therapy Face Book page. ~Elizabeth