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May 10, 2014

Difference between Speech and Language Disorders

When a child is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder. Difficulties pronouncing sounds and stuttering are examples of speech disorders.
When a child has trouble understanding others or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely, then he or she has a language disorder.

April 25, 2014

Part 4 (SPD): Castles In The Sand ~ A Post from 10-Year Old Ella, Our Daughter who has SPD ~ Our Personal Journey Continues

SensoryProcessingDisorderSurprise!!!  There is a Part 4:)

This blog post just simply makes me smile as Ella’s mom.  My husband and I are beyond proud of her!!!  As parents we constantly second guess ourselves as there is no manual or text book guiding us on what to do (that would be WAAAAY too easy).  Like all parents, we learn and make mistakes along the way.  Yes we consult with professionals, our parents, friends, etc., but ultimately WE are deciders and make the final call.  I can’t help but feel that we must be doing something right! ~Amy

“Hi, my name is Ella. My mom, Amy Svensson, asked me to write a blog post for her practice’s website. Over my Spring Break, my family and I went to Maui, HI. I wrote a journal entry every day of our vacation.  Here are some excerpts from what I wrote in my journal on the first day.10245466_10152032351254499_1226538331445995594_n

April 6, 2014

“Today was our first day in Maui. The hotel is pink! There are three pools; a small pool with a waterslide, a big pool with three turtles at the bottom that are made out of tile (those turtles used to scare me so I never used to go in that pool), and a pool by a waterfall. My favorite thing to do at the pool is to go down the waterslide. I used to never go down slides. The first time we came to Maui 3 years ago, I was scared to go down the waterslide. When I went down the waterslide for the first time on this vacation, I was so happy.  I did not even care that they re-did the slide. It is now a dark tube.  The top used to be open.  I was scared at first, but was still happy to go down it.

After lunch, we played at the beach. I used to never want to go to beaches because I didn’t like sand. Sand made me feel so uncomfortable… too scratchy and I could not stand having it stick to me.  During this trip, I LOVED going to the beach!!!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I liked sharing it with you.  I am happy my mom asked.

We had so much fun on our vacation.”


My Mom and I ~ April, 2014

April 16, 2014

Fingers Crossed …

ASHA American Speech Language Hearing Convention SpeakerLet’s go back 5 months and quite a few posts ago to the 2013 ASHA Convention in Chicago.  I was alone trying to find some peace and quiet between courses when I copped a squat (yes with a glass of wine) at the restaurant bar that is attached to the McCormick Convention Center. As luck and fate would have it, I plopped myself down right next to Melissa & Jen; 2 fellow SLPs who used to work together, but branched off and are now managing their own separate private practices in Florida.

I heard the 2 of them laughing and chatting while perusing through the program.  Their laughs were gravitating.  I decided to start up conversation with them … ‘Why not?’ I thought to myself.  I love to meet new people no matter where I go. We all have a story and something to learn from one another. Needless to say, I did not find any peace and quiet in the least that afternoon.  The 3 of us started talking and networking immediately.  In fact, Melissa and I attended the next class together and exchanged mobile numbers to meet up after sessions.

When I got back to the hotel, I was so excited to tell my mom (who trained it from Milwaukee to keep me company that weekend) that I met  Melissa and Jen and we were all going to go out for drinks and dinner together that same night.

Do you ever have that feeling when you just know when things are meant to be?

I am always setting professional goals for myself and the next one on my list is to present at a WA State Convention or the ASHA convention.  I believe with all of my heart that I was meant to meet Melissa and Jen that day because it was over dinner that we started talking about presenting together at the next convention which is going to be in their home state of Florida.  I overheard my mom saying to Melissa, “When Amy says she is going to do something, she will do it.”  Then I heard Melissa say back to my mom, “Me too.”  PERFECT!ASHA

We enjoyed one more dinner together that weekend and did some texting before it was time for all of us to part ways so to get back to our families and practices in opposite corners of the United States.  I knew though that the business relationship would hold strong & friendships had started.  I believe the 3 of us meeting was meant to be.

Here were are April, 2014 and indeed the 3 of us made the 4/8/14 deadline for the ‘Call for Papers’ set forth by the ASHA Convention Committee.  A HUGE ‘thank you’ to Melissa for keeping Jen and I on our toes in order to make deadline and for the extras she did in getting the proposal finalized for submission. Now we just sit and wait to see if our presentation proposal is approved for presentation in Orlando November, 2014.


Fingers Crossed!!

March 28, 2014

When is the best time to start talking to a child?

Have you ever wondered when is the best time to start talking to your child? The answer is – from the very beginning. Talking to your child will help with their early language development and help you bond through language.

March 21, 2014

Part 3: Celebrations!! … Our Family’s Personal Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Post Contributed By: Amy Svensson, MA, CCC-SLP


” This day is a journey, this very moment an adventure.” ~ Rebecca Pavlenko

For whatever reason, I keep reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series.  Writing this series has been so therapeutic for me as a mom to document the SPD journey our family has been on the past 4 years.  Oddly, I read these posts with a smile ear-to-ear.   So strange!  Perhaps I am smiling because I am celebrating how far our daughter has come over the past 4 years.

Our daughter is getting ready to celebrate her 10th birthday in just 2 weeks!  She will never be in the single digits again!  This makes me both happy and sad.  I am a sentimental sap! I think about all that our little ‘bean’ has gone through since the day she was born.  I firmly believe all of this has helped her develop into the determined and hard-working young lady she is.  Nothing has come easy to her, yet it is all she knows and therefore does not get discouraged at the uphill climb.  She has an incredible drive, intense amount of motivation, and is ambitious.

Although this is the 3rd and final post of this blog series, it by no means is the end of the long and windy road of SPD our daughter will travel on in her lifetime.  Every day is a new day and each will bring on new challenges and celebrations.  SPD is something she will always have, but at least she now has coping tools to manage to live a happier life and have more inner peace.

Earlier this week, once again, I had to pull out my infamous ‘black binder’ that holds every report, Explanation of Benefits (EOB), and various handouts listing treatment strategies.  This time it was for the Student Support Team at our daughter’s school.  Our daughter’s anxiety and SPD are starting to affect academic progress in mathematics which the neuropsychologist thought would occur as our daughter got older and different stresses would get placed upon her.  At the end of the meeting, it was decided by the team that our daughter will be formally evaluated by the school district to determine if an ‘Other Health Impaired’ (OHI) classification for accommodations is warranted.  I spent multiple hours on the phone this week with our daughter’s pediatrician’s office, researching Naturapathic Physicians who specialize in pediatrics (got that appointment made), looking into Tween summer social groups, researching good youth yoga programs to re-start that bit, and met with her PE teacher to discuss ways in which we can assist with our daughter’s coordination skills as it aligns with the curriculum. More phone calls. More appointments.  More stones to turn over.

The journey continues.

We still celebrate though because we have accomplished so much!  This is just par for the course.  We celebrate because today (unlike 4 years ago) our daughter …

… loves to ride horses.

… goes on the high-beam in her weekly gymnastics class.

… goes on slides and high playground equipment.

… goes through airport security without panic.

… wears jeans.

… eats a variety of foods and textures.

… plays in the sand at the beach.

… self-advocates in loud environments such as in gym class with the whistle blowing.  Her PE teacher knows not to blow the whistle super loud near our daughter.

… can tolerate large crowds.

… likes the company of others.

I know I am missing things, but these come right to mind.

Horse Camp Summer 2103

Horse Camp Summer 2013

This is all possible thanks to the intense therapy she has received, the reminders we give whenever needed for her to ‘Check Her Engine,’ school counseling, yoga, gymnastics, eating a raw and organic diet avoiding all dyes and high fructose corn syrup, promoting a structured yet flexible home environment/schedule, and encouraging outings and travel to continue exposure to new and exciting things, i.e. promote the unknown and although that can be scary, there is so much benefit to taking chances and risks.

My husband and I were  recently out on a ‘date’ and my husband asked me if our daughter will be OK.  I looked at him and confidently said, “YES!”  Our daughter will be just fine.  We just need to continue to make sure she feels safe, healthy, happy, loved, and SUPPORTED.

She will always have Sensory Processing Disorder and the anxiety but she now has the tools and interventions in place to help her succeed at her maximum potential.  We know in our hearts as her parents we are doing all we can to make this happen.  We will continue to celebrate each and every day. ~A

Resources that we have found helpful and are worth sharing:

The Out of Sync Child – Recognizing and Coping With Sensory Processing Disorder ” – By Carol Stock Kranowitz

Late, Lost, & Unprepared – A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning” – By Joyce Cooper-Kahn, Ph.D. and Laurie Dietzel, Ph.D.

Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” – By Susan Cain

Raising Happiness – 10 Simple Steps For More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” – By Christine Carter, Ph.D.

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation



Svensson Family Time




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