Category: <span>Parents</span>

Prioritizing Goals

Rachel’s Reflections

Prioritizing Goals for Speech-Language Therapy         

By Rachel Betzen, M.A., CCC/SLP

goalsMany students with speech-language delays/disorders come to Dallas Reading and Language Services with a list of challenges that serve as barriers. These barriers may limit their ability to be successful across all areas of their lives.

As speech therapists, we know that communication and learning challenges often come with a host of negative experiences and feelings that may fuel the child’s frustration and anger.

Across all ages, this might look to parents and educators like temper tantrums, shutting down, giving up, behavior problems at home or school, or just stinking thinking that reinforces false beliefs about how children are not smart enough or good enough to succeed.

It is important for us as therapists that we help families and educators understand that communication delays/disorders may be the direct underlying cause for these problems the child is experiencing.

When writing new and ongoing goals for therapy, our therapists take into account the challenges that are showing up in the child’s life, and how they may be related to their delay or disorder.

Questions Our Therapists Ask as Part of Our “Whole Child Intervention” System 

  • What are the family’s main concerns?
  • What concerns have the child’s teachers expressed (both older and newer teachers)?
  • How much failure has the child experienced, especially academic failure and repeated grades?
  • What grade is the child in now, and how far behind is the child in school?
  • What behavior challenges does the child have? How could these be related to speech and language development?
  • What social and emotional issues exist as barriers?
  • How sensitive is the child and how easily is his or her feelings hurt?
  • How easy or difficult is it for the child to make friends? Does he or she have good relationships with friends, or have friends at all?
  • Has the child experienced trauma from family, community, peers, bullies, etc.?
  • How well does the child participate in family and group activities?
  • How well can the child introduce him or herself (with clear speech and cohesive sentences) and join in unstructured play or conversation with new people?
  • How well does the child relate to and engage with peers the child already knows?
  • How common are communication breakdowns for the child?
  • What beliefs do the child or family have that may be getting in the way of progress?

Considering what is expected of children at home and school is helpful. The further behind a child is academically, the more important it becomes to address goals within the context of literacy.

Rachel Betzen, M.A., CCC/SLP, is a licensed speech-language therapist and is the founder and owner of Dallas Reading and Language Services.

Bullying Campaign a Success

October 30, 2015

Editorial Contacts:
Stephen Betzen, Office Manager, (214) 646-1570,
Cliff Pearson, Communications Coordinator, (214) 646-1570,

Speech Clinic Declares ‘Be a Star, Not a Bully’ Campaign a Success at Conclusion of Bullying Prevention Month

(DALLAS, October 30 2015) – October was National Bullying Prevention Month. Dallas Reading and Language Services hosted a “Be a Star, Not a Bully” campaign that exceeded expectations and made positive a positive impact on the lives of the children they serve, and they are declaring a success for the campaign on three fronts:

  1. Children reported bullying they might not have without the campaign

Several children reported having peers engaging in bullying behaviors in their schools or having been bullied themselves, who otherwise would not have come forward. During therapy sessions, kids were taught how to recognize and report bullying when they saw it. However, each participant signed a pledge against bullying, and a star-shaped cut-out covering the walls in the clinic’s office, a testament to the children’s commitment to being bright, friendly peers.

  1. The Dallas Mayor and City Council joined the pledge against bullying

Office manager, Stephen Betzen presented the pledge against bullying to the Dallas City Council on October 14th, and The Honorable Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas; Monica Alonzo, Mayor Pro Tem; Erik Wilson, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem; and Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano, Casey Thomas II, Rickey Callahan, Tiffinni Young, Mark Clayton, Adam McGough, Sandy Greyson, and Jennifer Gates all signed this pledge, sending supportive, cooperative messages to the children about making a stance against bullying.

  1. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is declaring a No Bullying in Schools Education Month

The clinic received notice that Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will be issuing a proclamation declaring February 2016 to be “No Bullying in Schools Education Month,” in cooperation with the Dallas Independent School District.

“We are very happy with the success of our campaign and we are enthusiastic about reaching more families in the community with our anti-bullying message,” said Stephen Betzen, office manager for
Dallas Reading and Language Services. “We look forward to working with Dallas schools to open children’s eyes to the harmful effects of bullying to encourage more kids to become ‘stars’ in their communities by being accepting and caring of their peers without regard to differences between them.”

Dallas Reading and Language Services is a private pediatric speech therapy clinic located in the Winnetka Place building in the North Oak Cliff area of Dallas.

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Dallas Reading and Language Services is a provider of speech-language therapy and reading services to the Dallas community, employing licensed Speech-Language Pathologists and SLP Assistants.

Improving Reading

Rachel’s Reflections

How Do You Improve Reading with Speech Therapy? 

By Rachel Betzen, M.A./ CCC/SLP

books-clipartThe answer to this question is just as important for speech-language therapists as how we frame our overall message when it comes to our work with reading skills. It is important for speech therapists to highlight how our work is different from general reading instruction or tutoring, and to differentiate ourselves from other education professionals like teachers and tutors.

First, we need to help parents understand the hierarchy of language development. A child’s speech and language skills form the foundation for the development of reading and writing. When children have weaknesses or gaps with their speech and language, this will affect their reading and writing. Read more

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