“I believe that all humans desire connection and communication. Parent child communication is no exception. It is critical that parents (and caregivers) know and understand what their children (and clients) are thinking and feeling. By learning what individuals want, need and value, we are better equipped to support them as they grow towards independence.
At 18 years of age I went into this field to help people and that has never changed. Rather it has evolved into helping people to feel empowered to help themselves or their child (or client) to communicate more effectively.”
Jessica is motivated to learn about her clients and what they want and value in order to help them to achieve their communication goals. She regards the assessment and evaluation process as critical. She finds the therapeutic treatment process of helping to empower clients with improved communication powerful and rewarding. This applies too to partnering with client’s parents and/ or caregivers to improve their understanding of the client with a goal of improving their communication with their child/ client. Jessica has a strength in coaching parents and caregivers to implement strategies to help their child / client to listen, think and speak. She is also experienced in coaching children, teenagers and young adults to learn self- advocacy skills.
Jessica was born and raised in Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa and attended University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, graduating with a Bachelor’s and Honors degree in Speech and Hearing Therapy. She then worked as a speech therapist in Special Education schools in Durban and Cape Town for children with a diverse range of special needs, as well as in her own private practice treating teenagers with head injuries. She also served as a clinical supervisor at the University of Cape Town Speech Therapy clinic. After immigrating to the United States of America, Jessica completed her Master’s in Communication Disorders at California State University Los Angeles, while working as a speech pathologist for Los Angeles County Office of Education in the Autism, Visually Impaired and Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs in the South Bay. This led to 18 years of full- time employment as a Speech Pathologist at the LACOE REACH program, the first public school program for Oral Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in Los Angeles County. Jessica was one of the founding members this California Speech and Hearing Association (CSHA) 2006 outstanding program award winner. It was while working at this program that Jessica completed her mentorship in Listening and Spoken Language/ Auditory Verbal therapy to become an Auditory Verbal Educator. Jessica then took a dedicated position as an Auditory Verbal / Listening spoken language therapist for Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey California, where she worked for 4 years.
Jessica is a licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist, a certified Auditory Verbal/ Listening spoken Language therapist and a certified Independent Facilitator. Jessica attributes her knowledge base and therapeutic skill to her excellent national and international training programs as well as to being the parent of an adult son, Wesley who has Down Syndrome. She brings her wealth of knowledge, professional experience and skills, as well as her compassionate and empathetic personal experience to her private practice.