San Diego: (619) 692-0622
Santee: (619) 749-7059

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We are here to help during COVID-19


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Pediatric Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapy Centers
in San Diego
Kara Dodds & Associates

San Diego: (619) 692-0622

Santee: (619) 749-7059

We are here to help during COVID-19


Therapy Services at Kara Dodds & Associates

What does a Speech Language Pathologist do?

A Speech Language Pathologist – also referred to as a “Speech Therapist” -provides evaluations and remediation of a variety of disorders and/or delays affecting a child’s communication.

Comprehensive Speech and Language Evaluations

Our standardized assessments include analysis of current levels of abilities in the areas of expressive, receptive, pragmatic, and speech intelligibility for your child.  We also assess social skills and how your child uses initiation, joint attention, and play.  Parent input and reports as well as other professional reports are also considered in assessments as another “key to the puzzle” as our therapists outline current ability levels.  Once our evaluations are complete, a full report with recommendation and goals will be given to the parent.

Speech and Language Screenings

Within 15 minutes, our therapists can conduct basic developmental scales to determine if a full speech and language evaluation is warranted or needed.  At Kara Dodds and Associates, we conduct approximately 2500 screenings a year to preschoolers so we know what to look for! Speech and language screenings are free and are recommended for children 18 mos. – 7 years of age. Call Alisa today at 619-692-0622 to make an appointment.

Social Skills Groups

Some children are ready to practice their newly learned skills in small groups with peers so that generalization occurs from individual therapy.  We offer small group therapy sessions providing social skills instruction that will improve how your child uses social skills, understands pragmatic language, and learns to function within a group setting so that they are ready for real life situations.

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

A child’s life consists of “occupations” or daily activities.  These activities include playing, learning, socializing, and tasks of daily living such as eating and dressing.  Occupational therapists help children to become more independent and improve their skills with cognition, and develop a child’s physical and emotional health.  The goal is to enhance self-esteem, academic skills, social and behavior skills, and to promote positive and safe play skills.

We provide the highest level of occupational therapy services to children in need including diagnostic and therapy services. 

When would a family come to speech or occupational therapy?

A family would see a Speech Therapist or an Occupational Therapist if they have concerns for their child’s speech or motor system development.  A referral is first typically made by their Primary Care Physical and/or an early intervention provider.  Parents too can call directly for an evaluation if concerned.  During an assessment a therapist will address parent’s concerns while evaluating the child for current developmental milestones while completing an assessment.  Following the evaluation, the Speech or Occupational Therapist will determine whether or not the child will need ongoing services.

How are these services delivered?

Services tend to be scheduled on weekly appointments in a 1:1 setting and can be home or clinic based .

Therapy Methods

At Kara Dodds and Associates, we realize that children benefit from a variety of therapy methods and approaches. As such, our team of multi-disciplinary pediatric therapists obtain advanced courses and trainings and specialize in neurological and developmental delays. Therapy is delivered in a one-to-one setting but also in small groups in a systemic, structured, but play-based teaching approach. Our specialized therapy methods include -

  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) is using a series of visuals to teach a child to initiate by giving a picture to a communicative partner.
  • Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to clients articulators to help guide them through a targeted word or phrase.
  • Kaufman Speech & Language Protocol: is a way to teach children with apraxia of speech the easiest ways to say words until they have increased motor –speech coordination.
  • Hanen Center: (More Than Words) teaches techniques on how to use visual systems for transitioning, requesting, understanding the schedule or “what’s” next, how to shape echolalia speech patterns and more in everyday activities.
  • TalkTools: is a muscle-based oral motor programs designed to promote speech and improve oral motor (lip, jaw) by utilizing oral placement tooks (chewy tubes, z-vibes, horns, whistles) to improve verbal output, feeding, and speech production skills
  • DIR/ Floortime: is a developmental, individuated relationship based ( programs that are used to improve social connects between children and communicative partners.
  • Social Thinking: Developed by Michelle Garcia Winners her programs target social skills programs with techniques used based on "ILAUGH" model (
  • The SCERTS® Model -Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (
  • Social Stories: developed by Carol Gray, these method uses visuals and individual stories to teach social skills or appropriate expectations of behaviors through visual models, and Video Play Modeling.

Funding / Insurance Options

We accept a variety of plans to cover your child’s therapy needs. We bill and work with insurances directly taking the hassle out of it for families. We accept:

  • Tricare (Health Net Federal Services)
  • Kaiser
  • Easter Seals of Southern California
  • San Diego Regional Center (in home or center based)
  • PPO plans including: Anthem Blue Cross, UHC, Blue Shield, Coventry, and more.

We will take the lead on determining coverage and finding the best options available with your plan. Call today at 619-692-0622 for more information.

Ready for a fun therapy environment, that truly cares about your child and your family?

Come experience the difference!

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Mission Valley Center

Kara Dodds & Associates - San Diego
7840 Mission Center Court, Ste. 200
San Diego CA 92108

(619) 692-0622

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

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Santee Location

Kara Dodds & Associates - Santee
8840 N. Magnolia Ave Ste 220
Santee CA 92071

(619) 749-7059

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

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