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


Speech Therapy

Communication is Key!

Communication is key and one of life’s most important skills. It is learned as infants and toddlers begin to explore, play, interact, imitate and model what they see and hear by others. Some children though develop early communication delays, which may lead to difficulty with expressing themselves, understanding what is said to them, impacting play or social skills. These deficits often lead to increased frustration, behavioral problems/tantrums or can impact language growth and academic skills.

Our Speech Language Pathologists (“SLP’s) hold national certifications and are state licensed. Our team of SLP’s work with children one-to-one identify which areas of development to target and create treatment plans with goals targeting expressive, receptive, social, articulation, fluency, voice and overall communication skills. These areas may include:

  • Oral Motor Skills: Moving mouth to improve strength, coordination of oral articulators (e.g. lips, tongue, cheeks, jaw) to increase articulation or feeding skills.
  • Articulation: Producing age-appropriate sounds to improve intelligibility.
  • Play: Increasing functional play by improving types including parallel, symbolic, imaginative to learn language and social skills.
  • Receptive and Expressive Language: Increase understanding of what is said in order to identify vocabulary, follow directions, answer questions. Also, increasing what is said in order to use appropriate vocabulary, grammar targets, answer questions, labeling, requesting item, etc..
  • Sentence Length: Increasing ability to imitate in order to expand sentence length to request, label, or have conversations.
  • Grammar: Increasing ability to pronouns, verbs, and create age-appropriate grammar in sentences.
  • Social Skills: Increasing social skills to improve interactions and play with others
  • AAC: Using augmentative and alternative devices to increase communication when verbal skills are impacted.

Who Can Benefit from Speech Therapy and When to Start?

Children can start speech therapy as early as 18 months with most children coming around 2 years of age. But often we see children as they enter elementary school as well. It is never too late to start! Parents report that their children often are presenting with:

  • Expressive Delays: Understanding what is said to them but are “not talking” or are “late talkers”
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder: Having difficulty with understanding what is said as well as expressing themselves verbally, socially, or through play. These children may be non-verbal, pre-verbal, use echolalic speech (repeating what was said) or have impacted social skills with peers
  • Intelligibility: Children difficult to understand because they either don’t have certain sounds or are using those sounds in error
  • Following Directions: Children having difficulty understanding or following directions (Receptive / Auditory processing delays)
  • Stuttering: Children who might be stuttering or having fluency issues
  • Academic Deficits: Children having difficulty reading, sequencing, retelling or recalling information in affecting academic growth
  • Apraxia of Speech: Children with motor planning issues affecting expressive language and speech intelligibility
  • Social Skills: Children having difficulty with pragmatic language, making friends, or using social skills in conversations
  • AAC: Children using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (e.g. using voice output computer systems) to help support communication
  • Feeding: Children having difficulty feeding, tolerating different textures of food, have oral motor movement limitations or don’t tolerate new foods well

Kids love speech! We create fun, enriched, play-based learning environments using a variety of activities with books, toys, visual-aides and other methods to meet any child where and bridge communication growth.

Our Speech Therapy Programs Include

  • Intelligibility Programs: Hodson cycles, articulation sound sets, Kaufman programs
  • Talk Tools: Feeding / Oral Motor Deficits
  • Social Stories: Carol Gray and Dr. Jed Baker programs
  • PROMPT: Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonemic Targets (helping to move the mouth through tactile cues to improve intelligibility).
  • PECS/AAC: Using Pictures to improve understanding and verbal imitation and/or using a computer verbal output device.
  • Social Thinking programs: Michele Garica Winner
  • Hanen Programs: It Takes Two To Talk and More Than Words for children with Autism
  • ASL: Sign Language for early communicators and hearing impairments
  • Language Activities targeting: Wh-questions, sequencing, story comprehension and retell, grammar, increasing mean length of utterance, language and academic concepts, social skills, and more

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

Get Directions