Local Speech Expert Urges Early Intervention

Are you concerned that a child or another member of your family can’t get words out clearly, easily, or at all?  If so, attend a free information session, “Discovering and Dealing with Speech Language Disorders in Your Child,” at The Morristown & Morris Township Library at 7 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 10.

The program will be led by Joanne Summer, MA, CCC-SLP, a Morristown-based speech-language pathologist. Summer, who founded Well Spoken Speech Therapy, LLC, after spending 12 years treating students in the Morris School District, will explain possible tactics for children who are finding it difficult to communicate verbally. She will speak on the differences between speech and language, the types of language disorders, speech fluencies and disfluencies, and steps parents can take.  The presentation will also provide information on services that are available through public and private schools as well as private practitioners.

“It’s important to address most speech disorders as early as possible — especially in the case of children,” warned Summer.  “Although many young children who stutter, for example, will outgrow their disorder within a couple of years, some 20 percent will not without therapeutic intervention. In the absence of therapy, they unfortunately may stutter for the rest of their lives. Most parents do not want to take that gamble.”

Summer has helped hundreds of children improve their speech sound production (articulation) and language skills.  In her private practice, her clients also include younger children, as well as adults, and she also works with people of all ages who stutter or otherwise struggle to speak fluently.

“Speaking should be an effortless and wonderful experience,” said Summer. “No one should become anxious over it.”
After completing her bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Stony Brook University, Summer earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Montclair State University.  She subsequently was certified as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association (ASHA) and was awarded its Certificate of Clinical Competence. She is a member of the ASHA Special Interest Group 4, Fluency and Fluency Disorders and ASHA’s Fluency Board.

The Stuttering Foundation, a nonprofit organization working toward the prevention and improved treatment of stuttering, has twice awarded Summer scholarships to attend its intensive educational programs. In June, she was one of only 20 speech-language pathologists from around the world to be selected to attend the foundation’s program on “Using Cognitive Approaches to Working with People Who Stutter” at Boston University. Previously, she was selected for and successfully completed another weeklong foundation workshop, “Treating Children and Adolescents Who Stutter,” at the University of Pennsylvania.

Refreshments will be served during the upcoming informational session, which is being supported by the Friends of the Morristown & Morris Township Library. For more information on the program or on speech and language concerns, call (201) 323-2686.

Well Spoken Speech Therapy, LLC, is a full service speech-language pathology practice in Morristown, NJ, serving children of all ages who have language difficulties and people of all ages who exhibit difficulty with fluent speech.  Established by Joanne Summer, MA, CCC-SLP, an experienced speech therapist, Well Spoken’s mission is to provide exemplary assessment and treatment to preschoolers, school aged children, adolescents and adults.  All clients are treated with the dignity and compassion they deserve. Services are provided either in Well Spoken’s office at The Remedy Center, 20 Elm Street, in Morristown, or in the client’s home. For more information on Well Spoken, visitwww.wellspokennj.com.

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