Children’s Clinic Articles

From the Clinic (May 2020)

posted Apr 29, 2020, 5:55 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

I have been thinking about how to write the article for the newsletter this month. So much has changed in the last five weeks with the onset of a world pandemic and COVID-19. It has touched each and every one of us in some fashion or another. Our clinic started Teletherapy the week of March 16 and we successfully transitioned nearly all of the clinic’s caseload to Teletherapy, all without skipping one week of therapy for the children we service.  We have been busy researching evidence based practices and how to best provide services to the families and the children we are dedicated to help, like David.

David is an 11 year old boy who is such a pleasure to work with. He plays the cello, enjoys challenging board games like Othello, and makes people laugh with his quick witted humor and easy-going attitude. David has been coming to the Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic for stuttering therapy. He has been learning how to use specific stuttering modification and fluency-shaping tools. Therapy has also focused on attitudes and emotions that surround stuttering to help educate David, his family, and others in David’s community about stuttering. Therapy has incorporated his family into therapy, such as his mom, dad and older brother so they can learn how to use the tools too. He has also participated in a fluency therapy group with another peer to discuss feelings, gain perspective, and practice tools. Rose, David’s mom, has noted that she “understands David’s feelings and struggles better” since he started therapy. She stated that the “Most rewarding thing for me is to be able to focus on what he is trying to say rather than how he says it. Also, I can be the safe person for David because he knows that I will never judge him [about] his stuttering.” Rose sees the value of our clinic and what we do, “I can never express how grateful I am to have Ms. Sense to be David’s speech pathologist. She shows her understanding and compassion for David, she educates me and [gives] me lots of support…This clinic is truly a gracious gift to our community.”

It is a gracious gift and we are so thankful to continue helping our families. Research from our national governing association, The American Speech and Hearing Association, has shown that Teletherapy for speech and language treatment is just as beneficial as that of in-person therapy. While not as widely used prior to the onset of COVID-19, Teletherapy has become the only way to provide therapy since the shelter-at-home orders were given. Families are tremendously thankful that our clinic can continue to provide services, especially because many families are not receiving any therapy at this time due to the pandemic. We are continuing with our mission to help children in our community in need; we are forging a new way of accomplishing our goal, and it is amazing to see how our clinic is still making a significant impact. We are thankful for your continued support and the children and their families are grateful for the ongoing help during such a tumultuous time. God bless our clinic, the families we help, and each of you and your families.  


From the Clinic (April 2020)

posted Mar 29, 2020, 1:07 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Adrian is a fun, energetic 4-and-a-half year old boy who loves to play with race cars! He Has been receiving speech and language therapy services at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic for about one year.  Adrian recently told Ms. Rachel, his Speech-Language Pathologist, that he wants to be a “Big Dad” when he grows up because he wants to carry his baby sister, Hannah.

Adrian’s parents brought him to the clinic as they were concerned about his speech and language development. His mother commented that her insurance denied Adrian services and paying for services out of pocket was very expensive. She was referred to our clinic where Adrian was diagnosed with a moderate expressive language disorder and a severe articulation disorder.  His expressive language difficulties were characterized by a delayed mean length of utterance which impacted his use of morphological structures, such as plurals, possessive forms, present/regular past tense verbs, and basic prepositions. His articulation difficulties were characterized by difficulty producing the final consonants of words and sounds with continuous airflow, such as /f/, /s/ and /z/.

Adrian has made fantastic progress since treatment began last year. His mother reported that his “improvement has been remarkable. His speech is now much more intelligible and he speaks in full sentences and is able to hold a conversation”. Adrian’s family has been positively impacted by his progress with his weekly therapy sessions. Adrian’s mom stated, “Our family is less stressed out since my son is now able to easily communicate his feelings and needs. Before treatment, he was very frustrated and would cry, hit, and throw tantrums. It has been very rewarding to see my son’s improvements from week to week after receiving services…We have had a great experience at the clinic. Our therapist, Miss Rachel, has built a great rapport with my son. He looks forward to his appointments each week…I would definitely recommend the clinic. It has been our best experience among our many experiences with different speech therapists.”

We are so happy to hear that Adrian’s family continues to see Adrian’s growth with his speech and language development. He continues to be a pleasure to see each week and we are looking forward to continuing to help him and his family!

Note:  Our Clinicians are continuing to work and serve our kids via tele-therapy.  While it is not as ideal as in person, and it will not work for every child, it is working for many..


From the Clinic (March 2020)

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:31 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

My name is Alisha Leong, and I will be on board as a new speech-language pathologist serving the Bay Area community. I am a Bay Area native, being born and raised in Sunnyvale. I love the diversity, the many cultures, and people that create this place called home. 

My initial interest in speech therapy was back in 2008 when my Aunt was struck by a car. Thankfully my Aunt survived, but she had many years of rehabilitation, and still has to work towards improving her speech, memory, and physical range of motion every day. I was most inspired by her ability to regain her speech. It was so important to her, and to her family and friends that she could express her thoughts and needs. Ever since 2008, I was intrigued by the profession that helped my Aunt become empowered. 

From 2014-2016 I attended San Francisco State University where I began studying, and eventually grew a passion for becoming a speech-language pathologist. During this time, I was a receptionist at a speech clinic, volunteered at hospitals and private practices, and delved into organizations like Operation Smile. In 2016, I began my journey as a graduate student at University of Hawai'i at Manoa. This was a pivotal year as I was able to really apply theory to practice. I worked with diverse population, serving infants to adults in private clinics, hospitals, and the school district. I was also able to create new, lasting friendships, meet amazing mentors, experience different cultures, and grow closer to family members who live in Hawai’i. After obtaining my master's degree in 2018, I worked at the Scottish Rite Children's Center in Honolulu, HI. I loved the student to teacher ratio, the support from staff and family members, and of course, the kids that I worked with. It's rewarding to see progress, and being a hand in that, is a reason why I enjoy this profession. Something I've learned over the years is that my patients or clients always teach me something- whether it's about historical facts, hobbies, or something valuable like patience and understanding.

Outside of work, I enjoy practicing mindful Yoga, meditating, going to live concerts that support local artists, and exploring new places.

I am excited to collaborate alongside parents, teachers, and Rachel Sense in continuing to learn and develop my skills to better serve the community. Thank you Scottish Rite family for welcoming me, and I look forward to fulfilling your mission!


From the Clinic (February 2020)

posted Jan 26, 2020, 5:20 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Happy New Year! We have received so many notes of thanks during the past month from grateful parents who have been helped by our clinic.  Thank you to all of the San Jose Scottish Rite members who continue to support our clinic! We appreciate you! 

Thank you so much for your excellent teaching and guidance with David’s speech! It’s been an amazing experience for both David and I to be able to witness his progress and using the tools that you introduced to him was so wonderful! Looking forward to another amazing year!

– David and Rose

We are so grateful to have you be Noah’s speech therapist…You have been a constant force for Noah – always expecting him to achieve more and helping him to improve. He has grown up so much with your guidance…Thank you for everything!

– Noah and Luwam


Thank you for helping Aiden with his language processing skills for the last few months. Thank you for your patience and dedication. It made a big difference in Aiden’s life. He now has tools that he can practice and use. May you continue to bless those all around you and the students that come to the Scottish Rite Clinic.

– Aiden and Lili


From the Clinic (January 2020)

posted Jan 3, 2020, 2:09 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Kyle is a fun, friendly, and talkative six-year-four month old boy who attends speech therapy services at the San Jose Scottish Rite Speech and Language Clinic. Kyle loves to play with his older sister, read books, play games, spend time with his family, and visit his relatives in Oregon and Taiwan.

He was referred to the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic by a friend who also has a child who attended therapy at this clinic. Kyle has attended speech therapy services to address a receptive language delay, expressive language delay, articulation disorder and to monitor his fluency skills. Throughout this past year, Kyle has improved his ability to produce the /l/ sound and the /sh/ sound. He has also improved his ability to say multisyllabic words, achieving the correct sequence of syllables, without leaving any chunks out. Kyle has also made improvements in his receptive language skills by improving his understanding of concepts such as “first,” “next,” “then” and “last.” He has improved his expressive language skills in the areas of pronouns and usage of the past tense. He has worked very hard in his therapy sessions and is very motivated by earning game time and prizes.

Prior to attending speech therapy services at this clinic, Kyle’s mother, Sharon, reported that he was having difficulty with speaking in clear sounds or making sentences that people could understand. “After a year of treatment at the clinic, my child is able to produce a lot more words with correct sounds and he is also forming longer sentences to express his needs and feelings.”

She said that the treatment has impacted their family on a daily basis because, “The improved speech has helped him building more confidence talk to people. It also helps family members to understand his needs and reduces frustration for everyone.”

Kyle’s parents say that the experience has been rewarding. “Our speech therapist is very patient and accommodating. We feel that we have built a very good friendship with the therapist and my child enjoys coming to the weekly sessions. The clinic provides what my child needs and the therapist always tries her best to work with our schedule. I would definitely recommend it to friends who need speech services.”

We enjoyed working with Kyle and his family and wish him all the best in his continued success in speech therapy and at school!


We are happy to announce that we have found a New Clinician that will start in January. Her name is Alisha Leong.  Please join us in welcoming her to our Scottish Rite Family.


From the Clinic (December 2019)

posted Dec 1, 2019, 11:23 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Jonathan is a sweet, fun-loving preschooler who was seen at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic for a speech and language disorder characterized by difficulty with expressive and receptive language, articulation and pragmatic skills.   Before receiving therapy at our clinic, Jonathan’s parents described his speech as having limited vocabulary and reduced intelligibility.  His mother reported that, “He was only able to say short sentences, most of which was just scripted.  He was difficult to understand, and he exhibited echolalia during conversation and even preschool story time.” Jonathan worked very hard during his therapy sessions at the clinic.

His parents noticed that after they had been coming to speech therapy twice a week for the last year, “Jonathan’s vocabulary has expanded and he has developed clearer sounds in his speech, such as his /sh/ and /g/ sounds. He is now able to produce multisyllabic words easier and utilize longer sentences.” After completing a 18-months of therapy, Jonathan is better able to communicate more functionally at home and at school.  His parents reported that “He has more conversations with us and his sister now. The most rewarding thing for us as parents is that because Jonathan has received speech services at the Scottish Rite Clinic, he has better emotional regulation skills. He is better able to communicate and be understood by others, especially his peers. He is so proud of himself when he is able to learn how to produce new sounds correctly.  The Scottish Rite Clinic has been an invaluable resource for us. We would not have been able to afford twice a week speech therapy without the Scottish Rite Clinic! We were on the waitlist for almost a year, but it was well worth the wait, as the speech treatment is above our expectations, even above private speech therapy at other locations!”  The San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic is also very proud of all that Jonathan has accomplished and we look forward to continuing to help him and his family!


From the Clinic (November 2019)

posted Nov 2, 2019, 2:13 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Esther is a sweet four year old girl who loves the color purple, flowers, playing with her siblings, and playing with her stuffed dog “Wee Wee.” She has been receiving speech and language therapy services at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic since July 2018. Esther’s five-year-old sister, Anna was also seen at this clinic.

Esther's adoptive mother and father, Erika and David, first adopted Esther's older brother, Eli, eight years ago in 2011. In 2015, Eli's biological father and his girlfriend lost custody of Anna when she was four months old. Erika and David requested to adopt Anna so that the two half -siblings could grow up in the same family. Erika and David adopted Anna and her two younger sisters who were born in 2015.  All three girls presented with speech and language delays and overall developmental delays. They have adjusted well into their new home and are much healthier, happier, and are now receiving services to meet their needs in speech therapy, physical therapy, and educational needs through their school district, The San Jose Scottish Rite, and through private therapists.

When Esther first started speech and language therapy, she was very quiet, had limited vocabulary, and spoke in two to three word phrases. She had goals to increase her sentence length, build her expressive language, and to improve her articulation. Esther has really come a long way since last year. She was very shy and reluctant to speak, but is now getting more comfortable with expressing herself. She is now speaking in four to five word sentences and using many more words than before. She has added many nouns and verbs to her repertoire and she is now using the present progressive verb tense with occasional help. Esther also learned basic concepts, improved her ability to use s-blends, in words like snow and spoon, improved her ability to make the L sound, produce multisyllabic words, and her ability to formulate questions.

Esther’s mother said, “Having two children with speech delays can be stressful. We want to understand them, yet, it is hard.” Since beginning treatment, “Esther has better enunciation, a larger vocabulary, and longer statements. She can say whatever she needs to.”

Erika said that the most rewarding part of their experience at the clinic has been watching Esther’s confidence grow and watching her bloom. She has been pleased with her experience at the clinic and says that the therapists have been very friendly, supportive, responsive, and caring. She would recommend the clinic to other parents who have children needing help with their speech and language.

We have greatly enjoyed having Esther and her family at the clinic and wish her all the best in her continued success in her speech and language growth and development!

From the Clinic (October 2019)

posted Oct 1, 2019, 1:49 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Miles is sweet, funny, and outgoing seven-year-old boy who attended speech therapy services at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic from January 2018 through July 2019. He has a great imagination and loves to tell silly stories, play with his cats, play games with his big brother, Luke and spend time with his mom, dad, and grandma. He loves to go to the beach and go swimming in the pool. He also enjoys taking trips with his mom to visit his extended family members in San Diego. Miles was referred to our clinic by his grandmother, who is a retired teacher.

Prior to receiving speech services, Miles’ speech was sometimes unintelligible. His most noticeable error was a frontal lisp. His jaw had a tendency to move from side to side, especially when attempting to make the /s/ sound. Miles has learned about jaw stability, proper placement for the tongue when making the /s/ sound, and has worked hard using the Systematic Articulation Training Program Accessing Computers (SATPAC) program, to improve his production of /s/ and /z/. He is now able to produce the /s/ sound correctly in all word positions and working on improving his ability to say it in full sentences.

Miles has also improved his ability to produce “L” at the end of words, “ch” and “sh” in all positions of words. He has also completed some exercises to improve his ability to use irregular past tense verbs and irregular plural nouns. He has built up a good awareness of his abilities and knows how to correct himself if he makes a mistake. 

His mother said that Miles’ speech is continuing to improve and that he is more aware of his abnormal jaw movements. She believes that his speech therapy has impacted his ability to spell words in school as well. She is very grateful to see his progress. “My child’s treatment has impacted my family on a daily basis by making his speech more intelligible. I rarely need him to repeat what he says because his speech is much clearer.”

“What has been most rewarding is watching my son progress. Miles has not only improved his speech, but along the way; his self-confidence has bloomed. He went from not spelling any words on his spelling test at school to receiving 9/10 or 10/10 on his exams. I believe this was improved because of his speech therapy.”

“The experience my child had at this clinic was life changing. I really don’t think he would have progressed at the rate he did without the help of Ms. Karen. Her dedication was phenomenal. I would recommend Scottish Rite Center to any parent who is concerned about their child’s speech. Your speech-language pathologists are so knowledgeable, diligent, and kind.”

Miles has completed his 18 months of therapy at our clinic and is almost stable with all of his speech sounds. We are so very proud of, you Miles! We wish you the best of luck in second grade!


From the Clinic (August 2019)

posted Aug 15, 2019, 1:04 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Jenny’s son was screened at our clinic in order to see if he had a speech delay in April of 2018 with Mrs. Cynthia under the supervision of Mrs. Jenna when he was almost two years old. He began Treatment with Mrs. Jenna a few months later. Goals at the initiation of treatment were putting two words together and increasing his turn taking skills during play. He is now three and currently he is working on producing bilabials, putting three words together and making blend sounds at the beginning of his words. He enjoys playing with cars, flash light game, shape games, playdough and stamps with his clinician. He also loves swimming with his mother after speech therapy.

Jenny heard about our clinic from a friend who attended the Scottish Rite Clinic who had great success years ago with her daughter. Prior to speech service at the clinic Jenny’s son was, “Very much delayed. My son was two years old and was very frustrated that he couldn’t communicate with us. He could only say about 5-10 words at that time, and he would scream at the top of his lungs in anger because we could not understand what he wanted. The first three-four months at the clinic, my son learned slowly. He started to increase his verbal skills rapidly after four months of speech therapy. After six months of therapy, his language skills exploded and it has continuously increased ever since. This speech treatment has impacted our family immensely! As my son increased his speaking skills, his frustration and anger reduced dramatically. He has not screamed at the top of his lungs in frustration in over six months.  My son is now a happy kid who can communicate his needs easily. The most rewarding thing about receiving services here is Mrs. Jenna. She is supportive and caring with my son. She understands when to push him a little firmer and when to give my son grace. She is also inclusive with us as parents, involving us and giving us skills to help support our son. I have referred other parents to the Scottish Rite. Being a parent does not come with a handbook. But the Scottish Rite Clinic and the clinicians here gave us the resources to support our son and watch him thrive.”


From the Clinic (July 2019)

posted Jul 8, 2019, 11:41 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Dylan is an adorable four year old boy who has been seen at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic secondary to delays with his expressive and receptive language and articulation skills. He also works on social thinking skills to address needs with pragmatics and social communication with his peers. 

Testing of Dylan’s expressive and receptive language skills revealed difficulty using a variety of grammar forms, answering questions, and using a variety of syntactical structures.  His articulation skills were mildly delayed and he demonstrated a variety phonological processes that impacted his intelligibility. The combination of reduced expressive language and diminished articulation skills made it difficult for Dylan to relay his wants and needs and was further impacted by his reduced attention to adult-directed tasks.

Since the initiation of therapy, Dylan has made tremendous progress toward his goals! He is working on following adult-directed activities using a visual schedule, following directions with age-appropriate linguistic concepts, and is using sentences with age-appropriate syntax and grammar. He has also worked hard with his /sh/ and /l/ sounds and is making fantastic progress at the word level. Dylan’s mother is proud of his progress. She stated, “We are very happy with your service and we see a lot of progress and improvements with Dylan. Thanks a lot!” We are very proud of Dylan too. His parents’ commitment to bringing him to his weekly sessions and working with him at home have helped Dylan blossom! Way to go, Dylan!

Pragmatics is one of the five areas of language development that helps us navigate our relationships with others, regulate ourselves to our environment, and maintain attention so that we can learn new things and interact appropriately with others. Indy participates in our “Social Thinking” program to learn social executive functioning skills, which helps our students learn how to collaborate with others and problem solve through situations using a variety of strategies.  The “Social Thinking” program is based on extensive research from Michelle Garcia Winner, a renowned Speech and Language Pathologist, who has studied social thinking and how best to help children who have difficulty navigating their social interactions at home, school and in the community.

Indy has been working on utilizing key concepts to practice his social executive functioning skills such as, following the group plan, thinking with his eyes, keeping his body in the group, using whole body listening, understanding hidden rules and expected and unexpected behavior, making smart guesses verses wacky guesses, using flexible thinking verses stuck thinking, understanding the size of the problem, and sharing an imagination.  Social communication and social executive functioning skills help us participate in group activities and to interact with others in a way that helps everyone feel comfortable.  Teaching these concepts has helped Indy relate to others using empathic thinking and perspective taking, two skills which relate to early developing skills for language and cognition, central coherence, joint attention and intention, emotional regulation, self-regulation and theory of mind. Without these basic building blocks a person will have difficulty collaborating, negotiating, and learning as part of a group.

Indy’s mom has seen an improvement in Indy’s social thinking skills since treatment was initiated. She stated, “Speech at Scottish Rite has been great. Rachel has a deep understanding of his needs in social/behavioral speech and has provided excellent tools to take home and share at school.” She further commented that the therapy Indy has received has been “wonderfully effective” and “fantastic”. 

Indy has made great progress understanding and using many of these concepts during our therapy time. And his mother is introducing the key concepts to Indy’s teachers at school to help carryover his skills outside of our therapy time together. I am particularly proud of his Indy’s perseverance and I am looking forward to continuing our learning time together!


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