Pediatric Speech, Language, and Occupational therapy in Falls Church and NW DC
Building Blocks Therapy is headed by Director, Kirsten Metzger, pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. Our staff consists of licensed speech-language pathologists (SLP’s) and Occupational therapists. The background for speech-language pathology as a career typically involves 4 years of undergraduate work in communication disorders or a similar field. It also involves 2 years of graduate school which includes externship placements at facilities that provide practical clinical work with expert supervision. Speech pathologists are also required to pass a national exam and to meet the standards of our governing board, The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Licensing standards for SLP’s vary from state to state. Everyone on staff at Building Blocks Therapy is licensed in either Virginia or DC or both.
Occupational therapists are also required to obtain a Master's level degree. Their program can run 2 1/2 years with both academic coursework and a year of clinical fieldwork. State licensing is required as well.
At Building Blocks Therapy, these standards are only a minimum. We feel that is crucial to stay on the breaking edge of treatment strategies. When someone is hired to come on board with us we set up a time line to get them trained in PROMPT (www.promptinstitute.com), Oral Motor (Debra Beckman’s Oral Motor Protocol and Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson’s Program), and finally further training in the Floor-Time or DIR model of therapy as directed by Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder. Additionally, therapists often seek out further education in areas of interest. We have staff that has gotten extra education in pediatric feeding and swallowing, Augmentative Communication, PECS, the Hanen Approach, and Applied Behavioral Analysis, among others.
As the director of Building Blocks Therapy I feel strongly about being active in the higher education field. Each semester we take interns from various universities and provide their much needed externship training. We have worked with The George Washington University, Gallaudet University, James Madison University, The University of Virginia, as well as others. This allows us to provide training as well as to stay on the breaking edge of what is being taught at some very prestigious colleges.
Finally, I personally believe in working with my staff on their people skills. We strive to be family focused and to be fair and honest in all our work with families and professionals alike. Every child’s success is dependent on a group of people working together.
- Kirsten Metzger Gilbert, Director