How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?

Every child is different and develops at a different rate. There are norms that we use to determine if a child is within normal age level expectations. If you are concerned about your child’s speech, language, or feeding development it is best to bring your concerns up with your pediatrician. Keep in mind that your instincts are often your keenest guide. If your child is showing signs of difficulty or delay, don’t wait!!! The earlier we can work with a child, the better the prognosis. Please find below some “red flags” that indicate a need for a closer look:


  • difficulty sucking, eating, gaining weight
  • difficulty transitioning from bottle to jar foods to solids
  • moderate to severe reflux causing irritability and regulating difficulties
  • non-responsiveness to voices, sounds, faces, music, or toys


  • no babbling noticed by 9 months of age
  • no imitation or gestures, sounds, or words by 12-15 months
  • lack of interaction, eye contact, or play
  • repetitive play and behaviors
  • avoidance or difficulty with textures, noise, movement, or food
  • lack of oral exploration and mouthing of toys
  • excessive drooling (independent of getting new teeth)
  • inability to follow simple, novel, commands such as “Where’s the ball?”
  • not able to understand words they say even to get basic wants and needs met

School Aged Children:

  • difficulties with following the school routine, attending
  • incorrect grammar, syntax, articulation
  • lack of conversational speech and “rich” language
  • difficulties re-telling a story or telling about an event
  • challenges with pre-reading, phonemic awareness, phonics, or reading
Does FUNdamentals and Building Blocks Therapy accept any insurance payments?

We do not have the internal billing and collections system necessary to conduct business with major insurance companies. We will assist you in any way to submit your own claims or to provide copies, reports, or consultation with your insurance company. Once you start therapy, you will receive a bill at the end of each month. This invoice will have the treatment codes, diagnosis codes, and all the necessary information for your insurance company. Prior to starting therapy we highly recommend you call your insurance company and verify your benefits. You may also need to get a referral from your pediatrician.

What age groups are served at FUNdamentals and Building Blocks Therapy?

We are strictly a pediatric speech therapy practice. The majority of our clients are under 10 years of age. A large number of infants and toddlers are also seen at Building Blocks. We do serve a few children over 10 years of age. Teenagers may not do well at our office due to the small size of furniture and the level of games and activities that we use.


What qualifications does the staff at FUNdamentals and Building Blocks Therapy have?

Our staff consists of all licensed speech-language pathologists. The therapists hold a license in either Virginia or DC or in both. To become a speech pathologist you must complete a Master’s Level education at an institution accredited by our national board, The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), and pass both college and national boards. In addition, speech pathologists have additional certification called the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) that is given after completing a minimum of 9 months working under the supervision of another certified SLP. The therapists at Building Blocks hold both licenses and their certificate. In addition, they adhere to the guidelines set forth for continuing education. We are proud to have a talented staff that has gone even further in their training for advanced coursework and practicum in the following specialty areas (to name a few):

  • Oral-motor and feeding
  • Down Syndrome
  • Sensory Integration Dysfunction
  • Autism and the Floor-time approach(Advanced coursework under Stanley Greenspan and Serena
    Wieder on the Developmental Interdisciplinary Relationship-Based approach.)
  • The PROMPT method for speech therapy
  • Debra Beckman’s Oral Motor Assessment and Treatment
  • Phonographics and Visualize and Verbalize approach to reading and comprehension(by Pat Lindamood and Nanci Bell)
What are the most frequent diagnoses of children seen at FUNdamentals and Building Blocks Therapy and where can I get more information about them?

We see children with a wide variety of problems and many that have no specific diagnoses. Below is a list of some of the more common diagnoses that we treat:

  • Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Aspergers
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (Apraxia)
  • Prematurity
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Phonological Processing Disorder
  • Dysphagia, Disorders of feeding and swallowing
  • Dysarthria
  • Disorders of articulation, syntax, and grammar
  • Sensory Integration Dysfunction
What are some recommended resources for parents who are looking for more information?

You can check out a comprehensive list on our Resources Page.

Following is a list of resources about some specific topics>
Sensory Integration:

The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Stock Kranowitz

Autism Spectrum Disorders:

The Child with Special Needs: Encouraging Intellectual and Emotional Growth by Stanley
Greenspan and Serena Wieder (Also many other resources available at

Down Syndrome:

The National Down Syndrome Association:

Feeding Disorders, Dysphagia, Oral-Motor, and Feeding Therapy:

Lip Prints by Joanne Hanson,
Out of the Mouth of Babes by Sheila Frick and Patricia Oetter
Feeding and Nutrition for the Child with Special Needs by Klein and Delaney
The Mealtime Participation Guide by Marsha Dunn Klein and Suzanne Evans-Morris.

Does FUNdamentals and Building Blocks Therapy provide Occupational Therapy and/or Physical Therapy?

Yes. We provide Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy in out office space in both offices.