Providing evidence-based evaluation and therapy services for children, teens, & adults.
Specializing in speech, autism spectrum disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, augmentative and alternative communication, language, reading and literacy, and parent coaching.
Creative Communication offers in-home, community-based and online diagnostic and treatment services for children ages 3 years and up. We take an evidence-based and highly individualized approach to delivery services that meet your child's unique needs and preferences. We understand children learn best when their interests are engaged and the therapy activities are meaningful and motivating. We spend time getting to know our clients and their families and align our therapy goals and activities with our client's preferences. During every session, time is dedicated to answering questions, providing resources, and ensuring everyone feels understood and all feelings are honored. We value open communication and aim to be a trusted resource for the families we serve.
Articulation Disorders • Phonological Delays & Disorders
We provide speech evaluations to identify the specific sounds or sound combinations your child is having difficulty with. Following our assessment, we will share our findings with the family and collaboratively develop a treatment plan with meaningful goals. Once therapy begins, our approach includes research-based methods and every session is individualized to your child's abilities, goals, and preferences. Our speech therapy services focus on:
Developing functional communication skills such as learning how to say the names of preferred items and family members
Increasing overall speech intelligibility
The acquisition of new speech sounds and sound combinations
The accurate production of distorted sounds
Understanding how to use an appropriate rate of speech
Parent coaching to support speech development at home
CHILDHOOD APRAXIA OF SPEECH
Motor Speech Sound Disorders
We provide a comprehensive differential diagnosis to determine the presence or absence of a motor speech impairment. Our evaluations will also identify your child's current sound inventory and guide our recommendations and treatment planning. Many children experience slow progress if treatment is not tailored to the specific deficits demonstrated in children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Using evidence-based approaches such as DTTC: Dynamic Tactile and Temporal Cueing for Childhood Apraxia of Speech, children typically experience more robust progress. Therapy will target:
Functional communication skills, centered around target sounds and words your child is successful with
Developing the motor plans for sound combinations, and identification of the cues and supports most likely to facilitate acquisition of new words and sound combinations
The rhythm, rate, and prosodic features of connected speech
Parent support and education to enhance progress
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
No/Low-Tech, High-Tech AAC
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to non-verbal modes of communication for individuals with limited expressive communication skills and complex communication needs. At Creative Communication, we have extensive experience with most AAC platforms, including advanced training in LAMP Words for Life® and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)®. We believe in empowering every individual with an effective means of communication. AAC is suitable as both a supplement to verbal communication or as a long-term communication plan. We use a variety of techniques to help your child use their AAC technology to become more confident and independent communicators across settings. AAC therapy focuses on:
Device programming and troubleshooting
Developing the skills to communicate wants and needs, as well as other important communicative functions such as commenting and protesting
Increasing spontaneous, independent communication
Language and vocabulary development
Development of operational skills such as device charging and volume adjustment
Skills for engaging in social communication exchanges
Coaching and training for family and other important communication partners
Receptive Language • Expressive Language • Late Talkers •.Social Communication Skills
We provide comprehensive language evaluations to identify the underlying factors contributing to a child's receptive or expressive language delay/disorder. Following our assessment, we will share our findings with the family and collaboratively develop a treatment plan. Goals will be developed to address language skills across the home, social, and academic environments. Our therapy sessions will incorporate research-based methods with individualized therapy activities to support each child in achieving optimum results. Language therapy focuses on:
Increasing vocabulary and phrase length
Following multi-step directions
Asking and answering questions
Pragmatic language and conversational skills
Increasing vocabulary and developing descriptive language
Grammar and sentence structure
Parent coaching to increase opportunities for communication exchanges within daily routines
READING AND LITERACY
Reading • Writing • Comprehension
At Creative Communication, we assess language-based literacy disorders such as dyslexia, early literacy delays, and written communication skills. Using a variety of assessments, we evaluate listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to accurately identify each child's unique set of skills and challenges. Therapy consists of a variety of strategies designed to enhance and compliment your child's school-based reading and literacy services. Our assessment process allows us to provide effective therapy to address skills such as:
Phonemic and phonological awareness
HOME • SCHOOL & DAYCARE •TELETHERAPY
We provide in-person, online, and a hybrid of online and in-person services to clients located in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.
Karen Cahalane, MS, CCC-SLP
Owner, Speech-Language Pathologist
Karen has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for over 16 years, with nearly a decade of additional pediatric experience in the educational setting. Karen has supported the speech, language and communication needs of children in specialized school settings and in private practice. She has extensive experience working with autistic individuals of all ages, individuals with complex communication needs, childhood apraxia of speech, AAC, literacy, and in providing family coaching. She is certified with Hanen® and looks forward to engaging families in parent coaching programs.
Karen collaborates with parents, caregivers and other vital team members to deliver therapy that addresses meaningful goals while celebrating each child's strengths and achievements. Taking a strengths-based approach, Karen focuses on what each child can do and builds skills from there. Within her sessions, Karen seeks to emphasize the importance of parents' roles in their child's therapeutic progress and empowering them with tools to support their child at home and in the community.
When Karen is not supporting the many families she works with, she enjoys working in her garden, sharing her life with animals, cooking, and live music.
LAMP Words for Life®
Dynamic Tactile and Temporal Cueing for Childhood Apraxia of Speech (DTTC)
Hanen Certified -It Takes Two to Talk®
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)®
Fluent in active collaboration with other professionals working with your child, including school-based Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Behavior Analysts.
"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says - I'm Possible."
~ Audrey Hepburn
We will start with a free initial phone consultation to discuss your concerns, understand your child's treatment history, diagnoses and needs, and provide recommendations on the appropriate next steps.
Our initial session will begin with an informal and/or formal evaluation consisting of a parent interview, records review, standardized and criterion referenced assessments, and therapist lead interactions. Following the evaluation, we will review the results and collaborate to develop a treatment plan.
Once therapy begins, we will meet in-person, online, or a combination of both. Each session will target specific goals and also include time to connect with parents to provide recommendations for home practice. We will also take regular data to ensure progress is being made.
Phone: (413) 200-2500
Fax: (413) 533-5444
In-home and community-based services are offered for clients in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.
Teletherapy is available for clients located anywhere in Massachusetts and Connecticut.