Laura Houston

Lead Speech and Language Pathologist / Therapist, Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Co-Founder

Speech & Language Pathologist Laura Houston

Laura Houston, M.A., CCC-SLP/L, CPMT, CIMI

Qualifications

  • M.A., CCC-SLP/L, CPMT, CIMI
  • 22+ years specialized in pediatrics
  • Certified NOMAS® newborn & infant feeding evaluations
  • Certified Infant Massage Instructor
  • Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist
  • 18+ years as credentialed IL Early Intervention specialist
  • Formally trained in specialized therapy techniques including:
    – Feeding / Swallowing Therapy (including SOS ® Techniques
    – Dyspraxia / Apraxia of speech
    – Dysarthria & other motor speech disorders
    – Dyslexia
    – Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
    – Greenspan Floortime ®
    – Myofascial Release
    – Craniosacral Therapy

    – Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT)
    – Massage Therapy for children with special needs
    – Signed Exact English / ASL
    – Auditory Processing Disorder
    – Phonological and Articulation Disorders
    – Language Disorders
    – Executive Function Disorders
    – Lindamood-Bell ® Visualizing and Verbalizing ®, Seeing Stars ®
    – Word Finding Disorders
    – Interactive Metronome ®
    – Sensory Processing Therapy
    – Stuttering & Voice Therapy
    – Therapeutic use of Essential Oils
    – Vibrational Healing techniques

Biography

I have a great many life experiences that all contributed to the person and therapist I am today. I come from a large family with two brothers and five sisters. As the second oldest, I was frequently acting as “mommy” to the younger siblings during my elementary and high school years. I was always taking care of someone’s baby or my own sisters it seemed, and I loved it.

“I feel very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to nurture so many young lives in my chosen profession.”

I have 22+ years of experience specializing in the birth to three population, preschool, school-age and adolescent children. I have spent numerous hours gaining additional continuing education with concentration in the areas of oral and/or verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, feeding and swallowing disorders, auditory processing and comprehension disorders, and aural rehabilitation. I have worked with children having a variety of delays, disorders and diagnoses including feeding and swallowing problems, receptive and expressive language delay or disorder, verbal apraxia, dysfluency or stuttering, central auditory processing disorder, word retrieval difficulties, Down Syndrome, Joubert Syndrome, Cleft lip and palate, Turner Syndrome, DiGeorge Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, ADD/ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, cochlear implant and hearing impaired, and others. I am certified to administer newborn feeding evaluations using the NOMAS® feeding scale. I have helped children successfully transition from tube feedings to oral feedings. I currently am working for certification as a Board Recognized Specialist in Swallowing disorders awarded by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.

I also am very passionate about the mind body connection, and use of vibrational healing or energy healing techniques in conjunction with traditional therapy methods. Using my certifications as a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist (CPMT) and Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), I have been incorporating massage, aromatherapy and use of therapeutic grade essential oils in my therapy with children and families for over 10 years. I am currently working to add color therapy, light spectrum and sound frequency vibrational healing methods in my work with children and families.

My career and education path led me initially into the United States Army, where I spent six years on active duty playing flute, piccolo, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone and singing in various Army Bands. I was fortunate to travel and experience different cultures from my own in Fort Sill, OK; Korea; Germany, Holland, and Denmark. My last assignment was at Fort Sheridan, IL. I earned my bachelor degree in psychology while attending school in the evenings. In 1989, I left my active duty assignment to work full time as a legal technician for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. I eventually went back to school full time at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL to obtain my master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. I also continued serving in U.S. Army Reserve Bands until my retirement in March 2004.

My interest in children and the desire to nurture in some capacity led me into the Speech Language Pathology field. Courses in linguistics and communication sciences furthered my search for a therapy field that would allow me to foster growth early in a child’s development. Upon graduation in 1994, I began working with the Special Education District of Lake County’s Parent Infant program, which later became the birth to three program. I was blessed to work in a setting that encouraged collaboration and mentor ship with all therapy disciplines including physical therapists, occupational therapists, vision specialists, audiologists, school psychologists, social workers, counselors and special educators.

I began a private practice as well in 1996, which afforded me the opportunity to continue working with children after they aged out of the birth to three program. I joined with a group of therapists to establish Birth To Three Therapies in Grayslake, IL. Our business grew until we needed more space and more therapists. We moved to Lake Villa in 2004. In 2008 we changed our name to “The Therapy Tree, Pediatric and Adult Wellness” to express our expanded focus on the mind-body connection and wellness for the entire family and/or caregiver unit.

We continue to expand our facility and services offered. We also are committed to providing a setting for new therapists to gain skills specializing in pediatric evaluation and therapy. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my expertise and foster the growth of Speech Language Pathologists focusing on the pediatric population.

 

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