Small Business Saturday, Katy Speech & Language
As moms, we all worry from one time to another if our kids are hitting their milestones when they should. One of those milestones is speech. If you’re anything like us, you’re hyper aware of if your kiddos are talking when they should, and pronouncing sounds and words like they should.
The prevalence of speech sound disorder in young children is 8 to 9 percent. By the first grade, roughly 5 percent of children have noticeable speech disorders; the majority of these speech disorders have no known cause.
We’re so lucky to have great resources right here in Katy, should you ever need to have your child evaluated or need regular therapy to get them to where they need to be!
At Katy Speech & Language, their mission is to provide the highest quality speech services for children ages 1 to 18 in order to help patients reach their full potential. Katy Speech and Language, PLLC provides evidence based speech treatments and assessments that are tailored to each client’s needs. In addition, Katy Speech and Language, PLLC provides family education, training, and carry over techniques.
The best part? They can come to your child! Whether it be at school or in the comfort of your own home, they want to come to where your child feels more comfortable.
Owner and Katy mama of 3, Alyssa Fairchild, M.S., CCC-SLP, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Baylor University and her Master of Science degree from Baylor University in 2009. She is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice in the state of Texas. Alyssa is a certified provider for DIR Floortime and Hanen: More Than Words. She is Beckman Oral Motor Certified as well.
Alyssa has worked in a variety of settings including the local school district, a private school for children with language and learning differences, and a rehab hospital. She understands the impact speech disorders can create, not only for the child, but for the family as well. Alyssa founded her private, home based speech therapy practice in 2010 and has greatly enjoyed developing relationships with families and seeing each child improve in their ability to communicate.
We got to chat with Alyssa about her business, how she balances running and business with her joy of being a mama, and future plans for Katy Speech & Language!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I grew up in Katy! I’ve attended elementary, junior high, and high school here. I met my husband in high school as well!
Where did you get your degree in Speech Pathology and why did you choose this as a career path?
I went to Baylor for undergrad and grad school, Sic ‘em Bears! 😊 I chose speech pathology because I wanted to help people and work with children. When I was in high school, I was able to observe speech pathologists providing therapy and that furthered my interest in the field.
When did you open Katy Speech and Language?
I had been providing speech therapy in Katy since 2011 and started Katy Speech and Language a few years later. I’ve expanded since then and had some amazing speech pathologists join the practice.
What was the inspiration behind starting your business?
I have known since high school that I wanted to be in a profession where I could help children. I realized after graduating as a speech-language pathologist, that I could most effectively do this by starting my own business. My parents provided guidance for me and I was fortunate to have some great speech pathologists as mentors.
Tell us about the services you provide and all the areas speech therapy can help?
We help parents who have any concerns with their child’s articulation, fluency and/or language development. We see a wide array of children with a variety of disorders including autism, developmental delays, Down Syndrome, learning disabilities and genetic disorders.
Children become so frustrated when they can’t convey their message. It’s also difficult for people who interact with the child because they don’t know what they need. We help children have a voice. We really see an increase in positive behaviors when the child improves in their ability to communicate because more people understand them, including their peers!
What’s one of the best testimonials you’ve received in your career?
My child won’t stop talking! 🙂 I love when this happens! Parents come to us with a lot of worry and anxiety about their child. It’s always such a great feeling when you start with a child who doesn’t have any words and after therapy they become a chatterbox!
What are some of the benefits children see through speech therapy?
The language we work on in speech therapy provides the foundation for a child so they can communicate better. If children don’t have their basic language skills mastered they struggle following directions, making sentences, and answering/asking questions, to name a few areas. When these needs aren’t addressed, we see these children struggle in school. When working with articulation, we remediate their errors which helps others understand. By addressing these deficits we improve children’s communication skills and their abilities to advocate for themselves.
If a mom is worried about speech delays or language problems, but not sure if they should be evaluated, what’s your advice for them?
We recommend to get an evaluation! Evaluations don’t take too long and then you know for sure if your child is age appropriate or needs more support. If your child shows a need for therapy, there is endless research supporting the benefits of early intervention. The longer you wait to address the needs, the wider the gaps can become. If the evaluation shows there are no concerns, then you can stop worrying!
What did you do before you opened this business?
I worked in various school settings as a speech pathologist. This was a great learning opportunity as it gave me the chance to get exposure to a wide variety of children with disabilities.
Name one thing that makes you unique in your space or industry?
We come out to your child’s location. We travel to private schools, preschools and homes. This is a really convenient aspect for working parents! Since therapy is provided in homes, we can really support the parents and help guide them on ways they can help their child.
Families also receive very individualized service with us. We aren’t a giant hospital or chain. All of our speech pathologists are local to this area and are able to provide a very child and family centered approach.
What’s your favorite thing about being a business owner in Katy?
I get to work with so many sweet and fun children and their families for therapy. The parents really try to do the best they can for their children and we get to help them!
How do you think the Katy area community will impact your business?
The Katy area is so supportive! I started as a solo therapist and now have five speech pathologists providing therapy. This is all because of word of mouth and the support we receive from families and schools in the area.
What’s one thing you’d like to go back and tell yourself before you were a business owner?
Make time for yourself by taking breaks and setting cut off times. Owning a business is a journey and there’s always something to be done, but taking care of yourself benefits you, your family, and the families you serve!
Advice for anyone wanting to start their own business in this space or any other field with helping children?
It is essential to get good people on board with you. I work with amazing speech pathologists who are very intelligent and caring, a crucial combination to be great in this field!
When things get hard, what’s one thing you tell yourself to keep going when running a business?
Just like in life, there are ups and downs in running a business. You just keep going and focus on the families you serve. I’m very fortunate to get to do what I love and make a difference in children’s lives!
How do you balance being a business owner, wife, and mama?
I think we’re always looking for the perfect balance between family and business life. For me, understanding and accepting that my “To-Do” list will always have something on it, was a big challenge. On my day off, I take care of household chores, doctor appointments, and TRY to fit in everything I wasn’t able to complete earlier in the week. I want to make sure that when my family is home, I am able to focus on being mommy.
How has being a mother inspired you to help other kids?
As the mommy of three children, I completely understand wanting to do whatever is necessary to help your children. As a speech pathologist, I get to help the families who are concerned about their child’s communication. I can empathize with their worries and love that I get to help their children through the process of improving their communication!
Future plans for your business?
We’ll continue to grow with Katy and keep providing high quality therapy to the area kids. We recently added an office space to the practice so we can provide therapy to children who do better in a more formal setting.
Pediatric speech therapy in the Katy/Fulshear area. Services can be provided at your home, child’s school, or in our office. We are located in 3S Learning Center. Therapy and evaluations are provided by ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologists for children 1 to 18 years in the following areas: Articulation Disorders, Fluency Disorders (Stuttering), Language Delays and Disorders, Phonological Processing Disorders, Pragmatic Language and Social Skills, Special Needs, and Traumatic Brain Injury. Contact us today to help your child!