Speech Therapy Santa Cruz- Interview with Shayne Labadie

Speech Therapy Santa Cruz - Interview with Shayna Labadie

Speech Therapy Santa Cruz- Interview with Shayna Labadie

Shayna Labadie is a Speech Language Pathologist here in Santa Cruz who specializes in articulation, speech sound disorders, and swallowing issues with children. Shayna has an amazing natural ability to hear a speech impediment in people, is fluent in sign language, and is passionate about helping your children build confidence through improving their speech. Watch the full video to learn more about Speech Therapy Santa Cruz and to learn how to get your child on the path to improved speech!

Visit Shayna Labadie’s website at hhttps://speechtherapysantacruz.com/ to schedule a 15 minute complimentary consultation!

Interview with Shayna Labadie; Speech Pathologist and Owner CEO of Speech Therapy Santa Cruz

  • Shemeika: Hello everybody, and welcome. I am here and excited to introduce you to Shayna Labadie, who is the owner/CEO of Speech Therapy Santa Cruz, right here in Santa Cruz. And I’m just going to dive right in and start asking you a bunch of questions. Well, let’s start actually in the beginning. What is your job? How would you describe what you do?
  • Shayna: All right. I’m a speech language pathologist. So I help people with their speech. I start as early, like I can work with kids as early as one. Some people have been working with infants, but I start at one until a hundred.
  • Shemeika: A hundred?
  • Shayna: Well, if someone lives that long.
  • Shemeika: And they would have had bad speech for that long?
  • Shayna: Well, if you’re working with the older people, I’m not working on lisps at that point, but I’d be working on, maybe we had a swallowing disorder. Something like that after a stroke. I used to do some swallowing when I worked at a nursing home. This was about five years ago. And I would do swallowing or if they had aphasia or memory things like that. Wasn’t doing articulation. What I do now is half my kids I see are autistic. And the other half I work with speech sound disorders. So different like lisps, or R’s, or stuttering, things like that.
  • Shemeika: How did you get into this line of work?
  • Shayna: Sure, well, I think as far as I can remember, I always noticed people’s speech impediments. I would notice, I’m like, “Oh, they can’t say their R’s or they have a lisp.” And my mom would point it out too. She was very aware and I just have always known and I could hear it a mile away. Some therapists, they have to like train themselves. I didn’t need any training in them. Yeah. Yeah.
  • Shemeika: So do you, what kind of tools or like lessons or teach, like how do you work with these children so that they can, I’m going to say children because they’re mostly children. How do you work with them? Like, what tools do you give them so that they can kind kind of combat and learn the proper way to speak?
  • Shayna: Sure, well, usually, you know, I get a referral and someone’s like, sometimes from a dentist or a teacher. So basically, I should tell you, I serve kids. I see them in their school sometimes. People hire me and I just go into their school or preschool. I see them in their homes. And I also do a lot of teletherapy too, which is great. A lot of people may not think it’s as effective, but it really is. You just hop on. I could hear them, especially because they’re not in masks. I’m not in masks. I can see them really well. And we just, I do a lot of drill. So basically the patients or you know, I get a referral and then I find out what’s wrong. Sometimes they do an evaluation, sometimes they come in with an evaluation, but I am constantly evaluating them as I go along. I’m like, okay, now they have this sound mastered, let’s get the other sound in. Sometimes it’s just one single sound error, like an R, like wabbit for a rabbit. Sometimes it’s, but with the R, there’s so many different positions. It’s, it’s like, okay, now, now that you’ve fixed the beginning R, like, you know, rabbit, sometimes they don’t have the R at the end, like car, they’ll say call. So it’s like, okay, you have to fix that part. So it’s like so many different types of R than R’s in words like green and the blends.
  • Shemeika: How often do you see the children?
  • Shayna: Usually I see kids one to two times a week. Minimum at least three months. If it’s just one sound, I could probably get them out in three months. Sometimes I, I could have them as long as a year to two years, depending on how complex the case is.
  • Shemeika: Okay. What is your favorite part of the job?
  • Shayna: I really like to, I love when I can finally exit a kid and be like, yes. Good.
  • Shemeika: I’ve cured a kid.
  • Shayna: Yeah, it makes me happy because I know socially they’ll feel better about themselves. And that’s, I love seeing when they actually seeing the progress that they make. That’s my favorite part.
  • Shemeika: Yeah. So we were talking earlier about these people coming to you for help and not even hearing that they’re saying it wrong, even though like you can tell. So how do they figure out, well I know like their parents are involved or whatever, but how do they figure out that they’re, that they have a speech impediment and that they need to come see, see you? And how do you get them to recognize that the way in which they’re saying it is not the correct way?
  • Shayna: Well, okay. First there’s a few things. One, some parents don’t even recognize that their kid has a speech impediment. So let’s pretend the parent doesn’t even know. And I’m at the park and I go, hi, I just want to introduce myself. I’m, I’m sorry, but I’m a speech therapist. And just in case you haven’t heard, I noticed you know that your kid has a speech impediment. You know, they have a lisp or whatever. Has your child ever been in therapy? They’re like, what? This happened, this happened over Christmas. I was at dinner and, and I noticed it was like a, it was a work thing. And I heard that her child had a lisp and she’s like, I am shocked. No one, the dentist never said anything. The doctor, like, what? My kid has a lisp, I’m like, yeah. And, and I’m actually watching her swallow pattern and she’s actually swallowing wrong too. It’s called the tongue thrust. It’s like when your tongue touches your bottom teeth like this and they’re swallowing the wrong place instead of at the roof of your mouth, which is kind of common.
  • Shemeika: Wow.
  • Shayna: So, anyhow, so I tell her, she’s like, I am shocked. Well, we need to get her help right away. I’m like, sure. So anyhow, she’s on my caseload now and I’m working with her. But it’s, she didn’t have a clue. The person in treatment might not hear it, but the people around them don’t hear it. A lot of times the parents don’t know. So first I have to tell the parents that they’re not aware. Yeah, and then once they are, then I have to convince the kid. And I, I, it’s very important that they know they have a speech problem so they can fix it. If they don’t hear themselves, they’ll never even, they have, it’s so important. So I, I show, sometimes I have to record them and then they watch themselves. I’m like, do you see how you’re tongue came forward? Do you hear how you’re saying thoup instead of soup, I go, we have to fix that. I’ll say it wrong lots of times. And then I make them tell me if I’m doing a good job or a bad job. And so once they could recognize it from me, then they have to recognize it from themselves. And then once they can finally hear the distinction, what a proper sound is. Then we could go from there. But if they don’t know, then I, I can’t even fix it. I have to make sure they understand. And then I have them write them. How, how do you think you did on that R or how do you think you did on the s I’m saying those two sounds. Cause those are primarily the ones that are the common ones. Those are the long-lasting ones that should be gone by six years old. But sometimes they linger. And a lot of people think, oh, let’s wait and I’ll wait and see. But really at six years old, you’re not going to outgrow it. You need have all your sounds in ideally by age 5.
  • Shemeika: And if you don’t, who do you call?
  • Shayna: Call me Shayna Labadie at Speech Therapy Santa Cruz. And it’s so important. A lot of people are like, but my doctors never said anything. And that’s very true. The doctors don’t often…
  • Shemeika: Why don’t the doctors say anything?
  • Shayna: So frustrating? I really don’t know. I think, I think they go in for, you know, they go in for their wellness checks. They care more about maybe the language development side more than the articulation. So if they’re not speaking, then that’s a characteristic of autism. So you start seeing some characteristics. And I, and I work with, like I said, half my kids are autistic.
  • Shemeika: Yeah. Interesting. So do you ever see your students, like after you have helped them overcome, like years later, months later, do they ever come back to you?
  • Shayna: Yeah. It’s great. I love it. And I, you know, touch base with the parents. Because you start to build a relationship with them. It’s so great to hear them like, look at you, you’re just speaking so perfectly. And I love it. It’s great.
  • Shemeika: Aw. I would, I would imagine that that would be like a huge confidence booster too. To be able to articulate yourself like that.
  • Shayna: Oh, it’s huge. That’s huge. It’s so important. I think, you know, some kids, it’s happens often. Some of the, like if the boys or girls and they don’t get help and they’re middle school still like 14, 15 years old and they’ve never received help. Or maybe they did and they got tired of it and they stopped doing therapy cause they’re like, I don’t care. I don’t care. I’m like, one day you’re going to care when you have a relationship or when you try to get a job, you know, I’m like, so it’s really important that you care. So you have to make sure the kids care.
  • Shemeika: What’s the difference if you are, if you have like an early intervention, can do you say early intervention?
  • Shayna: Yeah, early intervention.
  • Shemeika: Like with the, with the younger kid versus like, somebody that is a teenager or even an adult like, helps.
  • Shayna: It helps because it just becomes habitual. So if you’re saying the same sound wrong every time, it just, it just becomes habitual. And it’s really hard to correct it. It’s so much better to do it when they’re younger. Earlier the better.
  • Shemeika: So how would, if doctors aren’t noticing or saying anything, and schools aren’t noticing or saying anything, like how would families or kids or whoever needs to advocate for their children figure it out and like, know where to go.
  • Shayna: That’s the problem. If no one’s saying anything, they don’t think there’s a problem. So it, it’s up to the people in the parks to say something. No, but I am, I do think that hopefully, you know, I, I really, and I think there was one thing with mask wearing, they wouldn’t even see them at the doctors. So for a few years, I think doctors maybe weren’t as good as identifying speech concerns. But it’s, it’s really challenging when they’re not getting, you know, so, so if people aren’t saying anything, they’re not going to get the help they need. And I think schools aren’t saying anything. Like, when I was a kid, if you couldn’t say a sound, you’d be put in speech. And now they’re, they’re saying unless it impacts their literacy, then you don’t need speech. Isn’t that interesting?
  • Shemeika: Like shocking actually.
  • Shayna: Yeah. They’re like, well, you could understand them. They can still spell and write and so they don’t need it. So it’s really unfortunate.
  • Shemeika: Wow. Okay. Are there still speech therapists that are affiliated with like public school districts?
  • Shayna: Yes. Yes. I’m private. But there are people that if your kid wasn’t speaking appropriately, that they should be sent to like the public school speech therapist. Yeah but, if it’s just a single sound error, they’re not going to to get seen. It doesn’t happen anymore. It ha- They have to have multiple errors. So if it’s just a lisp, they won’t be seen anymore. Isn’t that crazy?
  • Shemeika: Wow. That is.
  • Shayna: So I used to do, early intervention. I would do the preschool evaluating team, but now they’re like, you know, I have a set of twins that I work with, that I work privately, and the parents pay out of pocket you can like, try to get your kids into speech free speech therapy in the preschools. And they tried and they said they weren’t unintelligible enough. Like, well, less than 50% can understand them, but they’re like, still not enough. So I’m like, so they really have changed their criteria. So even these children who really could benefit from speech therapy, and I’m not just talking about the sounds, I’m talking about language, they might say like, up, go and just single sound, single words. And they need to be speaking in sentences. And they’re not getting service.
  • Shemeika: Right. So are there any tips or clues that you can give to parents to be like, looking for? Like, I think that’s really great.
  • Shayna: Yeah. And I could hear this is, you know, I, this, I put a speech sound acquisition chart. So basically by two to three years old, you want to have that p, b, m, d, n, h, t, k, g, w, ng, f, y And then four, you want to have the, l, j ch, s, v, sh, z and then five the, r, zh, th so there’s a difference between voiced and voiceless. So like a voice voiceless, like th like, like thin. And then that words it’s voiced. So it’s like, if you’re vocal cords vibrate or not. Like, th or, th or like, th no, no vibration. So it’s voiceless like for an S and Z. So anyhow, if your child isn’t saying these sounds or if they’re not speaking, you know, please tell, you know, talk to the pediatrician. Tell them, look, I need my kid to, you know, start speaking, what can I do? Can I get them evaluated? And there are places that um you know, like a lot of clinics and some people do take insurance. I don’t personally take insurance, but I have many clients who do get reimbursed by insurance companies. And I just give them like a monthly receipt and I give them diagnostic codes. And some of them get reimbursed for most of their services.
  • Shemeika: That’s great. Does that happen? Do people get treated and cured? Do you say cured?
  • Shayna: I dunno. I say that they like get discharged and, yeah.
  • Shemeika: Okay. Treated and discharged from their speech impediment and then once you beat it you are good to go?
  • Shayna: Exactly. Once they’re good to go. And I don’t, just as soon as they’re good to go, I make sure that the family also says Yes, they’re doing a hundred percent at the house or like 98% they’re carrying it over. They really want to make sure they carry it over. So let’s say we get the sound in therapy, like a really good proper S but then the parents are like, guess what? He’s not doing it at the house. I’m like, well, he’s not ready to be discharged, so let’s keep going. I’ve never have repeat customers.
  • Shemeika: Okay, that’s good. It’s good for the good for the family, bad for business.
  • Shayna: Exactly. No, I, I don’t see the same kids unless it’s, unless it’s like, you know what? My kid needs a break. They’re burnt out. But that’s not a discharge. That happens, sometimes. If they’re too involved in sports. They don’t want to do speech right now. I’m like, sure, it’s going to be harder, but okay. I like to keep going. I, I don’t like to take any breaks.
  • Shemeika: What’s your background in like how, I mean, I know that you said that you got into it because you can hear it from a mile away and you’re just like very aware of it. What’s your background in it just seems like such a, such a specific niche.
  • Shayna: Yeah. Right. Well, you know, I got my bachelor’s in speech pathology and then you had to get your master’s with lots of internships and things like that.
  • Shemeika: And you just loved it?
  • Shayna: Yeah. I love it. I love it. My mom worked in special education. Some of her students would come over and they had like down syndrome or they were autistic. And my stepdad was autistic actually.
  • Shemeika: Yeah?!
  • Shayna: Yeah, so I was around it a lot. So I was always around.
  • Shemeika: Did he have a speech impediment?
  • Shayna: No, but he spoke in a monotone way and I got to see his different social, you know, quirks and things like that, so I’ve been around autistic people for many, for many years. My mom was a, she’s a retired special ed teacher. I thought that was the direction I would go in. And I do have a background in education. I did my student teaching in special ed education. And I was, terrible.
  • Shemeika: Really?
  • Shayna: Yeah, I was. When you are working with kids who are autistic or they have some sort of intellectual disability you’re not going to see the same type of progress. That’s why I think I really like doing articulation. I enjoy when they come in, and say this is the issue and then we’re going to treat it and then you’re going to move forward. And so much of what I do, I don’t know if I’ve really talked about, there’s a huge thing called a tongue tie.
  • Shemeika: Okay, oh yeah, let’s talk about that.
  • Shayna: So I think it’s really important. And so many kids who have lisps or can’t say their R’s, it’s not, it’s because it’s not just because, usually it’s because there’s something wrong anatomically. So maybe there’s a tongue tie. So it’s, it’s my frenulum underneath the tongue, that stretchy part. Okay, some people, it goes up too high and it creates them to have a lisp or tongue thrust and they’re swallowing improperly and they’re going to mess up their teeth. They can change the shape of their face. So it’s really important. It’s not just the sound. So it’s like, okay, well yeah, we want the sound to sound correct. So you’re not saying wabbit or thoop. But besides that, and when I first started, I’ve been at, I’ve been a therapist 20 years now. Wow. When I first started, I’d never even really looked in the mouth, which is crazy. I never even looked. Now I always check them out first. I check the swallow. I always do. Like, let me, let me look, let me look underneath the tongue. Let me look, let me look at your palate. I look for a lot of different things because sometimes they need to do myofunctional therapy as well…
  • Shemeika: Which is what?
  • Shayna: That’s when they work on like more less, they do more swallowing. They work on different tongue exercises. So, so a proper position is having your tongue flat up against the roof of your mouth. And most people have it, that’s how it should be. Right, when our mouths are closed, our tongue is suction against to the roof of our mouth. When you have a tongue tie or maybe you have enlarged tonsils or adenoids, your tongue is like low, like people with open mouth posture, like, like something like this. You see people with their mouth open and then they’re swallowing wrong and they’re pushing against their bottom teeth over and over in the wrong, like you swallow thousands of times a day. So you’re, you’re practicing that wrong swallow and then you have a lisp too. So anyhow, it’s really important that these kids don’t just get seen for speech, but we really need to fix their swallow too. And that’s something I do help with is fixing their swallow. This is one of the first questions I ask patients or I ask the parents at intake, like, Did you nurse? Did you have any problems latching? Because so often like, oh my gosh. Did your kid nurse okay. And they’re like, no. Like I, I couldn’t latch my breast were engorged and I had multiple infections. And it’s like, okay, well that’s cause of the improper latch.
  • Shemeika: Interesting. So what is the process? What is your intake process? You meet somebody on the park or whatever, or if not it’s like referral from dentist or, or doctors, things like that, how does your intake process go? How do you establish what needs to be worked on? It sounds like now you do like a, a mouth inspection.
  • Shayna: Yeah, I do like an oral mech. Sometimes if it’s something where it is language based, I’m not necessarily doing that. Sometimes it is just getting them to work on like sentences and more words, things like that. So, but usually when the parent calls me, I just set up a time and if I’m seeing them in person or if I see them virtually and I, I just start, I just kind of start for me, some people will do an evaluation every time. I don’t necessarily do an evaluation every time. A lot of therapists like what? But for me, I just feel like it’s not necessary. And it saves them money. Because evaluations are very lengthy and expensive and if I don’t, and because it’s private, I don’t have to. I’ll know instantly, what they’re, within minutes, what I need to work on. And if during, you know, like let’s say day two, I’m like, oh, we need to work on this too. I’ll just add it. I just think it, the parents I, for the most part, they seem to be very happy that they’re not paying for a full evaluation. And I don’t think it’s necessary. I just dive right into like help. And I don’t love paperwork. A lot of, a lot of our job, especially working the schools with paperwork and I don’t like it. So if I can avoid it. And parents don’t want to hear when I do a full comprehensive evaluation, they scored, you know, a 10 percentile. It doesn’t matter. I don’t like it. I don’t like saying that they’re below average in all areas. I’ll just say this is the kind of stuff we need to work on.
  • Shemeika: Yeah. I like that.
  • Shayna: Yeah. So I, so I’m not a type A therapist like a lot of us are, A lot of speech pathologists are I’m not. I do my own thing.
  • Shemeika: Yeah. That’s great. I love it.
  • Shayna: Meeting people at the park, was it, because it’s true. And a lot of my friends and my colleagues are like, what, you tell people? I’m like, it’s what I think it’s actually really generous and bold of you to be able to go up to a stranger and say, hey, this is my job and I just wanted you to know that I can hear this.
  • Shemeika: Have you ever had somebody respond negatively?
  • Shayna: Yes I have. Yeah. Yeah. Or I’ll ask parents, is your child speaking? No. Okay. Well these are some of the things you need to look for. Here’s my card. Do you have any questions? Or if you want to, or sometimes I’ll give people, if they’re interested, like a free 15 minute consultation, you know, if they have questions, I’m happy to offer that to people.
  • Shemeika: That’s great. How do you get somebody who’s completely non-verbal to start speaking?
  • Shayna: Some people they will never will. So I have to teach them other things. I do a lot of paper choices for them. Like I, you know, write on a piece of paper. Like, I want to go here, I don’t want to go here. And like, do you want to go outside? And then I show the paper and just work on the pointing. So they at least have a way to communicate.
  • Shemeika: Wow. So certain kids just won’t speak ever?
  • Shayna: No, they won’t. Or there’s things called communicate, like augmentative communication devices. So they do a lot of, it’s like an iPad with different, and this is not my specialty, I haven’t been trained in these kind of devices, but I still work with these kids, with them and I, they do sentences like I want to go shopping or my favorite color is red. So they can contribute.
  • Shemeika: So they can read?
  • Shayna: Well yeah. They can, like identify the words that they want to use, but they just can’t formulate them. Some of these kids have something called apraxia, which is a motor planning problem. It’s not just their verbal speech, but sometimes it impacts their writing. They can’t point even accurately. There’s something that’s really cool that we’re doing at one of these schools. It’s called RPM, Rapid Prompt Method. And it’s basically a letter board. So like A, B, C, D, F, G, and they, I have one kid, it’s the most incredible thing. He’s not, okay. First of all, he’s nine years old. Never had any type of communication. They tried multiple things from other therapists and then he learned this new method and he can, he can say the most beautiful things all by touching, I mean, takes a while. But he can do it.
  • Shemeika: Yeah. Wow.
  • Shayna: Like people say, he wrote this beautiful thing about me, like I love Shayna. I’m so glad, she is supportive of, It was the most incredible thing, Or I hope my brother’s proud of me and he can really, all by just touching. I’ll have to forward you this video. It’s one of the most incredible things. But for me, it’s like total communication.
  • Shemeika: I just got the chills.
  • Shayna: Right? Whatever we can do. If it’s not speaking, then what can we do? I also do sign language. I forgot. I took four semesters of sign language. So I do know sign and I still do, you know, all the time.
  • Shemeika: So look at you.
  • Shayna: Yeah, I know it. Yeah, I know the letters. But yeah, I do. So I did sign before I became a speech therapy. I forgot about that. Yeah. I did sign language, sequencing is not my strong point. I have kids have problems with sequencing. I’m like, oh great. I, I don’t know, I can’t help you with that. I’m not even sure. Don’t even try to have me describe a movie to you. Okay, this is why I don’t specialize in language disorders, I specialize in articulation.
  • Shemeika: Do you work with with deaf kids?
  • Shayna: I have, but I don’t currently have anyone now on my caseload. But I have, I love it. It’s so cool. A lot of therapists do more play-based and I do to make it a most effective. I do like, I aim for about 300 words a session.
  • Shemeika: Wow. That’s a lot. That’s really cool. I love what you do.
  • Shayna: Thanks. I do too. It’s a good, good career. Yeah. And it’s, it’s very rewarding.
  • Shemeika: So how do people find you?
  • Shayna: Speechtherapysantacruz.com You can find me there and feel free to send me an email or call me if you have any questions or if you would like a free 15 minute consultation. Happy to let you know if I see any concerns or if you have any concerns, I’m happy to answer any questions.
  • Shemeika: It was my pleasure to introduce to Shayna Labadie, speech therapy Santa Cruz. If you or anybody that you know needs a 15 minute free consultation she is offering so that she can analyze the speech patterns or improper articulation. And help you conquer your speech issues.
  • Shayna: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, let’s fix these. Let’s fix it.
  • Shemeika: I think this is going to be your new tagline. “Shayna Labadie speech therapy Santa Cruz, helping your children build confidence through improving their speech.”
  • Shayna: Okay. I like that. That’s good. That’s a good one.

Thank you so much for joining me for my interview with Shayna! I really enjoy talking with other women in business here in Santa Cruz. Women empowering women!

Visit Shayna Labadie’s website at https://speechtherapysantacruz.com/ to schedule a 15 minute complimentary consultation!

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