Brainfood Speech Therapy is different:
The Brainfood Speech Therapy approach is holistic. All aspects of health and development are taken into account.
•Longer, one hour, individualized speech therapy sessions are available.
•Learn ways to adopt healthier eating habits that will help improve learning and overall quality of life.
•Sensory tools and exercises learned directly from Occupational Therapists are implemented during speech therapy.
•Other Holistic practices, such as fun, gentle yoga and meditation can be implemented for improved focus and mood.
My name is Kristen Vaye Harris and I am the owner of Brainfood Speech Therapy. I graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2011 and have worked as a speech therapist in a variety of settings including home health, day treatment facilities, and outpatient facilities. Because I am the owner and sole therapist, I have the opportunity to really get to know the limited number of clients I accept into my program. This creates an amazing bond with you, your family and your child. Our teamwork and commitment to the process makes me incredibly invested in your progress and outcomes with the ultimate goal that you, your child and your family are healthy, happy, and thriving.
Areas of Practice
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech therapy relies on the neuroplasticity of the brain to help build new neurological connections to learn and use new skills. I provide very individualized therapy. I do not just treat based on what a standardized test score says, I treat based on what you, your child, or your family is experiencing in your everyday life. Everyone learns better if they are interested and engaged in what is being taught, especially children. Children learn and build new neurological connections and skills through play, fun and being engaged in therapy. I make sure therapy is entertaining and engaging for children and adults because that is the most effective way to learn!
Nutrition and Therapy for Picky Eaters
I specialize in providing therapy for really picky eaters to help them eat new foods. Generally, the really picky eaters experience what is called ‘feeding disorders’ (not eating disorders- that is very different). Children or adults with feeding disorders generally have or had weakness of the oral musculature, uncoordinated oral musculature, a traumatic choking episode, or sensory sensitivity within their oral cavity. These issues can lead to being very picky with foods. In providing feeding therapy, I also focus on acquiring healthy foods rather than processed junk food. Neurological health and the ability to learn and build new neurological connections is directly related to diet.
Holistic and Integrative Health
Along with being a state and nationally certified speech pathologist, I hold a certificate in Holistic and Integrative Health. With this knowledge I can implement other holistic practices into our therapy sessions. Studies show that gentle exercises like yoga and a meditative practice can help children to focus and learn. Children with ADHD, autism, and other diagnoses have been shown to be helped by various holistic practices. Any supplemental holistic practices can be implemented into therapy based on need and comfort level.
Many children and adults may experience a tongue thrust. A tongue thrust means the tongue pushes out between the lower and upper teeth and pushes against the teeth while speaking, resting, eating, drinking, and sleeping. This is due to weakness of the tongue and mouth that never resolved or strengthened. Some people with a tongue thrust also have a ‘lisp’ when pronouncing their S, Z, and TH sounds. Tongue thrust is not just a speech issue, it creates a variety of issues. Many orthodontists will not put braces on a person’s teeth if they have a tongue thrust because the tongue will continue to push against the teeth causing orthodontic issues and making braces pointless. It is important to treat a tongue thrust for a person’s jaw health, teeth health, and speech skills.
I provide a different approach to stuttering therapy in that I focus on all aspects of the what causes stuttering to occur. Most stuttering has a neurological basis. It is usually not a psychological problem, though the stress of stuttering can cause psychological distress. With my approach, I focus on the neurology of stuttering-specifically hemispheric dominance in the brain- as well as treating the other underlying issues in stuttering including breath support, secondary behaviors, and anxiety. Physical activity, brain dominance exercises, language processing exercises, yoga and meditation are a part of this treatment protocol to help the with decreasing or eliminating occurrences of stutters as well as to help with relaxation and diminishing fear and anxiety related to speaking. Stuttering is multi-faceted. Treatment should be as well!
If Brainfood Speech Therapy sounds like the right treatment program for you or your child, please contact me for more information or to schedule an evaluation.
Please note that I may be in a therapy session and unable answer your call. If this occurs, please leave a message with your name, number, purpose for calling, and several options of good times for me to return your call. I will call you back as soon as possible (within 48 hours). Email is a great way to reach me as well. Please feel free to email any questions using the form below. I look forward to hearing from you!
5550 South Lewis Avenue Suite 305