By: Andria Reymore
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2020
Upon meeting Las Vegas pediatric speech therapist and entrepreneur Katherine Wallisch, two things are quickly evident – her seemingly endless energy for what she believes in and her passion and expertise for autonomous communication. As a Las Vegas speech and language pathologist, she recognized a real need in Southern Nevada for a multi-disciplinary approach to AAC communications for children and set out to build a practice to fill it.
What is “AAC” or Augmentative and Alternative Communication?
AAC stands for “Augmentative and Alternative Communication” and includes all forms of communication that are not oral speech. It can include things like sign language, eye gaze and gestures, letter and word boards, and higher-tech options like tablets and switches. A child’s needs may change over time, and AAC Speech Clinic keeps a watchful eye to be sure they are getting the most out of their strategies and equipment, and to pivot as needed to meet those needs.
Comprehensive Developmental Care in the Las Vegas Valley and Beyond
Says Wallisch, “As I progressed through my training and career in speech therapy, it became apparent parents and caregivers of kids with complex medical needs have specific needs for efficiency they aren’t often getting. Our goal is to provide comprehensive developmental care for these families. I built my practice, I tried to look at everything from a parent’s standpoint. There are many things we can do as healthcare providers to increase access and convenience for our patients. These patients and their parents face many challenges; we’re committed to creating solutions.”
AAC offers all therapeutic specialties in its Las Vegas clinic and in a home setting, as well as nationwide teletherapy and other options in Reno, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Miami.
Meeting Hiring Challenges
Wallisch and her team bring together several specialties, including occupational and physical therapy, to accomplish AAC evaluations in one visit, and once that’s finished, they can do ongoing therapy in their clinic or in a patient’s home. Like many healthcare organizations, recruiting can be a challenge, but Wallisch and her clinical managers have an infectious passion for their cause and say once they’ve had a chance to share that with potential employees, it becomes easier to attract qualified specialists. Part of the AAC vision is a connected, communicative team of specialists, and that makes for a nurturing work and clinical environment employees appreciate.
A Parent-Approved Model
“These patients and their parents face many challenges; we’re committed to creating solutions.”Katherine Wallisch, MS, CCC-SLP
It seems AAC is on target so far. From an enthusiastic parent who left a review, “I am so happy I finally found a speech therapy that works with the family and listens to our needs. We couldn’t be happier with our services. We’ve been with AAC for over 6 months now and are glad we changed services. I highly recommend their services!! Thank you!!!” Says another parent, “To have someone think about healthcare from our perspective as parents of a child with disabilities is a huge step forward. Katherine just gets it. Things like having information flow from one form to another or having all the specialists in one building make such a difference. I really hope this becomes the norm.”
AAC Speech Clinic in Las Vegas is located at 1775 Village Center Circle, Unit 190, Las Vegas, NV 89134. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of medically complex children and their caregivers by conveniently providing quality, centralized developmental care. Families who need services are welcome to visit for a confidential assessment. Contact AAC to request an appointment or for more information.
While we hope these resources will start conversations between caregivers and medical professionals, we make no guarantees or endorsements and the information in this article and the included links should not substitute for medical care or professional education.