First Step

The FIRST STEP was created by Wendy Nottoli in 1993 to provide a language based program which promotes communication, language, cognitive independence, and social development with our developmentally challenged population.

It is the FIRST STEP philosophy that by reaching in to our children using an intensive, individually-tailored therapeutic intervention approach, our ultimate goal of communication, WILL BE ACHIEVED. We believe that the program should fit the child NOT the child having to fit the program.

Kendall Speech and Language Center, Inc. has realized documented gains in our children’s ability to function in their everyday lives and to communicate due to the combination of a holistic, incidental teaching model with an applied behavioral approach. These changes have occurred with our children by incorporating:

– Personalized programs
– Inclusion of an applied behavioral focus
– Inclusion of sensory integration techniques as    prescribed by the child’s Occupational Therapist
– Creating a cognitive challenge
– Parental training in our Center and at their home
– Promoting overall independence
– Early intervention
– Broad based curriculum
– Inclusion with assistance
– Generalization programming

Acceptance in to the FIRST STEP program is determined by a diagnosis of a developmental disorder and a communication consultation performed by our Speech and Language Pathologists. Children are accepted as early as 16 months through 6 six years of age.

The FIRST STEP program meets Monday through Friday. Additional hours are available for children of the FIRST STEP program to continue their program up to 40 hours per week. The FIRST STEP program features:

– A tailored program to meet each child’s needs
– Daily work with Speech-Language Pathologists,   Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants, academic   specialists and trained Technicians.
– One-to-one attention
– Availability of occupational therapy and daily   implementation of the child’s sensory diets
– Daily group time to promote social interaction and play
– Individualized play therapy
– Speech therapy when needed
– Individual academic tutoring when child is ready
– Haircuts every six weeks (additional fee)
– Parental assistance in maintaining a home program
– Parent education and training programs
– Parent support meetings

The FIRST STEP program has many components that are included as part of our program or that parents are able to take advantage of for their child and family. These include:

– Family Facilitation
– Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
– STEPpin’ OUT
– STEPpin’ INTO ACADEMICS
– STEPpin’ INTO COMPUTERS
– STEPpin’ IN
– Home After Program (HAP)
– Nutritional Counseling
– Music Therapy
– Occupational Therapy
– STEPpin’ OUTDOORS
– INDEPENDENT STEPs

For Children 16 months – 6 years

– Developed by KSLC founder Wendy Nottoli
– Program runs 12.5 hours/week
– Tailor-made therapeutic intervention
– Comprised of many programs that ensures well-rounded therapy