Speech and Language Therapy Looks A Lot Like Play!

When most people hear the word ‘therapy’ they think of a very clinical setting. Here at GiGi’s Playhouse we love to change that perception.

Please let us introduce you to our Amina Grace Speech and Language Therapy program.

This program provides youth, teens and adults with greatly expanded opportunities to evolve and refine their speech and language skills. Effective enunciation, clarity of speech, word order and message meaning are paramount to fostering greater self-confidence, comprehension, problem-solving, school readiness, social skills, independence, and overall quality of life.

Why is it called Amina Grace Speech and Language Therapy?

Amina was a middle child, born to Maura and Munawar in the winter of 2009. She was born with Down syndrome and had an older brother Nabil and a younger sister Emma. When Amina entered the world she was peaceful and smiling and you could sense a strength about her. She was an easy child to raise as she had a “go with the flow” mentality. This would serve her well through the therapies, surgeries and challenges that she faced. She had the amazing ability to take whatever life threw at her and really make the best of it. Amina loved to be with family.

Amina Grace passed away in September 2014 and her parents chose to honor her life by creating the Amina Grace Memorial Fund. Her parents shared “Amina was sent here to this Earth to work through us to inspire others. To change people. To open people’s hearts to endless possibilities. We created the Amina Grace Memorial Fund to honor her and to carry on life’s lessons that we learned with her – that all human beings have amazing abilities, but sometimes we need a little extra help to live up to our full potential.”

You can learn more about Amina Grace here.

Purposeful Play in Action!

Our Playhouse is grateful to receive funding from the Amina Grace Memorial Fund that helps us to offer this important therapy, FREE of charge, to our Playhouse families.

This year we have formed a partnership with the UW Speech and Language Clinic to provide in-person and virtual speech therapy sessions. Our therapists customize each session to the participant. Families actively participate in the speech session and help create goals for the participant. At each session our therapists find creative and fun ways to engage our participants while working towards the goals they’ve established.

When observing a therapy session it may look like they’re just playing games, baking a treat or creating a craft but each activity is allowing people to work on their language and articulation skills and strengthen the muscles needed to form the sounds and words.

These are all perfect examples of why we refer to everything we do at the Playhouse as “Purposeful Programming”. We customize every program to the needs of people with Down syndrome and ensure everything is presented in a way that aligns with how people with Down syndrome learn.

We offer Amina Grace Speech and Language Therapy three times a year thanks to the generosity of the Amina Grace Memorial Fund and other grants and donations we receive from our community. While programming is always free to our families it is not free to run. If you’re interested in supporting our Speech program you can contribute here.

To learn more or apply to our program visit our Speech page here.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa Eriksen on August 4, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Our son participated in this program for the first time this summer and it was AMAZING! The therapist(s) were wonderful. They were thoughtful, caring and really observant. The recommendations they made have been helping him already. While that’s exciting, the great part (especially for him) is they made it fun. Every time he had speech they did fun things like baking, playing games and science experiments. Highly recommend this program!

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