How do you use a certified Therapy Dog in Speech Sessions?

Speech skills: imitation skills, target specific phonemes, target phonological processes, structured sentences and conversation, fluency, vocal volume, generalization of target sounds to functional environments    

Receptive & expressive language skills: ask/answer questions (yes/no, wh-questions, hypothetical questions), pronouns, follow multi-step directions, identification of vocabulary (body parts, size, numbers, etc), adjectives, sequence events, follow/give multi-step directions, commenting/descriptions, verb formats (third person singular, present/present progressive, future tense), contractions, possession, prepositions, vocabulary and categories, concepts (temporal, spatial, quantitative), give directions (sit, drop, shake, stay, hug, etc)

Social/Pragmatic language skills: initiation, attention to task, joint attention, distal/proximal point, inviting others to participate, turn taking, pretend play, waiting, personal space, problem solving, planning, listening to others without interrupting, body language, facial expressions, requesting (permission, objects, etc), topic maintenance, helping others

AAC: initiate/terminate activities, use of hand gestures and signs, state likes/dislikes, ask for help, give instructions, state desire to repeat, indicate yes/no, answer questions, maintain conversation through multiple exchanges, ask/answer simple questions, picture schedule, low tech communication boards, eye gaze

Our Clinical Director:

Kate Sellers, M.A., CCC-SLP, is an experienced ASHA certified Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist and the owner/Executive Director of Silicon Valley Speech.
Kate is nationally and state certified with continuing post graduate education courses to continue to develop knowledge in the field. In addition, Kate holds the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential. She is PROMPT certified and has extensive training working with children with speech language disorders, including but not limited to: Autism, Apraxia of Speech, Language Disorders, Articulation, and AAC use and programming.

Kate loves to incorporate children’s interests in to the therapy sessions, making it fun to learn! Working together with the child’s school team and family, a collaborative model is integrated throughout the speech and language program.

Kate is nationally and state certified with continuing post graduate education courses to continue to develop knowledge in the field. In addition, Kate holds the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential. 

Memberships of several professional organizations related to the field of Speech-Language Pathology include:  

  • American Speech-Language Hearing Association

  • California Speech-Language and Hearing Association 

  • ASHA’s S.T.E.P. program (Student to Empowered Professional)

  • Therapy Dogs International (TDI)

  • The SCERTS® Model
  • The Hanen Centre


Silicon Valley Speech is now offering teletherapy services in California!

Kate is a certified therapy dog handler, and often uses her certified therapy dogs, Marley & Milo, in her sessions.



We invite you to work with our therapists to help your child get all they can out of their therapy.

Carryover is key! Practice makes perfect!

Your therapist will work with you and your family to augment therapy by providing easy-to-do "homework" between sessions.

Articulation: Phoneme specific words (i.e. Initial /p/: Puppy, Paw, Pet, Play. Initial /s/: Stay, Sit, Stand, Step. Velars: Come, Shake, Leg, Black, Grey, Give, Get)

Literacy: R.E.A.D.: Reading Education Assistance Dogs;  Research-based reading intervention program that utilizes a therapy dog to improve literacy skills (including: comprehension, fluency, target vocabulary, confidence)

Overall benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy:

  • Reduces stress
  • Helps establish rapport/build trust
  • Increases response time
  • Improves empathy and acceptance
  • Facilitates sensory interactions, as well as physical contact and touch
  • Increases social interaction
  • Facilitates communication
  • Improves student motivation
  • Facilitates spontaneous communicative interactions
  • Produces stronger desire to communicate