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Leia Thomas and Pediatric Speech Therapy

Speech therapy covers a wide variety of disorders and conditions relating to speech, language, swallowing, and feeding.

San Luis Valley Health’s newest speech therapist, Leia Thomas MS, CCC-SLP, has experienced it all first hand and described her journey and current position in SLVH’s Pediatrics Clinic.

Thomas worked as a teacher for 7 years before making the move to speech therapy. She said her experience has translated well to pediatric therapy because she has a better understanding of developmental stages, and she has learned to develop relationships and deal with challenging behavior in children.

After graduating from Western Kentucky University with her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), Thomas began her current role at San Luis Valley Health April 2022.

During appointments, Thomas says one of the most important steps is to ensure her patient is comfortable and engaged. Parent involvement can be important too so they can see exercises and drills that can be repeated at home.

Thomas’ most common patients experience articulation or language disorders. Articulation is the pronunciation of speech sounds and language often deals with identifying the who, what, when, and where elements when talking.

For articulation disorders, Thomas works with her patients on drills for practicing mouth and tongue placement. For those that struggle with language, they’ll look at a picture and Thomas will encourage the children to properly identify the who, what, when, and where elements.

Thomas sees patients from 14 months to 13 years old currently.

“I really like getting to know the kids and watching them get excited about their successes,” says Thomas. “Seeing the growth between the parents and kids, and how their interactions change, is wonderful.”

To make an appointment with Leia Thomas, or any other speech therapist with San Luis Valley Health, contact your primary care provider about getting a referral today.