Having Fun with the Language of Play

By Jeffrey Marler on January 18, 2016 in Blog with No Comments

In our last vlog we announced our new ASPIRE Interventions team member, Theresa Hunter. Many of you know Theresa through our Summer Speech Camp Program. She brings both passion and experience in early identification and intervention for children with communication challenges, especially children suspected of having social pragmatic disorder. But I don’t need to try to tell her story, as she is quite a good storyteller herself!

How do we help children play hard and learn deep at ASPIRE? from Aspire Interventions on Vimeo.

“Language is beautiful organized mess. It is a part of higher order learning and a way for us to communicate and learn from our environment. Communication disorders in fact pulls from other fields such as psychology, education, and neuroscience. And that’s one of the reasons why we like it.”

“Language is beautiful organized mess.”

My name is Theresa Hunter. The new team member and speech language pathologist at Aspire Interventions. I am a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where I got my masters in Communication Disorders. I am also an alumni of the Terry Scholar Foundation and the University of North Texas. Go Mean Green!

My free time is spent being an avid dog lover, Netflix, Pinterest DIY, movies, and working on cars. I enjoy reading about advances in the medical field and learning innovative ways to understand a child.

I started as ASPIRE as a summer camp intern in 2013. Since then I’ve been either a summer camp intern, summer camp lead, or a graduate student intern for ASPIRE. I believe language is a beautiful organized mess. It is a part of higher order learning and a way for us to communicate and learn from our environment.

My passion is in early intervention and children suspected of social pragmatic disorders. I bring to ASPIRE my experience in young language disorders, group therapy, feeding disorders, and most importantly, SCERTS and PROMPT. The video above provides more information regarding the philosophies of SCERTS and PROMPT, including a few videos of us using these philosophies at ASPIRE.


Children training prompt

Our team here at ASPIRE is working toward becoming PROMPT certified. PROMPT is a holistic approach for children with intelligibility challenges, who are nonverbal, and those with language disorders.

The philosophy of PROMPT allows a child to learn through tactile cues, verbal cues, and specific direct feedback. Instead of “Good job!” the child is given “I like how you closed your jaw to make the [n] sound!”. This kind of feedback gives the child specific information of what a “good job” might be. 


“Visual instructions help the child understand language and reduce the processing load.”

Aspire Interventions

SCERTS is an acronym that stands for Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support. It was developed by Dr. Barry Prizant and Amy Weatherby and is a developmental approach to working with children suspected to be on the Autism spectrum and children with sensory integration challenges. 

SCERTS helps create an optimal learning environment through visual and verbal supports. Providing this multi-modal approach in therapy helps reduce the processing load and increase the ability for a child to understand language. It provides the child with the expectation of what is going to happen next and gives them the control of always knowing.

“Our job at ASPIRE is to help families find their child’s optimal learning environment.”

We currently have several opportunities for child to participate at ASPIRE with these philosophies. We have a two day-a-week program that meets on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30am; a Saturday preschool play group; and individual sessions.

Contact Ms. Theresa at our office by calling (817) 416-5374 or by using our contact form on our website.


Jeffrey Marler

About Jeffrey Marler

Jeffrey Marler has written 44 posts in this blog.

Speech Pathologist, Communicator, Listener, Researcher, Therapist, | Southlake, Texas Dr. Marler is an internationally recognized clinical researcher. At ASPIRE – Innovative Language Interventions, PLLC, you receive care and treatment from a professional with 28 years of experience with learning disabilities and 15+ years as a speech-language pathologist. Dr. Marler has a PhD in Speech and Hearing Science with an emphasis in auditory-based learning disabilities. Connect on Google+

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