Jennifer Nickel Rainey
SMILES therapy is AWESOME!!! We have been working with Tara for about a year now and we are so glad that we found her. She is incredibly knowledgeable in her field and has a wonderful way of working with my son. She has high expectations and is very kind, loving, and understanding. We have to travel almost 4 hours each direction to see Tara and it is totally worth it! We have also had the opportunity to do a few therapy sessions with Terri and were very impressed with her skills and her approach with our son as well. I would highly recommend SMILES therapy services to anyone! 🙂
Professional, knowledgeable, caring, timely. Highly recommended.
We learned my son had a speech delay at 18 months, we immediately started speech therapy. At age 3 he started a preschool program at our public school and was also getting therapy there too. After going through several speech therapists and countless hours of therapy, we just hit a wall. All of these speech therapists were not helping him. My son was now 3 years old and had 10 words. Our son was growing very frustrated, since he wasn’t able to really communicate.
Someone at the school referred me to S.M.I.L.E.S. That night I went home and called. Calling S.M.I.L.E.S. was by far the BEST DECISION I have EVER made. S.M.I.L.E.S. has forever changed my sons life, by giving him the POWER to speak!!!
Let me explain, S.M.I.L.E.S. is much different than traditional speech therapy. Traditional speech therapy couldn’t help my son talk, he couldn’t move his mouth to form the different sounds. S.M.I.L.E.S. showed my son how to make the different sounds by using PROMPT therapy. Every therapist will tell you that they can help your child talk, but I am hear to tell you that S.M.I.L.E.S. is the real deal! After my son saw Tara for the first time in therapy he Immediately started saying different sounds.
My son saw Tara for 4 years and I am here to tell you that he talks very well now. I am confident if my son hadn’t had her for speech therapy, he wouldn’t be talking like he is now. By the grace of God we found S.M.I.L.E.S. and I will be forever in her debt for helping our son talk and communicate with us.
When my son was just 11 months old he was diagnosed with Apraxia, a processing disorder that prevented him from speaking. I was devastated when I was told he may never speak. He received speech therapy but was making no progress. He began to withdraw into his own quiet world. That’s when Tara came into my life. Not only did she give me hope but she gave me a shoulder to cry on. She also gave me very specific ways to help him. She began using PROMPT therapy on him and she started teaching him some sign language so he could communicate with the world. The change was unbelievable. He began to come out of his shell once he knew he could be understood. He had to be taught how to make each sound for speaking. She taught him how to move his mouth in order to make the sounds properly. Her techniques for teaching him were fun for him. She used many learning games that focused on preschool skills while teaching him his sounds. He enjoyed his time with her and looked forward "playing" with her. It was a long journey for him but by the time he finished therapy he was speaking more clearly than most other kids his age. People did not believe that he was unable to talk for such a long time. I don’t know where we’d be if we wouldn’t have met Tara. She helped me through some of my toughest times as a parent. Her techniques and expertise are invaluable to me along with her genuine caring for my family. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work with her.
Jaye Mullins M.A.,CCC/SLP
Moderate Intensive Therapist | Lakota Local Schools
I want to thank Tara for not only being a wonderful instructor, but a true mentor. She has generously shared her knowledge and talents with me regarding PROMPT Therapy, oral motor and feeding techniques since our acquaintance 8 years ago when she was the private therapist for a student that I saw in the public school system. Since this time, Tara has collaborated extensively with regards to questions or concerns I have had regarding my own caseload. She has refined my Prompting technique, developed my oral motor and feeding skills and enlightened me with regards to looking at the client’s "total well being". Tara has taught me the importance of how allergies, food and other health issues may influence the overall success of your client. She is committed her work as a Prompt Therapist/Instructor, Feeding and Oral Motor Specialist and to the "total" client. Tara wholeheartedly extends an open invitation to observe her when she sees any of my students to ensure cohesive treatment and execution across all environments. Tara does not hesitate to share her time and expertise to benefit her clients and further the skills of her fellow therapist.
Tara’s parent course really helped me to better understand why my daughter struggles with her speech. I also learned more about why we need to focus on certain sounds versus other sounds. It was great to end the session with a take-home activity.
There are no words to express our gratitude for the last 3 years. Finding you was simply the most wonderful thing. We’ve truly appreciated your expertise, dedication, foresight, and kindness with the boys.
You’ve brought light to their worlds and opened up possibilities. Thank you for bringing my "little butterflies" out of their cocoons. =)
Best wishes on everything… take good care.
Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC)
Tara, thank you so much for your informative sessions for the DSAGC families. We are so fortunate to have someone with your level of expertise on feeding skills in our community.
Our daughter Kelsey has Down Syndrome and is almost 6 years old. When she was almost 2, she began to see a traditional speech therapist — which ended up being an awful experience. Not only were Kelsey and I frustrated with the experience but it was obvious the therapist was also frustrated with Kelsey’s lack of cooperation. After 9 months, I decided to stop her speech therapy, as it didn’t seem to make any difference. A few years later, a speech therapist at Kelsey’s pre-school suggested we have Kelsey evaluated by Tara. My first thought was… no, not another frustrating speech therapy experience. Boy was I wrong! Tara was absolutely amazing with Kelsey. After the evaluation, Kelsey actually hugged and kissed Tara (no small feat since Kelsey absolutely hated going to any sort of doctor/therapy appointment!). I immediately scheduled regular visits with Tara. That was in early 2004 and in just a few short months we saw a huge difference in Kelsey. She has gone from being basically non-verbal to being a little chatterbox. Her speech is dramatically different than it was this time last year. To us, what Tara has done with Kelsey is nothing short of a miracle. The best part is that Kelsey loves to see Tara — she views it as fun! And Tara makes it easy for us to work on things with Kelsey at home. I would recommend Tara to anyone — we don’t know what we would do without her! Kelsey definitely wouldn’t be the little chatterbox we know and love had it not been for Tara.
Our son Shawn is five years old and had been categorized as being on the autism spectrum, but highly-functional, with several sensory issues and speech delay. Early on, our primary concern was Shawn’s diet. He would only eat foods of a certain texture, and never asked to eat on his own. Through the process of diagnosing Shawn’s problems and finding help, we found ourselves with several therapists, including speech, but none showed any interest in helping with Shawn’s feeding issues. We then had the opportunity to see Tara, and after discussing Shawn’s problems, she suggested that Shawn was displaying symptoms of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and oral dysphagia. Tara suggested that we request Shawn be given a prescription for Zantac from his pediatrician. After a few days on Zantac, Shawn began sleeping better and having much less stomach pain.
Although Shawn was feeling better, he was hesitant to eat because many of the foods he had eaten before had caused stomachaches. Tara was very patient and effective in helping Shawn eat foods that he was afraid to eat either because of his previous stomach pain or the texture of the food. She chose foods that were healthful, and adapted her therapy to foods that were acceptable to Shawn’s dietary restrictions because of allergies. She also taught us things that we could do at home between sessions in addition to Shawn’s therapy. At the same time, Tara was helping Shawn with his speech delay using the PROMT method, making great progress. At this point, Shawn’s feeding issues are no longer of any concern. As far as we are concerned, he eats like a normal child and this is due in large part to Tara’s outstanding work with him. We would encourage any parents who have children with any kind of feeding issues to consult with Tara and highly recommend her feeding therapy.