Success Stories

Meet Tommy

Tommy came to me, when he was 3 years and 10 months old, with a severe speech disorder. His primary way of communicating was by pointing and he was very very frustrated. As a result, Tommy had frequent tantrums including head banging, screaming, kicking and hitting.
His speech had been delayed and he received therapy for about one year through Infants and Toddlers. At 18 months almost all of Tommy’s sounds were vowels. By 2-1/2 years, he began to say some true words and at the same time he was discharged from Infants and Toddlers.
When Tommy came to me he made 50 sound errors! His speech was almost completely unintelligible- even his mother had trouble understanding most of his speech.
Tommy was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) due to many factors including inconsistent errors, poor ability to imitate and self-correct, errors on vowels etc. Tommy’s errors were very inconsistent and the same word might come out completely different each time he said it. Tommy was not able to imitate which made it hard to make progress.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech is one of the hardest things to improve. It is a motor planning disorder which is very frustrating and takes years of practice. We played a lot of games to make therapy more fun; Tommy especially loved the ice cream game, Jenga, Chutes and Ladders and the Dinosaur Extinction Game.
Tommy came every week and he and his mother practiced the speech exercises every day at home for 20-30 minutes. As his speech improved, Tommy became less frustrated and eventually stopped having tantrums. When he graduated from therapy many years later, he had conquered his speech problems and was doing very well in school.
We got to be good friends and it was hard to say goodbye. Tommy came and visited me a few times after he was discharged and we played his favorite games. The last time he came to my office he hid peppermint candies all over my office and I am still finding them in the strangest places!
Tommy is now a senior in high school and has invited me to his graduation! I’m also planning on seeing one of his last high school baseball games.

Meet Mason

When Mason was 4-1/2, his parents brought him to me to because he stuttered. But stuttering was really the least of his problems. His speech was very hard to understand and his parents had to interpret for him. Mason made over 40 sound errors and, despite being Super Bright, he spoke at the level of a two year old.
Mason also couldn’t make his mouth move well enough to chew anything that wasn’t in a pouch or super soft and couldn’t drink from a regular cup. In addition to all of that, Mason wasn’t sleeping very well and I saw red flags that put him at risk for sleep apnea.
The root of most of Mason’s problems was problems was weakness in the muscles affecting his face, tongue and jaw and limited tongue movement due to a “tongue tie.” As you can imagine, little Mason felt pretty upset a lot of the time!
After the evaluation, a therapy plan was developed that involved several stages and a multi-disciplinary team. Weekly therapy sessions included teaching Mason how to chew, swallow and drink, how to produce all his sounds and to improve the muscle strength, flexibility and coordination. Exercises were chosen to prepare the tongue for a “frenectomy” to release the tongue tie, and to recover from the surgery.
I referred Mason for a sleep study which revealed he really did have sleep apnea due to enlarged adenoids and he had surgery to remove them. I also referred him to an oral surgeon who performed a frenectomy which successfully released the tongue to allow greater movement. I coordinated with his school speech-language pathologist and assisted ion determining goals for his IEP.
Mason and his mom came every week for therapy and diligently practiced all the speech and muscle exercises at home. We ate snacks, walked around the garden looking for bugs and frogs and played lots of games to add a little fun to all that work. Some of Mason’s favorite games included “There’s a Yeti in my Spaghetti”, Candy Land, Tacos and Burritos, The Frog Game, Slinkys, Uno and chasing Cordelia.
When Mason and his mother said goodbye at our last session, Mason had perfectly clear speech, no longer stuttered, could eat and drink whatever he wanted, was sleeping well and was much more confident and happy!

Meet Daniel

When I met Daniel, he was in the sixth grade and had already worked with three other speech pathologists. He had weaknesses in his jaw and tongue which made it very difficult to produce intelligible and clear speech; he also had difficulty chewing which made his eating very messy.
Daniel and I first worked on stabilizing his jaw, developing correct chewing patterns, and strengthening his tongue so that he could move the food around in his mouth more easily. Once everything in his mouth was working correctly, we were able to work on sound production.
Even though it was hard to understand his speech, it was clear that Daniel was extremely smart and had plans to own his own company.
When he was in middle school, I kept telling him that, once his speech was clear, I knew he would be giving the senior graduation speech at his private school and that I wanted to be at the ceremony to hear him. He graduated from speech therapy with perfectly crisp speech and we said goodbye.
Several years later, I got an excited phone call from Daniel telling me that he had just been nominated to give the senior graduation speech! He had called me the same day he found out, reminding me that I had predicted this honor many years before! Needless to say, I was at Daniel’s high school graduation to hear his speech which was amazing! Daniel visited me while he was a sophomore in college and had started his second successful business already.

Meet Bekka

I first met Bekka when she was in first grade. She was extremely shy and did not like to talk. She had a great deal of trouble making herself understood and was very frustrated. Bekka also stuttered. Not only did she have difficulty producing sounds correctly, she had learned English as a second language.
It took a little time for Bekka to become comfortable enough to want to speak and to learn that speech could be fun. Therapy started with us making up silly names for all the sounds, like the “pillow”, “gorilla” or “dingo dino” sounds. Then Bekka learned where each one was made in the mouth and how they were made. Some were “long and windy”, others were like a “pop”, some were “whispers” and other were “roars”.
Eventually Bekka began to love coming to see me and to love talking. She participated in a television interview and sang in her talent show. Sometimes we worked on her speech sounds when singing her favorite sounds from the Disney movie “Frozen.”
When speech therapy came to an end, Bekka could produce all her sounds and rarely stuttered. She never had to repeat herself because she was easy to understand. Bekka became very talkative and had developed an extensive vocabulary.
Since graduating from speech, Bekka began singing with all-county choir and even earned First Alternate for All-State Chorus this year. She has a speaking role in her middle school's musical having competed against 70 girls for 12 parts!
“Dear Jackie,

Just a quick note to once again offer my heartfelt gratitude for your patience, kindness, concern, care and hard work to my dad. You literally helped give him back his life. I hope you know what a significant part you played in that. God bless,”
~L. Wallace
“I have been taking my son to Jackie at Speech Matters for over a year. My son was going into 6th grade when we started with Jackie. Before we started seeing Jackie my son stuttered/stammered when trying to start a sentence. He would not talk to other kids very much or raise his hand in school. He would panic if a teacher called on him to answer a question. Jackie has made a big difference in his speech fluency and has greatly affected his confidence in middle school…She has given our son many tips and skills that have really improved his speech and as a result has improved his middle school experience…My son is more confident and participates in school more often since we have been going to Speech Matters.”

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~Suzanne Wingard
“Jackie is one of the most child-centered, conscientious, caring therapists with whom it has been my pleasure to work. She will always go the extra mile when the welfare of a child is concerned. Jackie will work long hours and displays the love and patience not only with the children, but their parents and teachers as well. She is soft spoken and well respected by all who come in contact with her. I believe Jackie’s key strength is her love for the children. She is very knowledgeable in her field and has demonstrated that again and again.

The children she works with love her and the work she does with them helps them immensely. Jackie would fit any role she set her mind to filling. She works well with children from mild speech difficulties to the profound and all the ramifications that go along with that disability.I would work with Jacqueline Paterson as long as it is possible to do so. She is so loving, caring, and I am confident of her abilities.”
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~Judi Decker, Special Education Chair
“I first started going to see her in early 2012, over time I learned how to correct my stuttering and articulation. She taught me techniques that I can do on my own to help myself when I am in a situation where my speech becomes an issue. There is nothing that she will not do for you; she is very accommodating and willing to help you in any way possible. She is often booked because she is so good and popular in the Annapolis area. If I had to give her a rating on a scale of one to ten of how much she helped me, it would be a twelve!”
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~Jason Smith
“Jackie was great. If it wasn’t for Jackie my son would not be able to eat. Thanks to Jackie he has great pronunciation and is doing well in school.”
~Heidi Schultz
“My name is Penny Wallace. My son, Noah, has the diagnosis of autism combined with ADHD…Ms. Paterson has always been supportive and very outspoken when it comes to what she thinks is best for Noah’s overall academics. Her outlook and expertise on autism has assisted the whole team in making decisions based on his specific needs.

…My overall goal is to do everything possible to assist my son in obtaining a high school diploma, despite his disability. I have shared this goal with Ms. Paterson and with her leadership role at Noah’s IEP meeting, I am very excited and encouraged that the tools we use during these early years of his educational experience, will assist Noah in obtaining many of his future goals.”
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~Penny Wallace
“I am the mother of a 10-year-old, privately schooled, boy who is in his fourth year attending speech therapy sessions. M__ flourished under Ms. Paterson. She is a kind and gentle educator. She made him feel proud of who he was as a person, not embarrassed because he had problems with his speech. She motivated him. She cared about him. He has not been just another number to her…He has more confidence than ever in school and in his speech. She is truly a gifted teacher. I had to write and tell you all this because M__, I am sure, will be graduating from his program this year. But, of course, many others will not. Those are the children who will still need Ms. Paterson … The children of Maryland need her!”
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~R. Estrada
“It was great having you for a therapist, we have so much to thank you for. I don’t think L__ would have come as far as he has if it weren’t for you. Unfortunately, now we’re moving and can only hope we find someone who is half as good as you.”
~Mrs. Stevens
“Jackie is amazing. I have seen a child go from being totally unintelligible to speaking in front of a classroom so all can understand him. She is child-centered, thoughtful, and determined. Even the most reluctant child walking in will leave with a smile and stand just a bit taller.”
~Judi Decker, Special Education Chairperson
“I would highly recommend Jackie for anyone looking for speech therapy services. My daughter truly enjoyed working with Jackie. Jackie was extremely creative and engaging in finding ways to keep my daughter’s interest in the speech exercises by incorporating games and hands on activities. Jackie also developed a great relationship with my child.”
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~Teri Leonovich
“My daughter is making great progress! Each week we were given some exercises to practice at home. Ms. Paterson even helped my daughter practice a poem that she read at the school’s talent show. We were tickled Ms. Paterson attended the show! My daughter rarely complains about doing her exercises at home. I appreciate getting specific and detailed instructions on how to help my daughter pronounce her sounds correctly. As a teacher, I have referred several families to Speech Matters.”
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~Molly Estabrook
“I have been extremely pleased with Jackie and the help she has provided my daughter. She is very intelligent, passionate and caring! I highly recommend her to anyone who needs help with speech therapy.”
~Karen Beaulieu
“Ms. Paterson is a gifted practitioner.

She is not only extremely well versed in her areas of expertise, she is personable and is able to work effectively with a wide variety of people and personalities. My son who is motivated but can be challenging to work with thought the world of Ms. Paterson. She explained everything that they were doing in a manner that made sense to him and was realistic about the pace of progress he could expect. The programs she chose for him were right on target and she adjusted things to have the maximum impact on what he needed help with.”
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~Jacqueline Rosenthal
“When my son first started with Speech Matters, I knew we had hit a home run! We couldn’t have asked for a more friendly, warm, and inviting environment. Right away my son was at ease. Jackie Paterson wasted no time getting to the bottom of where he had deficits and needed supplementation…We started with speech therapy and an amazing program called Fast ForWord. The results were astounding. Not only did he look forward to doing the program, he grew leaps and bounds. My son really enjoyed meeting with Jackie Patterson and working with her. She made it fun!”
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~Pixie Pikus
“Jackie is a blessing to my family…My son’s kindergarten teacher recorded him at the beginning of the school year and his voice was muffled, and initial letters in words were not enunciated. His teacher recorded him again at the conclusion of the year and his words were clear and crisp. My son no longer needs speech therapy. I am so thankful to Jackie. She played a profound role in giving my son’s gift of speech. My son is a third grader now and he is confident and very vocal. He enjoys public speaking and held three leading roles in school plays. I am still amazed at his journey. Jackie will always been an attribute in our lives.”
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~Nichelle Sandy
“Ms. Paterson is dependable, caring, dedicated and conscientious. She is an excellent diagnostician. Ms. Paterson collaborates well with the physical therapist, occupational therapist, school-based speech/language pathologist, classroom staff and parents and personally trains the school staff. She encourages input from all the school staff and parents involved…She shows the team members mutual respect, which makes for effective collaboration.”
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~K. L., Retired Principal
“I am pleased to announce, after less than one year with Jackie, my son will now be graduating from his speech classes. It is truly amazing how much he has improved … this year.”
~Mrs. Adams
“We’re so fortunate to have found Jackie! First and foremost, my son absolutely loved working with her. My son Todd had worked with several speech therapists and had not improved. We immediately began seeing an improvement in Todd’s speech. He was actually sad when, after only eight months, he no longer needed her guidance. I would highly recommend Jackie to anyone who is looking for a patient, caring, compassionate and truly gifted speech pathologist.”
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~Kathy Stith
“Jackie diagnosed my son with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, at age 4, which is a motor speech disorder (not a developmental delay), where he knows what he wants to say, but his brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words…Jackie plays games and engages the kids on a level where they will learn and not get overly frustrated. When we started my son didn’t want to go because it was hard and he wasn’t familiar with Jackie. She took my suggestions on how to reach him and he now wants to go because he has a good time while learning to speak. Thank you so much Jackie, you are truly a blessing.”
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~DeAnna Hickey
“Many Thanks to you Jackie, for your expertise and keen knowledge of your craft and children. Andrew thrived under your tutelage and consequently will go forward with his accomplishment, and the courage and confidence that comes from success. Thanks again for everything, we are so proud of our boy!!”
~Heidi Bush
“Jackie’s work is thorough and her knowledge of swallowing function and mechanism is superior. She is a dedicated worker and is compassionate to her patients. On the personal side, Jackie is a cheerful person, always willing to help and gets along well with her coworkers. I would recommend Jackie highly and she will be an asset to any Speech Therapy Department.”
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~Vinh Nguyen, M.D., Chief Radiologist
“Ms. Paterson is a highly competent speech-language pathologist…Ms. Paterson is a highly effective communicator who is able to speak to others in a style that indicates her acceptance of the other person and is conciliatory. Ms. Paterson has excellent leadership qualities. Ms. Paterson is extremely comfortable in leading the rehab team in the area of speech-language evaluation and treatment. Ms. Paterson is extremely respectful of others. She has high regard for patients, families, caregivers and other health care providers. Ms. Paterson is definitely a team player.”
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~G.P., Speech Language Pathologist
Speech Matters made all the difference! "Ms. Jackie" helped our daughter transform from a frustrated first grader, unable to make herself understood most of the time, to a middle schooler who sings with all-county choir. She even earned a minor speaking role in her school's musical with over 120 participants! My daughter is no longer afraid to give class presentations or even perform in her school's talent show! Thank you, Speech Matters!
~Laurie Smith

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58 Jones Station Rd Arnold, MD 21012
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(410) 295-1616
58 Jones Station Rd Arnold, MD 21012
Also Offering Telehealth
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