‘News and Events’ Category Archive


Posted April 14, 2014 by pehl

It feels like a huge cop-out to use the excuse of “being soooo busy” as a reason to have not done something. So I won’t. Rather I will admit that I’ve been procrastinating, because it is something that I’ve dreaded doing – for nearly a whole year. This “something” is admitting that we at Early Choice are no longer providing Speech Therapy at our clinic. Although I haven’t yet figured out how to remove “Speech Therapy” from the heading on the front page of the website, I have taken down the page devoted to it.

It is a decision that was not made lightly, but that was forced upon us by virtue of the changes, which have occurred with respect to insurance reimbursement in this area of pediatric therapy.  The truth is that last summer we had a Speech Therapist at our clinic. Despite the fact that we received plenty of referrals and  plenty of evaluations were performed, the primary insurance company we were dealing with, which shall remain nameless, refused to authorize service for those children following the evaluation. It is an unfortunate fact that many insurance companies, (more and more in fact,) do not consider lack of speech and/or language skills – particularly articulation – to be a medical condition, and therefore consider Speech Therapy to not be “medically necessary”.

Well, needless to say, it is impossible in a private practice, to establish a caseload for a therapist when this is the prevailing attitude. Our Speech Therapist decided she needed to look elsewhere for work, and who could blame her? Certainly not us, but we hated to see her go. Since this type of insurance debacle is becoming common practice, (you’d be wise to not get me started,) we made the disappointing decision to discontinue speech therapy at Early Choice. I do, however, happen to know of some great speech therapists who are in private practice and whose contact information I am happy to pass along.

I apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding,




Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Posted October 24, 2012 by pehl

I received a wonderful surprise just the other day – evening, actually.  I had completed my preparations for the new week on Sunday evening and was lazing about when my phone chimed indicating a new email in my ECPT account.  I do my best not to attend to work related issues on the weekends, but I don’t often succeed.  This time my lack of discipline was rewarded with the previously mentioned surprise – an email from a former client who left our practice about 8 years ago when they moved out of town.  I truly do love it when “our kids” come back to us.  Robin and I often wonder, “…what has become of so-and-so.  Let’s see, he/she would be…what? 12 – no 15 years old by now!  Wow, time flies when you’re having fun!”

I asked the sender, J. permission to post her email as I felt it would provide hope and encouragement to those of you who are just beginning “the journey.”  It’s a long road ahead for many of you, with much hard work and often some heartache and tears.  But it also includes the joy of growth and independence gained.  In response to my request J. wrote back, “I’d be honored to help others.”  So here it is:

Do you remember helping a little three-year-old boy, S. and his family 9 years ago?

We moved from Vancouver to Southern California after we’d worked with you both for about 18 months.  Robin started with casting S. for toe walking after he’d had Botox injections in his legs.  She provided PT to address S’s toe walking.  Then Elizabeth added OT and introduced us to Sensory Integration Therapy.  Dr. Willis helped with the AD/HD and sleep issues….

You started us on a very long journey.  We knew so little at the time and all the information was overwhelming.  Not only did you provide therapy for S., you cared about the mental health of Mom and Dad too.  You both were saviors for us at this time.

Fast forward many years…..S. is in sixth grade now.  At age 5 he went thru several intense neurological evaluations and we learned that the ‘something more’ was Autistic Spectrum Disorder, specifically Asperger’s.  We went thru school district evaluations and S. has had an IEP since Kindergarten.  He has always been mainstreamed but with a one-on-one aide.  After all the hard work and thanks to a wonderful support team, S. is now in the Gifted and Advanced class, completely independent.  There are still challenges, but he has made amazing progress.

There was more, but in an attempt to not be self-aggrandizing I edited out the parts that were the most touching to Robin and myself.  My point for posting it in the first place is to provide a sense of the possibilities that lie ahead.  I am honored to have been trusted with this young man’s care, and to have had the opportunity to work as a team member with his parents and I know this is true for Robin also.  We learn from each child we touch and each family we teach, which is what keeps our work exciting and new.  It’s true that time does fly when you’re having fun.

Blessings to all of you as you walk your path, Elizabeth