services

Our licensed therapists offer a variety of services for children and adolescents. In addition to individual speech/language therapy, play-based psychotherapy, tutoring, and occupational therapy, we also offer social skills groups, camps, and special workshops/classes. Read on to learn more:

Speech and language therapy focuses on the evaluation and treatment of children who have difficulty listening, speaking, reading and/or writing. Our speech language pathologists have experience treating disorders that can effect these areas of communication. Our speech language pathologists are also learning specialists and have extensive experience in working with children with learning differences.
In child therapy, the therapist works to create a non-judgmental atmosphere with clear boundaries in which a child can feel safe to express feelings, identities, and struggles. This environment also facilitates children's development of mastery, coping, and problem-solving skills. Amy uses an eclectic model - drawing on methods and techniques from psychodynamic therapy, child-centered therapy, cognitive/behavioral therapy, and family therapy - adapted to meet the needs of children's presenting problems.

The ability to self-regulate is critical for success in school, in relationships, and in life. Using the principles of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) coupled with Executive Functioning Training and Sensorimotor Therapy, we will focus on the following skills: impulse control, emotional control, flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, planning and prioritizing, task initiation, and organization. Group will utilize structured activities/teaching, games, and movement to teach skills. Participants will go home with concrete skills to practice throughout the week.

  • Saturdays, 10am - 12:30pm
  • 4-week "intensive" session
  • Ages 7 - 10 years 
  • Limited to six children
  • $1000 (payment plan available)

 

Apply Now

Dyslexia is a language-based reading disorder due to a weakness in phonological processing or the way our brain recognizes and interprets sound and sound sequences. Poor phonological awareness skills result in difficulties with word recognition, decoding, and spelling. As a speech-language pathologist that is also certified in Wilson Reading System, Jennifer is in a unique position to support both the underlying language weaknesses present in dyslexia as well as provide a systematic, multi-sensory approach to reading remediation. Jennifer is able to provide a customized treatment plan that will support your child’s reading acquisition. To find out more information or schedule an appointment, please fill out the inquiry form on our contact section.

Pediatric occupational therapists provide treatment to help children meet developmental milestones, overcome sensory challenges and improve self-care, play and self-regulation skills. Occupational therapy can help your child in the following areas:

  • Moving (fine motor skills like using the small muscles of their hands).
  • Learning (cognitive skills).
  • Playing (social and emotional skills).
  • Activities of daily living (dressing and feeding).
  • Skills needed for their education (pre-writing, writing and scissor skills)

To find out more information or schedule an appointment, please fill out the inquiry form on our contact section.

summer camp

 

Intensive Social, Communication, and Sensory Motor Therapeutic Intensive Camp, for children ages 5 - 10 years old.

Summer 1 July 29 - August 2, 2024 8:30am - 1:30pm
Summer 2 August 5 - 9, 2024 8:30am - 1:30pm
Summer 3 August 12 - 16, 2024 8:30am - 1:30pm

The tuition for the Summer one week sessions is $900.

In these week-long programs, children will work in small groups, according to age,with licensed therapists (Clinical Social Worker, Speech/ Language Pathologist and/ or Occupational Therapist) to promote skills in a fun, playful atmosphere.

 

REGISTRATION FOR 2024 IS NOW OPEN

Apply for Camp Now!

 

How many kids are in each session?
We take 10 kids maximum per session.  For some parts of the day, we will break the kids up into smaller groups of 4 - 6 campers/group, and for some parts of the day, we work together in a larger group.
What are the ages of the kids?
We currently take kids who are 5 - 10 years old.  
Are you always in the office?
Camp takes place at Speak, Learn, & Play (540 President Street, Suite 2D, between 3rd and 4th Aves).  We are in a loft space of 2200 square feet, and kids use our sensory gym, offices, and staff area for activities.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays we go to a nearby park (weather permitting).
What is the schedule?
We meet Monday - Friday, from 8:30am - 1:30pm.
  • 8:30am - Warm-up, Morning Meeting
  • 9am - Small Group (either fine motor or social/emotional)
  • 10am - Snack and Story
  • 10:30am - Small Group (either fine motor or social/emotional)
  • 11:30am - Large Group Movement
  • 12pm - Lunch
  • 12:30pm - Choice Time
  • 1:25pm - Goodbye Circle
  • 1:30 – Dismissal
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, weather permitting, we go to the park from 9am - 10:30am.
Do you offer early bird/after camp care?
No, unfortunately we are not staffed to offer care outside of the 8:30am - 1:30pm schedule.
Who staffs the camp?
The camp is organized and led by Amy Weber (Clinical Social Worker) and Renee Ortega (Occupational Therapist).  We also have volunteers (typically high school/college kids who are interested in pursuing a career in therapy), as well as some junior counselors.
What kind of kids usually come to your camp?
The kids that come to our camp are typically diagnosed with ADHD, Mild/Moderate Autism, Anxiety, Trauma, Social/Communication Disorders, and/or Learning Disabilities.  Children must be fully toilet trained (and able to verbalize this need), and able to feed themselves independently.  
I want to send my child with a SEIT/Para/1:1.  Is that okay?
Sorry, no.  We do not allow additional staff to attend with children.  Our experience is that our camp is small enough to meet the needs of most children without additional hands, and outside staff typically disrupt the flow of our day and hinder a child’s capacity to socialize with peers.
What are you focusing on during the camp day?
We are primarily focused on social/emotional development, communication development, fine motor development, and gross motor development.  We use play, obstacle courses, art projects, games, etc to build these skills.
Do you offer scholarships/tuition assistance?
Unfortunately, no.  Because our camp is so small, we are unable to offer tuition assistance or scholarships at this time.
Do you offer transportation?
Unfortunately, no.  Because our camp is so small, we are unable to offer any sort of transportation to or from camp.
Is camp reimbursable by insurance?
We can provide you with a Super Bill with all necessary codes to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Is camp reimbursable by the Department of Education?
We have some families successfully get reimbursed by the DOE for their camp fees.  We are happy to work with your lawyer to make sure you have the documentation that you need.
Will I get feedback about how my child is doing?
Yes!  At the end of the week, Amy and Renee will give you a written progress report with observations and things to practice at home.  You will also receive a newsletter, summarizing our activities and skills for the week.

 

social groups

Our mission for groups is to build community through play! Our social groups are play-based (following the lead and interests of each child), and are geared towards meeting each child exactly where they are. Our goals include: to build social communication, to learn more about ourselves independently and in a group, to boost confidence, to develop problem solving skills, to learn about physical and emotional regulation, and to enjoy peer interactions. We value play, and creating natural opportunities for children to have fun AND make friends.

Apply for Any Group

 

Lego Group

Drawing on the Lego Serious Play and Lego-based Counseling models, this group will work to build social competence through the use of legos.  We will engage in project-based activities designed to encourage friendship and collaboration, emotion management/regulation, growth mindset, self-esteem, and mindfulness.

  • Fridays from 3:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Ages 6 - 8 years old
  • Maximum of 4 kids per group

 

Board Games Group

Board games are the perfect tool to introduce and teach social/emotional learning! Using classic games as well as new favorites, we will develop self-awareness, management of emotional responses, self-esteem, team work/collaboration, self-control, conflict resolution, making thoughtful decisions, and empathy.  

  • Fridays from 4:45pm - 6:15pm
  • Ages 7 - 11 years old
  • Maximum of 6 kids per group

 

Apply for Any Group

about

Speak, Learn, & Play, LLC was founded in 2013 by Jennifer Volpe, CCC-SLP and Amy Weber, LCSW. Started initially to meet the communication, learning, and social/emotional needs of children and families, Speak, Learn, & Play has quickly grown to offer myriad services including speech/language therapy, tutoring, social skills groups, child psychotherapy/play therapy, occupational therapy, and therapeutic camps. Using a collaborative model and state-of-the-art techniques, we strive to treat the whole child. Please read on to learn more about Speak, Learn, & Play's founders:

Amy Weber

Amy

Amy Weber is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families, both as a clinician and an administrator. Amy has post-graduate certificates in child and adolescent psychotherapy from the William Alanson White Institute and infant-parent psychotherapy from the Jewish Board for Families and Children's Services. She has extensive training in DIR/Floortime, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Executive Functioning, SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions), Collaborative Problem Solving, and trauma-focused therapy. She is co-founder of Speak, Learn, and Play. She is the author of a children's book: Gratitude Is Your Super Power. Amy sees children for individual and group therapy. She also offers parent coaching.

Jennifer Volpe

Jennifer

Jennifer Volpe is a New York State licensed speech pathologist with over 15 years of experience and the founder of Manner of Speaking. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCCs) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and is certified as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). Jennifer also holds a Certification as a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist through the Center of Effective Reading Research and Dyslexia Practitioner through the Wilson Reading System. Jennifer provides speech and language therapy in all areas, focusing on language-based learning disabilities. Jennifer works with children ages birth to adolescence. Trainings include certification in the Wilson Reading System, PROMPT, Visualizing and Verbalizing, and Basic Writing Skills.

Anna Goldstein

Anna

Anna Goldstein, MS, OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist who has been working in the field since 2017. She received her M.S. in Occupational Therapy from New York University, and enjoys working with children of all ages. She has extensive experience working in a variety of settings such as home-based Early Intervention, CPSE preschools, special education private schools, and privately in the home. She has worked with children and young adults with conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairments, Genetic and Chromosomal Disorders, Behavioral Disorders, Global Developmental Delays, and Sensory Processing Disorder. She is trained in a variety of evidence-based techniques such as Handwriting Without Tears, Keyboarding Without Tears, Sensory Integration, NDT, DIR/Floortime, and Zones of Regulation. She values interdisciplinary collaboration and communicates with her clients’ school team and any outside providers to ensure continuity of care. She believes in making therapy fun and engaging!

Happy National Puzzle Day!

To celebrate National Puzzle Day, we’ve hung giant puzzles in the gym and put small puzzles in the waiting room.  And, since we’re ‘therapy-nerds’, we’re also thinking about the many ways that we use puzzles in our therapy sessions every day.  Read on to learn more…

How do puzzles help? – an Occupational Therapist’s Perspective

I love winter because the cold weather gives me an excuse to stay in and puzzle. While 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles have traditionally been my favorite, I’ve recently gotten into the New York Times puzzle called ‘Connections.’ 

As an OT, I use puzzles all the time as a FUN way to target 3 important skills I focus on with every single client:

  • Visual Perceptual Skills (making sense of what we see)
    • Example: Identifying similar colors, shapes, sizes of puzzle pieces
  • Visual Motor Skills (hand-eye coordination)
    • Example: Picking up or turning a puzzle piece to make it fit
  • Bilateral Coordination Skills (using both hands at the same time)
    • Example: Holding the puzzle still with one hand while reaching for a puzzle piece with the other

See my favorite puzzles by age below!


How do puzzles help? – a Speech/Language Therapist’s Perspective

Puzzles are valuable tools in speech therapy sessions and can be used to target specific goals in a fun and engaging way. Below are some of the many ways I use puzzles in speech therapy:

Articulation: 

One of my favorite activities is working with logic puzzles like the one pictured below.  I choose logic puzzles where all of the clues have the target sound (for example, -s-). 

I also use word searches that target specific sounds. In the past, I’ve even made my own Word Searches based on individual needs. I just plug in the target words, and voila!  

Language: 

Two of my favorite ways to use puzzles for language goals are using them for expanding vocabulary and for problem-solving/critical thinking skills

For kids working to expand their vocabulary, I use:

  • Jigsaw puzzles that focus on opposite word pairs, synonyms, or items in the same category for younger kids
  • Crossword puzzles, word searches, and anagrams to target antonyms, synonyms, and figurative language elements for older kids
  • Scattergories Categories is a great word puzzle for working on categorization and vocabulary

Deductive reasoning puzzles, such as logic puzzles, offer an effective and engaging way to work on inferring and critical thinking skills.  

Other ways to use puzzles for language goals:

Auditory Comprehension: Kids practice listening skills when I give directions on where puzzle pieces go. This is great for working on prepositions like ‘next to’, ‘above’, and ‘below’. 

Expressive Language: Kids listen as I describe puzzle pieces, explain how to solve a puzzle, and give them directions (mazes are perfect for this). 

Social Communication: Working on a puzzle alongside peers allows for collaboration and discussion. 

Beginning Reading: Jigsaw puzzles offer a fun way to match letters to the sounds they make. Beginning readers can do picture searches for items starting with target sounds and word searches with short words. More advanced readers can do crossword puzzles or even online games like Wordle and Spelling Bee.

The best part about puzzles is that they can be adapted for any skill level or goal, and they make learning hard things just a little more fun


How do puzzles help? – a Mental Health Therapist’s Perspective

Why on earth would a mental health therapist use puzzles?!  So many reasons…

First of all, and most importantly, if a child or adolescent is interested in puzzles, then I am interested in puzzles.  Am I a good puzzler?  Absolutely not!  But part of understanding another person’s inner world is engaging in the things they enjoy.  And I love any opportunity for a child to be an “expert” and teach me something.  Showing interest (or even excitement!) about someone else’s interest and allowing them to teach me about that interest builds self-esteem and trust – two things that I’m always working on!

Additionally, puzzles help me assess a child’s executive functioning and social/emotional skills.  

  • How do they approach a task?  
  • Do they sort the pieces first?  
  • Do they become quickly overwhelmed?  
  • Do they seem to have a plan, or do they wait for direction?  
  • How’s their frustration tolerance?  
  • Do they think flexibly?  
  • Do they adjust their plan as necessary?  

Impulse control, emotional regulation, and flexible thinking are among the top three goals that parents list on their intake forms, so assessing these and working on them through play is super important.

Finally, I like to offer a “third thing” in the room with a child (the “first thing” is the child and the “second thing” is me).  Some children are able to come in and immediately sit down and talk about their day or their week, sharing their high points and low points in words.  And other kids (the majority of kids) need something additional in the room – a toy, a board game, a craft, or a puzzle – in order to be able to open up.  Having something to do takes the pressure off the child to perform in a specific way, and can ease some of the tension and shame that occurs in therapy.  Puzzles can slow down the pace of a session (especially important for kids with hyperactivity and/or anxiety).  Toys, games, and puzzles offer a critical way for the child to make the session their own, bringing up the things that are important to them (not necessarily the things that are on the adult’s agenda!).  


In conclusion, we hope we have inspired you to celebrate National Puzzle Day by highlighting all the ways we use puzzles in therapy!  Did you have any idea puzzles could teach our kids SO MUCH?!  Do you have favorite puzzles?  Please share!!

careers

Come join our team!

We are always looking to work with like-minded professionals. If you are looking to start your own part-time or full-time pediatric private practice, then Speak, Learn and Play is the place for you! Speak, Learn and Play is a collaborative therapy practice where therapists run their own private practices but have the benefit of working alongside other professionals to facilitate a team approach. We have a fully equipped sensory gym ideal for both occupational and physical therapies. Separate treatment rooms are also available for rental. There are ample opportunities for cross-referrals and networking. We offer half-day and full-day rentals, seven days a week. For more information, please email us at speaklearnandplaybrooklyn@gmail.com.

The therapists at Speak Learn and Play are committed to helping prospective and newer members to our various fields of practice. Current and prospective high school, undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to shadow our therapists. We also offer volunteer opportunities at our Summer Camp for those looking to get practical experience in pediatric speech, occupational and play therapy. Please email speaklearnandplaybrooklyn@gmail.com to apply.

contact

540 President St., Ste. 2D, Brooklyn, NY

Speak, Learn, & Play
540 President Street, Ste. 2D
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Tel: (347) 457-5900
Fax: (347) 457-5653

info@speaklearnandplay.com

Please contact me