Tongue thrust, articulation, language and /k/ommunication


Read what clients are saying about their experiences with therapy.

(note: Use the arrows on the right to scroll through the testimonials. For mobile devices with a touch screen, swipe left or right to see the next testimonial).

“My 11-year-old daughter began seeing Laura Smith over a year ago for tongue thrust and speech problems. Laura immediately established a positive rapport with my daughter and supported us through an intense curriculum that allowed my daughter to overcome her difficulties. Her teeth are normal and beautiful now, thanks to Laura's help. Properly correcting tongue thrust is a great deal of work and I don't know what we would have done without Laura because we had been to several speech therapists prior to Laura who were unable to help us. Laura had supportive worksheets and weekly exercises and was extremely skilled at explaining what was happening inside my daughter's mouth so that she could understand. My (then) nine year old did her speech work every day looking forward to the praise and prizes she would earn. It took all three of us as a team for it to work and Laura was very helpful in continually altering the exercises as the muscles in my daughter's mouth improved over time. It took almost a year to fully correct but now my daughter is getting her braces off and will have a beautiful smile! Laura is truly one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. She has a beautiful smile, is a truly caring person, and is a taskmaster when she needs to be for the benefit of all. Her strong dedication held us up when we were flagging. We will be forever grateful to her.”

Mother, Ph.D., Cognitive Studies in Education

“The burden of strained relationships with friends, family, and colleagues due to behaviors I used to hide my stuttering had been a hindrance in advancing my life and career. Recently a job promotion that I had been working towards for several years now was offered to me. It is clear that the patterns of behavior I used to hide my stuttering were major reasons the promotion had not happened for me earlier. Laura’s wisdom and skill have led me to improvements in my behavior that allowed my coworkers to have a new confidence in my abilities. There are very few people that have a combination of the confidence, compassion, and ability to change lives. The SLP world is fortunate to have such a professional in Laura Smith.”

Adult male, Information Technology Analyst

“Laura took a holistic approach to correcting my poor swallowing habits and tongue thrust postures. We worked through a course of exercises working on breathing, swallowing, and articulation that helped me understand how these things are interconnected. I am more confident and comfortable after working with Laura and would highly recommend her services.”

29-year-old University of Washington doctoral student

“Laura Smith’s services have greatly helped my tongue thrust issues. I received previous treatment with an alternate therapist that produced no significant or long-term results, so I turned to Laura Smith. When I began, I was on the cusp of needing jaw surgery because my tongue thrust was causing permanent damage to my mouth. After less than a year of treatment with Laura, my teeth are forming properly and jaw surgery is an increasingly distant option.

Laura works with your specific needs and creates a personalized plan to correct your problem. The exercises that she provides are easy to comprehend and she walks you through each and every step. Also, her plans incorporate daily activities into the exercises so that the process of correcting your problem is much faster. Overall, Laura Smith’s services drastically helped both to correct my problem and keep it corrected for the rest of my life.”

15-year-old male student

“Laura helped me slow down so that I could communicate more effectively. My co-workers and my wife have noticed a great improvement noting how much easier it is to understand me. Thanks, Laura.”

Male business executive

“Laura, last week I got a promotion as a project manager in my company. I just wanted to share with you this good news and say thank you so much for your great and professional work to help me to improve my communication skills. Your great methodology and dedicated labor regarding my accent modification increased not only my communication skills but also my confidence. These factors allowed me to get this important promotion in my professional life. Now, I’ll be working in the area of my interest. Thanks again for your huge help to improve my communication skills.”

Project manager

“Laura has been helping my kids in so many levels. They really enjoy their time with her. She makes them feel very comfortable and she is very kind. My kids have not only improved their speech, but also their confidence and social skills. Laura helps them not only with their speech but also psychologically. She is great!”

Mother of two children ages 6 and 11

“You have provided them with outstanding therapy and awareness of motor control, and they will continue to use those therapies beyond sessions with you in the office. We’re just thrilled with how they’ve done.”

 A physician and mother of boys ages 6 and 9

“Working with Laura has been great. I came to her with the issue of a tongue thrust, which was preventing me from getting my braces off because my tongue was pushing my teeth forward. Working with Laura quickly helped me develop better habits, and within just a few months, I was able to get my braces off. I have also noticed that through the work I have done with her, my lips look much better than before and breathing has become easier. Laura is incredibly nice and very motivational and I have loved being able to work with her!”

Female high school senior

“My fourteen–and-a-half year-old son has been in speech therapy since he was two-and-a-half years old. I was told by his dentist and orthodontist that his speech issues would likely correct once puberty started, but I didn’t notice a change. In fact, things worsened with puberty.

I started to panic, as he was starting high school and, as a parent, I was concerned that he might be bullied or made fun of. This past May, I happened to meet Laura Smith at a function. I called her straight away, and she was able to see my son immediately. In just eight weeks, my son is now speaking clearly and can read aloud with little error. My son is happier than I’ve ever seen him! He more confident and even stands taller. Laura has been one of the great gifts in my son’s life, we’re so grateful to have found her.”

 Mother of male high school student

“Good news! Olivia went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago – she said there was no evidence of any history of a tongue thrust, her teeth look great, and she will likely not ever need braces. So good work! I made sure she knew your name 🙂 but I don't think we need anything for Olivia at this point, she’s doing great. Thanks so much, we are just so pleased with the dentist’s report.”

Psychologist and mother of female student

“Laura Smith was very encouraging throughout my tongue thrust therapy. She moved at an easy pace for me and each exercise I did helped to create less of an overbite. Thanks to Laura I am now more comfortable with my smile!”

Female student, age 16

“Thanks to your help, my daughter has made tremendous strides. Her mouth is now usually closed, whereas before, because of the tongue thrust issue, it was usually open. Because of this, her breath is improved. This is a big deal. She is a singer, and I’ve noticed vast improvements in her enunciation while singing. She is much more understandable now. The tongue thrust issue was making enunciation nearly impossible. She is eating with her mouth closed more often now, since her therapy with you began. That was another huge issue for me. Until I understood tongue thrust, I couldn’t grasp how a girl who is so sweet and agreeable would be so incapable of following my repeated requests to chew with her mouth closed. It was exasperating. I now realize that she simply could not do it until she learned another way of swallowing and holding her tongue in its proper resting place in her mouth. A huge improvement, and it never could have happened without your help. You were firm, but kind. You saw through her excuses and moments when she was being agreeable, but not paying attention. It made a big difference and I think it will change her life for the better.”

 Mother of 14-year-old daughter

“Please understand that this is a heartfelt recommendation. I get a little weepy when I think how far my son came when pronouncing his “r”s before we met you. I feel truly indebted. When I first took my 9-year-old son to see Laura Smith, he had been struggling terribly for years pronouncing his “r”s. He had been seeing a speech therapist in his school for over two years, but he was not improving. After a few months with Laura I was a bit discouraged because he still didn't seem to be improving. But Laura tried new techniques and really pushed my son to practice more at home. He spent a lot of time every day practicing the exercises she sent him home with, and after 9 months he started to quickly improve. It was an amazing transformation. It’s been a little over a year since we last saw Laura and I find it hard to believe that my son ever had an issue with his “r”s. It was soon after this change that he became more confident and much less shy when speaking with strangers. As an aside, my second son (three years younger) was also struggling with his “r”s and Laura corrected his speech also. In retrospect I wish we had started earlier with my older son. Laura, many thanks for your time and patience. You have made a world of difference to Miles.”

Father of two boys

“My son has been in and out of speech therapy since he was 4 years old. At 10 years old, he was still struggling with the “r” sound, and none of the previous speech therapists had been able to make any progress with this. He has been seeing Laura for only a couple months and his speech has improved immensely. We are more than thrilled with the progress he has made. Laura has really made a difference!”

Parent of home-schooled student

“I would highly recommend Laura Smith and her services, which provided a program that was easy to stick to and got results. I could not go back to my old habits if I tried.”

University of Washington student

“I wanted you to know that I was just hired for a new job as a financial analyst. It’s a wonderful change for me and I feel very strongly that without your help in correcting my speech it wouldn't have happened. The job requires interaction with upper management (CEO, CFO, etc) and with middle management about various financial initiatives. At the age of 48 it’s hard enough to change career paths, let alone overcome the added burden of a speech difficulty and how others may perceive it. There is no doubt in my mind that having clear speech was a huge plus to my getting the position and being successful in it.”

48-year-old man

“Initially, our son didn't want to recognize he had a speech problem and would have to work to correct it. Laura was patient, creative, and adaptable in figuring out the best way to get him engaged in therapy and feel empowered by the process. He trusted her and made great progress through the play, dialogue, discipline, and nurture she provided from beginning to end. As parents, we felt Laura was a caring partner, listening and coaching, as we all learned how to work together as a team.” Mother of a male middle-school student

“We are very pleased with the progress our son made during his eight months of speech therapy with Laura. He loved the engaging approach she used during his sessions and the fun games used to improve his articulation. Laura always made him feel he was winning while he improved his overall self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Mother of a six-year-old boy

“I want to thank you for the services you provided my son. I was very impressed with the variety of tools you used to improve his skills as well as your willingness to be flexible in your approach. His reading improved significantly under your guidance in developing his speech and phonology.”

 Private school director and mother of a 7-year-old boy

“Laura Smith has worked as a speech pathologist for my 11-year-old daughter for over one year. My daughter suffered from tongue thrust and a speech delay. Laura has been outstanding not only in her knowledge but in the way she has explained and related the problem and the treatment necessary for this to my daughter and myself. Laura’s enthusiasm for what she is doing and the goals she desires are reflected in her work. Laura has enabled my daughter to overcome a very difficult challenge, especially for an 11-year-old. She made the sessions fun and has a wonderful personality that is caring and sincere. I cannot reiterate enough how impressed I have been with Laura’s work. She is outstanding in her profession in all areas and I would highly recommend her to anyone.”

Mother of an 11-year-old girl

“I came to Laura Smith for one specific purpose. I wanted to be able to speak distinctly with double retainers that I needed to wear 24/7 in order to keep my teeth. But what I received was much, much more. At 62, it was fun (and very surprising) to realize I was sitting taller and feeling more powerful. My self-esteem was being enhanced as I advanced! The process was much shorter than I had anticipated, which helped with my energy and worry. Laura was so easy and fun to work with and I thank her so much.”

Mental health counselor and client

“Laura helped my teenage daughter deal with a lisp she had been embarrassed about for some time. Laura gave her a great deal of encouragement and helped make the entire process a lot more fun than my daughter expected it would be.”

 Mother of a 13-year-old girl

“Laura Smith has been patiently working with my son for 10 months now. She is helping him eliminate his tongue thrusting behavior in order for him to improve his orthodontic outcome and swallowing postures. Her positive energy and kind, understanding manner have helped to overcome my somewhat surly adolescent’s reluctance to participate in his therapy. She has so many thoughtful ideas to help motivate my son to change his difficult tongue thrusting habit.  Her numerous creative strategies help to make the hard work fun and interesting. As a result, there has been a huge improvement in my son’s chewing, eating, and swallowing behaviors. We can even look at him adoringly while he eats! His tongue thrusting has significantly decreased, and his orthodontist is impressed with the way his teeth are growing in. We are very happy with Laura’s work.”

Mother of a 12-year-old boy

“Laura Smith helped me overcome a lateral lisp I had for almost 40 years. Overcoming any speech difficulty takes a lot of work and the help of a dedicated professional who will work hard with you on the correction process. Laura had the background and education I needed to diagnose the problem. She identified its causes and provided me with the appropriate speech therapy to correct it. She is a professional who took ownership of the therapy process, coached, and encouraged me to keep up my progress. I can honestly say Laura helped me make a dramatic change in my life. Thanks to Laura there is hope for those of us who decide to correct a speech difficulty later in life. I could never have done it without her wonderful help and guidance! Thanks, Laura!”

A 45-year-old male

Help is available!

Laura Smith, licensed speech-language pathologist and certified orofacial myologist, is specially trained to assist children and adults in overcoming their communication challenges. Her holistic approach takes into account the person as well as the problem.

Talk SLP LLC offices are located in the Northgate area of Seattle and on Mercer Island, allowing us to serve individuals and families throughout the greater Seattle region of Washington state. Telepractice appointments are also available, where clients can receive consultation and therapy services using online tools.

Contact us for more information or to make an appointment.