Creating Confidence in Handwriting for School and Life!

SLEA OT Handwriting Success Flyer

Teacher and studentDoes your child become anxious before/during writing activities?

Does he seem to take longer to complete assignments involving writing?

Have an awkward grasp on her marker?

Are his words illegible or drawing uncontrolled?

If you are looking to supplement your child’s summer activities, our team of occupational therapists have developed a fun, multi-sensory clinic based on the well-known Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) program and other therapeutic frames of reference.  Our clinic is designed to assist children who have difficulty with pre-writing, handwriting, and other fine motor skills that affect their performance in school and beyond.

Pre-writing Skills

  • Letter identification
  • Hand separation & strengthening
  • Learning to form shapes & letters
  • Learning proper pencil grip
  • Beginning stages of fine motor control

Learning to Write

  • Learn capital & lower case letters using a multi-sensory approach
  • Developing good habits for printing including sizing, formation & placement
  • Eliminating reversals
  • Perfecting pencil grip

Writing Mastery

  • Spacing letters & words
  • Developing fluent, legible writing within sentences and/or paragraphs using print or cursive
  • Improving fine motor endurance

Learning to form letters & connectors using cursive handwriting

Your child will receive an initial handwriting assessment included in our program, followed by intervention specifically tailored to his/her unique needs.

Please call (818) 788-1003 or email to reserve your space or with any questions you may have.

This program is intended for Kindergarten-6th grade students and is available as private or group sessions.

Please send this page or the flyer to any family that might be interested.


Greetings From Helen

Speech, Language and Educational Associates’ mission has been as follows:

A multidisciplinary team of educators and therapists working together with families to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs, using systematic and innovative strategies and programs to develop strong understanding, speaking, reading and writing skills.

The long-awaited passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015 replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. ESSA returns much authority and decision-making on student testing and accountability for student progress to states and local schools districts.

ASHA advocated for the literacy and professional development policies as well as for two additional provisions included in ESSA: expanded early intervening services and replacement of “pupil services personnel” term with “specialized instructional support personnel” for the category of professionals that include audiologists and SLPs. Early intervention services will continue to be funded, as well as the use of SLPs and audiologists to “support, develop and evaluate literacy instruction.”

We at SLEA are proud to say that we have been in forefront of incorporating Child Development Specialists and Speech-Language Pathologists in our delivery of early intervention services. We have also been in the forefront of incorporating SLPs in the integration and teaching of understanding, speaking, reading and writing. We have and continue to address how speech-language pathologists can be an integral part of teaching individuals to read and write. SLEA is able to diagnose and treat understanding, speaking, reading and writing.

We are very proud of our staff.




Shellie’s Strategies and Support

Here are a few great resources for teaching social skills!  The first is an article that discusses the recent popular movie “Inside Out” and how we can help our clients to learn from the mistakes made by Riley’s feelings.  The second resource is a practical guide that reviews lots of strategies and resources for teaching social skills.

The internet has given us the ability to access a flood of valuable resources and therapy activities – all for free! First is a link about early childhood development. The tip sheets are great to give to families and are available in English and in Spanish! On this link you will find downloadable resources and you can even order free materials.

This is a timely post from ASHA about using the Presidential Debates to Teach Social Language Concepts.

Thank you to all of our creative and knowledgeable professionals in the field who have sent me these wonderful therapy tools!

Greetings From Helen

As the academic year begins to close, I am thinking about the events of this year and what I hope to accomplish in the next academic year.

Regardless of the future events, I believe that good leadership in an organization is required. Good leadership is tied into what the mission of a practice is all about. From the onset of the practice, I’ve stated that SLEA is about fostering the quality development of understanding, speaking, reading and writing. To that end, over the years we’ve developed programs focused on Child Development, Speech and Language Development, Educational Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Behavioral Intervention.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate the monumental task we’ve ALL undertaken. Beginning with marketing and referrals, followed by scheduling, juggling different programs and schedules, dealing with language and disability differences, different ages of clients, dealing with academic vs. medical entities and needs, report writing for different agencies, and so on. Decisions have to be made quickly. We are always adjusting to different criteria.

Our staff is terrific. When I look around me I am so impressed. Some of you may treat a 90 year old dementia client at 8:00 am, an autistic 3 year old at 9:00, a bilingual evaluation at 10, attend a meeting at 1:00…it just goes on and on. I am so grateful to all of you for all your efforts. The scheduling team who is on constant watch for openings, schedule changes, therapist requests. The billing team who must adjust what they know about the different agencies we work with. The front offices, who deal with our staff, parents, children, co-pays. Our insurance billers who need to remember guidelines for all the different companies we work with. It’s incredible.

I want to thank my administration, my professional staff, our contracts for all your support and efforts. We’ve built a great practice. I am very proud of our accomplishments.

Till next month!


Welcome To Our Chief Operating Officer!

Shellie Smaller

Shellie Bader, M.A., CCC-SLP

Chief Operating Officer


Helen Sherman-Wade is pleased to announce the addition of Shellie Bader to the staff of SLEA as the Chief Operating Officer (COO). With Helen’s first grandchild on the way and the growth of SLEA, the time has come to create a position to oversee daily administrative and clinical activities. Shellie has worked in the public sector as head of the Speech and Language Program at LAUSD.

In the private sector, she oversaw the implementation of related services treatment and programs for early intervention and school-aged children across the country. Her leadership ability, dedication to team building, and communication skills make her the ideal choice to work closely with Helen and to help steer SLEA into the future.

Ms. Bader holds two Master’s degrees, one in Communicative Disorders and the second in Educational Administration.  She earned California credentials in Multiple Subjects, Clinical Rehabilitation and Educational Administration.  She received the award for Outstanding Achievement in 2006 from CSHA (California Speech Language and Hearing Association.)

Her past experience includes joining the Progressus executive team in January 2011.  Overseeing the implementation of Progressus Strategic Partnership programs in school districts across the country, students and schools have achieved academically and functionally with integrated services, successful collaboration with parents and teachers as well as the appropriate identification and completion of service.

Ms. Bader came to Progressus following a successful term as the Coordinator of the Speech and Language Program for Los Angeles Unified School District.  As the Coordinator, Shellie overhauled the program by improving morale, recruitment and retention, compliance and quality of therapy for over 24,000 students eligible for speech and language services.  She managed a department that was initially severely understaffed, eventually increasing the number of SLP providers from 256 to over 400.  She was responsible for the professional development, training, recruitment and supervision of Speech Language Pathologists in the 2nd largest school district in the United States.

Shellie developed improved policies and practices for eligibility, service completion and bilingual assessment and created the necessary training for her team of SLPs and with the Division of Special Education Leadership Team.  She was instrumental in the implementation of Response to Intervention support and innovative service delivery models at over 800 school sites focusing on the unique communication needs of special education students.