JESSICA HAWKINS/ SPEECH PATHOLOGIST, INSTRUCTOR FOR TALK YOGA FOR CHILDREN

JESSICA HAWKINS/ SPEECH PATHOLOGIST, INSTRUCTOR FOR TALK YOGA FOR CHILDREN

Jessica Hawkins, M.A., CCC-SLP is a nationally certified and state licensed speech-language pathologist with 12 years of experience of working in pediatric settings. Jessica received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Maryland. During her professional career, Jessica has had the opportunity to work with a variety of populations and disorders including developmental delays, feeding/oral motor disorders, Down Syndrome, Autism, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, language-based literacy disorders, fluency disorders, medically fragile children, articulation/phonological disorders, processing disorders, ADHD, and anxiety-based language disorders. She has gained experience working in both private practice and the public school system. Jessica has worked in MCPS in both the Comprehensive Autism Preschool Program (CAPP) and the Preschool Education Program (PEP). For the past 8 years she has worked for Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers, providing services in homes, preschools, and child care settings and gaining extensive experience with the birth through five population as well as parent/caregiver coaching. This rich experience has enabled Jessica to deeply understand the importance of routines-based interventions and strategies that are seamlessly woven into the natural context of a child’s day. She has developed a passion for meeting families where they are and addressing the barriers that impact development. She has received specialized training in feeding assessment/intervention, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Autism Spectrum Disorders, The Floortime Method, basic sign language, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), PROMPT, Social Thinking, and Talk Yoga!

Not only does Jessica have expertise in the areas of speech and language development, but she also has a special interest in social-emotional development and learning. Jessica is trained in the Social-Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (SEFEL)/Pyramid Model and has served as a peer coach in this area for the last 3 years. She is also trained to provide education to preschools and child care providers using this model. In coaching colleagues, parents, and caregivers, Jessica has become adept at helping families handle issues that underlie the development of speech and language including sleep, feeding, behavior, and play skills. She has a keen eye for recognizing the importance of developing a solid foundation for development to build upon.

Jessica’s passion in the area of social-emotional development has led her to pursue continuing education in the area of holistic practices for the development of children, parents, and caregivers. In addition to Talk Yoga, Jessica has pursued training in mindfulness practices for speech-language pathology, social emotional literacy in pediatric populations, and the influence of anxiety on speech and language development. As the mother of three young children, she has the fortune of understanding child development and caregiving challenges from both the perspectives of a parent and early interventionist. Her goal is to help children reach their full developmental potential by helping parents and caregivers reach their full potential as well.

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