Progress Big or Small Motivates a Speech Pathologist | Little Lukes

Progress Big or Small Motivates a Speech Pathologist | Little Lukes

When children begin to make gradual progressions toward actually taking their first steps, these small moments are extremely rewarding to new parents. The tiny victories are just as sweet for the therapists that have been by the child’s side the whole way.


Heather, one of the Little Lukes Preschool and Childcare Center’s remarkable speech therapists, has been working at the Dewitt site for the past 6 months. Heather joined the team from Massachusetts, where she previously worked with babies from birth to 3 years old in early intervention.


Before that, Heather attended Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. for her undergraduate where she obtained a degree in communication sciences and disorders. She then went on to receive her Masters in speech language pathology from Syracuse University.


In total, Heather has 6 years of supervised clinical work and 5 years of professional experience before joining Little Lukes in Central New York. Heather emphasized that the training she received at Little Lukes really provided her with an avenue to learn new skills, and build upon the skills she already possessed.


“The training through Little Lukes has assisted in preparing me for this experience, as well as refresh my knowledge of N.Y. based therapy.”



Heather’s Fishing Game


Every therapist has their favorite game to play with the kids. Heather prefers activities that are interactive and facilitate movement. Her students love the fishing game, where the children use magnetic fishing poles to catch felt fish that have target goals attached to them. The kids then must complete the task or label the item in the picture.


The key to this activity is practice. It allows the children to work on challenging targets, such as sounding out words, attaching labels to different nouns and using the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and, why).


“As far as big and small successes go, it really depends on the child and where they are in development. Every child has individual successes and needs.”


This activity allows the kids to progress in the classroom in the most individualized way possible. Where they can each focus on areas they need to develop the most.


Heather’s Motivation


Today, Heather works with children ages 3-5 with communication delays and disorders at Little Lukes. She evaluates and treats across the areas of speech, language, voice, fluency, feeding and swallowing.


For Heather, it’s not hard to find daily motivation because any successes, big or small, are enough to make her day. She learns from every progression in the classroom and finds each of them extremely rewarding.


Heather’s favorite aspect of her career is seeing young children grow in their speech and language abilities.


“I love when a child says their first words or when they are understood for the first time. I enjoy working with families and helping them reach their goals. It’s rewarding to be a part of such an important time in a child’s life!”


Most importantly, Heather states that, “I have learned that progress does not happen overnight, and it takes a team to reach the goals we set for these little ones!”




Little Lukes Preschool & Childcare Center is a leading Central New York daycare provider with five locations. Our early education program is made up of credentialed and caring staff that specializes in comprehensive infant, toddler and pre-kindergarten development. Additional services include speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy for babies, toddlers and preschool children.


For optimal protection and safety for both students and staff, our facilities include keypad security doors. As a registered daycare center complying with nationwide regulations, Little Lukes creates a secure and engaging environment for children to develop and reach their individual goals.

To learn more about speech pathology careers with Little Lukes, contact Tim at or 315-326-3345 today!  Our SLP jobs in Syracuse and Oswego NY area work with young children in Early Intervention, Preschool, and School Age and offer a fun, supportive atmosphere with full coverage in the CF year.  Talk to Tim about the Little Lukes difference.