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Meet Nicole Butler of Speech Within Reach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Butler.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nicole. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Raised in the Midwest and schooled at NYU.

Raised in a small town of 3,000 in Illinois town. My best friends are my parents who have been married over 40 years. Before they retired, my mom was a psychotherapist and my dad was in real estate, I grew up near my cousin’s family pumpkin patch. The land has been in the family for 6 generations.

I earned a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from New York University. During my graduate program, I studied at Lund University in Sweden. I hold a Bachelors of Science degree from the honors program at Purdue University, with a major in Speech-Language Pathology and a minor in Psychology.

I have gained expertise in the assessment and treatment of Speech and Language delays and disorders for individuals from newborns to adults. I have worked in a variety of settings including: hospital acute and sub-acute rehabilitation, outpatient clinics, schools, private practice, and home-based environments in three different states (NY, CA, IL). I have worked as a Clinical Fellowship supervisor, where I taught treatment, evaluation, and diagnosis to Speech-Language Pathologists working towards ASHA certification and state licensure. I am proficient in Sign Language

During graduate school, I got into performing theater, improv and sketch comedy. I continue to do it at Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.

My family describes me as lighthearted, dependable, fun loving and adventurous, as well as that my passion and enthusiasm for life is truly contagious! My adventurous, ebullient spirit has led me to dive with sharks, ice-climb, and even summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

In January of 2014, I spent 5 days climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest free-standing mountain in the world) to raise money for a non-profit called No Limits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. I am the founding board member and on the scholarship committee of the non-profit called Child Success Foundation based in Santa Monica.

Have lived in London, NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles and Lund (Sweden).

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, my trainer realized I had H.A.C.E. (High Altitude Cerebral Edema). Most die within 24-48 hour of getting it, it’s rare. My symptoms were slurred speech, loss of gross motor skills including walking, vomiting, bloody nose, nausea, loss of memory (I was “blacked out”), headache, etc. I had to be rushed down, to high camp to get Dexamethasone, while being active because you don’t want to go into a coma which leads to death. This took hours. After I finally received Dexamethasone I had to be put on a gurney which that then took all the light hours of the day.

Please tell us about Speech Within Reach.
At Speech Within Reach, we drive to you so you don’t have to deal with LA traffic. More importantly, providing services at your home allows us assess your child in their most natural and comfortable environment to truly get to know you and your child, giving us a better understanding of your child’s everyday functional routine. We are then able to set up an optimal home environment to increase your child’s ability to learn and communicate effectively. For example, for a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder a household filled with distractions such as music, television sounds, and/or clutter may hinder their progress. Another example is for an individual who stutters, changes in their environment or their routine can increase anxiety which can lead to an increase in stuttering. We will work with you to create a home environment that is ideal for learning to implement the speech therapy goals.

Evaluate and provide ongoing therapeutic treatment for children in all areas of Speech and Language Pathology including:

Autism Spectrum Disorders
Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Cochlear Implants
Orofacial Myology
Auditory & Language Processing
Teaching Sign Language to Babies
Social Language Delay
Expressive Language Delay
Learning Disabilities
Cerebral Palsy
Apraxia of Speech
Tongue Thrusting
Moebius Syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome
Selective Mutism
Receptive Language Delay
Congenital Disorders (e.g. Down Syndrome)
Developmental Speech and Language Delays and Disorders (birth to three years)

Extensive post graduate training and experience including:

Orofacial Myology with the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
American Sign Language proficiency
Hanen Certified in “It Takes Two to Talk”
Early Intervention (birth to three year olds) certification as a Therapist and an Evaluator
TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children)
PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
SOS Feeding Approach (Sequential Oral Sensory)
PROMPT technique (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets)
ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)
RDI (Relationship Behavioral Intervention)
Touch Cue method
Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study x-ray

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
In Illinois, going to my cousin’s pumpkin patch, “The Great Pumpkin Patch”, during the Fall. Love this place! It is truly magical with the many mazes, animals and displays. It has been in the family for 6 generations. It has over 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds from over 30 countries around the world. They were asked to decorate the White House one year and have been asked on Martha’s Stewart show many times.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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