Small Steps Therapy, LLC
Speech, Language and Feeding Services
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About

Who We Are

 

Choosing our clinic means that you are now
part of our family, and family always comes first.

Small Steps Therapy, LLC has been open to serve children and families in the Providence area since 2013. The clinic was founded by Rachel Best as a way to serve the greater Providence community using her skills and expertise in the areas of pediatric speech, language, and dysphagia. Since 2013, we have grown and welcomed new clinicians to continue to support the community’s growing need for skilled services in a private practice setting. Our high-quality, individualized services and eclectic approach to therapy make us different than the average clinic. We believe that practicing speech sounds during games, obstacle courses, and crafts is more effective than sitting at a table with flashcards. Messes are encouraged during feeding therapy, and hands-on experience is the best learning tool.

As we expand, we are also opening our doors to older teen and adult patients. Whether your concern is social skill development or regaining swallow function following a stroke, we are here to support you and create the treatment plan that best supports your needs. Each clinician at Small Steps Therapy brings unique specialities, but we all share a deep passion for helping others communicate and eat. Everyone has a voice and we are proud and humbled to be a part of their journey to find it. Every step is progress, no matter how small.

 

Contact

➤ LOCATIONS

1 Randall Square, Suite 302
Providence, RI 02904

New Second Location:
6 King Philip Path
Mendon, MA 01756

☎ CONTACT

smallstepsreferrals@gmail.com
(401) 443-5252

 

Our Team

 
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Owner + Speech Language Pathologist

Rachel Best, MS, CCC-SLP

Rachel founded Small Steps Therapy, LLC in 2013 as a way to share her passion for helping children and families learn to communicate, talk, and eat. Rachel began her career in the medical and outpatient settings working with both adults and children with a variety of speech, language, and swallowing challenges. Additionally, Rachel spent several years in the academic setting working with students ranging from kindergarten to middle school. During Rachel’s time in the hospital and school settings she felt a strong calling towards private practice and providing services in a unique, family-centered model. She visualized a clinic that was not subject to the strict sterile protocol of a hospital or the structured hours of a school day. Thus, Small Steps Therapy, LLC was born to serve the needs of both a passionate speech language pathologist and the community.

Rachel is also the mother to three amazing children and uses her daily life experiences to relate to clients and create treatment plans that are manageable for busy families like her own. 

Notable Achievements:

  • Presented at the 2012 ASHA Convention poster session on The Immersion Model

  • Author of a paper and poster for the 2013 ASHA Convention on Social Thinking Within the Immersion Model

  • Rachel has completed several specialized training in feeding therapy, has worked on several interdisciplinary feeding teams and enjoys working with "picky eaters". 

State Licenses + Certifications

Rhode Island and Massachusetts
ASHA Certified


Additional Certifications

  • Beckman Oral Motor Protocol
    Food Chaining

  • DIRFloortime Professionals Training Course

  • Various trainings in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Social Thinking, and Pediatric Feeding


Education

Boston University
M.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences

Bridgewater State University B.A. in Communication Disorders


 

 
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Speech Language PAthologist + Asst. Clinical DIrector

Olivia Schwalbach, MS, CCC-SLP

Olivia is always willing to go above and beyond for any child or family. She approaches her sessions with a creative, hands-on perspective derived from her background in art. Olivia specializes in treatment with toddlers and elementary-aged children experiencing articulation disorders, feeding disorders/picky eating, expressive and receptive language disorders, Apraxia, Autism, and nonverbal communication (AAC). Olivia began her career in the early intervention setting working with children via the family coaching model. In this setting, she implemented a variety of communication strategies to help children with speech and language delays, suspected childhood apraxia of speech, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy, among other challenges.

Olivia enjoys traveling back to her alma mater every year to visit the Shenandoah Valley, and in her free time she loves skiing, painting, and reading.


State Licenses + Certifications

Rhode Island
ASHA Certified


Additional Certifications

  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

  • Various trainings in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Social Thinking, and Pediatric Feeding

Education

James Madison University
M.S. in Speech Language Pathology

James Madison University
B.A. in Communication Disorders Minor in Studio Art

 

 
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Speech Language Pathologist

Sarah Roies, MS, CCC-SLP

Sarah’s commitment to her clients and willingness to complete any task or bedazzle any shelf make her a huge asset to our team. She has experience working in academic settings with elementary age children in both private and public schools and with children of all ages in private practice. Additionally, Sarah has worked at an adult inpatient hospital setting and a skilled nursing facility with medically complex diagnoses and dysphagia-related challenges. Sarah's areas of interest include stuttering, motor speech disorders, dysphagia, aphasia, and medically complex clients. Prior to speech-language pathology, Sarah's past roles include Sales & Marketing Director for an accessories company, and property management. Sarah has two daughters, many pets, and in her free time enjoys volunteering with local animal rescues, running, and gardening.

State Licenses + Certifications

  • Rhode Island

  • ASHA Certified

EDUCATION

NOVA Southeastern University
M.S. in Speech Language Pathology

Roger Williams University
B.A. in Psychology


 
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Speech Language Pathologist ASSISTANT

Marissa DiBiase

Marissa serves as our talented Speech-Language Pathology Assistant and Vocologist. Marissa specializes in treating children and adults with voice disorders, speech sound disorders, language disorders, and motor speech disorders. Marissa ‘s unique background as a sought-after vocal instructor and coach throughout New England provides her with a highly specialized approach to speech and voice challenges. She is able to look at each individual through the lens of a speech therapist and a professional vocalist. Marissa has studied voice for sixteen years both in a private setting and at the collegiate level. When Marissa is not in the clinic she can be found in the role of Assistant Music Director at The Church of St. Rocco in Johnston, RI. She can also be found in her private music studio where she passionately shares her gifts in the form of training children and adults proper singing techniques. Marissa has been performing as a vocal soloist in classical settings from a very young age and has been teaching voice for five years. We are so blessed by her ability to use her skills to help our clients perform to the best of their ability. She studied music with a concentration in voice at Anna Maria College and completed her SLPA certification program at Charter Oak State College. Marissa also plans to use her diverse background in voice to pursue her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in the very near future.

State Licenses + Certifications

  • Rhode Island

  • ASHA Certified

EDUCATION

Rhode Island College
B.A. in English

Charter Oak State College

Speech Language Pathology Certification


 
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Speech Language Pathologist

Shayna Hardy, MS, CCC-SLP

Shayna Hardy is our newest team member and absolutely loves being a Speech-Language Pathologist. Her clinical experience includes working with children of all ages in a variety of settings. Shayna specializes in working with children with severe special needs and autism. She especially enjoys treatment focused on social communication, expressive/receptive language disorders, sensory and feeding skills, and promoting language using AAC devices. She also enjoys helping older kids and teens develop their voice, communication skills and passion. Shayna’s energy and commitment to her clients allows her to engage with families and truly meet each child at whatever skill level they may be.She feels that being a clinician at Small Steps Therapy gives her the opportunities to gain knowledge through experience and learn from her clients everyday. “Everyone has a voice and I am proud and humbled to be a part of their journey to find it. Every step is progress, no matter how small!”

State Licenses + Certifications

  • Rhode Island

  • ASHA Certified

EDUCATION

Adelphi University
M.S. in Speech Language Pathology

University of Rhode Island
B.S. in Communication Disorders

 

 
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DIR Floortime clinician

Roswitha Wilner

Roswitha Wilner has more than three decades of experience treating children with special needs. She is a child advocate, a nationally-licensed teacher and educator, a certified DIR Floortime® Clinician, and the mother of a child with special needs. She began her professional career as a certified kindergarten teacher in Germany.  And after moving the United States, she worked for more than a decade at the elementary school level with children on the autism spectrum.

Roswitha’s passion is working directly with families of children with special needs. Her specialty is using the context of play to build relationship skills, improving and strengthening interpersonal communication, and fostering emotional thinking. She has seen the DIR Floortime® treatment process completely transform the lives of families of autism spectrum children.


State Licenses + Certifications

  • DIR Floortime Clinician

EDUCATION

Edith-Stein-Berufskolleg
B.A. in Early Education