A Tiny But Mighty Team: Our Story
Hi there! My name is Joy Young, and I'm an ASHA-certified Speech Language Pathologist and the founder of Spark Speech. I earned my Master's in Speech Language Pathology at Columbia University, and a Master's in Software Engineering at Harvard University (which I'm not using much these days!).
For 10+ years, I've had the great fortune to work with amazing, diverse, brilliant kids of all ages, in their homes together with their parents, in public and private schools, and in private practice.
I'm experienced working with kids with a variety of differences: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Articulation and Phonological Disorders, Language Impairment, Speech/Language Delay, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Down Syndrome, Dysfluency, Angelman Syndrome, Fragile X, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Visual Impairment, and Tourette Syndrome. I have learned: Each child, regardless of their diagnosis, is such a unique individual! They have incredible potential and have so much to offer, so much to say, and always enjoy and respond when an adult "gets" them and adores and respects them for who they are. We have to expect big things from our kids, because they have a lot inside of them.
Always up for an adventure, I've provided help to kids from Shanghai to migrant farm areas in the desert of CA, from inner city areas to fancy suburbs in LA and Silicon Valley. And now a new adventure: West Hollywood! Yes!
All along, I've wanted to start my own place, where I can give ample time to each child and let creativity reign! And I've wanted to share the information I was able to learn in grad school, reading, training, talking with old pros and researchers, and on the job with parents and teachers in the U.S. and abroad. So here we are.
Other qualifications...for undergrad I went to American University in Washington, DC, where I was Valedictorian of my class in Economics, and I also studied International Studies. I speak Mandarin Chinese and love to practice it any chance I get. I was an English Instructor at Beijing University.
I’ve done lots of extra training courses: Hanen It Takes Two To Talk, PROMPT tactile cues, SCERTS Model for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other seminars in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, language development, autism, alternative/augmentative communication (AAC), auditory processing, articulation, stuttering, social skills, neuroscience, bilingualism, etc.
So for sure, I'm a full-on geek who loves learning new things and overachieving in school, lol!
I’m a proud mom! My son Max is a Sophomore at Hollywood High School in the New Media Academy learning to make films. He's an accomplished guitar player and designs fashion. Max also helps me with Spark Speech (he's my film editor). And, most importantly, he's my biggest cheerleader. He's also the reason I became an SLP.
Max began talking late as a toddler. (He gave me permission to tell you!) It was through our first-hand experience that I learned about speech pathology. I was so thankful to have help from two SLPs, because I was very worried. I remember straight up sobbing at work when I was talking to a co-worker about how worried I was that my son wasn't talking. But the SLPs really did help us.
From this, I saw what SLPs do, and how they help kids and families, and I totally wanted to be one of them! No more software engineering (bleh!) for me! Although I'm often glad to have the problem-solving skills that come from an engineering background, I much prefer working with kids!
Okay, this is too long. Enough trying to impress you! The bottom line is, I really care about the kids and families I work with, and I work so hard to help. I adore and admire parents of special needs kids. You are truly unsung heroes, and I just think you're amazing! (Been dying to say that publicly, how admirable and deserving of respect our special needs parents are.)
Thanks for reading! Please don’t hesitate to call me on my cel at 760-610-4427 if I can help you in any way…to ask a question, to bounce an idea off me, or anything. Now that you know all about us, I’d love to know all about you and your child!
Love and Best Wishes,