How can speech therapy help?

Call to discuss your concerns:

Screening, Evaluation, individual and group therapy are covered by insurance

As a parent, your input and sharing your concerns is a treasure to other parents . Please feel free to share your experiences below. After all , no one knows better than you the inspiration for your child’s learning and talents. Please share below!

Lumina Speech and OT services

We offer speech and OT services !
Academic success ,developing talent and leadership skills … all based on a strong foundation of basic skills.
Let us build a program to strengthen your child’s speaking, listening, reading and writing skills…
better skills today for a brighter future tomorrow !

Lumina … we shine your light !

Silly Sing and Play~ just a few fun ways to BUILD LANGUAGE and SPEECH at home !

Here are a few steps to build attention and a communication connection with your child.
Brain development happens when we use speaking and listening in a fun way throughout the day.
Many research studies have proven this, and they even have a name for it… “Motherese” is the term used to describe an innate way of speaking to babies that has been used for ages and is now proven to facilitate Baby’s brain development, language development and learning skills !
We know that..
Singing establishes even more connections in the brain for speaking and listening. And building more connections in the brain means that this new information can be recalled much more easily when Baby begins to recall something that we have done before.
This is a building block for learning !
How exciting to watch Baby learn !
So sing ! Sing a song….Any type of singing ! It doesnt even need to be a song! Just use a sing~song voice with every day words to go along with the things you are doing .
Be playful and happy as you use your sing-song voice!

Here are some other examples of “Motherese”—using words to narrate every day occurrences in a playful and happy way, and using a sing-song voice to capture Baby’s attention ! Again, this has all been shown by countless research studies to help build language and learning !
Here are a few more to try !

Draw out a long syllable—— I mean REALLY draw out a syllable…. like “u-u-u-u-u-u-u-p” as you slowly lift the baby or child up.
And then contrast that long drawn out vocalization by using a short-short syllable repetitively, in sharp staccato-like blurts……like “hop”—– “hop”—– “hop” as you actually hop with your baby or with your child each time you say “hop” .

After you complete a series of repetitions of a string of words and singing… See what happens when you just STOP ….take a long silent pause of 3-4 seconds, looking expectantly at Baby . Wait to see Baby anticipating that you will do it again ! Baby will likely begin moving arms and legs quickly, and begin to smile, and often “coo” those baby sounds they make when they are so excited about all of the fun !
TRY Playing with all kinds of words paired with objects and using many variations of voice, movement and facial expression…. share a mirror… looking in it together from the same side so that your Baby can imitate the movements of your mouth !
Hold a large colorful ball in front of you and your child… with your child on your lap and both hands on the ball…. lift it up above the ground, than lower it tap-tap-tapping the ball on the ground in front of you while you use another silly-song…..
“ Buh-buh-buh- bouncey ball,bouncey ball…Buh-buh-buh- bouncey ball !!!” I know it sounds silly, but trust me…babies love this !
Be silly, be dramatic!! Alternate the pitch of your voice ….up…. and down.

Mom and Dad OBSERVE:
What does your child do when you STOP singing… when you pause for 3-4 seconds ? Does your baby move hands and feet …waiting for you to start again?
Your baby is anticipating that you will start up again with the singing and the activity that he is enjoying so much !
And building anticipation is the beginning ofcommunication and a whole world of learning !

How do you know when to start your child in speech therapy?

Just the facts:
~ Many children who would benefit from speech therapy do not qualify at school or early intervention-because their guidelines require a more severe delay.
~ Private therapy at Lumina Speech Therapy can often begin therapy with these children ! This is because private guidelines for therapy do not require this type of severe delay.
~ Lumina receives referrals from area pediatricians and ENTs to provide private speech therapy-because these children may not qualify elsewhere.
~ You can seek therapy on your own by calling Lumina at 724-366-1166 for an evaluation and therapy which are covered by private health insurance.

This video , by one of our fellow speech therapists presents the facts. You decide.

Why We Shouldn't "Wait and See" with Late-Talking Toddlers

For a list of our references, please visit our blog:

Posted by Pediatric Therapy Playhouse on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

[ We are Welcoming our Friends from Albert Gallatin Area School District, including Smithfield PA Elementary School , Laurel Highlands School District including Hatfield Elementary Uniontown PA, Uniontown Area School District including Wharton Elementary school, Markleysburg PA , Frazier Area School District, Chestnut Ridge Christian Academy, Uniontown PA Geibel Area High School, Dunbar Elementary, Dunbar PA Brownsville Area School District Brownsville PA , California Area School District, California PA , Imagine Academy , Intermediate Unit 1 Coal Center, PA Monessen Area School District , Monessen PA , Peters Township Area School District, McMurray PA , Carmichaels Area School District, Carmichaels, PA Jefferson Morgan School District, Jefferson PA Southeastern Greene School District, Mapletown PA including Bobtown Elementary and many others in the Fayette, Greene and Washington counties. Fayette County Fair Arts Clubs, Phoenix Arts Center, Touchstone Center for the Arts, Uniontown Public Library, Connellsville Carnegie Library, Third Presbyterian Church Uniontown PA Preschool, Duck Hollow Learning Center , Duck Hollow Golf Books for Kids, Waynesburg Central School District

Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield have selected Lumina Speech as a preferred provider in the enhanced network for speech therapy services

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Speech Therapy Uniontown PA
Speech therapy can boost academic performance. Often underlying communication skills are contributing to difficulties with academic progress. Speech therapy can identify these skills and speech therapy can enhance academic growth .
Fill out and submit the form below… we will get back to you as soon as possible, usually the same day!

Does private therapy improve academic skill ?

Insurance covers your private therapy …and private therapy enhances progress at school !
Learning and Attention Issues SLPs Help With

SLPs (also known as speech-language therapists or speech therapists) are trained to work on many types of learning issues. These include dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, language disorders and social communication disorder. They also work with kids who have nonverbal learning disabilities.

As part of their work, they address a wide range of skills. They might help a child with social skills issues make appropriate conversation, for instance. Or they might help struggling readers learn phonological awareness and gain comprehension.

Therapists at Lumina use iPad , apple TV and home practice websites in sessions, for parents to see our results and for home practice!
Speech sessions may target reading, academic vocabulary, enrichment vocabulary by using drama ,story-plays, arts projects and science experiment projects !

Its all in the name of fun and learning !


We are Welcoming our Friends from Albert Gallatin Area School District, including Smithfield PA Smithfield Elementary School , Masontown Elementary Masontown, PA Laurel Highlands School District including Hatfield Elementary Uniontown PA, Uniontown Area School District including Wharton Elementary school, Markleysburg PA , Frazier Area School District, Chestnut Ridge Christian Academy, Uniontown PA Geibel Area High School, Dunbar Elementary, Dunbar PA Brownsville Area School District Brownsville PA , California Area School District, California PA , Monessen Area School District , Monessen PA , Peters Township Area School District, McMurray PA , Carmichaels Elementary School Carmichaels PA , Carmichaels Area School District, Carmichaels PA , Jeff Morgan Elementary School, Jefferson Morgan School District, area kids camps, tutoring services, reading tutors Jefferson PA, Southeastern Greene School District, Mapletown PA including Bobtown Elementary Bobtown, PA Central Greene School District Waynesburg PA and many others in the Fayette, Greene and Washington counties.

Signing “Happy” …by Pharrell Williams… our future is in good hands.

I was invited recently to give a sign language workshop for a group of 7-8-9th grade girls.
Yes. 7th 8th 9th grade. Immediately I was nervous and my nervous thinking began, “That age ! All they will want is their device! How will I ever keep them interested? I am SO not cool ” LOL!

When the day came, the workshop began and actually they were really catching on to signs for the words to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. As I had started to prepare for this I had searched for a meaningful life lesson to tie into the sign language lesson. I had hoped to add a meaningful discussion about the word “Happy”.
(Yea I know what you’re thinking… “7th , 8th and 9th graders? How’s that workin’ out for ya?” )
So, as most teachers of this age group know, I ended up just hoping that I could keep their interest till the end of the lesson! (LOL !)
As expected, their attention was drifting as we finished signing the words with the music to our song,”Happy”. “Now what?” I am thinking, “Now what?”
And then, as I turned off the CD player, one of the girls noticed the kindness award certificates I had in the bottom of the box. She poked at it with this wrinkled up look on her face and asked with just a little too much lilt in her voice “What’s that?”… now all heads have turned our way.
I am thinking ,”Oh, no…Ok, I’m losing them. Now they will laugh and laugh and laugh….and then laugh some more.”

Trying my best to be nonchalant I began,”These are for you to give to your little sisters and brothers, cousins, neighbors…” My voice trailed off and I waited.
And that, my friends is all that it took.
In the next few seconds,they all sat up, heads up. ( Yay! )
I picked up a certificate and continued “…you can share with the little ones what makes people happy, and that we are most happy when…?
And one of those sweet girls said, “When I help people.” Another girl said, “When I am kind to others.”
At this point I am marveling and laughing at the same time. I am marveling that I should have known that these girls already know that life lesson. And I am laughing because they are ready, willing and very happy to help me tie it to my sign language lesson. Putting the stack of certificates on the table I added, “So, yea! Good ideas, girls! When you show them your sign language you can tell them about the things that really make people happy and you will decide when to give the little ones a certificate for being kind.”
Those “grown up girls” eagerly rushed up to grab up two and three kindness award certificates each, chatting about “showing little sister some sign language” and “giving kindness certificates”. Funny how I was wondering and worrying about keeping these 7th -8th -9th graders engaged. Turns out, it wasn’t what I said or how I said it, or the music or the lesson. All it took was for them to see an opportunity to share something…it was like magic… they tied it up neat and tidy as a gift… they were on it.
These kids are great.

Sign Language intro is offered by Lumina Speech and Hearing Services to individuals and groups. Fill out and submit the form below to inquire.

[ We are Welcoming our Friends from Albert Gallatin Area School District, including Smithfield PA Elementary School , Laurel Highlands School District including Hatfield Elementary Uniontown PA, Uniontown Area School District including Wharton Elementary school, Markleysburg PA , Frazier Area School District, Chestnut Ridge Christian Academy, Uniontown PA Geibel Area High School, Dunbar Elementary, Dunbar PA Brownsville Area School District Brownsville PA , California Area School District, California PA , Monessen Area School District , Monessen PA , Peters Township Area School District, McMurray PA , Carmichaels Area School District, Carmichaels, PA Jefferson Morgan School District, Jefferson PA Southeastern Greene School District, Mapletown PA including Bobtown Elementary and many others in the Fayette, Greene and Washington counties.

Why add private speech therapy ? Private therapy perks…and freebies

The guidelines for private therapy allow therapy to start right away- with no requirement for more severe delays …we can target areas to improve academic performance and confidence in speaking … your child’s full potential is the goal …don’t you agree? Therapy is covered by insurance and we provide a free practice app to each family !

Freebie alert in our feature post below !
… freebie in post below!
..did someone say freebie?

Submit the form in the post below for more information !

Kids are Technology Lovers !

We provide FREE set up assistance and practice APP a $150 value ! Kids love it ! To increase progress, this Speech practice is EPIC !

Why use technology for Practice?
Its a quick and easy “skill boost” and lots of fun !
For Reluctant talkers, reading help, speech progress, increasing use of words and vocabulary and even public speaking skills !
Private therapy guidelines allow for therapy to start right away to target skill areas that impact learning… to develop full potential. Technology is just one of the tools.

Perfect for Kids in speech therapy already and also for those who haven’t yet started… for increased skill and progress !

Want more detail on iPad practice? Click here !

Want to find out more about boosting your child’s academic progress? Email us or submit the form below- and we will contact you as you request !

*Lumina is your private therapy center. Your privacy is key : complete 1/1 session
and no overlap of time in our waiting area.

Proactive Parent : Ear infections… can cause intermittent hearing loss

Often overlooked…ear infections… can cause speech and learning problems!
Does your child have recurrent ear infections ?
Did you know that the ear infection often will cause hearing loss?
Recurrent ear infections will impact learning. These ear infections will impact speech development and reduce the number of words a child uses !
Follow up by an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist is essential and a Speech Therapist can find if speech and use of words has been delayed.
A speech therapist can perform a hearing screening in their office and screen for “on age level” use and understanding of speech sounds and words.
Speech therapy can help the child “catch up” on speech and use of words impacted by the ear infection and intermittent hearing loss.

At Lumina we feel it is important to share this information so that not even one child is experiencing an undetected hearing loss. The loss of hearing from repeated ear infection will impact learning if steps are not taken to address the hearing loss and its impact.

Contact us if you are concerned. We can perform a hearing screening, so you can take the guess work out of the equation and one of our SLPs can perform a screening to check that 1. your child is using correct speech sounds and number of words and 2. if your child hears and understands words.

Schedule a Hearing Screening Test and speech screening : Lumina Speech and Hearing Services 724-366-1166

Or submit the form below for a hearing and/ or speech screening !

Parents tips — keep and USE that info from the web !

Common Core Language Arts
ADA common core language arts standards
As proactive parents, we seek info on the web ! We can often find such great information, but WHO has the time to read on the spot? However, when we are getting ready for a child’s IEP meeting we may want to look over some of the information about common core, about speech and about strategies! One example might be…the common core language arts link above Which is a great link to have for a child with communication and language goals…But as time has shown, when we browse the web, find something of interest and just close it and move on, of course we will be needing it one day !! And there we are racking our brains trying to recall…..”where did I see that?” So here is a quick tip ….take charge and tell yourself to just take a peek (limit yourself to 2 minutes-get a feel for the article and then save to your BOOKMARKS! This will save you HOURS because when you NEED it, it will be at your fingertips ! For help on this and other app and technology submit the form below. We offer “Tech Time Tips” for our kids and their families !

For your “Tech Time Tips” Fill out the form below, and click “submit” !

For other help preparing for your child’s IEP meeting, reach out to your speech therapist. Your speech therapist specializes in writing individualized “strategies for learning”! Your speech therapist can help you consider the academic and communication progress that you want to see… and how they are related ! Your speech therapist can give you a “snapshot” of a goal ! The images above are examples of snapshots of a goals. By breaking goals down into steps –like a snapshot— you can give insight about what strategies will help your child to achieve each step of the goal. You’ll enter your child’s IEP meeting prepared to share your insight about your child and his/her communication goals that you can share with your child’s IEP team.
After all, no one knows your child like you do!

Fill out this form and click “submit” for Tech Time Tips !

Lets Go Swimming !!


If you are interested in sign language instruction for groups or individuals,  submit the form below !!   we will contact you asap !

Online Speech Therapy ~ targets speech , language and new vocabulary and reading! We use an award winning platform that Kids LOVE !

Contact us today ! Research has shown that online speech therapy does get that much needed practice just as effectively as in person speech therapy ! The therapist is visible on the screen for the speech session ! The games are awesome and the kids truly love it !

Fill out and submit the form below or call 724-366-1166 !

Summer Speech Fun

Butterfly Speech Time !
Welcoming our friends to summer sessions , sign language classes and story book sessions from Laurel Highlands School District , St. John The Evangelest School Uniontown, Pennsylvania Chestnut Ridge Christian Academy Carmichaels Area School District , Uniontown Public Library, Connellsville Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh,
Continue reading "Summer Speech Fun"

A few minutes a week to sharpen skills ! Building Brain Pathways !

Great teachers have known this forever. “… brain based learning is sort of the ultimate toolbox for helping kids learn. Learning new words, speech sounds, reading skills or how to write paragraphs, are all easier learned when using the tools of brain based learning ! It may seem like it but.. its not magic, its really just common sense. When we are really interested, and deeply engaged and lose ourselves in the learning it does something….. it activates neurons while the learning is taking place! So, yea guess that is kinda magical !

Turns out that”If you pair the learning with an experience …such as maybe pairing a “new phrase” with splashing a net into the water… then the learning will happen more quickly and “the new phrase” will be remembered more easily.”

…Put simply, the brain makes a larger imprint of the “new phrase” and a larger path to recall the “new phrase” when it is learned while experiencing something sensory or something that causes an emotional response ~ happy, excited, surprised ! So… there you have it! Using the arts, or a fun project or a song really does make learning happen….and it happens more efficiently!

This is not rocket science… as I said before, our great teachers have known this for years! But now we have imaging that shows us brain activity and we can actually document when neurons fire, when synapses are formed and when neural pathways are developing that will remember the learning !

Isn’t that amazing and wonderful! We have sound scientific evidence for inserting fun projects and the arts into EVERYTHING that we are learning !
Learn more about Lumina and how our speech therapists use the arts projects in speech sessions !

Sign up here to learn more about how summer speech sessions can sharpen skills- with just a little time each week.

[So many great learning experiences are available… just a few to check out… The Phoenix Arts Center , the State Theatre in Uniontown PA, Imagine Academy , Carnegie Library of Connellsville and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, California University of Pennsylvania , Penn State Fayette Campus , and a comfortable bus trip or drive can get you to these fabulous learning experiences ! Carnegie Science Center at , NYC Kids Tours at or specific link, also Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and don’t forget about the Pittsburgh Zoo. A little bit of planning and your experience -fun trip can be a real learning experience for your little ones. Locally, do not forget to join classes and skill booster sessions this summer at Phoenix Arts Center in Uniontown, and for kids that want to boost reading and their speech and use of words, contact Lumina Speech and Hearing Services 724-366-1166 or]


Kelly was given a precious nick name by one of her adoring little girls in speech therapy… she looked at Kelly with a big smile and she said ” You’re just a good little speech girl


Could processing be affecting your child’s reading?

Processing may seem to be a simple one step event that just “happens” ! You “see, hear or read something”, you “process it” and that is that.
But in reality so many factors come into play when our kids are faced with the task of processing information at school that when you take the time to actually break down each task, it is easy to understand just how overwhelming those tasks can become.

Lets take a look at the mere task of “hearing a string of words ” and making sense of it. I like to use an example from a familiar test that I use to find areas of auditory processing that may need some work.

Hearing loss screening for children

Hospitals routinely perform hearing screening on infants in the first 24-48 hours after birth. If an infant fails the initial screening, he or she is usually scheduled for a second screening a few weeks later. However, sometimes infants who pass the hearing screening at birth may exhibit signs of hearing loss as they age. If you think your child is having difficulty hearing you, visit your pediatrician right away.

Beginning Sounds ~Phonemic Awareness is essential to reading ! That’s what we do in Speech !!

Research has shown that phonemic awareness is a truly essential building block for reading.
Phonemic awareness is the awareness of phonemes– parts of words or speech sounds combined when we speak to make a word. Though this is a simple idea sometimes, even with normal cognitive ability, phonemic awareness does not develop “automatically”. There are different reasons for this, such as slow processing speed, middle ear fluid or ear infections , or auditory processing difficulty to name a few. Many times this difficulty is a part of receptive language difficulties and can be screened for very quickly by a speech therapist. It is important to consult right away. You are the expert on your child. And if you are wondering about development of speech sounds, reading, verbal spoken or written skills then trust your instincts.

Welcome to Our Blog !

Hi. Thanks for reading our blog. Remember… We are the speech teachers…so we love it when you share and COMMENT !!

The sun and the moon and the stars have shone down on us… so we want to share. So here is this blog.

This blog is for those of us who love the learning process. Language is at the heart and self expression is the soul.
For those of us who love to encourage self expression and imagination through speaking, using words, writing , moving, acting, painting !

The Speech Teachers

Rhonda Malinsky-Rockwell is a veteran speech therapist having over 30 years experience in the school setting and 3 years at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she provided evaluations and therapy for speech, language and literacy and also served as a clinical instructor for  Pitt students of the Speech Pathology program.

Rhonda completed a masters degree in speech pathology and a masters degree in deaf education at California University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh. Rhonda holds her certificate of clinical competence from ASHA,  American Speech and Hearing Association and also her certification from CED, Council on Education of the Deaf.  Rhonda is  licensed  by the state of Pennsylvania in Speech Pathology  and also holds her  PA teaching certificate for speech therapy in the  schools . Rhonda is listed in the directory also of Apraxia Kids.


Through the years, Rhonda’s areas of expertise have become treating Children with Speech Sound Delays, Language Delay- Public speaking skills , Cochlear Implants, Hearing Aids, cleft palate ,auditory processing disorders , Social Language, and literacy and study skills difficulties such as dyslexia.

Rhonda is very proud to be with Lumina private therapy services and eager to tell of her experiences as a therapist at our local school districts and Children’s Hospital.  These experiences developed her desire to  contribute to the services available in our community as she explains ” Our area schools and early intervention services provide excellent speech therapy services, and our private speech therapy services at Lumina enhance that—by targeting skills and early starts many of which are not allowed for by the schools and early intervention guidelines …

You see, Private therapy is held to medical guidelines, and can begin therapy immediately with 1 or  2  sessions per week if necessary,  and can begin as soon as a mild disorder is identified.
Educational and early intervention guidelines require more severe difficulty in order to qualify a child to receive  speech services.  Those guidelines  often do not allow therapy to be provided  2 sessions per week .
This is why our area needs private therapy services.
Many children are in need of speech therapy to improve their speech or their language, listening or processing skills, but they may not qualify for  therapy under educational  or early intervention guidelines.”

Rhonda explained this  further, ” I saw this in my position at Children’s Hospital.  So many children did not qualify for speech therapy at their school or in early intervention but at Children’s Private therapy clinic we provided therapy to those  children… and they did benefit greatly!  We also saw children who would qualify in the schools for one speech therapy session per week, but in the  private setting  we were able to provide more frequent sessions ! What a boost for their speech progress ! That is why we are very proud to open our own little speech clinic right here in Uniontown !
We are here to consult at any time, just give us a call !  724-366-1166 !

Or submit the form below  our speech teacher profiles !

Kelly Trott has her bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northern Arizona University.

Kelly completed her clinical fellowship year at UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC St. Margaret hospitals in Pittsburgh.
Kelly’s supervisors at UPMC credited her with initiative, quick ability to learn in a clinical setting and to establish meaningful goals and progress for her patients.

Following her internships and Clinical Fellowship Year, Kelly decided she wanted to establish a wide range of experience as a therapist and so she accepted a position as a traveling speech language pathologist !

Her travel assignments were in Texas, California, Oregon, and Alaska where she gained experience in a variety of settings including hospital acute care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, home health, early intervention, preschool, elementary and high school settings.

Kelly is a technology and “speech project” Fun-Inspired Speech Teacher ! She even has her OWN store on Teachers Pay Teachers

Kelly has recently moved back to the area and is excited to support her community through her career in speech language pathology.

At Lumina, Kelly brings multiple areas of expertise and enjoys making progress happen with her patients and their families.

Contact our speech teachers, Rhonda or Kelly by filling out and submitting the form below. We weill get back to you via email or phone as you request.