Adding to our Lakeshore Family

Logo for speech therapy service - Lakeshore Speech Therapy

We’ve talked a lot about the exciting new programs for the Fall this month.  We would be remiss if we didn’t share the a little about the newest members of the Lakeshore Team.

Julie Ruddy attended Ohio University and received her Masters Degree in  Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. Julie has over 24 years working as an Intervention Specialist for students in grades K-12 and has been in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District for the last 15 years. Currently, Julie works with second and fifth graders in a push-in model classroom where academic, social and behavioral goals are taught and applied across all school settings. Julie is the co-founder of the Running with the Cats program. A program that pairs St. Ignatius students with student’s with special needs to build social skills while preparing for a 5K race. She lives in West Park with her husband and four children and enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially at the beach.  Julie looks forward to working with the families at Lakeshore Speech Therapy.

Patti Cramer, is a graduate of the University Of Dayton with a Masters in Education from Bowling Green State University. She has taught in the primary grades for 20 years. Patti started her career opening a Daycare at Holy Family Church and School in Parma as an Assistant Director. She then moved to teaching Kindergarten at Holy Family Elementary School. After four years in Parma she accepted a job in Lorain City Schools teaching primarily First Grade. For the past 10 years,  Patti has taught first grade in the Lakewood City School District. Patti spends her time with her amazing nine year-old son and two dogs. Patti is excited to share her passion of helping kids discover and explore the world of reading.

Stan, a Golden Retriever, was rescued from the county pound by Patti and her family about 5 years ago.  Stan began working on becoming a certified Therapy Dog almost immediately. After passing all required tests (with flying colors), Stan’s certification took him to the Lakewood City School system.  He can be found using his Therapy Dog magical powers to calm students experiencing stress, soothe students who are anxious and encourage those that are lacking confidence.  Stan’s favorite task is to lend a supportive ear to students as they read aloud to him. He cannot wait to meet new friends to help them discover the joys of reading.

“Flex” your social skills!

Were you ever in public with your child and his/her behavior made you wish the floor would open and swallow you whole?  Ever been without words following your child’s painfully truthful comment? Remember that time when no matter what you said or what you offered your child she/he could not and would not get his/her mind off of the one little thing that made them upset and therefore ruined the event/day/situation?

We have have experienced these ‘moments’ in life and for most these situations are not a daily occurrence, however for some these ‘moments’ happen daily.  The ability to communicate, verbal or non-verbal, as well as interact with those in our environment in a socially acceptable manner is called social skills.  Social skills are typically not taught in an out right manner, rather a child ‘picks’ up these rules and skills by watching adults interact. For example, chances are you were never sat down and given a full explanation as to why when you meet someone, you extend your hand.  There’s a pretty good chance that you had seen this occur enough times that without really thinking about it, you appropriately responded when an adult extended their hand to shake yours. All children require some level of direct instruction (formal or not) when being ‘taught’ social skills.  How many times have you said under clenched teeth in an audible whisper, “Get your finger OUT of your nose immediately. HERE is a tissue!” or “Please, when you are at your grandparent’s house, please to not burp at the table, please!!! For some children (and adults) these social nuances are not easily ‘seen’.  For some, these social skills, social graces, manners, whatever you want to call them, are very difficult skills to learn, remember and execute.

We are proud to offer the small group program based on the Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum by Stephanie Madrigal and Michelle Garcia Winner.  Your child will experience the adventures of our hero Superflex conquering the dastardly Team of Unthinkables such as “Rock Brain” , “WasFunnyOnce”, and “Glassman”.  All of the villains embody different challenges or behaviors that your child may experience everyday. Using ‘Superflex” as an example, your child will learn techniques and acquire ‘super powers’ to manage these villains!

Julie Ruddy will be leading our band of Superflex Heroes into battle against the Team of Unthinkables.  Julie brings 24+ years of experiences working with children with special needs grades K through 12 as an Intervention Specialist.  Julie received her Masters in Curriculum Instruction and is a proud graduate of Ohio University. Julie has super powers of her own which she will share at Lakeshore’s Superflex Main Command Room in a six week program on Tuesdays from 6:30pm – 7:30pm.  Class size is limited to 6 SuperHeros in training. Registration is open until Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Find more information at .

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC

Help with Stuttering. You’re NOT alone!

silhouette for students jumping at sunset

We have all experienced a moment when what you are trying to say just won’t come out. Those episodes of stuttering are typically a blip in time occurring far and few between.  Stuttering is a natural part of development for children between the ages of 2 and 5. When a young child stutters, she/he may repeat certain syllables, words or phrases, prolong them, or making no sound for certain sounds and syllables.  These ‘episodes’ can be attributed to the child having so much to say, but can’t get the information out quickly and don’t want to lose her/his audience or turn to talk. Developmental stuttering my last for a few weeks or several months, and it may be sporadic.  Most children stop stuttering by age 5 without speech-language therapy intervention. However, if these episodes are accompanied with facial or body movements, become worse and more frequent, a speech-language evaluation is suggested for children as young as 3 years of age.

While there is no cure for stuttering, there are effective treatments that can help an individual control his/her speech.  As fluency therapy is a complex marriage of clinical and psychological intervention, It is recommended these treatments and therapies be administered by a speech-language pathologist who has experience or specializes in the area of fluency therapy.  As a child matures, intervention/therapy techniques adjust from learning the techniques for fluent or smooth speech to learning how to best manage dysfluencies given specific situations in the home, peer, work and academic settings.

Middle and high school years are filled with uncertainty and the constant feeling of trying to ‘fit in’.  Anything that makes you ‘different’ isn’t necessarily considered a ‘positive’. For teens who have a fluency disorder or stutter, these years can be a time of significant social struggle and self-doubt.  We take for granted the number of times in any one given day we are required to answer, comment, question or defend ourselves with clarity and ease.

Lakeshore Speech Therapy is fortunate to have Wendi Willmer as part of our staff.  As a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency, Wendi possesses in-depth knowledge on how to treat stuttering in people of all ages. Sensitive to the struggles teens and young adults experience with stuttering, she is offering two six-week small group sessions to help students..  One group is specifically designed for the needs of students in grades 6th thru 8th and another for students in grades 9th thru 12th. While working in a group setting, not only will the students learn new techniques to control stuttering, but practice those skills they do have; all the while creating a network of friends that truly understand what they are going through.  Class sizes are limited and registration is open until Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Find more information at

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC

Stan Is Here! Stan Is Here!!

Lakeshore has gone to and fallen in love with the dogs…..Stan in particular! This Fall, we will be offering a reading enrichment program co-taught by Patti Cramer and Stan, the Therapy Dog.

Patti is a graduate of the University Of Dayton.  She received her Masters in Education from Bowling Green State University. Patti has twenty years experience teaching the primary grades (Kg – 3rd grade).  Her passion is teaching Reading and Writing. Patti shared, “I have found that one major roadblock to a student’s success is the lack of confidence in their own abilities. It became my goal to discover a way to bypass that obstruction”.

3 years ago, she found that solution.

After rescuing an amazing dog, Stan, 5 years ago from the county pound, she realized he was the solution. After months of work and practice, Stan passed his Therapy Dog Test and became a Certified Therapy Dog through Therapy Dogs International. Thus, started Stan’s ‘school days’.  

Stan made an immediate impact in the classroom. His presence far exceeded expectations. Not only did he help students overcome their hesitancy to read, he actually inspired students to work extra hard to practice reading special books to Stan. Students, who otherwise feared sharing their new skills, now could not wait to show off for Stan. The growth in all of Patti’s students was amazing, but the growth in her struggling students was most apparent.

Stan motivated Patti’s classroom of First Grade students as well as having a positive effect on ALL students.  Stan spends time in six different self-contained classrooms for students with a variety of special needs. Each and every student looks forward to “Stan time”.

Stan teaches all students a variety of lessons including social/emotional skills, understanding non-verbal communication (ie: basic dog body language), compassion and care for another ( ie: students become responsible for Stan’s dog care), and basic dog training and safety skills.

Stan has become a star and time with him is an incentive in the school to promote good behavior.  Students choose to earn time reading with Stan for being respectful, responsible and safe, . His company provides a safe place when students are having a difficult day and need to cool off or just need a snuggle.

We are thrilled and fortunate that Stan has chosen to bring his talents (and those of Patti) to Lakeshore Speech Therapy.   Patti and Stan work side by side to enrich your child’s reading by practicing reading strategies to improve Accuracy, Fluency and Comprehension. Students in this 4- week program will have direct instruction with Patti, small group time to work on these strategies and of course individual time to read to Stan to show off their skills. Students will read books at their independent level to accomplish these tasks.

This reading enrichment program will be offered in two 4-week session starting September 18th from 4:30 – 5:30pm.  Each session will be limited to 4 students. Our hope it have Stan spend more time caring, working and teaching at Lakeshore Speech Therapy.  Registration for this class will open Friday, August 10th and close September 12th. Find more information at

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity!

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy

Summer, don’t leave us!

There’s still plenty of Summer left, but it’s getting to be that time of the year when our attention must turn back to the hustle and bustle of the school year.  For those not at that point or past that point, it’s that time of year that there seems to be some sort of switch from the lazy hazy days of Summer to the fast and furious time of Fall.

The types of clothes you are wearing will change, the leaves will change, and your schedule will change.  Much like our blog in June, it’s time to ask a few questions about these changes. Will you focus on a few activities or many? When is your child her/his best – morning? Late afternoon? Early evening? When do you have the most support? From whom? Spouse? Friend? Parent? In-law? How can the change to the Fall be less dramatic? Crock-pot meals? Pre-frozen meals? Assigning chores to everyone? Only you have the answers. However do yourself a favor, ask those questions and give yourself some REAL answers, you’ll be the better and so will everyone around you!

Lakeshore Speech has a number of amazing programs available for children this Fall season.  Ranging in areas of focus from Reading Tutor Groups to Social Skills Groups to Fluency Groups, we have something that your child might need or want to make a smooth start to the school year and the Fall.  Please check-out  for a full listing and explanation of our programs.

Lakeshore is also beginning to set up Fall schedules for private therapy.  Please contact Kelly ( or (440) 471-7190) to arrange a therapy day and time that works best for your family’s schedule.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC