Meet Vanessa Felcman!
Space Therapy & Gym’s very own Vanessa Chan-Felcman was featured in a Q&A article on Canvas Rebel! Read part of the article below, or go to the website for the whole thing.
Vanessa, appreciate you joining us today. To kick things off, we’d love to hear about things you or your brand do that diverge from the industry standard.
Our vision is to provide a SPACE where pediatric treatment options are Comprehensive, Convenient and Innovative. Tired of watching families needing to make a choice between critical therapy services such as speech or occupational therapy so that their child could participate in recommended full time Applied Behavior Analysis, we wanted to bring all critical services under one roof.
Parents do not have to make a choice on which treatment modality may work for their child, they can participate in any and all recommended services and do this in one place! The outcome is convenience and truly comprehensive programming. Our teams meet weekly to review and collaborate on the children we see, on necessary tools such as augmentative communication or sensory supports that benefit the program, and build relationships between the departments for overall increased quality of care.
Children who participate in our comprehensive program have the benefit of experienced clinicians communicating and sharing tools that support the child during the time that they are at the clinic.
Innovation means that we do not discount any treatment modalities as we are open to learning what strategies help each child at any given time. We are the only pediatric clinic in Houston that offers the Developmental Individual Differences Relationship (DIR) Model and Applied Behavior Analysis in the same location. While these two models of treatment are known for the vast differences, as a team, our clinicians learn from each other, find similarities, and put together a program that is ideal and tailored for each child.
Vanessa, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I am a speech pathologist, now with 20 years of experience. Not everyone is able to say that they love their job, but I am truly thankful to have found a profession that allows me to continue learning, stays exciting, and is able to provide support to children and their families in so many ways. Earlier in my career, my understanding of speech was more general, we treat articulation, pragmatic and language disorders. However, the truth is that we can support fluency, feeding, augmentative communication and even infants with breastfeeding!
I love when people ask me, “How do you provide speech therapy to a 9 month old?” In truth, communication and feeding skills begin at birth and as speech pathologists, we can support our families from the very beginning.
Not everyone is able to say that they love their job, but I am truly thankful to have found a profession that allows me to continue learning, stays exciting, and is able to provide support to children and their families in so many ways.
I was lucky to begin my career as a new speech pathologist, while learning the Developmental Individual Differences Relationship (DIR) Model from one of the Co Founders, Dr Serena Wieder, when I started at Texas Children’s Hospital. The model and the learning taught me that the foundation to learning begins with regulation and engagement with the child. I learned the six functional emotional developmental levels that allowed me to make connections with children and their parents at the start of my career!
This model has guided our practice and supports our ability to utilize other modalities of treatment, because we have a good understanding of how to build a foundation that supports learning. I am proud that my business partner and I, Michelle Reed continue to follow and develop our learning in the DIR Model and that we have the opportunity to share this magic with our team at SPACE and with the families that we support.