December Newsletter- Happy Holidays!

December Newsletter- Happy Holidays!

Have a blessed holiday season! 

Our office will be open Monday - Friday the week of December 18- 22.  We will be closed on Monday (12/25) and Tuesday (12/26). The office will only be closed on Monday January 1 in observance of the New Year. Please check with your therapist, their schedule may be different from the office hours.

Congratulations to Mallory- 2017 Armstrong Graduate! 

Graduating from Armstrong State University with a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, our very own Mallory has her eyes set on large goals for 2018. She plans to apply to many Georgia based Speech-Language Pathology Graduate schools in hopes to one day have the CCC-SLP credentials at the end of her name. We have no doubt that her drive, passion and love for children will take her far. During her time in high school, she volunteered in a special needs classroom where her passion was initially sparked. Her experience led to a paid position working alongside a 14-year-old student diagnosed with Autism where she gained experience in ABA therapy. She was inspired to continue to find ways to reach students using creativity and alternative communication means. We wish Mallory luck as she applies to graduate school. We can’t wait to celebrate all of her successes!

Tumble Tykes of Savannah at Southland Pediatric Therapy Services

During the months leading up to the holidays, Tumble Tykes of Savannah, an affiliate business of Southland Therapy Services, offered playdates for kids crawling - 5 years old. The class taught beginner tumbling skills and incorporated theme related songs, dances and games! The Halloween, Thanksgiving and Winter Wonderland playdates were a huge success! Stay tuned for more information! The new year will bring new changes and classes to our Tumble Tykes program!

Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run/ Kids’ Run 2017

On December 2, 2017 Physical Therapist  Katie Osborne, Owner Dee Dee Mesaros,  Outreach Coordinator Laura Leech, along with her husband Jacob and daughter Abigail, attended the Enmarket Bridge Run in Savannah, Georgia.

The race coordinators did a fabulous job in organizing a wonderfully successful event complete with 5k, 10k, and Double Pump races, a Kids’ Run and a Health and Wellness expo the evening before race day. With trolleys coordinated to take racers to the start of their race and family friendly events all throughout the day, they truly did think of everything.

Before the 5k run began, the Kids’ Run took place at the Enmarket Bridge Run finish line. Over 30 children took off to run the 1/4 mile loop and finish across the white and black finish line. All of the children who participated were awarded the Southland Therapy Kids’ Run finishers medal for all their hard work.

As the Bridge Run Kids’ Run 2017 Sponsor, Southland Therapy Services was proud to have members of the Southland team in attendance to show support and participate in the great event. We look forward to taking part in future Savannah Sports Council events.

Thank you to all who attended, adorned their blue Southland race shirts, and helped make our race day extra special!


Southland Snapshot: Thanksgiving Edition!

Click here to read the November Newsletter!




On November 4, 2017 on  a beautiful autumn morning, SLP Sarah Sharp and Outreach Coordinator Laura Leech, along with their families, attended the Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech in Beaufort, South Carolina. With their bright yellow event t-shirts and walking shoes laced up tight, they completed the mile loop around  the beautiful Pigeon Point Park.

Apraxia of Speech is challenging to overcome. According to The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North American, (CASANA) “most children almost miraculously learn to speak without effort, children with apraxia struggle mightily to accurately produce sounds, syllables and words. While their understanding of language is usually much better than their ability to express it, children with apraxia have difficulty planning and programming the movements which underlie speech…for children with apraxia, ideas are often stuck inside, unspoken or not understood.”

Southland Speech-Language Pathologists work with children everyday who are diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech.

Southland Therapy Services was a  sponsor for the event and was proud to have members of the team in attendance to show support. Not pictured was SLP Jessica Covinsky who was unable to attend the walk, but helped fundraise for the Southland Therapy Services walking team who raised $80 for the cause. (

Tumble Tykes of Savannah @ Southland Therapy 

During the months leading up to the holidays, Tumble Tykes of Savannah, an affiliate business at Southland Therapy Services, has offered playdates for kids crawling - 5 years old. The class teaches beginner tumbling skills and incorporates theme related songs, dances and games! The October playdate was a huge success and our November 18th Turkey Tumble Playdate is almost full. The Winter Wonderland playdate is open for registration and has spots still available.

Enmarket Bridge Run 2017 Kids’ Run Sponsor & Registration Raffle! 

This year’s Enmarket Bridge Run will take place on December 2nd in Savannah. There will be 5k/10k races as well as a kids’ 1/4 mile run early in the morning before the bridge runs begin. We are excited to be the Kid’s Run sponsor for this great event and hope you will join us!  See you there!

We will be raffling off ONE Bridge Run Registration starting later this week- keep an eye on our Facebook page for details on how to win! 

Join Us In Welcoming New Bilingual Georgia SLP - Andrea Concha

I graduated from Florida International University (FIU) in 2017 with a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology. My FIU curriculum emphasized bilingualism since I am fluent in both English and Spanish. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and am currently an SLP in the Savannah, Georgia clinic. My favorite part of the job is seeing the progress made by my patients. I also love providing positive changes needed for my patients to succeed. I enjoy to travel and, during the last two years have been able to take several road trips: from Miami to Michigan, later Michigan to Tucson. I love trying new foods and learning about different cultures. I am a big dog lover and have 2 dogs of my own. I enjoy trying to make homemade goods and being creative with different arts and crafts projects. I recently joined the Southland Therapy Services team and am excited to offer bilingual services to the patients at the Savannah clinic.

Southland Snapshot: Happy Halloween!




Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk 2017

This year’s 2017 Buddy Walk had thousands of participants even though the weather was unseasonably warm for October.  The Walk was held on October 7th, in Savannah, GA.  Many families and supporters walked the one mile loop around Forsyth Park ending in a sea of booths, food stands and activities.  Over 50 booths were set up with informational handouts, games and activities for all ages.  Southland Pediatric Therapy set up a table and enjoyed handing out information about the services we offer. We participated as a Buddy Walk PARTNER Sponsor this year and were proud to support such an important event.  Dee Dee set up the booth early in the morning before the walk began and was later joined by Office Manager Regina, Staff Member Catherine and Occupational Therapist Megan to join in on the fun!  It was great to see so many people out in support of our local Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and enjoy a fun filled day. We are excited to participate again next year and just hope for slightly cooler autumn weather next time.


We are excited to showcase some of our fabulous therapists in honor of their amazing and professional performances. Southland couldn’t be more proud of the handwork and dedication they strive for each and every day. Please visit our Facebook page to read the biographies of our Physical Therapists. We have been, and will continue, posting them all month long! 

A special thank you to all our Physical Therapists for their commitment to serving the children of GA and SC!

Alex Receives AMtryke With Big Smiles

On September 6, 2017, three-year old Alex, a patient of Southland Physical Therapist Holly, received his AM16 Foot Cycle AmTryke from AMBUCS. With big smiles, Alex put on his shiny red helmet and took his first lap around the office. “The process to get his tricycle took about 2 months,” said PT Holly. “The AM16 tryke promotes so many amazing things like balance, bilateral coordination, body awareness, as well as building trunk and lower extremity strength.” From their website:, “AMBUCS is a national non-profit service organization dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities.” The AMBUCS website explained that, on average, they donate over 75 AmTrykes per year to the Savannah community.  Holly believes that in her three years at Southland, she has helped over ten patients receive an AmTryke therapeutic tryke. “I have at least three children lined up to receive their trykes this November,” she stated, “with possibly a few more applications lined up after that.” Southland has partnered with AMBUCS of Savannah for many years and seeing those big smiles on such deserving faces makes it all worthwhile. Way to go Holly! Congratulations Alex!

Southland Snapshot: September Edition

Click here to view our September newsletter!


We hope you are all settling into your new school routines and your kids are loving the start of their new year! If you have any questions on IEPs, in-school services or concerns, please ask your therapist. We are here to help advise in anyway we can. 

This past week we had quite a scare when Hurricane Irma made her way for our coast and affected many of our neighbors and those in our surrounding states. We hope you and your loved ones are all okay and are thankful it didn’t hit as hard as predicted. Hurricane season isn’t quite over and we hope that we won’t have anymore major storms, but if we do please remember to watch our Facebook for updates and office closures.

Please help us in welcoming two new South Carolina therapists

Laura Dukes:

I graduated from Clemson University with a BA in Biology and a minor in Psychology. I then attended the Medical University of South Carolina and obtained my Doctorate in Physical Therapy graduating in 2010. I have worked in an outpatient clinic setting and a school setting, serving pediatric patients the majority of my seven years of practice. I am excited to begin this adventure working with young children in their homes and look forward to the challenge of helping them grow and develop. I enjoy working in pediatrics because it is a constant learning experience, with no child being exactly like another. I live near St. George, South Carolina and enjoy spending time with my husband, 4 year old daughter and 4 month old son.

Kayley John:

I graduated in 2015 with a MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I have been working as a SLP for 2 years with children in preschool through high school settings. My favorite part of the job is seeing a child gain confidence by achieving one of their communication goals for the very first time. I have lived in the Charleston area for one year now and am originally from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Congratulations are in order…

Georgia Occupational Therapist Nicole Calabro completed 13 Evaluations and Georgia Physical Therapist Holly Fennell completed 16 Evaluations in  the month of September and all documentation was complete!

Great Job Nicole & Holly! You are worker bees and we are lucky to have you! 


After a dedicated 7 years with Southland Therapy, Hannah Hood, M.S. CCC-SLP has recently transitioned to a new position closer to her home in Richmond Hill, GA.  Hannah has worked for Southland Therapy since May 2010.  She started out as a CFY SLP working in the natural environment in South Carolina.  When the Savannah clinic was opened in 2011, Hannah was the first SLP to work at our clinic location in Savannah.  In 2012, she was willing to see kids in the natural environment in Bryan county in addition to seeing kids here in our office.  She was always willing to take on more clients and she loved working with kids!  As Hannah worked with a variety of communication disorders, she touched the lives of her patients and those who worked along side her.  She decided to work closer to home and cut down on her commute giving her more time to send with her two beautiful children.  Good luck Hannah, you will be sadly missed!



Congratulations and enjoy your goodies!

Thank you to everyone who liked, shared, commented & reviewed us on Facebook. We are so lucky to have such amazing patients and supporters! 

Physical Therapy tips for Back to School!

Click here to read our August newsletter!


We want your little ones staying safe and active while getting back into their new routines! Read on for more! 


Florida Bound Farewell to Pam After 9 Years With Southland


A message from owner Dee Dee:

Pam Ferch, MA CCC-SLP, has been a Speech Language Pathologist with Southland Therapy since November 2008.  Pam was one of our first therapists to work in the natural environment in the Bluffton and Hilton Head areas of South Carolina.  Pam has been such a pleasure to work with over the past 9 years.  She has always been so attentive to her kids needs and has made a real difference in the lives of these little ones!  We will miss her and we wish her well as she makes her move to Florida.

Much luck to you Pam!

Well, the time has come, after working as a pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist for almost 9 enjoyable years with Southland Therapy to say goodbye and adios!  As my husband and I have decided to move back to south Florida to be closer to our family and friends. 

I will surely miss the excitement and challenges that come with working with my special little children and their families, which has been my passion for over 35 years.

Also, I have so deeply appreciated and respected my association with Southland and the therapists I have worked with.

Thank you Dee Dee, John, Dawn, Regina and Laura!  You are all an incredible team that has made my job as a Speech/Language Pathologist so pleasurable, and I will surely miss your friendship.

Fondly – Pam Ferch M.A., CCC


Raffle Entry Details:

Like us on Facebook for a chance to win our BACK TO SCHOOL Raffle!     The gift basket includes crayons, pencils, books and a $50 Gift Card to Target for all your back to school needs!

Go to our Facebook page for more details on how to win!



Physical Therapist Holly put together some great tips on 

how to build endurance for prolonged sitting in school. 

1.   CLIMB, CLIMB, CLIMB!: Pile the pillows and couch cushions in the living room and have races from one side to the other. You can also climb the equipment at the local park, fresh air is a great reward for working hard at school all day.

2.   At-home exercises:  I like to have my patients fly like superman. You can do this by laying on your belly on the floor, lift your arms and legs off the ground, lift your head up and hold the position for 10 seconds; repeat 2 more times daily. Another easy at-home therapy task is to make a “v” with your body. Lay on your back, lift your upper back and legs off the floor into a “v” position; hold for 10 seconds, repeat 2 times daily.

3.  Ride your bike, scooter for 10-15 minutes outside

4.  Wrestle with your siblings for 10-15 minutes on pillows on the floor (ask an adult first!)

5.   Play tug of war with a very long towel or rope repeatedly

6.   Push or pull heavy objects such as a child in a laundry basket with a jump rope around the house, walking backwards, sideways and forwards. Take turns with your child! Give them a ride in the laundry basket, then fill the basket with their stuffed animals and let them try! 



Back to School Backpack Safety Tips! 

Disclosure: Article written by John J. Triano, DC, PhD on 8/10/12

Returning to school is a good time to discuss how to maintain the health of your body and spine in regards to using a back pack for school. Read below the tips to prevent back pain from carrying backpacks.

The back will compensate for any load applied to it for an extended period of time. A heavy weight carried in backpacks can:

•  Distort the natural curves in the middle and lower backs, causing muscle strain and irritation to the spine joints and the rib cage

•  Lead to rounding of the shoulders

•  Cause a person to lean forward, reducing balance and making it easier to fall

Habitually carrying backpacks over one shoulder will make muscles strain to compensate for the uneven weight. The spine leans to the opposite side, stressing the middle back, ribs, and lower back more on one side than the other. This type of muscle imbalance can cause muscle strain, muscle spasm, and back pain in the short term and speed the development of back problems later in life if not corrected.

•  Look for backpack design features that help reduce the chance of back pain

•  Teach your child how to properly load and wear the backpack to avoid back pain

•  Maintain a mindset to watch the weight carried in the backpack to reduce back pain:

Should your child complain of neck, arm or back pain, and you have tried to alleviate it by decreasing the weight of his back pain without success, talk to your doctor about seeing a physical therapist for an evaluation.

See our Facebook Page for the complete article! 

Southland Snapshot- Summer OT Tips and Tools!

Summer in the South- OT Tips and Tools!

Read our July Newsletter Here!

With Summer in full swing, we asked our therapists to share some activities and insights to keep your little ones busy and improving upon therapy goals! Next month we will have some insight from our Physical Therapists- this month please enjoy some Occupational therapy tips and activities!

Occupational therapist Megan chimes in on two therapy tools! 

Weighted blankets can be awesome for kids who have difficulty calming down to sleep. The deep pressure input calms their nervous system if they are sensory seekers or sensory underresponsive. Another weighted material I have had success with includes ankle weights during seated tasks to help with attention and maintaining a regulated state. It gives some children the amount of proprioceptive input they need to remain seated and participate in structured tasks.

Another therapy tool I love is Theraputty. It's great for hand/UE strengthening and heavy work input as well. It comes in a variety of strengths depending on the child's strength and age. I love to hide little beads in it and have the children remove and then replace them. I also use it as an ideation activity where the child has to create a figure (animal, food, etc.) out of the putty and then I guess what it is. This doubles as ideation and hand strengthening, so it's a win win!



What’s your favorite flavor? 

Take a look at the fun ice cream cone activity below that will surely make your therapist ice-scream with delight! 


Fine motor/ Sensory Ice Cream cone

Print out the cone placemat from the website below or simply draw an outline of a bowl or cone on a piece of paper. Next, assist your child in choosing a color of play-dough to use as their ice cream. Guide your child as they practice their fine motor skills by rolling, flattening and patting the play-dough into the scoop shape. If they’d like, they can also build on their sensory practice and push plastic beads or other small items into the play-dough as sprinkles! !

Activity courtesy of:


Congratulations are in order…

South Carolina Occupational Therapist Melinda Morris had over 90 visits in the month of June and not one unsigned note!

Great Job Melinda!

Occupational Therapist Nicole weighs in on common therapy tools and their benefits! Take a peek! 

Sensory processing disorder is a familiar condition known to many of our families and involves the brain having trouble taking in information from the senses and responding in a typical manner. While some children experience an overload, or are overly sensitive to input via one or more senses, others may seek additional input to properly feel a given sensation.

Today, there are numerous tools on the market to help provide this additional input- in a purposeful manner. It should be noted, each child who has sensory processing concerns takes in information and processes a response that is individual to them. Before investing in any sensory tools, it is advised that you open a discussion with your child’s therapist before spending money on an item that may not be beneficial or can trigger the wrong response. Some tools out there can be very pricey and not a sound investment. Finding the right tools to carryover at home is a trial and error process and if possible, always attempt to ‘test drive’ a tool before making that investment as not every tool, regardless of purpose, is guaranteed to work for every child.

Some tools that crop up most often or are new on the market include:

- Weighted vests and blankets: These items are meant to give additional sensory input to help a child achieve calm rather than seek excessive movement. Vests are used throughout a typical day with a schedule to don/doff for the child to be aware of the added sensory input. Blankets are typically for use at night with children who have difficulty calming themselves in a typical manner for bed or have issues sleeping through the night.

- Chew tubes, necklaces, z-vibe wands: These items are meant to provide an outlet for children seeking oral input. Maybe they chew on non-food objects excessively including toys, shirts, or any object not typically meant to be mouthed. Chew tubes and necklaces are easy, inexpensive items that simply provide a means for a child to seek this input by chewing/biting an object that will not pose a choking hazard or distract from participation in a more purposeful activity. Z-vibes provide the same outlet but one is able to change the type of oral attachment- textured, smooth, even a spoon attachment for use with picky eater and it also will provide vibration input. This gives a higher level of sensory input that can work very well with overly orally sensitive children.

- Fidget spinners: These have seemed to explode in popularity lately and I, as an OT, have mixed feelings. Yes, they do provide a manner for children to get added input, but I have personally had to remove them from the immediate area as they tend to distract my kids from focusing on an activity/task during therapy sessions. I assume the same distraction happens in classrooms also. My final answer: There is a time and place- at home, watching tv, on a car ride, down time in the classroom, etc- not necessarily a great tool to have around when a child must use their hands for fine motor activities!

- Therapy balls/balance ball chairs: These items can be used for so many different reasons other than sitting that I personally find them to be a good investment even if it is not necessarily meeting the needs of why it was originally purchased. Improving posture, balance, body awareness, providing a means to fidget and move while remaining on task and provide deep pressure are some of the various uses for this item. I personally feel it would be a great investment for schools to provide these as a standard mode of seating. The amount of time required for a child to remain seated and still throughout a school day can be a difficult task for the average child, let alone a child who has ADD/ADHD or is just overly active. There are so many items out there and this is a very short list, but is meant to open the door on available options out there. Asking your therapist about possible items you are considering for use at home is always a welcome discussion!

Southland Snapshot- Summer in the South!


Read our June 2017 newsletter here!



Tuesday July 4th:

Our office will be closed in observation of Independence

Day. Please check with your therapist to be sure that your appointments have not changed

due to the long holiday weekend.


Restoration Chiropractic: 

Please join us in welcoming our new neighbors. Dr. Kaleb Scroggin was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. He found his passion for helping children live up to their full potential which led him to complete a Postdoctoral Pediatric Chiropractic training program. His practice focuses on pregnancy, children and family care.

Please visit Dr. Kaleb and his staff and tell them we sent you! Visit their website for contact information and more details.




Did you know that therapists can train to assist with Dysphagia? We are lucky to have some very knowledgable team members with the skills to help with this very diagnosis!

Don’t know what Dysphagia is? Keep reading to learn more!

According to ASHA: “Feeding and swallowing disorders (also known as dysphagia) include difficulty with any step of the feeding process—from accepting foods and liquids into the mouth to the entry of food into the stomach and intestines. A feeding or swallowing disorder includes developmentally atypical eating and drinking behaviors, such as not accepting age- appropriate liquids or foods, being unable to use age-

appropriate feeding devices and utensils, or being unable to self-feed. A child with

dysphagia may refuse food, accept only a restricted variety or quantity of foods and liquids, or display mealtime behaviors that are inappropriate for his or her age.”


Summer In The South!

With Summer upon us, we at Southland wanted to share some great activities to keep you and your little ones busy and improving upon their therapy goals! Next month we will have some insight from our Occupational and Physical Therapists- this month please enjoy some Speech and Language tips and activities!



Using foam alphabet letters, a small kiddie pool, some sidewalk chalk and a fishing net you can create hours of endless outdoor fun! Whether your child is learning their letters or working on certain speech sounds, using

this fun water exercise will help them spell out certain words and practice what those letters sound like.

“I caught an S, that makes a SSSS sound!”

Plus this activity help with coordination and motor skills! It’s a perfect all around activity that is Summer and Therapist approved!

Activity courtesy of:



Speech-Language Pathologist Hannah created a list of tips to help your child work on their speech goals during

summer break! Take a peak!


Have your child make a list of words that start with their target sounds. Add to the list and see how many words they can come up with. Have them find and underline their sound in the words.

Find pictures in a magazine of items that start with your child’s speech sound. Cut out, glue and make a collage.

Go on a scavenger hunt in the house or yard and find items that start with their sounds. Put items in

a box and have the child practice saying them as they pull them out.

• If traveling in the car, have your child look for words that start with their sound. Billboards, store

names, and restaurants are great places to start!


• Have your child name items and talk about items at the beach, pool, park, zoo, etc.

• Go places and ask your child what, where, who, why questions about each place.

• Have your child cook and follow directions in the recipe.

• Read books and ask questions about books. Have your child retell the story or sequence story

events. Go to the library for story-time.

Southland Snapshot: May 2017- Farewell to Physical Therapist Sarah Melroy


Farewell to Physical Therapist Sarah Melroy:

Sarah has many years experience with pediatric patients and has been with Southland since September of 2011. She is trained in Infant Massage, Myofascial Release and Pediatric Kinesio Taping. She also worked at Memorial Hospital and has touched many lives during her years working in the Savannah area. “She was the first Physical Therapist to work in our Savannah clinic,“ said Southland owner Dee Dee Mesaros. “She has had so many families request her specifically and is an advocate for each and every patient.” Sarah was a champion for her patients and made sure that any child who deserved an Amtrak tricycle received one. She had a fabulous relationship with Ambucs and changed many lives for the better. “We are sad to see her go, she has been an amazing addition to our Southland team and will be greatly missed by all,” Mesaros continued. We wish her and her family much luck as they transition to their new home in North Carolina and are excited to hear of all the successes she will have! Good luck Sarah!

Dear Southland Staff and Families,

I have been working at Southland for almost 7 years, and I am thankful to have met so many wonderful therapists, staff and families.  I enjoyed working with all of you, and I have learned from each of you.  To the families I have worked with- thank you so much for letting me be a part of your child's journey!  To the staff, thanks for being a great support system so I could focus on therapy.  And to all the therapists who worked alongside me, thanks for teaching and listening and problem solving so we could achieve the best outcomes for our kiddos.  I leave you with a verse of one of my favorite poems, I believe it applies so much to the work that we do-

It Couldn’t Be Done

By: Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done 

      But he with a chuckle replied 

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one 

      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried. 

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin 

      On his face. If he worried he hid it. 

He started to sing as he tackled the thing 

      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!


Sarah Melroy, PT

Dana Braswell:

I graduated in 1999 with a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Georgia. I enjoy working with children who have Apraxia of Speech, Articulation disorders and oral-motor based feedings disorders. I work at Memorial on the outpatient/ inpatient feeding team. I also treat children in the natural environment through BabyNet services in South Carolina. I have have worked in the pediatrics field my entire career and truly love what I do. I am Georgia and South Carolina licensed and ASHA certified.  I live in the Savannah area and am married with three daughters.

Jacqueline Schafer:

Jacqueline graduated from Duquesne University in 2002 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She worked in the public school system for a couple of years and has primarily worked with children her whole career. She treats children through BabyNet services in South Carolina and is NBCOT certified.

On August 4th, 2017 Jacqueline has been asked to present at the 2017 Champions for Young Children Symposium in Columbia, South Carolina.  Southland is excited for her to be apart of such an amazing event and are very proud to have her on our team! Way to go Jacqueline!


Better Speech & Hearing Month:

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that approximately 43,000,000 people in the United States suffer from a speech, voice, language, or hearing impairment.  Almost 28,000,000 suffer from a hearing loss.  Approximately 10% of children have moderate to severe communication impairments, including speech production/articulation, stuttering, and language-learning difficulties. Children with speech and language impairments are 4 to 5 times more likely than their peers to experience other language-learning disabilities to include significant reading problems.  Approximately 1,000,000 people in the United States have aphasia – a language disorder resulting from brain damage caused by a stroke. &


Monday May 29th: Our office will be closed in observation of Memorial Day.

Please double check with your therapist if you normally have Monday appointments.

Southland Snapshot- April 2017 – Mustache Dash Success!

Mustache Dash Success:

On April 1st, Physical Therapist Katie Osborne and Outreach Coordinator Laura Leech participated in the Armstrong Physical Therapy Club’s Annual Mustache Dash. Southland Therapy was happy to sponsor this event to help support the success of future Physical Therapists. Aside from the sand gnats coming out in full force, the participants seemed to enjoy the event.


Saturday April 22nd: We will be participating/ sponsoring both the Walk for Autism Speaks U Armstrong at Lake Mayer and the Kidsfest at HAAF. It will be a busy day for Southland so keep an eye out for us at both events!

We want to welcome a new Georgia Therapist to our team!

  • Marjory Taylor, SLP


Month of the Military Child:

Kids Serve Too: There are 1.82 Million Military Children serving alongside their military parent or sponsor. “The average child in a military family will move six to nine times during a school career.“


Child Abuse and Prevention Month:

Georgia is 42nd in the nation for child wellbeing.  A statistic that is not good for our state’s and community’s children.   In the state FY2015, 2,691 reports of child abuse or neglect were made in Chatham county.“

- Mary Sullivan- Lutheran Services of Savannah

Occupational Therapy Month:

Occupational Therapy was founded in 1917. Occupational therapists were called 'reconstruction aides' during WWI. There are now at least 117,000 OTs practicing in the United States. 

Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month:

It is estimated that up to 1 out of every 68 children born today has some form of ASD. Evidence suggests that the prevalence rate in Georgia is even higher than the national average, at 1 in 64.

- Autism Society Georgia

Katie Osborne:

I graduated with my BS in Exercise Science from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, GA and then went on to receive my DPT from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in St. Augustine, Florida. I have been a PT for 5 years, with 4 of those being in the field of pediatrics. I love the daily challenge of thinking outside the box to get kids to work towards their therapy goals in a way that feels like fun and games for them. Helping a child learn and grow is one of the most rewarding feelings and makes for a wonderful job.

Megan Valdivieso:

I graduated with my Master in Health Science in Occupational Therapy from Georgia Regents University in 2015. I have been working as an OT for 2 years. I also work at Memorial Hospital. I was recently certified as a feeding therapist and really enjoy the new challenge. My favorite part of the job is getting to know the kids and their families and seeing how I can help them progress over time. My hobbies include exploring new places and spending time outdoors. I'm originally from Chicago and have a miniature dachshund named Teddy.

Hannah Hood:

I graduated in 2010 with a MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Armstrong Atlantic State University. I enjoy working with children who have expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation/phonological disorders, disfluencies, oral motor deficits, autism, and other communication difficulties. I have experience working with families in the home environment as well as the clinic setting. I am  GA licensed and ASHA certified.  I am  from the Savannah area and have been with Southland since 2010.

“Let’s Talk autism” Event:

The event, held on April 8, 2017, was a success! Not only were there participants in our office, the event was also broadcasted live on our Southland Therapy Facebook page. If you missed it, please visit and “like” our Facebook page, and watch the videos. Southland Speech Therapist Cindy Green and Occupational Therapist Tyneise Seaborough, presenters at the event, were excited to deliver hope to the attendees in the form of strategies! OT Tyneise continued, “Parents left empowered with tools and strategies in their hands to assist with smoother transitions and decrease some of the challenging behaviors that they encounter on a daily basis. The attendees created individual social stories that were meaningful to them in order to deal with a pressing situation that they were currently facing. Upon seeing the completed product, they felt accomplished and were very grateful!” Thank you to all who attended and viewed the event. We are eager to share more events like this with you in the future.

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Southland Snapshot: March 2017 – New Year, New Faces

Read Full Newsletter: March 2017

New Year, New Faces

We have some new faces in our front office. Mallory and Zandia have joined the office team alongside Regina. Mallory is a student at Armstrong State University studying to be an SLP and Zandia has her Bachelors in Rehab Science also from Armstrong. Please join us in welcoming them to our Southland family!



The office will be closed on Friday, March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day!

We want to welcome new Georgia Therapists to our team!

  • Katie Osborne, PT
  • Nicole Calabro, OT
  • Alyssa Butcher, ST
  • Beth Bennett, ST



M.A. Physical Therapy – Holly has over 8 years of experience with working with children with specific diagnoses: Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Hydrocephalus, Torticollis, Microcephaly, Sensory Processing Disorder, etc. Holly is licensed to practice in Georgia and in Kentucky.



Occupational Therapist OTR/L – Tyneise is a pediatric occupational therapist with over a decade of experience in a variety of settings: school systems, private practice, and outpatient settings (pediatric and adult).



Speech Language Pathologist, MEd., CCC-SLP – Cindy has served children with speech/ language disorders- Pediatric SLP for over 32 years and has experience in Speech/language therapy and assistive technology.



Bella is a patient at Southland Therapy Services and has an inspiring story. Bella was born with type 3 Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, “a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause.” ( She has had countless fractures and has undergone years of therapy, surgeries and pain management to cope and repair her bones. “I have been seeing her since September 2015. She walks independently with a posterior walker and uses a pediatric wheel chair long distances. She loves creative play and is very talkative and imaginative. She loves her baby sister, Emma. She loves to try new things and currently started walking up/down steps with help,” said Southland Physical Therapist Holly Fennell. She is a strong, remarkable young lady!

Recently “Bella Strong” held a fundraiser to give back to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa and Chicago. Needing to travel back and forth to these hospitals since she was 8 weeks old, Bella’s organization used her birthday as an opportunity to allow others to give back. Their most recent fundraiser in February 2017 was a great success and was held at Your Pie in Savannah. We look forward to seeing all the progress Bella makes alongside her therapist Holly and wish her all the best!



Struggling with transitions? Is communication a concern? Join us for “Let’s talk strategies for Autism” on Saturday, April 8th at Southland Therapy’s Savannah location.

This event will be held in two parts:

  • Speech Pathologist Cindy will be teaching “Social Stories Development.” You will learn how to help your child deal with difficult situations and discover the criteria needed to develop a social story.
  • Occupational Therapist Tyneise will be teaching “Visual Supports for Transitioning.” She will explain why transitions are difficult for some children and help you Identify various types of visual supports for transitioning in your day to day life.
  • What to bring: Magazines, pictures of interest for your child (for make and take)