Sprout Pediatrics Welcomes Pediatric Dysphagia & Feeding Therapist Rachael Whitaker to the Team!

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Rachael Whitaker, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Rachael Whitaker, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

Rachael graduated from Furman University with a B.S. in Health and Exercise Science in 2006. She later attended the University of South Carolina and received a Master of Science degree in Motor Control and Rehabilitation in 2009, as well as a Master’s of Speech Pathology in 2013. Rachael is highly qualified, as she has most recently attended continuing education classes on Dysphagia Diagnosis and Treatment in Medically Complex Patients: NICU-Teens; The Charleston Pediatric ENT Update; Application of the Passy-Muir Swallowing and Speaking Valves; Pediatric Trauma & The Road to Recovery: Infancy Through Adolescence.

Rachael comes to Sprout Pediatrics from the Children’s Hospital of Palmetto Richland. There she saw a variety complex cases stemming from multiple etiologies. She enjoyed her work there, but looks forward to┬ábeing involved in her clients treatment and seeing them progress and master goals. Rachael says, ” I love kids! I love that I can teach their families about speech and language through play. I am also humbled to have the chance to give each child the tools they need for effective and safe eating, or helping them to reduce aversions and take the stress out of mealtime for the whole family.” She shares that Sprout’s mission to consider the long term application of therapy and quality of life for each child and their family is a high value for her as well. Rachael points out, “It is so important to have goals beyond just speech, language and eating and to really focus on what those skills look like once therapy is over.”

Rachael is married to Matt (2010) and has a son named Grafton who is 17 months old. They have two
dogs, Missy and Dublin. They enjoy cooking together and playing outside. She loves to read and drink
coffee!

Speech Development of Babies: Birth to 6 months

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Speech development of babies!

By the end of six months, your child may:

Beginning smiling at you and favorite toys
Startle when they hear loud or strange sounds
Begin to find their own voice by crying differently for different needs & by cooing vowel sounds
Listen when spoken to or quiet when sung to
Appear to distinguish parents voices from others’ voices
Continue talking to themselves by finding consonant sounds b and g
Also may begin to form syllables by joining the vowels to those consonants
Will look in the direction of a sound or familiar voice
Use facial expressions when hearing sounds of various toys
Use their voice in a happy way (panting & kicking) or whine when upset
May acknowledge inflection changes in your voice
Attend to and/or listen to music

Most children will exhibit most of these milestones by six months of age. If your baby is not able to do all of these, but are progressing through these stages slowly, they may have a speech delay. See your pediatrician for more specific questions on the development of your baby!