Sabrina Conway is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist in Southern California. Recently, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of opening up a private practice to serve children with speech-related needs. Lil’ Chit-Chat is a boutique clinic, which allows her and her staff of therapists to tailor their therapy programs to the specific needs of each child.
What are the primary service(s) or product(s) that your business provides?
Lil’ Chit-Chat is a boutique speech and language private practice that provides quality speech and language services (evaluations and treatment) to children from infancy to young adulthood. Our services are individually tailored to fit each child’s needs. We work closely with the family to provide insight so that they feel “in the know” about their child’ challenges. Lil’ Chit-Chat also provides parent education/coaching so that parents feel confident in helping their child use the skills learned in the therapy session and carry them over until the next therapy session.
Most of our therapy sessions are provided in the home or school environment. Our philosophy behind this is that children feel more at ease in familiar settings. Therapy is fun and engaging, but can be intensive. We want to eliminate the hurdle of having children come to an unfamiliar place, which might lengthen the amount of time it takes before they feel comfortable.
Who’s your perfect customer? Do you work with other business (B2B), or consumers (B2C), or both?
Our perfect customer is any child that presents with a speech and language delay, childhood apraxia of speech, social pragmatic disorders, and phonological articulation disorders. We work closely with their families, as well as other team members who may be working with our client. We share our reports with pediatricians, occupation therapists, teachers and any other professional that may be working with the child, with parent consent. This multi-disciplinary approach is very beneficial, as it allows us to collaborate with all of the team members to better serve our clients’ complete needs.
When did you start your company? Share a little about your professional history leading up to starting your company.
It has always been my dream to start my own private practice. I wanted to offer a comprehensive therapy program that children were excited to engage in. Our therapy is primarily play based, but presented in a structured environment where the therapists can target the goals established. I have been in the profession for almost 12 years. In those 12 years I’ve worked in hospitals, clinics, home-health agencies, and schools. For about half of those years, I treated a few clients privately after school hours. I loved working closely with the families in the child’s natural environment with familiar surroundings.
After years of having a “part-time private practice”, I started a family of my own. I knew it was the time to make the leap and fulfill my dream of starting a thriving practice. It has been a great learning process. Starting your own business is no easy task, but it has been the best career decision I have made. It is nice to go to work and not feel like you are at work. The smiles on my clients’ and their families’ faces when they say their first word or they send me a video of their child saying “I love you” for the first time, melts my heart. Lil’ Chit-Chat truly makes a difference in people’s lives everyday.
What are one or two things that you’ve learned the hard way?
I went to school for my Masters in Speech-Language Pathology, not Business Management. It has been a learning curve for me in figuring out how to run a successful business and delegate appropriate tasks to others who are more educated in doing so. Hiring others to help me run my business has afforded me time to time to do what I am trained to do.
What is one thing that most people don’t know about your business or industry that you wish they did?
As speech pathologists, we must be licensed in the state that we practice and have our Master degree in Speech-Language Pathology. However, in the state of California, speech therapy can technically be provided by a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant (SLPA) who has considerably less education and practical hours learning about therapy. Here at Lil’ Chit-Chat, we only hire licensed speech language pathologist who are also certified through our national organization: American Speech-Language & Hearing Association (ASHA). It is important for parents to know who is providing therapy to their child: a speech pathologist or a speech assistant. This is a critical question to ask when choosing a therapist.
Where’s the best place for people to learn more about your company?
The best place to find out more information about our company is through our website: http://lilchitchat.com/