TalkTools Training

Therapist Bio

Gillmer, Melissa






Melissa overall treatment approach is tailored to each individual. She have extensive background in principles of behavior and motor learning and use a multi-sensory approach, including PROMPT and discreet trials of gross motor imitation so that the child can experience success initially. In addition, her initial phases include a focus on functional communication. For instance, gross motor imitation tasks may include practicing a head nod for yes and/or pointing skills if they are also lacking. We move as quickly as possible from gross motor imitation to oral and vocal imitation so we can begin to develop a sound repertoire and elicit wordshapes, such as CV or VC, with more randomized practice in accordance with motor learning theory. As the child becomes more verbal and intelligibility increases, she also make it a point to address any linguistic and executive functioning issues which are common in children with resolving CAS, such as language processing or reading deficits.

She have been a primary supporter of the walk through her business and personally as a fundraiser as well as with volunteer efforts since the 2015 inaugural walk in our area (the First Coast/Jacksonville).

Most parents participate in sessions initially by providing any updates since the previous session, observe the clinician working with their child and then are invited to practice the same skills or strategies they observed so that they may receive direct feedback from the clinician and feel confident that they can carryover these skills into other environments. Parents who do not participate in the sessions for whatever reason are given verbal and written reviews and opportunities to ask questions.

Melissa have used sign language, PECS, dedicated communication devices and iPads to facilitate functional communication primarily through greetings, simple conversational exchanges, making choices, motivational learning opportunities as well as behavior management strategies (such as a visual schedule, token system visual timer).

Melissa is part of TalkTools® Level 3 OPT™ Specialist.