History

The Center for Communication Skills, a private practice founded in Fresno in 1995 by Kathryn Wage, provides traditional research-based speech-language therapy enhanced by innovative, promising treatments in a progressive, positive environment.

In 1996, Kathryn introduced the Fast ForWord program to her practice, a neuroscience based program that utilizes computer driven training to improve language processing. At the time it was introduced, Fast ForWord was revolutionary for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the measurable gains it created in a short amount of time. Our first few clients using the training demonstrated measurable and observable gains, as have 90% of the hundreds of clients using the program since then. Fast ForWord training programs have become an important tool at the Center for Communication Skills since being introduced in 1996 and are now the Gold Standard for comparing effectiveness of other learning interventions.

Many of our clients with language impairments have academic challenges as well. To address these needs Kathryn became active in the Central California Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The Orton-Gillingham teaching method, advocated by IDA, is the most successful intervention for those with reading challenges. or dyslexia. Of the several different programs available based on those methods the Barton Reading and Spelling program was the best match for the Center. These programs have grown into our California Learning Connection Learning Academy. Clients at the Center have benefitted greatly using Orton-Gillingham methods in combination with language training i.e. direct therapy and Fast ForWord.

In a continuing search for more pioneering programs which comply with or can be adapted to neuroscience principles other programs have been added to the tool kit. Math You See, Kaufman Apraxia Program, Systematic Articulation Training Program Accessing Computers (SAT-PAC) and Michelle Winner’s Social Skills training programs are now part of the Center’s resources. The latest addition, Smart Palate, is a biofeedback device to aid the correction of difficult articulation, swallowing, coordination and speech issues.

In 2000, the CCS joined with Goodfellow Occupational Therapy to offer combined services of speech-language therapy and occupational therapy for our young clients, especially those on the autism spectrum. The Center pioneered co-treatment to enhance outcomes by combining the two therapy disciplines.
CCS will continue to search for new, innovative, efficient ways to treat speech, language and learning problems.

Center For Communication Skills, Speech & Language Pathologists, Fresno, CA