Who we are
Aspire Speech & Learning Center was founded by Kathryn Wage in 1995 as the Center for Communication Skills. Aspire is a private-practice speech therapy clinic and academic enrichment center. We provide research-based speech and language therapy and academic enrichment/intervention services enhanced by innovative 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 Aspire 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 (IDA). 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 Aspire. This program, combined with many other reading and math interventions, have grown into our Aspire Learning Center.
In a continuing search for more pioneering programs, other neuroscience-based programs have been added. Math-U-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, Aspire joined forces 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. Aspire pioneered co-treatment to enhance outcomes by combining the two therapy disciplines.
In 2005, the two practices opened the California Learning Connection, a facility dedicated to providing parents with a one-stop-shop for innovative speech therapy, occupational therapy, and academic enrichment.
In 2017, the Center for Communication Skills team embarked on a journey to choose a new name for the company. Following a company-wide vote, Aspire Speech & Learning Center was chosen as the name to lead us forward into our next chapter. With this new name, we aspire to inspire you to achieve more and be the best you can be.
Today, we continue our search for innovative ways to treat speech, language, and learning problems, while treating all who walk through our doors as family.