Thank you to our loving, patient, talented partner in this… Michelle…
Today my 27-month-old said his name, Porter! I cannot recommend Michelle Mares and her speech therapy skills, technique, patience and love enough. As a mom who has never gone through any therapy for her children, and after two unsuccessful speech therapy experiences at two other centers I was beyond concerned that we’d ever see the light at the end of the tunnel (especially in the midst of Covid-19). Michelle partners with Porter and I in the comfort of our own home, we are never separated, we are always a team and he has flourished away from grunts and cries to now conveying his needs and personality with actual words! We have so much work to do together still but after witnessing this today I had to share for any other mom who may be in the same boat and unsure or unaware that an option, service and resource this fantastic is available to you!
In an effort to normalize something many of us parents struggle with I thought I’d share… for many months I’ve been concerned, anxious and somewhat ashamed. I saw early signs of speech delay in our sweet Porter Pie and felt like I somehow failed him. It was hard not to compare him to others and feel like we were falling way behind. Even harder when well-meaning people would ask “is something wrong with him”… that question burned. I kept hoping we’d hit the “next milestone” and it would resolve on its own. I have always believed early intervention is key in children but when you realize the need for it in your own kid… you have to make a conscious decision to not allow denial to take over. Let’s be real, it is hard to admit your kid needs help. It is hard to admit you as a parent need help. Though Porter has always proved to us he understands every word we say and performs every command we request of him… Porter was still communicating through a combination of shrieks, cries and body language and the entire household was concerned and frustrated. After two negative experiences at two separate therapy centers, I felt even more concerned and sort of isolated; I felt like “that mom” for not just going with the flow and sticking it out at one of those centers even when my gut told me not to return. I felt like there had to be something better for Porter and thankfully I happen to have amazing friends in this field who supported and encouraged me to keep pushing. After a desperate post in a local mom group I was connected to Michelle Mares, who offers in-home speech therapy (this was huge in the midst of Covid-19). Fast forward to today and Porter finally just said HIS OWN NAME!!! It just doesn’t get better than that! He now straight up talks and combines many words together to express his needs and feelings! There is nothing “wrong” with Porter! He is made perfect and beautiful as well as stubborn and choosy about when and who he shares his words with. Thank you to our loving, patient, talented partner in this… Michelle, who has provided us with the tools and resources we’ve needed to give Porter the boost he deserved!
I would recommend her services to anyone…
“I have known Michelle Mares both professionally and personally for over 12 years. I first met Michelle Mares when she worked as a speech pathologist in Skilled Nursing and Long-Term care facilities, serving the geriatric population. She is a capable and compassionate provider, who is able to distill complex treatment plan ideas into more lay terms for people to understand easier. She is also patient with an excellent bedside manner. I would recommend her services to anyone in need of speech therapy consultations.”
I would happily recommend her…
“My son visited Michelle Mares for speech and her gentle manner and patience always impressed me. She was able to keep his attention, knew when he needed a break, and always had fun things for him to do so that he enjoyed his time with her. I would happily recommend her as a therapist.”
It takes a lot for my son to open up or trust new people but he almost immediately trusted Michelle…
“We went to see Michelle for speech therapy when my son was 2 1/2 years old. At that time he was speaking at a 1 year old level – hardly producing any words.
Michelle had a lot of patience with him and definitely helped him have his breakthrough to produce more words. She was very good at recapping their sessions (what they did, what new words he would say) and that helped me in continuing the teaching and progress at home.
It takes a lot for my son to open up or trust new people but he almost immediately trusted Michelle and looked forward to his weekly appointment with her! Thank you Michelle for everything!”
She is quiet honestly a lifesaver.
“I will be forever grateful that my father had the opportunity to work with Michelle. She is quiet honestly a lifesaver. Michelle began working with my father after a hospital stay because of a fall. He was depressed and showing signs of dementia. He is 91 and we felt we just had to accept his condition as permanent. But that was before we met Michelle. Michelle’s expertise, kindness and patience brought my father back to normal. I can’t say enough good things about her!”
She was so patient with the 90+ year olds.
“Michelle Mares was the speech therapist for my Aunt Jane and Uncle Ray a few years ago. I, their niece, was handling their care so I was in the house many times when Michelle was working with them.
When I first met Michelle, it was obvious how sweet and caring she was. She was so patient with the 90+ year olds. She encouraged them with compassion to continue working on their memory work. Their memory continued to improve. Both Jane and Ray loved Michelle and worked well with her even though my uncle was very stubborn.
When Michelle changed to a different home health company, we tried several other speech therapists. My aunt and uncle refused to work with anyone else, so we changed companies just to get Michelle back. She became part of our family. She continued to visit my uncle often, on her own time, after he went on hospice. Michelle drove out of town to come to my uncle’s funeral.
It has been more than a year since my uncle died. Michelle and I continue to check in with each other on a regular basis. Anyone would be extremely blessed and lucky to have Michelle Mares as their speech therapist.”
I would recommend her highly to anyone, young or old.
“I can’t believe I’ve known Michelle for 16 years now! When we met she was a graduate student in the Department of Communication Disorders, Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at Texas State University. She worked with my then 5-year-old son, two days a week for 8 weeks in 2004.
During those sessions we would talk afterward and I got to know and really like her. She was kind, gentle but firm, and really looked forward to becoming a speech therapist. We became friends and have stayed friends ever since. I so admire her spirit, determination, and sense of humor.
Michelle genuinely loves her profession. I recommend her highly to anyone, young or old, who is in need of speech therapy on any level.”
Michelle has proved to be a superb clinician with an excellent fund of clinical knowledge and skills.
“I have had the privilege of working with Michelle over the last 10 years. As the Medical Director for two hospitals, where Michelle served as a speech therapist caring for individuals with catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, strokes, and devastating trauma, I have had the ability to observe her skills and bedside manner first hand.
In this capacity, Michelle has proved to be a superb clinician with an excellent fund of clinical knowledge and skills. She has demonstrated the ability to handle patients with complex cognitive, speech and language, and swallowing deficits. She is able to provide direction to the patients, families, and nursing colleagues in a gentle but clear and positive manner. She is collaborative and focused on the team approach that is fundamental to rehabilitation.
She has had the ability to comfort the patients who were struggling with hospitalization and in this fashion provide a therapeutic environment for the healing process. She consistently demonstrates a professional demeanor, confidence, empathy, and a sound clinical approach.
She is versatile in her skill set and her ability to create a trusting therapist-patient relationship is unparalleled.
On a personal note, I have been touched by Michelle’s unwavering dedication to our patients and her deep compassion for them in their time of struggle. I have no doubt that this, in combination with her clinical skills is responsible for the great outcomes that patients experience under her care. It is with great pleasure and the highest confidence that I recommend Michelle to anyone seeking speech therapy services. ”
I truly believe if it wasn’t for the dedicated services and support received by Michelle, I would not have recovered as quickly as I did.
“In November of 2018, after undergoing a total thyroidectomy, an outpatient procedure, I found myself being transferred to the Intensive Care Unit due to complications during surgery. The removal of my thyroid resulted in the occurrence of bilateral vocal cord paralysis due to trauma of the laryngeal nerves during the procedure. Instead of going home a few hours after the planned outpatient procedure, I was hospitalized for nearly a week.
When I was released from the hospital, I had doctor’s orders for nursing care and speech therapy services. My voice tone was very shallow, “breathy”, and vocalizing was very challenging. I attribute much of my progress in the recovery of my vocal cord paralysis to the amazing services provided by Michelle Mares, M.S., CCC-SLP.
Mrs. Mares met with me in my home, as I was placed on homebound recovery for the first two months post-op. The laryngeal exercises we focused on proved to be very beneficial, as I was strong enough to return to work and resume my profession as a Social Worker.
I truly believe if it wasn’t for the dedicated services and support received by Michelle, I would not have recovered as quickly as I did. She is a very knowledgeable and talented clinician that I highly recommend to anyone needing speech therapy.”