Johanna Pino Grisales

Johanna Pino, is an ASHA certified (American Speech-language-Hearing Association) bilingual (English/Spanish) speech-language pathologist and swallowing specialist currently providing in-person (only in Barcelona) and tele-therapy consultations. Johanna supports English-speaking families in understanding how to address speech and language difficulties in both languages and supports families with a family member suffering from what we know as dysphagia, a swallowing disorder. Johanna currently lives in Barcelona where she provides speech and language teletherapy services to school-age children, and also creates content for her website called Disfagia Master, where she posts evidence-based articles and resources in Spanish in the area of swallowing disorders.

In 2016, Johanna graduated with a double major in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and psychology at Queens College, New York. In 2019, she received her master’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders at New York University. Ever since, Johanna has completed continuing education course programs in the areas of areas of swallowing disorders and orofacial myofunctional disorders.

Supporting English-speaking families in understanding how to address speech and language difficulties in both languages

Trying to learn a second language as a child, can be both, a rewarding but also challenging experience. Therefore, children can often be confused as having a speech and language disorder when they are just following the normal pattern of the second language acquisition. On the other hand, children exposed to a second language can be under-diagnosed as school staff and family members might confuse the child’s speech and language delays with the acquisition of a second language. It takes a therapist who dominates both languages to determine a differential diagnosis.

Supporting families with a family member suffering from what we know as dysphagia (i.e., swallowing disorder involving the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, or gastroesophageal junction)

Swallowing disorders can result from different pathologies including but not limited to strokes, traumatic brain injuries, congenital disorders (e.g. cerebral palsy), head and neck cancer, neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. ALS), cleft lip or cleft palate. Consequences can go from malnutrition, decline in quality of life, pneumonia among others.

Supporting families in reducing “abnormal movement patterns of the face and mouth” for the purposes of improving talking, eating, and breathing

Signs of a child experiencing these difficulties include mouth breathing, limited tongue movement, messy eating, overbite/underbite or other dental problems, tongue pushing past teeth, difficulty saying some sounds “s” in “sun,” “sh” in “ship,” or “j” in “jump.” Drooling (i.e. especially beyond age 2) and difficulty closing the lips to swallow.

Step-by-step on how services work

o   An initial phone call is scheduled to discuss the case and determine the need for speech and language services (free of charge)

o   If services are deemed appropriate, an initial interview with the caregiver (in person or online) is scheduled to gather background information on the case.

o   For clients in Barcelona, it is determined the need to schedule an in-person session to observe the child in a naturalistic environment.

o   The frequency and the duration of sessions is determined by all parties. Consent form is filled out.

o   Both parties determine the eligibility of potentially conducting session both in-person and online.

o   For families in Barcelona wishing to conduct sessions online, in-person guidance is offered to establish the best channel of communication, while identifying an appropriate place in the home environment to conduct sessions.

o   Services begin.

Testimonial

“Johanna has been providing speech teletherapy for my son with autism this year. He enjoys their sessions very much and has a lot of fun while learning. Johanna is very punctual, organized, patient, and attentive during the sessions. We are able to communicate his speech needs easily with her. She is knowledgeable and responsive, and interacts extremely well with him. We are so happy with the speech therapy she provides and the progress my son is making. I highly recommend her services.” Evelyn Tsai.

What we like about them

  Free discovery call
  Specialised in swallowing disorders
  Specialised in supporting bilingual families

In their own words

As a professional, I do my best to be attentive to my clients’ needs. This is the reason why I consider the initial interview a key component of the assessment as it allows me to create a better picture of the case. Every child is unique, and I adjust therapy sessions along the way to meet the needs of my families. Transparency and open communication are key values of my therapeutic services. Therefore, families take an active role in the process as we communicate ideas and expectations along the way. I have noticed it decreases frustration levels and maintains a pressure free environment where we all feel reassured.” Johanna

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