SPEECH THERAPY

Unleash Your

Child's Potential!

Unlocking children’s communication potential through personalized, playful, and transformative therapy.

Merisa James Speech Therapy

Welcome to Merisa James Speech Therapy, where communication transforms into a journey of growth and confidence. Specializing in pediatric speech therapy, Merisa James is dedicated to unlocking the unique potential within each child. With a personalized and playful approach, creating a nurturing environment that fosters a love for communication. Embark on a transformative experience with Merisa, guiding your child towards expressive success.

Services

Experience comprehensive speech services with Merisa The Speechie. From screenings and assessments to early intervention, we provide a holistic approach. Engage in parent and caregiver training, and benefit from personalized support. Your journey to improved communication starts here.

Speech

Helping children whose speech is difficult to produce and understand. Play-based therapy is used to strengthen speech muscles, improve articulation, fluency and intelligibility! Merisa is trained in the PROMPT approach – a tactile-kinaesthetic approach which helps speech structures move correctly to form words.

Communication

Merisa values and supports effective communication in all its forms. Language is integrated into multiple forms of communication to help build your child’s confidence and success in communicating. Personalized AAC. (augmentative and alternative communication) are offered and encouraged to always ensure your child’s access to communication.

Language

Play-based, child-led, multi-modal strategies are used to build your child’s understanding and expression to help them become successful communicators!

Feeding

Addressing challenges related to oral-motor disorders, sensory aversions, picky eating and other medical causes. I aim to address the root cause of feeding difficulties and help your child swallow safely, explore food and enjoy mealtimes!

Supporting individuals with:

• Autism Spectrum Disorder • Downs Syndrome 
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) • Cerebral palsy
• Global Developmental Delays • Sensory Processing Disorder

And other developmental differences

Getting Started

Merisa The Speechie provides speech, language, and feeding therapy to children in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Merisa does travel to schools in the central and greater Durban area.

Step One

Reach out to consult with the therapist via email, phone call or WhatsApp. We will discuss your concerns, answer your questions and determine if an evaluation is necessary.

Step Two

Book an assessment. This process involves gathering case history information, observing your child and providing feedback to parents on the customised therapy plan to support your child’s needs.

Step Three

The therapist will create a speech therapy schedule that works for you and provide therapy that will best support you and your child. Regular, specific feedback will be provided and the therapist will track your child’s progress and adjust goals and methods where necessary.

Billings & Medical Aids

Merisa The Speechie accepts Medical Aid from a few schemes, get in touch to find out how you can claim from your Medical Aid scheme.


Contact us for information on our accessible service rates!

Meet Your Speechie

Merisa James

Owner, Speech Language Pathologist

Merisa graduated with a Bachelor of Speech-Language Pathology from UKZN in 2018. Merisa completed her community service at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg and has since been working in the private sector, specializing in paediatrics and special needs intervention.

Merisa is invested in building a relationship with your child and family and providing support to meet goals that matter to you. She is passionate about supporting children and putting them at the centre of therapy.

Outside of the practice, Merisa enjoys being in the kitchen, reading, arts and crafts, staying active and spending time with friends and family. Merisa is an advocate for mental well-being and neurodiversity-affirming practices.

Advanced training and certificates:

  • ICDL DIRFloortime® Basic Certificate
  • Inclusive Solutions: Introduction to AAC
  • PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets): Introduction to Technique
  • SANDTA Introductory Course on the Clinical Analysis, Treatment and Management of Children with Cerebral Palsy
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Testimonials

3507895
Shivani Mehta

“I am beyond grateful for the incredible support and guidance provided by Merisa. Her patience, creativity, and expertise have transformed my son’s communication skills. Her dedication to making learning fun has made a profound impact on my child’s confidence and abilities. I highly recommend her services to any parent seeking compassionate and effective speech therapy for their little ones.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Speech therapy is a specialized form of treatment aimed at helping individuals of all ages improve their communication skills. This therapy addresses a range of issues, including articulation disorders, fluency problems, voice disorders, and difficulties with language comprehension and expression. Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists, use various techniques and
exercises to enhance verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. The goal is to empower individuals to communicate more effectively, thereby improving their ability to participate fully in educational, social, and professional settings.


At Merisa James Speech Therapy, therapy is aimed at treating children mainly between the ages of 0-10 years. Play-based, neurodiversity-affirming practices are used to meet your child where they are and help them become successful communicators.

Determining whether your child needs speech therapy involves observing their communication skills in comparison to typical developmental milestones. Here are some indicators that your child might need a consultation with a speech therapist:

  1. Delayed Speech: If your child is not meeting speech development milestones, such as
    babbling by 7 months or saying simple words by 12 months.
  2. Pronunciation Problems: Difficulty pronouncing words correctly past the expected age,
    making it hard for family or peers to understand them.
  3. Difficulty Understanding Instructions: If your child shows challenges in following simple
    instructions or understanding questions appropriate for their age.
  4. Limited Vocabulary: Exhibiting a smaller range of vocabulary than peers or struggling to
    put words together in phrases or sentences.
  5. Fluency Issues: Stuttering or prolonged pausing while speaking, which disrupts the flow
    of conversation.
  6. Social Communication Challenges: Struggles with using language socially, such as
    greeting others, requesting things, or taking turns in conversation.
  7. Feeding and Swallowing Difficulties: Problems with chewing, swallowing, or drooling may also be related to the muscles involved in speech.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to consult with a speech therapist for a professional evaluation. Early intervention can make a significant difference in your child’s communication skills and overall development.

An assessment is typically the first step in speech therapy. The assessment process is essential in order to learn your child’s developmental skills and capacities, challenges and interests, which then determines their treatment plan.

Re-assessment is done an on annual basis, to re-evaluate your child’s skills and progress and adjust the treatment plan where necessary.

If you are not sure whether your child needs a full speech therapy evaluation, a 30-minute screening is offered at a reduced rate to understand your concerns.

The duration of speech therapy varies greatly from one child to another, as progress in speech and language development is deeply personal and influenced by multiple factors, such as:

  • Age and developmental stage
  • Nature and severity of the issue
  • Frequency and consistency of therapy attendance
  • Family involvement and carry-over at home
  • Individual learning pace

Because of these factors, it's challenging to predict an exact timeline for speech therapy. Some
children may see improvement within a few months, while others may continue to benefit from ongoing support over several years. The goal of speech therapy is to support your child in achieving their highest potential in communication skills, no matter how long it takes.

Regular assessments by a speech therapist will help gauge your child’s progress and adjust the therapy plan as needed. It’s important to celebrate every milestone and improvement,
understanding that patience and persistence are key components of the journey.

Yes, however, “homework” looks a bit different in speech therapy.

In most cases, the focus is on building your child’s communication skills through play and interaction. Therefore, the therapist will give you “homework” in the form of tips and techniques that will help facilitate communication opportunities at home and/or school. Often, the only homework I give is: play with your child on the floor every day for 20-30 minutes, THEIR way!

In the case of motor speech disorders (articulation, fluency), more specific homework may be
given to practice target sounds or words. However, this homework is also better completed through play activities. Please note that rarely will worksheets or table-top activities be
recommended.

General feedback is provided to parents weekly; however, it is advisable for parents to book a
consultation with the therapist, in which specific concerns and questions can be given undivided attention.

Consultations can be done in person, via Zoom or phone call with therapy rates applied.
Parent/caregiver and family involvement is encouraged.

Merisa offers parent training sessions where topics such as AAC, behaviour, feeding and therapy approaches can be discussed in more detail.

Get In Touch

Call or Whatsapp
+27 78 414 2462
Email
hello@merisathespeechie.co.za
Instagram
@merisathespeechie
Tik-Tok
@MerisaTheSpeechie

Monday to Friday 8:00 – 16:00
Closed on weekends and public holidays