My name is Brittany Hageman, MA, CCC-SLP and I am passionate about making connections, empowering, and fostering hope for all families and individuals seeking speech-language therapy or myofunctional therapy services.I am a speech-language pathologist (SLP), licensed in both Washington and California. I hold a teaching credential and am certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). I became certified in the Simon Says myofunctional programs including the Tongue Tips, Tiny Tongue Tips, and Thumbs Up! programs which address Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs). I am passionate about supporting parents with babies experiencing difficulties with feeding, due to either tethered oral tissue or from a weak/uncoordinated suck-swallow during feedings. I also love working with older students in middle school through high school, because it is a critical time to develop functional communication skills that will be needed in a young adult's life.I grew up in San Jose, California before moving to Spokane, Washington where I completed my undergraduate degree in communication disorders from Eastern Washington University. During my graduate studies in 2010, I became the local regional chapter's student president of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), an organization affiliated with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). I also enjoyed serving my community through AmeriCorps. I furthered my education by earning a Master of Arts degree in speech and hearing sciences from Washington State University in 2011.
SInce 2011, my professional experience includes working in a hospital setting, a VA rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facilities, a variety of school districts, with birth to three-year olds, and providing virtual speech therapy to students in both California and Washington State. I have had the honor of working with clients across all ages throughout many different settings, and came to thoroughly enjoy every area of speech therapy. I have treated a wide variety of disorders including: Autism, aphasia, dysphagia, cognitive disorders, stuttering, voice disorders, feeding disorders, articulation/speech disorders, orofacial myofunctional disorders, fluency disorders, expressive/receptive/semanticpragmatic/social-language disorders, and brain injuries.After I got married and had children, I became an online teletherapist in 2015. Over the years as a teletherapy provider for school districts in both Washington and California, I have learned that many children thrive in a virtual setting. I enjoy the interaction and video feedback that teletherapy provides, the flexibility of scheduling sessions (Yay! no more traffic), the interaction with parents or team members, and the engagement available in an online-therapy room setting with numerous activities adaptable to the individual client's therapy needs. What sets me apart as a speech therapist? My effective approach in connecting with individual students, my ability to adapt the therapy session based upon the client's unique needs (no "one size fits all" approach here!), my passion for providing engaging activities which are highly functional in nature, and my ability to effectively collaborate with parents, teachers, caregivers, nurses, doctors, dentists, orthodontists, chiropractors, lactation consultants, naturopathic doctors, occupational/physical therapists, and IEP team members in order to provide a more holistic approach to therapy. I provide speech therapy services for school districts, private clients, and for myofunctional therapy patients seeking treatment for orofacial myofunctional disorders or tethered oral tissue (Tongue-Tie) pre/post frenectomy exercises. When not providing speech therapy, I enjoy going to church and spending time with my husband, family and friends. I also love gardening, researching, learning about holistic medicine, road-trips, hiking, going to the beach, and being a mama to my two wonderful boys.
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As a teen, my friend's neighbor was an SLP. I asked her if I could job shadow and when she said I could come follow her for a day, I jumped at the opportunity! I immediately fell in love with the profession! I wanted to empower children and adults to experience the most optimal life possible through the power of communication. After becoming a speech therapist, I developed an enhanced empathy for families concerned with their child’s speech development, and found my passion further expanding with the desire to learn how to evaluate the root cause of many of the speech/language and breastfeeding issues I was seeing in my profession. When my first son was born, I experienced difficulty breastfeeding. His frenectomy procedure shortly afterward improved some of the issues; while the doctor revised the anterior portion of his frenulum, he failed to diagnose his severe posterior tongue-tie. The undiagnosed posterior tongue-tie, subsequently created a lot of concerns regarding his palate/jaw development, dental health, sleeping/breathing patterns, oral habits, and related sensory processing difficulties. In 2017, I attended a myofunctional therapy workshop and discovered that my son's issues were connected to an undiagnosed posterior tongue-tie. I finally felt validated that my "mama gut feeling" and my professional concern was correct. His second frenectomy was performed, by a dentist who used a laser, and I was able to perform the myofunctional therapy exercises that I learned from the workshop. His healing and recovery was a huge success! I feel like my son is my living case study and as a parent, I am relieved that we were able to get to the root cause of his medical issues. He is now able to lick ice cream, his sensory needs have significantly decreased, his face/palate are developing properly, his dental health has greatly improved, and I firmly believe it will positively impact the shape and development of his face/jaw/palate in the future. Since then, I have been passionate about helping other parents that are or will be going through the same experience. I felt alone, even though I had an amazing team of doctors, mentors, family, and friends. I want to help other parents who may feel alone and discouraged. Fast forward to my youngest son who was born with severe tethered oral tissue! Breastfeeding was extremely painful. I knew what to look for and determined with the help of my team, that he had a lingual, labial, and buccal-tie. I took courses and became certified with the Simon Says myofunctional program. My baby had a lingual (tongue), buccal (cheek), and labial (lip)-tie, which were severely restricting his ability to nurse. I knew it was a critical time to remediate his oral restrictions, in order to prevent future mastitis and future orofacial myofunctional issues. His tethered tissue was released via laser and I was able to personally perform the pre/post exercises which aided in the proper healing of his oral tissue. I worked on training his chewing, range of motion, and function of his tongue. He has enjoyed a wonderful recovery and has not exhibited any orofacial myofunctional issues! I have noticed that his face is developing properly and his chewing and feeding abilites have greatly improved. As both a speech/myofunctional therapist and a mother of two sons, who each required tongue-tie revisions, I exhibit empathy and compassion towards parents. You are not alone! I am passionate about advocating for optimal health using a team approach! My unique perspective has given me a desire to be a patient advocate in all areas of speech therapy. I have experienced newborn to toddler revisions and I can help adults who are wanting a revision. I can guide you through your speech therapy challenges with you or your child or teen. Will you take me along on your journey of healing, health, and optimal communication? I would love to be a huge part of your team!