Rise Speech-Language Pathology Services, LLC

We are a private practice in Santa Fe, NM dedicated to improving communication for children and adults with speech and language difficulties.

Operating as usual


Meet Jess! She is Rise’s newest clinician. She hails from Athens, Georgia where she received a MEd is Speech-Language Pathology. We are so happy to have her on our team 💛💛💛

Meet Jess! She is Rise’s newest clinician. She hails from Athens, Georgia where she received a MEd is Speech-Language Pathology. We are so happy to have her on our team 💛💛💛

Creative Kids Learn to Flow (Part 1) 08/26/2021

Creative Kids Learn to Flow (Part 1)

Did you see this article from Psychology Today?

Creative Kids Learn to Flow (Part 1) For children, the benefits of getting familiar with flow are many.


Thank you for your advocacy Jordan!

The other day on my social media, there was an open conversation about people with disabilities. Whenever people with disabilities spoke out about false information, people invalidated their experience then removed their commentary. I was so disappointed. If you want to learn about Autism, you should let Autistic voices be heard. If you want to learn about Apraxia, you should let Apraxic voices be heard. We are the experts about our condition(s). 💞 #disabilityawareness

Timeline Photos 08/16/2021

Join us in supporting the students of NM 💜

URGENT - Responding to our students! - https://mailchi.mp/8bf480cdf0b9/cis-in-action-providing-positive-role-models-for-young-boys-8876014


Rise would like to thank Ruthie for her dedication, expertise, and heart 💜
While we are sad that she will be leaving Rise, we are thrilled about the great investment she is making in the world of literacy and dyslexia at Baylor University’s PhD program. All the best Ruthie! We will miss you dearly!

Ruthie will be leaving her clients in good hands... Jess is joining our team in August 2021! More to come….

[picture of 3 women, L to R: Michelle, Ruthie, Jess]

Rise would like to thank Ruthie for her dedication, expertise, and heart 💜
While we are sad that she will be leaving Rise, we are thrilled about the great investment she is making in the world of literacy and dyslexia at Baylor University’s PhD program. All the best Ruthie! We will miss you dearly!

Ruthie will be leaving her clients in good hands... Jess is joining our team in August 2021! More to come….

[picture of 3 women, L to R: Michelle, Ruthie, Jess]


Today Rise celebrates its third anniversary! We would like to take a moment to thank ALL of the families who have trusted us to provide support and services for their loved ones over the years.


Today was monumental. After months of preparations, disappointment, and then renewed hope, Michelle was able to participate virtually in a service trip to support educators, parents and policy makers in 10 different countries including Kenya, Zambia, India, UK, and Nigeria (to name a few). With over 100 people in attendance, the prayer is that children’s lives will forever be positively impacted. Michelle is so grateful for the #SmilesforSpeech team, the attendees, and all of the individuals who made this trip possible.
This is just the beginning! 💛💛💛


Yes, so many ways to play!

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Fred Roger

I have been wanting to write something about play skills for a while now, but the unimaginable information this topic has, overwhelms me and I end up dropping the idea every time. Today, While I was in a live-session on one of the online groups, a mother who listened to me, messaged me later asking “Merey betey ki therapist humesha is kay saath bus khelti hi rehtien hain. Ye bolna kaisay seekhega? (My son’s therapist is always playing with him, how will he ever learn to speak?) This question shook me a little, motivating me to put across as much as I could.

I am a Speech Language Therapist and have been working with children having special needs for 9 years. My trust in developing language through play increases with each passing year. I have targeted my language goals through play and gained results quite effectively. This, of course, doesn’t cover the cases where children need structured therapy before moving towards play skills, social and emotional development.

Importance of play skills has been studied in detail for the past 30 years where professionals found that the benefits of play are diverse and multifarious. Terms like Structured Play/Goal Directed Play took care of the myth where people believed play has no structure or goal to it. Later, when professionals started to take play as a form of therapy, then it became “Free play vs structured play”. The schools advocated for structured activities as the only way to learn as they didn’t understand the concept of free play as a valid medium of imparting knowledge.

Over the years, professionals and schools started to agree on the fact that whether free or structured, play does have an important role in forming a child’s personality and in helping them achieve their milestones. While working with kids and observing my own daughter, I questioned myself about how free is free play in the present world? Is there a pattern/structure/routine to free play too? When children are messing their hands up with paints or just squishing the sponge filled with foam or if they listen to a music and dance away, aren’t they coming up with a pattern of dance steps even when dancing freely? Aren’t they following a structure/routine at that time too? The answer is “I don’t know”. What I do know is, when my girl was 2 and was squishing the foam filled sponge, she followed a routine i.e. open the fist and close it for the foam to come out, cause and effect, open and close hands to get the desired effect. When she was splashing the paint on her hands, she wanted it a specific way, a pattern that I kept observing. In my humble opinion, the freedom in free play, is the decision that children make about choosing “what” they want to play with, followed by the routine or structure that they have observed in daily life (prototype behaviour) while playing with that particular toy, using language that was used by an adult and they memorised it.

Turn-taking, eye contact, impulse control, cause-and-effect, social emotional development, and hand-eye coordination can all be targeted within play activities. The basic understanding that we need to have is that play is a child’s dominant activity. Whether a child is neurotypical (typical brain development) or neurodiverse (atypical brain development e.g. autism) THEY LOVE TO PLAY. Sometimes, kids have limited play skills and we might have to introduce the possibilities of what all “PLAY” can be, but once the children get the feel, they would love to engage in it in some capacity i.e. solitary or interactive play.
Play can be as simple as splashing water in a tub and teaching “Splash! Splash! Splash!” or moving a toy car on the floor saying “beep, beep, beep”. You can take turns while doing these activities and establish the concept of turn-taking. You can have board games and target impulse control (waiting for their turn, accepting defeat when they lose a game etc.), play peek-a-boo to establish object permanence and predictability. You can play catch with a the ball to work on attention span, hand-eye coordination as well as name recognition along with words like “catch, ball, your turn, xyz’s turn”. All of these examples mentioned above have a structure and routine being followed but might as well be termed as free play, if children chose it for themselves in that moment. Our job, as adults, is to realize how much language, speech or targeted knowledge we can give within the play activity that the children have chosen for themselves.

The basic elements required to teach a child are Motivation and Attention, which are mostly there when a child is busy playing. If, as a therapist/teacher or caregiver, we know how to bring these two elements into our teaching routine then the children will let us enter into their world with open arms, ready to absorb all that is presented to them. Whether its language, cognition or social emotional development, play can help children achieve all the milestones because of their natural desire to explore and learn.

“Play is an innate skill in children to simplify the complexities they observe in their lives, helping them regulate their beautiful minds and unfold the channels for learning” – Saamia Bilal Khan


We are all doing the best we can, this article is so timely!

zoom.us 03/24/2020

Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Webinars, Screen Sharing

Telepractice Announcement
March 18, 2020

Dear Rise Families,

Due to current health concerns and the state of affairs, Rise will be offering telepractice-only services starting Monday March 23rd, 2020. We hope that by offering telepractice services that we reduce any risk of exposure of COVID-19 to you and your family. Services will continue to be dynamic, motivating, and as dedicated as in-person. We are in the process of checking specific insurance benefits for each family we serve.

For the time being, we will be using Zoom. A Zoom tutorial is available here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please contact Michelle (505) 302-0095 or Ruthie (505) 302-0098 with any questions.

Using Zoom for telepractice:
1. Using an internet enabled device (computer, tablet/iPad, smartphone, etc.) download the Zoom app. https://zoom.us/
2. At the time of your regularly scheduled session, you will receive a link from your therapist to your email address of choice.
3. Click on the link and follow instructions to your secure telepractice session.
4. Enjoy your session!

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we all navigate these difficult times.

With gratitude,

Michelle & Ruthie

zoom.us Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, confer...



This is AWESOME! ❤️

Image Credit: The Best Ideas for Kids

FREE PRINTABLE HERE --->> https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/indoor-activities-for-kids/?fbclid=IwAR0WxISIDL3-6Asp7vViwAsHNBvHwzFrbh7GR2ubq1IUEi_ca7sR3Ib9i20


Smiles for Speech



Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings - Google Drive

Free educational resources for parents


santafenewmexican.com 03/08/2020

Santa Fe speech, language pathologist to make service trip to Kenya

We are so excited to partner with Smiles for Speech to bring Speech-Language Pathology services to kids who are in need in Kenya.


santafenewmexican.com Michelle Garcia of Santa Fe, a certified speech and language pathologist who provides services for children and adults with disabilities throughout Northern New Mexico, is taking a break from her

ahaparenting.com 12/04/2019

Fulfill your child's deepest desires -- with love.

Anyone else having this problem? 🙋🏼‍♀️

ahaparenting.com "Television advertisements for toys and games often exploit children's underlying needs and desires.  Many commercials show a child playing with a game or toy with her parents. The message is clear to young children: Ask for this product and your mother and father will pay attention to you. It is a...

krqe.com 12/04/2019

‘Miracle Field’ park for people with disabilities to be built in Santa Fe


krqe.com SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a park where everyone can play. The City of Santa Fe is looking to build a high-tech, sensory field perfect for people with disabilities. “They are am…

podcasts.apple.com 11/06/2019

‎Life Kit: Parenting: Kindness Can Be Taught. Here's How on Apple Podcasts

Such a great listen!

podcasts.apple.com ‎Show Life Kit: Parenting, Ep Kindness Can Be Taught. Here's How - May 12, 2019


Mrs Speechie P

Early intervention is key 🔑

“Wait and see” is a common but OUTDATED approach 🙌🏼

Thanks SLP Corner!

mynewsletterbuilder.com 10/30/2019

Don’t Be Scared of Whining This Season

Great tips for proactive parenting.

mynewsletterbuilder.com Love and Logic Institute, Inc.


💕 the three ‘r’s!

This is SO true!




Mrs Speechie P

Perfect visual by Speech Room News as we go back to school 🤣🤣


So helpful!

What exactly is the difference between SPEECH and LANGUAGE? It’s true, they are two different things!



This every day. All the time Thanks Autistic Not Weird for the graphic! Autistic Not Weird




kids.frontiersin.org 07/10/2019

Developmental Language Disorder: The Childhood Condition We Need to Start Talking About


kids.frontiersin.org Using language is a skill that allows us to share our ideas and feelings, learn in school and understand the world around us. Unfortunately, using and understanding language is not easy for everyone—especially for people with Developmental Language Disorder (or “DLD”). DLD is a hidden but very...

mynewsletterbuilder.com 06/12/2019

Violent Video Games: Bad for Kids

mynewsletterbuilder.com Love and Logic Institute, Inc.


Rise Speech-Language Pathology Services, LLC

blog.asha.org 06/07/2019

An Act of Compassion Quells an Autism Meltdown—and Stuns a Mom -


blog.asha.org An amusement-park worker's calming approach makes all the difference for a boy with autism whose disappointment overcomes him.


Rise is very excited to announce that Ruthie Rutledge, MS CCC-SLP will be joining our team soon! More details to come...


I love offering choices to little ones... here’s how it works!

Mastering the art of controlled choices! Yes! :)


Delaware Online

Love and acceptance at its finest, courtesy of a 4th grade class 💕💗💕

A student raised his hand and asked to speak to the class. His teacher never imagined the beautiful moment that would unfold next.


Love What Matters

Thank you to the stranger at Walgreens on St Francis who told me mid-meltdown “You’re doing a great job. We’ve all been there.” It’s powerful to lift each other up in our moments of need!

"She looked up at me, blinked twice, and then visibly melted. Tears started streaming."



Love What Matters


"He asked Matthew if he wanted to feel anything and Matthew said, 'Your eyes that twinkle.' My heart was so full."




1012 Marquez Place, Suite 211
Santa Fe, NM

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 5pm
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm
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