Promote language skills in toddlers using fun Bluebee Pals!

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What is cute, educational, and a great model for your child? A Bluebee Pal! Bluebee Pals are an easy to use Bluetooth stuffed animal that connects to your devices. At Granite Bay Speech, we understand that every child has a preferred mode of learning. Some children prefer learning visually, verbally, or physically. When our therapists use a Bluebee Pal, your child will be stimulated visually, verbally and physically. Visually, and verbally your child will watch and hear multiple models of their targeted goal through the therapist and the Bluebee Pal. Our Bluebee Pal is soft and durable, perfect for your ‘hands on’ learner! Your child is encouraged to be hands on with this therapy tool. Studies have shown that children have a higher success rate for imitation when given multiple models. We connect our Bluebee Pal to cutting-edge speech-language therapy applications providing an attention-grabbing model in conjunction with therapist models. At Granite Bay Speech, we promote communication skills using the most effective therapy techniques and technology! Call us to learn more about all the exciting methods and tools available for you to use with your child!


SpeechEasy Season of Giving

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Season of Giving Offer- Limited Time! Get $750 off the two most popular SpeechEasy models
November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017

To help make the holidays a lot brighter, SpeechEasy has made their two most popular models of SpeechEasy more affordable. During this special time of year get $750 off the SpeechEasy Comfort Fit or CIC models. This is a limited time offer. If the Comfort Fit or CIC isn’t the right option for you, you’ll be glad to know that our most economical models, the ITC and BTE, are discounted $250 during this promotional period as well. Remember, these offers are good for SpeechEasy devices purchased between Nov. 1, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017.

Get started now because our appointments at Granite Bay Speech fill up quickly during this time of year. Contact us soon!

Season of Giving evaluation rebate offer-Limited Time!
In addition to the product discount during the Season of Giving, SpeechEasy is offering a $250 evaluation rebate during this promotional period. The rebate is valid for evaluations by Granite Bay Speech between the dates of November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017 only. To receive your rebate, simply request an appointment or information packet through and the rebate form will be mailed or emailed to you. This offer ends January 31, 2017. Rebate forms for this amount will be unavailable after that date.

Military Discount

Active duty US Military personnel are eligible for our special military discount.


CONTACT US TODAY! Call us at 916-797-3307

SpeechEasyPD Presentations

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Nancy Barcal will be sharing information about the SpeechEasyPD device at the meetings of Parkinsons groups in Roseville and El Dorado Hills this September. She will present tips for communication, demonstrate useful apps, and share information about the science behind the SpeechEasyPD device.

Presentation Dates:

Parkinsons group in Roseville: 9/6 1:30-3pm
-Location: Maidu Community Center- 1550 Maidu Dr., Roseville 95661

Parkinsons group in El Dorado Hills: 9/13 12-2pm
-Location: 3186 Four Seasons Dr., El Dorado Hills 95762

Please spread the news to all that may be interested, this is a useful device that can be very beneficial for those with Parkinsons looking to improve their speech. Hope to see you there!

Parkinson’s and SpeechEasyPD

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SpeechEasyPD and Parkinson’s Speech

The value of being able to communicate with others is paramount in our daily lives. Having the ability to express your wants, needs and thoughts clearly can often be taken for granted. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease the ability to communicate effectively may no longer be an option. SpeechEasy can help. Nancy Barcal is a Certified SpeechEasy Preferred Provider and has been working with SpeechEasy for over 10 years.  She enjoys assisting clients with Parkinson’s in taking control of their speech and gaining back more of their freedom to communicate.

Since Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive disease, symptoms will change over time and present differently in everyone. Primary symptoms may include tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity, yet Parkinson’s can also have a profoundly adverse effect on a person’s speech and voice – thereby inhibiting their ability to communicate freely.

When a person’s speech is affected by Parkinson’s they may notice a decrease in their loudness, and decreased intelligibility. Their speech rate may increase and communication may become more difficult. Caregivers and friends may struggle to understand Parkinson’s speech patterns and frustration levels can rise for everyone.  If you or a loved one has Parkinson’s and your speech is affected contact Nancy to see if SpeechEasyPD might alleviate some frustration.

SpeechEasy is offering two discount programs which expire June 30, 2016!
$500 Discount on SpeechEasyPD Comfort Fit model: Let’s Talk Fluency
The Let’s Talk Fluency offer began March 12, 2016. During this promotion, SpeechEasyPD Comfort Fit models are reduced in price $500. Comfort Fit is the model preferred by over 80% of the SpeechEasyPD clients. The 0% financing option is also available during this special offer period. No coupon or special form is necessary in order to qualify for the savings.

$150 SpeechEasyPD evaluation rebate!
Beginning March 1, 2016, SpeechEasyPD has offered a $150 rebate for all SpeechEasyPD evaluations. The rebate is valid for evaluations by all SpeechEasyPD Providers, including Nancy Barcal at Granite Bay Speech. To receive your rebate, simply request an appointment or information packet through and the rebate form will be mailed or emailed to you.

An evaluation normally takes two to three hours. Once you have completed your initial evaluation and paid your SpeechEasyPD Provider for the evaluation, simply send a copy of your receipt along with the completed evaluation rebate form to SpeechEasyPD and they will mail you a rebate check up to $150 off the amount you paid.

Smart Palate

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SmartPalate System

 kim giana smart palate

At Granite Bay Speech, we provide our clients with the most advanced technology in speech therapy!

The SmartPalate System shows the students exactly where their tongue is supposed to touch their palate when producing different speech sounds. This biofeedback system consists of a customized acrylic mouthpiece with sensors that capture tongue-to-palate contact (the SmartPalate) and a software program.  Immediate feedback is provided to all users matching their tongue placement to the articulation patterns for their target sounds. These “tongue targets” allow speech therapy students to quickly produce sounds they have previously struggled with by simply positioning their tongue to light up the corresponding contact points for that sound. The SmartPalate assists the student to repeat sounds accurately time and time again with instant feedback that empowers the students to make even the most fine-tune adjustments on their own.

The SmartPalate quickly corrects articulation errors where the tongue makes contact with the roof of the mouth. These sounds include the most commonly treated sounds:  /r, s, l, sh, ch, k/ and among others.

The SmartPalate technology has been successfully used with many populations including individuals with oral motor disorders, phonological disorders, cleft palate, Down syndrome, Apraxia, Dysarthria, and speech disorders caused by stroke or traumatic brain injuries.

Contact us for more information at 916.797.3307 or



Improve Your Child’s Spelling!

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spell better app

Tired of seeing your child get frustrated when trying to spell? 

The “Spell Better” app is designed to help reluctant and struggling spellers get started on their journey of story telling and writing. Over time the app will not only help improve your child’s confidence, but also will  improve communication skills, grammar and spelling. The app offers a dyslexic and phonetic spell checker. It includes an option for word prediction as well as auto completion. There is even an integrated English dictionary, word highlighting and text-to speech capabilities. If that isn’t enough, Spell Better also allows the user to insert picture and rich text formatting.

A close friend of Granite Bay Speech says, “My brother has high functioning autism, and recently bought an i-Pad. His written expression has always been very limited. The i-Pad has given him for the first time in his life a desire to want to write! He (I must give him full credit as he discovered it first!) found an app called Spell Better. It has a lite version, and the full version is only $19.99. It’s similar to the full keyboard with word predictor that Proloquo2go has, with a few things that I actually like better. All of the letters and fonts are larger-sized, and fewer word choices pop up, so that word-selection is easier to make.   After the word is typed or selected, the individual can also hear the word being spoken. You can transfer the text to a document or email. My brother loves it!!


As well as common spelling errors, Spell Better will also help with…

  • Phonetic spelling erorrs (preshiusprecious, peturspictures)
  • Real-word spelling errors (peace → piece).
  • Word boundary errors (verynicevery nice)
  • Letter reversal and transposal
  • Skipped and repeated letters (probleyprobably)
  • Homophone substitutions
  • Missing or substituted vowels (“Ths is rly amzng” → “This is really amazing”)
  • Incorrectly conjugated irregular verbs (throwedthrew).

Spell Better will take this sentence:

I throwed the dall to my cuzin and wnt imside to ahve a peace ofcake.

And correct it to:

I threw the ball to my cousin and went inside to have a piece of cake.

Spell Better is FREE TO TRY! You can explore all core features including the word prediction, spell correction, and even text-to-speech in the free version. However, you need to upgrade in order to export your documents from Spell Better and to create new notes and save or delete older ones.

Benefits of upgrading to Spell Better Premium: $19.99

  • Ability to create new notes (a “+” button will appear at the top right).
  • Ability to export your notes by Email, PDF, printing, copying, Messages, opening in other apps (e.g. Pages), and more.
  • Priority Support.

The Spell Better app is one of many we recommend at Granite Bay Speech. For a complete listing of the apps we endorse, grouped by functional category, please see our website at :

If you have any speech, language, learning, communication or dyslexia related question, please feel free to contact us.

We are here to help!


Kindergarten Readiness

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Kindergarten… Are they ready? Transitioning into kindergarten is a big step, for the child and the parent. Whether your little one is coming from a public preschool, a private one or a home-based preschool program, the decision has to be made. As you make the transition to kindergarten, there are some basic skills that you’ll need to work on together before the big day arrives. Another thing you’ll need to consider as a parent is, “Will my child be able to keep up with the Kindergarten Common Core Standards?”

Kinder Common Core standards encompass the development of receptive and expressive language. It looks at basic oral communication skills, such as, forming a complete sentence to share information and ideas clearly. Students describe people, places, things, and events. The CCSS focus on peer-to-peer conversations with multiple exchanges through asking and answering. They need to know social rules, such as listening to others and taking turns speaking. Students in kindergarten are expected to identify and sort common words into basic categories (e.g., colors, shapes, foods). Students also use both general and specific language to describe events and common objects, which they do in both speaking and writing. They are required to understand one- and two-step oral directions and carry out the directions.

Here are a few tips on how you can prepare your soon-to-be kindergartener:
By the time your child is ready to begin kindergarten, he should be able to recite the alphabet with few problems and be able to recognize letters independently. These skills make up the foundation of reading and writing, and are emphasized heavily in most curricula. Tips: Read to your child at least 30 minutes a day. Make learning fun by marching around the house singing the alphabet or find items around the house that begin with each letter.

Shapes and Colors
Having a basic understanding of shapes and colors is one of the primary building blocks of cognitive development. Tips: Label common household items by its shape, color, or both. You can also have your little one help you sort laundry by color.

Social Skills and Behavior
If your child has never attended daycare, was not enrolled in a center-based group preschool, and doesn’t have siblings, he may not interact with other kids enough to gain the social skills he’ll need to navigate kindergarten. Helping your child to understand about behavior, manners and the importance of being nice is an essential task. Tips: Playing board games help your kiddo understand turn taking, sharing, and/or following directions.

You can refer to our 5-Year Checklist as a guide on what your child should be doing. Contact us for a consultation or evaluation. With Kindergarten sign-ups fast approaching, you want to be sure your child is ready!

Meet Our Newest Staff Members

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marthaKatsuyama_Yvonne_Website PictureONeal_Castine_Headshot-2

Granite Bay Speech is excited to announce the addition of three incredibly skilled staff members! Martha Whittaker, Yvonne Katsuyama, and Castine M. ONeal will be joining our therapy team in August, 2015!

Martha Whittaker, M.S., CCC-SLP

Martha is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and achieved a Master of Science Degree in Communication Disorders from San Francisco State University. She was awarded the certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Martha has extensive experience working with adult and pediatric populations. She has worked in schools, hospitals, inpatient and outpatient centers and in an Autism clinic at Kaiser Permanente. Martha enjoys working with individuals of all ages and a variety of communication challenges. Martha’s extensive clinical experience has prepared her to meet the needs of almost any client who walks in the door.

Yvonne Katsuyama, M.S., CCC-SLP

Yvonne is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and obtained her Master’s Degree from California State University in Sacramento. She was awarded the certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Yvonne has worked in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and private practice. Yvonne is able to bridge the gap between academic skills and communication disorders in students who strugle with learning. She is a talented therapist who motivates clients of all ages during individual and group sessions. She collaborates with other professionals to maximize therapy progress. She is an extremely genuine and caring therapist and enjoys supporting families in the therapy process.

Castine M. ONeal, B.S., SLPA

Castine is a licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas at Dallas. She enjoys working with a variety of learning and communication challenges including autism, language, articulation, attention, apraxia, auditory processing disorders, developmental delays, social skills, and stuttering. Castine has received extensive training in researched-based programs which accelerate therapy progress, including the Hanen Approach and Kaufman Speech to Language. Castine has a passion for helping others as evidenced by the strong bonds she creates with each of her clients.

You can be assured of the best services possible when you see any of the therapists at Granite Bay Speech!

Read more about our therapists here.


Back To School

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back to school


As the start of school draws near and back to school commercials frequent your television, it’s time to develop your new back to school game plan. Lazy summer days are gone, and juggling homework, music lessons, sports, and social lives are back. At Granite Bay Speech, we want to help you have a smooth back to school transition and provide you with some tips on how to ensure the start of a great school year.

Add contact information for the school office and teachers to your smart phone and computer.
Before the first day of school check your school’s website or call the office for any important information. Obtain back-to-school checklists, important phone numbers, and e-mails such as the principal’s office number, the nurse’s office, and their teacher.

Establish school bedtime and morning routines one week before school starts.
Start a consistent routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day a week before schools starts. Sleep is essential for learning and you don’t want your child snoozing at his desk!

Eat protein rather than carbs/sugar.
Be sure to provide protein for breakfast to avoid the sugar rush. This will help your child pay attention all morning. Add proteins to your child’s lunches and snacks; protein provides consistent energy versus carbohydrate and sugar snacks.

Calm the nerves.
If your child is nervous about starting a new school year, remind them that the other students are nervous too. Remind them about their favorite school subjects or activities; friends, lunch and recess always seem to be at the top of most students’ list! If your child is starting a new school, try to attend all orientations available. If you are new to the area, walk around the school campus to help your child become familiar with the location of the bathrooms, the office and their classroom. If your child is nervous, volunteer to help his or her teacher decorate the room before the first day of school. Your teacher will appreciate it! In addition, Back to School nights are a great way for you to learn more about how you can support your child at home.

Another great way to calm the nerves and help your child prepare to go back to school is to read some books. Here are a few of our favorites:
It’s Time for School, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
The Night Before Kindergarten and The Night Before 1st Grade by Natasha Wing
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Berenstain Bears Go to School, by Jan Berenstain

Establish a place at home to gather backpacks and homework.
Make sure their backpack is filled with the essentials and leave it in an obvious place the night before school. Develop a routine for after school activities and homework.

Agree on a homework schedule.
Try to establish a set time frame for them to do their homework every day. Allow your child to sit in a chair, beanbag or on their bed as long as they are comfortable. Children are individuals and need individual accommodations. One of my children loved to read with the TV or music on and as long as she completed her homework, it was fine with us. Another child needed the room completely quiet and free of distractions so we accommodated her and made sure she had a clutter free desk and ear plugs. Set a timer and encourage your child to get up and stretch or run in place every 10-20 minutes to maintain maximum attention.

Have resources available to support learning.
Use reference cards or reminders to follow the step by step process for completing a task, (“first do __then do__”). Supplement with speech and language services if you feel you or your child needs tips or customized solutions for less stressful learning. We are only a phone call away when you have questions. Be sure to consult our wonderful website. We have spent thousands of hours organizing and reviewing the best resources to support families. Why spend time going from site to site when we have it all organized for you?

Have a great school year!

NSSLHA Conference: (Culture Communication & Collaboration)

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Granite Bay Speech’s own Nancy Barcal is a highlighted speaker at this years NSSLHA Conference!

NSSLHA is excited to announce our 11th annual conference; Culture, Communication & Collaboration on February 21, 2015. The conference will be held at:

University Union, Hinde Auditorium 
University of California, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento CA


Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM (PST)

Nancy has over 30 years of experience working with stuttering and cluttering. She has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for her high level of expertise. She provides you with techniques and technology based on cutting edge research.

Stuttering therapy has improved tremendously over the past ten years. Nancy’s GraniteBaySpeech therapy center has changed with the technology and improvements to bring you the 21st century therapy to an age old stuttering or cluttering challenge.

You may purchase tickets at:
Our speech team looks forward to seeing you there!


NSSLHA Officers

Time Ordered Agenda for CCC- Culture, Communication, Collaboration

7:00-7:50 am Registration and Breakfast

7:50-8:00 am Welcome
o Kelly Charest NSSLHA President
o Robert Pieretti, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Chairman, Dept. SLP&A at CSUS

8-9:30 am Breakout Session I- Stuttering and Cluttering: Identification, Treatment and Technology’
Nancy Barcal, M.A. CCC-SLP Director, Granite Bay Speech
o Referral Recommendations for Stuttering and Cluttering
o Therapy Techniques including Video Samples
o Use of Technology and Apps to facilitate best outcomes in stuttering treatment

9:30-9:40 am Break

9:40-10:40 am Breakout Session II- Evaluation and Eligibility Determination for English Learners
Maret Wilson, M.A. CCC-SLP
o Facts and Figures
o Understanding Bilingualism
o Professional Responsibility
o Evaluation Methods

10:40-10:50 am Break

10:50-11:50 am Breakout Session III- C-CHAT Center
Laura Turner, M.A. CCC-A, M.Ed.
o Newborn hearing screening
o Communication options for children with hearing loss
o Listening and spoken language as a communication option
o Services at the CCHAT Center Sacramento
ü Role of audiologist
ü Role of the SLP
ü Role of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher
o Appropriate expectations
o Understanding of the Listening Hierarchy
o Red flags
o Current research

12-1:00 pm Lunch Break

1:10-2:10 pm Breakout Session IV- NeuroService Alliance: Providing services for the community through
interprofessional experiential learning
Darla Hagge, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
o Greetings and introduction
o Current and future healthcare directions
ü Medicare
ü WHO: community-based services and alternative service delivery models
o Social and medical models
o Policies: LPAA, Joint Commission, ASHA Scope of Practice
o Experiential Learning, definition
o NeuroService Alliance: Current programs
o Student Learning Outcomes
o Current and Future Research
o Questions

2:10-2:20 pm Break

2:20-3:20 pm Breakout Session V- Apple Panel on Apps
o Speakers and Agenda TBA

3:20-3:30pm Break

3:30-5:00pm Breakout Session VI- Teaching Resiliency and Teamwork through Interprofessional Education
Nassrine Noureddine RN, MSN, Ed.D; Darla Hagge Ph.D., CCC-SLP;
William Ofstad Pharm.D., BCPS, CDE; Debra Brady DNP, RN, CNS
o Greetings and introduction
o IPEC and Resiliency: Definition, purpose, historical context
o Collaboration: Nursing, SLP, and Pharmacy
o Teaching Pedagogies: Didactic, Simulation, Group-based learning
o Student Learning Outcomes
o Current and Future Research
o Questions
5-5:30pm Conclusion and Raffle


© 2016 Granite Bay Speech.