Are You Ready to Order?


A good waitress communicates, well, tells you the specials and maybe how long something will take to make.

A good waitress knows her customer so well that they can remember what kinds of foods you like and maybe recommend something else around your taste buds. She remembers your name and asks how you’ve been and demonstrates a genuine interest in what has been going on for you personally. A good waitress asks you how you like your eggs and steak cooked, if she doesn’t already know. She offers you choices. She customizes your order to meet your needs.

Conversely, there is also nothing worse than a waitress telling you that something you ordered is not good for you – or assuming you want something “light” from the menu.

As speech therapists, we also should not impose our opinions about family dynamics that have nothing to do with us.

We may have a style of speech therapy all our own, but we need to also personalize that style to best fit the needs of the family and child. We need to ask questions to understand better and communicate what we are doing. We should not be imposing our values on families just supporting them.

Just like a good waitress takes customized orders on the customer’s preferences, a good speech therapist consider the personal entrees and human sides of our clients’ lives.


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About Author

Jasna Cowan, MS, CCC-SLP

Jasna Cowan, MS, CCC-SLP, is a bilingual speech-language pathologist and the Director and Founder of Speech Goals Speech Therapy, Inc. She is licensed by the state of California and Certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). Her certifications include a Hanen Certification, and Early Start Denver Method. Cowan has been working as a speech language pathologist for 12 years, having received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from San Francisco State University. In her career, she has gained valuable experience working for the Pacifica School District as an employee and then as a contract consultant for litigious cases. She has also spent a significant portion of her career at the Pine Hill School and the Newton Program for children with high functioning Autism. Her expertise includes speech and language delay and disorders including bilingualism, children with autism spectrum, and articulation and phonological delays and disorders with speech sounds. Her accomplishments include creating the first Mommy and Me sign language class at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. Cowan currently serves as President of Speech ABCs, a non-profit that assists families in need of speech and language services and related services from her main offices in South San Francisco. Additionally, she consults for the Child Care Coordinating Council (4C’s) of San Mateo. Cowan also sits on a multidisciplinary team at Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC) in San Mateo, CA for whom she also serves as a therapy provider forGGRC’s Early Intervention Speech Pathologist in Spanish and English. As a trusted GGRC service partner, she provides both bilingual assessments and therapy for young children, ages 0-3. In conjunction with this service, she also conducts parent coaching courses on speech and language facilitation at Good Samaritan Resource Center of the Mission District in San Francisco

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