Denise Santos Ford ’07, owner of SPEECH, Marin, a private pediatric speech and language clinic in Corte Madera, California, started her speech-language pathology career earlier than most at age 15 working in a clinic for deaf adolescents. Denise left her hometown of Los Altos, California to attend Texas Christian University where she received her bachelor of science in habilitation of the deaf. As a special day teacher of the deaf, Denise was inspired to pursue her master of science in speech-language pathology and follow her dad’s (Dr. Jeffrey Santos, DDS ’78) footstep to attend University of the Pacific.
“The professors at Pacific act as mentors, more than just teachers. This guidance extends beyond graduation. Their investment in Pacific students’ success is incredible. I still contact some of the faculty from time to time and never hesitate in doing so.”
Today you can find Denise at SPEECH, Marin where she provides individualized therapy based on each child’s personality, assessments, consultations, group therapy, summer camps, and informational parent meetings. Denise and her colleague, Jeannie Wong M.A. CF, work with children in creatively themed treatment rooms with pint-sized furniture and charming wall murals. Denise has a strong background in working with autism spectrum disorders, hearing impairments, apraxia, phonological disorders, articulation, reading, auditory processing, and swallowing. She is skilled in management and execution of social pragmatic language groups as well. Denise was inspired to open her own clinic after working with Kathryn Pengilly and Tiphanie Kaufmann at SPEECH, Inc. in San Francisco. SPEECH, Marin is a subsidiary of SPEECH, Inc. which also has an office in Oakland. Denise still sees clients two days a week at the SPEECH, Inc. offices in San Francisco, but loves her commute (walking a mere block) to her very own practice in Corte Madera.
By Susan Webster