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30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn LettersBrooklyn Letters

1139 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn

4.9 49 reviews

  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Heather Liljengren ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    We cannot say enough good things about Effie, the ASL teacher, who was so engaged and effective with our 2 year old daughter from the very first session! Effie gladly included our whole family in the sessions! Her expertise and fantastic … More personality gave our daughter a way to communicate that she was so desperately seeking. The coordinators at Brooklyn Letters were so helpful and communicative…I would highly recommend their services!
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters R Elmore ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Aileen was INCREDIBLY helpful to us, both in assessing possible origins of my grandson's food aversions, as well as informing us of various available interventions to consider.
    I can’t thank you and Brooklyn Letters enough for connecting
    … More us with Aileen. In all our feeding therapy journey we have not gotten anything near the kind of benefit that we did from her. Her knowledge, professionalism, and responsiveness have put us on the path of progress with my grandson and has also made us feel genuinely well cared for.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Kelley Peters-Patel ★★★★★ a month ago
    Melissa was wonderful. Our daughter warmed to her immediately and by the time she left, had already started "practicing" some of the techniques Melissa had shown her. I will not hesitate at all to reach out to Melissa again, should … More the need arise.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Christine Weiher ★★★★★ a year ago
    We were amazed with Allison! She met my son at 2 1/2 years old, not speaking much at all, and over a computer, and she was able to develop a bond and friendship, so much so that he would look forward to his weekly computer time with Allison. … More I was not sure how the speech therapy would go- but we are so happy that we tried it out and continued. It allowed my son to gain confidence in his speech, make a new friend :), and also give him the skills and a bit of understanding of how to shape his mouth or where to place his tongue to make the proper sounds. We were extremely happy with Allison- she was fantastic to work with.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Andrea Saffady ★★★★★ a year ago
    My sessions with Karen have been extremely helpful. My speech has improved tremendously. In fact, I just finished 2 hours of conducting interviews with a consulting client via MS Teams and I have an upcoming conference call. Both my … More neurologist and neurosurgeon remarked about how good my speech is. Much of the day it is perfect, although I still have some rough spots when I get tired or speak too quickly. One of my granddaughters is a speech pathology student at Ithaca College. She sat in on 2 sessions while she was home for winter break, and she was very impressed with Karen.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Jacob B ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    We were delighted with Christie. First, and most importantly, our son made great strides under her guidance. So great, that we felt he no longer needed help! She was incredibly patient and kind with him and our son really responded to … More her. Christie was also great with me and my wife. She provided thorough and informative updates on our son's progress and which exercises she was using with him, so we could reinforce what she was teaching him. All in all, we had a fabulous experience with Christie and would highly recommend her.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Jessica C ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Theo was wonderful and his work with my son has produced some progress. I am grateful for the services Theo provided.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Melissa Stevens ★★★★★ a year ago
    Highly recommend Jill. She is a total pleasure to work with. After a few months working with Jill, my son is reading above grade level and LOVES to read. Mission accomplished!
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Demet Evren ★★★★★ a year ago
    Paige was great and we had been really happy with her. I would highly recommend her! I recommend Brooklyn Letters to whomever asks for a speech therapist.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Jeizel Rosenthal ★★★★★ a year ago
    Isabel was WONDERFUL and our son absolutely adored her, and he is making great progress with his reading and writing.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Lesley Duval ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    Theo was fantastic with our 4yo son. We were very worried that his progress would fall off when we had to switch to remote sessions, but Theo kept our son happy and engaged through the screen. Highly highly recommend!
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Samantha Packard ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    We've been working with Theo from Brooklyn Letters for close to 4 months now and the results are apparent; our daughter has vastly improved her speech in a relatively short amount of time. We make "Theo Day" a celebration … More in our house with pancakes for breakfast, and the enthusiasm is matched in the sessions. Theo is fun, patient, professional, and caring, and he gives us the tools to take the lessons beyond the session. Thank you Theo, and Brooklyn Letters, for helping our daughter express herself.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Travis Ricca ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I worked with Alina to enhance my pronunciation, tone, and pacing while communicating socially and in a work environment. She was great to work with and clear about goals and learning objectives. The improvement from day 1 has been tremendous! … More
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Enrico Bermudez ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    Cathy has been excellent with us and our son. We will sorely miss her. He has improved significantly with Cathy’s help. Cathy was a true partner with us, especially as we pursued additional help through our son’s school system.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Kayne Elisabeth Wilk ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    We really loved working with Alina, she is so fantastic. Patient yet firm, and determined the best course of action very clearly and succintly for us. And it all transitioned so well to Zoom as well. I will definitely be back in touch for … More services for our other child after summer break!
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Jen S ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Vera was amazing! My 11 yo daughter made progress so quickly and really looked forward to her sessions. She was kept motivated and engaged.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters susie tofte ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    The work that Allison P. did with our daughter over the years has been invaluable to us. Our daughter had such a good relationship with Allison, and it allowed them to work really well together - even remotely these past 6 months. This … More year, Allison went above and beyond by helping us throughout the neuropsych eval we did, trying to re-open our daughter's IEP at her school, and eventually landing her at our chosen school. She was in contact with our daughter's teachers, with the neuropsychologist, and made herself available as a reference to speak on behalf of our daughter's learning differences.
    Allison stopped by our house last week to give our daughter cupcakes and say goodbye, and I literally cried with appreciation for what an amazing speech therapist she has been. She has been our daughter's biggest champion. The new families that she will work with this year are lucky to have her.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Alicia Perez-Katz ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Sydney was great! Our son was sad to end his sessions with her, which says a lot. We appreciated her honest assessment of his skill level, and he now has materials to self monitor and practice. Thank you!
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Kristin Ames ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    Our experience with Theo was terrific. Theo was great with my son. He developed a positive relationship with him based on sincerity, respect, trust and a deep personal connection. In their lessons, Theo was encouraging, creative and kind. … More He helped our son understand how to differentiate the sounds he made when he spoke, and gave him great exercises to practice every week between lessons. Our son was sorry to have the lessons come to an end, but recognized that Theo had helped him as much as possible and it was time for him to stop. Theo explained to him (and us) how to keep working to get the last 5%, and encouraged him to keep working on the exercises on his own. I have recommended Theo to another parent who noticed my son's improvement and inquired for her own son.
    We are all grateful to have gotten to know Theo, and we greatly appreciate all the work he did to help our son.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Aisha Holder ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    "I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Michelle Macroy-Higgins. We are extremely pleased with her work with our daughter. I was so grateful for my daughter to have a speech therapist who is a researcher (specialty in late … More talkers), graduate professor and practitioner. Her expertise was clearly evident in our conversations and work with our daughter. She was very responsive to my questions and often sent articles and other materials about language development that I found helpful. Thankfully, my daughter's speech improved tremendously. Michelle developed such a warm relationship with my daughter. My daughter was always excited to see Michelle and would greet her at the door with a big hug. Lastly, I would add that Michelle always demonstrated empathy with me as a mother who was initially worried about her daughter's language development. I could go on and on about how pleased we were with Michelle's work."
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Andrea Peartree ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Theo is a wonderful Clinton Hill speech therapist. We were really pleased with him. Our son showed drastic improvement, not only in his speech but in his confidence.
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters mario costa ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    Alexa has been an enthusiastic, reliable, well prepared and caring teacher for our 6 year old daughter. She has been able to improve and increase our daughter's confidence lesson by lesson with patience and competence; through varied … More and productive didactic practice. Alexa has engaged our daughter in several activities that always kept her motivated and eager to learn literacy. My wife and I, both of us are educators, feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe Alexa's pedagogical skills. Alexa has had a big impact on our daughter literacy growth. Thank you Brooklyn Letters!
  • 30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters Lily Alt ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    We were absolutely DELIGHTED with Marsha's services. She was wonderful. We found her to be kind, fun, engaging, very knowledgeable. She provided us with clear instructions and additional written handouts each week. She engaged our … More son with different techniques and toys, and showed us how to use her techniques when we were interacting with him. I actually just texted her on Saturday - Our son finally said "more" - one of the target words we had been working on with her. It was a total joy to hear, and I had to share it with her - she wrote back immediately to congratulate us. I am so appreciative of her expertise, and wish we could have seen her for longer. I recommended her to another family in our neighborhood who is looking for a speech therapist.

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30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters

What is Language Development?

According to ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), language development refers to the words we use and how we use them. This process begins in the utero stages of development. When the fetus begins to recognize the sounds and speech patterns of the mother. There are five stages of language development. The chart below describes each stage.

30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters

Abstract of: “The Thirty Million Word Gap”

The “30 Million Word Gap” study was declared a significant groundbreaking study. In 1992 researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley entered the homes of 42 families from varied socio-economic backgrounds in Kansas City, Kansas, where they assessed exchanges of daily interactions between parent and child. Moreover, how those interactions shape language and vocabulary development. The experiment consisted of 13 high-income families, 10 families of middle socio-economic status, 13 of low socio-economic status, and 6 families who were on welfare and all predominantly African-American. They conducted monthly hour-long observations of each family from when the child was seven months until age three after analyzing 1,300 hours of observation. Hart and Risley concluded that children from wealthier families heard significantly more words on average than children of families with or below socio-economic status. Hart and Risley went as far as to calculate the difference in spoken words. Moreover, at age four, the difference between wealthy and low-income families was 32 million words. Coining the phrase “The 30 Million Word Gap.”

Importance of the Word Gap Study

The Hart and Risley study is important because it implies that children living in poverty hear fewer words on average than children from higher socio-economic families. Socio-economic status (SES) is defined as the social class of an individual or group and is measured by education, income, and occupation. These findings also depict a stigma on children from low economic backgrounds. SES examines inequities in access to resources. This also implies privilege, power, and control, meaning families from higher classes are exposed to more resources than children from lower classes, which caused flaws in the Hart and Risley experiment. 

Readings on the Hart and Risley Study

Both articles, “New Research Ignites Debate on the “30 Million Word Gap” and “Let’s Stop Talking About The 30 Million Word Gap,” take different stances on the “word gap.” However, I take issue with Hart and Risley because their research at the time seemed genuine but flawed and incorporated SES bias, amongst other inequalities. It took much work to look past the constructive criticism. Arguably, The 30 Million dollar word gap study highlighted certain issues. Which created interventions such as “early childhood education, reading programs, and collaborations between education and health sector.” However, it does not resolve the political inequalities around the 30 million word gap. Political inequalities, meaning the structural differences in the distribution of political resources such as educational funding, healthcare, and financial support for minorities. 

This article was more compelling and relatable as I am an educator in the classroom working predominantly with children living in poverty. Authors Dudley-Marling and Lucas takes a stance against Hart and Risley. A critical assessment of Hart and Risley’s study depicted significant flaws. For example, the sample size for the welfare families was not diverse enough and concluded insufficient data. Also, the significance of the criteria sample size should have been limited, e.g., activities, number of family members, and possible conversation topics. Such examples would have produced concise data. They continued to state ethnocentric bias and the absence of a theoretical framework. Ethnocentric bias is looking at outgroups (minorities) and judging them based on the norms and standards of their culture. I feel particular, Hart and Risley singled out families at or below SES in their research. Withstand, the theoretical framework is a structure used to support the theory of research study. A framework introduces, examines, and describes why the research study exists. In this case, Hart and Risley wanted to “assess how daily exchanges between a parent and child shape language and vocabulary development.” They failed to consider that many cultures do not address children directly, which can hinder data. Moreover, failing to make explicit the theory of language and culture that frames their analysis—granted, “Pathologizing the Language and Culture of Poor Children.”

30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters

Santina Williams

Santina Williams is an educator and behavioral therapist. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and plans to pursue her master’s degree in Spring 2022. During her professional career, Santina has had the opportunity to work with a variety of populations and disorders. As an Applied Behavioral Analyst, she has gained experience working with children on the autism spectrum. She has also gained extensive experience working with students with varying special needs within the Department of Education, providing accommodations and modifications within the classroom.

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30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters
Craig Selinger, CEO of Brooklyn Letters (serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut), is a NY State licensed speech-language therapist (pathologist) and learning specialist with over 18 years of experience working professionally with over a thousand families. His expertise includes early childhood speech-language delay, expressive/receptive language disorders, language-based learning issues, e.g. reading, writing, executive functioning, social/pragmatic communication, and speech production (articulation/enunciation) issues. Check out his interviews with top-notch professionals in the field on Spotify.

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The following two tabs change content below.
30 Million Word Gap, Brooklyn Letters
Craig Selinger, CEO of Brooklyn Letters (serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut), is a NY State licensed speech-language therapist (pathologist) and learning specialist with over 18 years of experience working professionally with over a thousand families. His expertise includes early childhood speech-language delay, expressive/receptive language disorders, language-based learning issues, e.g. reading, writing, executive functioning, social/pragmatic communication, and speech production (articulation/enunciation) issues. Check out his interviews with top-notch professionals in the field on Spotify.