Making lives better, one child at a time.

We help children throughout San Diego County achieve their greatest potential.

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At SmallTalk, our therapists are dedicated to helping your child thrive. Our personalized approach blends therapy and fun for an experience you and your child will look forward to. At locations across San Diego County, SmallTalk provides a variety of pediatric therapy options that produce measurable results.

Let’s get to know each other.

Our personal approach sets SmallTalk apart. Our sessions perfectly blend fun and focus, while our therapists make meaningful connections with kids to guide development.

About us

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The right choice for your child.

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  • 01

    Speech & Language Therapy

    Our speech and language therapy sessions are tailored to your child’s individual needs, using the latest techniques, engaging toys, activities and play to help your child achieve their goals.

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  • 02

    Occupational Therapy

    Our OT rooms are the epicenter of fun. Using swings, slides, crash pads, climbing structures, sensory tables, and more, our therapists improve your child’s motor skills and sensory responses.

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  • 03

    Feeding Therapy

    Got a picky eater? We can help! Our therapists can identify underlying issues and development an individualized plan to support the exploration and enjoyment of eating at home.

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  • 04

    Social Skills Groups

    We offer group therapy to help your child develop essential social skills such as empathy, cooperation, turn-taking and problem-solving skills in a safe and fun environment.

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  • 05

    Parent Education

    We empower parents and other family members to play a key role in their child’s communicative and sensory progress with fun and functional ways to work on their goals at home.

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  • 06

    Online Therapy

    For families or school systems looking for online therapy, we can work off of an existing IEP or conduct a virtual evaluation. Our virtual sessions utilize online games and resources that keep kids engaged and motivated.

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Developmental Checklist

You know your child best—you know their strengths and weakness, and you may have concerns about their progress. Select the age range below to determine if your child could benefit from an evaluation.

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Speech and Language

  • Follows sounds with his or her eyes    
  • Laughs and babbles when excited or happy 
  • Understands some common words (mama/dada, milk, night-night)  
  • Makes sounds or gestures to get attention   
  • Expresses feelings (fear of strangers, excitement for familiar people)

Occupational Therapy

  • Transfers objects hand to hand across midline
  • Releases toy to give to you or put into a container
  • Sits independently may support with hands, reaches for a toy in sitting
  • Crawls or pulls forward when on belly
  • Plays 2-3 minutes with a single toy

Feeding

  • Tolerates a range of different textured food
  • Holds a bottle or cup independently  
  • Moves the tongue around in their mouth   
  • Feeds self small crackers or other small pieces of food 
  • Uses a munching pattern to chew

Schedule evaluation

Speech and Language

  • Has 1 or 2 words (hi, dog, dada, mama)
  • Imitates some speech sounds
  • Waves hi and bye
  • Plays simple games (peekaboo)
  • Understands no (pauses briefly or stops when you say it)

Occupational Therapy

  • Place a block on top in imitation, may not balance them
  • Pulling to stand, cruising furniture
  • Imitates tool use, may make a mark when scribbling, imitates brushing hair
  • Removes socks
  • Repeats same play actions, like peek a boo or putting toy in container

Feeding

  • Can use a straw
  • Uses lips to remove food from spoon 
  • Tongue lateralization, uses tongue well to move food from side to side 
  • Improved biting
  • Imitates adult eating

Schedule evaluation

Speech and Language

  • Vocabulary of 25 words, pronunciation is often unclear
  • Asks for common foods by name
  • Begins to use pronouns, such as “mine”
  • Starting to combine words, such as “more milk”
  • Participates in verbal turn taking

Occupational Therapy

  • Imitates vertical lines 
  • Tolerates diaper changes and cooperates with dressing 
  • Walks up steps using railing
  • Spontaneously scribbles with a crayon, uses a fisted grasp
  • Distinguishes between edible and non edible objects (18 months)

Feeding

  • Uses a rotary chew 
  • Can feed self with a spoon
  • Starts using a spoon though may be uncontrolled

Schedule evaluation

Speech and Language

  • Puts two words together for most communication (more cookie, mommy up, go car) Shows daily routines in play (bath time, taking dolls to store)
  • Notices when others are hurt or upset
  • Points to things that an adult names
  • Points to at least 2 body parts when asked

Occupational Therapy

  • Laces large beads
  • Stacks 2-4 blocks
  • Jumps in place, gets both feet off the ground
  • Matches 2 shapes
  • Pushes, winds, slides to activate and use toys

Feeding

  • Chews with jaw movements in all directions up/down,around, and side to side  
  • Drinks from an open cup swallowing well 
  • Starts to use fork to spear food
  • Scoops with a spoon with some 
  • Shows clear likes and dislikes of some foods

Schedule evaluation

Speech and Language

  • Knows some spatial concepts, such as “in” or “on”
  • Knows pronouns, such as “you,” “me” or “her”
  • Knows descriptive words, such as “big” or “happy”
  • Uses 3-word sentences
  • Speech is understood by others about 75% of the time

Occupational Therapy

  • Throws and catches a large ball
  • Removes pull-on clothing
  • Copies simple block designs, circle, lines and cross
  • Puts on socks, simple shoes
  • Balances on one foot briefly
  • At 4 years
  • Cuts around shapes
  • Draws a 4 part person
  • Can run, hop, jump and climb well
  • Brushes teeth independently
  • Washes face and hands    

Feeding

  • Eats the same foods as the rest of the family  
  • Uses utensils well 
  • Wipes own mouth and hands
  • Can serve self food and pour liquid into a cup
  • Independently eats at 36 months

Schedule evaluation

Speech and Language

  • Answers simple who, what, where and why questions
  • Talks about activities at daycare, preschool or friend’s homes
  • Speaks easily without having to repeat syllables or words  
  • Uses sentences with 4 or more words
  • Speech is understood by others about 95-100% of the time

Occupational Therapy

  • Cuts around shapes
  • Draws a 4 part person
  • Can run, hop, jump and climb well
  • Brushes teeth independently
  • Washes face and hands

Schedule evaluation

Speech and Language

  • Uses adult grammar/ sentence structure
  • Tells stories that stay on topic and have at least 2 event and more details
  • Shows fantasy schemes in play and tells simple jokes
  • Starts to understand perspective taking
  • Follows rules or takes turns when playing games with other children

Occupational Therapy

  • Copies, prints first name
  • Can cut food with butter knife, spreads with a knife
  • Can skip on alternating feet and jump rope
  • Can ride a bike without training wheels 
  • Bathes self 

Schedule evaluation

  • 6-9months_Mobile

    6-9 Months

    Speech and Language

    • Follows sounds with his or her eyes    
    • Laughs and babbles when excited or happy 
    • Understands some common words (mama/dada, milk, night-night)  
    • Makes sounds or gestures to get attention   
    • Expresses feelings (fear of strangers, excitement for familiar people)

    Occupational Therapy

    • Transfers objects hand to hand across midline
    • Releases toy to give to you or put into a container
    • Sits independently may support with hands, reaches for a toy in sitting
    • Crawls or pulls forward when on belly
    • Plays 2-3 minutes with a single toy

    Feeding

    • Tolerates a range of different textured food
    • Holds a bottle or cup independently  
    • Moves the tongue around in their mouth   
    • Feeds self small crackers or other small pieces of food 
    • Uses a munching pattern to chew

    Schedule evaluation

    6-9 Months
  • 12months_Mobile

    12 Months

    Speech and Language

    • Has 1 or 2 words (hi, dog, dada, mama)
    • Imitates some speech sounds
    • Waves hi and bye
    • Plays simple games (peekaboo)
    • Understands no (pauses briefly or stops when you say it)

    Occupational Therapy

    • Place a block on top in imitation, may not balance them
    • Pulling to stand, cruising furniture
    • Imitates tool use, may make a mark when scribbling, imitates brushing hair
    • Removes socks
    • Repeats same play actions, like peek a boo or putting toy in container

    Feeding

    • Can use a straw
    • Uses lips to remove food from spoon 
    • Tongue lateralization, uses tongue well to move food from side to side 
    • Improved biting
    • Imitates adult eating

    Schedule evaluation

    12 Months
  • 15-18months_Mobile

    15-18 Months

    Speech and Language

    • Vocabulary of 25 words, pronunciation is often unclear
    • Asks for common foods by name
    • Begins to use pronouns, such as “mine”
    • Starting to combine words, such as “more milk”
    • Participates in verbal turn taking

    Occupational Therapy

    • Imitates vertical lines 
    • Tolerates diaper changes and cooperates with dressing 
    • Walks up steps using railing
    • Spontaneously scribbles with a crayon, uses a fisted grasp
    • Distinguishes between edible and non edible objects (18 months)

    Feeding

    • Uses a rotary chew 
    • Can feed self with a spoon
    • Starts using a spoon though may be uncontrolled

    Schedule evaluation

    15-18 Months
  • 24months_Mobile

    24 Months

    Speech and Language

    • Puts two words together for most communication (more cookie, mommy up, go car) Shows daily routines in play (bath time, taking dolls to store)
    • Notices when others are hurt or upset
    • Points to things that an adult names
    • Points to at least 2 body parts when asked

    Occupational Therapy

    • Laces large beads
    • Stacks 2-4 blocks
    • Jumps in place, gets both feet off the ground
    • Matches 2 shapes
    • Pushes, winds, slides to activate and use toys

    Feeding

    • Chews with jaw movements in all directions up/down,around, and side to side  
    • Drinks from an open cup swallowing well 
    • Starts to use fork to spear food
    • Scoops with a spoon with some 
    • Shows clear likes and dislikes of some foods

    Schedule evaluation

    24 Months
  • 30-36months_Mobile

    30-36 Months

    Speech and Language

    • Knows some spatial concepts, such as “in” or “on”
    • Knows pronouns, such as “you,” “me” or “her”
    • Knows descriptive words, such as “big” or “happy”
    • Uses 3-word sentences
    • Speech is understood by others about 75% of the time

    Occupational Therapy

    • Throws and catches a large ball
    • Removes pull-on clothing
    • Copies simple block designs, circle, lines and cross
    • Puts on socks, simple shoes
    • Balances on one foot briefly
    • At 4 years
    • Cuts around shapes
    • Draws a 4 part person
    • Can run, hop, jump and climb well
    • Brushes teeth independently
    • Washes face and hands    

    Feeding

    • Eats the same foods as the rest of the family  
    • Uses utensils well 
    • Wipes own mouth and hands
    • Can serve self food and pour liquid into a cup
    • Independently eats at 36 months

    Schedule evaluation

    30-36 Months
  • 4years_Mobile

    At 4 Years

    Speech and Language

    • Answers simple who, what, where and why questions
    • Talks about activities at daycare, preschool or friend’s homes
    • Speaks easily without having to repeat syllables or words  
    • Uses sentences with 4 or more words
    • Speech is understood by others about 95-100% of the time

    Occupational Therapy

    • Cuts around shapes
    • Draws a 4 part person
    • Can run, hop, jump and climb well
    • Brushes teeth independently
    • Washes face and hands

    Schedule evaluation

    At 4 Years
  • 5years_Mobile

    At 5 Years

    Speech and Language

    • Uses adult grammar/ sentence structure
    • Tells stories that stay on topic and have at least 2 event and more details
    • Shows fantasy schemes in play and tells simple jokes
    • Starts to understand perspective taking
    • Follows rules or takes turns when playing games with other children

    Occupational Therapy

    • Copies, prints first name
    • Can cut food with butter knife, spreads with a knife
    • Can skip on alternating feet and jump rope
    • Can ride a bike without training wheels 
    • Bathes self 

    Schedule evaluation

    At 5 Years

What clients say about us

  • “SmallTalk has been a BLESSING for our son”

    SmallTalk has been a BLESSING for our son and our family. They have an abundance of patience, a genuine interest and an emotional investment—not only in my son, but in all their kids.

    -Melissa S.

  • “Amazing work from the Team at SmallTalk!”

    We are so grateful both our girls get to work with the loving, kind, patient, and knowledgeable therapists here. We have seen profound progress and so appreciate the ways they help us encourage their growth both in therapy and at home. Such support for parents truly makes a difference!

    -Laurie K.

  • “Welcoming environment”

    It’s a very welcoming environment and the staff truly care about the kids. They are very friendly and calm and patient.

    -Samantha C.

  • “Dozens of words in only a few months.”

    My twin daughters have been going to SmallTalk and are doing wonderfully! They were delayed in their speech and now have dozens of words in only a few months.

    -Susie S.

  • “I could not imagine my children anywhere else”

    The staff are extremely friendly, listen to my concerns and are using the IEP goals in the therapy sessions. I could not imagine my children anywhere else.

    -Marissa C.

SmallTalk of the town

The latest news and helpful views.

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For Parents

SmallTalk therapists are your partners in achieving the best life for your child — learn how we’re with you every step of the way.

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For Physicians

Physicians throughout San Diego trust SmallTalk — here’s why.

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Become a
SmallTalker

SmallTalk is home to the most caring, skilled and helpful speech and occupational therapists in San Diego. Join the SmallTalk family and help awesome children and families thrive in our community.

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