On a hot August day, a young boy named Timmy and his mother approached Who’s Talking Now, a Killeen speech therapy office, pausing before the glass front doors and then stepping out of sight.
The mother spoke quietly to her son. A moment later, the pair walked into the office.
“Good morning, Timmy,” said the young boy’s speech therapist. “What are you playing there?”
The boy shyly looked up from the iPad he held.
“Who is that there?” the therapist said. “What’s his name?”
Looking down at the image of Mickey Mouse on the iPad, the boy shrugged.
“Mouse,” he said.
Being able to speak a simple word like “mouse” was cause for celebration for Timmy and other children and adults who work with the certified and licensed speech language pathologists on staff at Who’s Talking Now.
The business opened in Harker Heights two years ago, but owner Marcia Reese moved it to Killeen in November. On Friday, Reese hosted a mini-carnival for clients to celebrate the second anniversary of Who’s Talking Now.
“This is something nice to do with our families and our way of saying thank you,” Reese said.
“(The Killeen office) space is bigger. It’s also the halfway point for my clients. Some live in Harker Heights and Copperas Cove.
Making a change
Reese began practicing speech therapy as a speech therapist assistant in 2007 for the Killeen school district. In 2010, she needed a change and began offering speech services to children in their homes.
“I really liked the idea of managing my time and schedule,” Reese said.
Managing time comes naturally for Reese. Along with her business, she is also a wife, mother of two and an online student at Walden University working on her doctor of education degree. While at KISD, she earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
“My son was in speech (therapy) for a while and was recently put into a PBS program — Positive Behavior Support — because he wasn’t able to handle a big classroom,” Reese said. “All this sparked an interest to know how the school district worked when it came to children like mine. I wanted to know how he’s learning. What methods are they using?”
Reese was recently accepted into the online speech language pathology program at Longwood University to obtain a clinical competence certification for speech language pathology.
“It’s been a nice process for me,” Reese said. “And I enjoy working with kids.”
Samantha Prazinko and her son, Davis, 4, attended the anniversary carnival Friday and were treated to baked goods, a bounce house and face painting.
Prazinko said her son’s speech has come a long way since he began working with Reese in August 2012.
“We’ve accomplished 80 to 90 percent of his goals,” she said. “He loves Marcia.”