New Speech-Language Therapist Specializes in Infant Feeding

Oct 19 2023

We’re thrilled to introduce Amanda Widman, the latest addition to our Mercy Health — Willard Rehabilitation and Therapy team. Amanda brings with her a unique specialty in infant feeding, a new and exciting area for us.

Amanda began her journey as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in 2015. Initially, she worked in schools but soon found her calling in the hospital setting.

Over the years, Amanda has primarily focused on outpatient pediatrics, with a touch of diverse experiences along the way. She often mentions that speech pathology chose her, recalling childhood memories of watching her younger siblings benefit from speech-language services. This personal connection, combined with her passion for communication and its profound impact on life quality, led her to this profession.

Amanda’s expertise is vast and varied. From pediatric feeding and swallowing to dyslexia and oral motor dysfunctions, she prides herself on being a “root cause speech-language pathologist.”

“I seek to meet patients where they are at and help them achieve their greatest potential,” she shares.

So, whether it’s infants having feeding issues, toddlers taking time to speak or school-aged children facing reading challenges, Amanda’s mantra remains: “Focus on determining the root cause of the difficulty.”

Dyslexia is a particular area of interest for Amanda.

“Dyslexia assessments must be comprehensive,” she explains. “Children with dyslexia meet a specific diagnostic criterion. I use a detailed assessment battery to help families identify the source of reading difficulty.”

Amanda is also a strong advocate for early communication in children.

“Early communication often looks different, but it’s equally necessary,” she adds. “If I had a dollar for every ‘the earlier, the better’ speech I gave families, I’d be rich! Research shows that the earlier we intervene, the faster and more progress we can make.”

Feeding assessment and treatment resonate deeply with Amanda.

Paraphrasing Georges Danton, she often says, “education is the greatest need of people, but first, they must be fed.”

This belief drives her holistic approach to feeding therapy.

“Feeding starts in the toes,” Amanda reveals. “Much of feeding therapy focuses on the mouth, but we never stop considering the whole body.”

Amanda’s commitment to her patients is evident in her continuous quest for knowledge and collaboration.

“Collaboration is essential,” she states. “I’ve spent the last five years practicing with pediatricians and I’ve seen the value of a care team where everyone is on the same page.”

Amanda Widman is more than just she role; she’s a beacon of hope, dedication and passion. We’re thrilled to have her with us on our rehab team. Welcome aboard, Amanda!

Learn more about the rehabilitation services we provide at Mercy Health.

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