2018-02-07 / Front Page

Bonnie Johnson has “A Way With Words”

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor


Bonnie Johnson, a Certified Speech Therapist, offers help for children with speech difficulties in her private practice, “A Way With Words”, located in The Millen News Building, 856 Cotton Avenue. (Staff photo by Deborah Bennett) Bonnie Johnson, a Certified Speech Therapist, offers help for children with speech difficulties in her private practice, “A Way With Words”, located in The Millen News Building, 856 Cotton Avenue. (Staff photo by Deborah Bennett) Bonnie Johnson has always loved kids, but it was not until she observed a speech therapist working with children who had speech difficulties that she decided, “That is what I want to do.” The epitome moment occurred as Bonnie observed the therapist for a college class she was taking.

“My brother also had speech difficulties and saw a speech therapist. And I always wanted to go too,” she recalls.

Bonnie fulfilled her desire and graduated from Valdosta State University in May of 2014 with a Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders and received a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in June 2015. She worked jointly with the Burke County School System for three years and part time with the CSRA Therapy Services for two years.

Currently, Bonnie is employed as a part time Contract Speech Therapist for the Jenkins County School System and the Emanuel County School System. And in August of 2017, she opened a small private practice – “A Way With Words” in The Millen News Building at 856 Cotton Avenue.

Bonnie puts her skills to work serving children who have articulation, fluency, feeding, swallowing, pragmatic (social language), and language disorders. She focuses her work on early intervention as well as school aged and still finds time to serve children at a day care center.

“As a speech therapist for the past four years I have found that there is nothing more rewarding than helping a child learn to communicate. It is so exciting to hear a child produce his or her first words and use those words to form sentences to express a want or need in ways that they have been unable to do. I have worked with many children who had no verbal language when beginning therapy. I addressed this through a naturalistic play-based approach. For example, if I am wanting the child to use words to request an action, I might hold them at the top of a slide and encourage them to say “go” or “slide” before pushing them down the slide as a reward. A naturalistic play-based intervention is engaging and inviting for children which helps facilitate more meaningful language development,” Bonnie said.

All who have worked with Bonnie confirm that she certainly does have “A Way With Words”!

Bonnie currently serves 10 children in her private practice and accepts Medicaid, Peach State, Amerigroup and Caresource Insurance. To make an appointment, call (478) 494-2530.

Bonnie and her husband, Hudson, live in Jenkins County.

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