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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

An Interview with Alexandra Ranieri-Deniken, PsyD: Part 2

Published May 24, 2011 10:00 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling

Today is the follow-up from last week's interview with licensed clinical psychologist, Alexandra Ranieri-Deniken, PsyD, of the Behavioral & Developmental Services Department at Special People In Northeast (SPIN), Inc, in Philadelphia, PA.

Below are some of the follow-up questions I sent to Dr. Ranieri-Deniken, along with her responses:

When you say "behavioral health consultations," can you tell us a bit more? Is it solely trainings? I know you have come into our classrooms in the past and observed. Can you talk about that a bit?

Sure. Behavioral health consultation encompasses a lot of modalities - assisting teachers with supporting children in their classroom by the use of the pyramid method (as viewed on theCenter on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning website), meaning that we can address behavior from a broad perspective with the use of use classroom techniques for building relationships with children and having an environment in the classroom that supports and promotes learning for all children.

We also discuss direct teaching of social-emotional skills. Children that are displaying challenging behaviors are often coming from an area of skill deficit in key areas and need to be taught different skills to identify and manage emotions in a safe, healthy and socially acceptable way. When I do consultations, we discuss the skills of the children as well as the teachers and whether or not a child needs some of the broader supports or more intensive interventions.

When I observe in classrooms, I look at the overall skills of the children to help identify where there may be social-emotional skills deficits as well as areas where teachers can adjust their classroom management style to encourage more appropriate behavior.

Do you work with SLPs when you are doing the consultations or just the trainings?

Just the trainings. The consultations have mainly been with teachers, staff and administrators. 

I would also think SLPs are often the ones creating the picture schedules/supports for the child/class. Is this correct?

They are often the ones that create them. I have done it before through the use of the program BoardmakerĀ®.

You mentioned last week that therapists should make sure "all entities are heard in developing a behavior support plan." Can you expand on that? Who should be included? Is there one person who needs to be the main contact and organize the team?

My main concern is that anyone who has contact with the child has their opinion represented in the meeting. Different disciplines, in addition to family members, are going to have their unique view of the child, and the more perspectives we have, the more data we have to pull from, and the more specific we can make interventions for the child. There should definitely be one consistent contact person that organizes the meetings and keeps in touch with everyone so that nothing is missed in developing a plan and having a follow-up. Just as we discussed in the training, you will get different data from different people, and being able to access as much of the child's support network as possible makes for a better outcome and follow-up on a behavior support plan.

How do you become involved with certain schools and organizations? Do they contact you for a consultation when they are in need of assistance?

In the grant, I was contacted to be the "coach" or consultant. I did not pick the sites that were involved - it was pre-determined through the grant that I am working under.

Thank you for providing the website resources. This blog reaches people worldwide and we have had therapists and parents write in from all over the world. Would these sites only be helpful for people living here in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas, just the US, or beyond?

The CSEFEL website is not specific to Philadelphia - they are resources that could be used by just about anyone out there.


Please feel free to post any questions you may have for Dr. Alexandra Ranieri-Deniken. Hope these resources have been helpful!



Early Intervention Speech Therapy : An Interview with Alexandra Ranieri-Deniken, PsyD: Part 2

October 29, 2014 10:20 AM

Hi Rebecca,

My name is Jennifer King, and I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who works with children with pediatric feeding disorders.  I work with interdisciplinary teams (OT, Speech, GI) to offer in-home feeding therapy.  If you are interested, my website is

Good luck finding services for your patients.

Jennifer L. King, MA, BCBA

Jennifer King, Feeding Therapy - Behavior Analyst May 31, 2011 10:11 PM
Philadelphia PA

Hi Rebecca,

What age group are you working with now? That would determine the resources that are you need someone to go to the home or are you at a school or outpatient facility? Where I work in Delaware County, most of the children receive their services through the DCIU (whether it's homecare or through a preschool program like Elwyn and Easter Seals) or they receive private therapy through places like Dupont and Riddle Memorial. If it's severe they may go to Hershey for intensive feeding therapy.

Hope this helps...Let me know!


stephanie bruno dowling, blog author May 28, 2011 1:20 PM

Hi Stephanie, I couldn't find a contact option on the blog. I wanted to pick your brain, do you know of any feeding therapists in the West Philly or Delco outside the school system? I am moving out of the area and need to find a home for my patients. If you have any ideas please let me know. Thanks, Rebecca

Rebecca May 27, 2011 9:42 PM
Darby PA

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About this Blog

    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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