In six years, Poynton-Marsh Speech Services Inc. has grown into a full-time speech therapy operation, and a recent addition has expanded services for the Spanish-speaking population.
Candida Giardina recently joined the Lewes office owned and run by Michele Poyton-Marsh.
“Candy gave me a phone call, and I decided to bring her on,” said Poynton-Marsh.
Poynton-Marsh had offered speech services primarily for adults on a part-time basis out of Suite 5, 1632 Savannah Road, until 2017. After retiring from her speech pathology job at Beebe Healthcare this year, she said, the Savannah Road office is now full time.
And with the addition of Giardina, she said, Spanish-speaking residents can receive speech services.
Giardina comes to Lewes with 40 years of experience in speech pathology. She earned both a bachelor's degree and master's degree from Hunter College and worked for 16 years in the Marlton School District, Burlington County, N.J.
After retiring, she moved to the Lewes area, but realized she still wanted to help those with speech issues.
“I feel like I still have something to give,” she said. “Especially to a population that is underserved.”
Giardina said her passion is preschool, but she can work with all ages including adults.
Speech tests for English-speaking students do not translate for Spanish-speaking students, she said.
Spanish speakers need tests that can accurately pinpoint a speech issue and determine whether the child has a communication development problem or underlying learning disability, she said.
“If a child is dominant in one language, you should provide those services in that language,” she said.
Giardina, a fluent Spanish speaker of Puerto Rican descent, said she looks for clarity and fluency when she works with a client.
Petite with a warm smile, she explains that developing verbal language is important in order for children to learn how to express themselves in writing and become fluid readers.
Giardina said a speech and language evaluation takes about an hour. Insurance usually covers the service with a referral from a primary care physician. The office accepts most insurances including Medicare and Medicaid, said Poynton-Marsh.
Giardina said she usually meets once or twice a week with a client. For more information about speech therapy services, call 644-1220.