In 2022, after his parents began to notice a stutter in his speech, Finnegan went to Nemours Orlando Outpatient Therapy Services to seek help. It was then that his speech therapist discovered that Finnegan had a disfluency. They recommended he work with Michelle Bartlett, SLP as that is her area of expertise.
“Michelle has consistently approached every session with passion and care. She truly wants Finnegan to succeed,” says Lauren. During his first episode of care with Michelle, Finnegan struggled to make progress. However, once Finnegan started his second episode of care, “It seemed like a light bulb sort of went off for him,” says Lauren. “All of a sudden, he really started to use the tools that he and Michelle would practice.”
“They made his sessions so fun for him,” says Lauren. “Whatever he was interested in that week, whether it was Cars or PJ Masks or Lion King, they totally incorporated it into the session. I think the thing that I love most about Michelle is her patience and her willingness to go above and beyond and connect with other providers. Michelle actually took it upon herself to connect with his speech therapist at school to ensure continuity and consistency in his care. Her willingness to think about Finnegan outside of her hour with him during their ST sessions exemplifies Nemours’ initiative to go Well Beyond Medicine.”
Not only has Finnegan’s speech improved since working with Michelle, but also his confidence when speaking. “He’s less frustrated because he’s able to articulate what he wants and we’re able to understand,” says Lauren. “Now, we’re seeing him really try to put his lessons into place. We’ve seen him taking deep breaths and really implementing the tools that he’s learned at Nemours. Finnegan’s habilitation is a journey and changes as he grows. It has been very exciting to see his bright smile when he is proud of an accomplishment. We are beyond grateful to have been connected to Michelle as an expert in disfluency and truly hope she realizes the impact she not only makes on her patients, but also their families.” “This is a marathon not a sprint,” says Lauren. “It’s a long road. Not everything will be solved or addressed as fast as you would like. It can be overwhelming not knowing what the future will hold, but know that your child is still who they are and perfect just as they are.”