"Liesl's insights about children are illuminating..." Barbara Kalmanson, PhD, Clinical Pediatric Psychologist
Hello! I am the Clinical Director for Positive Development in the DMV area, and DIR/Floortime trained and Board Certified Speech Language Pathologist. I have been providing speech and language services to children for over 20 years and truly enjoy helping children reach their full potential to become more effective communicators, learners and friends. I ran a private practice in San Francisco from 2005-2018, and opened my practice in Chevy Chase, DC in 2018. I'm excited to be a part of the growing Positive Development team - a company committed to bringing high quality developmental services to all.
I specialize in working with children with language disorders and social learning challenges and am one of less than 100 Board Certified Language Specialists in the nation. I have trained with both the ICDL and Profectum organizations in DIR/Floortime techniques for over 20 years. I also have extensive training in SCERTS, Social Thinking, PROMPT, Lindamood Bell, Hanen and the Kaufman Apraxia approach. I love working with parents and caregivers and have presented trainings to many schools, parent groups and fellow speech pathologists.
I build strong and positive relationships with each of my students and focus on helping them grow in their self-esteem and confidence as well as their speech and language capacities. I believe in focusing on each child's strengths and build a meaningful, individualized program unique to their profile and their family situation. I love supporting families and working in tandem with parents as well as the other professionals on the student's team.
I offer individualized therapy for children in office, home and school settings.
I have worked extensively with preschools and elementary schools - supporting children's language and social development. I love helping teachers and staff learn new techniques to facilitate further social and language growth for their students.
As a DIR/Floortime provider - and as a mom myself - I know how to support parents on their journey of learning and growing along with their child.
"Liesl let me participate in her sessions and always provided techniques for us parents to apply. Now my boys are where we never thought they would be: they can communicate and they have friends! Thank you, Liesl, for your contribution in bringing back our two boys."
"We found Liesl to be a consummate professional who cares deeply about her clients. She brings an impressive depth of knowledge and great empathy to her speech pathology practice; in addition, Liesl places her everyday therapeutic work in the context of children's sensory and cognitive challenges. She has a genuinely open and warm way with kids (our son really loved working with her), and works well with parents, teachers, and other therapists as part of a caregiving team. We feel truly lucky to have found such a dedicated, professional, and kind speech pathologist for our son."
"Liesl is did a fantastic job with our 5 year old. After a negative experience with a previous speech therapist, we were looking for a therapist who had alternatives to the traditional 45-minutes-in-a-seat structure. I knew I had found the right place when her therapy room was filled with toys and a trampoline. Liesl engaged our son by drawing on his interests (saying the "K" sound was much more fun when saying, "Luke Skywalker") and using games, interspersed with other interesting techniques like using whistles for correct mouth positioning. She collaborated with our son's long-time occupational therapist, and, most importantly, she taught me many small ways to help our son with speech on a daily basis "
"I was referred to Liesl Wenzke Hartmann when my son was 2 1/2 years old by an SLP I highly respect. I was already fragile from just receiving his autism diagnosis, so when his speech therapist, whom I adored, told me he would be better served by another SLP, I was devastated. That all changed once I took my little guy to meet Liesl and Laura. Their child-directed, floortime style of therapy is so gentle and intuitive. Before I knew it, my son, who had only a handful of words/sounds, was engaged and initiating back and forth interactions. All through play. I can't really describe what took place in the sessions, they were fun for him and drew him out of his shell. It was magical. He made so many breakthroughs and developed the foundational skills he needed to benefit from traditional adult-directed speech therapy. He is 5 now, a sweet little chatterbox."
"My son still asks about Liesl, she has a real gift for children."
"Liesl's insights about children are illuminating, and her sensitivity to the needs of the family is always well-tuned. She envisions communication as a dynamic developmental process encompassing capacities for play, intimacy, flexibility, and spontaneity."
"Liesl and I have talked about many children and families together and I have always been impressed with the sensitivity she shows to the ‘big picture’ and the challenges that the parents are facing."
"Working with the individual needs of each child, Liesl develops hands-on functional and play-based strategies that can be used across home and school environments."
"Liesl is a compassionate and bright therapist. She approaches each child as a unique individual and understands that the child is a part of a family system and cannot be treated adequately apart from that system."
"I highly recommend Liesl, she is a thoughtful and creative therapist who is deeply devoted to her work."
"I feel confident that children are in good hands when they are seeing Liesl."