"I have been profoundly deaf since birth. Dr. P. taught me listening, language and speaking when I was a toddler and I'm now 26. She created a bridge for me to communicate with the hearing world...If it wasn't for her, the world would be a very different place for me. She is definitely a one of a kind speech pathologist.. Thank you for being a big part of my life. " Austin Zindler
"Doctor Laura Peterson provided me with all the tools necessary to help me develop into the person I am today. She advocated on my behalf, knowing what services I required to become an independent and successful member of society. Whether those services included helping with my IEP, FM system, note taker, speech development, or listening tests, Doctor Peterson played a crucial role in placing me in the best possible situation to strive in my life’s journeys. I will soon be graduating high school and have been accepted into all my top universities and colleges. Doctor Peterson stands parallel next to my parents in helping me achieve great success." Jake Walker
"Once we knew Lauren was a viable candidate for a cochlear implant, we began to search for the most experienced and dedicated SLP we could find. We were truly blessed to come across "Dr. P" as she is affectionately known, who provided her with so much more than auditory rehabilitation... She is willing to go to any lengths to help Lauren. Her passion is endless. We are eternally grateful to Dr. P. and attribute so much of Lauren's success to her tireless efforts."-
Ms. Caroline Ward-Smith, Lauren's Mom
"I began working with Dr. P. in 3rd grade. She has helped me so much through my journey... Now 19 years old attending college in Massachusetts, I will never forget the day when I found out I was accepted to my top choice and the first person I told my big news to was Dr. Peterson. She taught me how to not give up on myself, work my hardest in my academics, accept my disability proudly and she helped me become the young women I am today."
- Olivia Williams
"When Olivia was being mainstreamed,we didn't know who to turn to for academic support, speech, and advocacy. When we finally met and Dr. P. agreed to be Olivia's Listening and Spoken Language therapist, we knew we were on our way to witness success. She worked countless hours with Olivia over the years. We've witnessed Olivia's growth at 8 years old having just a few spoken words to having a vocabulary beyond what we ever expected. Her advocacy and many hours writing IEP goals and providing years of speech, listening and language is what has helped Olivia become the successful young woman she is today. We can't thank her enough for all she has done for our family."
Ms. Iraida Wililams, Olivia's Mom
Our son, Jordan (left) was born with a severe to profound hearing loss. He was diagnosed at 13 months of age. Despite the significant level of hearing loss, we were committed to pursuing an auditory path. Jordan received hearing aids immediately, had three auditory verbal speech therapy sessions per week, and was finally implanted at age 10....Jordan was mainstreamed from Nursery School on and despite continued progress was still behind academically, particularly in language skills. Enter Dr. Laura Peterson and life changed dramatically for the better for Jordan and our family. Dr. P. helped Jordan make tremendous strides auditorily, verbally, and academically. Dr. P. immediately provided a thorough and complete in-service to Jordan’s school and teachers. This in-service helped provide a strong foundation so that the teachers were aware of specific and special needs of someone with a severe-profound hearing loss. Dr. P frequently visited the classroom to insure that the methods and services outlined were actually being employed...."
"During individual speech and language therapy sessions, Dr.P. worked tirelessly with Jordan to strengthen his listening and hone his speech skills. Dr. P.’s speech and language therapy sessions always went well over the designated 1 hour time slot and she was completely vested in our son’s success as if he were her own child. At one point, when Jordan was in high school, he was concerned that his speech had become a little nasal and within 1 week Dr. P. had ordered a special kit which connected to the computer to assess and to eliminate any nasality. Amazing!! Dr. P. would follow Jordan’s curriculum at school and review and pre-teach many of the vocabulary words and subject content ahead of time. This idea was very important since it then enabled Jordan to feel more comfortable with the material when it was then presented in class. Additionally, Dr. P. was extremely up to date on the latest technology available for children with hearing loss. She helped to oversee that his cochlear implant and hearing aid were functioning maximally and that there was appropriate amplification in the classroom with a pass around microphone so that Jordan could hear discussions. I might add that Dr. P. was responsible for Jordan having a note taker during high school. Not only did she make sure that this was a component of his Individual Education Plan (IEP), but she also personally interviewed and found the person for the position. Incredible!! Dr. Peterson realized the importance of socialization for a student with a hearing loss, especially for one who is in a mainstream setting and is the only individual in the school with that issue. So what did Dr. P. do? In true Dr. P. fashion, she hosted a party at her home for Jordan’s classmates so she could observe and see firsthand the social dynamics of Jordan with his peers outside of the classroom. This party helped Dr. P. to incorporate certain social dynamics and “pop culture” into her therapy sessions. Dr. P. again went over the top and well beyond the scope of her responsibilities! Dr. Peterson prepared long and hard for Jordan’s annual IEP meetings and she argued fervently until he received all the support services he needed. With Dr. P heading our team, we knew all the tools necessary for Jordan’s success would be provided. Dr. P spent a great deal of time not only preparing for the content of these meetings, but also in the scheduling so that all the many participants were present. Not an easy task!!
My name is Hailey Walker. I am in my junior year at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts and am proud to say I have been on the Dean’s list every semester. Born profoundly deaf, I was the first child in Rhode Island to receive my education fully mainstreamed while wearing a cochlear implant I received in 1995. I was two years old, the youngest age approved at that time. I met Dr. Peterson when I was about to enter first grade. She worked on developing my listening, speech, and spoken language in individual sessions at my school after school and also with my family during summers. She supported my regular education teachers with in-service education at the beginning of every school year and trained my support teachers in elementary, middle school, and high school to understand my listening and learning needs. “Dr. P.” attended mapping sessions when I was young, developed communication notebooks and lesson plan forms to help my other speech pathologist or teachers work on recommended skills, and helped me with the difficult task of listening with a second cochlear implant I acquired when I was 11 years old, about to enter middle school. I have been a very conscientious student and my parents have been very involved and supportive of my choices at school. Dr. P. worked closely with the entire IEP team explaining and writing goals throughout my pre-college years. Throughout middle school and high school, I played in hand-bell choirs, competed and won ribbons in art, science, and history competitions. I also took advanced placement courses, things that my parents had been told might be out of reach when they were counseled about what to expect for a child with profound hearing loss when I was a baby. I now major in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies; I have a lot of experience and so much to share with others who may need support!
HI. I am David. I worked many hours with Dr. Peterson in high school. She helped give me the option to listen and use spoken English after receiving a cochlear implant at 10 years old.. I had attended a School for the Deaf from the time I was 6 years old where I learned to communicate in sign and then I was mainstreamed for high school where I learned to communicate orally. I still sign with my old friends. Now I have a choice and can communicate with my family, my teachers, as well as my good deaf friends whom I grew up with. Dr. Peterson helped me to associate the sounds I was hearing with my processor and improved my understanding by listening. She attended many sessions for mapping, helped me with reading, and communicated frequently with my family. I now attend Gallaudet University and was selected from my class recently to visit China!.