Shlomit Dank

Co-Founder, Development & Social-Communication Specialist, MA

Shlomit Dank

I knew I wanted to work with children even before starting University. While I did dabble with other professions at first, I ended up in Speech Pathology class and fell in love with it. I began my studies in 1998, at Tel Aviv University in Israel, specializing in audiology, speech, language and communications disorders. In that period, I gained a wide variety of knowledge and skills in language delays, articulation disorders, swallowing disorders, AAC (alternative and augmentative communication), and motor delays.

That’s how I found my place.

For the next 7 years I was part of the staff at Assaf HaRofeh hospital in Israel. I enjoyed working as an SLP in the classroom (for kids with sever motor delays) and conducting 1:1 sessions as well as working at the Audiology unit (running hearing tests, TEOAE, ABR, tympanometry tests). During this time , I also joined the Child Development unit and worked with children as young as 3 months. I evaluated and treated kids in groups and individually, helped their parents find the help they needed from the system, worked as part of a multidisciplinary team (neurologists, social workers, special ed teachers, OT and PT). I acquired a lot of experience, both medical and emotional, which is still one of the cornerstones in my clinical training.

While being part of the hospital staff, I started working at a preschool for children with Autism, and helped them with language and communication delays. I have tremendously enjoyed working there, probably because I was able to connect with most of the sensory difficulties (you should see me try and touch sand). During those years I also ran small groups with an OT and an art therapist to enhance communication and social cognition abilities. I was also trained as an ABA and DIR therapist, to be able to consolidate the different therapies our kids were having.

In 2006 I moved to San Jose, California, and started working at Abilities United (formerly CAR) in Palo Alto, first as a volunteer and then as a member of staff. I worked as part of the developmental specialists team in the early intervention program (kids up to the age of 3) and then as a lead teacher in an inclusive class, with kids of ages 2 to 5 years with developmental delays. Those years gave me a much needed experience at parent coaching.
In mid 2014 I joined the Center For Developing Minds, where I was a
developmental and communication specialist, working in social groups, dyads and 1 on 1 with children, their families and schools.