Maria Del Duca, M.S. CCC-SLP
Maria graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master’s Degree of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). In the pas, Maria has authored a monthly column about child development, titled Kid Confidential, on ASHA’s blog, ASHAsphere. As the wife of an active duty military solider, Maria had the unique opportunity to practice in a number of settings including hospital, school and private practice in New Jersey, Maryland, Kansas, Arizona and Virginia.
Over the last decade, Maria has been dedicated to serving the pediatric population. She has a passion for working with the early childhood population, children with autism spectrum disorders, childhood apraxia of speech and rare genetic syndromes.
Maria spent several years working in the public school system, two of which focused on treating school-age children, followed by five years servicing the needs of severely delayed special needs children in an early childhood special education program. In 2007 she received a nomination for Teacher of the Year in the state of Maryland. As an SLP, Maria played an integral part assisting in the successful implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI) services at a time when RtI was new and not yet federally mandated. She has been certified numerous times in Crisis Prevention Intervention and was a participating member of the crisis prevention team at the school-age level. Maria was also a member of the functional behavioral assessment multidisciplinary team, whose primary goal was to assess, design and implement effective individualized functional positive behavior plans for students with challenging behaviors.
Maria has completed the Love and Logic course for school professionals and received a certificate of completion for the Greenspan Floortime Approach’s professional course. In addition, Maria has spent several years working with occupational therapists experienced in sensory processing deficits. Through this experience, she has learned how to identify sensory needs in various populations and work cooperatively with OTs to create sensory diets or determine simple accommodations that can be used to assist her clients in achieving a self-regulated state of awareness necessary for learning to occur.
Maria is dedicated to using her experiences to educate and train parents and other professionals in effective communication techniques. Therefore, she will be presenting at the 2016 Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Annual Conference on two topics dear to her heart: working with severely impaired children on the Autism Spectrum and dealing with difficult behaviors in children with ASD.