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North County Speech & Language Center Shift Gears Into Different Form Of Therapy

Vocal TRACK Speech & Language Center uses slot car racing with clients.
Slot Car Therapy happening at Vocal TRACK Speech & Language Center.
Posted at 10:25 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 02:22:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – There are kids, young adults and their parents at the ready at the Vocal TRACK Speech & Language Therapy Center in North County.
They’re all ready for different form of speech and language therapy.
“We do speech and language therapy direct; one-on-one. But we also have a 68 square foot slot car racing track and it’s call VT Raceway,” Christian Grasso, President of Vocal TRACK Speech & Language Therapy Center, said.
“Oh! My son is like, ‘Oh I want to play!’ You know,” Susan Carter, who brought her son into Vocal TRACK, said.
Grasso runs the center with his wife Noemi and with some help from his father, Anthony.
They help people of all ages who have any kind of speech or language disability or social communication issues.
“Such as autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury,” Grasso said.
Grasso told ABC 10News they might be one of the only places in the world that’s using these slot cars as an alternative form of therapy.
“We want to incorporate things like speech, obviously, communication, language, turn taking, sequencing, the social skill aspect, problem solving,” Grasso said.
For Carter, whose son is epileptic, this racing means more for him than coming in first place.
“When I see Chris and Noemi, this is their passion, and they exude that with the kids. It makes learning natural,” Carter said.
“So, the kids or young adults don’t realize that they’re learning social skills.”
Lap by lap, these racers are learning big skills from a small track.
“The goal isn’t for them to go out and buy a slot car racing track and all that. No. It’s see what we do, what works with your child, see what support levels we can provide,” Grasso said.
“And then you can take that out of here and carry it over.”
It means the world for parents and Grasso watching these drivers get behind the controller and knowing what lies for them beyond the track.
“It brings you joy and happiness. And it gives you hope,” Carter said.
“We’ve cried a lot of times seeing these kids just blossom,” Grasso said.
“It is an incredibly moving experience. No words can describe it.”
Grasso told ABC 10News that the center does these slot car therapy session every Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m.
If you or your family are interested in scheduling an appointment, give the center at call at 858-521-8446 or head to their website.