Clinical Director

First Expressions SLP Services, Inc. was started by Jason R. Bergancia, who was born and raised in Queens, NY. He graduated with his B.S. in Education with a concentration in Speech-Hearing Disabilities from SUNY College at Fredonia in 2004, and then completed his M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from San Jose State University (SJSU) in 2006. He has been a certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) for 18 years and holds state regulatory licensure in both California and New York. He also holds national Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC) from their governing body, the American Speech-Hearing Language Association  (ASHA). 

In speaking of how long Jason has been practicing, he says, “It has been absolutely amazing how fast time has flown by, but I believe that illustrates how much I enjoy what I’ve been doing. It provides me with a great sense of purpose.” After graduating from SJSU, he started his career in sunny San Diego but then found his clinical journey taking him across multiple states in the USA like New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Hawai’i. In addition to this, he extended his clinical services and worked/volunteered internationally in New Zealand, Cambodia and Guatemala for Cleft Lip/Palate missions. His next venture took him to the Philippines, where he had the honor of serving as a speech-language pathologist Peace Corps Response Volunteer.  Upon completing his work abroad, Jason knew in his heart that he wanted to return to Southern California and pursue his dream of creating his own agency that could make speech-language therapy services accessible to all ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identity and income levels.

Jason has focused a great deal of his career challenging himself to step out of his comfort zone, where he has been blessed to cross paths with passionate colleagues and patients who have instilled in him many life-learning and humbling stories that have crafted him into the practitioner and person who he is today. He has worked throughout the continuum of healthcare and education sectors serving children and adults from impoverished to well-resourced communities. This was both a professional and personal endeavor of his so that he could gain a wider perspective of the people he would serve and the communities that they would contribute to. It provided him with invaluable knowledge and clinical insights as to how he would direct his treatment plans and guide his patients towards their respective goals.

Jason believes that our ability to speak effectively, listen intently, read words, write our thoughts and swallow foods safely are several of THE most complex processes that we do as human beings. “The social implications of not being able to participate in a conversation as we ‘break bread’ by sharing our lives with our family, friends, and significant others can have a negative impact on our quality of life,” Jason says. “That is why it’s First Expressions’ mission to ensure all people have equal access to the services needed to minimize the academic, social, and vocational stigmas that communication and swallowing disorders can have on their social participation in society.” 

Jason promises the following: “Here at First Expressions, we are committed to providing quality evidence-based therapy services to you or your loved one. It is our honor to help people succeed in attaining their optimal potential so that they can be the best version of themselves. Our approaches will always be led with compassion and be holistic in nature while ensuring our goals are client, family, and community-centered. We understand that our ability to communicate effectively and proficiently plays an integral role in dictating how we contribute to our greater community.”

Many techniques are incorporated into Jason’s treatment plan, and he individualizes them to the unique needs of his clients. He is certified and trained in the following:

  •    Feed the Peds Feeding Specialist – Certified 
  •     Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist – In process
  •    USC Sensory Integration Certificate Course – In process    
  •     McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program  – Certified
  •     Simon Says Myofunctional Therapy – Certified
  • Modified Barium Swallow Impairment  (MBSImP) -Certified
  • IAOM Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy  – Trained
  • Systematic Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding  – Certified
  • PROMPT for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, Certified – Trained level 1
  • Oral Placement Therapy  – Trained level 1
  • Beckman Oral Motor Protocol  – Trained
  • Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT)  – Certified
  • DIR Floortime  – Trained Level 1
  • Lindamood Bell Visualizing & Verbalizing  – Certified
  • Hanen More than Words  – Certified
  • Compton Pronouncing English as Second Language  – Certified
  • Myofascial Release Techniques for Dysphagia – Trained
  • Neonatal Oral Motor Scales  (NOMAS) -Trained
  • Neuro-muscular Electrical Stimulation (Vital-Stim) – Certified
  • Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) – Trained

As a committed life-long learner, Jason has always strived to stay at the forefront of the current evidence-based practices in speech-language pathology and encourages the First Expressions team to do the same. He has been a recognized receiver of the Award of Continuing Education  (ACE) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which is awarded to clinicians who have acquired over 70 hours of continuing education units during a three-year period cycle. Proudly, Jason has received his ninth ACE award since 2007.

In his spare time, Jason enjoys socializing with friends, playing tennis, discovering new restaurants and planning his next travel adventure. He can also be found out on a hiking trail or training for his next marathon!