Private Speech Therapy in Alaska

I’ve been working in a Developmental and Behavioral Clinic since August 2017 here in Wasilla. It’s been a whirlwind start full of 50 “new” things to learn. The thing about being a Speech-Language Pathologist is that you never know all you’re going to know. It’s a never ending cycle of  self-talk like this: “Oh, I didn’t know that. Now I know….but wait…how do I do this thing?…did I do that “thing” right? Probably not. Shh. Don’t tell.”

This year marks 5 years since graduating from SLP grad school and working my way into finally identifying as a ‘kind of experienced’ SLP. The CCC part of the credentials after my name really stands for “Complete Constant Chaos” or “Certified Chaos Controller” or “Chronic Clutter Creator”. Just brainstorming there, but you get my drift. I’m rarely as internally confident as I hope to appear. Given all of that, stepping out of the school district pool of SLPs was intimidating. I am a lone therapist in a small clinic full of people with more degrees than me – Pediatricians, Neuropsychologists, Counselors, Nurse Practitioners. Here it is now, 7 months later, and I have never in my career felt more confident than now, with a hint of undulating uncertainty when something new comes my way. Honestly, I hope that never changes. Because if you never feel uncertain or cautious, how the hell will you know when to grow? That feeling is what keeps me seeking out training, continuing education, and taking risks in therapy. Be cautious, but be bold as hell about it.

This new roll as a private practice SLP comes with a respect that you don’t automatically get as a school-based SLP, from both parents and professionals alike. It’s not a bad thing. I think I have some bias of my own about school nurses vs. nurses in hospitals or clinics. Why do I have that? It’s nonsense. Now being in a new roll and seeing how much parents and professionals truly value my ideas and contributions, it’s empowering. Yet I still miss being part of a school environment, greeting 500 kids, cleaning up messes from lunch, and playing on playgrounds and calling it therapy. My schedule is still busy and I’m always behind on paperwork. Changing settings didn’t really change my pro-level procrastination abilities. (ha!)

I love my new job. I love my patients. I like the daily challenges I face.

And here’s a quick peek at my weekly schedule. I get every Friday off, so yay for 3 day weekends!

ASHA Fitness 8 in 5

Over the past year, several SLPs and AUDs have come together to create a support system for getting healthy and staying active through various editions of what we’ve called #ASHAFit challenges. The challenges have ranged in lengths and participant number, but all have looked at who can loose the highest body fat percentage in a given time. This time around, we are doing something a little differently for #ASHAFit85. Check it out…

The challenge:

Lose 8% of your body fat in 5 months

Start Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014

End Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015

Join the event on Facebook for more updates as the challenge continues! Click here

Continue reading “ASHA Fitness 8 in 5”


Ladies and Gentleman, I have my Certificate of Clinical Competency! Just call me M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Only those of us who have been through the process can appreciate what those letters mean. If you’re still waiting or if you’re celebrating, I hope you celebrate in style. Me…how did I celebrate? I took a bunch of pics of myself, those beautiful letters, and the epic scenery Alaska has to enjoy. So here it goes, I’m sharing with you all.  Is anyone else waiting or finally getting your CCCs? Are you as excited as I am?

Waiting on those CCCs

I mailed off my ASHA CCC-SLP application at the end of May 2014. It’s now mid-July.

ASHA has a good excuse though. The new 2015 standards start this Fall and all ‘old standard’ applications must be in before September (I think, some actual date that I’m too lazy to look up). I get it, ASHA. I do. But these feelings of anxiety bring me back to 2011 when I applied for grad school and spent every day checking my inbox, mailbox, and any box that came near me.

It’s not hampered my summer vacation by any means. Oh no. Nothing can take the Alaska bliss away from me. My distinct blog post absence has to be a sign to you, oh wonderful readers, that I’m enjoying every minute of these 18+ hour days.

But I’m still checking my bank account for the day ASHA cashes that $280 check they are keeping hostage. I’ll call in a negotiator if need be. I’ll let you guys know how the situation plays out. Until then, enjoy these Alaska summer time pics. #stillwaiting






A poem for Clinical Fellows

Where did I leave it?

My confidence, my wit.

Confrontation seems to stifle my flame.

There’s a part of me that now feels lame.

How can I know what I know, yet need to justify my stance.

Nothing I can say will help me in this professional dance.

I’m new and I’m young, yet I have things to say.

How long is long enough to have a heyday?

Just when I gain ground,

I get stuck on the mound.

I know, ref –

I’m just a CF.

I mixed up my "ref" and "ump" - but it didn't rhyme :)

SLP_Echo now on Facebook

All right. So I added my Blog as a page on Facebook. It felt like I was selling out. I don’t know why. I’m way late to the game. I know. When I started my blog, I didn’t want anyone to know it was me writing. I was just starting SLP grad school in 2011;I was worried my professors would think I was ranting about them.

In 2014, I love that people can comment, email, tweet, and Google + me. Facebook just felt so….personal. But I’m ready to get personal. My readers are on Facebook as much as I am – so now my posts will be shared there as well. Along with other day-to-day happenings of my life and work in Alaska.

If you read my blog, like my posts, and have ever connected with me elsewhere, feel free to “Like” my page on Facebook. Here.

If it helps readers find my blog and they can find something I say helpful – success. I’m all about connecting – so – Let’s Connect!

facebook echo

“Welcome to Holland” and Parent Advocates

“Us versus them”

That’s often the mentality going into a difficult IEP meetings that involves lawyers, multiple service providers, and/or parent advocates. The other day, I caught myself thinking I would walk into a meeting, tell parents my testing results, and inform them what their child is or is not qualified for. I went to school and I’m the professional.

Please (for the few readers of mine), forgive me for my thoughtlessness. How arrogant I was becoming that day. O_0

I climbed down off my high horse and tried to put myself in the parents’ shoes. I was reminded of a short essay called “Welcome to Holland” written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. Read it. It’s a great metaphor-rich story from a parent perspective on having a child with disabilities. The author expresses that it’s like planning an exciting vacation to Italy, but instead you land and must stay in Holland.

“So [now] you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.”


Continue reading ““Welcome to Holland” and Parent Advocates”