Welcome to the Dramatic SLP LLC! In all my experience and time as both a professional performer and entertainer as well as a Speech Language Pathologist, it is my goal and hope to revolutionize speech therapy to incorporate fun, imaginative, connective experiences in all of my sessions. Please read on to get to know me, the Dramatic SLP, and how my practices are different.
The Road To The Dramatic SLP
Where It All Began
As a young, high school graduate lost in the depths of choosing a career path, I sat in the kitchen of my high school chorus director and good friend, Dr. Kelly Easterling as she tossed idea after idea of career fields she believed I would be a good fit for. Throughout my high school career, I trained very closely with Dr. Easterling in voice and singing, competing at the county and state level for show choir, solos and ensembles. My favorite mastery solo piece was "I Dreamed a Dream" from Le Miserables which earned me a superior title at the state level in 2014. "Have you ever heard of Speech-Language Pathology?" She asked me while at her kitchen table. " You would love it, you get to work with the voice and children. I believe it would be an amazing path for you." Upon doing some research, I quickly jumped into the field and fell in love.
In the Spring of 2016, I began my improv acting career at The Walt Disney World Resort where I worked part time for 5 years to develop several acting techniques as a part time job. In the Summer of 2017, I was hired to work as a summer camp counselor at The Center For Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Kentucky managing a den of 8 campers a week. CCK is a year-round camp dedicated to servicing children of varying abilities and diganoses as well as their families. It is there that I learned the concept of "GOYA" (Give of yourself always) and "FTK" (for the kids). No matter what crazy, fun idea they had, I learned to do it wholeheartedly and excitedly, whether it was a run through the dining hall at 6AM with a crazy outfit on or eating a plateful of food with no hands or utensils, CCK is a place where kids can be themselves with the freedom to enjoy their life with no limitations. In the summer of 2018, I was promoted and returned as a Lodge Leader, managing 32 campers and 16 camp counselors for any given week. I learned the importance of the leadership role, how to inspire both my campers and counselors and how to show up for my team and my kids however they needed. You could most often find me with the theater group putting on weekly productions created by campers. In the Summer of 2018 I was accepted to the Master's program for Speech-Language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University. The same summer I was hired as a teacher's aide at Alpine Academy and Interventions Unlimited in Oviedo, Florida, a school for autistic children. It is here I worked under the supervision of Meaghan Browning, head teacher, and learned the importance of education, how to advocate for our children as well as the importance of social skills. The following year, 2019, I returned as a full time teacher. I managed and operated a classroom of 8 autistic children who ranged in communication abilities from completely verbal to operating on a talking device. Completely unaware of how to teach reading skills to a child using a communication device, I researched the most appropriate ways to do so which produced little to no findings. I stumbled upon one research article which highlighted the importance of using visuals for the development of reading skills. I contacted the original researchers who helped me to develop and deliver an in-service to the CEO and school director of Alpine Academy and Interventions Unlimited, Jing Zhou and Kelly O'Tolle to implement a new way of teaching reading in the school. I later integrated and introduced a new social skills curriculum for my students which targeted the social skills most needed for my students which benefited them greatly. I began my internships in August 2020 under the supervision of Katherine Logan, M.A. CCC-SLP. It is there that I began to work with children who struggled to communicate with others through the use of puppets and puppetry. I found a profound increase in oral language expression with the children who used this technique with me. Katherine asked me "explain why what you're doing is working". I began to research and I could not find the answer to her question because I found the research simply did not exist. So I began to set out to develop treatment methods based on these ideas. In the summer of 2021, I completed my internship with Victoria Hartman, M.S. CCC-SLP where I treated a client with selective mutism. This client highly identified with a princess whom they felt most similar to, a princess without a voice. I hypothesized that if I combined my entertainment abilities of performing with the "sea princess" and speech therapy, this client may greatly benefit from this treatment method. As my final project, I incorporated this treatment method to my practices, with huge success. In the Winter of 2021, I worked closely with Dr. Frederick DiCarlo M.A. CCC-SLPD to incorporate music and arts for aphasic stroke patients through a program called "Movin' and Groovin". This program challenged me to select different songs based on rhythm, lyrical pattern and musicality to target speech and language goals. I passed with flying colors and greatly enjoyed the program. I graduated with my Master's Degree in December of 2021. In February of 2022, I returned to the supervision of Katherine Logan, M.S. CCC-SLP to complete my Clinical Fellowship Year at the Central Florida Dreamplex in Clermont, Florida. During my time at the Central Florida Dreamplex, I developed and launched the very first "Princess Social Skills Group" which targeted social skills through the interaction with several familiar relatable characters. Many children highly benefited from the group and the group itself was extremely successful and sought after. I then created and launched the very first "Drama Club" which targeted social skills through the use of drama, the dramatic arts and improv skill to develop speech and language. In my final creation of the "Drama Club" I launched a second course at Alpine Academy in the Fall of 2022 which proved successful and engaging for many. I hope to continue my endeavors as both a professional entertainer and performer and Speech-Language Pathologist to bring the dreams of many to life through the dramatic arts like so many others have done for me.
I AM: I am a professional dramatic arts performer in the Orlando area, a driven and hard working Speech Language Pathologist, an inspirational and dynamic leader, imaginative story teller and creator, and a person-centered therapist.
MY CLIENTS ARE: I view my clients as talented people who enjoy performing and story telling while challenging daily communication norms. My clients are people who carry a diagnosis that is considered "neurodivergent". My goal is to develop the gifts of neurodivergence through the art of performance while combining evidence-based practice treatment methods from the field of Speech Language Pathology.
I GIVE / I OFFER: I give and offer hope and connection for those who have struggled to find the appropriate treatment for their child.
I BELIEVE: I believe all forms of communication are more valuable than using just one form, expressive language. I believe in the importance of "story catching" and listening to clients to develop ways of communicating over the simple instruction of language. I believe my clients are creative performers, and story tellers who benefit from a therapist who listens and reflects their communication style to develop communication goals for functional communication in the everyday environment.