About Speech-Language Pathology
Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency.
As a speech-language pathologist, I work with students who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; students with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; students with problems understanding and producing language; and students with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving disorders. I also work with students who have swallowing difficulties.
Speech, language, and swallowing difficulties can result from a variety of causes including stroke, brain injury, developmental delays or disorders, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, voice pathology, cognitive deficits, hearing loss, or emotional problems. Problems can be congenital (present at birth), developmental, or acquired. Speech-language pathologists use special instruments and assessment methods, including standardized tests, to analyze and diagnose the nature and extent of impairments.
Speech-language pathologists, along with a child's team members (parents, teacher, school representative), develop an individualized education plan (IEP), tailored to each student's needs. For individuals with little or no speech capability, speech-language pathologists may select augmentative or alternative communication methods, including automated devices and sign language, and teach their use. We teach students how to make sounds, improve their voices, or increase their oral or written language skills to communicate more effectively. We also teach individuals how to strengthen muscles or use compensatory strategies to swallow without choking or inhaling food or liquid. Speech-language pathologists help students develop, or recover, reliable communication and swallowing skills so students can fulfill their educational and social roles.
Speech-language pathologists keep records on the initial evaluation, progress, and discharge of students. This helps pinpoint problems and track student progress.
I grew up in Hopkinsville, KY and moved to Bowling Green in 1996 to attend Western Kentucky University. I graduated from WKU in 2002 with a master's degree in Communication Disorders. I worked in a hospital setting for four years following graduation. I helped people of all ages during that time. I soon found I had a passion for working with children and decided to begin a new career in the schools. I was employed by Warren County Public Schools in 2006. I love working with my students each day and seeing them progress and grow through the years!
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, crafting, and being in the sunshine. I love God and am thankful for the many blessings he has given me! I am married and have three beautiful boys ages 3, 6, and 9. My boys have helped make my life complete and each day is filled with fun, NOISE, adventure, messes, and SPORTS!