Professional Spotlight: Speech Language Pathologist

Health and Wellness

How humans build a language from scratch is amazing and complex. At birth, an infant can only use its vocal cords to cry. They feel emotions and laugh, coo, and babble. In about a year, they can manage to form a first word. In a few more years, they can add more words, build sentences in grade school, and start to make abstract arguments by the end of high school. Commands from the brain, movement of the diaphragm, vocal cords, tongue, and mouth all work in sync to make all the parts of verbal communication possible. But the more complex …

emily uses speech generating devices to communicate

A Pandemic Success Story

Health and Wellness, Programs and Services, Staff Perspectives, Stories Of People We Support

In honor of Better Speech & Language Month, The Arc of Monroe is highlighting Emily and her Speech-Language Pathologist Mary Klimek, M.S., CCC-SLP.  Emily is a nonverbal communicator who uses sign language, gestures, and a speech generating device (SGD) to communicate her wants and needs and engage socially with others. Prior to the pandemic, I saw Emily once a week for therapy during day-program where we worked on expressive communication skills such as learning core word vocabulary and associating picture-symbols with meanings, specifically starting with core words “go” and “want.” During therapy sessions she had a difficult time attending to …

What is Person-Centered Language?


Think of a time when you typed up an email or posted a comment on Facebook really fast. Before you hit send, you looked it over and thought “wow, that’s now how I wanted that to come across.”  You then found yourself going back and typing it all over again to send your message in the way it was intended. While the intentions in your remarks probably weren’t negative, the words that you used set the wrong tone for what you were trying to say.  Thinking about what you’re saying and how you’re saying are huge components of person-centered language. …