Ashley McDowell

Speech Language Pathology

Ashley McDowell, MA, CCC-SLP/L

Ashley McDowell, MA, CCC-SLP/L

Qualifications

  • M.A, CCC-SLP/L
  • Practicing in pediatrics since 2006
  • Early Intervention Specialist (birth to three)
  • Bachelors in Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Masters in Speech Language Pathology, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Facilitates social skills groups, SPOT Groups, and summer therapy camps
  • Formally trained in specialized therapy techniques including:
    • Oral-Motor/Feeding Therapy
    • Greenspan Floortime Approach
    • Social Thinking
    • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
    • Lindamood-Bell® Visualizing and Verbalizing®, Seeing Stars®
    • Massage therapy for children with special needs
    • Dyspraxia/Apraxia of speech
    • Auditory Processing Disorders
    • Word Finding Disorders
    • Phonological and Articulation disorder
    • Language disorders
    • Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Biography

There was never any question in my mind that I would end up working with children in some capacity. When the field of speech language pathology was suggested to me in high school, it was a perfect fit. I would be able to work with children of all ages and make a difference in people’s lives, something that was very important to me. I attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana for both undergraduate and graduate school. During graduate school, I was on the Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Fellowship, which was a grant to provide specialty training in the area of pediatric TBI. This fellowship created many unique opportunities and externships, including one with the Northern Suburban Special Education District (NSSED). I also had placements in elementary schools and hospitals.

Upon graduation, I came across this wonderful clinic, The Therapy Tree (then known as Birth To Three & Beyond Pediatric Therapies), by absolute chance. I completed my final externship required for my degree and I have been here ever since! One of the most amazing parts about working at this clinic is the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with other disciplines. I have grown so much as a therapist and am able to approach each child looking at the bigger picture. My personal philosophy as a speech language pathologist is to help each child improve their communication and listening skills across all settings. I strive to get to know each child’s unique set of strengths, needs, and individual learning styles so that I can provide the most individualized and effective therapy possible. To do this, I must effectively collaborate with those invested in the child’s progress (parents, siblings, teachers, other therapists, etc) so that as a team, we can help the child meet his or her maximum communication potential.

I feel very blessed to be a part of this clinic and to be able to work with children and their families every day. There is no greater reward than feeling like I have made a difference. I learn something from each child that I work with. Having my own two little boys has also given me a new outlook and approach to every child and family- every experience that motherhood has provided has only made me a better therapist. I look forward to continued education and growth in this field for many years to come!

 

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