Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) Alumna Helps Others Find Their Voice
Jan 09, 2022
Marywood University alumna Amanda Donaldson, M.S., CCC-SLP, has a personal perspective of the tribulations people face while having a speech disorder. As a child, Donaldson overcame a speech disorder of her own with the help of a speech therapist. The resonating experience is something she still carries till this day. Now, as a 27-year-old speech-language pathologist and owner of communiCAN Speech Therapy LLC, Donaldson is able to help others like her find their voice.
Certified speech-language pathologists such as Donaldson help everyone from infants to aging adults overcome various communication disorders. Some pathologists work with children during the day at school to improve their articulation, language, fluency, or voice. Others provide acute care in hospitals for patients with neurological conditions. Still others assist very young children recovering from cleft palates, feeding disorders, or autism spectrum diagnoses.
“I’m giving back to others in a field that’s helped me so much,” said Donaldson. “I’ve always wanted to work with children or give service to others. This career gives me an opportunity to do both.”
In 2017, Donaldson completed the five-year master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology while earning a teaching certificate from Marywood University. That year, Donaldson moved to Phoenix, Arizona, with her brother, Graham, to start her career as a speech-language pathologist in the city’s school system. In January 2022, Amanda resigned from the position to focus all of her efforts on communiCAN Speech Therapy LLC. What began in 2019 as a weekend side hustle, to provide convenient, functional, and individualized therapy services customized to the client’s needs, has now become one of the top speech therapy services offered throughout the Phoenix area.
“Most people don’t want to work on the weekends,” said Donaldson. “When I started my business back in 2019, working on the weekend was a huge benefit for me. I worked seven days a week to get my business running, but I can tell you that if you put in the time and hard work, it does it get easier.”
A recent study from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Leader suggests that speech-language therapy provided in a child’s natural environment, at home, is ideal. For children, home is a “safe space” when engaging with new people and activities. The trusted environment leads to a boost in confidence, which positively influences their ability to successfully participate in therapy.
“I’ve also been a big draw for working parents, because I’m bringing my services to them,'' said Donaldson. “Parents don’t have to load up their car and take the kids to the clinic; I’m coming to them instead. There’s a different connection made when the kids are in their own environment.”
communiCAN Speech Therapy LLC offers the highest standard of instruction to Amanda’s clients in a caring, nurturing environment. Her renowned approach centers on optimizing goal achievement while leaving stress out of the equation.
“Marywood played a key role in shaping my career,'' said Donaldson. “Every professor had their own specialty, which is something I took comfort in. When I think about everything they taught me, I feel I can tackle the world. They prepared me for the future.”
Although the bulk of communiCAN Speech Therapy LLC clients are children, Donaldson works with people of all ages and needs, including infants and adults up to the ages of 80 to 90 years old, and treats a broad range conditions from speech delays to brain injuries.