Mel graduated with her Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology in 2006 from Minot State University. Prior to her journey through graduate school, Mel earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, and began working as a behavioural aide in a specialized preschool for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her 15 years as a speech-language pathologist she has extensive experience working with the pediatric population, within school, special education classrooms, clinic and hospital settings, specialized and community preschools, daycares and family homes. Through the influence of talented peers, the amazing families she has had the opportunity to work with, and various training and educational opportunities, she has gained a wealth of knowledge in assessing and treating a variety of communication disorders. Mel has experience working with children with CP (cerebral palsy), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), anxiety, selective mutism, ASD (autism spectrum disorders), FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder), down’s syndrome, and rare disorders (e.g., agenisus of the corpus callosum, smith magenis syndrome). She has received training in Seattle, BC and Alberta in the assessment and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and has participated in the development of a rural clinic in Alberta. Mel also received specific training in Lively Letters and Theraplay, as well as, the Brain Story Certificate. She has additional education from courses and her practice in the areas of apraxia of speech, attachment, Circle of Security, child-led play, ACE’s (adverse childhood experiences), ELL (English Language Learners), AAC (augmentative and alternative communication), social skills curriculums, trauma informed care, fluency, oral-motor function, feeding, and executive functioning.
Mel is also a mother to two young, active, passionate and loving boys. Through her own journey as a mother, she has come to understand even more the importance of considering the complexity and capacity of the family when implementing treatment strategies and goals. Therefore, Mel strives to have a treatment style that is play-based, functional, and collaborative; she believes that when children are motivated and having fun, they are at their best learning potential.