Meet Melanie Canada
Meet Melanie Canada | MS, CCC-SLP - OWNER + Speech-Language Pathologist
Professionally, It’s actually hard for me to pinpoint my “specialty” (I have been working for over 20 years in speech so I have seen quite a few cases). I truly enjoy working with a wide variety of needs and conditions. I like to tap into the big picture and address the “whole child”, tying together sensory input, oral motor skills, and functional language.
In terms of formal training, I graduated from University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Science in Hearing and Speech Sciences, followed by a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, where I gained extensive training in working with people with hearing loss. There I also gained experience working with cochlear implants, aural rehabilitation, and teaching lip reading skills to name a few. I continue to use sign language regularly in many of my sessions as a supplement to spoken language.
I have most recently taken off with the Oral Placement Therapy approach to remediating motor-based speech disorders when traditional therapy approaches have not been successful. I have done extensive training with TalkTools to gain invaluable skills in this area, and have seen wonderful success with my clients. Tying in with this is using motor and sensory components to establish feeding programs for children, many times children who are on the Autism Spectrum. Who knew teaching kids to “play with their food” could be so much fun! I have been to multiple trainings and workshops in this area and see this as an increasing need in our community.
I also have extensive training and experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum. I particularly enjoy working with other professionals such as occupational therapist, physical therapists, behavioral therapists, teachers, and parents to come up with goals and strategies together. Seeing the progress when working with children who in the beginning of services often do not have joint attention and play skills then be able to engage in structured play activities and have a conversation is priceless and rewarding.
Lastly, anything with augmentative communication devices I find fascinating….evaluating, programming, training, and personalizing. Providing people with a tool to have their “voice” is an experience that is priceless. I have a great team to work with to help diagnose and prescribe the right device for both adults and children. I love working with more simple low-tech methods also, such as pictures, symbols, and visuals to supplement communication for small children who may be non- or minimally verbal. These visual aids are also valuable to help structure therapy sessions for children who need some help making transitions and to keep them engaged in activities that help them meet their goals.
A Few Fun Facts:
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Dessert: chocolate and caramel
Favorite food: pretty much anything except peas
Pets: 2 dogs, Rosco and Teddy, and 2 cats, Pepper and Dave
Favorite Hobbies: Cooking, hiking, and gardening
Favorite Disney character: Sully
Favorite Zoo Animal: pandas
Other fun fact about me!!: I raise chickens