Author: Melissa

  • You Don’t Need a Diagnosis to Need Help

    You Don’t Need a Diagnosis to Need Help

    On this family vacation, we went off the beaten path, through icy waters and deep into breathtaking beauty. Photo credit: Brian Deutsch “I’ve worked with people with a variety of communication and cognitive disorders secondary to a variety of diagnoses, including head and neck cancers, head trauma, stroke, degenerative neurological disease, and brain tumors.” This […]

  • ASHA 2017 Takeaways and My Giveaway and a Mandate to Unplug

    ASHA 2017 Takeaways and My Giveaway and a Mandate to Unplug

      This is ASHA’s vision: “Making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.” Communication is a human right. We connect with one another, discover who we are, and create the world we want to live in through our words, our deep listening to one another, and our nonverbal presence to each other. […]

  • Free Resources: Transitions and Burnout

    Free Resources: Transitions and Burnout

    Going through a transition is challenging and anxiety-provoking. No getting around it. Burnout saps us. Sigh. Whatever… Ouch. If we participate in our own lives, recognizing our urge to grow in new ways, we’ll encounter each at one time or another. And that’s a good thing. Both transitions and burnout call on us to find our […]

  • Memorial Day

    Memorial Day

      It is Memorial Day once again here in the USA. On this day, I love the connection with family and friends, the warm weather, the luxury of a day off to relax. And, like you, I remember. I am so deeply grateful to our service members and their families. We’ve all seen or visited […]

  • Writing that Inspired Me, End of Winter

    Writing that Inspired Me, End of Winter

    I’m thinking of words that fueled me over the winter on this creative journey called Life. In no particular order: The Sports Page: Yes, the real sports page in your newspaper. This is some of my favorite writing in our paper. I love the creativity the writers bring. The imagery, the voice, and the sheer […]

  • Buds


    First, I look at the colors ­– cream fringed with pink; deep scarlet; and then, gold, peach and salmon, like a sunset. I lean forward to breathe in the fragrance of each one. If I smell only blank air from a flower, I move on to sniff the next one. The bouquet I decide on […]

  • Walls


      Between sessions at a conference in Canada last week, a fellow attendee told me that if Donald Trump is elected president of the USA they plan to build a wall. Otherwise, I felt quite welcome on my recent trip north of the border. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, was the perfect place to go for my first […]

  • Is it Time to Rest Yet?

    Is it Time to Rest Yet?

    Maybe it’s because it was January, the month of new starts, or maybe it was a rebound effect from the excesses of the holidays. But I noticed a trend. For a full week, nearly all of my clients cited an urgent need to organize and declutter their personal space. I don’t underestimate the impact of […]

  • The Dragon Slayer in You

    The Dragon Slayer in You

    “Transition is the natural process of disorientation and reorientation that marks the turning points in the path of growth…transitions are key times in the natural process of self-renewal.” William Bridges   When I returned to work as a speech-language pathologist after 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, I was dismayed by the fear and hesitation […]

  • Breaking and Making Habits – My Summer Book Review

    Breaking and Making Habits – My Summer Book Review

    When I was a newly minted speech pathologist working at UVA Health Sciences Center, my friend, John Caine, chastised me for my habit of reading several books at once. “Oh, Melissa,” he shook his head. “You should always read just one book at a time.” I decided to try it, and I’ve been a one-book-at-a-time […]