Speech Therapy

    Melinda Bumgardner Schatz, MA, CCC-SLP

    I am a North Carolina licensed and ASHA certified speech-language pathologist.  

    When I decided to become a speech therapist, I knew right away that I wanted to work with children. In graduate school, I was part of a special program of study that focused on the birth to five population. In addition to my coursework in speech pathology, I completed additional coursework in child and family development and had a specialized internship that allowed me to provide early intervention services through the Western Carolina Program in Morganton, NC. It was here that I also had my first experience with augmentative communication and adaptive technology, just one area of the profession that I have enjoyed working in over the years.  

    I have worked with children and their families for 16 years in a variety of settings, which include clinic based private practice, a hospital based outpatient clinic, NICU, daycares, developmental facilities and home.  I enjoy working with a diverse caseload. In more recent times, I have specialized in working with children with motor speech difficulties, such as childhood apraxia of speech. With apraxia, the child has difficulty planning and sequencing the motor movements necessary for speech sound production. They have to work very hard to acquire each sound and word, and I love being a part of that process! Locally, I have been involved in the Charlotte Walk for Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

    Another area that I have focused on in my career is early language development. Parents are a vital part of the therapy process, especially for very young children. I enjoy working with parents and other caregivers to teach them and give them tools they can use to help their child communicate. It is very empowering for families when they can incorporate different strategies into their everyday lives to help their child grow and learn!

    I have always enjoyed augmentative communication. It is a very exciting time for speech therapists with all of the technology that is now available. In addition to more traditional speech generating devices, there are many different communication applications that are available for tablets. I think that this has made augmentative communication more accessible for families.  I am happy to assist families in selecting the most appropriate device or program for their child.