Blocks, mats, art projects, trucks, dollhouse pieces and a bean table fill the playroom in Tina Clumpner’s office.
While she might be a kid at heart, the toys aren’t for her. They’re for the kids who need her help.
Clumpner is a speech language pathologist who runs her own business, Speak To Me Communication Therapy, now in its second year.
Her job as a speech language pathologist is to work with children and adults to help them develop speech and communication skills so they can be understood.
Her most common clients are children.
“For the children, it’s all play-based,” she said. “We develop language and work on sounds and various skills through play. That’s how they learn everything, is through play.”
Clumpner has been a speech pathologist for 23 years, and has worked with kids for most of her career. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a master’s degree from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash., she worked in a school district in Montana for seven years.
She and her husband then moved to Dillingham to experience the Alaska adventure. In Dillingham, she flew to seven different rural villages each month to work with rural students. In 2004, Clumpner moved to Kodiak with her husband D.J. Clumpner, an officer with the Kodiak Police Department. She worked for the Kodiak Island Borough School District for eight years until she decided to start her own practice in 2011.
Starting her own business was a way for Clumpner to continue working with kids and expand her clientele to adults, which is what inspired her to get into the field in the first place.
“It was a chance to expand beyond working with children,” she said. “I hadn’t had a chance to do that.”
Clumpner became interested in speech pathology after observing her father’s troubles with communicating due to severe hearing loss.
“He struggled with the ability to communicate and hear, and I thought there has got to be a way to help with that,” she said. “I got into the field and loved it from day one.”
When working with adults, she frequently works with stroke victims to reteach them skills they lost during the stroke.
“I love to be able to see the progress that my clients make, and know that I’ve helped them become a better communicator,” Clumpner said.
Sessions at Speak To Me Communication Therapy typically last an hour and are held one to three times a week, depending on an individual’s needs. Clumpner is accepting new clients and does not have a waiting list.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Clumpner at 907-512-0979 or email her at email@example.com.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.