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Meet Ashton Speer of Resilience Therapy Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashton Speer. 

Hi Ashton, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My story is pretty short and sweet, I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I then graduated with my Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Baldwin Wallace University in 2018. My first full-time job was doing home health care, outpatient services, and inpatient services. I really enjoyed traveling to see my patients and having the freedom to make therapy functional. Working with adults was very rewarding because they told me how much they appreciated my services. I then worked part-time for a few skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), this was difficult due to the hardship of COVID-19 on the facilities, as well as the residents. Motivation was very low among staff and residents, and burnout was very high. Feeling that SNFs were not my cup of tea, I transferred to the school setting, where I was hired by a contract company that placed me in different school districts. I quickly realized in all settings, there are pros and cons and you have to do what’s best for you in the end. When the cons began to really outweigh the pros for each setting I moved on, thinking I would eventually find my “dream job”. However, after trying a few out I quickly realized I would have to create my dream job by combining the pros from the previous jobs. I also wanted to provide speech therapy to adults and children in the manner that I saw fit, not based on how much was in a budget or how someone else thought I should do therapy. I am also an advocate for fair compensation for our profession. I have experienced being undervalued myself, as well as having seen it with others. As speech therapists, I believe we are vastly undervalued for our training and education. After only a few years in the field, I see SLP’s are not the only ones. Now, with my private practice, I can help educate related fields, as well as help professionals advocate for themselves and their patients/students. Having worked in a variety of settings, I understand the real problems facing SLP’s and those in related fields. I believe there are real solutions to these problems that will not only benefit the patients/students but also the lives of the professionals that work with them.

Overall, I am very grateful for all of my experiences, both the good and the bad, because they lead me to create my dream career!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Building my private practice has been a learning experience, and the more bumps I’ve had the more I have learned. The main hurdle for me currently, is marketing to build my caseload and make others aware of my business. I know there’s so much I don’t know and haven’t faced yet, but I’m actually looking forward to the challenges! I think it’s good to be challenged and I feel so proud of myself when I overcome them. This road has definitely been made much smoother with my amazing support system. My financé helps me so much regularly and sometimes believes in me more than I do myself. He’s been very supportive since day 1! My mom has helped me with making several book kits and with brainstorming ideas. My family has always shown me that I can do anything I put my mind to and they are always there to lend a helping hand. Honestly, if it wasn’t for all of their support, I wouldn’t have been as confident to start Resilience Therapy Services. It really helps when you have people in your life that understand how passionate you are about something and have faith in you to see it through!

As you know, we’re big fans of Resilience Therapy Services, LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
My private practice, Resilience Therapy Services, LLC, is a therapy company that currently provides just speech therapy to clients between the ages of 2 and at the end of life. I provide these services in a variety of ways, whichever best suits the client’s needs. Independent contracting is offered to schools, other private practices, nursing homes, hospitals, and outpatient clinics. I provide direct speech and language services to clients in the comfort of their homes and offer virtual services via an online platform, such as Zoom or Google Meets. I have experience providing speech and language services to children and adults in a variety of settings. I also provide free resources and tips/tricks for professionals in related fields, parents, and caregivers/loved ones. This is for them to learn more about speech therapy and to share fun and motivating activities that can improve speech and language skills with adults and children. I currently share all of this on my social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook at Resilience Therapy Services, LLC. From my perspective, I think my therapeutic style sets me apart from others. Whether I’m treating children or adults, I always make sure to build a relationship with them first. I really enjoy getting to know my clients and understanding what their goals are and incorporating them with their speech goals. This helps them understand what I can do as a speech therapist to help them, as well as make them feel involved in their own treatment. This also really helps with motivation and quicker progression of reaching their goals. I enjoy thinking outside the box and mixing up sessions to get a break from the typical worksheets or “table top” work. For example, I currently have a client that wants to return to driving safely, so we drove around while he labeled streets on a blank map. The client and family thought it was an interesting and realistic activity to begin the process of getting the client back in the driver’s seat. Doing these types of activities is actually one of the big reasons I created my private practice, to have the freedom to do activities with clients that are motivating, fun, interesting, and show the client how speech therapy is directly improving their skills. I also believe that no one should be denied speech therapy just because “they are too far gone”, a diagnosis is too severe, or to “just wait and see”. If a parent, client, or loved one believes speech therapy could help, then I think it’s definitely worth pursuing. As a speech therapist, I can offer direct services, education, parent coaching, implementation of strategies, and other options to either help the client directly or the family/loved ones. I chose the profession of Speech-Language Pathology simply because I saw how impactful Speech-Language Pathologists are, and I want to make an impact on as many people as I can. It is so rewarding to look at the joy on a parent’s face when they hear their child saying more words or when an adult client takes a bite of their favorite food they haven’t had in months or years due to dysfunctional swallowing. I work hard to help those that need it, and I’m willing to help anyone that is willing to let me. 

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
My absolute favorite author is Rachel Hollis, I actually have a post about one of her books! She has completely changed my perspective on how to achieve goals, and now I definitely feel I can realistically change my life for the better (not to be dramatic). I have read all 3 of her self-help books, and I regularly listen to her podcasts. She talks about business and personal things that are just good to think about. Her books are called “Girl, Wash Your Face,” “Girl, Stop Apologizing,” and “Didn’t See That Coming.” Her podcast is called “The Rachel Hollis Podcast.” She is just so inspiring because she grew up in a poor family, and through hard work and hustle, she created a multi-million-dollar media company. She talks the talk and walks the walk in my opinion. She is also very motivating, I feel pumped up whenever I listen to her podcasts or read her books, and I’ve been a fan of her for about 3 years now. I am a huge bookworm; I usually get through one book in 2-3 weeks. I also post about them on my social media accounts! I love books that I can learn something from, especially something I currently am struggling with. So, as you can probably guess, I’m currently reading books about how to grow a small business. One great thing that came out of COVID-19 for me was the realization of my public library. I literally check out 3 books from the library at a time. I really love that I can pretty much search any book and read it for free. Here’s a small list of the ones I have read that I have found very helpful for business, my health, or personal growth: “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, “Starting and Managing Your Own Physical Therapy Private Practice” by Samuel Eterson, and “But Are You Making Any Money?” by Marley Majcher. Now, I know the one is specially for physical therapists, but the information can apply to speech therapy private practices as well. All of these books have been very, very helpful to me in a number of ways, hopefully, they can help others out there too! 

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