Kristen's commitment to local families, her knowledge in the field of speech pathology and her mission of changing lives through communication has helped her service 100s of clients, patients and students during her career.
We offer speech-language evaluations and therapy for all ages, from children and adults to geriatric aged.
We have three main focuses
Kids and Adults with ASD
What happens when a child with autism spectrum disorder becomes an adult? When they no longer have school-based services readily available and access to office-based therapy changes? While having the opportunity to work with high school-aged students with autism preparing to graduate, I found myself asking these questions over and over. I saw a large, concerning gap for this age group, who, just because they are no longer “pediatric”, continue to need speech, language, and communication interventions. How can a speech-language pathologist support their adult goals such as maintaining relationships, building a successful career, communicating effectively, and living as independently as possible? The answer became clear: by continuing to provide community-based services to them.
There is something magical about being present the first moment a student produces a sound correctly. Or the first time a whole sentence is read and comprehended. And let’s not forget the moment when a student realizes they have the power to express their thoughts because they have learned how to use vocabulary. These few examples helped drive my passion and excitement to work with school-aged children in my local school district. The impact a school-based speech therapist has is exponential as we support a student’s ability to access their grade-level curriculum through speech, language, and communication skills. You cannot have literacy without those 3 skills.
While working on my post-baccalaureate studies, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I continue to recall the cognitive and language changes I observed as her disease progressed. This experience lit a spark in me to focus part of my education and career working with the adult and geriatric population. I found a big love for creating therapy experiences for my patients that were salient to them by including their hobbies, career, family, and more. Each session was like a page from their own biography that helped elicit expressive language, improve recall, and generate progress. Making that connection with my adult and geriatric patients with strokes, neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injuries, dementia and more is an important focus in our therapy. It creates a clinical experience for my patients that left a longer impact and success.
Our mission is to ensure our community is connected and unified by providing speech-language therapy services and making our services accessible to all. We will be present in our community including homes, schools, places of work, and our office. This will guarantee we can reach each child or adult and their families in need of speech-language support.
Our mission does not stop with evaluations and treatment; it also includes awareness and education on speech-language conditions and their related disorders. We feel passionately about how communication allows children and adults to access their world. Communication gives us access to voicing our thoughts and showing we matter. It gives us access to literacy and education. It gives us purpose. Our model of get-therapy give-therapy will allow us to provide services to families who may not otherwise be able to receive the speech-language therapy they need to access their world. Unify Speech will ensure each child and adult knows they matter.
You can take the girl out of Detroit, but you can't take Detroit out of the girl. Kristen was born a Michigander and now calls Gainesville her home with her two sons and one furry child. She came to Florida in 2008 to study Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Florida where her passion for community and her field blossomed. She has worked locally for Alachua County Schools where she made an impact with school-age children. She has also provided therapy in the inpatient rehab and skilled nursing setting where her passion for adult cognitive, language, and swallowing therapy grew. Her vision to provide a community-based speech pathology practice that has a mission of making services, education, communication and literacy accessible to all is what led her to open up Unify Speech.