Hours of Service:
-Melissa Donovan MS, CCC-SLP, ATP-
Speech Language Pathologist
Augmentative Communication Specialist
Assistive Technology Practitioner
With ten years of practicing experience, Melissa Donovan is known for her professional expertise in the field of Speech Language Pathology. She provides the best AAC interventions and assessments possible for her clients with the utilization of evidence-based best practices. She remains on the cusp of cutting edge advancements in technology and practitioner advancements by attending the most current continuing education in the area of AAC.
Melissa has dedicated her career to helping clients achieve growth and reach key milestones in their communicative abilities. She has worked in the homes of clients as an early interventionist, and she has provided therapy for clients at a private practice. Since 2010, Melissa has served clients in a private, specialized school setting. These clients have ranged from 3 to 21 years in age and have had a variety of diagnoses including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, CHARGE Syndrome, Angelman’s Syndrome and Cortical Visual Impairment.
Melissa is an expert in implementing high and low tech AAC intervention, implementing core vocabulary systems within classroom settings, and providing assistance for on-going assessments which allow for individuals' communication needs to be best tracked and ultimately met. Melissa has vast training and experience with a variety of communication devices such as TobiiDynaVox, Saltillo, and Prentke Romich Company communication devices. She is also well versed in iPad communication applications such as TouchChat and Proloquo2go. Her expertise also includes working with children who use a variety of access methods: by pointing, with a switch and using eye gaze.
When she’s not directly serving clients, Melissa can be found preparing the next generation of Speech Language Pathologists on the campus of Kean University where she is an acting adjunct professor for the graduate level Augmentative and Alternative Communication class.
Melissa founded Garden State AAC Specialists to assist families and individuals with complex communication needs. Throughout the years, she has seen the difficulties faced by those who use AAC and the limited training opportunities available to families. Melissa is determined to change this, and provide families and schools with the training that is essential to successfully implement life-changing AAC systems across an individual’s day. She has established a comprehensive AAC assessment procedure to ensure that an individual's communication needs and abilities are identified to provide the best intervention possible.
Melissa received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Seton Hall University. She gained her Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall University two years later. Melissa earned a Certificate in Assistive Technology from Stockton College in 2013. She also became an Assistive Technology Practitioner through RESNA in the spring of 2016. Melissa earned a micro-credential from Perkins School for the Blind in the area of Cortical Vision Impairment in 2017. She is certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed to practice in the state of New Jersey. Melissa also maintains certification by the New Jersey Department of Education as a Speech-Language Specialist.
Melissa is married to her college sweetheart and she is the proud mom of two little ones, and one rescue dog.
Why consider Garden State AAC Specialists? We believe every child, teenager, and adult who are unable to communicate has the basic human right to do so. All individuals communicate, and we consider ourselves communication detectives. We look at how the individual is currently communicating and work from there to develop a more conventional communication approach. We are inspired to work with children and adults who are non-verbal, we have seen their humor, strength, and determination, this pushes us to help them achieve success. Just because one doesn’t have a physical voice doesn’t mean they have nothing to say. We believe in finding the appropriate tools and modalities to assist in communication and language development. Communication development is dynamic and ongoing and needs change throughout one’s life.