Hi, I’m Shelah—a speech/language pathologist, author, wife, nature lover, health foodie, and curious investigator of life. Since the time I was old enough to remember, I have been intrigued by the process of discovery. I have identified with the spirit of a detective, following clues that lead to hidden insights, grand realizations, or a final unfolding.
In fact, when I was a child the only books that spoke to or inspired me were those about mysteries and adventure—Sherlock Holmes being my favorite at the time. The games I loved to play with my siblings, and then later with the neighborhood kids I frequently babysat, were always some variation of a treasure hunt. I loved writing the clues, hiding them, and watching as they excitedly ran around the yard knowing that each clue brought them closer to the prize I had hidden.
These weren’t just games of my childhood. The first year my husband and I were together I celebrated his birthday by hiding clues all around his house, each one leading to a small birthday present, and the final one leading him to a restaurant where I was waiting. I knew he really understood me when his marriage proposal was preceded by a series of riddles and slips of paper that led me to our Saturday afternoon spot by a lake.
My formal education is in Communication Sciences & Disorders, a field in which I have obtained a M.S. degree from Penn State University. I work full-time with nonverbal pre-school children with multiple disabilities and also elementary students with speech/language impairments, syndromes, intellectual disabilities, health impairments, and/or autistic characteristics.
If I had wanted a career where I felt competent all the time or like I had mastered something, this would not have been a good choice for me. Thankfully, I bring to the task my love of the unfolding—the willingness, desire, and curiosity to participate in facilitating baby steps in a disabled child’s self-discovery. I have been humbled, broadened, stretched, and have felt my limitations. Through it I have learned that reaching beyond these limitations— to be truly present in the process— is where the real journey begins. It’s exhilarating. Because of this, I know it’s a path where I belong.
I hope to connect with other fellow detectives in this world—those who have a mind and heart that is inherently curious— and those who are strangely compelled to follow clues in search of a big reward.