It’s Megan’s Turn
April 13th, 2022
Turnstone Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Megan Russ, has been creating her own community at Turnstone for almost a decade. She originally found herself at Turnstone as a volunteer who came one morning a week during college. She volunteered under the guidance of the Director of Therapy at Turnstone; once she saw the collaborative environment that was fostered at Turnstone; she felt it was the right place for her.
Megan knew from a young age that she wanted to help people. During her undergraduate career, she collaborated with a professor to create an at-home therapeutic program for the professor’s son who had autism. Working with the son one-on-one for 10 hours a week was an experience that changed Megan’s life and exposed her to different ways of communication. Through this project, she discovered the importance of creating environments that allow people to communicate in the ways that work best for them rather than conforming their communication to societal norms. This experience sparked Megan’s interest in becoming an SLP and developed her passion for learning about diverse communication techniques.
As an SLP, Megan knew she wanted to work with a variety of diagnoses and create a much-needed community for her clients - Turnstone proved to be the perfect setting. She is able to follow her clients from birth to 18 years old, becoming a consistent advocate who works with the parents, outside therapists, and other Turnstone therapists to create the exact community needed for each child to excel.
“Turnstone is here to create possibilities for these children and their parents. We don’t stick to one treatment method or plan. We set out to create the most individualized care plan and that’s important because not all kids are motivated by the same things. They are individuals whose needs are different and we realize that,” said Megan.
Megan’s favorite night of the year is Turnstone’s annual inclusive Trunk-or-Treat. At this event, Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) devices are given to each trunk so that no matter how a child communicates, they are still able to say “trick or treat”. This transforms a night that was once daunting to parents with children who are non-verbal or use alternative communication methods, into a night where all people are included and can participate regardless of their abilities. It’s easy to underestimate the impact the community you’re creating is having on someone; however, trunk-or-treat leaves no room for misinterpretation - the community feel is palpable through the creation of this very inclusive environment.
Megan said she is thankful that while she works to create a supportive community for her clients, Turnstone has created a supportive community for HER.
“The community feeling goes beyond just me and my direct coworkers. My co-therapists are always providing me with treatment ideas or new and innovative ways to give our kiddos the best support, our billing department provides me with so much knowledge on insurance coverage, and the social workers are always finding the best programs to help us give the most comprehensive spectrum of care to our clients,” said Megan.
It’s Megan’s Turn to create communities that are inclusive of all communication styles and hold space for people with different abilities to communicate in their own way.