Get to Know Me

by | Jun 22, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hi! My name is Arielle Gates and I am a pediatric speech-language pathologist. I want to tell you a little bit more about my background, experience, and approach to therapy.
Growing up, I was a very anxious and shy child. I mean really shy. Around friends and family, I was talkative and happy, but around new people or in unfamiliar social settings, I would hardly speak. I would never order my own food at a restaurant. Fast forward to today and I spend my days constantly talking! I know what it is like to feel uncomfortable expressing yourself and I decided to become a SLP to help other children overcome their communication difficulties.
I went to the University of Maryland for both undergraduate and graduate school. I received my BA in Hearing and Speech Sciences and Psychology in 2012 and my MA in Speech-Language Pathology in 2014. Since then, I have been working primarily as a classroom-based SLP in preschool and pre-k. This setting was very unique. Rather than providing individual therapy throughout the day, I helped children with hearing loss integrate into a classroom with their typically-hearing peers. All of the children viewed me as one of their teachers (alongside a master’s level educator). I loved being a preschool teacher. There was never a dull moment and my days were filled with learning through play. After school, I provided individual therapy to children with a variety of diagnoses including hearing loss, speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language disorders, social language delays, and more.

In February 2019, I had this beautiful baby girl, Bellamy. As any other parent knows, having a child truly does change your life. Since having her, I have been craving more flexibility in my career. This led me to create Stellar Speech Therapy. I wanted to be able to do what I love while also having more time to dedicate to being a mom. Bellamy is now 16 months old and it has been amazing to see the language development that I spent years learning about happen in front of my eyes.

When it comes to therapy, I especially enjoy treating speech sound disorders. It is so exciting to witness the moment it finally “clicks” for a child when they are able to say a tricky sound that they have been practicing and practicing. Their face fills with pride and it is wonderful to watch! I strive to make my therapy sessions as engaging as possible for the child. I want them to enjoy the time we spend together. I plan our sessions around their interests or make the sessions theme-based. For example, one of my older clients loves trivia games. In our sessions, we alternate between practicing his “r” sound and answering trivia questions. For one of younger clients working on speech and language goals, we have theme-based sessions. For example, one session was all about baking. We practiced baking vocabulary words, answered comprehension questions while reading a book about baking, sequenced the steps to bake a cake, and then practiced baking by playing a cupcake making game! Learn more about the services I offer.

Outside of the SLP world, I live in Alexandria, VA with my husband, daughter, and mini-goldendoodle. I love to exercise, and am even a certified yoga teacher! When I have time, I like to read thriller novels, bake, and cross-stitch.

I can’t wait to connect with you and your family and help your child communicate to the best of their abilities! Contact me here!