The Missing Link for SLPs
The Missing Link for SLPs
The Missing Link for SLPs Episode: 105 The Speechless SLP Series #5: The Speechless True Friend: The Gift of Paying It Forward

Download the show notes and full transcript of the conversation.

When you have a medical crisis, it is not just medical professionals and family that may help you pull through – your personal and professional friendships and connections may come to the fore in surprisingly helpful ways (or not)!

In this fifth episode of the Speechless SLP series, Vanessa Abraham, and Ashley Reed, SLP, talk about the value of friendship. Hear how Ashely was able to contribute to Vanessa’s care, support her family, and her eventual return to work.

Discussion & Reflection Questions

  1. Have you ever worked with a colleague returning to work after a serious illness or significant life-changing event? How could you help them ease back into it?
  2. If you personally know someone needing the services of an SLP, how can you use your knowledge and expertise to support them and their families within professional and ethical boundaries?
  3. How can you be a “friend” to your patients and clients, and help them and their families as much as you can within your role?
  4. How comfortable are you with being in the presence of other people crying? Can you simply be present with someone by their side while they let it all out?

Don’t be afraid to be silent but be present. Just your presence alone goes a long way. Really validate [a person’s] feelings.”      

Ashley Reed                  

Ashley Reed, MS., CCC-SLP

Ashley Reed is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of California with a background in acute care, public education, and private practice. 

Ashley is published in APTA and is working on a second publication in the area of ethical considerations and the use of Zoom for SLPs. She is expected to earn her SLPD in December 2022, and is studying the effects of increased modeling during routine based activities in late talkers. Ashley has experience in supervision and leadership. She recently moved to San Diego, CA with her husband and two children. 

Contact Ashley Reed

Vanessa Abraham, 


Vanessa is a wife, mother and school based Speech-Language Pathologist. 

She learned firsthand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of speech services after experiencing a sudden-onset critical illness that left her with limb and neck paralysis as well as a PEG tube and tracheotomy. 

She was thrown into the rehabilitation world after being an independent, healthy and vibrant young mother. Through many swallow studies, voice therapy, OT and PT, she had to learn to eat, talk and move again. 

Her goal now is to help people critically ill patients cope with the grief they experience after a critical illness through speaking up about the topic of Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS), depression and anxiety post ICU in addition to educating families and patients about the various rehab modalities that have been successful for her.

Contact Vanessa Abraham

“ ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’.  I had a great team. As awful as this whole journey was, I’m glad I had the expertise and knowledge of speech pathology. It was comforting to my husband to know ‘Okay, I’ve got Ashley’s number. She understands the system’. We had people to rely on, and that is just huge”.

Vanessa Abraham

What’s the best thing about these podcasts? It’s meeting people like you who have these lives, and these passions. They feel, they love, they care and they give. “

Mattie Murrey-Tegels

Mattie Murrey Tegel, MA, CCC-SLP, L, CPC, CLSC
Medical Speech-Language Pathologist and Founder of Fresh SLP

Mattie Murrey-Tegels is the founder and SLP behind Fresh SLP and The Missing Link for SLPs Podcast. She’s been “in-the-trenches” as a medical SLP around the world for over 25 years and now an Assistant Professor for 3 years. She is thrilled to be adding this dream of a podcast because paying her experiences forward is something she is very passionate about. If you ask her patients and students, one thing they will remember is how much she loves her job! She may not look like it but she is a huge introvert and when she is not actively working as an SLP, she is almost always reading, writing (writing over 1,000,000 words a year), or listening to amazing Chicago Blues bands. She also loves being outdoors and definitely enjoys soaking up the sun at her home in Minnesota, where warm and sunny days can be limited. She’s ridden motorcycles for many years, raced sled dogs, hiked huge mountains yet she cherishes the quiet moments of climbing into a hammock to nap or timeless conversations with friends and family.

The Missing Link for SLPs podcast and Fresh SLP is her legacy, giving back to a career that has so richly rewarded her.

Thank you for listening to The Missing Link for SLPs podcast! If you enjoyed the show, I’d love you to subscribe, rate it and leave a short review. Also, please share an episode with a friend. Together we can raise awareness and help more SLPs find and connect those missing links to help them feel confident in their patient care every step of the way.

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Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.

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