Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariana Simpson-Walker.
Mariana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Love for people? CHECK! Interest in education? CHECK! Interest in Medicine? CHECK! But what was I going to do with my life? When I entered college at Alabama A&M University I had NO idea. I knew what my interests were, but was unsure of how to funnel that into a career. Although I come from a family of doctors and teachers, I knew that neither of those were the career paths for me. My mom suggested that I look into Speech Pathology. I began my research and was flabbergasted! It was overflowing with all the things that I loved. Upon graduation, with my Master’s Degree in 2011, I came back to East Atlanta (where I was born and raised) and began working as a school-based Speech Pathologist. I was placed in a center-based school with children who had a variety of diagnoses and difficulties. I was timorous at first as these children with Traumatic Brain Injuries, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Down Syndrome (just to name a few) were counting on me to help them communicate. I soon fell in love with my career and the blessing to help them communicate. I have serviced schools in both GA and AL, grades Pre-K to 12, over seven schools, and five private clinics. Then God opened the door for me to open my own private practice, Fitly Spoken.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Ha! Smooth? Nothing about my life has been smooth, but that makes my testimony even greater! I have experienced racial discrimination, discouragement, floods of tears, high blood pressure, negative funds in the bank but have been blessed to build a business without any financial assistance from a financial institution! Finding the right people has been a HUGE challenge for me. I needed people that I didn’t have to micromanage and also understood the family-oriented culture of the company. I finally found my TEAM and they are a huge blessing and asset to Fitly Spoken. My family’s prayers and support have sustained me. I wouldn’t be where I am without them! I am so grateful for these experiences, as they allow me to be sympathetic to the families that I serve daily.
Please tell us about your business.
Fitly Spoken is a pediatric speech-language therapy clinic on the surface. However, once you walk in the doors, we hope that you feel comfortable, loved, and safe. Fitly Spoken started with me going to clients’ homes for therapy. It has and is continuing to grow. We now have a team of four awesome Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP). Yes, we treat pediatric communication difficulties, but we also go above and beyond to take the time to build rapport with each and every family. We treat the ENTIRE family. It is our goal to supply the patient and parent(s) with what they need to grow and blossom communicative skills. Each one of the SLPs at Fitly Spoken has a specialty. I specialize in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). I absolutely love helping children and families find various avenues to communicate. Whether it be a Speech-Generating Device or a paper, low-tech communication board or book, finding the perfect avenue to allow these children who are experiencing difficulties with communicating is my passion! It amazes me to see the growth in these babies. Some of them are smarter than me. LOL!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Oh wow! Loaded question! LOL! If I had to start over… I would have tried to stress less, have more faith, and trust the process.
- Address: 4262 Clausell Ct, Suite A
Decatur, GA 30035
- Website: www.fitlyspokentherapy.com
- Phone: (678)713-4609
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org