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SLP to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to Benefit Autism

his story ran in the most recent ASHA Leader. We reprint it for you here to inspire you.
[Source: ASHA Leader]
by Kellie Rowden-Racette
Name: Jackie Knechtel, MA, CCC-SLP
Job title: Pediatric speech-language pathologist in New York. Her practice, Self Expressions, serves children in Westchester County and Manhattan. For more than a decade she has worked with children with a broad range of communication disorders, specializing in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and apraxia.
What are you planning to do? When?
I have set for myself a huge personal challenge—I’ve committed to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa (19,340 feet) in July 2010. Extreme altitude and inclement weather make this an arduous seven-day climb. My goal is to raise $10,000 for Autism Speaks. I chose Autism Speaks as the beneficiary because it is the nation’s largest science and advocacy group related to autism spectrum disorders. It is a trusted organization committed to giving the autism community a strong voice.
Why climb Kilimanjaro?
A friend had invited me to join his Kilimanjaro trek as part of my travels. I decided along the way that doing the climb would be an opportunity to challenge myself and raise money for a cause dear to me.
Please read the rest of this interview and learn how you can donate, on

PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.


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