shutterstock_283499846 (1).jpg

MISSION & VALUES

Supporting Authentic Communication for Everyone

  • A Note About Language: Out of respect for the expressed preference of the autistic community, we use identity-first language (i.e. "autistic person" instead of "person with autism") as a default.  When an individual expresses a different preference (e.g. person-first language like "person with autism"), we will of course honor that preference.  

  • Evidence-Based Practice: We follow the 3-part model of evidence-based practice (EBP), which requires that our practice be informed by: external scientific evidence (i.e. academic research), clinical experience (i.e. the individual therapist's knowledge and skills), and client perspective and values.

    • We do not recommend therapy approaches based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) due to concerns about the quality of its research base as well as the expressed concerns of the autistic community.  Please see the Resources page for links to additional information on this topic.

    • Neurodiversity: We strive to operate from the social model of disability as opposed to a deficit-based or medical model.  We are still learning, so we are always open to feedback about how we're doing on this front.  We continually pursue professional development and education from neurodivergent voices.

 

WHO WE ARE

Sarah McKim Thomas, MA, CCC-SLP
Owner, Speech-Language Pathologist, AAC Specialist

Sarah McKim Thomas has been a language nerd for as long as she can remember.  As a child, she loved spelling bees, learning to count in Japanese and German, and attempting to write novels (if you want to embarrass her, ask her about the epic fantasy novel "Wolf Song" that she penned at the age of 11).

In college, she studied Linguistic Anthropology because purely theoretical Linguistics struck her as too dry and detached from the everyday, real-life use that brings language to life.  From these studies she learned to value both cultural and linguistic diversity, especially in relation to the Deaf community and American Sign Language (ASL).

After earning her BA in Linguistic Anthropology from Brown University, she planned to become an ASL interpreter and possibly pursue academics as a linguistics researcher.  However, a job as a tutor for a girl with Kleefstra Syndrome introduced her to the world of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and her fate was sealed.


She returned to grad school and earned her MA in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Kansas, participating in a fellowship grant that required intensive and specialized training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) intervention for autistic children and young adults.  Through her varied work experiences – including providing services in homes, schools, tutoring centers, and private practice clinics – she has developed a particular passion for working with teenagers and young adults as well as individuals of all ages with complex communication needs.

Sarah is an enthusiastic lifelong learner and continuously seeks out professional development opportunities, earning the ASHA Award for Continuing Education (ACE) multiple times.  She has applied her passion for learning about cultural and linguistic diversity into learning from the autistic community and developing her ability to provide neurodiversity-affirming services.  

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys riding and training her horse, playing story-heavy tabletop and computer games, listening to podcasts, and singing in the car.

 

Mallorie Guerra, MS, CCC-SLP 
Speech-Language Pathologist

Mallorie was interested in speech and language development from a very young age, asking other kids how they knew what certain words meant and enjoying learning German phrases and pronunciation from her sister’s exchange student. As an adolescent in beautiful southern Oregon, Mallorie enjoyed spending time outside, writing for and editing school newspapers, and learning even more German phrases. At college, Mallorie dabbled in linguistics, second language acquisition, and teaching. She eventually decided speech pathology was the career for her, as it combined some of her favorite things: human sounds, human language, and helping other humans. Following her undergraduate training in communication disorders and German (how could she resist?), Mallorie received a Master's degree in speech-language pathology from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. 


Previously, Mallorie worked with adults in an inpatient setting, specializing in swallowing disorders and speech and language disorders for people affected by strokes, brain injuries, and progressive neurological diseases. Mallorie’s most interesting and rewarding moments in her inpatient clinical practice involved patients with complex communication and swallowing needs. Mallorie joined the Conduit Advocacy & Therapy team in January 2022 to continue to pursue improved communication abilities for all. 


Outside of the fun she has at work, Mallorie enjoys traveling, playing sports, reading books about Ernest Shackleton, listening to stand-up comedy, and speaking German every chance she gets.