Communication Blooms

In Pursuit of a Better Way

By Mackenzie Shiba, Owner/Speech Language Pathologist at Communication Blooms March 13, 2024

I began my speech-language pathology career 7 years ago. I began working in the public school system, specifically with students who were placed in special education programs. Meetings, high caseloads, and tedious paperwork replaced valuable direct time with students working on communication.

I have always had a desire to be more and do more. 2 years in and I had the itch to do something different, so I decided to start my own business very part time, seeing 5 clients during the week after work. I did this until 2022, when I asked the school district if I could switch to a part time position so I could grow my private caseload more and they offered full-time or nothing. I chose nothing and decided I wanted to fully commit to my own business. This was a risky move, but it has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I am approaching a year and a half into full-time private practice and my business is flourishing and people are becoming more aware that there is a different way to approach speech and language therapy.

At Communication Blooms, I always want families to feel they are accepted. “Come as you are.” I want our clinic to be a safe space to vent, to share ideas, to seek guidance, to advocate for your children, and to make positive connections. Our sessions are not what you may envision as traditional speech therapy. Most of the time, we aren’t sitting down at a table. However, it may happen on occasion!

We have a variety of activities to support each client’s unique needs: sensory supports such as climbing equipment, swings, flexible seating options, pretend play toys, art supplies, iPads for video modeling, and a variety of other items. Oh–and bubbles, we never run out of bubbles. 

Yes, these activities are exciting for the clients and families, but what’s even more inviting is the connection between the client and the therapist. THAT is what makes the session. We ensure that there is a strong connection that is built on trust, a feeling of safety, and an enjoyable experience overall. We want clients and families to want to be here, not to feel like it’s another chore. 

Without trust, there is no engagement. Without engagement, there is no chance for an authentic connection. Without authentic connection, our clients won’t be able to learn and grow with us. 

We also want our parents to trust us. We hope to empower and support each family who enters our doors. Parents and caregivers need to know that they have a voice in their child’s educational journey. They are able to effect powerful change in their children’s lives. 

At the end of the day, they know their child best. 

I felt guilty at first leaving the schools, but now I don’t. I’m able to make a far greater impact without all of the red tape. 

What have I been able to do since branching out into private practice?

  1. Educate parents and professionals about better practices (child-led therapy, AAC, gestalt language, neurodiversity affirming care).
  2. Empower caregivers to advocate for their children. 
  3. Ensure all of my clients have access to some form of communication. 
  4. Build positive connections with kiddos and their families.
  5. Make a positive community impact.

If you’re looking for a different kind of communication support, you’ve found the place. At Communication Blooms we can support your child’s communication journey in the following areas:

  • Expressive language delay
  • Receptive language delay
  • Gestalt Language Processing
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Apraxia
  • Articulation
  • Phonological Processing Disorders
  • If you don’t see what you’re looking for on this list, reach out and I can let you know if our clinic would be a good fit or I can make a referral. 

I am always happy to answer any questions you may have as well! You can email me at

Please visit our website for more information

We are also on instagram @communicationblooms