Meet the Staff of Speech Language Pathology Private Practice

Ashleigh Noel B.A., M.A., M.Sc., R. SLP(C)

Ashleigh graduated with a Master’s degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland in Linguistics with a focus on Language Acquisition. This was followed by her completion of a Master’s degree from Western Illinois University in Speech Language Pathology. Ashleigh has provided an array of services to all ages, including preschool to school age children and adults. She has extensive clinical experience in a variety of settings such as daycares, schools, private homes, nursing homes, and developmentally delayed facilities. She has worked at Speech Language Pathology Private Practice for more than five years. Her clinical interests include areas such as receptive and expressive language development, apraxia, articulation and phonology, stuttering, voice, swallowing, aphasia, and dysarthria. Ashleigh has completed professional development in the following programs: Language Delay and Disorder – It Takes Two to Talk ® - The Hanen Program ® for Children with Language Delays; Motor Speech Disorder – Kaufman Approach; Autism Spectrum Disorder – Reference and Regulate; Augmentative Communication – Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).

As an Executive member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (NLASLPA), she is actively involved in issues regarding her profession. As President of NLASLPA, she spearheaded discussions and letter-writing campaigns with the Canada Revenue Agency and the Minister of Finance to make the services that Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) and Audiologists (AUD) provide become tax deductible. As of February 2015, clients who receive SLP or AUD services are now eligible to receive a medical expense tax credit. As a member of the Pan Canadian Alliance, Ashleigh has collaborated with Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists on a national level to share information and to collaborate on provincial and territorial initiatives in order to better the SLP and AUD professions and to focus on the issues of clients. Ashleigh has utilized this alliance when working with NLASLPA’s Advocacy for Autism Initiative to gather a knowledge base of government-funded programs from across the country for those with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This initiative was formed to provide a choice of government-funded services in Newfoundland and Labrador for those with a diagnosis of ASD.

Ashleigh is passionate about her profession. She thoroughly enjoys working with such a wide age range of clients, caregivers, and team members. When she is not working, she makes time to hike, run, rock climb, snowboard, scuba dive, and participate in any other activity that involves the outdoors and some adventure. Ashleigh firmly believes in a balance between work and a healthy lifestyle.


Michelle Delahunty, MSLP, R.S-LP

Registered Speech-Language Pathologist

For more than 17 years, Michelle has helped hundreds of children and adults with communication concerns. Since graduating with a Master of Speech-Language Pathology in 1998, she has actively sought out opportunities to further her knowledge in all areas of this expansive field. As a member of the Hanen Institute, she is able to deliver education programs to parents and educators in early language and literacy development. She has specialized training in motor speech disorders (PROMPT and Kaufman approaches) and fluency/stuttering (ISTAR and Lidcombe approaches).

Michelle has substantial knowledge and experience in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder, working within multidisciplinary teams on-site at Intensive Behaviour Intervention Centres in Ontario and Child Development Centres in British Columbia. At the clinic here in St. John's Michelle works with children, their families, and the intervention team to determine the best model of services delivery in the location that works best for the child. Michelle feels strongly that flexibility is key to providing the most effective treatment plan for each individual child, and she is able to deliver programs based on Verbal Behaviour Therapy, Pivotal Response Therapy, Picture Exchange Communication Systems and the principles of Reference and Regulate.

Michelle's priority is to establish a comfortable rapport with her clients and their families. Children must feel happy and confident in order to learn to their maximum potential. As a mom to three young children, Michelle understands that all parents seek to provide their children with the right supports to allow them to grow to their highest potential.


Mary Shugarue, B.A., M.A., M. Sc.(A), R. SLP (C)

After graduating from Memorial University in 1999 with a Master of Arts in Linguistics, Mary began her studies at McGill University where she completed graduate training in Speech language Pathology. In 2001 she began her career as a speech language pathologist in Calgary, Alberta working in the school program within the Calgary Health Region. In 2004 she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia where she worked with the Halifax Regional School Board. During these years Mary enjoyed working with children in the education setting, and gained experience working with children with a broad range of communication challenges. In this setting Mary was able to see the significant impact speech language impairments can have on a child's development, both academically and socially. Mary enjoyed working closely with the school team and the students' families to provide the best possible treatment for these children to help them reach their full communication potential. In 2008 Mary returned home to Newfoundland and began working at Speech Language Pathology Private Practice. Since that time she has been working with preschool and school aged children. As a parent of two young children, Mary believes strongly in the importance of family centred therapy. She is committed to working with clients' families, caregivers, teachers and any professionals and agencies that are involved in their development to provide a complete understanding of their communication challenges and the impact of these challenges on daily interactions. Mary will provide a comprehensive treatment plan to help your child reach his or her full communication potential. She recognizes that every child is different and takes the time to get to know her clients to discover their individual needs and learning styles.

Since beginning her career as a Speech Language Pathologist, Mary has continued to further her professional and clinical practice skills by completing professional development in order to provide the most effective and up to date treatment for her clients. She has completed training in the areas of early language development (Hanen: It Takes Two to Talk), augmentative communication (Picture Exchange Communication), motor speech (PROMPT and the Kauffman Approach), Autism Spectrum Disorder (Reference and Regulate), and phonological awareness and reading (Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling and Speech). Mary's areas of clinical interest include articulation, receptive and expressive communication, motor speech disorders, fluency and phonological awareness and reading.


Gail Dicks-O'Keefe

Gail has more than 30 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of children and adults with communication, voice and swallowing disorders. She completed her Masters of Science, Applied degree in Speech Language Pathology from McGill University in Montreal and is a member in good standing of both provincial and national professional associations.

Her career has spanned a variety of public health care settings in central and eastern regions of the province including acute care, rehabilitation, paediatric and adult outpatient services. The opening of Speech Language Pathology Private Practice in 1987 was a career highlight and she has enjoyed the successes of many paediatric, adult and school aged children treated there. Gail’s longstanding clinical experience is augmented by the completion of many specialized training programs, both nationally and internationally, from some of the most respected researchers and clinicians in her field.

It is her philosophy to remain current in all practice areas, including speech, language, voice, stuttering, head and neck cancer, and swallowing, and to assess and treat all clients according to national and international best practice standards.

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