Meet Jackie Anderson, who is a local Ocean County Mom that is the founder of Ascend Pediatric Therapies, LLC. Jackie is a passionate speech-language pathologist with many degrees and certifications in the field. Read all about Jackie and the amazing work she is doing.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I grew up in Colts Neck and my family lived there for almost 20 years! After high school, I moved to North Carolina for college & graduate school. My plan was to come home once I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with my Masters degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences; but the universe had other plans! A professor strongly encouraged me to check out the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD for my Clinical Fellowship Year. I moved to Baltimore with the intent of staying just for the year… and ended up meeting the most amazing people, (my husband being one of them!) and stayed for almost 8 years. We moved to Brick last year with our toddler in tow to be closer to family, and we have loved every second of being home!
Our daughter Caroline just turned 2 years old this summer, and I am still in denial! Everyone always told me it would fly by, but I really wasn’t prepared!!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you.
I LOVE crime podcasts. It’s hilarious because as I’m driving to people’s homes to play with their little ones and engage in bubbly, happy speech therapy with bright colors & music… I’m usually listening to gruesome crime stories on the way!
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband has truly been the best partner through this journey of parenthood, and we could not function in our day-to-day without the support of my family who is now (finally!) right near by! We are so thankful that our daughter gets to grow up surrounded by their love & support.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
We love visiting Atlantic Farm Market’s petting zoo, Windward Beach Park, and we’ve been enjoying a true “local summer” on our gorgeous beaches here on the shore!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I’m the owner and one of the pediatric speech-language pathologists at Ascend Pediatric Therapies
! When we first did this feature last year, the company was just me, offering in-home speech-language therapy services for families in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. A LOT has changed in the last year! We have now expanded from “Ascend Speech Therapy” to “Ascend Pediatric Therapies,” and are so proud to offer occupational therapy services in addition to speech therapy. Our team has also grown from one to five! I am so thankful to have found the best occupational therapists & speech therapists to bring onto our team and help serve the families of our community. My social media accounts (Ascend Pediatric Therapies on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest) share speech-language development facts, easy at-home activities, and favorite materials to help facilitate language development at home. I am passionate about helping families reach their communication goals, and I’ve found social media to be such an effective tool to share crucial information on development. I believe therapy should be fun, research-based, and functional in your lives! We also offer free initial consultations, so if you have questions about your little one’s development but aren’t sure if therapy is warranted, we will walk you through that process!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The families of this community have really rallied around our company and spread the word like wildfire! I am absolutely amazed when I look at the growth we’ve experienced within the last year, and I truly owe so much of that to all of you. Every word-of-mouth referral means the world to me; we treat our Ascend families like our own family, and it’s amazing to know that is seen & appreciated, too! I’ve also been so fortunate to meet many local women who are also small business owners! It is the most supportive community of women; everyone helps each other, encourages each other, and supports each others’ businesses in every way possible! It has been so refreshing to work alongside such dedicated and supportive women, and I’m incredibly thankful to have them alongside me on this journey!
What is your favorite restaurant in Ocean County?
We have been loving River Rock Marina Restaurant this summer! The live music & water views are hard to beat!
What is your favorite activity to do with your child(ren) in Ocean County?
Our little one has become quite the “beach girl,” this summer! We’ve been taking advantage of our local beaches as often as possible this summer. There is nothing better than a good NJ bagel & coffee on the beach, if you ask me!
I said this last year, and the same remains true… I have too many Mom Goals! I think it’s true of most parents that we tend to be so hard on ourselves, and set the MOST goals that sometimes feel unattainable. While I would love to be a “perfect” parent all the time, who always has a plan, who never uses screen time, who always has the answers… that’s just not in the cards. My main goal, currently, is to make sure my time with my Little One is filled with quality play time. We know that play is the work of children, and it’s an effective way for our kids to learn! So, the more play, the more fun, the more learning, the more bonding… it’s a win/win/win!
Jacqueline Anderson, M.S. CCC-SLP
Owner, Ascend Pediatric Therapies, LLC