By MADDY VITALE
Monica LaSalle, a speech language pathologist who works in the Philadelphia schools system, has opened Seaside Rehabilitation Services in Cape May Court House.
For LaSalle, who has worked with adults down to infants — from elderly stroke patients to babies who can’t latch on — she is not boastful about the thousands of people whose lives she has helped in 25 years of working in her profession.
She considers being able to help others a privilege.
“To sit with a parent who has a three-year-old who says mom for the first time, it warms your heart,” LaSalle said in an interview.
LaSalle specializes in communication and swallowing rehabilitation.
“I have worked with patients with ALS who wanted to safely swallow a glass of water or say so much. This is not about pride. It is a privilege to do what I do in terms of being able to bond with another person and help them,” she said. “It is very hard to tell someone you love them without words.”
In the fall of 2019, LaSalle opened Seaside Rehabilitation Services at 211 S. Main Street, Suite 301, in Cape May Court House.
LaSalle spoke of her range of clients over the years and why speech language pathology is paramount to life.
“I don’t think people understand the range of speech pathology. People think it is for people who stutter, who have problems with their ‘r’s’ or have lisps,” she pointed out.
She continued, “I had clients referred to me who were just weeks old and they needed help to sustain life, to others who needed help with basic communication. I’ve worked with stroke patients, kids who didn’t realize what they were missing and adults who knew what they lost.”
Her reputation working in the Philadelphia schools system preceded her.
She began seeing clients right away. Her goal is to help people with their speech and then build a caseload to include helping people in other areas as well, she noted.
LaSalle and her husband, Steve Footit, a retired Command Sergeant Major with the U.S. Army, and now an intensive care nurse, split their time between Philadelphia and North Wildwood. They have three adult daughters and a teenage son.
LaSalle began her career specializing in rehabilitative care post-neurological disease and injury, dementia, and dysphagia with the adult/geriatric care in the Tri-State region. Her experience progressed into pediatric care.
She is the former owner of Effective Communication Solutions, which serviced clients in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, as well as the former owner of Exceptional Kidz Rehabilitation which provided pediatric rehabilitation serving military families stationed at Fort Drum, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Dover Air Force Base.
As her private practice expands at Seaside Rehabilitation Services, she plans to add staff in the areas such as occupational therapy and counseling.
LaSalle said that she will be working for the Lower Township school district next year and will also expand hours at Seaside Rehabilitative Services.
One of the mothers of a child LaSalle works with spoke of her ability to help her child in a testimonial on LaSalle’s website.
The mother’s name is listed as Emily K.
“Monica is amazing, so kind, patient and easy going. We started working with her when my son was just over 2 years old. She had a goal of 2 word phrases which he mastered within weeks. Within 3-4 months (speech 2-3 times a month), he was using 4-5 word phrases and making so much effort to speak and communicate. Nolan is excited to see her and each week, walking into her office with such pride. Her age appropriate games and communication skills are just perfect.”
For more information, visit Monica LaSalle’s website at https://seasiderehab.wordpress.com/about-2/. Her office is located at 211 S. Main Street, Suite 301, Cape May Court House. The office number is (609) 435-3067. You may also reach her by emailing email@example.com.