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Speech-Language Pathology and Educational Support

Arlington and

Alexandria, VA


Relationship-Focused Intervention

I began practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist in 2003 and am dedicated to helping each student develop the skills she or he will need for academic, social, and personal development.  In order to do so, my focus is building a trusting relationship with students that allows them to take risks in their learning and to feel assured that I will place prime importance on her or his comfort level in our progression.  I am dedicated to working closely with each family to ensure their participation in development of treatment goals, their confidence in understanding their child's progress, and their trust that I will support them in their pursuit of raising their children to be the best they can be!


I am experienced with the research-supported Lindamood-Bell Visualization and Verbalization Program for comprehension and have found great success using this program, along with other supportive materials, with many types of learners.


I have had the tremendous pleasure of providing many children with support in their social language and social skill development, using such strategies as social groups, social stories, social thinking programs, etc.  

Girls Talking


Many children need support in developing their speech sounds.  A portion of them will also need support in transitioning from learning speech sounds to using their sounds for early reading.  I have found success in this type of work using the research-based Lively Letters Program to help children bridge between speech production, phonological skills, and early reading.



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Share the amazing things customers are saying about your business. Double click, or click Edit Text to make it yours.

Name, Title

Share the amazing things customers are saying about your business. Double click, or click Edit Text to make it yours.


My name is Alison Acker and I am the owner of Climb LLC. After earning my Master's degree, I began practicing Speech-Language Pathology in Maryland with Prince George's County Public Schools, where I taught a caseload of children aged 3-12 with highly varied disabilities and educational needs.  My focus there was being involved in our transdisciplinary teaming, programming for our children with input from all members of their educational and therapeutic team and learning from one another's specific disciplines.  I took a special interest in working with children with Autism and took an administrative position as an Autism Instructional Specialist, prompting me to earn my Educational Leadership  Certification and focusing my work on teacher mentorship, parent and teacher education and training, individualized strategizing, bridging supportive programming into the community, and program oversight and evaluation. After living in Costa Rica for several years, working as a teacher and Speech-Language Pathologist in an international school, I moved back to the area and spent several fulfilling years coordinating special education services for preschoolers in DC Public Schools.  I then transitioned into working for a private practice in Alexandria, VA, as a Speech-Language Pathologist, splitting my time between that work and raising my own young children.  Now in my own practice, I am focused on providing interventions that are directed toward linking speech and language development with practical educational applications. 


Back in elementary school in my childhood years, I enjoyed working with Alison as my former speech teacher. She helped me overcome my fears and taught me to be more active and teaching me some communication skills. Even now, I use those skills to communicate and make new friends.


To me, she was more than just my Speech teacher she is also like a friend and second mother to me. When I lost my brother Jason she helped me with my grief. She sat beside me at his funeral and comforted me. Sometimes when I was alone, she would always check up on me and I am grateful to her for everything she has done for me.


I appreciate the kindness she showed me over the years and I am happy to have been blessed to have Alison in my life as my Speech teacher and as my friend.

Gregory, former student

Our family has been fortunate to work with excellent speech language pathologists and occupational therapists for nearly a decade, and we really hit the ‘jackpot’ when Alison began providing language therapy to our son. We believe that Alison has connected with my son in a way that is beyond what other professionals were able to do.  

We started working with her because of her expertise in the Visualizing and Verbalizing language program.  My son needed help with language comprehension-related areas such as vocabulary precision, reasoning, predicting, comparing, and sequencing. As the demands of writing at school were increasing, we knew he would benefit by learning new tools and strategies to help prompt more descriptive language.  Alison designed a protocol and systematically expanded his capacity to express himself more accurately and vividly.   

Because of her expertise, he now enjoys writing, is comfortable using the tools that she has taught him, and has growing confidence of his capabilities.  These were the types of results we were hoping for! As a bonus, his standardized test scores at school have increased in every verbal, reading and writing category.  

Alison is extremely technically talented, yet my son has also benefited tremendously by her ability to build supportive and collaborative relationships with clients and their families.  She approaches each client as if they are a special friend. Alison is a keen observer of my child’s behaviors and is delft at responding to his needs and guiding him at an appropriate pace.  My son works hard during his sessions with her but it doesn’t feel like work to him. Alison motivates him and he considers his time with her to be “fun” and “really interesting” and she is a “favorite teacher.” He sees her as a trusted adult and is authentically himself with her.   Alison has provided a safe harbor for him to demonstrate his learning and practice his problem-solving skills while encouraging his perseverance and heartedly celebrating his accomplishments.  ​

Mother to middle school child

Alison is  committed, knowledgeable, and deeply caring.  She developed a strong rapport with our child and genuinely understood what strategies would work best with him. She could both gently make him work hard and genuinely celebrate his successes. 

Mother to elementary student



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