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SLP Alumna Opens Local Private Practice in Honor of Late Sister

Amanda De Alem’s ‘Speech-Language Lilies’ Offers SLP Services to Diverse Populations

March 04, 2024
Woman, standing with hands on hips in front of sign
Amanda De Alem, M.S. ’13, CCC-SLP, TSSLE-BE, at Speech-Language Lilies

“My sister is my guiding light,” says De Alem. “She lost her speech after they resected her tumor and we tried to communicate with her. I wish we had a speech therapist there for that one last time to say I love you and know that she was okay.” De Alem was eight years old when she lost her sister, and eight years later, she was professionally introduced to the world of SLP. She started working at the Center for Small Jewels, a private speech therapy practice in New Rochelle, at age 16. Dedicated to the center’s mission, De Alem stayed on as a contractor with the organization after earning her Master of Science in SLP from New York Medical College (NYMC) in 2013.

De Alem’s contract work played a pivotal role in the creation of Speech-Language Lilies. She was a clinical supervisor for the Iona College Speech Language Hearing Clinic. She served as a bilingual SLP for the New York City Department of Education, and she continues to work as a bilingual SLP for the City School District of New Rochelle. “I’ve worked really hard to develop the funds to open something for myself,” she explains. A child of Portuguese immigrants, De Alem is now utilizing her own experiences, along with her extensive professional background, to help children and adults in Westchester from similar upbringings.

Speech-Language Lilies offers direct treatment for a wide range of conditions, including articulation, apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorders, bilingualism, traumatic brain injury, accent modification, and more. De Alem designed the facility to be welcoming and easily accessible to community members. “People can stop by and see that it doesn’t feel so medical. It feels homey and safe,” she says. From the name and layout to the services offered, Speech-Language Lilies is truly an extension of De Alem.

Early exposure to diverse health care settings during her time at NYMC was integral to De Alem’s growth. She recalls her cohort gaining its clinical experience at the Westchester Institute of Human Development (WIHD). Between WIHD and Westchester Medical Center, NYMC provided a centralized hub where SLP graduate students like De Alem had the resources needed to thrive in and out of the classroom. “It was very nice to have everything programmatic and available,” she says. De Alem later returned to NYMC years later to earn an advanced certificate in pediatric feeding.

“Remember your why,” is a motto she holds dear to her heart. For De Alem, her “why” is her sister Lillian. Even after passing, she influenced De Alem’s decision to attend NYMC. She is buried in a nearby cemetery.  

“When I was little, every week we would visit her grave, and I would be like ‘maybe one day I’ll go to NYMC.’ So, when I had the option, I said I’m going to NYMC because it’s right near Lillian.”