Amanda Burley, ’10, ‘11, says her earliest memory is being 3 years old and trying to tell her mother a policeman was on their street. Unfortunately, delayed speech made Burley incomprehensible.
“My mom didn’t understand what I was saying, and I remember it was very frustrating,” Burley says.
When Burley’s mother learned of the Walker Scottish Rite Clinic, a nonprofit organization that helps 2- to 6-year-old children with speech and language disorders free of charge, she enrolled her daughter. In less than a year of group and individual therapy, Burley’s speech was clear enough to land her the lead role in a school play.
Unlike before, she says, “I was able to express myself and tell everyone what I needed and wanted.”
At the time, the Clinic had a midtown St. Louis address. In 2015, the Clinic opened on Maryville’s campus. In that inaugural year alone, 777 children were served. Among those children was Burley’s 3-year-old daughter, Madison. Burley’s 2-year-old son, Parker, is set to receive services later this year.
“It’s the first place I went for help,” Burley says. “I knew the Walker Clinic would provide my kids with what they need, and I know how compassionate they are.”