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SLP to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to Benefit Autism - featured June 2, 2010

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This story ran in the most recent ASHA Leader. We reprint it for you here to inspire you.

[Source: ASHA Leader]

by Kellie Rowden-Racette

Name: Jackie Knechtel, MA, CCC-SLP

Job title: Pediatric speech-language pathologist in New York. Her practice, Self Expressions, serves children in Westchester County and Manhattan. For more than a decade she has worked with children with a broad range of communication disorders, specializing in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and apraxia.

What are you planning to do? When?

I have set for myself a huge personal challenge—I've committed to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa (19,340 feet) in July 2010. Extreme altitude and inclement weather make this an arduous seven-day climb. My goal is to raise $10,000 for Autism Speaks. I chose Autism Speaks as the beneficiary because it is the nation's largest science and advocacy group related to autism spectrum disorders. It is a trusted organization committed to giving the autism community a strong voice.

Why climb Kilimanjaro?

A friend had invited me to join his Kilimanjaro trek as part of my travels. I decided along the way that doing the climb would be an opportunity to challenge myself and raise money for a cause dear to me.

Please read the rest of this interview and learn how you can donate, on

Tags: News of the Week Autism Newsletter 4 June 2010