Chamber Chat with Emily McCullough, M.A., CCC-SLP
Chamber Chat - Back to Business Blog
Chamber Chat with Emily McCullough, M.A., CCC-SLP (she|her|hers)
Owner/Speech-Language Pathologist with Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy
The Chamber is committed to telling the stories of our members. Chamber Chat is a regular series profiling our members. We love sharing great stories and insight from our members!
Emily is passionate about her work, and you’ll understand more after you read her words. She is all about helping children! She offers custom, highly personalized care for each of her clients and their families.
As a speech therapist, she helps kids communicate and empowers parents and caregivers through coaching to help their young child participate actively in daily routines for increased language learning. She started her business to provide a safe and affirming space for all kids, including kids and families in the LGBTQ+ community. As a queer person, Emily knows how important it is for medical and educational providers to be LGBTQ+ affirming.
Emily says that being a member of Chamber helps prospective clients know that Parade is an affirming space for LGBTQ+ individuals and her membership has allowed me to meet other LGBTQ+ professionals and allies in Texas. We love hearing about connections through the Chamber! Read even more about Emily in this Chamber Chat.
Thank you, Emily for sharing more about yourself, for the work you do every day and for your support of the Chamber!
What is your 30-second “elevator speech” about what Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy does?
You know how sometimes we all need a little extra guidance and support on our journey in life? Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy provides custom, personalized, research-based online speech therapy to kids and teens living anywhere in Texas and Illinois. I help kids and teens learn to say sounds clearly, better understand what is communicated to them and use language to express themselves in a safe and supported environment where they are respected, seen and heard.
Can you share a bit more detail about your primary services?
As a speech therapist, I help kids communicate, such as learning to express their wants and needs, understand verbal and nonverbal language and pronounce speech sounds. I empower parents and caregivers through coaching to help their young child participate actively in daily routines for increased language learning. One of the best things about my job is helping kids gain confidence in themselves to communicate their authentic voice to others and to advocate for what they need.
Who is your ideal client?
I’ve always loved working with kids, and my ideal clients are kids and families! I love working with families that value diversity and inclusion and that are looking for an experienced speech therapist to partner with on their child’s communication journey.
What is the one thing you want Chamber members to know about your business?
I’d like other Chamber members to know that I’m thankful to be part of such a great community of LGBTQ+ professionals and allies. I value my networking time with all of the other businesses and professionals and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to learn more about the other members.
Why did you start your business?
As a queer person, I know how important it is for medical and educational providers to be informed and engaged in the ongoing practice of cultural humility to best serve clients from all backgrounds. I started Parade to provide a safe and affirming space for all kids, including kids and families in the LGBTQ+ community, to get quality speech therapy for communication difficulties. I began providing online speech-language services a few years ago and I loved it so much that I decided to start my own online speech therapy business!
Have you always had a passion to help children?
Yes. I’ve always worked with children in one way or another. During summers off in college, I worked at a daycare in my hometown and had so much fun taking kids to the state park on field trips. I also used to work as a service coordinator for families in a Head Start daycare program, where I linked them to services like speech therapy, which sparked my interest in becoming a speech therapist.
What do you think sets Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy apart?
I provide custom, highly personalized care for each of my clients and their families. In contrast to a traditional medical model where clients only have access to their speech therapist during their weekly appointment time, families can communicate with me throughout the week in between appointments to receive additional homework, ask questions, or to let me know how their child is doing. Keeping my practice small helps me provide the highest level of care to all of my clients.
What has been key to your success?
Providing top-notch, quality speech therapy, great customer service and offering convenience has been the key to my success! Families love the rapport that I build with their child, the great results from their child’s therapy program and the convenience of being able to access quality care from the comfort of their home.
We are proud to call Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy one of our Chamber members. Why is it important that your business is part of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber?
I think it’s important for businesses to communicate their values to customers. Since I help kids learn to communicate meaningfully and authentically, it’s important for me to be my authentic self as a proud, out LGBTQ+ professional.
Being part of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber helps prospective clients know that Parade is an affirming space for LGBTQ+ individuals and my membership has allowed me to meet other LGBTQ+ professionals and allies in Texas.
Why do you think it’s important that the LGBTQ community have a concentrated voice?
Though the LGBTQ+ community is very diverse and we all face different challenges in our lives, I think it’s important for us to have a concentrated voice to increase our visibility and representation in society and to stand up together for our rights, especially in a conservative state like Texas.
We love that Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy is one of our LGBTBE® certified businesses in the Chamber. Why did you decide to pursue the LGBTBE® certification?
I decided to pursue the LGBTBE certification to further increase my visibility as an LGBTQ+ business owner. The more connected I can be with other LGBTQ+ professionals nationwide, the better! I’m also excited about potential opportunities to network with other companies and organizations that are interested in supplier diversity.
What advice would you give someone thinking about joining the Chamber?
I would definitely tell them to join! It’s been such a great experience for me as a new business owner to get support and to network, and I also love being part of the larger LGBTQ+ community in Houston virtually even though I live in Austin!
What does it mean to you to be a LGBTQ+ business owner/entrepreneur? Have you faced challenges as an LGBTQ+ entrepreneur?
Being an LGBTQ+ business owner to me means visibility and representation for LGBTQ+ people. By being out and open in the way that I run my business, I hope to increase LGBTQ+ representation in the field of pediatric speech-language pathology and to provide a safe space for kids to know that if they are queer or part of the LGBTQ+ community, they will be affirmed at my business.
As an LGBTQ+ entrepreneur in the pediatric healthcare space, I have found it harder to find many other visible LGBTQ+ affirming pediatric medical providers in Texas for networking and collaboration. We need more visibly out LGBTQ+ professionals in pediatrics to help our kids know that they are affirmed, safe and celebrated on their journey.
In this “new norm” due to the pandemic, what are the top two or three things you’ve changed to support your clients?
I actually started doing online speech therapy a few years before the pandemic, so the “new norm” really didn’t apply to the way I practice speech therapy when the pandemic hit.
Fortunately, I was able to continue on with my clients in the same way as usual via video conferencing and I didn’t have to change anything. Online speech therapy has now become part of the “new norm” and there are more resources out there for speech therapists providing online therapy than there were before the pandemic.
What’s ahead in the next couple of years for Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy?
I’m going to continue building my presence in Texas and Illinois, and possibly get licensed in other states as I grow. I am looking forward to continuing to serve my clients by providing excellent speech therapy to help them reach their communication goals.
What’s the best advice you ever received as an entrepreneur?
To start! For many months I went back and forth about starting my own speech therapy practice, and the only thing I needed to do was to start. Once I began the small steps to make my practice a reality, things started falling into place, but if I was still on the fence, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
Now for some fun…rapid fire! What's your favorite thing to do when you're not working?
I love reading, especially LGBTQ+ graphic novels. I also love composing electronic music.
Barbeque or Mexican, and where do you go for it?
Mexican! Shout out to Taco Flats here in Austin!
Native Texan or got here as fast as you could and from where?
Got here as fast as I could from Asheville, North Carolina.
First app checked in the morning?
New York Times
Most used app?
Person you FaceTime most often?
My awesome nieces!
Most listened-to track?
Number One Fan by MUNA
Learn more about Parade Pediatric Speech Therapy