Hi Kimberly! Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was born and raised in Bergen County, but lived in Hermosa Beach, California for the last 7 years. I actually just moved back to my hometown, Mahwah, this past year. It was a big move for us as we had a baby on the way, a new puppy, and my growing business, but I am so excited to be back in my hometown to raise our daughter and serve families in my community!
Wow that’s a big move! You mentioned you have a daughter – how old is she?
I have one daughter, Mackenna Jane, who is 9 months old. Yes- I am brand new to this mom thing! Oh and I can’t forget my very first (fur) baby, Mushu, our 70 pound, 1-year-old Aussie Mountain Doodle.
What is your favorite thing to do with Mackenna?
Playing and singing songs…And cuddling—when she’s not on the move that is! I just love watching her discover and learn something new…it’s amazing.
Are you involved in a business venture? Please share!
Yes! I am a pediatric speech-language pathologist (SLP) and the founder of Kimberly Yee Speech Therapy (KYST). We provide private in-home speech and language therapy for children of all ages in Bergen County. My business actually originated in California, and I have now relocated my practice here!
Following a family-centered and holistic approach, KYST assesses and treats children with delays/disorders in the areas of receptive and expressive language, speech sound production (articulation, phonology, dysarthria, childhood apraxia of speech), social communication, voice, and fluency.
I absolutely love providing therapy in the home and working closely with families! I am especially passionate about empowering parents/caregivers with the knowledge and confidence to support their child’s communication during daily routines and everyday interactions.
Why is this so important?
Helping children communicate says it all! There’s nothing quite like hearing a child say “mama” for the first time or seeing their eyes light up when they are finally understood. Every child deserves a voice and the ability to connect with others, whether it’s asking for help or making friends on the playground.
That IS so important! What sets you apart?
I come to you! I provide speech therapy in the child’s most natural environment—their home! Not only is this service super convenient for the family, but children are most comfortable in their own home. It’s their safe space and where they learn best. Children are really able to let their guard down and truly CONNECT—and never underestimate the power of connection. Once you have that with a child, the possibilities are endless in what you can accomplish in therapy!!
I also offer services at preschool, daycare, park/family outings—wherever the child is! I know how busy the life of a parent can be, which is why it makes me SO happy to give parents “the gift of time” by bringing therapy to them—no need to get the kids in the car or sit in waiting rooms. My goal is to make the therapy process as seamless and stress-free as possible for both the child and family.
If you could give one tip to fellow moms, what would it be?
Honestly, always trust your gut! If you’re not so sure about your child’s development or something seems a bit “off” to you, chances are you’re right. YOU know your child BEST. Trust those Mom instincts and do what YOU feel is best for your child!
I will say, as a new mom, I will take all the advice I can get!! One thing I keep trying to remind myself to do is to stay IN the moment—no looking back or forward and just be present with my daughter as much as I can (it’s a work in progress!).
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a Sensory Integration (SI) trained SLP. When people think of “sensory”, they typically think of either Occupational Therapy (OT) or fun lights and squishy toys. Not many SLPs are trained or have experience in this area, or even have a true understanding of SI. Let me tell you, it has been a GAME CHANGER for so many of my clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder and speech-language disorders. Once I started using sensory strategies in my sessions, speech therapy IMMEDIATELY became more effective! It was the KEY that unlocked the true potential I always saw in my clients.
After my intensive SI training, my whole perspective shifted– I saw my clients in a different light as I had a greater understanding of how their sensory systems operate and how their sensory differences impact their ability to interact with their environment, carry out daily tasks, and communicate with others. I could see the world through their eyes… I could go on and on about this one!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
When I was about middle-school age I started babysitting for families in the area and volunteering at summer camps for children with special needs. This was when I knew I wanted to work with children and help others in need. I just loved (and still do!) seeing the lightbulb, “ah-ha” moment when they learned something new. No matter how small the achievement may seem, it’s a BIG DEAL in the life of a child.
Also, this is Home—where my biggest supporters are. I have them and this great community to thank as this is where it all started and now comes full circle as I’m back here supporting families in the same community that inspired me since day one.