Both Isabel and I look forward to Melanie coming each week.  Isabel received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 5.  At the time Melanie started, she was making her needs known at home with simple one to two word requests and talking very little outside the home.  Since working with Melanie, Isabel’s vocabulary has grown exponentially.  In addition to requests, she has started to initiate social conversations and make observations.  Her intelligibility has also improved.  I have no doubt that working with Melanie is a large part of the reason for these improvements.
From the moment I met Melanie I was struck by her warmth and compassion, as well as her obvious passion for working with children with special needs.  Her sincere desire to help brings out the best in Isabel.  I am always impressed with Melanie’s ability to get Isabel to sit, focus, and work her hardest for the full hour Melanie spends with her each week.  Melanie has provided outstanding speech therapy and combined that with other essential therapies to help Isabel progress.  But she has done more than that.  She has instilled hope that our daughter will continue to progress and will become fully communicative.  And she has developed a very real and irreplaceable relationship with Isabel and with our family.

Emily & Jim P.

Melanie Crabb has been providing therapy for our son Phoenix for about a year now. When I contacted Melanie I was immediately impressed by her professionalism, and when I met her for our initial consultation I found her to be so easy to talk to. It was clear to me that she had a love for her profession working with very special children. When Melanie first started with our son, he was almost completely non-verbal and had no patience and little focus. Since Melanie started therapy with Phoenix, he has made serious gains in cognition, speech and his focus has greatly improved. I am always amazed at Melanie’s patience and ability to “get him to work for her.” When his sensory disorder flares, she knows just what to do to calm him. And I always feel absolutely comfortable when she is in our home. Phoenix has made some really big gains because of Melanie’s treatment plan and goals for him. She challenges him and keeps him engaged, and that is exactly what he needs to thrive and grow. The best part about Melanie’s style of therapy is that she makes learning fun for our son, and that is why he smiles and runs to his room to get busy working every time she arrives. As a family, we feel blessed to have Melanie as our child’s in home therapist, and we would recommend her to anyone.

Erin and Sean C.

Our first meeting with Melanie we had an instant feeling she had that special something to work with our son. And we were right! By the end of her first one on one session with our son, she had him engaged in learning and practicing speech. Her approach is unique by integrating learning with lots of fun so he hardly notices he is in therapy!

At 2 1/2 years old, our son had a limited vocabulary that wasn’t easy for others to understand and he wasn’t using his words to communicate. In less than a year of working with Melanie, our son is using his words to get his needs met, increasing sentence length and speaking more intelligible.

We are thrilled to see his progress but even more thrilled to find someone like Melanie. She looks at our whole child, is honest about his sessions and progress, and truly cares with a big heart. She is one in a million! Would highly recommend her services!

Kaylene and Darren H. 

Melanie came to us at a time that was devastating, scary and uncertain. My son was diagnosed with mental retardation and autism 13 years ago and at that time less was published and known. We came to Melanie when my son was 6 and was unable to formulate sentences and was not able to be understood. Melanie used all her “tricks” and was able to help my son grow by leaps and bounds! It was amazing! Today, my son is a freshman in high school. He is in regular classes with help from an aide but is able to be understood and looks people in the eye when he speaks and Melanie is a huge reason why. Melanie not only opened doors for my son but also gave me hope at a time few people would. I highly recommend Melanie, not only for your child but also for you.

Joni M. 

Melanie started working with my son, Michael, 9 years ago when he was 4 years old and had very little receptive or expressive communication. Melanie came to our home with a smile on her face and a wealth of knowledge regarding how to reach my son, where therapists prior to her had little to no success. Melanie connected with Michael on a level I never thought was possible. There wasn’t an issue Michael had that Melanie wasn’t willing to tackle head on. Whether sensory issues, such as food, touch or sound, or severe communication issues, Melanie always came with a plan and the skills and knowledge to make a tremendous impact on his growth and development. I would highly recommend Melanie to any family in need of a variety communication services. Her positive attitude, willingness to think out side of the box and her kind and caring heart will make an impact on your lives from the moment you meet her.

Stacy S. 

Over the years Melanie has been working with my son, Sam, I’ve found her to be extremely knowledgeable, proactive, professional, and very kind. Melanie has a heart of gold! I trust her completely with my son’s best interests and feel blessed she is in both of our lives. Not only does Melanie perform her job, and perform her job very well, she does it with sincere compassion and passion.

Sam is 9 years old and has Down syndrome and Autism. His dual-diagnosis is very challenging on many levels. His progress is slow, but it is progress! I attribute his progress to Melanie and the rest of Sam’s team. Melanie is a very integral part of his team, I highly recommend her services. I can’t say enough good things about her as a Speech Therapist, and as a person!

Lisa P. 

From the moment my son saw Melanie, he was overjoyed, literally. She was able to complete a thorough assessment of his communication and pronunciation skills while he laughed, played with his toys, and threw blankets over her. She was also able to provide a very useful, practical list of ideas for how our family can assist my son with his language development. Throughout her visit, she showed a wonderful mix of professionalism, patience and genuine care. I am very grateful to have her as a resource.

Rajaa S. 

Melanie Crabb started working with my 3 year old son, Teddy, shortly after he was diagnosed with autism. He had lost all speech and was using humming sounds instead of words. My son also had profound sensory & behavioral issues and memory loss. Most speech clinics in the area wanted us to bring our child to their very small, sterile, work room where my son became overwhelmed by the travel to the facility, and the new surroundings. Melanie came to our home and was so warm and welcoming to our child. Teddy immediately liked her and wanted to work with her. She made speech fun for him and he looked forward to her visits. Finally my son started knowing the name of items, using words instead of pointing; it was a great breakthrough.

Previously, we had been private paying through some medical clinics for therapy, and Melanie was much cheaper than the clinics. There was no longer hours of paperwork to fill out or items not covered by Medicaid. Melanie set a price for us and we paid her for each session. She was always on time and kept us updated on the goals and completed work. May times I have gone to seminars about autism, and Melanie was there, trying to learn more about autism and the new methods of treatment. Ms. Crabb makes speech therapy look so effortless, but as I learned more, she was using multiple techniques to get the child to speak, ABA, Sensory, Social Therapy, etc. she uses many more resources than I have seen from other Speech Therapist.

Mrs. Crabb was also a wonderful resource for our family about many items dealing with Autism Spectrum since she has been in the field for nearly 20 years.

I would highly recommend Ms. Crabb!

Shelley V. 

Melanie worked very well with the other members of our child’s therapy team and always had creative solutions to help everyone (including us parents) teach our son better.

Melanie always appreciated our son’s quirky individuality. She was great at coming up with creative strategies to help us engage him.

Melanie helped us to see our child’s particular strengths and to use those as a springboard to better communication.

John and Jenny F. 


You are an amazing speech therapist and have made such an impact on the lives of many children! You take a personal interest in each child and family that you serve, which is such a beautiful, rare quality. I have needed your expertise several times and so much appreciate your advice, thanks for the collaboration! Keep doing what you love!

Nicole Lang

Melanie worked with my daughter Elizabeth for 4 years. During that time she was always professional with both me and my daughter. Her sessions were well planned, and Elizabeth enjoyed the time she spent learning with Melanie. Melanie was on-time and if she was unable to make a session I was always given plenty of notice and it was promptly rescheduled. She was also very flexible with my work schedule as well.

My daughter has a bi-lateral sensorineural hearing loss. Although she has some residual hearing, her speech was delayed and she required extra help. I truly believe that one of the reasons Elizabeth is doing so well today is because of her time spent with Melanie. Elizabeth continues to meet and excel her speech goals in school and there are people who meet her and do not realize the extent of her hearing loss because her speech is clear.

I highly recommend Melanie as a speech therapist for a child of any age.

Robin V. 

I hired Melanie to work with my son with Asperger’s as I was having trouble finding a speech language pathologist who was willing and knowledgeable on working with an older child. My son was 12 when I hired Melanie and my son was high functioning, a straight A student, but with ongoing social skills deficits and issues with understanding abstract language. Melanie was able to work with my son at his level and was able to accommodate his interests and needs. Most importantly, she was knowledgeable enough to work with his individual needs and change what was needed on the fly if something occurred at school that I needed addressed. Melanie was also reliable, listened to what I needed therapy to focus on, and was able to handle my sons concerns as well. I would highly recommend Melanie as a speech language pathologist and if I was still living in the Des Moines area would still be using her.

Dr. Liebowitz

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