An interview with Melanie
To end Mindfulness March, we are doing an interview with Melanie who is both a speech language pathologist and hosts a meditation event for children in Los Angeles. Here is a little background on Melanie Pensak, M.S., CCC-SLP the pediatric speech-language pathologist. Melanie has 12 years experience in a variety of pediatric settings including multidisciplinary private practice, home health, and medical outpatient centers domestically and internationally spending one year practicing in Australia. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 2004 and her Master’s degree in 2005 through Duquesne University in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. She most recently received her certificate of Early Intervention through Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies in Washington, DC in June 2015. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the State of California in Speech-Language Pathology. Melanie participates in volunteer speech-language projects including performing literacy screenings for the Dadagaun Village Project in Nepal.
During the interview:
A: What brought you to start mindfulness?
M: I started a consistent practice about two 2 years ago and found it helpful in my personal life, emotional life, my attention, and overall contentment. I started to realize that all these areas would help children. I became involved with Mindful schools. I realized how vital this is for our children because attention is so important. We want our children to be able to retain what they are learning. I feel children deal with a lot of pressure, have a lot of activities, and are constantly busy. We know as adults we are all seeking headspace and clarity and to be more balanced, why not start this early with our kids. Kids love it so much and it helps them focus as young as four years (mainly ages 5 to 10).
A: What applications do you recommend using with kids?
M: I like Stop. Think. Breathe Kids. I also really like Mindful games activity cards. I really like all these products because they encourage family involvement. I use them for transitions and to set the stage for language input.
A: What is your mindfulness training?
M: I went through Mindful School’s- Mindful Foundations and IPP PROGAM UCLA MARC
A: What would you suggest for someone who wants to get started in meditation?
M: For a Beginner, I suggest UCLA mindful awareness website and the application Headspace. For a more experienced meditator, I would suggest Insight Timer
A: Tell me about your Airbnb experiences?
M: It’s called “Mindfulness for families”. It is an hour-long experience at the beach in Santa Monica. It is designed for parents and children for them to learn basic mindful techniques, we go through a variety of different activities based on age on kiddos. Activities include:
Every child has an opportunity to participate in something of interest to them. Some activities are designed to be performed alone and some are designed for parents and child together. The experience is open worldwide. I find this experience to be fun and exciting and it enhances my job as speech therapist.
For more information about Melanie’s Airbnb experience check out the information below.
IG - @meditate_at_the_beach #meditateatthebeach
FB- Meditate at the Beach - Mindful Meditation Experience