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Janel Umfress



I can trace my strong desire to work in education back to my childhood.

I remember feelings of admiration for my teachers, especially the ones who sparked my curiosity and inspired a desire to deepen my learning.

While investigating college and career options, I discovered the many layers of speech language pathology and loved the way in which the field melded science, psychology, brain research and education. The focus of my undergraduate and graduate work evolved into an in-depth study of language-based learning disabilities resulting in a Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders and a special education teaching credential in the mid-1980s.

Upon graduation, I began teaching upper elementary students with severe language disorders in the Claremont, California public schools. After almost 10 years in the classroom, my own family began to grow and I ventured into the private education sector where I continue to work.

My private practice in Pasadena, California, takes me to three different work settings. In my office, I provide one-to-one language and educational therapy to students with various learning challenges, including dyslexia, disorder of written expression, receptive/expressive language disorders, ADHD, executive function disabilities, and high functioning autism spectrum disorders. I am also the Learning Specialist at Walden School in Pasadena, and at Saint Mark’s School in Altadena. At each school, I work primarily with faculty and families providing support services that include classroom observations and resources, suggested accommodations, and outside referrals for students who require additional support. The unique qualities of these three work settings provide me with a deep appreciation of the diversity of all learners. In 2015, I became affiliated with the newly established Center For Connection, founded by Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, in a consulting and collaborative role.

On a personal note, my husband, Sam, and I have been married for nearly 30 years and we have two wonderful, young adult children, Jena and Harper, a 100 pound Golden Retriever named Gus, and we live in a 100 year old Craftsman house that was once home to Linus Pauling.


SLP – Speech-Language Pathology License #9636

CCC – Certificate of Clinical Competence (American Speech-Language and Hearing Association)

ET/P – Educational Therapist, Professional (Association of Educational Therapists)

MS – Communicative Disorders

Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential with Special Class Authorization

BA – Speech and Hearing Sciences