Speech Pathologist Anna Caroline Strickland Conquers Hurdles to Advocate for Others

By Madeline Martin and Katelyn Allen on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Anna Caroline Strickland
Anna Caroline received physical and occupational therapy for cerebral palsy.

Anna Caroline Strickland
Job title: Speech Pathologist at Pediatrics Plus
Age: 27 | Higher Education: Ouachita Baptist University, Harding University

Anna Caroline Strickland’s interest in a career in speech pathology stemmed from her own life experiences. For the first 10 years of her life, the Little Rock native attended Easterseals Arkansas where she received physical and occupational therapy for cerebral palsy. She returned as a volunteer throughout high school and college and discovered how much she enjoyed helping kids reach their goals.

“Speech language pathology is a way to be an important part in children’s lives and a way I can help them reach their goals,” Anna Caroline said. “I got into speech pathology to make a difference in children’s lives, and I feel like I’m definitely accomplishing that goal.”

Her parents taught her the importance of perseverance and a strong work ethic, which pushed her to pursue her dream career despite the challenges she faced. 

“A lot of hard work, determination and perseverance got me to where I am today,” Anna Caroline said. “I never give up because it’s not in my personality to do so. I always push myself forward no matter how hard the situation.”

Now, Anna Caroline works as a speech pathologist at Pediatrics Plus in Little Rock. Her job is to evaluate and treat children with speech and language delays in conjunction with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other developmental disorders. Anna Caroline is able to use her unique perspective to make an impact on her students and their families, and she finds the progress and milestones her students make to be incredibly rewarding.

“I knew what I was getting into when I chose speech therapy, but what I didn’t anticipate was the deep love and respect I have for the children I have treated and their families,” Anna Caroline said. “...I know that I have left an impact on their families' lives. They have most certainly left an impact on my life!”

A State of Support

Approximately 15% of Arkansans ages 18 to 64 have some type of disability (a total of 265,983), whether that be some kind of physical ailment, a developmental delay, or any of the numerous afflictions that affect millions of Americans daily.*

93,927 Arkansans with disabilities are employed in the labor workforce

24,589 work with hearing difficulty

15,002 work with independent living difficulty

34,019 work with cognitive difficulty

20,640 work with vision difficulty

30,087 work with ambulatory difficulty

28% have some college or an associate degree

$25,289 - median annual salary for Arkansans with disabilities

15% have a bachelor's degree or higher

*American Community Survey, 2021. Statistics reflect the total civilian non-institutionalized population aged 18 to 64 years. 15% have a bachelor's degree or higher

Disability Resources in Arkansas

Many Arkansans have a learning difference, disability or special need, and there is an abundance of resources to support them along their education and career journeys. Read more about it here.