On Friday, April 24, 2015, the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Inc. (NYSSLHA) honored Lexington with the 2015 Distinguished Clinical Service Award in recognition of its clinical supports to Lexington’s band, Flame. Lexington was honored during the Honors and Awards program at NYSSLHA’s 55th Annual Convention, which took place at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, NY.
About Lexington, NYSSLHA said, “It is clear that your organization has a staff of dedicated individuals who should be very proud of Lexington’s accomplishments. NYSSLHA is delighted to recognize your organization and the phenomenal work that brings Flame’s music and message to help change how the public perceives people with disabilities.”
For more than 10 years, Lexington’s clinical team has supported Flame band members in various ways as they have developed into the professional and renowned musical sensation they are today. Speech and language pathologists have worked with lead singer Michelle King on her vocals and have helped percussionist Scott Stuart adjust his wheelchair tray so that he can play the drums. They have also coached band members on the social and communication skills necessary to navigate the many situations their fame has thrust them into ― everything from national events with huge audiences, such as the Special Olympics, to performances at college campuses. Occupational and physical therapists have worked to ensure the band members are able to access stages, hotels and other potentially challenging environments. Lexington’s therapists even helped with retrofitting the band’s tour bus.
Michelle King accepted the award along with Flame band manager Maria Nestle. King spoke about her childhood autism diagnosis and the struggles she has had as a result. She credited Flame for giving her the confidence and opportunity to share her story of ability and gift of music with thousands of people. She thanked Lexington for supporting her as she lives her dream.