Louise Speck, author of Tickles n’ Tears, is a Clinical Clown known as Spec, who works with institutionalized populations around the world. She has a background in counseling psychology, education, and special needs. She studied hospital clowning and practiced with other professionals before visiting locales and residents of all ages. She participates in the brain-injury network of survivors. Speck, who has done graduate work in counseling psychology and lectured at MIT, works at nursing homes and other care institutions bringing her background in special needs to bear, in order to make people feel . . . happier.