Welcome to the new blog! The delay in uploading a "first post" was primarily due to me trying to figure out who and what this blog was for. Is it for you, parents, deciding whether to see an SLP or looking for ideas of what to work on at home with your child? Is it for you, fellow SLPs looking for new therapy ideas and evidence-based practice? Is it for those interested in pursuing a future career as a speech pathologist? Or is it a mix of all three and maybe a few I haven't even considered?
In the end, I decided it's most likely going to be the latter, because I think I can provide content for all 3 of those options. I'm going to try to make it easy to navigate by using the "categories" links located in the right-hand sidebar. There you'll be able to click on whichever category suits you best and find all the posts specifically tailored to you.
For this first post, I'm going to provide some more information about myself as a bit of an introduction. If you're a parent considering hiring a private speech-language pathologist, you definitely want to make sure you're hiring someone whose expertise and temperament is compatible with your child and their needs. To help in that process, I've answered a few interview questions below, so you can get a better idea of who I am and how I work.
Where did you go to school and how long have you been practicing?
I graduated from the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences in 2007. After that, I worked in the public sector for awhile at the Surrey Centre for Child Development. I also consulted to an amazing private SLP who used to work in the Vancouver area. I have been practicing privately on my own since 2009.
What made you decide to become a speech pathologist?
I studied psychology (with a minor in Spanish) in my undergrad at Boston University. At that time, my degree advisor was Jean Berko Gleason, a massive name in the field of Developmental Psychology and Language Development. When I realized that my favourite part of psychology was learning about how children developed language, Dr. Gleason advised me to look into becoming a speech pathologist.
What is your favourite thing to work on in therapy?
Though I do do speech sound therapy in my practice, my *favorite* things to work on are higher level language skills - anything from forming sentences all the way up to social skills and pragmatic language. I love working on narrative language, reading comprehension, and discourse. I often think this is because my undergraduate degree is in psychology instead of linguistics.
What do you love most about being a speech pathologist?
So many things!!! I love that I get to read books and play games as part of my job. I love that I get to find the fun in all of the goals I target. I love seeing the look on the kids' faces when they achieved a goal or gave the correct answer and they know it! I love working with families and supporting real, functional communication in the daily lives of the kids I work with.
What is an area of the field that you would like to learn more about?
I'm really interested in learning more about the building blocks of literacy and how it is so intertwined with oral language development. One of my professional development goals for 2020 is to learn more about literacy development. Another is to really continue to increase and hone my skills when targeting social competencies.
What do you like to do when you aren't helping kids improve their communication skills?
I have two daughters (pictured above), so I spend a lot of time with them. We love playing Uno and creating elaborate pretend games. I also am a writer so am always trying to carve out time to work on my manuscripts. When not writing, I love being outdoors, hiking, swimming, camping, all of the above!
Stay tuned to see more posts! I'll be adding a "therapy activity of the week" documenting one activity I did each week. In addition, I'll post lots of info about books and activities I use frequently. I'll have some posts coming up about typical and atypical speech and language development, as well as some red flags for when you might want to seek an SLP. Stay tuned for all of that and more!
One quick note, to anyone hoping to become a loyal follower of my blog, my posts might not be as frequent as on other blogs you may follow. My primary priority is to provide the best service I can to my clients, so therapy time, prep time, and professional development will always take precedence over blog-writing time! That said, I will update here at least weekly with my activity of the week. :)
Thank you for reading and feel free to comment!
Carla Monteleone & Deborah Carter own and operate Grow Speech and Language Therapy in Vancouver, BC