What drew you to a career in speech pathology?
I always liked the idea of working in the healthcare industry and studied Human Biology in year 11 and 12 which definitely cemented this idea. Thanks to some of my family members who worked in healthcare, they suggested that speech pathology might be a suitable option for me, so I looked into the degree at Curtin University and believed it suited my personality and the direction that I wanted to go, within the healthcare industry.
In your own words, why is communication so important across all stages of life?
Communication is so important for a multitude of reasons. It is a way of expressing who we are as an individual. We are able to express our thoughts, opinions, emotions, our wants and needs. Communication helps us to connect with people, share our experiences and build relationships. Without communication, it can lead to frustration, anxiety, social isolation and can cause a breakdown in relationships.
For those who don’t know what speech pathologists do, can you give some examples of how speech pathologists assist their clients?
Speech pathologists work with both paediatric and adult populations with a wide variety of different conditions; such as neurological conditions, development delays, intellectual disabilities and many more. We conduct various assessments and provide therapy intervention for people who are experiencing speech, voice and language difficulties, and provide various alternatives to verbal communication through communication technologies. Furthermore, we manage people who experience swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) through compensatory strategies or rehabilitative exercises.
Is there a myth you would like to bust, or a surprising fact about Speech Pathology you wish people knew?
'Speech Pathology is only for kids' – Myth! Many people often think that speech pathologists only work with children, however, like I have mentioned before, speech pathologists work with adults too. Adults can experience a variety of speech, voice, language, and swallowing difficulties often caused by a neurological condition, brain injury or disease.
What do you love about working with Clients at MSWA?
I enjoy providing therapy in people’s homes and being able to support them within the community. Our Clients are all at different stages of life and it’s wonderful to be able to support them during a difficult time and support their families too. Whether it’s supporting the Client with their communication and maintaining their speech and voice function, providing them with alternative ways of communicating (i.e., communication devices), developing strategies to help them express themselves and comprehend information or to support them with safe and enjoyable mealtimes.