What inspired you to become a speechie?
Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to work with kids, either in a preschool or school setting, as I just love children! I’m also a helper by nature, so was absolutely thrilled when I discovered the profession of speech pathology!
Not only would I be working with kids, but I would be helping them to achieve one of the greatest gifts of all, communication!
I consider myself one of the luckiest women around, as not only do I love my job, I have the best team working with me!
Who do you like to work with?
I work with children and adolescents of all ages and all disabilities.
I am particularly keen on working with children who have Autism, and children with an Indigenous background. Having said that, I still love working with other kids!
I love working in schools too! It’s so great seeing how the child functions in the school environment, and wonderful being able to work hand in hand with the child’s teacher to work out how the child’s speech/ language delay is affecting their academic progress at school, and to develop the best strategies to help.
Snow skiing, snow skiing and snow skiing! Unfortunately, that only last 8 weeks a year, so for the rest of the year, I really enjoy travelling, bushwalking, mountain bike riding and attending Pilates classes.
I really believe in the principal “Healthy body – healthy mind”, and in running a business, you need to keep fit and healthy to provide the best service that you can.
Favourite speech games:
Pop-Up Pirate, Pig goes pop, bubbles, Ants in the Pants – there are so many games that I love! People games that involve blankets, singing songs and hiding are always lots of fun!
What has influenced you in your work as a speechie?
I have three kids, who are all grown up now. Each of them had some different forms of speech and language problems. Being a busy single mum who worked full time, I found that I had to develop strategies of how to do speech homework “on the go”, and they worked!
My kids are now successful adults working in great careers. This is the most important tool that I pass on to my team members, I encourage them to not only give homework but also ‘strategies’, in case homework can’t be done due to the time constraints of the busy times we now live in.
2018 saw a new accomplishment achieved, which was winning the “Most outstanding Health Improvement service in the Penrith local business awards. This was a validation of the amazing effort and quality work that our team deliver every day, to help our clients in the best way possible. I also view as great accomplishments the facts that I have raised three beautiful children, have an amazing team of speechies, OTs and psychologists working with me, and last but not least, climbing to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro in 2015 was epic! It goes without saying, that physically and mentally, it was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done, but I made it! I raised $4500 for the Luke Priddis Foundation (our local Autism Charity), which meant a lot to me, as at that point in time, there was no NDIS funding that offered easy access of therapies to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) University of Sydney
- Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP)
- Certified Practising Hanen Speech Pathologist – “It Takes Two to Talk”
- Certified Practising Hanen Speech Pathologist “More Than Words”
- Certified Practising Hanen Speech Pathologist “TalkAbility”
- Certified Practising Hanen Speech Pathologist “ABC and Beyond”
- Key Word Sign
- Autism Essentials, Monique Simpson
- ‘Transition to School’ Sue Larkey
- Clinical Educator Training
- ‘Advanced Therapy Techniques for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder’ Monique Simpson
- Nutrition and ASD – Paula Tazzyman
- ‘RDI Introduction’ Elizabeth Ponce Barboza
- Understanding Autism Spectrum Condition Workshop – Dr Tony Attwood & Michelle Garnett
- ‘There’s a Traffic Jam in My Brain’ Workshop – Gen Jereb
Presentations and Publications:
- Guest Panel Member/ speaker- Luke Priddis Foundation Autism Forums, 2013, 2104, 2015
- Autism Spectrum Disorder –“It’s Not all Black and White” 2013, 2015
- “Language development in preschool-aged children” 2012
- “Speech and Language development in preschool-aged children, and strategies to assist” 2013
- Creation of Mission Australia preschool language screening assessment, 2014
- Modification of Mission Australia preschool language screening assessment, 2018
- Presentation of Mission Australia screening assessment, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Hosted Hanen “More Than Words”, 2015, 2017, 2018
- Hosted Hanen “Talkability” 2015
- Kindergarten orientation talks at local schools
- Speech and language presentations at local preschools