Meet Andrea, aka Andee, who with her magical wand has created The Whimsical World. She has been a Speech Language Pathologist for 18 years and has recently delved into Tele-Speech Therapy in the USA. Telepractice is her new love and she is also a passionate resource designer. She has created various digital worksheets and resources for Speech Langauge Therapy. She is a source of inspiration for all budding Speech Language Therapists.
What is your typical day at work?
My typical day begins at 8am, and ends at 4pm. I see my students virtually on the west coast between the hours of 10am-3pm mostly. I love working from home as a telepractioner! Currently, I service students who are homeschooled only.
What has been your most memorable experience while working in the field of Speech-Language Pathology?
I was recently at a conference with over 150 attendees, and two young women came up to ask me if I was Andee, from The Whimsical Word, Inc. They went on to describe how they loved my blog, and tell all of their SLP friends about my creative Speech-Language Materials. Last year I was completely new to telepractice, so to be recognized by colleagues for my work, only 12 month later, was shocking. I was overwhelmed and humbled at the same time.
You work very closely helping people on a daily basis. Are there any challenges you come across when trying to encourage people to move forward?
The challenges I face working with students who are homeschooled are similar to working with students in a brick and mortar school. Sometimes, older students become unmotivated to log in, or perhaps, behavioral and mental health challenges prevent us from having a prosperous session. At times, students have very little home support for carryover and encouragement.
Tell us about your experience with Telepractice and why you chose it.
I began telepractice in the fall of 2016, following a relocation with my family. I knew that telepractice would allow me the flexibility as a mother and professional. Once I started becoming more familiar with the logistics and technology, I knew that I would never return to a brick and mortar setting! After years of feeling burnt out by the school system, telepractice has renewed my passion for Speech Pathology, and created new opportunities for me to grow as a professional.
What according to you are the growth prospects of being a Telepracticing SLP?
Telepractice is growing exponentially. Technology continues to improve rapidly to allow us to reach more and more clients across the globe. Speech Pathologists here in the United States are looking for more flexible options when raising a family, and telepractice is an attractive alternative to many. I find it absolutely exciting that we can deliver quality services to people in far reaching areas, who may not have otherwise received treatment.
Your advice for young people pursuing Speech-Language Pathology as a career.
I think Speech-Language Pathology is an absolutely amazing career choice. I would encourage young graduates to explore all areas, including research and development. I think it’s important that we look at all the ways we can change the world. Yes, we can provide services, but consider conducting research, and creating products and technology our clients can benefit from. Whether you are a “creative type” or a “data type”, we need you in Speech Pathology! Don’t limit yourself to just being a service provider.