How did you become interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist?
As an undergraduate studying psychology at MSU, I knew I wanted a career that would provide care and services to those in need. However, I was not entirely sure what that career would specifically be. A family friend of mine had just begun her professional career as an SLP, and I could not help but feel interested while she spoke of her job. She told me how much she adores her job as an SLP working with children. After researching more about speech pathology and even having the opportunity to observe a few of her sessions, I knew I wanted to be a speech pathologist and immediately signed up for my first undergrad CSD class. The more classes I took, the more I fell in love with the profession and became sure that this is what I wanted to do as a professional career. As I continue to gain knowledge through my clinical experience and coursework, I am only more confident that I have chosen the right path.
Tell us about your graduate school journey?
I was overwhelmed with excitement when I received my acceptance letter from MSU's CSD master's program. I began the program in the fall of 2014 and find it hard to believe that I will be graduating in just a few short months. I have interned at Ionia ISD Early On servicing children ages birth to 3. I also had the opportunity to intern at Henry Ford Health System working in both inpatient acute care and outpatient rehabilitation services. These internships combined with class work have given me both the knowledge and confidence to begin my journey into this profession. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, which allowed me to experience the profession in different lights. I have gained valuable knowledge and have seen progress in my clinical skills since the beginning of my graduate school experience. I have enjoyed this program and am honored to be an MSU Spartan in the CSD master's program.
Describe the clinical setting and population you are working with at your current internship?
I am currently interning at Community Mental Health in Lansing. CMH provides a wide variety of services to both children and adults within Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. I am currently working with clients ranging from 4 to 80 years of age who have an array of disorders including autism spectrum disorders (ASD), CHARGE syndrome, dysphagia, behavioral problems, mental disabilities and more. I provide individual and group therapy at CMH Wardcliff Abilities Center as well as in the community and at the patient's private homes. I work with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and perform co-treatments with the occupational therapist and psychologists.
How has your internship helped prepare you for your career?
My current internship at CMH has helped prepare me for my future career by providing me with the necessary skills to work with a variety of disorders. My supervisor is very knowledgeable and resourceful and has shown and taught me an assortment of skills to contribute to my professional success. My evaluation and treatment skills for both the child and adult population have consistently progressed and I am continually gaining confidence in working with patients with ASD, using AAC devices and coding for ADOS testing. This internship has also provided me with effective communication skills through collaboration with other professionals, family members, staff and aides, and case managers.