Through our Monthly Spotlight Series, we are taking the time to highlight the staff at KidsCare Home Health. Whether you’re an aspiring therapist or current therapist looking for your next big move, we hope you gain inspiration and valuable advice from these successful individuals and their stories.
This month we were excited to interview, Jessica, a Lead Speech Language Pathologist at KidsCare Home Health.
Where did you grow-up and what is special about your hometown?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas. There are many reasons the DFW area is special, but it’s special to me because it’s home. My Mom still lives here, I went to college here, I started a family here, and it’s just the place I want to be.
Where did you go to school for college?
I attended the University of Texas at Dallas for my Bachelors in Child Learning and Development and Psychology and Masters Degree in Communication Disorders. Go Comets!
Why did you decide to become a speech therapist?
After I received my bachelor’s degree I worked as an Early Intervention Specialist. At that time I worked along side physical therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, nutritionists and speech therapists. I really enjoyed working with the speech therapists the most. Speech seemed to come very naturally to me so I decided to pursue my Masters while working full time.
What is your favorite thing about working in pediatric speech therapy?
My favorite part of working with children is seeing them make progress towards their goals. Every small step in the right direction is celebrated.
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
I love to travel! I have been to over 12 different countries and still have so many more places on my list. My current top three are Vietnam, Sweden and New Zealand.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Embracing and empowering parents. Having a child with special needs is a challenge and our parents need support and encouragement. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I’m able to link parents with resources and information.
What is the best advice you’ve received for your career?
Embrace change and be a part of the change. Be an influencer and driver of change. Taking this stance avoids our natural instinct to fear change.
How do you make pediatric speech therapy fun?
I make ridiculously funny animal and environmental sounds paired with actions during therapy. Kids love anything silly and getting a child to smile is always a win in therapy!
What advice would you share with someone looking to become a speech therapist?
Every therapist is different. We all have different teaching styles, methods and materials. Don’t compare yourself to others. Rather, find what your passion is and follow that path.
What is your favorite memory in working at KidsCare Home Health?
My favorite memory was the KidsCare Christmas Party at Delaney Winery a few years ago. It was a beautiful venue, the food was delicious and the company was great! It was the first time I felt like a part of the larger whole that was KidsCare and it was wonderful to see the company show their appreciation to their employees.
What is the best part of working at KidsCare?
I love my clinical manager and co-therapists. Working in home health no longer means you are alone in the field. We have created a community of therapists.