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, Annette, a Clinical Manager/Speech-Language Pathologist at KidsCare Home Health.
Where did you grow-up and what is special about your hometown?
I grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is known for their amazing food, gorgeous beaches, and mountain views. We have a little bit of everything… except snow!
Where did you go to school for college?
I did my undergrad in Special Education in the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. For grad school, I went to Carlos Albizu University in San Juan.
Why did you decide to become a speech therapist?
I have a cousin that has special needs and while she was growing up, I saw all the interventions she went through. I was fascinated with the speech therapy part, especially early intervention.
What is your favorite thing about working in pediatric speech therapy?
I love working with sensory feeding kids and children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. One of the things I love the most is watching kids accomplish their goals. I also love that I am the person that helps them eat “x” food for the first time or say their first word.
You recently became a clinical manager at KidsCare. How has the transition been from being a speech therapist with KidsCare to now managing therapists?
It has been amazing working with different personalities and getting to know their style of work. I have received a lot of support from the other Clinical Managers, so that has been a huge plus in this transition. So far, I am loving it!
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
When not at work, I like to go hiking with my 2 boys and husband, spend time in the mountains, and exercising.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement has been becoming a feeding therapist. For the longest time, I was scared of even trying it. As I started taking courses and seeing patients, I saw how much more I could help these families by being a bilingual feeding therapist.
What is the best advice you’ve received for your career?
The best advice I have received is to specialize in an area and try to be the best in it!
How do you make pediatric speech therapy fun?
When I’m in therapy, I transform myself and become this goofy person so kids can have fun while working on their goals. Play therapy is my therapy style most of the time, and kids love it! They don’t notice that we are working on speech and language goals. They think I am there to play with them.
What advice would you share with someone looking to become a speech therapist?
The best advice I could share would be to have fun while doing therapy! It is one of the most rewarding jobs out there.
What is your favorite memory in working at KidsCare Home Health?
I have so many that it’s hard to choose from! But one of my favorite memories would be the first time a non-verbal patient said his first word. No one had ever heard him say a real word and I had been working with him for a while. It was a very emotional moment for his mother, and I felt so happy to be a part of it.
What is the best part of working at KidsCare?
The best part of working at KidsCare is the support everyone gives you. There is always someone that is available to help! I love my team and how well everyone works together. This is truly the best company I have worked for!