As a young graduate, armed with a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology from LaTrobe University and a passion for supporting children to be the very best they can be, Bianca began her career as a Speech Pathologist.
In her first place of employment, it was the norm for the therapist to set the goals in each session. But for Bianca, this approach just didn’t feel quite right.
Surely parents were the ones who knew their child best? She felt parents should be given every opportunity to become involved in setting goals. She also firmly believed that the strategies for achieving those goals should be easy to fit into (not around) their everyday lives.
Bianca’s next position was as a speech pathologist for a family who had two children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The position involved some initial training in the USA with a speech pathologist and her team who had experience working with children on the spectrum. With very little knowledge of what Autism actually is, Bianca eagerly hopped on a plane, excited to begin this next phase in her career.
When she arrived to meet the family for the first time, she was struck at how ordinary they seemed, just like any other family you might see at the airport. On the plane, arriving in customs, and then travelling by car to her new home, everything seemed fine. It wasn’t until they stopped to pick up some groceries at a local supermarket that she got her first glimpse into what life would be like for the next few months.
As they all piled out of the car and made their way to the entrance of the shop, things suddenly took a dramatic turn. One child made a run for the magazines at one end of the shop, while the other child sprinted as fast as they could towards the cakes at the other end. One parent ran after one child and the other parent ran after the other child. It was chaos.
In that moment, Bianca clearly saw the importance of working in
partnership with families.
Through this experience, she developed a vision for a clinic where the therapists work closely with families to support, assess and treat a child. Where collaboration, understanding and communication are key factors in achieving positive outcomes. And where the ultimate goal is to empower parents with simple strategies they can use in everyday situations to support their child’s ongoing development.