Tell us about your role at Autism Partnership
I’m a Speech and Language Pathologist. My role involves working closely with autistic people and their care teams, and providing them with tools to communicate effectively with others. This may involve teaching them ways to communicate their needs and ideas, whether verbally or using a form of Augmentative or Alternative Communication, or increasing their ability to articulate these needs clearly.
As many of my clients are interested in interacting with their peers, we are also working on providing them with the ability to hold a conversation with others and advocating for their needs in friendships. Most of the clients I work with are school-aged, although I do work with some adults and also preschoolers.
Tell us about your career history at Autism Partnership
I started at Autism Partnership as a Behaviour Therapist and Speech and Language Pathologist in early 2018.
From the beginning, I was given opportunities to have a varied caseload of clients and access a range of experiences. Initially this included school and home-based behaviour therapy clients. Gradually, my caseload was expanded to provide time for me to develop my clinical skills.
I was provided with supervision from a BCBA and Speech and Language Pathologist throughout this process. My role eventually grew to include a Behaviour Consultancy component, whereby I was also the Key Worker for some school-aged children and oversaw early intensive behaviour intervention programs.
Having these experiences allowed me to work out that my passion lies in teaching self-advocacy skills to autistic people, so my role now centres around Speech and Language Pathology, coordinating communication-related PD opportunities for Behaviour Therapists, and running social skills groups.
What is a highlight or a standout moment in your career so far at Autism Partnership?
There are many, but one highlight was seeing a school-aged student flourish after introducing Assistive Technology to support their literacy difficulties. They now use speech-to-text software to write creative stories as a leisure activity, which would have been taxing for them without the use of this software. The best part has been seeing this young person’s newfound confidence.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining Autism Partnership?
I’d say go for it! I count myself lucky to work with very passionate and knowledgeable people at Autism Partnership. We have such a range of clients that it’s possible to work in areas that really interest you. The organisation is also committed to providing PD and training opportunities to support your professional development.
What is your favourite aspect of working at Autism Partnership?
The part I love most is the focus on the person at the centre of the support model, and incorporating their strengths, preferences, and input when determining goals. We are also innovative in how we approach problem-solving, by applying scientific principles in a creative way to maximise positive outcomes for the individual.