When Kristin was growing up, she was set on a career in the medical field – her passion deep down has always been to help others. In college, she initially was not sure what direction to take but knew that she preferred to work towards a profession where she could more directly influence others positively.
Inspired by a close friend already in the field, she changed her major to Speech Pathology and developed a deep interest in speech and linguistics. Coupled with the desire to spend quality time with patients and develop relationships, she quickly realized that speech-language pathology was an amazing fit.
“Building close relationships with patients and their families is one of the reasons I enjoy home health,” says Kristin. “Getting to know the facets of my patients’ lives helps with the therapy,” she says. “When you are visiting with a family in their home multiple times a week, you naturally become closer,” she explains. Knowing about their lives gives her a better understanding of the families’ goals, needs, and what would be most functional in their lives to work on regarding communication and feeding.
Finding the root of motivation
Kristin loves working with children and infants. She first experienced working with children who were non-verbal and autistic when she was earning her master’s degree. “This is where I fell in love working with children,” she explains.
“A former toddler-aged client taught me that there is no specific prescription for any child. Every child is unique and motivated by something different. The most important thing is to learn about them,” she says. “I learned to dig deep and find out what is most exciting and motivating to every child. Therapists can have all the cool gadgets, toys and theories, but at the end of the day, you have to get on the floor and play,” she explains. “Whatever a child is interested in, it becomes your doorway and helps them progress.”
Working for MGA
Kristin enjoys the flexibility, autonomy, and growth opportunities that MGA affords her. “I was recently able to mentor a student speech therapist and supervise recent speech therapy graduates during their clinical fellowship,” she explains. “It is so rewarding to be able to teach others about all speech therapy has to offer.”
One thing many people don’t know about speech therapy,” she imparts, “is that many speech therapists also do feeding therapy.” And this has also become a passion for Kristin. “I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with post-NICU babies and children who need to learn or rehabilitate their ability to eat by mouth,” she says. “What is better than that? There’s nothing better than teaching babies and kids to communicate and eat.”