We recently sat down with Jamie Giannino, M.S., CCC-SLP, to dive into her background and experience, clinical approach, inspiration for becoming a speech therapist, and more. You can read more about Jamie here.
Can you spend a few minutes talking about your experience and background as a speech therapist?
I have been a speech therapist for 5 years, and graduated from LIU Post in 2015. While in grad school I authored original research selected for presentation at the 2015 ASHA Convention in Denver, CO. There, I led a team of peers and professors in delivering an original 1-hour seminar presentation on swallowing concerns and treatment in children with cerebral palsy. That is one of my proudest accomplishments, and one I achieved before my career even began.
As a result of meeting my personal career goal so early, I have been able to focus exclusively on client experience, therapeutic effectiveness, and enjoying my work! I enjoyed working in multiple settings and have experience working with a wide variety of clients. I have worked in schools, private practice, skilled nursing, home care, and virtual settings, finding things I love about each service delivery model. I can confidently serve any age group, from early intervention to geriatrics, and am truly a lifelong learner.
Why did you decide to become a speech therapist?
My mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when I was 15, and she needed help from a full rehab team, including speech-language pathologists (SLPs). I thought it was so interesting. Prior to that, I had only thought of SLPs when it came to fixing lisps, and didn't realize the number and complexity of medical and educational conditions they worked on. I was hooked.
What areas of speech-language pathology interest you most?
I am interested in the whole field! Particularly I am interested in aphasia, articulation, stroke rehabilitation, early intervention, school-age language disorders, accent modification, transgender voice modification, memory loss compensatory strategies, augmentative and alternative Communication (AAC), and more. The list is endless!
What part of your job do you find most enjoyable?
I love when clients have the confidence to use the skills and strategies they learn in everyday situations. I also enjoy talking to my clients and establishing a therapeutic relationship and strong rapport. It’s like making new friends!
Among all the clients you’ve taught throughout your career, is there a particular success story that stands out in your mind?
Yes. I vividly remember my experiencing working with a woman around my age with a debilitating diagnosis. I had recently worked to establish an alternative communication device for her because of how difficult it was for her to speak. She started to demonstrate amazing gains and is beginning to advocate for herself! The happiness in her eyes when she used her device to ask for a piece of chocolate is something I’ll never forget. She was awarded a device similar to what Stephen Hawking used. It meant so much to her. It is hard to treat clients your own age because it reminds you to truly never take anything for granted.
How do you assess and monitor your clients’ progress?
Good question! It looks different for every client, but most frequently it’s a percentage rating. I monitor accuracy from session to session, and adjust goals and levels of cueing accordingly. Depending on the client, I enjoy sharing my data with clients so they can see progress for themselves.
What attracted you to online speech therapy?
I like exploring new areas of my field. Telepractice has been widely established in the field of speech therapy, well before the COVID pandemic thrust it into the spotlight. For a while, I’ve been wanting to shift my work-life balance to better serve my interests. Luckily, online speech therapy allows me to do just that, all while staying safe and making sure my clients are as well.
What are your hobbies or passions outside of speech therapy?
Outside of speech therapy I am inclined to spend time jet skiing or at the beach during the summer. I am either snowmobiling or staying warm inside during the winter. These days, I am spending more time with friends, my American Eskimo dogs, biking, going on hikes, and exploring new places. I also love to travel.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you for reading! I am happy to be part of the team and look forward to helping Expressable's clients reach their communication goals.