Hi, I’m Vanessa!
I got into speech language therapy through my previous job as a nanny overseas. I already had a Bachelor of Health Science degree, and when one of the children I cared for started attending speech therapy, this really piqued my interest in the area. As soon as I returned to NZ, I trained as a Speech Language Therapist at the University of Auckland, completing a Masters in Speech Language Therapy. I’ve been working with a paediatric population in the public sector ever since, at the Ministry of Education in West Auckland. Most recently as part of an early intervention team, working with children under 5.
This experience has allowed me to work across a variety of settings including early childhood centres, schools and homes. While working alongside parents, teachers, and other specialists such as social workers, occupational therapists and early intervention teachers. It’s always such a privilege to be able to be part of a child’s communication journey!
Throughout my career so far, I have gained experience working with articulation and phonology delays/disorders, stuttering, autism spectrum disorder and social communication difficulties, children with hearing loss, children with Down’s syndrome, and language delays/disorders. I am passionate about early language development, and I also have an interest in eating, drinking and swallowing (EDS), holding the EDS representative position in my Ministry of Education office. I am trained in Hanen’s It Takes Two To Talk and ABC & Beyond, the Lidcombe Program, Way to Play, and the Routines Based Model. I have also done professional development in Makaton, and am always keen to take my next steps to continue learning and developing my skills.
I believe in working collaboratively with the child and their family, ensuring that therapy is functional, and that everyone surrounding the child has the skills to be involved in the process. I strive to make therapy fun and engaging, and to adapt sessions to meet the needs and to include the interests of each and every child I work with!