Hi, my name is Tyler and I am a Speech Pathologist at Royal Far West. I have been lucky enough to work at Royal Far West for nearly four years now, and am currently a part of the Telecare Program and the Paediatric Developmental Program (PDP).
Describe your role
I help children with speech, language, social, stuttering, reading, writing, eating, and play difficulties. I work in a team with other professionals at RFW to assess children and help their families to obtain the best support available for their children’s difficulties. I also work closely with their local schools.
One the most exciting things about RFW is that we are always listening to our families’ feedback to help make our good programs even better. I have been fortunate to be involved in redesigning our PDP over the last couple of years. The feedback about the redesigned program from children, families and staff has been great, and this redesign project has been a very rewarding experience for me.
What led to you RFW?
Before joining RFW, I worked as a Speech Pathologist in schools, universities, city and country clinics and private practice. I first visited RFW to learn more about delivering speech therapy by telehealth (Telecare). I was so excited by what I saw that I applied for a job and became part of the Speech Pathology team.
What drives your day?
I really enjoy helping country children to access speech therapy services and I love working with country schools. It is wonderful to meet the children in person when they stay with us at Manly to access the PDP. This program enables me to be part of a highly qualified team of professionals who work together to assess and support country children and their families. It is great to be able to provide services that these children cannot access where they live.
RFW is an organisation that manages to combine caring and supportive staff, with a quest for research and innovation. It really is a unique place to work.
Has COVID-19 impacted your work?
Since March this year I’ve been working from home. Luckily RFW was already set up with the technology to work from home so I can continue to see all my children, families and schools by Telecare. I can also meet with my colleagues by videoconferencing to work as a team to support these children and to support each other, and RFW, to continue to develop and grow.
At the moment, a typical day for me usually starts with a casual check-in with my colleagues. This is followed by planning for Telecare sessions with children, or reading referral letters or reports, contacting local schools or services, or getting fun resources ready. Then I have Telecare appointments with children, where I videoconference into homes or schools to work with them and their families or schools or both, which is really fun. Following these appointments, I email out fun homework for the children and complete any follow-up phone calls or paperwork. I usually have meetings with colleagues most days to work on projects such as continuing to improve our services, or supporting our learning. Some days I also manage to squeeze in some time to look at a quick webinar or read a journal article to keep my own professional knowledge up to date.
Please share a couple of RFW highlights
I have had many rewarding experiences working with children and families at RFW. A couple of experiences that stand out most for me are:
-Helping a Year 6 boy who had never spoken up in class before to improve his speech skills through Telecare speech therapy sessions so that he was able to make a presentation to his class for the first time and feel so proud.
-Working as a team to help diagnose a preschool girl with Autism Spectrum Disorder so that her family and preschool were able to understand her needs better, and supporting them to engage therapy services so that she was able to improve from only being able to attend preschool for 1-2 hours at time, to successfully starting ‘big’ school fulltime, with all the supports that she would need all in place and ready for her.
-Working with a kindergarten boy, his lovely family and his school over Telecare to treat his speech sound disorder, so that now he can speak, read and write as well as all of his friends.
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