How this Speech Pathologist is Helping Others Find their Voice
As a Speech Pathologist at Key Assets, Dee is building a career that’s in tune with her dream.
Dee Bianchi was looking for a role where she could harness her creative skills to make a positive impact. As a Speech Pathologist at Key Assets, she’s building a career that’s in tune with her dream. Working with children and people with disabilities is a challenging gig, but Dee says the impact she’s delivering makes it all worthwhile.
Turning passion into purpose
Sometimes, the little things in life bring us the most joy. For Speech Pathologists, every day presents small moments of pride. It might be hearing someone pronounce a word correctly for the first time, or giving a child newfound confidence to speak up in the classroom. The impact a Speech Pathologist can have on a client’s life is a powerful thing. Just ask Dee Bianchi.
Dee grew up with a penchant for all things creative, from music and drama to fashion. In high school, she decided to channel her artistic talents into writing and creating music, which led her to study a Bachelor’s degree in Music and a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy. She then lived overseas for eight years, travelling and teaching in expat schools. On Dee’s return to Australia, she completed her Masters in Speech Pathology, establishing a career that allows her to use her creative skills to help others find their voice.
“That’s the nice thing about a career as a Speech Pathologist; you experience so many moments of affirmation,” Dee explains. “Even though progress can be slow, you’re proud of your clients achievements and your role in helping them accomplish their goals. We equipped a non-verbal man with an iPad, and in one week he came in and asked for a muffin. That’s something he wasn’t able to do for 44 years. We provided him with the communication strategies to do that.”
A day in the life of a Speech Pathologist
Key Assets provides a range of services to children, adolescents and people with disabilities. Although we’re increasing our focus on pediatrics in the future, there will still be opportunities for future Speech Pathologists to work across a range of clients. Dee says anyone looking for flexibility and diverse work will thrive at Key Assets.
Dee splits her days between working in the clinic and out in the community. On a clinic day, she’ll see four to five clients for one-hour sessions, then spend the rest of her day writing notes, preparing for further sessions, generating reports, or making calls to child safety officers. If her day is spent in the community, Dee will see clients in their own homes, schools, community living accommodation or in social settings, depending on their needs. This might include speech work with a child and modelling strategies for the carer, or heading to a cafe with an adult client to practice ordering lunch.
“I prioritise building rapport with my clients, understanding their interests and setting collaborative functional goals. The assessments and evaluations can be quite clinical, so it’s important to develop a safe environment that feels fun and engaging. Working with children and people with disabilities presents different challenges, but they both require an element of creativity from the practitioner.”
In addition to a creative flair, the team at Key Assets also values transparency, diversity, and accessibility. Dee explains how these qualities should be underpinned by a commitment to authenticity.
In addition to a creative flair, the team at Key Assets also values transparency, diversity, and accessibility
“When I speak with my clients or with parents, carers or teachers, I value setting clear and functional goals. It is essential to identify any barriers as well as assuming competency, so that we can have open and authentic conversations about progress. Care should be client-centred, functional, and driven by kindness and empathy.”
What to expect from a career at Key Assets
As Key Assets grow, we’re looking to hire Speech Pathologists across Australia. Dee says any Allied Health professionals joining the team should be excited about the chance to take on a varied caseload.
“You’ll see people who present very differently, multiple diagnoses, and high complex needs across the spectrum of communication. I have bilingual late talkers, adults with hearing difficulties, non-verbal ASD and Traumatic Brain Injury to dysphagia. I have experiences working with translators, support and key workers, and partners to develop communication strategies that really make a difference. You have the chance to build an extensive knowledge base at Allied Outcomes.”
Although the variety can be exciting, it’s important to understand the realities of this type of work. A lot of our clients have highly complex needs, and it can be challenging at times. But if you’re flexible, open minded, and embrace all types of progress, you will find a lot of purpose while making a huge difference to your clients’ lives. And as you support others in your role, the team at Allied Outcomes will take care of you.
“Key Assets is eager to support you. Make sure you grab that and use the resources available to you. If you identify your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be helped to bridge the gaps. You’re also empowered to narrate your own caseload. For the right person, there’s a lot of opportunity to establish a great career and make an impact.”