Program: Speech-Language Pathology (2nd year)
Degrees Held: BA - Psychology (Concordia)
Next Steps: Coming into this program I was sure I wanted to continue working with children with Autism but I am amazed at how much I’ve learned in just one year. I can now see myself working in a setting for head and neck cancer, special needs children, swallowing disorders or fluency disorders. The fact that this degree will open the doors for so many different paths is what makes it amazing. After I graduate I would ideally like to work in a hospital setting where I can get exposure to different areas of speech and language so that I can continue to build my knowledge and clinical skills in a variety of areas.
Why Western: I chose Western for its sense of community and beautiful campus. More specifically, I chose the CSD program at Western because of the increased focus on clinical practice, the in-house clinic and the friendly and welcoming faculty that I experienced during the application process and after my admissions offer.
What inspired me to pursue an advanced degree: After completing my undergraduate degree I started working with children with Autism and found the work to be extremely rewarding. Through this work I realized that language plays such a major role in how we function as human beings and without it not only does the child struggle to succeed in the social world we live in, but so too does their family. After this realization, I knew I wanted to pursue a degree that would allow me to build knowledge in the area of speech and language development so that I could combine my knowledge and training in ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy with my new understanding of how language develops.
Favourite Western memory: My favorite Western memory so far has to be the Christmas Potluck that was organized for the CSD department. It was an ugly sweater party so some of my classmates and I decided that we needed crimped hair to match our ugly sweaters! There was plenty of food to go around, and definitely a lot of laughter. Is there any better way to celebrate Christmas at school, than with newly made friends that now feel like long-time friends? I guess crimped hair and ugly sweaters will do that to you!
Best thing about being a student at Western: The faculty in the CSD department is astounding! When our professors say that their doors are always open, they really mean it. Not only are they willing to help you out on class-related material, the faculty is eager to get to know you as a person. They are genuinely concerned with your future goals, mental health and success in the program. This is a benefit of being in a small program, but is also a reflection of the CSD faculty.
My advice to future students considering Western: If you are considering the CSD program at Western, I would suggest visiting the school to get a tour of the in-house clinic, meet a few current students and chat with a faculty member or two. I know from my experience this helped me get a feel for the program and opened my eyes to the different opportunities the CSD program has to offer such as the IAL conference, observing in the Cleft Lip and Palate clinic in London and volunteering abroad in South Africa or Peru.