Julieanne and Melissa are both CFYs, which means they are in their “Clinical Fellowship Year”. They both went to NC Central University and earned Masters Degrees in Speech Language Pathology, and both ended up working at Therapy Playground.
Julieanne was able to do an intership at Therapy Playground, and Melissa had done internships at other places and wasn’t sure what Therapy Playground was like. There has been a lot of sweat, blood, and tears to get to this point, which includes a lot of studying, supervision, research on language and speech disorders. They’ve also been to several conferences which focused on speech and feeding disorders.
Some of the main things Melissa enjoyed about her CFY was the flexibility, being able to go to different areas doing home visits, and have met wonderful familys and talked with them about their concerns of the children. She also has her own office at the clinic and has it setup the way she wants it.
Julieanne started at Therapy Playground working in the office doing authorizations and other office tasks such as filing. She started in Robeson County, going almost to South Carolina. Julieanne also works with the Spanish bilingual population, and learning more about the Spanish culture and seeing how grateful the families are to have therapy done in two languages. She loves learning about feeding disorders, and has been to three feeding confernces and feels very skilled in that area. Not all CF therapist are able to learn about feeding so it’s been very benificial to have these experiences.
Melissa didn’t have the feeding experience prior to working at Therapy Playground and it was a whole new world learning about it. Melissa had experience with older adults so now learning infanct feeding with a G-Tube could be challenging.
In school they gave a few evaluations, but in their CFY they both worked with the CDSA giving the PLS test to 3 year olds and younger many times. You learn so much more doing these test and goals in the real world environment. After doing it so many times it builds your skill and confidence.
Being able to have a SLP supervisor or other SLP around to ask questions is very helpful. Another thing Julieanne loves about Therapy Playground is even though she is a new grad, she’s come out of school with fresh and new information, and having the collaboration with other therapist helps to come up with great ideas to treat children. Also, Therapy Playground has OTs, PTs, and Play Therapist, so you can get information from them if for example you have a kid with sensor processing or behaviour issues.
Anyone who is thinking about becoming an SLP or looking for a place to do your CFY, Julieanne recommends finding a place that you have really good supervision. They know of students who have quit their CFY in the middle of the year because they weren’t getting good supervision or they felt uncomfortable at the clinic. You don’t want to waste a whole year with poor SLP supervision.