We recently sat down with Alexis Irazoque, M.S., CCC-SLP, to dive into her background and experience, clinical approach, inspiration for becoming a speech therapist, and more. You can read more about Alexis Irazoque here.
Can you spend a few minutes talking about your experience and background as a speech therapist?
I earned my Bachelor degree from Elmhurst University and my Master degree from Midwestern University. I have experience working with people of all ages, including infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the geriatric population. I have provided services for individuals within a variety of settings including early intervention, schools, day rehab, outpatient clinics, and online.
Why did you decide to become a speech therapist?
I knew I loved and wanted to teach. However, I was drawn to a more 1-on-1, individualized experience when working with people. My love for language and interest in science and the medical field pointed me towards Speech Pathology and I never looked back!
What areas of speech-language pathology interest you most?
My niche is within adult dysphagia, cognitive-communication disorders, and pediatric articulation/phonological disorders. However, I also love assessing and treating voice, language, and fluency disorders as well!
What part of your job do you find most enjoyable?
My favorite part of the job is meeting so many different children, families, and clients. Everyone has a unique story and I love getting to know people and building relationships.
Among all the clients you’ve taught throughout your career, is there a particular success story that stands out in your mind?
Absolutely. I had a client in his 80s who suffered from multiple strokes, resulting in global aphasia and verbal apraxia. His wife wanted so badly to hear him tell her he loved her. We worked on this goal for weeks using Melodic Intonation Therapy. The next session that his wife attended, he was able to tell his wife “I love you.” We all cried!
How do you assess and monitor your clients’ progress?
I try to take data every session to monitor progress towards short term goals. Percentages of accuracy and/or percentages of opportunities is a big part of what I look for. I also like to note the amount of support that was required because that tells me a lot about improvement. Additionally, I rely heavily on client and/or family report and clinical observation.
What attracted you to online speech therapy?
I personally love the flexibility of being able to work from home. From my experience, the ability to meet with healthcare professionals from the comfort of your own home is an aspect I will never take for granted. I love that you can skip the drive, the waiting room, germs, etc. And the same goes for being a healthcare provider myself.
Also, I enjoy providing individualized therapy that the client and family can experience from the comfort of their home, especially because that is where children do their most (and best) learning. Online speech therapy also allows me to get the families more involved than ever. Goodbye drop-off and pickups with no carry-over... hello progress and home program compliance!
What are your hobbies or passions outside of speech therapy?
I am a TOTAL homebody. I love spending time with my husband, baby, and dogs, as well as our immediate families. Our gatherings are always centered around food - what can I say? One side is Italian and the other is Mexican. Both delicious cuisines! I also write speech pathology resumes on the side - I just like to nerd out and writing is my thing.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Expressable team! It is truly the best of the best!