Introducing the Talented Ms. Orenda

For the month of Better Speech and Hearing we will be sharing interviews with each of our talented speech language pathologists.  This week let us introduce you to Ms. Orenda…

Where are you from?

I have lived in lots of places across Canada.  I was born in Melfort but lived in Pelican Narrows and then moved to Prince George, BC, then Regina, SK then Ottawa, ON, then Vancouver, BC and finally back to Regina.

Where did you go to school?

I did both my undergraduate work and my graduate work at UBC in Vancouver.

Why did you choose to work in the field of speech and language therapy?

I knew I wanted to work with kids and we had a family friend who was an SLP so I spent some time shadowing her and was interested in the profession.  When I got to university my favourite class in first year was my linguistics class so I knew I would love it!

What is your favorite part about being a speech language pathologist?

I love working with kids and families and spending my days “playing”.   I love that everyday I come to work I am challenged to come up with creative new ways to help the kids and their families to improve their communication skills.

What was a fulfilling moment in your career?

There have been many but one of my favourites was seeing a non-verbal child learn PECS within a couple of sessions and start using it spontaneously within the classroom.  His whole demeanor changed because he was finally able to tell people what he wanted.

What do you love about Regina Speech Centre?

I love that I am able to build relationships with the kids and families I work with and see real changes in their communication skills.

What is something that you wish more people knew about our field?

I wish that people knew that we work on so much more than speech sounds.  We work with people of all ages and with many different communication needs in many different environments.

What’s another profession you would be if not an SLP?

I would probably be a pastry chef.  I love baking and trying out new recipes and decorating techniques.

What is your favorite book?

There are so many books that I love!  Probably the Time Traveller’s Wife and The Nightingale would be my two favourites.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love to read and I am part of a book club.  I also compete in triathlons and spend a lot of time swimming, biking and running.

What is one thing that you would like to learn how to do?

As a child I used to play the guitar but gave it up as I got more involved in competitive sports.  I would love to learn how to play the guitar again.

What is something people may not know about you?

I grew up as a competitive swimmer and even had the opportunity to compete in Olympic Trials.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by so many people!  Other SLPs that I work with who inspire me to be creative and constantly strive to be better at what I do.  Other Masters athletes who inspire me to push myself to make fitness a priority even though lives are busy with work and families.  My parents who inspire me to be the best parent I can for my kids.

How do you like to spend holidays?

Relaxing with a good book and spending time with friends and family.