Cynthia Bakker, MSLP, S-LP (C) , Registered SK
I am a mother of two wonderful boys and they remind me every day of the power of parents to teach, mentor and support their children in their lives. This has been my guiding principle for over 16 years of my career as a Speech Language Pathologist. I have worked with children in many different capacities for over 25 years and continue to love spending every day helping families teach their children. Though I almost found my profession by accident, I have never regretted a minute; and I show up for work every day still as motivated and excited as I was at the beginning of my career. I have worked in three provinces and in a multitude of settings, both public and private, and continue to grow and learn new methods and skills each year. I have spent a good portion of my career working in the early childhood field with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, but also have a love for language assessment with school age children.
I attended the University of Ottawa with the plan of becoming a translator and took French, Spanish and German. I began taking Linguistics courses to support my entrance into translation school and immediately fell in love with the study of language. This led me to the field of speech language pathology and I have never looked back. I completed a degree in psychology and linguistics and then took some time off to serve with the Royal Canadian Navy. I re-entered school and completed my Masters Degree in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Alberta.
I have a strong clinical background in many areas of my field and am a true neuro -science geek. I love to continually learn new techniques and information about the brain and apply it every day in my practice. I have experience and interest in many areas of my field including: autism, early language development, speech sound disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, stuttering, and school age language. I truly believe every family has the power to help their child communicate and look forward every day to guiding parents in making this happen!
Nichole Forbes, MSLP, S-LP , Registered SK
Prior to University I had no previous knowledge of what a speech and language pathologist’s role or job entailed. I stumbled upon our field as an option when I knew I wanted to work with children; and am forever grateful someone mentioned “speech therapy” as a potential university degree. Since earning my Masters degree, I have continued to strive to provide the best speech and language therapy for my clients and their families. I have a passion for working with children and helping families find functional strategies that work within their daily routines. Having two children of my own, communicative success and independence within the home and a child’s community is very relevant and important to me. It’s my practice and ultimate goal as a speech language pathologist to provide that freedom and independence to my families and clients as well; and I love how different that looks for each individual!
I completed my bachelors degree with a minor is psychology, and a concentration in Deaf Education, at Minot State University. It was during the summers when I worked at the Autism resource Centre, that I fell in love with working with individuals with Autism. I decided to seek out grad schools who actively researched therapy techniques for children with Autism. This led me to the University of Texas at El Paso where I focused my graduate studies on working with children with developmental needs, AAC communication, and Autism.
I am driven, motivated and eager to learn new strategies that can best assist my families. I have a passion for coaching parents and caregivers, running parent education groups, and working with a wide range of children. I have a diverse background and experience in; autism, early language development, apraxia of speech, parent coaching, speech sound disorders, school age language, literacy, and a variety of disorders and delays. It’s an honour to work with the families I previously have worked with and I genuinely feel blessed to work with new families.
Amanda McConnell, MSc.-SLP(C), Registered. SK
I love being a Speech-Language Pathologist, and am grateful for a career that allows me to support children with their communication development. I began university with the sole purpose of becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist. I attended the University of Regina, where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology and minoring in Linguistics. In 2008, I completed my Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alberta, and have been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist for the past nine years.
Since graduation, I had the wonderful opportunity to work in Prince Edward Island, as well as in small-town and big-city Alberta, before returning home to Regina in 2016. Working in a variety of places has allowed me to support children ranging in age from 18 months to 18 years, in their homes, in preschools, schools, health clinics, and schools for children with special needs. Being part of a team, which supported children in special education classrooms was particularly rewarding.
A diverse work history has given me a breadth of knowledge to draw from. My clinical experience over the past nine years has focused on: speech sound delays/disorders, including childhood apraxia of speech, language delays including early language acquisition, fluency, reading and literacy, social skill development, and supporting children with special needs, including autism. I am passionate about this career and I believe in respecting children, meeting them at their level, and supporting families. I provide effective speech therapy, and I strive to make each session fun and exciting!
Orenda Pelzer, M. Sc., S-LP(C), Registered. SK
I was introduced to the field of Speech-Language Pathology by my mom, who was a teacher, and was lucky enough to get the opportunity to shadow a family friend who was an SLP when I was in high school. Sure enough when I got to UBC the course I loved more than any other in my first year was my Linguistics course – I was completely hooked. I completed an honours degree in linguistics and then stayed on at UBC to complete my masters in speech sciences. I continue to be fascinated by language, especially the development of language in children. Having been able to witness my own two wonderful children develop language, social skills and independence as they’ve grown has only increased my passion for working in the field of speech-language pathology.
I have been extremely fortunate in my career to have had 16 years working in the Regina Public School system as well as to work with some families and children privately. Working in the schools and privately gave me to opportunity to work with children with all kinds of communication needs in a variety of settings. I have experience in many areas of speech and language including: autism, early language development, teacher and parent coaching and education, school-age language, speech sound disorders and augmented and alternative communication.
I believe that communication is the foundation for independence, social skills and eventually academic success. It is a privilege to help the children I work with communicate more effectively with their family, friends and within their communities. Each child and family is unique and I strive to be creative in working with them and to learn something new everyday.
Chandra Whippler, M. H. Sc. SLP(C), Registered SK.
I’ve had a lengthy but exciting adventure to becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist. I had always known that I wanted to work with children for a career. I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Regina having been born and raised here in Regina. Though fascinated by Psychology, my long-term aim was to become a Speech and Language Pathologist. Upon finishing my undergraduate degree, I went off to Australia to do some travelling. A few years later I found myself back there starting my Masters in Speech-Language Pathology. I graduated from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Since becoming a speech therapist, I have worked with school-aged children helping them to reach their communicative potential across various environments. I also have worked in early intervention supporting children with extra needs, along with their families. During this time, my husband and I also moved back to Regina and welcomed a spirited baby girl to our lives who continues to show me the importance of connection and helps me continually learn new things about child development and communication!
I love the diversity that this field brings to my life. Every child is so different and I love how it challenges me to continue to learn and find innovative and research driven ways to best support the children and families I am working with. I feel like communication is such an integral part of making connections with other people and love having a role in helping children be the best communicators they can be across all environments. I have experience in a range of areas including Autism, early intervention, literacy, speech sound disorders, social skills, and augmentative and alternative communication, as well as experience working with children with a range of delays and language learning disorders. I believe parents play a critical role in their child’s goal setting and therapy and love building relationships with families while I play a small role in helping to foster their child’s development.
Lynn Gore, BSc., Triple P Parenting Educator, Infant Massage Instructor
I thought all along that I wanted to be a Special Education Teacher so off I went to Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota to do exactly that and suddenly realized I did not desire to be in the classroom working with the children. If I really wanted to make a difference, then increasing the parents feeling of competence and confidence would make a huge difference in the life of some of these children. It is then that I decided to switch to the field of Developmental Disabilities, with emphasis in Social Work and Psychology. I obtained my Bachelors of Science and life has flown by since.
As a Certified Infant Massage Teacher, I can truly do my part in the community to influence making a positive difference in the day to day lives of families. We teach self-regulation, autonomy and most importantly, strengthening a parent’s bond and building on healthy attachment when our babies are as little as 3 weeks old! The ability to keep their babies healthy, happy and strong through massage only helps to build a parent’s tool box, helps to combat postnatal depression and lower any potential stress hormones in mom and baby. The power of touch and touch therapy is most definitely amazing. I am truly humbled to be able to bring Infant Massage classes for Parents to the Regina Speech Centre.
I laugh now as I reflect on how many times I have heard my Mom say, “If I had a manual, this parenting thing would be easier” as I may not have been her easiest child to raise. She’s so right, parenting isn’t easy, the bad days can be really hard. The Triple P Parenting Program is the closest I can get to being able to provide parents with a “Parenting Manual”. The bonus part of Triple P is that it comes with a Guide, me the person who helps you formulate a parenting plan that works for your family, chosen by you! I was very lucky four years ago to be able to move back home to Regina and become instrumental as the Regina Coordinator in the provincial rollout & launch of Triple P in Saskatchewan with the Ministry of Social Services. I am looking forward to assisting Cynthia and Nichole in launching the program at The Regina Speech Centre.