Welcome! I'm Andrea, and I am a Registered Speech Language Pathologist. In addition to being an "SLP", I am a wife to my best friend and a mommy to two little ones. We have a dog named Charlie, who is an "excellent guard terrier". Being a west coast gal, you will often find me outdoors, exploring beaches or on highly trafficked nature trails. I enjoy cooking up meals from around the world, crafting up anything with glitter, and "being where my feet are."
Initially I became a Speech Language Pathologist to help children become more effective communicators and to help support families of children with complex needs in their environments. I started Blue Heron Speech in 2015, with a goal of providing fun and functional family-centered services for preschool and school age children.
I am passionate about offering therapeutic services that fit the needs of each family and their unique home life. What makes communication so important? Connection.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
― Brené Brown
Connection is something that we often seek from the time that we are born and becomes intertwined with communication as we grow. Communication skills are how we later form connections with new people and share experiences.
I have experience working with speech sound disorders, language disorders, social communication challenges, fluency (stuttering), literacy skills, augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) devices and oral-motor speech disorders (apraxia and dysarthria). I have worked with children who have developmental disorders, cognitive delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, and learning disabilities. I also have experience working with adults and seniors.
In addition to working in private practice, I have been an SLP in preschool and school settings in Alberta and British Columbia for nearly ten years.
I am a member of the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia (CSHHPBC), Speech and Hearing BC, as well as through Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC).
The story behind “Blue Heron Speech” – Buddy’s Story
In a mission to build a company that mirrors values and ideals that I find important, I opted for a name that had undeniable meaning to me: Blue Heron Speech. Blue Heron Speech is named in honor of Buddy the Heron. Growing up on the west coast, I spent an abundance of time deep in thought, sitting on the beach out front of my childhood home, with Buddy the Heron. Every morning, Buddy the Heron was sitting on the beach. I found comfort in the consistency and reliability of the presence of this Blue Heron.
While living in Alberta, I found that when I needed a peaceful place, I could visualize myself on the beach with the calming sound of the waves, the cool and salty breeze, and the company of Buddy. I shared a connection with this magnificent bird and never felt alone in his company. I felt free to experience all that was around me and take it in.
At Blue Heron Speech, I strive to create a comfortable setting for children and their families to adapt, to learn and to grow, while enjoying the wonders that lie before them.
The Blue Heron Speech Vision:
Family-centered services that incorporate child, family, and environmental needs, all of which are necessary to make treatment functional and effective for children and their families.
Blue Heron Speech Values:
- Education and Collaboration: I believe that I can learn as much from families as they can learn from me. I work with families to learn about the client and their home setting, and create an adaptable plan. Fostering and teaching skills to communication partners is paramount to learning new skills. Spending time with parents/guardians to share strategies for home practice can make all the difference in a therapeutic experience.
- Family Centered and Holistic: I work with families closely to determine goal areas and a functional intervention plan that will support the child and family as a whole. Putting proactive supports in place can help children to thrive in their environments, rising up to meet challenges that are achievable.
- Focused and Balanced Intervention: We work together to break goals into manageable and focused subcomponents, which are then paired with evidenced based therapeutic approaches for the best possible intervention. The ultimate goal is to achieve and maintain gains made, but “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Part of balanced intervention comes back to the education and capacity building piece, where you learn tools to support your loved one. After all, connection feeds communication and communication feeds connection.
Are you ready to spread your wings and fly?