It is a pleasure to introduce our November Spotlight, Nicole Pounds. Nicole has been a speech therapist with DotCom Therapy® for over a year now and is always willing to assist DCT with international projects and overall advocacy for teletherapy. She is also always willing to mentor new therapists and provide ongoing encouragement and support. Let’s get to know Nicole better!
1.) What made you want to become a speech therapist?
I originally thought I wanted to teach English because I always enjoyed reading and writing. A family friend recommended that I look into speech language pathology because he knew they were in high demand and the few he knew really liked their job. Through the A+ program at my high school, I was actually able to shadow the speech therapist for a semester and help assist her with therapy. I really loved working with the students and watching her help them meet their goals to communicate more effectively!
2.) What made you want to join the DotCom Therapy team?
In the fall of 2014, my husband and I made the decision to become foster parents. We began taking in placements of children who needed a home. A few months into this journey, we received a placement of a newborn. When he was 11 months old, his biological brother was born. We wanted to keep the siblings together, so we agreed to welcome the new baby into our family as well. The older brother had several medical concerns and we were constantly visiting specialists and attending doctor's appointments. At that time, I was working in a traditional school setting. While I loved the students and staff I worked with, the things these children needed and the ever growing demands of a full time brick and mortar position just didn't work together. I knew that I needed something more flexible for our family. A therapist I knew had begun working with DCT and raved about her experience with them, so I decided to look into it. It was the best decision! We have since adopted both brothers into our family and with the flexibility provided by my job at DCT I am able to continue to help students communicate more effectively and succeed in the educational environment, but I am also able to spend more time with my family to make sure that their needs are being met! It really has been the best of both worlds!
3.) What has been your favorite thing about teletherapy?
There are so many things about teletherapy that I love, but probably the most important for me is the flexibility it provides and the feeling of control I have over my life. Teletherapy allows me the freedom to serve students in the best ways possible. I have enough plan time to make appropriate materials and to plan the best lessons possible. I have the flexibility to complete paperwork around my family's schedule, and I have completely eliminated the time I was spending on a commute to work each day. In the teletherapy realm we often talk about removing the border of location - and that is definitely true and incredible, but I have also found that we eliminate a lot of time constraints that you find in the regular 8-4, Monday-Friday work model. I mean, as I type this, it is 11:00 PM and I just finished up an IEP! I love being able to work (within reason) when I want and where I want! I am able to be the mom that I want to be AND the therapist that I want to be because of DCT!
4.) Fill in the blank. When I’m not working, you’ll most likely find me…
Reading books to my children (seriously, these kids never stop reading!!), having epic dance parties with my family in the kitchen, hanging out with teenagers at our church, or binge watching Netflix.
Thanks to Nicole for serving as an advocate and mentor. We are glad she is a part of our DotCom Family.