Ami Vandine spent 10 years as a graphic designer before making the switch to health care and enrolling in La Salle University’s speech-language-hearing science program. Currently, she works on-site at five different locations, aiding children with learning disabilities such as autism and developmental difficulties. “Our goal is to give the child functional communication so he or she can communicate wants and needs in various routines — an ability that most of us take for granted,” she says.
What made you decide to leave graphic design for speech pathology?
I was craving something that would make a difference in even just one person’s life. Whether I helped an adult who suffered a stroke regain communication skills and remain an active participant in their community, or I helped a child with autism find an alternative means of communicating wants or needs — well then, I have lived a life of purpose.
What do you find most rewarding?
Giving a voice to those who don’t have it. I love making a difference.
What aspect of your field do you wish people would be more aware of?
I often find that when I’m working with my patients, there tends to be a lack of awareness in the community of the various social, communicative, or cognitive disorders that are out there.