As an undergraduate in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology program at Bloomsburg University, my goal is to become a Speech Pathologist. My choice of major is a personal one. Growing up with a brother who has autism, I saw how speech therapy positively impacted his life and the progress he made.

I chose to intern at Academy360 Upper School because that’s where my brother attended school and I was always curious about what it was like for him and the type of speech therapy he received. I also wanted to learn about what working as a Speech and Language Pathologist at a special needs school entails.

Speech therapist and intern looking at iPad
Exploring an alternative speech device with speech therapist Barb Lanigan.

I was a little nervous on my first day, but by the end of my two-month internship, I was comfortable with everyone and sad to be leaving. During this experience, I had the chance to sit in on a variety of speech therapy sessions. I learned that each therapist has different views about lesson plans, teaching, and different styles of therapy. I also attended an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Evaluation. Sitting in on the AAC, I was able to see how testing is performed. I entered this experience knowing very little about evaluations and what augmentative and alternative communication really is. I learned more than I thought I would…like how there is not only testing to determine the best device, but also evaluation to find what program works best for each student.

Intern and student sitting at table.
Observing a speech therapy session.

It was interesting to discover how each student who receives therapy is so different!  Going into this internship, I expected there to be differences among students, but learning about it in school and having the opportunity to see it in person is completely different.  I was able to see how a speech therapist goes about planning lessons and I tried different hands on activities. Sitting in on therapy sessions gave me the opportunity to observe a variety of students, all with different personalities and different ways of learning.  I think customizing the lesson plans is one of the most challenging parts of the job.

The most surprising thing I learned was about infused groups. This is where the speech therapists work with all the students in the classroom and in community settings, allowing the students to use what they’ve learned in practical situations. It was not a technique I had learned about in school.

Interning at Upper Academy360 was one of my greatest academic experiences. Everyone at Academy360 Upper School was very helpful and friendly. I am grateful that the speech therapists allowed me to sit in on sessions and observe them. I learned so much! It will not only help me now but in the future as well.

Emily Crincoli is starting her senior year at Bloomsberg University where she is involved in National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and Junior Quota which raises money for women and children with speech and language issue to get services and Alpha Phi Omega a community service fraternity.  During the summers she enjoys lifeguarding. In her rare down time, she likes hanging out with friends, going to movies, reading, and hiking.