Parallel Behind the Scenes: Natalie Bianco, M.A. CCC-SLP/L

Speech Language Pathology
Speech and Language Disorder
For Clinicians
3 minute read

In our first edition of Parallel Behind the Scenes, we talked with one of our fantastic Speech Language Pathologists, Natalie Bianco. From her early career motivations to her current work at Parallel Learning, we discuss a range of topics, including the challenges and advantages of virtual SLP therapy, the importance of creating supportive learning environments, and the personal rewards of empowering individuals to reach their full communication potential.

This informative discussion promises to equip you with valuable insights and leave you with a renewed appreciation for the transformative power of language.

Q: How long have you been an SLP?

A: I have been an SLP for two years!

Q: What drew you to Speech-Language Therapy as a career?

A: I always had an interest in neuroscience and how the brain works. My uncle had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when I was in high school and was diagnosed with Wernicke's aphasia. I would help him with his speech homework and found that I did not know much about the field. I took a course in Introduction to Communication Systems and Disorders and knew I wanted to help mediate symptoms and improve the quality of life of others in this field. Additionally, I participated in an auditory-neuroscience development lab, which solidified my interest in language development.

Q: What is the best thing about SLP work?

A: Communication is a fundamental human right! The best thing about being an SLP is unlocking communication for students and helping improve their connections. Seeing the expression of children gaining a skill or confidently communicating with family and peers warms my heart. I also love meeting parents and seeing their gratitude for their children's gains.

Q: What is the hardest thing?

A: The paperwork!

Q: How do you find being a virtual SLP? Advantages? Disadvantages?

A: I love creating games, so this has been an easy transition from in-person care. I find life is flexible inside and outside of sessions. For one, I have all my materials at my fingertips. I can scaffold to another activity if the task appears too easy or difficult. If we have time for one more activity, it is easy to pull up. I find that it is easy for me to cater to my personal needs in my own home. Being able to take care of myself if I get a migraine or if I'm feeling sick allows me to be a better clinician. Also, canceling the commute time helped me find more hobbies like reading, blogging, and studying more in the field!

I would say my disadvantages are pretty limited. The main concern would be if a student appears dysregulated, it can be difficult to help regulate them. I've developed some compensatory strategies to help me in these events. I also may miss out on fine or gross motor concerns- why it's a good thing to communicate to in-person staff!

Q: What was your absolute biggest challenge before joining Parallel (i.e. in your previous role)?

A: I couldn't take care of my physical health. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease right before I joined Parallel Learning. I found myself in continuous flare-ups because I was not able to slow down in my previous job.

Q: What changed after joining?

A: I was able to take care of myself and put my needs first! I found that having a virtual position gave me more flexibility in my day to rest and practice mindfulness.

I experienced a mild traumatic brain injury in high school and had a 504 plan. I did not feel supported by my faculty, nor did I understand what was going on with my accommodation and plan of care. Parallel's mission to support different thinkers resonated with me. Celebrating each learning difference by recognizing strengths and highlighting unique traits brings a more positive outlook to the plan of care. I believe setting this foundation and including the students in developing functional goals will help their understanding and give them a sense of authority in the process. I would not want a student to feel as alone as I ever did.

Q:  How do you find your Parallel team?

A: The Parallel Team meets monthly to discuss exciting updates, recall our core values, and cover topics about the field. I leave meetings feeling invigorated and motivated. It is inspiring to see colleagues on LinkedIn doing amazing things for the company and within the field. If I have a question or notice I am low on hours, it is easy to contact others for support. Other providers can be easy to contact if you have questions, especially if we are in the same district.

Q: What would you say to somebody on the fence about joining Parallel?

A: Parallel Learning maintains such a positive work environment. I leave every meeting feeling eager to meet with students and do my job. They support us, so the main focus is on therapy. I see a lot on social media about people falling out of love with their jobs. I think Parallel Learning reinforces our mission statement and why we do what we do.

Q: Can you share a story that made you smile?

A: I had one student share a personal story that was on her mind. I could tell it was impacting her answers and performance. Once she shared it, I saw her expression lighten, and she stated "thank you" after listening. It just goes to show how being a safe adult in sessions can improve the mental health and performance of students. I cherish building positive therapist-student relationships.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about working at Parallel?

A: I still feel connected even in a virtual setting. Each call leaves me excited to do my job and do research to support my students.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Dr. Julie Smith

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

A: I love to read, write, go on walks, and do pilates.

Share this post
Speech Language Pathology
Speech and Language Disorder

Parallel Behind the Scenes: Natalie Bianco, M.A. CCC-SLP/L

Speech Language Pathology
Speech and Language Disorder
For Clinicians
3 minute read

In our first edition of Parallel Behind the Scenes, we talked with one of our fantastic Speech Language Pathologists, Natalie Bianco. From her early career motivations to her current work at Parallel Learning, we discuss a range of topics, including the challenges and advantages of virtual SLP therapy, the importance of creating supportive learning environments, and the personal rewards of empowering individuals to reach their full communication potential.

This informative discussion promises to equip you with valuable insights and leave you with a renewed appreciation for the transformative power of language.

Q: How long have you been an SLP?

A: I have been an SLP for two years!

Q: What drew you to Speech-Language Therapy as a career?

A: I always had an interest in neuroscience and how the brain works. My uncle had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when I was in high school and was diagnosed with Wernicke's aphasia. I would help him with his speech homework and found that I did not know much about the field. I took a course in Introduction to Communication Systems and Disorders and knew I wanted to help mediate symptoms and improve the quality of life of others in this field. Additionally, I participated in an auditory-neuroscience development lab, which solidified my interest in language development.

Q: What is the best thing about SLP work?

A: Communication is a fundamental human right! The best thing about being an SLP is unlocking communication for students and helping improve their connections. Seeing the expression of children gaining a skill or confidently communicating with family and peers warms my heart. I also love meeting parents and seeing their gratitude for their children's gains.

Q: What is the hardest thing?

A: The paperwork!

Q: How do you find being a virtual SLP? Advantages? Disadvantages?

A: I love creating games, so this has been an easy transition from in-person care. I find life is flexible inside and outside of sessions. For one, I have all my materials at my fingertips. I can scaffold to another activity if the task appears too easy or difficult. If we have time for one more activity, it is easy to pull up. I find that it is easy for me to cater to my personal needs in my own home. Being able to take care of myself if I get a migraine or if I'm feeling sick allows me to be a better clinician. Also, canceling the commute time helped me find more hobbies like reading, blogging, and studying more in the field!

I would say my disadvantages are pretty limited. The main concern would be if a student appears dysregulated, it can be difficult to help regulate them. I've developed some compensatory strategies to help me in these events. I also may miss out on fine or gross motor concerns- why it's a good thing to communicate to in-person staff!

Q: What was your absolute biggest challenge before joining Parallel (i.e. in your previous role)?

A: I couldn't take care of my physical health. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease right before I joined Parallel Learning. I found myself in continuous flare-ups because I was not able to slow down in my previous job.

Q: What changed after joining?

A: I was able to take care of myself and put my needs first! I found that having a virtual position gave me more flexibility in my day to rest and practice mindfulness.

I experienced a mild traumatic brain injury in high school and had a 504 plan. I did not feel supported by my faculty, nor did I understand what was going on with my accommodation and plan of care. Parallel's mission to support different thinkers resonated with me. Celebrating each learning difference by recognizing strengths and highlighting unique traits brings a more positive outlook to the plan of care. I believe setting this foundation and including the students in developing functional goals will help their understanding and give them a sense of authority in the process. I would not want a student to feel as alone as I ever did.

Q:  How do you find your Parallel team?

A: The Parallel Team meets monthly to discuss exciting updates, recall our core values, and cover topics about the field. I leave meetings feeling invigorated and motivated. It is inspiring to see colleagues on LinkedIn doing amazing things for the company and within the field. If I have a question or notice I am low on hours, it is easy to contact others for support. Other providers can be easy to contact if you have questions, especially if we are in the same district.

Q: What would you say to somebody on the fence about joining Parallel?

A: Parallel Learning maintains such a positive work environment. I leave every meeting feeling eager to meet with students and do my job. They support us, so the main focus is on therapy. I see a lot on social media about people falling out of love with their jobs. I think Parallel Learning reinforces our mission statement and why we do what we do.

Q: Can you share a story that made you smile?

A: I had one student share a personal story that was on her mind. I could tell it was impacting her answers and performance. Once she shared it, I saw her expression lighten, and she stated "thank you" after listening. It just goes to show how being a safe adult in sessions can improve the mental health and performance of students. I cherish building positive therapist-student relationships.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about working at Parallel?

A: I still feel connected even in a virtual setting. Each call leaves me excited to do my job and do research to support my students.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Dr. Julie Smith

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

A: I love to read, write, go on walks, and do pilates.

Share this post
Speech Language Pathology
Speech and Language Disorder

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