From her middle-school years, RehabVisions’ speech-language pathologist Lindsey Dukart Ascheman had been interested in a profession that nurtures growth and improves well-being. Her first volunteer experience was at a soup kitchen. She knew from then on that helping others in any big or small way was her calling.
How did you pursue your calling?
I had no exposure to the therapy field until talking with the career guidance counselor my sophomore year of college. I was attending the University of Mary for my undergraduate degree and jumped into the introductory course for speech-language pathology at the last minute since another class didn’t work out. I have loved the field ever since! A master’s degree is required to practice as a speech-language pathologist which I later received at University of North Dakota.
Who is your typical patient?
My typical patient is a child who is delayed in their speech and expressive/receptive language skills. I see many children from ages two to four.
While I only see children, adults may also benefit from speech therapy after a stroke, traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s or Pick’s disease.
What is one of the best experiences you’ve had working with a patient?
What I do for work every day helps children communicate what they want and learn how to interact with others. Each patient’s progress is a privilege to witness. It’s so rewarding to see a child become so intentional with their words and actions.
Can you share a little about a day in the life of a speech therapist?
I have sessions with children throughout the day who benefit from patient-directed play to acquire more age-appropriate language. I work on language skills for pre-k through school-age children on the autism spectrum. I also work with children who have food texture issues and oral skills delays to improve their feeding and cup/straw drinking skills. My patients include a mixture of children with articulation disorders, phonological delays or apraxia of speech whom I work with to develop speech sounds that can be more easily understood by others.
After a long work week, how do you like to relax or spend your free time?
I enjoy spending my time going on bike rides, hiking, spending time with my nieces and nephews or relaxing with a good book.
What do you wake up looking forward to?
I love what I do. I truly wake up looking forward to seeing my patients’ progress and getting to share it with their parents. That is the most rewarding part of every day.