In Conversation with Chan Yi Ren, Speech Therapist | SPD - Singapore

In Conversation with Chan Yi Ren, Speech Therapist


Chan Yi Ren (right), conducting activities for staff and clients during the Speech Therapy Day 2017.

Few may be aware of the work done by speech therapists. Here, we speak to SPD speech therapist Chan Yi Ren about the occupation.

1) What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy refers to the service provided for individuals with difficulties in communication and/or swallowing food and water. Speech therapists support children and adults in different areas of communication, feeding and swallowing. To communicate effectively, a person will need to speak fluently and clearly, pronounce words accurately, understand what others say, share ideas using appropriate vocabulary, grammar and sentences, and interact appropriately in various environments. Besides communication, speech therapists also support people with swallowing or feeding difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.

2) What does a speech therapist do on a daily basis?

The schedule may vary depending on the different settings and programmes that the speech therapists work in. Speech therapists may work in hospitals, special schools, private clinics, and in the social service sector etc. A day in the life of a speech therapist usually includes having sessions with clients, meetings with caregivers, teachers and other allied health professionals to discuss goals and strategies for the clients, training provision for caregivers/teachers, home or school visits, and at the end of the day, writing notes of progression for the clients.

3) What motivates you as a speech therapist?

The smile on a client’s face and my ability to help make a difference, however small that is, in a client’s life are my main motivations working as a speech therapist.

4) How did you get involved in this occupation? Who was your main pillar of support?

I became a speech therapist because I wanted to have a career that was in the field of health sciences after I attained a bachelor’s degree in biomedicine. It is in my desire to play a part in improving the health and well-being of the society. Also, I really enjoy working and interacting with people, which makes this job so enticing for me. My colleagues are my main pillar of support as they make work-life so enjoyable for me!

5) Do you have a word of encouragement to aspiring speech therapists?

Do a little bit of good wherever you are. It is truly the little things that count when they are put together that overwhelm the world. Daniel Webster once said, “If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest”. To the aspiring speech therapists out there, do you want to be an agent of change? If so, this is a career that will challenge and exceed your expectations.