speech IRL is unwaveringly dedicated to the clients we serve, and to implementing their uniqueness and individuality as the foundation for how we assist them in their communicative journeys.
Amina Dreessen is especially dedicated to this ideal.
A Social Communication Therapist for speech IRL, Amina takes a particular interest in enhancing the expressive abilities of autistic individuals, a passion she attributes to her brother. After witnessing the range of therapists who assisted him with his communication needs, Amina’s own fire was sparked.
As she got older, this original inspiration was strengthened through both personal and professional circumstances. Her time shadowing a speech therapist inspired her to pursue graduate studies, and her experiences as a dancer helped her become intimately familiar with the connection between movement, speech, and all the ways humans express themselves.
For Amina, this exploration isn’t just metaphorical. She is uniquely attuned to the connection between body and voice, and it informs her therapeutic practices. She is, in this vein, committed to helping clients find fun, inventive, and creative ways to authentically express themselves.
Much like a dancer must clearly choose and express their movements to their dance partner or audience a speaker must clearly choose and express their words to their conversational partner or audience.
And her goal is just this — to empower individuals with any range of communicative or social disadvantages to choreograph a verbal dance that is both authentic to each client and impactful in helping others understand them.
In short, Amina is passionate about all things communication.
Like dance, speech is very personal and intimate. Amina approaches clients and sessions with a holistic approach, focused on the entirety of the client and their strengths, desires, and joys. She lives out in her work the Buddhist concept of “placing gold”. Where one places their gold, they will later find good merit. Amina helps her clients mindfully identify what their “gold” is, and places attention on these areas to encourage growth.
Hand in hand with these mindful strategies come the philosophical ones. While each of us wonders what motivates us, what brings us fulfillment, or how we can really unlock happiness, Amina explores these questions with her clients, helping discover their motivators and orienting them for success and meaningful expression as a result.
Another of Amina’s key motivations as a Social Communication Therapist is to reframe some of the general perceptions of speech therapy. While many people consider speech therapy corrective or suffocating, she hopes to dispel these ideas. To do this, she introduces people to a deeper understanding of communication therapy as a means to empower individuals in a creative and personal way. Her hope is to teach people how to freely and clearly express themselves with the most essential communication tool we have: words.
But of course, none of us exists within a vacuum. Our means of communicating are, in many ways, worth how they’re received. In response, Amina’s specialty is helping clients craft and be equipped for social encounters that respect and honor both individual and community.