Jaime Chadek

Jaime Chadek

Speech Language Pathologist


Children's Hospital Colorado

Aurora, CO USA


Life can take you to all kinds of different places if you let it.

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I had an interest in education during undergrad, but because my whole family were teachers, I wanted to do something different.
I worked at a national advertising agency for about three years, and I enjoyed it, but I realized that all of my free time was spent working with kids with disabilities.
I started doing some volunteering and exploring my options by setting up clinical observations of speech language pathologists and physical therapists.
I landed at Firefly Autism in Colorado as a behaviorist. I fell in love working with children on the autistic spectrum.
I decided that the biggest piece that they’re missing is their ability to communicate.
I applied for graduate school, but I didn’t get in. After I decided to try again, I got into the University of Northern Colorado.
I graduated with my master's degree at 35 years old, and because of my previous networking, I landed my dream job at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Education

High School
Bachelor
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Graduate
Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist
University of Northern Colorado

Career

Speech Language Pathologist

I diagnose and treat speaking disabilities.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Medicine
Education
Helping People

Day to Day

I work at an outpatient rehabilitation center and I get to work with kids and families from a wide area and all over the disorder spectrum. I see kids ages 12 months to 18 years old who have communication challenges. This ranges anywhere from kids with speech problems all the way to children on the autistic spectrum to develop their understanding of speech. I work with kids who have experienced a stroke or a traumatic brain injury to help them develop skills to reintegrate into everyday life.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

For my profession, behavioral intervention and how to manage children’s behavior is something that is not taught in master's programs. My skills acquired through behavioral work have been a huge benefit to me. Additionally, not being intimidated by people and opening yourself up to be an honest communicator is really important. You have to be able to connect with somebody before you can show off your skills.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Go with the flow and follow what is driving you. I know it’s super cliche, but you have to work 8-10 hours a day. If you don’t at least half way like what you’re doing during those hours - what a terrible quality of life. I started in advertising, but the culture of young people is changing, and it’s less important to have a career that you’ll keep for 40 years. So dabble around until you land on something that you like.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You're work as a behavioralist doesn't matter. You got your undergraduate degree too long ago, you can't get into a master's program."

Challenges I Overcame

Career Change