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Community Highlights: Meet Trisha Thapar of Adventures in Communication

Today we’d like to introduce you to Trisha Thapar.

Hi Trisha, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’m a speech-language pathologist and owner of a small private practice called Adventures in Communication. I started my practice out of a desire to create a platform for children to receive speech therapy in as naturalistic an environment as possible, be it in their homes via telehealth video calls, jumping up and down on a trampoline in their backyard using the home health model, or embedded into their classroom routine. I wanted to highlight how flexible and dynamic speech therapy can be and how universal language is.

As a graduate student, I dreamed of having my own private practice centered around those principles. It wasn’t until I was two years into my first job as a speech-language pathologist and about to start a family that this dream came back into focus. My husband and I had decided to start a family and move from West LA to Long Beach to be a little closer to my parents. This move pushed me to leave my comfortable and wonderful job in an amazing private practice in West LA to figure out what I wanted to do next. The question was whether I would find a new job or start my own practice. It was not an easy decision because I still felt like a relatively new speech-language pathologist and was filled with impostor syndrome and doubts about why clients would choose me over a bigger practice. My employer at that time was the biggest support, encouraging me to hone in on my areas of strength and helping me realize I was capable of this endeavor.

A few months later, just as I was about to start my maternity leave, I filed all the necessary paperwork to found Adventures in Communication. At the start of 2020, when my daughter was eight weeks old, I saw my first client. I will never forget the car ride back home after that first session. I called my mom and told her, “this is what I have always wanted to do. I am exactly where I was meant to be”.

I was happily seeing clients in their homes for about a month when the pandemic hit. At this point, I only had five clients and had just begun to feel like I was establishing my business. Initially, it felt like everything was chaos. My daughter was going through her 4-month sleep regression, I had put all my sessions on hold for a couple of weeks and we were suddenly a one-income household. With lots of trepidation and an exhausted mind, I decided to give telehealth a try.

Fast-forward to a year later, I have a full schedule and a waitlist, an administrative assistant, a bookkeeper, and am about to begin supervising some graduate students. I am continuing to see clients via telehealth and loving it! My clients come from all over California and universally report being pleasantly surprised by how fun and convenient telehealth is. My team is steadily growing and we plan to resume in-person sessions soon, but will definitely continue telehealth as well.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I would not call the journey so far “easy”, but establishing a business is never easy. As is the case with anything new, there have been many bumps along the way and lots to learn. Simultaneously navigating the challenges of establishing a business, early motherhood, and a pandemic is unlike anything I have ever done before! There were rough days followed by sleepless nights. But every hurdle I have crossed has taught me something and made me feel more confident in my abilities both as a speech pathologist and as a business owner. All in all, despite the bumps, there has always been something to be excited about and work towards. That’s the best part about being a private practice owner, the thrill of the climb.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Adventures in Communication?
Adventures in Communication is a pediatric speech therapy clinic. We serve clients all across California via teletherapy and hope to resume in-person sessions in our clinic and in clients’ homes around the greater Long Beach area soon! We work with children of all ages facing speech and language challenges. As a parent myself, I understand that each child has unique strengths and learning styles. I firmly believe in figuring out what works for each child while empowering families to be able to incorporate therapeutic strategies into their daily routine. Our mission is to help each child we work with communicate effectively and enjoy doing so! At Adventures in Communication, we work with a wide range of needs including language delays and disorders, articulation, social skills, and stuttering.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Luck, to me, is the perspective-shift that allows us to view circumstances as opportunities. For example, when I decided to move from West LA to Long Beach, I could have settled for finding a job that would have paid the bills but may not have been as fulfilling. Instead, however, I decided to view that circumstance as an opportunity to start my own practice. Similarly, the pandemic could have stopped my practice just as it was starting to take off. Instead, I allowed it to introduce me to telehealth which has been amazing for my practice and growth. Likewise, when I first started my practice, I felt alone without coworkers. I viewed that feeling as an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and become more actively involved in professional organizations which has lead me to meeting amazing like-minded professionals and forming relationships I hope to nurture forever. Ultimately, I believe that even though we don’t have control over the circumstances life presents us with, we do have some control over how we respond to those circumstances.

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Image Credits:

Matthias Jordan

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