Chris Olson, Erica Intilangelo Form Dynamic SLP Team at Oregon Middle School

March 28, 2024
Mike Ralston
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An Oregon native, speech-language pathologist Chris Olson has spent the majority of her career working in Oregon public schools at the elementary level.

Olson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing from the University of Oregon, and a Master's degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University). In addition, she completed a one-year fellowship at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center. 

“I knew I wanted to become a SLP during my junior year in high school while trying to decide my career path. My advisor at the time said she knew I wanted to help people and that I enjoyed speech and drama. Somehow that led to the conclusion that I should enter the field of speech pathology. Of course, it didn’t hurt that my mother was also in the field at that time,” adds Olson. 

Olson currently serves as a part-time SLP at Conestoga Middle School in Beaverton, OR. A typical work day for Chris is unique. She works whenever she’s needed, including consultations, meetings, evaluations, report writing, and meeting with students as needed.

“I have never worked anywhere that I felt so cared for and so supported, as I do with Care Options for Kids/The Hello Foundation,” adds Olson.

“I also have the privilege of supervising Erica Intilangelo, a wonderful SLPA. The interactions with our students enrich our professional lives and encourage us to explore various treatment options. I really appreciate the flexibility of being part-time and working with Erica, my spot of sunshine.”

Erica Intilangelo Enjoys Benefits of SLPA Role

picA first generation Italian-American, Erica Intilangelo grew up in Fairfield, CT. Before entering the world of speech therapy, Erica trained and performed as an opera singer.

“When the pandemic happened, I decided to transition into the speech world. I’m very interested in all things related to human (and non-human) voices,” adds Intilangelo.

Erica is currently in graduate school to become a SLP, so her role as a SLPA is the stepping stone into gaining hands-on experience while studying.

As a SLPA at Conestoga Middle School, Erica develops treatment materials that best suit the needs of the students on the caseload, and she pairs those activities to their specific goals and objectives.

“The fun part is trying to get a middle schooler to laugh or start a conversation based on my corny jokes and ‘cringy’ songs. Skills seem to generalize better when we're having a good time!”

“The students teach me something about life every single day. They teach me to have patience, resilience, kindness, and empathy, not only towards them and others but towards myself. That has been the biggest gift of all so far,” adds Intilangelo.

Experience a better way to work

At Care Options for Kids, formerly The Hello Foundation, we put people first. Our community of professionals fosters growth for one another and for the students we serve. We collaborate closely with clinicians to select school district placements. As a valued member of the community, our districts can set criteria, choose placements and make decisions that best suit their needs. 

“The giant community of specialists makes it different. I like the idea of having a safety net of individuals that can give us qualified advice on what we can do when we run out of ideas.”

“There is a highly creative and diverse culture at Care Options for Kids/The Hello Foundation that doesn't seem to be common with other similar work environments. The leadership on this team has made me feel very supported and inspired to be a better clinician,” adds Intilangelo.

work-Life Balance is Essential

Erica’s proudest accomplishment is getting a sense of satisfaction from the practice of being mindful throughout her day and noticing when she needs to practice self-care.

“It often allows me to be more functional and present for others in the way I want to be. If I can do that, it's a good day,” adds Intilangelo.

IMG_2303In her spare time, Erica loves to come up with songs with her husband about the behaviors and sounds that emanate from their dachshunds (chiweenies, to be more specific).

“I also enjoy a very intense game of Wingspan - a bird sanctuary board game. I also practice yoga with hopes of being a gymnast in my next life, or just having a stronger core, whichever comes first. It also brings me joy to impersonate Italian pop singers from the ‘80s in front of the bathroom mirror.”

In her spare time, Chris loves gardening and reading historical fiction.

“My biggest inspiration was my professor and advisor, Hazel Drexler. Her PhD was in mathematics and she lived a varied and interesting life, which I found very motivating,” adds Olson.

Chris and erica's tips for new clinicians

  1. Be flexible.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  3. Keep a positive attitude no matter what.
  4. Take deep breaths frequently.  
  5. Practice gratitude daily. 
  6. Speak kindly to yourself, as you would with your clients.

join our team of passionate clinicians!

IMG_2299The Hello Foundation is proud to be a part of the Care Options for Kids Community. We partner with school districts to provide seamless support for students, integrating into the school setting to deliver speech and occupational therapy and enhancing their social, emotional, and behavioral growth so they can better access the curriculum.

At Care Options for Kids, we are committed to making a difference for our people through empowerment and encouragement to be there for themselves and their own families. We provide the choices and opportunities our people need to enhance their lives and grow their careers so they can provide better care for others. We believe in making a difference in every way, every day.

We hire speech-language pathologists, speech-language pathology assistants, school psychologists, and occupational therapists. Our community of professionals fosters growth for one another and for the kids we serve. Join our team!