Speech pathologist hangs up her hat

Karen Rabbiosi retires after serving the Bulkley Valley for 32 years

After providing speech therapy in the Bulkley Valley for 32 years, speech pathologist Karen Rabbiosi is retiring.

She has been working mainly with preschool-aged children who have any kind of communication problem including a speech delay, low vocabulary, poor vocabulary, and those who have difficulty with social skills who are struggling with their peers in a preschool environment.

She added vocabulary is so important and it is easier to fix any problems the sooner they are caught.

“It’s the kids overall that make the job so amazing,” she said. “We play together, I have their undivided attention, they have my undivided attention and that is so rewarding to play at that level and to work on what they need to work at a level they are interested in.”

She said it is the children that will make retiring difficult.

“I’ll miss playing with the kids,” she said. “I’m always taking my toys, bubbles, bells or books out and seeing the joy in their faces. They are so fun. It is such a fun job and that’s the hard part, I’m not done having fun.”

She added a lot has changed over her career in Smithers.

“[Speech therapy] has morphed, it has changed, I’ve worked with a lot of different people over the years and I’ve been a very satisfied employee, very happy. I absolutely love what I do. It has been a great career.”

She said one of the things that has changed for the better is policy.

“We build on our strengths, a lot has changed. We are still servicing preschool kids and some adults, we are also looking to improve the work which is why the job is so satisfying.”

Rabbiosi has not been replaced yet.

“Speech language pathologists are hard to find, but I’m hoping that Smithers is a little jewel and we will get someone to replace me,” she said.

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