We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalia Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natalia, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
The most difficult decision has been making changes in order to pursue the final goal. Some changes are not easy to make. Taking decisions that could impact the future of your career are hard to do and it is a risk you are taking. Taking risks is inevitable in order to pursue a better outcome. If you don’t take a risk, you will never know if it was worth it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, my goal always was to serve people, especially the Hispanic community wherever I go. I currently focus on Speech, Language and Feeding skills. Being able to provide these services to children is my passion. When I encounter a difficult case, in order to better serve them, I will search for new learning opportunities by taking courses, trainings, reading research articles and books. Professionally, I think that it has helped me grow, since it’s impossible to know it all, but being able to search for answers will ensure my patients get the best treatment strategies for their unique case. This path will take them to an improved quality of life. My goal is for them to be able to share meals with others, communicate (verbally or non-verbally) and engage with family and friends. All my previous career opportunities have provided me with diverse experiences that have helped me grow as a person and professional. When you love your career so much, it makes it difficult to separate it from your personal life as you are so invested in your patients and their families. This is me and that is how I want my families to know me: a person that will give their best and will look for their best in order to help their children. That’s how Gonzalez Bilingual Therapy was born.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Eat – You can find the best barbecue at Harlem Road Texas BBQ. Chef Ara does a wonderful job with everything he sells but my favorites are the beef ribs and his famous chocolate bread pudding. You can find amazing Puerto Rican and Japanese fusion at San Eatery. My favorite is the sushi pizza (crispy sushi rice deep fried to make a pizza crust and topped with your favorites from eel, salmon, tuna or spicy crab). They also sell an amazing Mofongo, a typical dish of Puerto Rico. Close to 99 and I-10, you will find the Asian Town. Corner 99 is a must! Amazing food and the best vietnamese coffee! Drink- For craft beer lovers, I would recommend The Growler Spot. Our amazing friends will greet you and will offer a wide variety of craft beers. While out in the Brookshire area, I would pick up some amazing beer to go and share with your friends at our friends brewery, Baa Baa Brewhouse, famous for their fruited sour beers and Hazy IPA’s.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A group of people motivated me in different ways to jump in and create my private practice. The Tethered Oral Tissues training from Chrysalis Orofacial by Autumn Henning, opened my eyes to Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders and the impact of tethered oral tissue in the quality of life, feeding and speech development. After I took her training, a chain of events began happening, including meeting colleagues with whom I could collaborate with and it opened the possibility of starting to see private patients to better serve our community. We received Dr. Baxter’s book as part of the training and it felt like I needed to keep learning more about this topic, which was mentioned in grad school, not more than once! I am thankful for my family, who has always believed in me and will support all my ideas. Also, I believe many of my fellow coworkers and colleagues have given me support and encouragement for me to believe that I can do whatever I set my mind to in order to better serve children with speech, language and feeding needs.

Website: https://gonzalezbilingualtherapy.com/

Instagram: @gonzalezbilingual

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gonzalezbilingual/

Image Credits
Ani Marin

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