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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Speech Spirit: Emerging Relationships in EI

Published August 13, 2009 10:51 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling
For today's post I would like to reflect on some of the beautiful relationships that can emerge when you devote yourself to early intervention therapy and working with families with young children.

There is a family I have worked with for the past two years. The little girl I see will be turning 3 next month and has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. She has a little sister and two wonderful parents. I have had the amazing opportunity, as we often do in this job, to watch a family grow not only in size but also in hope as they welcome a team of strangers into their home to work with their most sacred possession: their child.

So in a very successful attempt to thank the therapists (all 5!) that have worked with their little girl the better part of three years, this particular family invited each of us to attend a Philadelphia Phillies game with their family. In addition, we were each given three extra tickets to invite our own family and friends. What a treat!!

This past weekend, the day finally arrived and four of the five of us were able to attend and did in fact bring three members of our family. It was such a wonderful day! I had the privilege of spending time with not only my own family at the ball park, but also with this very special little girl and her family in a non-work environment. My family loved it and seemed to really enjoy meeting a child and family from my "job". In addition, all the therapists loved spending some social time together. EI home care can be quite isolating, so having an opportunity to see each other outside of work is certainly rare and extraordinary.

One of my most favorite moments of the day occurred at the beginning when I first walked into the ball park and heard my little friend yell, "Hi Stephy!" She often calls all of us "Peggy", who is one of my coworkers, but today she knew my name even though I was "out of context" and not at her home. She talked throughout the game to each of us, answering questions and making requests for "chips" and "fries please". I saw her parents prompt her speech and use sign language and all remarked on how bright and vocal she is. The joy of seeing teamwork and over two years of commitment come alive is truly my speech spirit moment of the month!

Please share your own stories of beautiful relationships that have emerged from your work in EI homecare!

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About this Blog


    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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