The Gift of Communication
I am so grateful to have chosen the career that I have as a speech-language pathologist.
At one point in my education, I remember being worried about choosing the right job. I did all of the prerequisites to become a nurse at first. At the last minute, I decided to pursue the field of speech therapy at San Francisco State University.
Looking back, what a great decision that was for me. This field fits my personality. I love teaching, I love motivating, and I love supporting families. This job has brought many benefits and growing moments for me, which have helped me evolve as a person.
When you work with a child who is struggling to communicate, it puts things in perspective. This job has humbled me to realize the challenges that parents and children face, some from birth, others discover their delays later in toddlerhood, all the while difficult for the parents to face. Parents and other people have asked me, "Does speech therapy actually work?" I feel proud and without hesitation say,"yes!"
I have seen thousands of children in my career that start at one level of language development and somehow with the motivation and expertise of a speech-language pathologist and other professional disciplines make great strides to attempt to catch up or at least continue to make strides toward their language development.
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It is not always easy. Sometimes you have those special kiddos that make you question your abilities. I might ask myself, "Am I helping this child?" "Can I reach this child or parent?" "When will they start to show what they have learned?" Sometimes it takes a little longer and the time can feel like eternity when you have a parent eagerly waiting for their child to speak. But I always say the child that is the most challenging to me is there to teach me some of the best lessons.
So while the parent eagerly awaits for progress, I play hard, I try a different approach and I make the child smile, all in the name of offering him or her one of life's biggest gifts—the gift of communication.