I don’t traditionally blog much about my job, and honestly I’m not really sure why because I really enjoy it. Maybe it was an attempt to keep it separate from my personal life, but now as the babies get older it is naturally making its way into my personal life more and more.
In professional terms I am a Speech-Language Pathologist. Most know me as a Speech Therapist. Every once in awhile someone asks what drove me to my profession and the truth is I don’t really have a crazy or compelling story. I started college unsure of what I wanted to do and it was suggested by my advisor that I take a few classes that interest me and see if it helps. That first semester I took a class on Dietetics, Psychology and an intro to Communication Disorders. I ended up choosing the major by a strange process of elimination – because of a bout with both disordered eating and depression, (that really lasted well into my college years and beyond, but that’s a topic for another day….maybe) I knew that it would be difficult for me to truly succeed in a profession as a dietician or counselor. What initially drew me to it was the idea of helping those with strokes learn how to communicate again. I completed a 4 year undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, took a year off and worked part time in a therapy office and as a nanny, and then enrolled in a 2 year graduate program. At the time my focus was on adults – my “dream job” in a rehab hospital. Unfortunately since I was married to a member of the Air Force at the time, I knew I would only be at my first job for a year before relocating, so I took a job at a nursing home.
I worked in 2 different nursing homes my first three years and then quit. That turned out a be a huge blessing because I really was not happy at my job and had hemmed and hawed at the idea of switching to pediatrics for awhile. I contacted the man I worked for between undergrad and grad school (who just happened to own a pediatric clinic), asked if he had any openings and then began my journey in the world of pediatrics. Admittedly there were hard times, but working with kids every day while battling infertility actually bothered me much less than I had expected. Thank goodness.
I work with kids of all ages ranging from a few months to 15 years, but the vast majority of my caseload is ” Early Intervention “, or kids aged 1-3 with some form of speech or language delay. So basically, I spend most of my day playing with an IPad and toys. As the babies get older and we begin to enter the world of associations with objects and learning first words, I’ve come across many moms worried about their own kids’ speech development. I’d be lying if I said I’m not watching mine like a hawk and mentally (or literally *cough*) evaluating their skills. Since I’m doing it anyway, I thought I’d start a series of posts where I describe a popular or favorite toy and then explain how it can be used to help develop speech and language skills. It’s been churning in my mind for a few weeks now and so I think its time to give it a shot and see if it develops some interest.
Stay tuned but be warned, I have ways of making you talk 🙂
*I am still accepting guest posts for anyone still interested – it kinda fell through with the holidays but I’d love to get it started again!*