Thursday, February 12, 2009

Being a Speech Pathologist

When I started out 7 years ago as a therapist I would never have imagined that my life would be so intertwined (is that a word?) with my profession. I have heard time and time again "oh- than you really know what to do with Andrew". As if it makes our situation much easier. It doesn't, but it has helped in a lot of ways. I have had the knowledge base on developmental disorders, theories of therapies, and understand what strategies should be implemented. Some things have been easier for us and some things have been harder. One of those being the knowledge of what Andrew needs in terms of therapy and how to demand from agencies and schools that he receives the proper treatment. I still have a hard time with comparing him to other children that I service. Last year when I started working part time with home health I got a patient that was 1 month younger than Andrew. I immediately started comparing gross motor skills, play skills, etc. Not really healthy for me to do but I still have a hard time with this as all of my patients are between the ages of 6 months and 4 years. It has helped me professionally with families to be able to relate to their situation, make referrals to doctors and specialists and to tell them what has worked for us. There was a time last year that it was all too much, and I wasn't sure if I could continue being an SLP. There was a lot of sadness for me and for Andrew and all that he lost. Part of the grieving process I guess. But working with my patients made me feel even more sad at that time for all the struggles that they and their families faced. I guess I have gotten past some of this sadness. Just the other day I had a new patient -2 years old, hasn't been diagnosed with Autism yet. After working with her for 5 minutes I was able to get this sweet little girl to sign more to request an activity. Her parents cried as she is nonverbal and has no way to communicate with them. This one session made my day and made me remember why I am a speech pathologist. I really do love my job and I love my patients. I feel very blessed that their families let me in their lives and let me enjoy them every week.

I was unexpectedly offered a position this week with an Early Childhood agency here in town. It is actually the Brighton agecny that came and saved the day for Andrew with the last 6 months before school started. It would be a full time position and the pay would be a lot more than I make now. Money is not everything to us but it could definitely help out. Please pray for us as we make a decision on what is best for our family. Our top priority is Andrew and we are thankful that his new attendant is really working out well.

1 more week until Vital Stim certifited! Can you tell I am excited??


Caitlyn said...

I have to say I am guilty of thinking "Boy that must be good for Andrew" when I found out you were a SLP. Maybe it does help a little, but I'm sure you share in all the daily frusterations just as much as we do!! Any chance we'll see you in VA for the IRSF conference?

Brooklyn said...

I will be praying for you with your job decision for sure! Andrew is blessed to have you as a mommy no matter what your profession might be!