So what do I do as an SLP? Well I'm glad you asked!
"I'm a Speech Therapist." "So you teach people how to talk?"..Yikes! Sit back for a moment and let me tell you what a Speech-Language Pathologist pours their heart into day after day...
We help a former minister, whose brain can no longer send the correct signals to produce basic sentences, answer the simplest of questions so she can participate in social activities with other residents..
We help a child on the autism spectrum with their social skills, in the hopes that the bullying will stop and they will make one friend before the end of the school year..
We rehab someone's swallowing muscles so they can have a sip of McAlister's ice tea, because it is their absolute favorite..
We give hope to the parents who have finally accepted their child is delayed, after the doctor repeatedly tells them he is just a late talker..
We teach someone with new cochlear implants how to communicate without sign language after a lifetime of deafness being all they know..
We ease the anxiety of a child who stutters when they are preparing to stand up in front of their class to give a book report..
We show someone how to apply a passy-muir valve to their tracheostomy so they can use their voice to tell their family "I love you."..
We have the difficult conversation with a family to tell them that grandma's cognitive impairments make her unsafe to go back to her home alone..
We help a child pronounce certain sounds correctly, after years of others reinforcing the wrong way, when they reach an age where their impairment is no longer considered cute..
We help a young, intelligent woman who has had a massive stroke learn to use a speech-generating device so that she can return to her vibrant and capable self..
We teach memory strategies to someone with dementia so she can remember the names of her grandchildren..
...and we think about these people when we're falling asleep at night. We pray for them and we spend time off the clock and our own money on things that we think may help them even the slightest. We constantly put up with being misunderstood and overlooked.
So if you know a Speech Therapist, tell them thank you and give them a hug, because I promise you, after spending their days pouring their hearts into others, they need someone to replenish theirs."
Speech Language Pathologist