It’s my plan to write here on occasion about my thoughts and reflections on aspects of language and communication I observe while travelling through my life as speech-language pathologist, writer, poet, mother and friend.
Here we go! A new school year!
Relationship is at the core of our being. When I entered the college where I would take up a place to study to become an SLP and sat down to write an essay on why I wanted to work in the field, I chose to quote John Donne who wrote his famous poem, “No Man is an Island”: It was 1971 and I realize these days I’d have to explain that I really did mean “No Person”, but at the time the quote sufficed. I expounded on my subject, explaining that it is communication which enables us to connect in all the ways that we need to survive and to feel supported and loved. I wanted to become someone who could help people to communicate.
I have now been qualified to work in this field of speech, language and communication for an incredible (well, to me, anyway) 42 years. In that time, with years taken off to work in my other most important career as a mother, I have logged 36 years of therapy with children and their families. I have no idea how many children have passed through all the spaces I’ve worked in over the years. I do know that this “job” (quotes because, surely, it is more than that?) has brought me immeasurable satisfaction and goes on expanding my understanding and knowledge of children, families, health, education and a myriad of areas of specialist knowledge that is essential to the daily round of an SLP. No day is the same, no child or family is the same, there is no cookie-cutter solution to problems or challenges that are faced by my clients. There is no one feeling when I share in their successes as they learn with me.
I love the small rush of, well, to be honest, pride, that comes with knowing a child is learning and growing in part because of my intervention in their own and their family’s life.
A new school year is about to begin. I am returning to work with clients, some of whom have been part of my life for five or more years and others who I have known only months. There will be new children, parents, teachers and support staff to get to know. With returning students there are familiar paths to tread with new horizons to walk toward and whole new directions to go in with clients I have yet to meet. I am preparing to welcome into my practice another highly qualified SLP to take on clients I’m unable to provide therapy time for.
The season is changing, we have colour in the trees, sharp coolness in the air, Eid-Ul-Adha, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, Sukkot, Halloween, All Souls’ Day, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas will be here all too soon! Oh, and of course, the RAIN! I look forward to this season and to the work I have ahead with all of my clients!