Monday, November 5, 2012

10 Years Ago

The other day I walked into the school where I currently work and realized that it was 10 years ago that I walked into my first school, Mill Creek Elementary, as a Speech Language Therapist. It is amazing how much I have learned over the past 10 years and how many people have been apart of my adventure in this wonderful field of communication disorders.

Among the most important lessons I have learned are:

Every child is different. We expect children to follow a typical path, and in some respects they do, but each child develops at different rates and in different ways. Each child has likes and dislikes that steer the activities that are engaging to them and help them along their developmental path. Getting to know each child that I have worked with and developing a personalized plan is one of the most rewarding things that I get to do.

Family involvement is very important. How each family interacts with their child effects the progress that the child experiences. Families who are more involved and incorporate the therapy goals into their every day lives will see a child who begins to use the skills they are learning in therapy in their daily interactions.

Themes are awesome! Changing themes each month or every other month helps keep the interest level high. My students are always excited when they come in and see the room is decorated completely differently and try to guess the new theme. I love that I can introduce relevant vocabulary, concepts and experiences. Books and craft projects are great ways to get the theme started, but I also love theme specific games, songs and poems.

There are a few people I want to thank as well. First, Holly Willis, for hiring a young therapist and giving me freedom to learn and practice my skills with her elementary school children. Second, Jocey Gomez, for training me and giving me great support and friendship all of my years in Osceola County. Third, Maureen Donohue, for challenging me to be my best and encouraging me. Of course there is my mom, who while I was studying in college and graduate school would ask about all of the things that I was learning, thus helping me learn by my "teaching" her and in the past few years asking me about new and challenging situations she encounters in her preschool which helps me keep the information that I share with her (and others) relevant and practical.

Thank you to Billy, my wonderful husband and now business partner. I love running our business together and I look forward to meeting the needs of those around us together. Also, to Elizabeth. You make a beautiful model for my blog entries! Thanks for having fun with whatever activities we do together. It has been a joy to watch you grow and learn.

Finally, I give highest thanks and praise to God for laying on my heart more than 16 years ago the desire to be a Speech Language Pathologist and for orchestrating all of the events in my life that have led me right here, right where I know - deep down in my soul - that I am supposed to be. To You, I give all the glory and honor.

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