You’re an SL-… What?

Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm a 
Speech-Language Pathologist.

“So is that like for kids who stutter?”
“You’re the specialist for swallowing? Well, I wouldn’t go around saying that..”
“Do you help kids with lisps?”
"You work in a hospital, so what do you do there? Are you like a CNA?"

Story Time 
(y'all have to know that I love a good story time!)

I was a senior in college taking 18 hours to graduate on time with ZERO idea what I would be doing after May. I knew I wanted to go to grad school because my undergrad degree wouldn’t exactly land me a job that would afford me the lifestyle I wanted (one above the poverty line lol.) Aside from the idea of grad school, I had no idea where I was headed or what I was going to be when I grew up. For little Type-A Sarah, this was one of the most stressful times in my life. 

My advisor was hands-off with me and let me enroll myself each semester. I saw a communication class and thought it sounded like a fun controlled elective, so I enrolled and never thought about it again. I showed up on the first day of class to find that I had in fact enrolled myself into Intro to Communication Sciences and Disorders. 

So, we did the whole “I’m _______ and I’m in this class because ________ and I want to be an SLP because ______.” In this 50 minutes, my entire life was changed. 
I heard things like:
"My grandpa had an SLP who helped him recover after his stroke and inspired me to want to help people like him."
"I wanted to be a teacher but I also love the medical field. This is a good mix for me."
"I stuttered when I was little and my SLP helped me overcome my fear of speaking."
"I didn't talk until I was 5 and my SLP was awesome. I still talk to her today!"

Up until this day, SLP wasn’t on my radar even a little and I had no idea what the field entailed or what SLPs did or where they could work or what populations they served.
However, I remembered that my Student Council sponsors wife was an SLP! So, I called her up, we chatted for about an hour and I ended up observing her at work that week. I prayed really hard and talked with my mama a lot. My mom is one of the wisest people I know. The wisdom she laid on me was something I’ll never forget. 

“Sarah, do not put a question mark where God has put a period.”

Woah, y’all! Woah. Just like that, I changed my major and enrolled for leveling courses to prepare for grad school! 

That’s the crazy little way that God led me to this field. Every single day I’m immeasurably grateful for this divine little mistake in my enrollment. I am the BIGGEST fan of our field and I’m constantly left in awe of the knowledge we hold about our field, the obstacles we help our patients overcome, and the difference that we make in their lives.

Graduation from undergrad at OSU

Grad school graduation with Mama and Daddy!
Boomer SOONER!!

I wanted to put together a blog series to highlight all of the settings we work in, roles we play, and what exactly it means to be an SLP for a few reasons. 
  1. I wish I would’ve known about this field long before I did!
  2. If I had a dime for every time someone said, “Huh?” after I tell them I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist, I’d be a millionaire. This field is still so new that so many people either don’t know what we do or they have gross misperceptions. I want to educate and advocate for this field at every opportunity.
  3. I’m truly our biggest fan and I want to spread the SLP gospel for all to hear!

In this series, I’ve recruited some of my favorite SLPs (get ready to fan girl) to share a day in their life and spread the SLP gospel! We will cover “womb to tomb” and everything in between! This is a great series for anyone considering this field or knows an SLP but doesn’t reallllyyy understand what they do! I hope you enjoy and learn a little something along the way! 
Photo by Kailey Creech, MS, CCC-SLP

Stay tuned!

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