How I Became a Better Pediatric Therapist

How I Became A Better Pediatric Therapist


Hi. Welcome to my lil ole blog. I’m an in-home pediatric therapist. I’m a speech-language pathologist that works with children birth-3. I love sharing helpful information with other pediatric therapists, parents, and families on all things related to speech, language, and feeding development. I also enjoy sharing my own personal health journey with others because I believe we all do better when we do it with community.

Work Background

When I moved to Charleston, I started working at the Disabilities Board (thanks to my bestie Katie) as an Early Interventionist. I provided Family Training for families of children with developmental delays and other special needs. I went into homes on a weekly basis to help families learn how to work on their child’s developmental skills. I’m there to help make some stressful daytime routines a little bit easier for them.

I loved this job! I worked with PTs, OTs, and SLP’s as well. I knew immediately that I wanted to go back to grad school to become a speech-language pathologist. Whew…it was a lot of work, a few years later I had graduated, landed a fellowship, and was doing exactly what God wanted me to be doing.

Becoming A Parent

During grad school something happened that changed me in a big way. I became pregnant and had our first child, a little boy. I will never forget that pregnancy because I was so sick but also so happy all at the same time. I remember feeling excited but a little overwhelmed that I was going to be responsible for a tiny human in just 9 months. I remember feeling the first kicks.

The bond created during pregnancy is hard to explain but I loved our little nugget from the beginning. My husband and I talked a lot about what we thought he would look like, act like, activities he would enjoy as he got older, etc. I am so thankful I was able to experience it all, even as sick as I was. The feeling I have for my child is like no other.

Before Becoming A Parent

Before I became a parent, I thought I had a clue about parenthood. I thought I understood how the families that I worked with felt. I thought I had a good grasp on what their life was like on daily basis. When I became a Mom I realized I really had no clue. I realized I never really took the time to truly “see” what these parents were going through or even try to put myself in their situation. Sad, but true. Definitely not how I am now but we all learn and grow as the years pass by.

I would go into their homes, and I was kind and compassionate, but I would give them activities to work on for that week that they probably honestly had no time to do. I would get frustrated when I came back the next week and they had not worked on what we talked about.

I would miss signs that maybe they didn’t worry this time if “Amy” wasn’t signing “more” or “all done” this week because they had not slept in a week, and they were just trying to make it through the morning. I would miss signs that maybe they just needed to vent or laugh about something or talk about ALL of the amazing, positive things happening in their child’s life.

Talking About ALL The Positives

This is something I think every pediatric therapist can do more of. We often get so into what skills the child doesn’t have yet that we forget about all of the amazing things the child can do. I have kids that score very low on an assessment, but you better believe I’m noticing and finding all sorts of amazing skills these kids have and I’m sharing with the parents. Parents need to hear this.

Often parents are told what their child can’t do and nobody wants to constantly focus on the negative. Let’s change the way we think. Let’s also focus on the amazing and awesome characteristics, skills, and personalities that these kiddos have.

Once I became a parent, I started to treat differently in my therapy sessions. One of the ways I’ve changed is by starting each session by asking about the family’s week. This opens the door to talk about what is going on in their life and how they are doing with everything. The difference: I get to know the family better, see what their life is like every day, find out what is important to them.

I get to hear about their struggles and their victories, learn about their culture, and create such a meaningful bond with these families. This is the magic. This is when a trust is secured between you and a family and you and the child. From there, you will work together to create some pretty cool speech therapy sessions.

To all of the families I work with:

I see how much you love your lil ones. I see how proud you are of them and I hope you are proud of yourself for being an amazing parent. I see how you advocate for your child. I see you heat your coffee for the 10th time while your toast from breakfast is still in the toaster. I see you worry and stress and cry; I’ve cried with you. I see you want so much for your lil one. I see how you somehow balance therapy sessions, doctor’s visits, siblings, a husband, work, house stuff, medicines, etc. I see how much you research and ask questions, so you have the knowledge to do what you feel is best for your child. I see you show appreciation for me and the other therapists which means so much to us. I see you sometimes hanging on for dear life, but you still do it with grace. You got this! All of this hard work is worth it, and you are one beautiful parent!

Becoming a parent made me a better therapist and I am so thankful for that. I am inspired daily by the sweet families I work with and I am grateful for that.


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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] We are then able to communicate more effectively, treat with compassion, and have more patience. HERE is an article I wrote a couple years ago about how I became a better […]

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