Special Learning Blog
|Joyful Noise: A Reflection on Being a Speech and Hearing Provider|
|Expert Name:Lynn M. Dudek M.S., CCC-SLP/MBA | Date Created: 2013-05-10 19:07:00|
What better way to recognize those serving the speech and hearing impaired community than Better Hearing and Speech Month! This month-long recognition celebrates all the wonderful work that we as speech-language pathologists (SLP) and audiologists are honored to provide with those we serve. So after 21 years in this field (next month), I decided to reflect on my past and all the wonderful, lovely, amazing children and families I have known – and most of them with autism. In my reflection I kept asking the same question…
If I had one wish, would I wish autism away?
The longer and longer I thought about it I came to the same answer – NO!
I would wish many things away-cancer, war, poverty - and several of the “things” that families living with autism must deal with – bureaucracy, lack of funds, looks at the grocery store, and the worry – yes I would wish away the worry – but not autism. See, if I never knew autism, then I would never have known the strongest group of mothers I met 17 years ago – all of whom I am still friends with to this day.
I would never have met Sheldon (names have been changed to protect the innocent), been given the flock of Origami geese he made me as a gift at age 11, or watched as he graduated high school and completed his first year of college. I would have missed out on Dwight and how funny the retelling of an episode of the Office can be when the cable goes out. I would have also missed out on Ryan who bit me, my office chair, the walls, his dad, and anything else he could sink his teeth in to. But I would also have missed the day he took a picture card to his dad that said hug. That was the first day he requested a hug from his dad.
I have a lot of wishes about autism…I wish life was a little easier for the families living with this diagnosis. I wish that all these beautiful children had a little more certainty and a little less chaos. I wish we had the money and research and treatment to give these kids the life they deserve. But most of all I wish to thank all of my families – past, present, and future for allowing this speech pathologist to be in your child’s life and hopefully make things a little easier. And yes Sheldon – I am tearing up a little. Tears can be happy things too!