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Getting Our Feet Wet – Part 2

June 19, 2013

Today is the second and final entry from class of 2014’s early clinical experiences.  Enjoy!


From Amanda:

734137_10152644016215389_431298435_n“My most memorable experience….Hmmm. I have had many memorable experiences so far, but I’ll narrow it down to two: ninjas and velars. We designed a ninja theme for our first day, complete with a ninja themed movement break (because ninjas need to be flexible and ready to attack at any time) and a ninja themed oral mechanism exam! The kids loved that they got a different coloured headband for each task. It was a huge success and it was fun for us too! My second memorable moment was during an assessment session where I was doing stimulability testing for velars, final consonants and blends and had a whole set of strategies for sound shaping. I prompted one child to open his mouth wide, and sat side by side while modeling the /k/ sound for him in the mirror. I was so shocked and excited when he looked at me and said /k/, I beamed from ear to ear!

Since I have started clinic, I have learned that I love working with kids! They are surprising and funny and motivating and exhausting all rolled into one! I can’t wait for my adult placement to start in the fall, but this pediatric placement is sure fun!

The team approach really helps to have people who are in the same boat to bounce ideas off for assessment and treatment and also to get feedback from!” –Amanda


Up next is Sara:

397409_10152482280235226_960586055_nWhat has been your most memorable experience in clinic so far?

“I always give one of my young clients a high-five for being awesome.  At the end of a particularly long assessment session, I gave him a high-five and then, he walked a few steps over to me and gave me a hug instead! It made my heart so happy!  Mom also complimented me on one of my ideas and said she wanted to try it at home… It was definitely one of the best days in clinic so far!”

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself since you started clinic?  

“Before clinic, I didn’t have a lot of experience with kids this young and I was worried about how to interact with them (really, a confidence issue). However, I’ve been told that I’m great with them, which is a huge compliment for me… and I’ve realized that I absolutely LOVE working with them.”

How do you enjoy the setup of the learning environment (teams, consultants, clinical educators, etc.)?

“I think the setup of Corbett Clinic is really conducive to facilitating our learning.  It’s nice to have an observing pair to talk to about ideas for a session or just for general help with planning for a client, especially when they know the client, including strengths and areas for improvement.  Different perspectives and ideas really help when you’re stuck.”

 What’s something surprising you’ve had to learn / apply in clinic?

“I guess it shouldn’t have been a huge surprise… but I didn’t think my behaviour management skills would come in so handy during sessions.  Without these skills, it would have been difficult to get through all we have so far. Yay for an education degree and mentor teachers who thought it was the ultimate skill to have!” –Sara


And last, but certainly not least, Joseph:

f1“This, sigh, is my 24th consecutive year of school. I have been going every year since playschool. I love learning; you can’t make it to grad school if you don’t. But, when clinic came around, I felt a bit like the Count of Monte Cristo. I tunnelled my way through years and years of desks so unergonomic that they could not possibly have been built with the human form, even remotely, in mind, textbooks so long-winded that the author must have been paid by the word, and handed in essays so full of run-on sentences that they put even this one to shame. Finally, at long last, I get to do stuff. Doing stuff, as it turns out, is every bit as fulfilling as I had only dare dream it would be.

What we do is truly amazing and humbling. We are able to bring people out from the isolation of not being understood. We can give back the ability to interact with those they love. When my brother was six he suffered a major TBI. I was twelve. We were told he was supposed to die that weekend. Despite all odds he recovered, very slowly. He woke up from his coma. He relearned to roll over, crawl, walk, eat, and talk. Most things he relearned were just another step along his long road to recovery. The first time he spoke, however, is seared into my mind. He said to me, “I love you.” He had practiced that phrase, with mom, in the car, during the two and a half-hour drive home from therapy. For the first time since his accident, he could say what he felt. I will never forget that gift. I cannot help but think that was the moment that I truly got by brother back.

After all these years, it is my turn to help others in the way so many phenomenal S-LPs help my family. One of my clients is a young boy and, this time, I am one of the people who gets to help. I get to, step by step, help give a mom and dad their child back. What an inspiring profession I am fortunate enough to be joining. When I make suggestions that help clients speak more like the way they used to, in a voice they long to have again, and they smile, I know I have made a difference. What I am able to do, even as a student, is beautiful. I cannot wait until my next clinic session. I cannot wait to be an S-LP.” — Joseph


Thank you for listening to their experiences!  The class is now over half done their current clinical practicum and well into the treatment for their clients; it will be interesting to see how they have grown over the summer.    Interested in adding your own story?  Leave a comment below!

Themes in the upcoming weeks:  The skills new students bring to the table, the public image of the SLP, and applying leadership principles within the discipline.

-Lyall Pacey

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 27, 2013 11:55 pm

    These remarks were beautiful. Thank you all for sharing your stories. As someone who has been involved in the Linguistics Students Association at the U of S (and who will hopefully entering your College and profession in a few years), this means a lot to me. I wish I had found this site months ago!

    Tomorrow I start my first day as a volunteer in the SLP Department at Saskatoon City Hospital. I have been looking forward to this for many months, and I hope to gain invaluable experience there over the next couple of years.


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