Hi there, my name is Lisette, and you can usually find me
at Speech Sprouts. I’m stopping by Natalie Snyders’ amazing blog to share a bit
about my experience wandering WAY out of my comfort zone. Thank you Natalie for
the invite to visit!
Fresh Out of Grad School
After graduating from grad school and getting my CCC’s, I
headed straight for a school-based therapy position. My children were young,
and it seemed the perfect fit. I loved my school, and enjoyed the learning about each child’s needs. In public school we see such a wide variety
of children, I am always headed back to the books to learn more about a specific
disorder and how speech, language and development are affected.
After about three years, I was contacted by a home health agency looking for some
part-time speech therapy help. The company saw only adults at that time. I had
done a hospital-based externship, but had not worked in healthcare full-time. Did
I have the skills? Unsure, but intrigued by the opportunity to broaden my skill
set, I went to interview and was hired.
I was nervous, and agreed to see only patients with aphasia
and dysarthria at first. I dove back into my books and did my research. I found
a mentor- a fellow SLP who had recently left a healthcare setting. Breathe, I
thought, you’ve got this! It’s language and articulation. Just all grown up.
lady who had a stroke, resulting in word-finding issues. We worked on naming,
categories, and conversational repair strategies. I loved it! Eventually I
branched out to treat apraxia, voice, swallowing, and cognitive linguistic deficits.
My patients were generally grateful for the help, the company and attention. I
saw littles by day, and elders at night!
Take a Left at the Big Tree?
Texas- I followed the directions to one lady’s home that said “drive through
the gate at the end of the road.” Well, the gate opened into a cow pasture.
There was no road at all, not even a path. I ventured through, turned as
instructed, and spotted the white mobile home way in the distance. I dodged a
couple grazing cows, a few prickly pear cactuses and arrived to find a widowed
lady who lived all alone out there, with only a neighbor to take her shopping once
It was raining hard the next time I visited, and I was pretty sure the
cows and I would sink deep into the mud, but somehow I made it. I often stayed a bit after each session, helping her get her
laundry and dishes done, making sure she could fix a meal. It was pretty hard
for her after her stroke.
Have You Got it Covered?
with them, and others who had really no interest. One gentlemen’s wife told me
I could find him in his bedroom, go on in, and she left to go shopping. Perhaps
she thought I was a sitter? Her husband was unable to walk unassisted after his
stroke, and had hemiplegia. Well, he was awake, but not exactly ready for a
session. He was completely naked and covered only by a sheet. You could say
that was outside my comfort zone for sure! We didn’t do much therapy that day.
therapy services at our small local hospital. A new learning curve with
inpatients, but I was pretty confident in my outpatient therapy at this point. I
still love learning new things and expanding my skills to meet the needs of
find a mentor, get some additional professional training, you can do it! Just
watch out for cows.