I don’t know if I can help you!

10 Jan

As you know, I can see what people type into search engines to turn up my blog. Lately, it’s been a little blue.

1. I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing speech pathology

2. Don’t think I’m a good speech path

3. One day I’ll drive away (I feel you, yo.)

4. Quit SLP grad school

5. Drop out SLP grad school

(Also one time someone got me from this: אוריגמי צפרדע  UH WHAT DOES THAT SAY?)

Anyway. So I don’t know about you guys, but if it turned out I had seasonal affective disorder I wouldn’t be surprised. Between Thanksgiving and April 1st – I get way down into the depths of my despair. And maybe that’s the case with you search engine-ers too! Maybe you’re being a little too hard on yourself.

If that’s not the case and you’re feeling pretty serious, then LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!

Okay. So. When I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing or that I’m doing poorly, I tend to spend awhile in denial. Because I like to be right and good at everything. Because I’m an SLP and I don’t handle failure well.

Once I climb down from my high horse my first tactic is to call my mom and whine.

After that, assuming it is school or profession related, I would reach out to a superior or mentor who I am comfortable with.

If they don’t have a suggestion or their suggestions don’t work – I would try to do my own homework. When I feel like I’m lacking in an area I try to pursue new avenues for learning. There are SO MANY sources for learning – contact local universities with speech path programs and see if they’re offering any courses you could jump in on, look for local conferences and presentations, check out online CEU events, contact your state association’s website to see if they are hosting any short courses, get on Twitter and use the hashtag #slpeeps to ask questions. I truly think there are a lot of ways to learn as a speech path – we have a STRONG support system in “real life” and online.

As someone who has a Master’s degree and certification in speech path you know HOW to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And honestly, you aren’t alone. I’ve heard a lot of SLPs say they feel a little lost sometimes, or that they weren’t so sure of themselves right out of the shoot. Plus there’s many skills that have to be honed. If you get a sudden caseload of students who struggle with language – you might not actually know anything about using PECS or AAC or WHATEVER.

We aren’t done learning as soon as we graduate. SLP is a field that is consistently evolving and growing – you gotta grow with it!

And seriously – if you want to quit SLP grad school that’s fine and all. But make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. There isn’t a whole ton you can do with a bachelor in communication disorders and SLP is a field that has promising job opportunities. We’d love to have you among our ranks – but only if it’s something you enjoy. Our clients need you to be motivated, engaging, honest, competant, and compassionate.

If you can’t be those things, this might not be your place in the world. If you’re unsure – TALK TO SOMEONE. I always think it’s a good idea to get second, third, fourth opinions. And if there’s something you need help with – feel free to email me!

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9 Responses to “I don’t know if I can help you!”

  1. Sean Sweeney January 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Great post. I definitely have (self-diagnosed) SAD too. From October to February I am really not my best self!

  2. Annie January 13, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Remember the time I was crying in the clinic and I said, “I’m a shitty clinician!!!!” so dramatically and then you hugged me for a long time? This is like the virtual version of that. I like it a lot.

    • weathersby January 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      omg I totally forgot about that. Was that when your car was stuck in the snow?

  3. ladyinspain11 January 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Hello! I love your blog! I’m currently for applying for the SLP program in grad school, and a letter of intent is required. I was hoping you could share some helpful hints for writing one…maybe include what the graduate admissions department looks for, what to avoid saying, how to begin the letter, etc. I would really appreciate it, and I think others would too! Thank you!

    • weathersby January 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Yes of course! I actually keep meaning to do that and I forget! This weekend I’m moving to a new apartment but sometime next week when I’m not thesising I would be glad to. Thanks for reading!

  4. Leah January 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    I too love your blog! I’m an undergraduate transferring so that I can major in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I find your posts engaging and informational! So thank you. I also wanted to say that the Hebrew translates to something about a frog.

    • weathersby January 14, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks for reading Leah! If there’s anything you’d like me to post about let me know!

      That Hebrew frog business is cracking me up. I can only assume it’s from when I blogged about making origami frogs.

  5. eward511 January 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    I’m going to assume this sentence rhymes in a magical way on purpose: “I tend to spend awhile in denial.”

    Also, you’re lovely.

    • weathersby January 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!

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