We all have our things that we don’t want anyone to know. That we’re a little afraid to speak out about and definitely won’t share on social media. Aussie’s are known for their blatant honesty. We can be a bit offensive and say things you shouldn’t really say. I know. My American husband has told me this many times.
So in the spirit of being real, these are some SLP things I wouldn’t normally tell you…
I stutter. Apparently I was pretty bad as a 2 year old and would say ‘wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh- wheeeeeeeeere…’ to ask a question. These days I typically stutter when I’m excited or I see a spider (which, come on, I live in Australia, so that stutter increases frequently). The funny part is that I can only ‘stop’ the stutter by swearing. And by swearing, I mean I drop the f-bomb. I don’t look forward to the day when there’s a spider in my therapy room.
When I started my degree I told everyone that I didn’t like kids and would never work with them. It was a well known fact. I think some people are still surprised that I not only chose to work with kids, but that I have one of my own.
I’m embarrassed about my teeth. And as an SLP, our mouths are constantly open with our teeth on show. I adjust my mouth position when I use a mirror with my speech kids, I am still too shy to record close-up videos because all I see are my teeth and I smile with my lips shut when I can. It’s a mix of embarrassment and frustration because I was that awkward teen with shiny silver braces and now they are worse than before. I currently wear an invisible plate and speak with a mild lisp in a bid to correct it.
I’m super possessive of my stickers. I don’t mean to be. I’ve got heaps of them but I just CAN’T let them go. Fact: Scratch and sniff stickers STILL smell 7 years later. I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder, but that I like to save things for ‘just in case’… but in this case, that ‘case’ doesn’t come!!!
I failed at ‘R’ therapy. Yep, for two whole years when I was working in the USA, this Aussie SLP who is hopeless at saying /r/ at the end of her words failed miserably. Don’t get me wrong – their /r/ initial, medial and blends were awesome. I just couldn’t say those darn /r/’s in my speech let alone teach them.
I don’t always read full journal articles. I know I’m supposed to. And I know why. The introduction gives me the background knowledge. I’m supposed to scrutinize the method, picking holes in the sample size and design. My brain seemingly shuts down when it sees the word ‘ANOVA’ in results so I kinda keep scrolling. But I love me that abstract and discussion – I think my brain loves to see the big picture first. Anyway, this IS a goal of mine and I’m going to keep perservering!
I haven’t used my iPad in weeks. The iPad was a huge fad for a while there, but ever since I had baby, took 6 months off and went back to work, I find that I just don’t use it. And you know what? I don’t really miss it! I’ve found that getting kids away from devices has actually been refreshing.
Sometimes I think I can be too tough on my kids. I pride myself on reaching my kid’s goals and hitting them hard. I weave drills and high repetitions in all the time. I do play games, but they have slightly decreased somewhat and sometimes I end a session thinking ‘am I not as fun as I used to be? Has working as an SLP for 11 years taken the enthusiasm out of me?’. But then I read the literature about dose, intensity and frequency and feel that I have research on my side.
I get bored in my SLP job and have pretty much changed jobs every two years. I’m that go-getter, loves a challenge, let’s mix things up kinda person. I like to see new kids, get thrown out of my comfort zone and push my skills. Hence why my first 4 jobs were in the Aussie outback, Samoa, USA and Sydney, Australia. One thing I will say about job hopping is that I have such a broad range of skills and experience in so many areas. I honestly encourage you to consider getting a new SLP gig if you’re bored and unmotivated and get that spritz back!
I’m still not confident in therapy despite having 11 years experience. I’m kinda scared of little kids and early intervention, AAC has always been put in the too hard basket and I’m always second guessing myself on various aspects of literacy and stuttering intervention. It’s a good thing my two passions are speech sound disorders and social communication… I could see that caseload all day long!
So I’ve bared my secrets… are you willing to share yours? Are you also a former child disliking, sticker hoarding SLP who stutters while reading abstracts? Comment below or reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s embrace our imperfections 🙂