I was Department Head for Speech, Language and Hearing services, during which time I worked as a Speech/Language Pathologist both on-site and throughout the community providing speech and language services for children and families who manifested a wide spectrum of conditions and disabilities.
This, many times, involved working within an interdisciplinary team such as performing communication assessments for the Down Syndrome Center and the Autism Diagnostic team, conducting social skills groups, and becoming an Instructor for the Children First in Divorce program.
As a Speech/Language Pathologist, I was responsible for conducting evaluations and therapy for children with articulation disorders, voice and fluency issues, or language delay.
As an Instructor for the CFID Program, it is my task to enumerate the potential impacts of parental conflict and divorce on children and to encourage parents to continue to partner in a civil, non-emotional manner when dealing with the many issues typically associated with child rearing.
Fun Fact: I am, and have been, an amateur writer for many years. Some of my short stories have been published locally, and most recently, I have completed an anthology of 500 poems – each one representing a different motion picture. Here’s a sample:
Saving Mr. Banks
Movies sometimes move us in ways we can’t explain.
They bring to mind a memory. They sing an old refrain.
We may not know the reason why,
Or when we first began to cry,
We’re just so glad a movie made us feel that way again.
I’ve been asked to describe what I love most about Hope Haven and what I most want people to know about us. Curiously, I can answer both queries with a single word: comfort.
Aside from those clients who come to Hope Haven for enrichment such as the summer camp programs, the majority of children and families who avail themselves of our services are uncomfortable in some way. The child is uncomfortable due to a physical condition beyond his control such as Down Syndrome or ADHD. He may be uncomfortable with rules, with school, with his peers or with his parents. Parents are uncomfortable with their child’s school performance, behavior, and the sometimes overwhelming demands placed on parents of a special needs child.
To me, what makes Hope Haven work so well is that children and families are made to feel comfortable. Gaining a personal rapport
with the child and family from first contact, namely Intake, and proceeding straight through Accounting, Scheduling, and Service delivery is paramount to our style of intervention. And when nurtured, rapport grows into trust. And when trust is present in a therapeutic environment, mountains can be moved.
Hope Haven and I have been connected for the majority of my adult life. I cannot help but feel bonded to the place and what it stands for. I wish nothing but success for the clinic, its personnel, and the clients who no doubt will continue to benefit from this valuable community resource.