Even though getting out the door on time was a little rough this morning, once I did, I was happy to be on the road to clinic. I still absolutely love it. The kids are so much fun and I am truly enjoying getting to know each of their personalities.
Yesterday I saw how speech therapy goes beyond the /s/'s and /r/'s. I sat in IEP (Individualized Education Plan for children receiving services) meetings all day. (The meetings are held annually to talk about the child's goals, progress, services, and what needs to happen for the child to succeed. Parents, principal, psychologist, and any special service as well as regular ed. teacher participates)
It was a humbling experience for me. So often I get caught up on, "these crazy parents, don't they know any better - no wonder their kid is in special ed.!" And - These poor kids, they have no love at home. When in reality, these parents are doing the best that they can with what they've got. I met three women who truly love their children with all of their hearts. The first mother works during the day and her husband works at night so someone can be home when the boys get home. But, when she gets home, her husband has already left for work. The second mother is recently divorced and trying to make sense of her new life of being a single parent while still trying to provide for her sons. The third mother has 4 sons, one (the one the meeting was held for) was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the beginning of last year. He had surgery back in April, during surgery, he suffered a stroke. Since April, he has been receiving chemo. Her husband also has cancer and is in & out of the hospital. She shared that their marriage is on the brink of collapsing.
All of these mothers needed a compassionate listening ear. I was reminded that everyone has a story. I could have judged these mothers for not going over their sons' homework with them, or not providing whatever, I, the 22 year old inexperienced girl, thought should be provided. If I had given a judgemental air, chances are they wouldn't have been on the same page as me; I would have gotten no where.