Thursday, September 25, 2008

When Your Job Makes You (almost) Cry

I am a speech pathologist. I (mostly) love my job. I love people. I love helping people. I view paperwork as a necessary evil.

I dislike useless, arbitrary, everchanging paper trails that require that I keep up, not with research-based therapy techniques (although, by law I must keep up with those, too), but with silly-pants forms.

One year (and I am *not* even kidding), they had a meeting to tell all 500+ of us that the new form was no longer called a "Written Prior Notice", but a "Prior Written Notice".

Truth. Swear.

So, what almost made me cry today at my job? Could it be...

Ridiculous papers?

Frivolous forms?

Capricious cr@pola?

Nope. Joy.

The progress of two of my precious little boys from tantrum-throwing, frustrated, angry pre-verbal persons, to right-on-the-cusp-of-language-breathrough kidlets!

Yup. When the first little boy (at my 9:00 AM home visit), 'got it', he lit up like a Christmas tree and I thought, "*This is why I get up in the morning".

Yesirree. I can still see his delighted face. And can feel the slight stinging of tears in my eyes. Is that unprofessional?

The look on his face was one like it all finally made just a little bit of sense. Like for the first time, he could see how language might actually work for him and not just be a bunch of Charlie Brown's teacher noise.

Like he could begin to use this complex symbol system that we call 'speech' to get something he desparately wants...like Thomas the Train, or a banana or more bubbles.

You don't have to directly teach the cause and effect, the simple exchange of language to most children. But to mine, you do.

And there is no more rewarding job that I can imagine.

Unless it's this job...with no "Prior Written Notice" form.

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