Our SBS Story, Speech-Language-Feeding Development

When a Career Becomes Personal

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For those of you who don’t know- I’m a speech-language pathologist by profession. There is so much irony in this career choice as I look back at the breadcrumbs that lead me to a career as an SLP. I’ve always felt the pull to study communication and language, I’ve always been fascinated by how communication connects the world. I studied Communication at Clemson University and during my time there I was always asking, ‘how can I use my knowledge to help others?’ It was through Google research that I came across the field of speech-language pathology, a hugely dynamic profession that branches beyond just ‘talking.’ I had never had speech therapy, nor had I had any experience with or even met a speech professional… but The seed was planted that I wanted be one. I graduated from Clemson and worked in sales and marketing for 8 years before I decided that I couldn’t get rid of the itch to dive deeper into the study of communication and use my interest in communication to help others. I was married and working full-time when I began an intense year-long evening program of pre-requisite classes so that I would have the background to apply to Graduate School. I completed the program, applied to graduate school and got denied. It was tough, a lot of money and time was spent preparing to go back to school… and I couldn’t get in. I spent the next year studying and improving my standardized test scores… and I got in! Persistence is so important. So, I quit a job that I loved to go back to school full-time, putting my husband and I on a very restricted budget. I worked odd jobs in addition to attending school full-time to make ends meet and I studied for 2.5 years (vitamins at Costco, sales at a boutique, I sold beanbag chairs and finally I was offered an assistantship in a professors lab). I didn’t know what population that I wanted to work with when I graduated, what setting I would work in or how my career as an SLP would progress. I just knew that I wanted to be an SLP. I hit many roadblocks along the way, finding out that I needed to stay another semester in school to complete the program due to a miscalculation of hours… over-stretching our 2 year budget. I had to complete my final internship in another State because my husband got relocated for his job- and the requirements were different in our new location making certification VERY challenging- and more hours of patient contact were required. I finally graduated with a 4.0 and had to complete a year-long clinical fellowship. I got sick, I switched jobs and our credentialing agency changed the standards for certification RIGHT before I finished. At this point I was pregnant and I almost thought that I would have to go back for another semester to take MORE classes under the new requirements…thank goodness that I actually HAD taken the classes and the upset was a false alarm, but the stress was real. I got my full certification (CCC-SLP) ONE WEEK before Camden arrived. Phew- I did it!.. Now, let’s get to work! I assumed that I would work until my delivery date- have my baby and return to be a working mom. The joke was on me… I learned that the only thing that you can plan on in life…. is that you can’t plan! Our son was born, and we spent our 10 months in the hospital. WAIT-I went to school, we struggled on a tight budget for a loooooong time, I spent how much on loans?… and now I couldn’t work?! WAIT there is a silver lining and it’s beautiful how the world works in mysterious ways. I was lead to be an SLP for a reason. Being in the hospital for 10 months put Camden at risk for many developmental delays, short bowel syndrome can come with a long list of feeding disorders and aversions…. but I didn’t feel helpless, I knew what to do! I had trained extensively in speech-language and feeding therapy and I used what I had learned to help Camden along to make the most progress possible given his circumstances. How incredible. I truly believe that I became and SLP to be Camden’s mom, to be there to support him and now to help other families who are facing some of the same challenges that we have. I know development and I know feeding- it’s crazy. I hope to be able to share my knowledge and to support others who have children with special needs. Sometimes, you don’t know why you are lead in a certain direction until much further down the road. Just trust the process. God is Good. ❤

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4 thoughts on “When a Career Becomes Personal

  1. Julie Potter says:

    Love this Meags. I can think of no better way for you to use all that hard earned knowledge than to bless your family and others. Being a mother is hard work under the best of conditions, but you are a wonderful example of trusting in God and in his plan.

    Liked by 1 person

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