Making a difference in the life of a child

One Hundred Years From Now

One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
How much money I had in my bank
Nor what my cloths looked like.
One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of school I attended,
What kind of typewriter I used,
How large or small my church,
The world may be a little better
Because I was important
In the life of a child.

– Forest Witcraft excerpt from “Within My Power

That poem was given to me on a plaque as a gift while I was discharging a young boy from therapy. He had mastered his goals for the speech sounds and language skills that were difficult for him and his mother was very grateful that her son had worked with me. I was a young therapist at the time and thought that it was a nice gesture because I would miss working with their family, but it was just a part of the job I do and how I wanted to do it. Over the next few months I read that poem over and over again as it sat on my desk. I began to realize that what I was doing was not just a job, but I was a huge influence in these childrens’ lives and their families lives.
It had dawned on me that prior to coming in for speech therapy services, many families were in places shrouded with doubt, disbelief, and blame, coming to the realization that their son or daughter has a problem with developing speech or developing language, or developing skills to interact with their family. As a parent now myself I see how easy it is to blame your spouse, the TV/iPad, society, or yourself for the developmental path your child is on. ¬†Or to be so frustrated with their lack of progress or your inability to control it that you don’t believe they will ever get better. After making the decision to talk to someone about it and getting professional services, that cycle of disbelieve, blame, and doubt turn into acceptance, understanding, and empowerment as their child made progress in my room. At the time of discharge, that trying time for parents is primarily over as they have the tools and confidence to help their children with proven methods if any other issues arise. ¬†Seeing that progression in a child and a family is the main reasons why I love this career.
I’m not just a speech therapist working with evidence based practices, strategies from some books, prize boxes, and games. I’m an integral part in the inner workings of each of the families that come through my door on a regular basis. I field the frustrations of a parent despriately trying to change a behavior at home. I help parents connect with their children in a way that cultivates success in communication rather than failure. I give them the tools to realize that their son or daughter will grow and learn, and be the best them that they can be.
The poem One Hundred Years From Now is my reminder that what I do changes lives. If I’m going to be remembered in one hundred years, I want to be remembered for the product of the combined efforts of myself and the children and families that I work with. And, since one hundred years is a long time, I am determined to make it great!

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