SLP Spotlight: Expressing Yourself with Speech-Language Pathology

Blair Armstrong thought she had an idea of what she wanted to do when she started college. “I originally thought I would go into nursing and just happened to take a class called Language of the Mind. That class was what really got me thinking that it was what I wanted to do.” Once she graduated with her degree, she started looking for a job in the field of speech-language pathology.

“It just happened perfectly,” she said. “I got connected with a supervisor, thanks to Supplemental.” She spoke with the supervisor about the major behavioral problems they were dealing with and how some of these kids did not receive the attention they needed at school. Blair says the supervisor felt very driven to be working there and that conversation convinced her to take the SLPA position for the school year.

In her school setting, Blair loves connecting with her kids and building those relationships. Seeing how happy the are to come to speech therapy makes her excited to be there too. Although she has had many positive experiences in her work, there are plenty of challenges to deal with too. She finds that the small accomplishments help keep her motivated.

“One of my kids just refused to write anything,” Blair explains. “He wouldn’t do it in any class and I knew he could write a grammatically correct sentence, but he just refused.” Right before their spring break, he wrote nine sentences for Blair! “And I was just so thrilled because it’s just these little, tiny achievements they make throughout the day that make you feel like you actually are making a difference and changing the kids’ lives for the better.”

Blair sees how much speech therapy can help a speech impediment or an expressive language delay because it gives a person the ability to convey how they feel to the world. “I think expression in every aspect – in art or communication – is imperative for a happy human being,” she says.

Dance is Blair’s other passion. “The two kind of come together in the fact that they both are very expressive,” she says. “What really pulls me into speech is helping somebody with that expression because if you can’t communicate your thoughts and feelings, it’s a lot harder in your life to just go day by day.”

The school schedule has worked out well for Blair since she’s also on a dance company. She can go from work to the studio to train and dance. Her company also performs at gigs for nonprofits and fundraisers – some are even healthcare related. “It’s really cool how the two things can sometimes intertwine. The thing I really like about performing at these events is that I get to meet all kinds of inspirational people as well and I get to share my passion.”

Blair has enjoyed her experience working with SHC’s team while continuing her work at the school. “I always know I can count on Supplemental,” Blair says. “Everything has just gone so smoothly and if I need help with anything, they’re consistently there.” She also appreciates the transparent communication and knowing exactly what’s going on so she can focus on what’s important.

Thank you for sharing your passion for expression with us and your kids, Blair! We can’t wait to see how your journey continues in speech-language pathology and dance. Check out more stories like Blair’s for Better Hearing and Speech month on our social media accounts.

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