Hey y’all! My name is Andi and I have been a Speech Language Pathologist since January 2009. It honestly feels like just a few years ago, but in that time I have learned SO much about children, language, all kind of disabilities, and myself!
Several years ago, I decided to start a blog- yep, one of my grand middle of the night “I should do that!” ideas! I had pretty much have not written anything (other than approximately 523,871 IEPs) since I graduated school, and dang, it was quite nerve wracking (my thoughts- is that a word? Did I spell that right? Wracking? Racking? Wrecking? What if I’m wrong and I look stupid??). It really takes a lot to pour your soul out into writing, and I have always been the kid afraid to answer questions, read aloud in class, and have an opinion in a group of more than oh, say three people. And I honestly have no idea why because I am ALWAYS right- it’s a proven fact, just ask my husband. Actually, don’t ask him, because he will tell you about that one time years ago when I was less right, and y’all don’t want to hear about that…
I really feel this overwhelming need to share what I know (and sometimes just what I think I know) with parents of children with disabilities, so here I am! First, I would like to share a little bit about myself. As I said, I’ve been a SLP for 13 years, and I have LOVED, well… almost every minute of it. I do think I have the best job in the world and even if I won the lottery (which I don’t play, so it’d be pretty hard to win), I would still work because I love it that much- lucky right? After graduation, I went straight to the public school system, and because of this I have seen almost everything and have learned so much. I have worked in PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities), elementary school, middle school, high school, Communications (classroom for children with high support needs due to Autism), Applied (children in the intellectually disabled range) classrooms, and I was on my district’s Autism evaluation team where we did team based assessments to determine if a child met eligibility for Autism. This was my absolute favorite thing ever and while I still get to do Autism evaluations, I don't get to do nearly as many as I did back then. I definitely miss it! Like many school based speech language pathologists, I also worked at a private practice. Both settings have their advantages and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from both. Currently, I am working in the schools - at an Elementary school near my house! - and am focusing on building my very own small business (yikes!! and super crazy because this was NEVER a goal of mine nor an intention lol).
As for my personal life, I am married and have two teenage bonus sons and one son with my husband, who was born in 2015. According to my mom, my talkative child is payback because I apparently talked too much as a kid. I remember waiting and waiting for my son to talk and I know the wait is SO hard!!! You will hear about him often because he’s the cutest little life sucker devil child in the whole world who amazes me daily. I have never really realized before him how astonishing typical language development actually is. Our brains are so incredible and it’s amazing that delayed and disordered language isn’t the norm because SO many things have to go just right and I just can’t fathom how that actually happens the majority of the time. It’s like pregnancy; you mommies out there know what I’m talking about… How on earth did THIS many things, millions of things, go so right to produce this amazing little baby?! Like my brain doesn’t even have the capacity to even understand it. For those of you still waiting to hear those first words, that’s okay too - you are certainly not alone and I am writing this blog and started this adventure just for YOU!
I don't typically write blog posts anymore and share most of my information on social media. You can follow along on my Facebook or Instagram pages. I also have saved all of my favorite and most important posts in my guides section on instagram: Milestones, Communication Tips, Autism, and Neurodiversity are all great places to start!
My goal for Mrs Speechie P is to help parents help their children to the best of their abilities at home. It has ended up morphing into supporting speech language pathologists and other professionals who work with children with disabilities as well! What a dream! To all parents reading this blog: I hope you find my posts informative, I hope you can handle my distracted and rabbit chasing soap boxes, I hope this helps you understand your child and their needs a little better, I hope you get some good ideas of how to help your child at home, and honestly, if this helps just one parent or one child, it will be worth every ounce of my time and energy and all of the vulnerability I show by putting myself out there in writing.
And last, if you have any comments or questions, let me know! I’d love to hear from you!