Attached on merging: Personal Statement Speech Pathology WOES.. need help!
This is a general personal statement on background and goals etc.
I think it needs a lot of work on wording, flow, conclusion, unity, etc.
If anyone could give me any pointers or general opinons of the essay, it would help me alot
Do you remember the first time you met someone who couldn't express themselves? Not someone who simply had trouble "finding the right words." I mean, someone who was unable to articulate everyday, mundane thoughts? The first time I met someone like this, I began to develop a clearer understanding of what I wanted to do.
During a clinical observation in my first language disorders course, I was introduced to Jenny, a twenty year old girl with a traumatic brain injury. Other than a slight gait abnormality, Jenny seemed perfectly "normal." That was, until I heard her speak.
Jenny had suffered from cognitive and communication deficits from a car crash that forced her to drop out of college. It was obvious that she had difficulty interpreting the subtleties in conversation and showed signs of memory and executive functioning deficits. I remember the speech-language pathologist asking her to describe in detail how to make a sandwich. With prompting, she was able to tell the SLP she would have to go to the kitchen, open the refrigerator, and take out the peanut butter, jelly, and bread. I could see Jenny's frustration grow when she couldn't remember the word "spread."
It was disheartening to watch a woman my age struggle to organize her thoughts into words. The limitations caused by her injury had clearly affected even the simplest communication skills. I was also impressed by the therapist's ability to ease Jenny's frustrations with her simple praises and reinforcements. Although it was clear that the weekly therapy sessions were far from over, the fact that she may one day graduate from college or live independently made me realize that this was the type of impact I hoped to one day have on someone's life.
I have never considered myself one of those lucky individuals who seemed to know exactly what profession they wanted to pursue. I once envied friends and classmates who slipped into career paths without, it seemed, a second thought. Yet once I took more classes in communication disorders, I found myself captivated with the science of speech and language, how they become disorganized in certain illnesses, and how they can be fixed. Being a fluent Spanish-speaker, I also became hopeful that if I were to become an SLP, I could provide effective therapy to non-English speakers with communication disorders. That was when I set out to investigate this field as a career.
While continuing to enroll in prerequisite courses, I observed SLPs and audiologists at the North Shore/LIJ Hearing and Speech Center. Here, I learned more about speech and language therapy, including modified barium swallows and laryngeal stroboscopies. I also assisted Lynn Spivak, Ph.D., the director of the center, with her clinical research. She asked me to interview parents of infants who failed their newborn hearing screenings and did not receive immediate follow-up for hearing aids. Through these interviews, I learned of the concerns and fears faced by parents whose children are born with hearing problems.
Following my experiences at the center and eager to explore other types of therapies, I applied for a teacher assistant position at the Brookville Center for Children's Services. While enrolled in a graduate-level course, I began to perform one-on-one ABA therapy in a classroom of children with severe autism. I find it both fulfilling and fascinating to see my students open up to me more each day to reveal their unique personalities, abilities, and needs. One particular child comes to mind- Ben. He is a verbal ten-year-old, but he perseverates and lacks any pragmatically-appropriate speech. Constantly repeating himself, obsessing over licorice, flapping his arms and looking at everything but me, I was immediately taken by Ben. And, I think he liked me too.
Ben was having a screaming fit, complete with flailing arms and shaking head. He was crying out over and over, "PLEASE BENNY D! PLEASE BENNY D!" This was his way of asking me to write the letter "D" on his dry erase board. Redirecting his flapping hands, quietly telling him over and over again to ask me to write "D" nicely, Ben finally looked into my eyes for a moment and said, "Miss Alex, please write D." And I did.
These experiences have led me to complete confidence in my future ambitions as an SLP. I have the motivation and passion that, with the knowledge from a master's degree at ---- University, will allow me to impact the lives of patients similar to those I have encountered thus far. I look forward to the opportunity to receive a higher education at -----College so that I may fulfill my potential.