For my community service time, I decided to volunteer where my mother works. She is an assistant for the Special Education Services for Spearman High School. I chose this service project because I have an interest in working with children who experience any kind of speech and/or language delay. Again my field is Speech Language Pathology. The child my mother works with appears to have an expressive language impairment and this is what brought me into further interest into helping her. The child is bilingual, so for the first part of my service, I wrote down key vocabulary common phrases for both Spanish and English. Although he has lived in the United States most of his life, he still experiences difficulty in expressing both languages. Not only did we work on typical academic learning lessons, I helped my mother teach him life skill lessons. We worked on learning to do laundry, go to the bank to withdraw money, and also distributed the mail within the school. The best part was when we went to the bank to withdraw money because it was exciting to be apart of a new adventure to someone who is needing to learn life skills. The most challenging had to be that the child was very timid. He participated in all the lessons, but appeared to be tired and a little frustrated with others in the room. I gained the hands on experience of learning to be patient and bring out the teacher within me. This impacted me in a positive way because I will be a clinician one day and there will be times I must remember the teacher’s responsibilities within the day while adding on to their workload when I ask them to work with a specific speech delayed child.
My mother kept describing how maybe I should convert to the teaching field, but I know my heart belongs to the beautiful realm of Speech Language Pathology. Probably the most impacting part of my community service was just acknowledging the child to have an expressive language impairment, but no speech pathologist to help him improve from his delay. This gave me the encouragement to consider working in the public schools to help kids gain confidence in their speaking abilities. Communication is such an important key factor in the quality of life. If there is a way for me to improve someone’s quality of life, then I want to take that responsibility and effort towards improving the quality of life of a patient or client. Thank you again for reading my experience with the community service that inspired me to possibly work in a school environment.