Making Connections: Speech Language Pathology (SLP) and Audiology; A series of short documentaries


CLAIRE:Everyparentjust
wants
thebestfortheirchild,and that can be hard to
figure out in the beginning.
But when they’ve come here,
I think they’re hoping for
that final step for them,the end of the journey
sort of thing.
SHELBY:Sosomearekind
of
eagertotakeitonandjust see it as
a tool and something
that they know
will help their child.
As soon as they put it on,
something has changed with
that child’s behavior, that
they’re hearing better,
they’remoreresponsive,
they’re
moreconnectedtothem.So even if they were sort
of hesitant at first to
put some equipment on their
little baby, as soon as they
see that they heard me, and
they smiled, that that just totally negates any of those
negative feelingsthat they had associated
with the equipment.
-Yeah?CLAIRE:Empoweringthe
parent
torealizethattheyaretheir child’s primary teacher
and that language that
they use every day in
interacting with their children is exactly what their
children need. -This is the jacket!
-This is a jacket, yeah. She gets it.
-She gets it. -She gets that jacket.SHELBY:Ikindofthink
of
myrole,ingeneral,with the people I work with,
making sure that their equipment
is beneficial, that it’s
working for them, and then
making sure that
it’s comfortable.
Making it comfortable is not
just about how it feels but
also how it makes them feel.[kids playing in the hallway] -Hey.
-[giggles] -You see what faster does?
-Yeah. -Try it. Ooh! What happened? -Rainbow! -A rainbow?
-Yeah, a rainbow bubble! -Oh yeah, you can see a
rainbow in the bubble sometimes.CLAIRE: They really
want hearing loss to just be
a part of the child
but not something
that inhibits their child
or prohibits them from doing
anything that they
might want to do.
-OK, here we go. Ready?
-Yeah. -Set.
-Go!EMILY: So at first there was a
lot of exercises that felt silly
and I could only do behind
closed doors, like the trilling. [high-pitch trill] TRICIA: Did you feel
that go forward? Luckily, Tricia and Emily,
who I worked with, were just totally
present there with me. You’ve got a lot of different
voices. Everybody does. Do you feel like you’re able to
access the voices that you want for the different presentations
that you are apt to involve yourself in, in any
given day, from the guy on the bus and the grocery store
to your friends and the phone calls and your family and ham radio and
poetry reading?EMILY: Voice is not only an
important part of somebody’s
identity, but it’s something
that you learn at a very
young age that just becomes
totally automatic for you.
The voice that comes out when
I’m with my girlfriends–
I belong to two women’s groups–
and we’re just talking as women.
Sometimes even, I realize that what I was thinking
it was about….There’s that
voice that comes out.
Then there’s the time when
I’m onstage reading poetry.
I’m an instrument
for something deeper that’s trying to
come through me. When I came out to myself,
and then to the world, as a transgender woman, that voice was a part of the oldfear-based persona
that I developed to survive,
and it no longer
was serving me.
[squeaky voice] I could
talk in a higher pitch. I could do that. I could
go around like this and learn to make sure I’m
not hurting my vocal cords. But it didn’t feel real to me. But I didn’t know what
else it was supposed to be. So to find Tricia Thomas
and this clinic– Stretch out again.
And when you’re going down, for some reason it feels like you’re dropping
your breath support.EMILY: where they’re
actually teaching you how
to use your muscles differently, TRICIA: [high voice] Eeeee… with the vibration
up in the front.EMILY: to use your voice
box differently.
Soit’slikeunlearningthe
old,
automaticwaysoftalking.And then seeing what could
emerge was a real gift to me. Whiskey Seven Lima Tango. Here is Alpha Foxtrot
Seven Zulu Papa. Over.ELLIE:Wewantedtogetanidea
of
whatshecouldunderstand.Because she hadn’t
really learned
a formal sign language
in Mexico.ELLIE: She was reading rooms
in a new country,
in a new environment in a
language she didn’t speak and able to get a lot
of her needs met.Theyactuallydidn’tknowshe
was
deafforacoupleofweeks.They thought that she was
just learning English.
ELLIE: I think it was one of
the more creative assessments
we had to do because none of the
typical tests fit the situation.
SometimesI’mhelpingsomebody
through
theevaluationprocess,maybe looking at native
language, because we want to
make sure that a disorder is
a true disorder and not just a difference in learning
language or dialect or culture.MELISSA: Working with folks
with dementia was the ability
to establish a connection
that was really personal
and really one-to-one.As dementia progresses,
there can be behaviors
that start to show up:Asking the same kind
of question over and over.
It could be aggressive behaviors
or agitated behaviors.Sometimes, they’ll
get worse over time,
especially if it’s not managed
from the point of figuring out
where the behaviors
are coming from.
Animportantpartaboutwhat
I
doinmemorycareistryingto find out why
something is starting.
Is it because of pain?Is the lashing out–those
kind of behaviors–because there’s a pain that
can’t be described?Meeting someone at their level
and finding the cues and
the strategies that can
help support them can
make them a more
functional communicator.
There was a gentleman
who, at the time,
really didn’t want to
take his medications,
and he didn’t want to leave
from where he was sitting.
So he was kind of getting
upset about caregivers,
medication aides, wanting
to have him move from one
location so that he could
take his medications,
because he was in the
middle of the hall.
I kind of slowly came
in from the side,
and I poured a cup of water.I said, “Here.
Let’s take a drink.
Doesn’t that taste good?
Yeah, that tastes good. It’s nice and cool.” And the tension had lifted, his hand was now
not clenching.So he had the water now.He was feeling like he
was in control of that,
and we were able to, for
the sake of the hallway and
the other residents,
move the situation
into a different space.And it’s just kind of little
things that are sort of
intuitive, but you
wouldn’t necessarily think
a speech pathologist would do.It’s about having a little
bit of that understanding
and then helping support the
situation as much as possible.
ALLYSON: When a family
has a baby that’s not eating
or a child who’s
not progressing,
it creates a tremendous
amount of stress.
They often feel like there’s
something I must be doing wrong.
Very nice. There we go! Oh! What’s going on? What’s going on? You are often in
a space of stress and intimacy with the families. Let’s see.
Do you see the ladybug?! Oh! There it is. There’s a ladybug.
Oh, let’s see!Babies do give us a lot of
information when they are
feeling stress around
the act of eating.
[laughter]
La la la la la! That’s funny. Do you ever see her
stick her tongue out?A common issue that we have,
a lot of babies have reflux
that can be very painful.There’s a great deal of
comfort for the families
when they meet
someone that can say,
“Oh, I see what’s
happening here.”
Bubbles?!
[crying]Babies will always do
what they need to do
to make themselves as safe
as they can be.
Yum, yum, yum!When that’s not understood,
or it’s running interference
with their being able to eat,
families are reassured
when someone can say, “Oh! I see what’s happening
here. We just need to adjust this so she can
move on and be successful.”

10 thoughts on “Making Connections: Speech Language Pathology (SLP) and Audiology; A series of short documentaries

  1. This is absolutely beautiful and touching to watch, I teared a little. I'm seriously starting to think about becoming an audiologist.

  2. A person also has the choice to be involved in the local Deaf Community and use ASL or, the signed language used in the area.

  3. I’ve been studying biology with a focus on veterinary medicine for about 2.5 years now. I’m really considering transferring to an insitution that offers SLP.

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