In a year…


This past week on Facebook I was reminded that it was just a year ago I graduated with my Masters! CRAZY to think what can happen in a year.


-Started a REAL job (yes I get paid to play with fun things)


-Moved into a house (with wine)


-Got a second, perfect little puppy




-Went on some great vacations (hello Sonoma, CA and Dominican Republic)

Every single day I learn so much and grow as a therapist.  There have been a million work milestones and tons of professional growth as well.

-Developed a passion, love, and “feeling in your gut that these kiddos are so underestimated and misunderstood” for kiddos who use AAC and early communicators. I love it, I love it, I love it.

-Started, abandoned, started again (“this one is really perfect this time guys”), abandoned again (“okay way too time consuming”), and started again various ways to take data and keep track of due dates, plan of cares, parent communication, and goals. But really, I think I have it this time…

-Learned how to write MEASURABLE goals that kiddos can achieve in 3 months. (okay, I’m still working on this one but I’m WAY better). No more of “Shannon will spontaneously request activities in 70% of opportunities”. Wait… what is an “opportunity”? Cue me thinking “WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I JUST WRITE?! How will I ever be able to take data on this?!”

-Cried. And cried. And celebrated. And cried. And went to bed at 6 because I was so exhausted, but then woke up the next day and worked my ass off and celebrated again. Because the kiddos that I get to hang out with every day ROCK.

-Improved my ability to talk to parents and strike a good balance between giving suggestions, listening, being an “expert” (woah, when did that happen?!), and being a friend. Yes, yes, yes, all parents should probably do carryover activities every night, for 30 minutes, provide faded cues, model their kiddos AAC systems, withhold preferred activities so their kiddo can request, provide a language rich environment, blah blah blah blah blah. But hey, I’m supposed to shower every day, take my dogs for at least ONE WALK, remember to put makeup on my face, probably have a vegetable now and again, but you know what? Life happens and that is okay.  Sometimes I know I should probably not eat that burger and have some hummus and carrots instead but burgers taste good and I’m busy and I’m stressed. It happens to the best of us.

-Obtained more materials than any seasoned professional ever ought to have. #imanSLPhoarder

-Continued to learn about making therapy functional, useful, and MEANINGFUL; constantly thinking “What will make the biggest difference in this child’s life RIGHT NOW?”

-Learned how to plan last minute or on the go. On the same token, learned that planning really does make a difference and part of our job should be to come prepared. But let’s be honest, sometimes our plans can and should go out the window for another, more functional/motivating/awesome unthought of activity.

-Thought one million times “Seriously did I learn anything in grad school?” because every day is filled with learning, research, reading, discussing, collaborating, and more learning. Until my brain might actually explode.

-Was lucky beyond belief to be part of an amazing therapy team. I get to learn from the best of the best every day. My coworkers kind of rule.

So it is with this that I celebrate being ONE YEAR into the best field in the entire world. I can only hope I continue to learn this much every year. 🙂

{thanks for reading}

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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    May 14, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    You go girl! That’s why I folow you.

    1. Reply
      May 14, 2015 at 10:17 PM

      Thank you so much!!! This made my day. You are too kind 🙂

  2. Reply
    May 14, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    Keep up the hard work!!!
    I’m 25yrs in and still learning something new related to our field all the time!
    Never give up that great attitude, even when you feel like you might explode….>^..^<

    1. Reply
      May 14, 2015 at 11:01 PM

      Thank you 🙂 So great to hear!

  3. Reply
    May 14, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    This was a fantastic read! I just finished my cfy as well and you really hit the nail on the head! So nice to know that others went through very similar experiences!

    1. Reply
      May 14, 2015 at 11:03 PM

      Thank you!! Glad you could relate (and that others went through similar experiences!!). 🙂

  4. Reply
    May 15, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Congratulations on surviving/thriving/achieving this milestone year! I have loved supervising all my CFs this year (9) and see so much growth and confidence in them. You new SLPs are going to change the world and I can’t wait to see that in a field I love!!

    1. Reply
      May 15, 2015 at 7:03 PM

      Thank you SO much!

  5. Reply
    Jen K
    May 15, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    Congrats Shannon! Keep up the good work! I enjoy your blog everyday. By the way…you forgot to mention that in this year, you made the day of a fellow SLP by kindly leaving a copy of Cranium Cariboo on her doorstep. 🙂 THANKS!

    1. Reply
      May 15, 2015 at 7:02 PM

      Hahaha I DID forget to mention that 😉 Such a fun night! You’re more than welcome!

  6. Reply
    Annie Doyle
    May 15, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Wonderful read. I hope you never stop learning, researching crying and laughing! It means you are alive and passionate about what you do!

    1. Reply
      May 15, 2015 at 7:02 PM

      I agree!! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  7. Reply
    Sally V>
    May 21, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Yes, CFY is HARD, sometimes, but that is the nature of our job–glad that you have seen that and still have the joy of the “talk”!! Remember too, however, that as a CF, you have probably brought a bunch of new ideas, awesome suggestions and brand new, updated info to your CF mentor-and that is good!! I have supervised almost a dozen CF & SLPA’s in my 23 years, and because of them (those that are just like you!!) I have continued to keep the “joy of the talk”!! So, to end, go girl, be joyful, stressed, crazy and passionate about this crazy awesome tough job!!!

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