The ASHA Leader - August 11, 2009 - (Page 59)

A New Profession and a New Passion wish I could say I’ve always wanted to be a speech-language pathologist. In fact, only weeks before my first class in the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department at California State University, Northridge, did I ever hear of speech-language pathology. A dear friend suggested I consider the program, which she described as a combination of two things I enjoy— communication and teaching. I was a broadcast journalist who took time off to raise my children and became a bilingual substitute teacher. I was nervous about going back to college. This transitional stage has been a time of wisdom and rediscovery of talents and knowledge and has enhanced my life tremendously. I am indebted to my professors and supervisors who gave me the background and confidence to become a successful SLP. My mentors, including those through the ASHA Student to Empowered Professional program (STEP, see p. 45) and the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, generously offered advice and suggestions throughout my academic career. My great joy has been raising my two boys who studied for classes and exams with me. They gave me the fortitude and inspiration to persevere I by Felicia Sison Conlan Speech-language pathology is an honorable profession that enriches the life of both the giver and receiver. through prerequisite courses and the demanding curriculum. Our profession is full of caring, intelligent, compassionate people. I met many in the graduate program and at the ASHA convention in Chicago as a delegate in the Minority Student Leadership Program. I have forged lifelong friendships with The Conlan family—(from left) Brady, 15; Felicia; Bobby; and Riley, colleagues on whom I can count professionally or 13—enjoys a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. personally. I plan to work as an SLP in schools, where there information usually results in astonished looks of is a critical shortage. I also want to use my journaladmiration. Might as well have a little fun, right? ism background to increase the public’s understanding Best of all, I can keep offering my services until I of the profession. I think many people don’t realize decide to retire. what SLPs do or our scope of practice—they seem We all want to make a difference in this world. to think we just remediate speech. They are surprised Speech-language pathology is an honorable profesto find that SLPs also perform swallowing evaluasion that enriches the life of both the giver and tions, help individuals who have experienced stroke receiver. and traumatic brain injury to regain skills or learn compensatory strategies, and help children with cleft Felicia Sison Conlan, MS, graduated in May lips/palates to articulate. I proudly announce that we from the Communication Disorders and Sciences work with people of all ages and disabilities in several Department at California State University, settings and that we have taken classes on how the Northridge, where she received the Dean’s Award. brain works, various disorders, and diseases. This Contact her at DUBARD ASSOCIATION METHOD Accredited at IMSLEC’S Teaching, Instructor of Teaching, Therapy and Instructor of Therapy Levels Creating Success for Students with Severe Language Disorders or Hearing Loss, Severe Speech Disorders including Apraxia, Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia. DUBARD ASSOCIATION METHOD BASIC COURSE Hattiesburg, Miss. September 22-24 and October 20-22, 2009 (two-part course) THE DUBARD SYMPOSIUM: DYSLEXIA AND RELATED DISORDERS Hattiesburg, Miss. February 4-5, 2010 Customized Professional Development at your site For additional information Phone: 601.266.5223 E-mail: Web site: AA/EOE/ADAI 7.16.09 August 11, 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The ASHA Leader - August 11, 2009

The ASHA Leader - August 11, 2009
Four Members Elected to Board of Directors
Readers Respond
Congress Begins Health Care Reform Debate
Medicare Private Practice Poses Concerns for Some SLPs
Custom Fit Your Marketing
Personal Music Players
From the President
Convention Preview
2010 Dues Change
Ethics in Private Practice
Missouri SLPs Win on School Retirement Issue
A Deluge of Human Kindness
First Person on the Last Page

The ASHA Leader - August 11, 2009