Growing up I watched as my little brother, a child with Asperger Syndrome, struggled to communicate his emotions and needs. As a result of his inability to express himself, he would fall into tantrums and tears. At ten years of age he finally began receiving assistance from a variety of professionals, including a speech-language pathologist. In the years following, that once frustrated boy found relief and was at last able to share with us his thoughts and feelings.
During my sophomore year of college I took a position through the school district as a substitute educational assistant, allowing me to work closely with speech-language pathologists in many different programs. It was here that while creatively trying to elicit any words I could from toddlers during play time and snack, I found my passion for early intervention.
This past semester I participated in an undergraduate seminar, a class based on research and the academic field, which allowed me to spend time in the lab of a professor here at State University. During my time in the class and lab I have been able to run experiments and view the inner workings of a career in academia, sparking my desire to undertake a master’s thesis relating to early intervention.
The experiences of seeing my brother overcome his frustration with the help of a speech-language pathologist, experiencing the joy of assisting children in early intervention, and (something about seeing scientific progress for the field being made) are my reasons for pursuing graduate study in communication disorders and ultimately a career in speech-language pathology. As a current student at State University, it would be an amazing opportunity to continue my education here in the graduate program of communication disorders.