As a Speech and Language Pathologist, communication is my life.
I can no longer watch T.V anymore without noting vocal quality of newscasters, swallowing habits of those I eat with or social skills in groups of children or adults. (Yes, I am the grammar police). Even though communication is my job, it’s everybody’s job.
I work with wonderful people. Of course our Occupational Therapist friends help people ‘communicate’ by improving the fine motor skills of writing and Physical Therapist improve movement and that encompasses body language which is another form of ‘communication’. (Please know that these wonderful therapist do so much more than these singular goals!)
Have you ever really stopped to think how often we communicate? Just becasue you don’t say what your thinking doesn’t mean your crossed arms and raised eyebrows don’t say what you’re thinking! (I am notorious for wearing my emotions on my face! Ask my honey!) Even my dog knows when I am angry, sad or happy just by the tone of my voice. He definitely knows the word “treat”, “outside” and”ride”. Ha!
I will never forget a story my Professor told the class while we were in graduate school. She has just met a patient who was going to receive a laryngectomy (a surgery that removes your “voice box”). The patient asked my professor (her SLP at the time) if she could bring in her voice mail machine from home so she could record her last message on it. She said she never wanted to forget what her voice sounded like. Heartbreaking isn’t it?
Have you ever had someone call who you’ve missed and you say, “It’s so nice to hear your voice” becasue it is truly a comfort to hear that voice on the other line? Even without looking at the caller ID you know who is on the other line just by their voice alone.
Not only are voices special, but there are millions of ways to communicate that are special. That “secret handshake” with a best friend or a code word for an inside joke with a loved one. Communication is beautiful!
As a therapist, my students are at the top of my list. It’s my number one job to help them communicate every thought and idea they’ve ever had. It’s my job to help them foster friendships and communicate their emotions. It’s my job to make them value their own voices.
….And what a wonderful job it is! 🙂