Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Social Skills

How do you handle people using the word "retarded" in a group of friends? Is there a lighthearted way to let someone know they're being offensive? When I say nothing, I feel kind of scummy. If I speak up, I'm afraid I'll start a big messy debate because the other person doesn't understand why it's a big deal. My fiancee points out that if you try to force someone to stop using a word, they miss the message even if it's the right one. He suggests apologizing for bringing up the subject and then telling them that "retarded" is actually an offensive word and letting the person take it from there. I like the idea of Dave's cards, but they imply that people who use the word "retard" are bigots. I do not believe this to always be true. I used to use the word "retarded." I didn't realize how deeply it cut people. When I started reading blogs, it drove the point home and I made a deliberate effort to cut the word out of my vocabulary. If a person uses the word with the intention to hurt others, then I believe that person is cruel. If a person uses the word because they simply don't realize it's offensive, I don't think they should be outright condemned. What do you think?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Smattering of Thoughts About the Semester So Far

I have four evaluation reports to write up, a video to watch painstakingly for the second time so I can rewrite a SOAP, a lesson to plan, classes to read for, kids to chase (my favorite part!), two treatment plans to write up, meetings and classes to attend, and a poster to put together. In other words, this semester I hit the ground running!
The new semester really drives home how impossible it is to put clients into neat little diagnostic boxes. Every single one is so different! I feel like I'm starting over at Day 1. The only kids I have this semester are in an early literacy program. They are typically-developing kids, which is good because I have no kiddos of my own and thus when I see kids it tends to be because they have some speech/language issue(s). It's nice to have a comparison. But planning lessons for older folks is really a challenge! I don't get to play games and be goofy.
My classes are going well so far, and I'm interested in all of the material. I had Feeding and Swallowing for the first time today. We had to eat something and write down a detailed explanation of how we chewed it. Chewing is complicated!
The highlight of my day: my professor told us to purchase our own stethoscope. Apparently we will use it to listen to swallows. I confess, I look forward to wearing it around and feeling important because I have a name tag AND a stethoscope! Look out, world! ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Final Countdown

This is my last evening of vacation. Tomorrow I start back up bright and early with a 9am meeting reminding me of the portfolio I haven't started on and the resume I should, you know, think about or something. ;) This semester I shall be taking:
1. Public School Methods, which I hear will involve copious amounts of IEPs. I will attend my first IEP meeting ever this semester for this class, an occasion which I feel will call for a cake. I am accepting aid that obligates me to work in the public schools, so this class is going to be extremely useful. One day I, too, shall be an IEP veteran like the noble bloggers I follow!
2. Feeding and Swallowing Disorders: I have not been exposed to this area of my profession at all, so it will be a grand adventure. I imagine it will also involve a lot of frantic page-turning through my anatomy book to remember all of those structures and muscles. Again, many of the noble bloggers I follow know more than I do on this subject!
3. Language Disorders in School-Age Children: This is a very important class for me due to the population I will be working with for at least a little while after graduation. I am already interested in this area and have some basic knowledge in it, but I am excited to build on my knowledge base. Yay kiddos!
4. Clinic- We won't meet as a class, but being in the class allows me to see clients. Thus far, I'm going to be doing a lot of testing this semester. Acronyms ahoy!

I am also going to be presenting a poster at a conference, which is hilarious. More on that when I put glue to poster board!

First day of school tomorrow!