A Professional Path That Leads … Home She wanted to become an SLP to help others. Now she is using her training to help her own son. First Person/Last Page
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First Person/Last Page  |   August 01, 2016
A Professional Path That Leads … Home
Author Notes
  • Meagan Glover, MEd, CCC-SLP, is founder of CommunicAID+Nation, a nonprofit in Atlanta that provides resources and support for individuals with communication needs. The organization is the designated recipient of the 2016–2017 “NSSLHA Loves” fundraising campaign. glovermeagan@gmail.com
    Meagan Glover, MEd, CCC-SLP, is founder of CommunicAID+Nation, a nonprofit in Atlanta that provides resources and support for individuals with communication needs. The organization is the designated recipient of the 2016–2017 “NSSLHA Loves” fundraising campaign. glovermeagan@gmail.com×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / School-Based Settings / Healthcare Settings / Professional Issues & Training / First Person/Last Page
First Person/Last Page   |   August 01, 2016
A Professional Path That Leads … Home
The ASHA Leader, August 2016, Vol. 21, 88. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.21082016.88
The ASHA Leader, August 2016, Vol. 21, 88. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.21082016.88
There is so much irony in my career choice as I look back at the paths that led me to a career as a speech-language pathologist.
I’ve always felt the pull to study communication and language; I’ve always been fascinated by how communication connects the world. I studied communication at Clemson University and, during my time there, I often wondered how I could use my knowledge to help others.
It was through a Google search that I came across the field of speech-language pathology. I had never had speech-language treatment, nor had I ever met a speech-language professional—but the seed was planted that I wanted be an SLP.
I graduated from Clemson and worked in sales and marketing for eight years before I decided that I couldn’t get rid of the desire to help others. Married and working full time, I began an intense year-long evening program of prerequisite classes so that I could apply to graduate school. I was accepted at Georgia State University, and I quit my job to go back to school.
I didn’t know what population I wanted to work with when I graduated, what setting I would work in or how my career as an SLP would progress. I just knew that I wanted to be an SLP. I completed the two-and-a-half-year program with a 4.0 and became pregnant during my clinical fellowship. I received my full certification one week before our son arrived, early at 35 weeks.
After our son was born, we spent 10 consecutive months in the hospital (UNC-Chapel Hill and Boston Children’s Hospital) fighting for his life. He was born with intestinal malrotation with volvulus, requiring the removal of 85 percent of his small bowel. This procedure caused short-bowel syndrome, a serious, rare and complex disorder. I had just finished school and become a fully certified SLP and I couldn’t work. My son needed me.
But there is a silver lining—and it’s beautiful how the world works in mysterious ways. I was led to be an SLP for a reason. A 10-month hospitalization put my son at risk for many developmental delays, and short-bowel syndrome comes with a long list of feeding disorders and aversions. The syndrome can be overwhelming, but I don’t feel helpless because I trained extensively in speech-language and feeding treatment, and I’ve used what I know to help our son make the most progress possible.
I truly believe that I became an SLP to be the mother of a child with special needs, to be there to support him, and now to help other families of children with the same syndrome as an advocate for people on nutrition support.
Sometimes you don’t know why you are led in a certain direction until much further down the road. I’m forever grateful that I trusted the process and my gut to become an SLP.
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August 2016
Volume 21, Issue 8