Well Murphy's Law would have it that the moment I considered updating this website and getting back to work, there was a big medical emergency in my family that took all my attention and resources away from re-starting my speech therapy practice! Unfortunately in late April, my mother suffered a large subdural hematoma, which is similar to a stroke. She's been in hospital for nearly four months and is undergoing intensive rehabilitation to regain functioning on one side of her body. As an only child, I've been her primary support and visitor during this time so my return to work was postponed for a while there.
But I'm once again turning my attention to getting this show back on the road, and taking on new clients! I have realized that, as stuck as I've been feeling this last few months with knowing what to do about working, there is truly no good time and I'll just have to jump back in! Taking a long break from work has been a necessity between the pandemic and my mother's health issues, but there really doesn't seem to be any clear end in sight for either of those things (and my oldest child is starting middle school this fall!) so working again is going to have to be something I just find the time for.
And one thing I've learned in all my research about neurodiversity and mental health is that when I feel stuck, I need to start with something small to get my motivation mojo rolling again. So in the coming weeks I'll be looking to take on just one or two clients again and see if I can become... unstuck! I do really love working part-time as it lets me approach my work without rushing and with lots of extra time to get to know my clients, prepare engaging activities, and give the families I work with my full attention. I'm looking forward to getting going again!
A big update
I've been working hard on updating my website with a new look and new information about my practice! I'm hoping it reflects well what I'm intending to offer my clients. The big change for me is an increased emphasis on neurodiversity-affirming services, which means speech therapy that is accepting and celebrating neurodivergent brains!
This learning and this work is so important to me and close to my heart, especially the area of ADHD support. Please bear with me as I work out the issues that come along with any website update and I hope to have my practice back up and running in the coming months. I'm looking forward to FINALLY working with clients once again, and supporting children in our community.
Hello. So, the last few weeks have been... unexpected. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, school is closed indefinitely, and I have found myself on 100% of the time with my three kids who were suddenly home for 2 weeks of spring break (and evidently beyond) with cancelled camps and no playdates allowed. Sometimes I forget this is all happening — literally all over the world — and just go about making lunch or whatever, then it hits me that everything is upside down and we have a very different "new normal" to adjust to. It's heartbreaking and scary and strange.
This all is to say, I've made the tough decision to suspend my SLP practice and go on an indefinite hiatus until things return to.... normal, I guess. If that's what will eventually happen. It's all very tough to predict, but we are taking it week by week. This is the last week of spring break and we are beginning to gear up for learning at home together. We've made schedule visuals, a plan for our morning routine, tables set up in various places for quiet work, and today we moved a bookshelf into a more accessible area and loaded it up as our "library" — all this novelty has got the kids keen, which is something I'm grateful for; they're not dreading returning to school because it all feels new and fun to plan to learn together at home. I hope that lasts more than a day, I really do.
I will miss my work and my clients; it's hard to just let go unexpectedly in the middle of working with someone so closely, and I recognize it's disruptive to others that I've had to step back. I wish it wasn't the case but I simply won't have enough time to continue seeing clients, even through telepractice, with my kids around all day every day. If anyone reading this is looking for someone new to see their child (probably via telepractice, at the moment), please check out www.vislp.ca for a directory of private SLPs in Victoria who may still be accepting new clients.
Wish me luck with my three little people. Stay healthy. Wash your hands. Practice social/physical distancing. And stay home! Because the sooner we're in, the sooner we're out.
Featured in Island Parent Magazine
Hey look! The wonderful Laura Trunkey took the information I shared on ADHD and executive functioning in my October 2019 viral Twitter thread and went and wrote her monthly Island Parent column on it! I'm really excited that parents in my community will be able to access this information and maybe even put into place some helpful strategies such as getting their children to "match the picture" or seeking to find an example of what "done" looks like to help kids with task planning and execution. And in all honesty, all kids can benefit from these strategies, not just those with ADHD, ASD or any other challenge with executive functioning skills. I hope more parents and teachers can add these strategies to their tool belts and feel empowered to help the kids who might otherwise get stuck or spin out/act out.
I feel very honoured Laura chose to write about this and that she did such a wonderful job explaining it. Thank you, Laura!
Happy New Year
Well, January is nearly over but Happy New Year nonetheless!
This new year I'm in an interesting phase of my practice where a good chunk of my caseload has been paused temporarily (people are in a "wait and see" phase, or taking a few weeks to have therapy sessions at public health, and will be returning for sessions with me once that's wrapped up) and I was just thinking about how I enjoy the ebb and flow of solo private practice. Right now, this pause gives me a little more time to attend to some family happenings, which is great timing for me at the moment because family things are happening!
I've also been able to work on some upcoming projects that I'm really excited about.
One is I'll be presenting in April 2020 about early childhood speech and language development for the Southern Vancouver Island Family Child Care Association! I'm writing this presentation from scratch so I've got lots to do, but thankfully also lots of time.
The other project is a presentation for my kids' school about the executive functioning strategies I learned from Sarah Ward (Cognitive Connections), which I'm preparing with a wonderful OT colleague (and fellow school parent). I'm also really excited about this because it means concrete, practical strategies for teachers to put into practice right away.
I love having a mixture of different ways of working; I think it satisfies my need for novelty to have a couple of projects in the mix that aren't direct client time and that put my brain to work in new ways.
For those wondering, I will be looking at my wait list in February and possibly seeing a new little person or two then. But for now I'm grateful for a little downtime to keep on top of things at home and for some new work opportunities to stretch myself a little.