EVERY DAY, AS AN SLP: A LETTER TO THE PARENTS OF CHILDREN I WORK WITH
“Every morning I wake with cautious optimism for the day, hoping I have breakthroughs with your child and every other child I work with.
Every day I comfort a parent and a family. When I say we are on the right track to get your child to speak just one sound or even eat one mere meal a day, I believe it with all my heart.
Every day I pray that my small words may help the parent and family to get through not even the day, but the hour.
Every day I think and sometimes agonize about my patients from sun up to sun down. While I may be running late between sessions or seem frazzled, your child is never far from my mind.
Every day my heart bursts at the seams when your child accomplishes what could be considered a ‘small’ feat by some. It is never a small feat to me.
Every day I boast to my husband, sister, parents, and anyone else with ears about the accomplishments your child made.
Every day when I give hugs, a high-5, or a ‘good job’ I can feel the love and happiness in my bones.
Every so often the reality of working with children who have struggles ahead weighs heavy on my heart.
Every so often I am known to sit in my car and break down over the mountains my patients must climb in order to complete the most basic tasks of a human: eat and speak.
Every day I live out my dream and passion through my career of speech-language pathology.
Every night I count my blessings. You allowing me to be a part of your child’s life story is the greatest gift you can give me.”
~ Vanessa Anderson-Smith
Vanessa Anderson-Smith is a Speech-Language Pathologist born and raised in South Dakota. She received her Bachelor’s Degree at Augustana University and Master’s Degree from The University of South Dakota. In 2013 she began Anderson-Smith Speech Therapy, LLC. She is now the only TalkTools® Level 3 Trained Therapist in South Dakota. Her practice focuses on assessment and treatment of motor-based speech and feeding disorders among children and adults. Vanessa lives in Canton, South Dakota with her extremely supportive husband, Ryan.