Category Archives: Yasminah Abdullah-SLP

When you’re considering having your child see a speech therapist Owings Mills, MD, there are some things you need to know. The following are 3 important things to keep in mind when you are thinking about having your child visit a speech therapist Owings Mills, MD.

#1: You need to talk with your child’s therapist about expectations

It can be easy to have unrealistic expectations regarding speech therapy for children, but remember that every child is different. Each child may progress differently, and not every child will be able to benefit from certain types of therapy. Some children may require different approaches than others. It’s important to talk frequently with your child’s therapist about your expectations and potential goals for your child.

#2: Your health insurance may not cover sessions

Depending on what health insurance you have, your child’s condition, what (if any) therapy goals can be determined, and whether you are using a private or public speech therapist, your health insurance may not cover speech therapy sessions. You will need to consult with your insurance company about what they will cover.

#3: You will need to work with your child at home

Speech therapy doesn’t begin and end at the office. You will need to work with your child regularly at home to ensure that they are using and developing the skills they learned during their therapy sessions. This means you will need to make time during your day to work with your child on speech, so plan to schedule accordingly.

A day in the life of a Speech Pathologist

Every morning I wake up with a feeling of excitement about what the day ahead will hold.  Today could be the day for a speech breakthrough, my child can’t speak could turn into my child won’t stop talking, an embarrassing stutter could smooth out into something soulful. Anything is possible.

I try to limit the number of patients I see per day so I can give more time to each person – from preparing for the speech therapy session to working through it and then spending some time afterward to reflect and tweak it to pull more from the patient. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I don’t become the drill sergeant speech therapist pushing patients beyond limits – far from it.

By pulling a little more I mean tapping into the strength that is already there but just needs a little awakening nudge. That’s often where stories of miracle recoveries come from – when the untapped inner power is unleashed.

If I am seeing a new patient I will prepare for an assessment session which will help in determining exactly the type of therapy a patient needs. The goal of course is to get the patient functional, but for example if your child does not speak at all then we will start communication through pictures before moving to speaking mode so that the transition is gentle. In some cases we use electronic Augmentative Alternative  Communication (AAC) devices which can really help children that are withdrawn open up since they find it easier to connect through a device – it is really quite fascinating.

I believe parental or caregiver participation in the healing process is absolutely essential for success. So a typical day can include a speech therapy session with the patient and then a consulting session with the parent or caregiver. What goes on at home has a big impact on how effective the speech therapy will be so I provide tips on what you can do at home to enforce what is taught during the speech and language therapy sessions.

I specialize in speech and swallowing therapies related to neurological disorders so a typical day will also include consultations with doctors who are looking for a speech and language pathologist (SLP) to join the rehabilitation team.

I then provide special after-school sessions for kids and evening sessions for adults. The days can be long but since I run my own practice I space out the sessions throughout the day based on patient needs while ensuring I schedule in a coffee and chocolate break for myself in between (healthy bitter chocolate of course:)

No matter how long the day is I am always ready to go early the next morning since a new day means coming face to face with little miracles that make it all so worth it.

I love my job!

Being able to help someone find their voice is truly a wonderful thing and I am lucky enough to be able to do that every single day. I am a speech-language pathologist (SLP) which means it is my job to help people significantly improve the quality of their lives. And more selfishly, I get a chance to see more miracles on a daily basis than most people do in a lifetime – the thrill of that never gets old – I absolutely love what I do!

I think I first fell in love with speech therapy in grad school when I was introduced to alternative forms of communication. I took a course on Augmentative Alternative  Communication (AAC), which lucky for me  was taught by an extremely passionate professor. She didn’t just teach about devices, but rather about how simple machines could transform lives. And they really can, I have been fortunate enough to see this transformation with my very eyes. It is something like watching a character in a black and white move see colour.

Every day is a new challenge since my speech and language therapy practice is geared toward helping both children and adults, who often have very different issues. A major part of my practice focus on neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease which can be devastating since patients have used speech and language their whole lives and have relearn something they likely thought they would never lose. On the other hand, working with children can be a completely different challenge such as children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who may have never spoken before and have to be encouraged to communicate with the outside world even though they might not understand why they would want to.

My job is a challenge but the rewards are big. I get to play a part in all sorts of wonderful stories and one of  my favourites took place not too long ago. I was introduced to a 40-year old woman who had suffered a stroke. When we first met I could see she was pretty down on herself and seemed quite unmotivated. I was told that she had been a positive, active woman with a full-time job and a full-time commitment to her church before the stroke. Her family became extremely concerned when after the stroke she stopped leaving her house.

I had been recommended to her by another doctor who thought speech therapy would help her get some of her old confidence back. It was in the fifth week that something miraculous happened -after months of virtual silence and isolation, she spoke her first FULL sentence – in front of me. Then we both had a good cry – I’m really trying to put into words the feeling that came over me as she spoke but I don’t think there are words that can do the feeling any justice. All I know is I saw her eyes glisten and then there was a twinkle.

Now take that story and multiply it many times over and you will completely understand why I love my job.