IPEI: 2017 Scholars



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Speech-Language Pathology, MS

Post-Bacc., Pre-Speech-Language Pathology | Northwestern University
BA, Anthropology | Tulane University
BA, English | Tulane University


Fontbonne University Archives


St. Louis, MO



I always knew I wanted to work with children, but was never quite sure where or how I could make the largest impact helping people. During my four years teaching preschool, I worked with a number of students who had developmental delays or disorders. I loved teaching these students in an inclusive setting, but I could see areas where they needed more support than the preschool could provide. While I often had occupational therapists, physical therapists, or behavioral specialists visit my students in the classroom, I rarely saw progress being made over time. I was always in close communication with the parents of my students, I knew their family routines well, and they were frequently frustrated at the lack of understandable information they would receive from these specialists. But it wasn’t until I worked with a very special girl who was about eighteen months old that I understood how crucial early intervention could be. I had taught her older sister and knew she had been a late talker, so I was not surprised to learn this little girl was already seeing a speech-language pathologist for suspected delays. The SLP, a private provider, would pull her from the classroom for individual therapy once or twice a week without giving any details about the goals she was working on. When the little girl was back in the classroom, I noticed a number of red flags from an early childhood education perspective. One day during a music class I realized that the little girl was happier, more engaged, and communicating with intention when music was playing. These behaviors were apparent every music class we had, but not during other aspects of school. My entire outlook suddenly changed. I knew that every student was unique and learned differently, but I saw how I could use music as a modification to the classroom environment to help her. Not only that, I could easily share this information directly with her parents, they could try it at home, and they could judge whether it was effective in promoting certain behaviors! Soon I was observing SLPs, speaking with providers, and learning about community resources and local early intervention programs. The more I learned, the more I knew this was exactly what I needed to be doing to help families. I completed a post baccalaureate and applied to graduate schools with that goal in my mind. I chose Fontbonne for its emphasis on Deaf Education and all of the opportunities students have to work with not only highly qualified professors but also a variety of populations requiring speech and language services. When I graduate I will certainly be ready to work collaboratively with other professionals to serve families. Through the IPEI program, I am receiving the education I need to be able to live out my professional dreams, and I cannot be more thankful for the experience

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

IPEI 2017: Alexandra Levin



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