I hear my 4 year-old son down the hall call out, "Can you guys play with me?" Were my ears deceiving me? Alex? Asking to play with him? My heart races as I venture down the hall to ask him to repeat his question. "Can you guys play with me?" he says. After uncountable times of his brother and I asking for him to join in our train-line or building of a castle, Alex finally wants to interact with us! Alex, my son, has PDD-nos and ADHD. After just a few short months of speech therapy, Alex decided to venture out of his own small world to play with us; albeit with the topic he perseverates to, Super Heroes.
Having gained my undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 1999, some would think I have some knowledge that would help my son. No. Thankfully I am, however, able to advocate for my child and integrate the therapy techniques at home that the speech-language pathologists use at school. Family collaboration, I believe, is a crucial part of the success of therapy and I feel that as being a parent of a child with special needs, I will empathize with future client's families and involve them as well in their child's impending success in speech therapy.
Delaying the attendance of graduate school for "a few years" lasted actually 13 years for me. At last I am in the position to return to academia and the depth of my interest in pursuing a career in Speech Pathology has grown unequivocally. Additionally, as a more mature student with experience of having a child with special needs, it allows me to apply my experience to enhance my knowledge in the classroom. I find myself eager to attend class to expand my knowledge base and advance myself closer to achieving my ultimate goal of becoming a speech-language pathologist.
Naturally, I have developed a special interest in the area of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Helping individuals with ASD to appropriately interact with their environment, teaching them compensatory strategies so they can do so and ultimately helping them live richer lives are some of my greatest ambitions. With that said, after observing several speech-language pathologists in varying settings, I find that my interest in which specialty I want to pursue fluctuates, nonetheless. Gaining knowledge and experience via graduate school at Hunter College will allow me to explore the assortment of career opportunities available to a speech-language pathologist and equip me to make a more informed decision about which particular area I will want to pursue as my specialty. The location and program offered by Hunter College in Communication Sciences provides unmatched opportunities that are indispensible, allowing me the growth necessary in the field and also meet my level of passion I have for it.
It's a very moving essay. Good luck with your education:)
Congrats on making the decision to pursue graduate studies in SLP. Obviously, you are an incredibly motivated candidate, and I would love to see you succeed. As you know, admissions are incredibly competitive, so your statement will have to be amazing as well. Here are my suggestions:
1. Be more specific about your goals. Are there any theories/intervention methods in particular that you would like to gain expertise in?What settings do you want to work in? Why? (i.e. School vs. Hospital). From your statement, I understand that you want to work with individuals with ASDs. That is an extremely broad goal. If you can narrow down your focus, your statement will be tighter.
2. There are several professions that help individuals with ASDs. Therefore, what is it about the SLP profession that motivates you? Show that you have an understanding of what the profession truly entails.
3. Avoid vague statements i.e. "Additionally, as a more mature student with experience of having a child with special needs, it
allows me to apply my experience to enhance my knowledge in the classroom." How exactly does having a child with special needs enhance knowledge in the classroom? and "teaching them compensatory strategies so they can do so and ultimately helping them live richer lives" I think a concrete example would be better i.e. " teach children how to use visual schedules, so they can participate in classroom settings". (I am sorry, this is off the top of my head...but hopefully you get the idea).
4. "Having gained my undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 1999, some would think I have some knowledge that would help my son. No." Perhaps you want to build upon your existing knowledge, or further your knowledge, etc. This sentence sounds more like a personal weakness that I would avoid in a statement. Emphasize your strengths.
5. The last section on Hunter in particular could be better. Your description of the program could apply to any graduate program. Get into specifics. How would Hunter's program enhance your understanding of ASDs? Are there any faculty members that specialize in this topic, or are there any clinical affiliations that you would be interested in? Is there a strong pediatric focus?
I hope my comments make sense and are helpful. As much as passion and personal experiences are important, I think admission committees need to know that you are a serious, motivated, and hardworking individual with genuine professional goals. As a parent with a child with special needs, you are in an excellent position to advocate for further SLP resources and services that will not only benefit clients, but also their families. Good luck :)
Overall, a very well-written and inspiring essay, coming from a high school senior interested in Speech-Language Pathology herself. Best of luck!
What a great start to your essay.
I agree a little more details about what type of therapy you use with your soon will add mounds to your essay
Overall a well put together essay