Speech and Language Pathology Admission Essay

Excerpt from Admission Essay :

Speech Pathology

Some of my earliest childhood memories involve the brief period during first or second grade when I had to overcome a stuttering problem. I remember the social discomfort of worrying about how people might react to me once I started talking. I also remember the frustration of people talking to me as though I was unintelligent because they drew that conclusion from my speech pattern without listening to what I was trying so hard to say. Fortunately, my parents encouraged me in a positive way to participate in speech therapy because with their support and access to those resources, I was able to conquer my problem very quickly.

To this day, I shudder at the thought of how different the rest of my life experiences might have been otherwise. For that reason, when I encounter a person with speech pathologies, I cannot help but to be acutely aware that many children in my situation never receive the help they need the way I did. Naturally, that was one of the principal reasons I signed up as a volunteer at the Say 'N Play Camp thematic summer camp maintained by the Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, Inc. The program provides intense speech and language stimulations using both structured and unstructured activities for children with special needs. Frankly, I already knew from my previous professional experience with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) that, for me, the most fulfilling human interactions have always had to do with helping children, especially those facing unique or difficult challenges.

I believe that I have a natural ability to respond to and earn the trust of children experiencing developmental and other related problems, particularly in connection with communication and speech difficulties. Autism therapy has always interested me because of the degree to which speech therapy can provide such broad benefits with respect to the overall manifestation of the disorder and because it supports successful autism therapy so directly. While that seems intuitively obvious to me, the specifics of autism therapy and the cognitive connection between speech and other developmental improvements is a complex field that would like to understand much better.

Both my personal experiences with speech difficulties as a child and my exposure to children and troubled youth in my professional capacity with the LAPD taught me that speech problems can have very direct effects on the development of healthy self-esteem in children. The consequences of low self-esteem are difficult to overstate and they include the deterioration of ability to form functional and fulfilling interpersonal relationships, self doubt that undermines personal achievement, chronic depression, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, criminal conduct, and even suicide. Therefore, I consider working to help children overcome their speech barriers as much more than merely helping them communicate; I believe it is one of the most important ways that I can use my talents and direct my academic interests to accomplish the most benefit for the community, especially as regards children and young people.

More specifically, I hope to have the opportunity to study Otolaryngology at the graduate level because that background would also enable me to connect my academic studies to areas of particular possible future vocational interest. As difficult as it is for children to struggle with communication and speech problems so early in life, there are also many individuals who encounter…

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