Ashlyn Perry is a senior on the UGA Equestrian Team. Her major is Communication Sciences and Disorders and her minor is Human Development and Family Science. She spent her summer interning at The Speech Garden Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.
This summer I had the opportunity to work at The Speech Garden Institute (TSGI) in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a non-profit dedicated to classroom-based speech-language and social therapy. Many children today stop receiving speech therapy over the summer because they are no longer in school. TSGI gives children the opportunity to continue their progress over the summer.
The application process was intense, we had to submit an application and resume, answer short essay questions, send at least 3 letters of recommendation, and submit a filmed elevator speech of ourselves. The final step was a phone interview. The interns that were accepted were from various parts of the United States, which made the internship interesting because we all had very different dialects, which is an important aspect to speech language pathology.
My classroom consisted of 10 children ranging from the ages of 1 year 8 months to 3 years 3 months of
age. This time period is crucial for speech and language development. There were two interns in my classroom, along with a speech pathologist who supervised our classroom and incorporated language into the activities. Each week I developed lesson plans implementing speech therapy, developed speech and language goals for each child, collected data and wrote SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) notes, which described the daily progress of each child. Our daily lesson plans included literacy, music, science, movement and music. We had weekly themes at camp, which guided our book and music choices. Our themes were colors, animal habitats, seasons, and construction. During the internship we also had the chance to give back to our community. We helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity and even sang songs with the Supportive Housing Community.
This internship would not have been possible without the help of the Leadership Grant. I can’t thank athletics enough for making this incredible opportunity possible. I learned about different disorders and therapy techniques. I received hands on learning with instant feedback from the supervising speech language pathologist and really just enjoyed to opportunity to love on some kiddos and see improvements in their speech. Leaving this internship gave me peace in my heart knowing that I have chosen the correct field for me. Before the internship, I had already observed speech pathologists in various settings and knew this was what I wanted to do, but having the chance to be hands on and be apart of the progression solidified my career choice. This internship made me excited for the future and has given me awareness of different disorders and disabilities that I will have the opportunity to work with in the future. I would recommend to any athlete, to take advantage of your summer break and apply for an internship. Always remember that we are students first, then athletes. What’s next for you after college?
Lastly, because of HIPPA rules and regulations I am not able to share any pictures of me with the kiddos. However, every day my fellow interns and I documented our days on a blog. Feel free to check it out at 2016awesomeants.blogspot.com.