American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

LifeCare Center

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Mine is a personal story of how circles are unbroken.

During my first year as a speech-language pathologist in rural schools outside of Great Falls, Montana, I worked with a first grader, Lori D, to help her correct her frontal lisp. To Lori's credit, she had a dedicated mom who was willing to work with her after school, and Lori made great strides in just a few months. At the end of the school year, Lori couldn't even replicate the lisp that had been so pronounced in her speech just months before. As a reward, I gave her a pin that she admired: a mouse with eyeglasses, and the eyeglasses moved up and down the mouse's face.

A few years later, now having moved to a different set of schools, I returned with friends to that first school outside of Great Falls for a late spring school fair. There among the participants was Lori D, now a 5th grader. To my surprise, she remembered me and was thrilled to see me. I was touched that she remembered me; she said she still had the pin that she had gotten from me.

Now flash forward another 12 years or so. I was now working at a hospital at Missoula, Montana, as well as being an ASHA liaison for continuing education. Across my desk came an application for a workshop for speech pathologists that our hospital was hosting. The name, Lori D, stood out. Could it be the same person? I took the liberty to call Lori, to find out Lori had been so impressed with speech pathology in her youth through her direct service, that she had pursued her degree in the field, and was now working in a private practice. We met again at this workshop, now seeing her as a young woman contributing her own gifts to speech pathology. I realized then, one never knows who your angels are.

Lori, thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to me.

Submitted by:
Linda Fifer, MA, CCC-SLP

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