Growing up where faces looked different from my own, I was tenacious to conform—Z. Cavaricci clothes, bologna sandwiches, and LLCool J hip-hop. I discounted my Vietnamese heritage, and never mentioned my two-bedroom home on wheels. Thank goodness for kind educators and friends who relished in our differences.
Fast-forward 32 years, and I tear up reflecting on my client's efforts. I am overwhelmed (in the best of ways) when I speak to his mother, in Vietnamese, about her son's progress. Life has come full circle. As a bilingual SLP, my experiences are my super-power when working alongside my inspiring students, clients and families. And, to be asked to share my work on language and poverty at ASHA Connect this summer is so meaningful. I'm surely the luckiest SLP!
Here's to SLP days of rapping about story grammar, speaking the language of kindness, and honoring all backgrounds.