Yesterday I had to miss a class to go observe a session between a speech-language pathologist and her patient. It was fun. I currently read about children’s speech disorders, which are mostly developmental, but the next course is about voice dysfunctions, which is what the patient had. Voice problems are probably the only field SLPs can work where the patient is often an adult and relatively healthy; otherwise you’re mostly dealing with children or very ill people, who suffered a stroke or cancer. I mostly want to work with neurological disorders, which means the majority of my patients will be older people with aphasia due to stroke, brain cancer and various age-related neurological diseases (like Alzheimer’s). I can’t see myself working with children for a longer time, but voice patients seems interesting enough. They’re mostly adult people who are dissatisfied with their voices. It can be that they are professional singers who want to know how to use their voice right, older people who’s voices are getting weaker and hoarse, or people who don’t think their voice reflects their identity in some way. That group consists of for example transgendered people who want their voice to sound more like the norm for the gender which they identify with.

I have an internship coming up in a few weeks. I had hoped to get a spot at a clinic in Stockholm, but they only allowed two students to go there and since many from the class used to live in Stockholm, we had to randomly pick who got the spot, and it wasn’t me. I got my forth choice, Motala. It’s a tiny town with 30k citizens, one hour from Linköping, which means I have to travel two hours every day for three weeks. I’m a bit bitter about it, but hopefully I’ll get Stockholm the next time.

And hey, I passed my first exam of the term! I still didn’t study as hard as I should though. I got through the last year even though I didn’t study much compared to my classmates. I think I could probably still graduate if I kept it up, but I can’t imagine treating patients and not knowing what the hell I’m doing, so I’m going to get a bit more serious about studying now. During the internship I’ll have some patients of my own, which is a bit scary. It’s just kid patients and mostly just those with minor phonological speech disorders, but I still have to improve my skills in writing IPA and everything about grammar. Despite this and the fact that it is in Motala, I’m looking forward to actually working clinically for a while.

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