National Better Hearing and Speech Month

May 26, 2017


Every May, National Better Hearing and Speech Month aims to raise awareness about communication disorders and the treatment options available.

Because the children at The House come to us having suffered from trauma, it's not uncommon for them to be affected by communication disorders. With proper treatment, it is possible for our kids to overcome these struggles and improve their communication abilities.

Kristine Gardinier is the Speech Pathologist at The House. She says the term "speech therapy" can actually be misleading because it prompts people to assume the kids cannot make certain sounds. But she explains it goes way beyond that.

"It's about helping people communicate," Kristine said.

Speech Therapy is a unique form of therapy that helps to build upon an essential skill we use 24/7.

"Communication is the basis for all relationships," Kristine said. "It affects every aspect of your life. If your communication skills are impaired, your ability to interact in and with your world suffers. A speech-language pathologist must find a way to link their student to the world around them."

Kristine is grateful for the ability to work one-on-one with her students, a luxury she explains is typically "unheard of in the school setting."

"This allows me the ability to focus directly on what each student needs with total intensity," she said.

The individualized attention helps Kristine achieve her goals and make each student feel like they are important.

"My goal is to give 100% of myself in every therapy session, with every student," Kristine said. "I want my students to truly understand that for the time they are with me, they are cared about and that they are the most important people in the world to me in those moments. That's where you find success and accomplishment of goals."

As a profession, Speech Therapy has both ups and downs, but Kristine finds her passion always makes the job rewarding.

"I've been a speech pathologist for thirty years," Kristine said. "I have had huge successes and heartbreaking failures. I've learned to take joy in all the small victories so my passion for my profession stays strong."

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