An Open Letter to my Secondary Speech Therapist, By Eileen

By February 8, 2021 March 14th, 2021 NVLD Bloggers

Over the years, I have continued to learn more about my challenges and I would like to thank you for understanding me and seeing me as a person, not just having NVLD. In my experience, you truly were the adult who understood the complex challenges of NVLD the best and each session I knew I was going to gain new skills.Yes there was often tension, though with the heart to heart conversations and your empathy, I was able to go cool off and get back on track.

Throughout my educational years, I could be misunderstood with my irritability and anger though you knew I just wanted so badly to be successful. This led me to make tremendous strides even at my darkest times. Your room became a safe haven for me as I knew I could share my true feelings about my challenges with you. Though my one regret was I couldn’t express how much you meant to me.

I will especially remember the outbursts in 9th grade when you were a co-teacher in my resource room and how I would often yell hurtful comments about you or myself. Being the wonderful person that you were, you took me to the room next door to work so I could calm down and work on the assignments more effectively as you knew I wanted to get them done right. I listened and, while it wasn’t easy, I knew it was the best solution as your tone of voice and facial expressions showed me how much you cared.

Later when the speech therapy was removed I often wondered if you knew how much I liked you and if you knew how tension we experienced came from my low self-esteem. Fortunately, you did know and now you are an incredible mentor and friend as you read every article I write and offer me fantastic feedback. I so enjoyed being at your house as the visits were full with many wonderful conversations and laughs. It was a true reflection of how we care for each other.

Photo Courtesy: Eileen

Today I am so grateful you switched me to 1:1 as you saw my different needs and believed I could achieve so much more working individually. Being teased in a hurtful way for working hard and respecting you, I lost dedication to my work so I would no longer be the teacher’s pet. In the beginning there was a great deal of tension between us though your instincts were right. Working 1:1 led to impressive progress and exceptional growth. Most of all, we created a special relationship as we had faith in each other and the extra attention allowed for that to happen.

To the NVLD students reading this, remember, as you go through your own challenges, understand when changes are made it’s often for the best. Yes, this is hard although more often than not it is because the adult involved believes in you and knows you can succeed. So never give up and respect the decisions made on your behalf. I did and it led to having a very special relationship with my former speech therapist, Patty, and I believe you can have a similar experience.


I will always think the world of Patty Bell as she is such a loyal, supportive, loving, and fun woman!

Share your own story