Given that, my original idea was to try to come up with a name that showcased my penchant for technology. In my school district, I’m known as “The Techie SLP.” However, my attempts to find a design or image to use as an avatar were a flop. They looked like what people in the 70’s would have pictured for the future and I wasn’t happy with them.
I decided to go back to the drawing board and do some more reflecting. Aside from liking technology, who am I as an SLP? What part of the job do I like the best?
Pondering those questions, lead me right to what my online persona should be. Though I work in schools, believe it or not, working with children is not the part of the job I like best. I enjoy working with adults just as much if not more. For me, people are people, some are cool; some are not. You get that in every age group so I’m not drawn to cutsie or kiddie stuff. What part of the field then, am I drawn to?
Cracking the case! My grandfather, grandmother, and aunt all did investigative work at the government level. My uncle has a law degree from Northwestern. My mother and our entire family has the kind of investigative and inquisitive nature that made it hard for me to get away with shenanigans as a teen. Fortunately for me though, I must have inherited some of that natural knack for asking the right questions, looking for clues, following up on leads, seeing the big picture, and connecting the dots.
When I get a new student from another state that comes in with word of an IEP but no records, I enjoy following the clues and the paper trail to find out where the student comes from, what happened to the missing records, and how I can get the file.
When a student just can’t seem to grasp a concept, I’m intrigued by the mystery of how their individual brain works, what part of the puzzle is missing for them, and figuring out the best ways to help them shade in the meanings that they were missing.
When I am overwhelmed with the logistics and paperwork of being an SLP, I am thrilled to come up with new ways to cut down on the time I spend doing tedious tasks so that I can increase my efficiency. After all, necessity is the mother of invention and for me inventing and investigating are intrinsically linked.
Applying my detective skills to the field of communication makes me feel like I’m joining the family business.
Adding my actual name before the title, makes me feel like a James Bond-type spy. That’s why my store is not just named “Autumn Bryant” or isn’t simply called by the title of “Speech Language Investigator.” Putting them together gives them a ring that brings me joy every time I see it.
That’s how I got the name “Autumn Bryant – Speech Language Investigator.”