In honor of Better Speech and Hearing month, we’ll be highlighting a speech-language pathologist (SLP) every week. Today’s spotlight is on Amanda Littman, an SLP working primarily on the 3rd and 4th floors here at Magee.
Tell us a little about your background.
I grew up in the Philly suburbs and then traveled a bit for school – I went to George Washington University for my Bachelor’s and Boston University for my Master’s. I knew I eventually wanted to return to Philly, and here I am! I’ve been an SLP for about 3 years, and have been working at Magee for a little over a year.
Why did you decide to become an SLP?
I remember watching a documentary in high school about a little boy who was unable to speak until age 6, once receiving extensive speech therapy. When interviewed on film, his mother recounted how happy she was when she heard him say “Mom” for the first time. I cried… and realized that speech therapy was awesome! I declared my college major right away and have been hooked ever since. I love the combination of linguistics, psychology and neurology in the field.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The best reward is being there to witness the resilience of my patients and their families. The hard work and determination of these survivors honestly inspires me every day.
Tell us about an experience that solidified for you that you made the right career choice.
I recently worked with a woman who was recovering her ability to write after having a stroke. She was someone who filled out crossword puzzles every day, used calligraphy to create beautiful notes, and even enjoyed making to-do lists. Writing wasn’t just a necessary part of adulthood for her; it was something she loved to do. When we first met, she could barely sign her name. After weeks of therapy, she left Magee writing sentences, her ideas flowing faster and her print getting clearer every day. On her last day of therapy, she thanked me with tears in her eyes and said, “I know I’ll think of you every time I write.” Realizing that I have the ability to impact lives – in both subtle and major ways – makes me thrilled that I chose this career.
What are some of your passions outside of SLP?
Outside of work, you’ll find me spending time with friends and family, attempting to do yoga, catching up on my DVR, and exploring the Philly food scene.