How to Pick a Melon

My mom taught me many things, one of which was how to pick a good watermelon. Find one that looks like you want to try it. Then look for one that stands out because it has a flatter side that shows it has been in the field when ripening. Tap it to “hear” the ripe full sound that tells what is inside. Always know where the fruit comes from. If you can’t find good, fresh produce, always ask others where they shop.

So can this simple method be a life lesson? How to buy a car? Choose a school? Find a healthcare professional? Maybe that is a stretch, but give me a shot at this. In my profession, I often am asked to help find services or learning opportunities that help. Where can I find….a good school, a good caregiver, a good therapist…a good….. for my child?

Look for one that you want to try. Trust your parent, gut instinct. Your intuition about where to begin is important and may differ from the “what everyone else is doing”. Your child is unique.

Look for the flat side, look for the one that is ripe or ready. Don’t be shy about asking specifics about the readiness. How many children have you seen with….? What techniques do you use and how can I learn them? What happens if my child does not make progress? What makes the professional a good fit for your needs? What is the professional’s experience?

Tap to hear the ripe, full sound. This is not a science, but a feeling. Is there an emotional connection with your child and the professional? Do I feel good about the experience?

Always know where your fruit comes from. Make sure the professional is credentialed and licensed. In the case of a speech pathologist, this means that they are licensed by the state and certified by the professional organization, ASHA. State licensing boards and specific professional credentialing organizations provide information that is readily available to the public. If in doubt, ask.

If you are at a loss, ask others, especially parents of other children. Ask others at your child’s school. Ask your friends. Ask your own physician.

And as an aside, I do love watermelon. This may be a simplification of a daunting task, but trust yourself and ask questions. You can always make a U-turn.

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