About me

You’re always supposed to say briefly who you are or what you stand for. Phew, easier said than done. The longer you are in the world, the more facets you have, the more views you take on or leave behind. Well, “briefly” somehow doesn’t work, but at least I managed to explore the different parts that make up “me”:

The Speech and Language Therapist

Of course, that’s the first one I want to mention, because this site is about speech therapy and because I am passionate about the profession. In my family there have been (and still are) many moments when communication failed significantly, was actively prevented or was simply non-existent. Therefore, I became aware early on how important it is to communicate one’s needs, to be able to express feelings and thoughts. In that respect, it has always been particularly important to me to accompany children as they entered the world of communication or to support them in overcoming language barriers. This is why my focus is on children’s language and all its facets (including development, disorders, multilingualism).

The Pessimist

Since my first years as a child, I have been accompanied by a falsely driven perfectionism that all too often turned into pessimism when things didn’t work out (right away). My mother likes to tell the story of my tantrum when, at the age of two, I couldn’t make straw stars as pretty as hers. Coupled with that, there was always the feeling of never being enough. I’ve been carrying this feeling around with me for a long time and only now am I learning to let it go, one step at a time.

The Seeker

Even though I was regularly gripped by doubt and pessimism, I always set out on a journey and overcame my fear of the unknown. Fortunately, my curiosity has always been bigger. One of my strengths is that I have always been able to empathise with others. When I was class representative, some people used to ridicule me when I advocated taking the teacher’s perspective into account. I feel that empathising with others is an essential task to be able to live in harmony with others (and I don’t mean living in perpetual harmony).

The Scientist

The search for the “why” led me to Marburg, Aachen and finally England, with the desire to learn more about my profession, and more about how to help children become confident communicators. I loved my academic jobs and the associated research and I miss “my old life” every day. What is left is the curiosity for the latest findings around language development and the ability to critically question data and results, which is not only important in academia but also in a world of “fake news”.

The Colleague

My search for the “why” has allowed me to work with a variety of colleagues from different professions. Sheffield, what a wonderful place! Being able to work there for such a long time and think about the different perspectives of communication. What a gift! But also the other workplaces and teams have allowed me to think outside the box, learn from others, and find solutions as a team.

The Nomad

I have now moved 23 times in the 46 years of my life, always packing boxes and constantly reorienting myself. I am grateful for the people who have accompanied me on various (some on all!) paths through life.

The Mother

The last big role that came along was that of being a mother. Before I got pregnant, my inner voice whispered to me that this role would be more important than anything I had done before. I was a bit offended, because I thought I had already achieved at least something at that point… Nevermind, now I am facing this extraordinary challenge every day. Putting aside the chronic lack of sleep, I am amazed and delighted every day by what children teach us, which aspects of our selves they awaken in us and how they mirror our behaviour every day. I try to learn from them: how to play with joy; how to live in the moment; how to be authentic and not hide my feelings. – and it is a challenge indeed. On some days I’m just happy when the day is over, the bedtime story is read and I can throw myself on the sofa… because raising kids is really exhausting and regularly pushes you to your limits 😉.

The Hopeful

And with all the ups and downs over the years, I am full of hope and curiosity about what (professional) life still has in store for me. I hope to continue working and living with people for whom authenticity, respect, and empathy are important factors in being together. With all the wonderful people I have met so far, I am confident that this is possible and that together we will find solutions to the challenges that come up.

The Connector

My goal is to bring people together who work and live with children. To continue the journey, learning from and supporting each other. Living through the more difficult moments, celebrating the highlights and facing with equanimity the challenges that are waiting for us.

I hope you will join me!

Your Blanca

PS: Those were my thoughts on who I am but if you are more interested in the bare facts, you can find my CV here.

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