North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Features

July 7, 2011

Speech pathologist was a former actor

GARDENDALE — Richard Reese is a speech language pathologist at Trinity Speech, Language and Learning Center in Gardendale, but it wasn’t his first career choice.

“I was originally an actor,” he said. “But, I decided to get out of the industry and pursue something else... ”

A friend told Reese that he might make a good teacher; Reese didn’t like the idea of being a teacher, but it eventually led him to discover speech therapy.

“I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into,” he said.

Reese helps children who have trouble learning to speak, hear, read or write.

“Kids are the reason I do this,” he said. “Most men work with adults, and I think people assumed that I would... I felt strongly called to work with kids.”

Reese said his acting background helps him in some ways when administering his therapy.

“Therapy is very creative, which I don’t think most people realize. I have to come up with activities. I used to work at schools, and we would do plays sometimes,” he said.

He said his most challenging patients are his dyslexic ones. Fortunately, it’s what Reese specializes in.

“They have profound issues with comprehension,” he said.

Reese originally gravitated towards speech therapy because the field afforded many options in where to work.

“My favorite part of my job is the variety,” he said. “I liked that I could work in schools or hospitals. I didn’t want to be boxed in... I didn’t know then that I’d be moving here.”

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