Molineux has something to say

By Amanda Duchsherer
Digital Communications Specialist

Red Deer, Alberta - As a child, Eden (Haubrich) Molineux ‘07/’09 had voice difficulties.

“I attended speech therapy for approximately two years,” Molineux said. “My speech-language pathologist (SLP) was so kind, and I never forgot how helpful she was to me. When it came time for me to choose a career, the decision was easy.”

After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication disorders at Minot State, the Alberta, Canada native returned home and began working in community and school settings supporting children from birth to sixth grade.

She often found herself looking for ways to support children in talking about their communication differences with others, especially in the schools.

“A child’s understanding of his or her own communication strengths and needs and the ability to communicate those with others can improve experiences with interactions and build self-esteem,” Molineux explained. “I could not find any materials to support this, so I decided to make them myself and write the ‘Something to Say’ collection.”

In November 2017, “Something to Say about Stuttering,” “Something to Say about My Speech,” and “Something to Say about My Communication Device” were published. The children’s books focus on speech and language differences, and Molineux hopes educators can use the books in their classrooms to support conversation about diversity and kindness.

“It has been exciting to see and hear the various ways in which the collection has been used in its first year. In the classroom, teachers and SLPs have read the books aloud to the entire class to help raise awareness about communication differences and to encourage questions and discussion about diversity,” said Molineux. “The response from students has been heartwarming, with thoughtful questions and conversation.”

In therapy, the series demonstrate strong characters, model language for self-advocacy, and give children a place to begin discussing their communication strengths and needs. Children also find a sense of belonging when reading about characters similar to themselves.

“It has been heartwarming to hear from parents who share pictures and stories of reading the ‘Something to Say’ books with their children. One little girl exclaimed, ‘That’s just like me!’” said Molineux. “Communication difficulties have been underrepresented in children’s literature, and it can be empowering for children to see themselves on the pages of a book.”

Although becoming an author may not have been in her original plan, working with children was. When it came time to apply for university, Molineux wanted to take courses associated with her major right away.

“I chose Minot State because of the reputation of the department of communication disorders. The fact that I could begin classes related to communication disorders in my undergraduate degree was particularly appealing to me,” she said.

The decision to attend Minot State was easy, and the sense of community made it easy to apply for and, once accepted, stay for her graduate degree.

“Graduate school was challenging and prepared us well for a career that would require us to exercise our minds, engage in creative-problem-solving, and work hard. Fortunately, we had a community of classmates, friends, and professors who balanced the hard work with a genuine concern for each other’s well-being,” Molineux said.

“Minot State was a wonderful place to prepare for a career.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 02/05/19   

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