I dread small talk.
I love to talk. I talk a lot. Ask anyone that knows me. However, small talk is not my favorite. I get weird and uncomfortable.
“What do you do?” is a question I dread from the result of small talk. I dread it because no one knows what Early Intervention is. Then I have to answer the follow-up question, “What is that?”
Early Intervention? What’s that?
I have over the years boiled it down to various explanations depending on the audience.
I work with babies and families with disabilities and delays.
No, it has nothing to do with addiction.
It’s kinda like Special Ed. for babies.
In other states, it is called Developmental Therapy.
Yeah, kinda like speech, but I’m actually a teacher.
No, not quite a preschool teacher. I don’t have a class.
It’s a program through the health department.
No, not quite home health, but more like a cross between social work, speech therapy, and a teacher.
It usually ends with the person losing interest and leaving me stammering about the career that I am passionate about, but is so hard to explain.
Finding my people
But then, there are the families who know exactly what Early Intervention is. They know because their child was referred. They know because their nephew was born premature, and spent a year in our program. They know because they work in a related field. They know what early intervention is because they have experienced it. Those are my people. I am relieved to make small talk with them, but by then it is no longer small talk. It is us going on for hours about a topic we both love.