Career Story: Speech Language Pathologist

Speech Language Pathologist

Job Title: Speech Language Pathologist

Type of Company: I work for a rural school district that is located an hour north of Boston, MA,

Education: Indiana University of Pennsylvania - B.S. Speech and Hearing Science •• University of Illinois - M.A. Speech Pathology

Previous Experience: All of my professional experience has been as a Speech Language Pathologist.

Job Tasks: I provide speech and language evaluations and therapy services to children who range in age from 3 years old through 5th grade. I work in two different schools within the same school district. I provide therapy related to speech sound production. Students also work on listening to information presented orally and then following directions, recalling details, recalling a sequence of events (story telling) and auditory comprehension. The therapy I do can also focus on saying a sentence that is grammatically correct or describes a picture. We also work on increasing understanding of grade level vocabulary and being able to use that vocabulary in a sentence. Students are seen in their classroom and/or in the speech therapy room. I also have the opportunity to do some sessions with the occupational therapist.

Like many teaching jobs, mine involves quite a bit of paperwork to conform with state and federal special education laws. The students I see have to meet eligibility guidelines under IDEA 2004. This is why evaluations are also part of my job. Other aspects of the job include collaboration with the regular education teachers and special education teachers for each of my students. Presently, I see 45 students per week.

Another large part of my job is attending meetings for each student at least once per year. This conflicts with my therapy schedule so I miss students to attend the meetings. These meetings are mandated by law so they have to be held at least once per year.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing a child communicate with someone he doesn't know and realizing that the stranger can actually understand him. Therapy for me is the most rewarding. Having parents tell me that they can finally understand what their daughter is saying and the daughter is six years old makes a great impact .

The worst part of my job is paperwork and going to meetings. Every student has to have an annual review of their specific program. This means if I am at a meeting, I'm unable to see the students who were scheduled for that time slot.

Job Tips: You need to be a very organized, self-driven person to be a Speech Language Pathologist. Most of the time you are the only one in your building so you need to have confidence in your own abilities and knowledge.

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