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Career Story: Speech And Language Pathologist

Speech And Language Pathologist

Job Title: Speech And Language Pathologist

Type of Company: A Christian academy.

Education: BA, University of Hartford •• MA, Speech Pathology, University of Massachusetts

Previous Experience: I was a teacher at Pioneer Valley Christian School for seven years, speech pathologist for the Southwick school system for seven years and a supervisor in the Granville schools for a few years in conjunction with the Southwick job. I also had a per diem job at Mercy Medical center and I continue to work in rehab at a northwestern Connecticut hospital.

Job Tasks: I provide speech and language services for students who have difficulty with articulation, language delays and even social needs. I test students to measure their growth and have meetings to discuss their needs and set up IEP's (Individual Education Plans).

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I find that there are too many meetings. I love working with the students!! I don't like to take the time to have meetings but I know they are necessary to have; they determine where we go with a student in the next year. The testing at first scared me but now I know what the tests can tell me and it gives me direction for the students' goals and objectives.

Job Tips:
1. Choose your college wisely.

2. Make sure the college you go to has a graduate program in Communication Disorders.

3. Study hard and don't think you can fool around. Sure the work is hard, but time goes by fast and then you can be making a good salary . Get it done in 6 years and don't take a break

Additional Thoughts: It's fun working with students one-on-one or in small groups. It's very rewarding to work with kids who have special needs and see the lights go on, as they say. I also work with students who have autism or are in the spectrum of autism. They mostly have social needs and its great to work with them.

I now love to test the kids. Sometimes they need more time to get the answer out and if I can I allow for the time.

Parents sometimes get very upset and nasty to the teachers or the therapists. They at times will blame them for mistakes that they made at home, like parenting problems. Sometimes though they do have something to complain about. It's at those times that you need to listen and work together to determine what is wrong and find ways to correct the problems.

All and all I love my job at the school.

I also love working at the hospital. There I work with closed/open head injury's, stroke victims, dysphasia (swallowing issues) and heart issues where it has been starved of oxygen and brain damage has occurred. You need to be able to counsel your patients and show compassion at times like those. You need to think on your feet, fast, and make life decisions. I work at Mercy because I can bring up the Lord and pray with the patients and their families.

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