What is a Speech Language Pathologist?
If you are at this site you are probably wondering if a Speech Language Pathologist or SLP is someone that you need or should be working with. But what exactly is an SLP and what do we do? Well, we are licensed professionals who can work on a wide range of diagnosis and conditions as well as work in a wide range of settings. We have many skills and areas of expertise but we all come from the same beginning and desire, to help people. Read on to find out some, not all (I am sure I left out some areas of expertise) of the places, people and areas we work at, for and with.
Our masters degree or PHD covers the ability to help with language disorders in both adults and children. We can help with speech changes from difficulty producing a sound to slurred speech and stuttering. We can work with people with developmental disabilities from Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Intellectual Disability to acquired disabilities such as Traumatic brain Injury, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's Disease and Stroke. We help families find resources and connect with other people who may be experiencing the same thing. We advocate for families at school meetings and in the hospitals. We help people work through stressful and difficult times they never thought they would encounter.
We work on alternative means of communication either through pictures, voice or text to assist those who may not have verbal speech at this time. We work on voice therapy with people who have damaged their voice or with people who may want to change the way they speak. We can help people with cancer of the head and neck manage swallowing or speaking. We help children and adults with feeding or swallowing concerns, work on sensory skills, strengthening the muscles of the swallow or working on safety with food texture.
We work in homes, clinics, hospitals, schools, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities and at times on the road, traveling from city to city or state to state and even country to country in order to provide our services. We carry bags in our trunks and in and out of clinics full of supplies. We search Pinterest and Instagram for ideas and create our own, sometimes selling our products at conferences and online. We are creative and imaginative and love learning. We love to play and problem solve. We are excited about growth and positive change.
I am all of those things. I have worked in many of those areas and with many of those clients. I have come up against challenging cases and reached out to colleagues around the country for help. I love this career and look forward to a lifetime of learning, exploring and developing new ideas, therapy techniques and ways to improve the lives of every client I work with.
Is an SLP someone you need or should contact to see if our service can be beneficial? We are located everywhere and are excited to meet you. Please check out www.asha.com for more information about what it takes to become an SLP or for information about specific areas we work in. Please contact me on the contact page to see if we would be a good fit.
Enjoy the end of April and hello summer!