I'm torn between becoming a Speech Language Pathologist or Occupational Therapist?

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Aus SP in Parkville, Australia

29 months ago

Continued from my previous post:

I don't mind assessing children who have mild autism, but the 'therapy' (esp. in the social skills area) is lacking substance, and could be delivered by others (special ed teachers, trained aides, ABA therapists).

Thankfully in the mainstream school setting in Aus, I don't have to deal with swallowing. Ever. I don't know of anyone who decided to enrol in a speech pathology program because they wanted to do swallowing assessments.

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NotJustAnSLP in Leesburg, Virginia

29 months ago

To Aus SP - interesting the differences between training in Aus and US. Here, many of us went to grad school to work with swallowing disorders because that's what we wanted to do. Unfortunately, most of the grad programs here provide inadequate training for that. So many of us had to take CEUs that focus on that in order to get the types of jobs we wanted.

And I agree with those above who feel misled. I would also advise anyone interested in this type of work to consider being a PA or NP first, then an OT or PT. I would never recommend ST. There are too many of us in some areas and we are spread too thin in others, but in any case you really are restricted to working with kids with severe/multiple disabilities and in nursing homes. Hospital work can be had but is hard to come by and does not pay as well (and is very stressful compared to other settings). The grad schools are HORRIBLE, I don't care which one you pick, they all will drive you to drink! If I didn't have a supportive husband to help me get through, I would have definitely dropped out - if for no other reason than the fact I had to be a speech slave for a year for "clinical practice" (which was all board games with kids, "L" and "S" remediation, etc.) in my school - we had to work 40 hours a week and so my ability to work was limited. Sometimes I regret not sticking in the restaurant biz - in that time I did waitress and bartend to help with bills, and I was accepted to a chef school, but turned it down. Big mistake.... but that's my own personal issue...

Bear in mind I say this as a person with a nearly 20 year career (prior career was elementary school teacher, which I really hated), and having worked in: special ed, early intervention, private practice, hospitals and nursing homes/home healthcare. I enjoy nursing homes the most because I like the elderly patients much more than kids, it pays well, and I can make my own schedules by piecing several PRN jobs together.

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NotJustAnSLP in Leesburg, Virginia

29 months ago

1 more thing:

Clearly the grad schools for SLP in the US are too big - I feel they accept and graduate too many people into this profession and there's not enough jobs to justify it (it took me nearly a year just to get a CFY in special ed setting). The programs are also too demanding of adults who have lives (see above) and bills to pay. It's also really really expensive, not worth it, takes years to pay back the loans. Why do this when you can be a COTA or PTA with a 2 year degree?

And I LMAO when I hear professors or other SLPs talk about how "we really need to make SLPs doctorate degrees". It's like they know if they do that, all of us will leave rather than pony up for a PhD, and those that do stick with will have to pay another $50-60k to get their doctorate. If anyone doubts this - look what happened to audiologists. How many of them do you see around? 25 years ago each hospital had at least 1, and nursing homes referred to them actively. Now they only work here and there in an ENT office and usually not even full time. So what was the point of that?

Ok.... off my soap box.... Good luck to all...

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jenjen04 in Lexington, Kentucky

28 months ago

Hello everyone,
I have been looking into many colleges that offer speech pathology programs and was needing some insight from others. I am looking at online programs because I have a full-time job and a mother also. I was looking into Nova Southeast University and I was wondering if that was a good college too get my degree at?

Also I was wondering if anybody knew of any other online programs that I could do without having to go to the campus site.
Thanks

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steph080 in Euless, Texas

25 months ago

Hi Mattie, my name is Stephanie and I'm also from Ft worth. I'm a student right now and for my assignment i have to interview an SLP for my research paper. It's due this week and thought it would be quicker and easier finding someone who is in the field online and more convenient lol. I was wondering if i could just ask you a few questions regarding your career?

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steph080 in Euless, Texas

25 months ago

mattie in Fort Worth, Texas said: I am an SLP. I don't find it difficult to find work. I definately don't find it boring. However, I have to tell you that the better pay lies in home health . This setting hurts sometimes. I have been in the field 4 years. I have a very flexible schedule and I really value the relationships I have with PCGs. I would not be comfortable physically moving someone and I know from observing OTs and PTs that the pt is often in physical pain. I'm glad that for the most part, I don't have to see my pts in physical pain for them to progress. But seeing the dysfunction in homes where kids can't/choose not to communicate is hard. Yes, I am there to help change the dynamics and I do. It's rewarding. However, change doesn't happen over night. Some visits are just educating the parents on how what they are doing has to stop if they want the pt to improve. If this didn't come with mom having so many feelings about the pt already, then magnify that by - she thought the pt had the problem when she asked for help. She though the pt was impossible to deal with yet the therapist is here telling her she has to change if she wants the pt to change. I guess I have seen the various reactions to this news so many times. Those first few visits, depending on the PCG, can be from 0 visits to 6 months, where the PCG continues to do the old behavior - is just so hard to watch. PCG scolds pt each time pt says it wrong. Pt becomes angrier and angrier. ST intervenes and models a better response for mom while reminding her of the previous discussion about negative attention vs positive attention. Mom gets upset because pt "knows" how to say it. The war between mom & pt is trying but the situation where mom finds her place in this world by enabling her child that "can't" do anything without her is worse. Helping her detach from her identity of a mom with a child that "NEEDS" her vs a child that needs to feel a sense of accomplishment, needs to be a

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steph080 in Euless, Texas

25 months ago

mattie in Fort Worth, Texas said: Hi Mattie, my name is Stephanie and I'm also from Ft worth. I'm a student right now and for my assignment i have to interview an SLP for my research paper. It's due this week and thought it would be quicker and easier finding someone who is in the field online and more convenient lol. I was wondering if i could just ask you a few questions regarding your career?

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Caitlyn in Shelby, North Carolina

24 months ago

East Carolina University has an online program!

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tora in London, United Kingdom

22 months ago

Hi,
In my school we are starting to decide on university's and careers. I am hopefully going to be the first in my family to go to university (figures crossed), and so do not have much guidance. I am in a debate between 4 careers / degrees to study Speech and Language therapy, Social Worker, Occupational Therapy and counselling.
I would like a career which involves communicating with children or others as well as pays well. I am also finding writing my personal statement for university challenging.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank You.

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Cindy in Appleton, Wisconsin

22 months ago

I started my CF as an SLP and am miserable. I love the therapy sessions and seeing patients progress, but have almost no support in my CF, have very few hours despite being hired ft, and productivity - who can make those numbers? not me. I'm not punching out every time I have to wait on a patient to use the toilet. Wish I had gone a different direction. Going to keep living like a poor person, pay off those bills as fast as I can, and go a different direction.

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APost in New York, New York

19 months ago

slp reality in California said: I hear you! This is an AWFUL field and let me tell you why:

Would you say that the job of a school psychologist is also the equivalent to being a special education teacher too? your post was extremely helpful to me and i'd like your insight into school psychology, which is another program i am considering.

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NotJustAnSLP in Leesburg, Virginia

19 months ago

@ Tora - Become a Child Psychologist, it will afford you the most diverse opportnities and should pay very well (it does here in the US, not sure about UK).
@ Cindy - Sounds like your CFY is in a SNF? You couldn't have known beforehand, but SNFs are the least supportive CFY environment out there. I'm sure the recruiter made it sound just peachy.... I should know, since I am required to supervise students and CFs in my current job. Because I am subject to the same grind/productivity standards as everyone else, while covering multiple buildings, I honestly don't have time to train a CFY properly. If you JUST started, consider tossing in the towel and finding another CFY in another setting. If not, know that as soon as those CCCs show up in your mailbox you're free to move on.
@APost - School psychs do very well in NYC area, and are considered slightly above special ed teachers (I worked as a teacher and SLP in NYC).
@ Everyone - I am so burned out that I'm not looking at other SLP jobs. I'm looking for a major career change. If you look at my posts above, you'll see my regret at not becoming a chef. Well, I'm on the road to becoming a chef (eventually). I'm not going to culinary school - too expensive, I'm interning at a great restaurant where I know the owner. The head chef and his cooks are teaching me, and they get a little free labor in exchange. The days in the kitchen fly by. Unlike in the SNF, where I look at the clock every 30 seconds. I've even started a blog about my journey. Anyhoo, bottom line, I would advise anyone considering ST to NOT do it. Unless you really really really love it, in which case go for it. I think everyone needs to find work that they love, otherwise you could end up bitter and burned out. Like me.

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APost in New York, New York

19 months ago

[QUOTE who="NotJustAnSLP in

Hi, my question was in response to the person who posted that being an SLP was essentially the same as being a special education teacher. the person who posted that said that SLP's should be called special education teachers or swallowing therapists. so, perhaps you can help clarify this for me. do school psychologists have very similar responsibilities as special education teachers?

Since you worked as a teacher can you please share your insights. i am considering either enrolling in a masters of education program in social studies to become a high school history teacher OR enrolling in a school psychology program. i find aspects of both professions interesting. with that said, can you tell me which job is more stressful, which has longer hours and which profession has more job security? your insight would be great since you have experience in different areas.

thank you!!!!

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NotJustAnSLP in Leesburg, Virginia

19 months ago

IN NY, there's a fine line between school psychs and special ed teachers. There's minimal overlap. A special ed teacher will work in a classroom most likely, either in combination with the regular teacher (if the kids are mainstreamed) or in a self-contained classroom for kids with specific challenges. School psychs are more free floaters - they do all of the Evals for special ed/IEPs. They will usually treat kids individually or in small groups, as pull-outs. Both professions are capable of curriculum development. School Psychs get paid more and have more flexibility.

As for becoming a teacher, my best advice is this: if your passion is teaching history - go for it - all the way! By that I mean consider doing a PhD, especially if you are young. Then you would have more options open to you than just H.S. teaching. If you really really want to teach H.S. in NYC, you can start working with a Bachelor's, get a provisional license while you finish up your Masters. (I think they give you 2 years to finish.)

Having taught, in New York City, I have nothing nice to say about the experience. I have friends in Westchester Co. who work as School Psychs and they are very happy. As for job security, I don't know if NYC schools ever got around to abolishing tenure. It exists in some suburban districts too, so after you've been there 3-5 years, they can't fire you. Long Island public schools ahve the highest pay, but it's competitive, you really need an inside connection. In NYC, they'll take you as long as you're breathing (no offense), but that is the highest stress job I ever had. I cried myself to sleep every night for 3 years. Finally, one winter morning I woke up, exhausted, realized no one was pointing a gun at my head, and I quit. That day. No notice. And I never looked back or relied on those skills again. I was 3 months from finishing my Masters thesis, so I decided WTH, may as well finish it, and it was certainly easier not working as a teacher.

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NotJustAnSLP in Leesburg, Virginia

19 months ago

I think teaching has longer hours. I think no one in any profession has job security anymore. Hope that helps.

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APost in New York, New York

19 months ago

NotJustAnSLP in Leesburg, Virginia said: I think teaching has longer hours. I think no one in any profession has job security anymore. Hope that helps.

your posts are very helpful!!! i would like to ask you a few more questions and tell you a little bit about my background and interests. your insight would be most sincerely appreciated. could you please contact me at postanon110@yahoo.com. i am in NYC and am torn between what to do next. i have no one else to ask (as i do not know anyone in public education.)

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APost in New York, New York

19 months ago

NotJustAN SLP,

your experience teaching sounds intense- can you tell me why you cried every night? was a combination of administration, disruptive students, loads of paperwork? your friends that are school psychs- do they talk about endless paperwork? when school psychologists talk about paperwork sometimes im curious if they mean the work is difficult or if its just boring. doesn't the paperwork become routine after a while? i'd imagine it's not like writing something from scratch every time. then other school psychs say that they have to wear so many different hats. however, if teachers work longer hours as you mentioned maybe the paperwork isnt as bad as everyone makes it sound?

on another note, when you were an SLP, did you work in the schools? SLP work seems interesting to me, but i know i would not want to feed people or work with swallowing devices. do SLPs in the schools have to do that as well? i think i am better suited for teaching or school psych though. im just worried about the horror stories i've been reading about from teachers saying it is absolutely hell and that they quit shortly after beginning. and the concern with the school psychs is that people say the paperwork is endless and that they take it home every night and do it on the weekends too b/c it is so much. not sure if people are over-reacting or not.

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NotJustAnSLP in Leesburg, Virginia

18 months ago

@APost - it was everything - violent kids, violent parents, favoritistic and toxic administration, endless lesson planning, toxic classroom aides.
As for paperwork, in all of these fields, the paperwork becomes semi-automatic and easier - you don't need to reinvent the wheel every time :)
I worked in a special ed school that was publicly funded as a SLP for my CFY. Hated very minute of it. I also worked as an independent early intervention provider, which was just OK, up in Westchester. Good money but too much driving and I got sick of all the rich people treating me like a nanny. I think becoming a teacher to teach kids is a waste of time at this point. Teachers are woefully underpaid. School SLPs make GREAT money, BUT the caseloads in most public districts in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic will b3 60+ kids in multiple buildings. I found articulation and developmental apraxia therapy to be especially boring.... also, in some districts SLPs work a 12 month year, not school calendar, especially newbies. And I found that in the educational environments, the CFYs and/or new employees always get dumped on by the other SLPs - they'll shovel all their sh*t cases right onto you as soon as you walk in the door.

I suggest trying to see if you can shadow a school psych for a day. Promise not to ask any questions til the end of the day, and then see how you feel about it.

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curiouslady211 in Charlotte, North Carolina

18 months ago

SLP Lady in Antioch, Tennessee said: I have been a practicing SLP for 10 years and I love my job. I work in a SNF (nursing home) and I eat lunch every day. Productivity has not been an issue for me, but I work for a company that has it's own rehab team. My job is not boring. I do use a lot of standarized tests to show progress and to get patient baselines. As far as being a SLP aide is concerned the American Speech and Hearing Association does not certify and the pay is really low for these postions. Most people who become aides have a very difficult time finding a job. As far as salary is concerned, I am the highest paid of all the therapists (OT and PT). As far as being less stressful than OT I can't believe that. Try explaining to a patient that they may never regain normal speech again or explaining that a patient must eat blended foods for the rest of their lives. I do make excellent money and I have great benefits. I make $88,000 per year. How's that for a career?

Hey! Thank you for the post. Im relocating to Nashville in a couple months and Im still torn between doing SLP or OT at TSU. I saw you lived in atioch and that was really encouraging to hear that youre doing so well in TN! What made you decide on doing SLP vs. anything else? What are the starting slaaries for SLP in TN? What kinds of things do you do every day? I think Id be happy with either choice but I'm leaning more towards SLP just because TSU has an online masters program for it and I can work at the same time as going to school. Thank you!

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Steffy Lynn in Orlando, Florida

17 months ago

I have enjoyed reading these posts! I will graduate next semester with my bachelor's in Communication Sciences and Disorders and I will be applying to grad schools soon. I am terrified at the cost of completing my education as I am already maxed out in undergraduate loan money. I was recently told about a new, fully funded master's degree program at my university (UCF) for Com-Dis graduates. It's called project ASD, and it is essentially a masters in exceptional education with a heavy focus on Autism. My issue has been in deciding my future based on not only my happiness within a profession, but also where I will be financially. I have been in school off and on for a long time and am in my 30's, so it's time to pick something, and see it through.

SLP's make great money and have flexibility as far as venues(hospitals, schools, private practices, etc.)and for the most part, seem to love their job. Special education teachers seem under-appreciated, overworked and make less money...from what I have gathered in visiting forums for both careers. Do I take out another 30k in loans to be an SLP, or take this free master's degree? To be honest, Autism is my heart and soul, I work with kids with Autism currently while in school. So I can see myself doing either one in theory, but in reality...I am not so sure which one to choose.
I have never taught, nor been an SLP so I have no idea which I might like better and I have to decide soon! Any advice, even just from an SLP perspective would be great! Thanks!

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Kendra in Auburn, Alabama

5 months ago

Hey are you a SLP? Do you like your jobs? How is the salary? Just trying to figure out do I need to go for my Bachelors?

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NotJustAnSLP in San Diego, California

5 months ago

Been a SLP-CCC for 20 years now. Have not loved any job. Kind of like home healthcare because no one stands over me telling me what to do. If I could go back in time, I would NOT take on this career, I would do clinical social worker or even PT. Of all the rehab professions, speech is the least respected. I'm semi-retired at this point, casting around for my next career, probably as a private chef. It's very easy to get burned out. I suggest shadowing several rehab pros in different settings to really get a sense of what a day in the life entails. In recent years, between school budget and Medicare cuts, all the rehab professions have come under the gun to be 100% productive, relinquish certain benefits, no pay raises. In fact, wages in these fields have stagnated completely, I actually made less hourly at my last full time job than I did at my first. There are very few job openings - while there are enough for recent grads, as you go up in pay scale, there's less opportunity, not more, because managers prefer to hire new grads because they get paid less. In some cases, you can hang a shingle and open your own practice, which will require heavy investment for "back office" functions like insurance coding and billing. So it all depends on what kind of life you are planning for yourself.

And here are the degrees you need for each profession:

SLP - Masters
Audiologist - Doctor of Audiology
OT - Masters
COTA - Bachelors
PT - Doctor of Physical Therapy
PTA - Associates Degree
Clinical Social Worker - Masters
School Psychologist - Masters
Clinical or Cognitive Psychologist - Doctorate

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TheSLPguy in Dallas, Texas

4 months ago

The negativity being spewed at Jazzyjmj is warranted. Most of Jazzyjmj's comments about what SLPs do are assumptions. You're thanking the assistant when the assistant is complaining about being an assistant. Bravo. She said she's bored. Who's fault is that? She doubts speech therapy helps because she doesn't see any progress. Think about that for a minute. If there's no progress in facilitating language development of her client, is it A.) The SLP profession's fault, or B.) The clinician's fault? How ethical is it to continue treating a client when the treatment approach of the clinician isn't producing tangible results? An SLPA, like Jazzyjmj, cannot speak for the duties and responsibilities of the SLP no matter how many years she's been an SLPA. She can talk about her opinions. That's fine. But there is a major problem when she says the SLP field in and of itself is worthless/useless/waste of time. Her opinions and assumptions are just that; she is passing them off as fact. What, again, are you even thanking her for?

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TheSLPguy in Dallas, Texas

4 months ago

Jazzyjmj in Mckinney, Texas said: I have not worked in the health setting as a Speech Therapy Assistant
So why are you commenting about what goes on in that setting?
Jazzyjmj in Mckinney, Texas said: but I know that you will be working with stroke victims or paralyzed victims, sometimes children , who have lost the muscular functioning in their esophagus.
You know nothing. We SLPs don't work with the 4th phase of swallow.
Jazzyjmj in Mckinney, Texas said: You will be working with this electric swallowing device that is hooked up to the patients throat. It helps the patient swallow and your therapy with them will be more like "Swallowing Therapy" instead of "Speech Therapy".
And your point is? Dysphagia is within the scope of practice for SLPs. Also, the electric swallowing device doesn't help the patient swallow. That's like saying doing squats will help you walk better.
Jazzyjmj in Mckinney, Texas said: If you want to work with old peoples throats and help them keep food in, then go for it.
That's an uneducated opinion/statement. We reduce the risk of aspiration. Why are you making false statements?
Jazzyjmj in Mckinney, Texas said: In the schools, you can get away with murder.
Jazzyjmj, you seriously need to get your license revoked. Same with your supervisor. Shame on you.
Jazzyjmj in Mckinney, Texas said: Also, it is hard to teach people how to move their mouth and where to place their tongue, especially Kindergartners.
That's because you're a bad SLPA with no conception about what you're doing. If your therapy doesn't work, it's not the SLP profession's fault. It's yours.

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TheSLPguy in Dallas, Texas

4 months ago

cherryberry7 in Federal Way, Washington said: Addendum:

I would like to give a HUGE thanks to Jazzy and the Australian SLP (maybe y'all are better educated over there...away from us American crazy lazies).

Why?
cherryberry7 in Federal Way, Washington said: You have both opened my mind up and have revealed extremely insightful information rather than being persistent about absolutely nothing.
Yes, insightful information on a disgruntled SLPA's opinions, and the practices of an SLP in another country. Did you know SLPs in America aren't comparable to SLPs in Australia?

cherryberry7 in Federal Way, Washington said: For the student who was applying to NOVA simply b/c he she was rejected from other schools...perhaps that's a reason to reconsider the profession.
No. Of all the advice you could give, you say a rejection is a reason to reconsider the profession. If Reagan listened to your advice, he wouldn't have become the 40th President. He lost the bid in 1976 but won election in 1980 because he didn't listen to you, you crazy lazy :O)

cherryberry7 in Federal Way, Washington said: In fact, I would argue that it's veritably HEALTHY for the American populace to check ourselves often.
Yes, starting with your attitude <3
cherryberry7 in Federal Way, Washington said: With the elections coming up, people are increasingly playing the blame game. Oh it's the Democrats, it's the Republicans' fault! WTF...what if it's (gasp) YOUR fault?
Silly child, we're not blaming people for speaking their opinions. We're blaming them for convoluting the truth.

cherryberry7 in Federal Way, Washington said: Essentially, it can be a grave error to so quickly take something for its face value without further evaluation.
Kinda like thanking Jazzy for her opinions on SLPs when she's just an SLPA? Have you tried going with your own advice, you crazy lazy? :)

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catthehank in Oakland, California

4 months ago

I'm a middle aged man interested in pursuing a Masters in OT but would like more information about the profession to see if it's a good fit for me. Would any experienced OT on this list be willing to participate in an informational interview online? If so, please reply and we'll exchange email addresses. Thanks.

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morristhecat in Amherst, New Hampshire

1 month ago

So, I would appreciate any insight from an SLP assistant or an SLP. I am currently a registered nurse. To put it bluntly, I hate it. It is not enough money and too anxiety for me being responsible for keeping someone alive, or the constant worry of making one mistake, and that's it. Your career is over, your license is gone, and God forbid, my deepest fear of accidentally hurting someone. I have tried different types of nursing jobs. Many of them. I wish I never went to school for it. That being said, before I became an RN, I completed a bachelors in Communication Disorders. I never applied to grad school. I was a young 21 year old, and thought at the time I wouldn't be able to go through with it for various decisions. Instead, I made the brilliant decision to go to school immediately after graduating with my bachelors and get an associates in nursing! Wow, what a mistake. I'm not putting down the nursing profession for other people. We need great nurses. It's completely a personal thing for me. So, I'm just putting it out there. Is there anyone out there that loves working as an SLP assistant? I understand it's not a huge salary, but working in a school could have great benefits. I believe this is what I was meant to do. However, I have some big roadblocks. My degree in Comm. Disorders was 15 years ago and I never used it. I have considered going back to school to get my masters, but I have looked into a lot of schools, and the tuition is astronomical! I have young children, and I just can't afford to do it, as much as I would love to. How important is it to have recent experience in the field to be hired and work as a SLPA? I have even considered attending classes again, to familiarize myself with the field, but it seems a little crazy to go back to school in the same classes I have already graduated from. I would love anyone's input on their job-either SLP's or SLPA's. Thanks.

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NotJustAnSLP in San Diego, California

1 month ago

Don't do it. SLP or SLP-A. Pay levels have not risen in the 2 decades I have been in this field. It's the least appreciated of all the rehab professions. We are the only ones who are constantly interrogated, countermanded and disrespected by doctors, families, etc. Consider PT - it's easy and affordable to become a PTA and while you're working as a PTA you can complete your DPT. From there, you will have lots of job opportunities OR you can open your own private practice. To become an SLP you have to be a slave for about a year, and you won't be able to hold down a full time job. And SLPAs do not make good money. It's a lot less than nursing. With PT you can either stick with healthcare or move into educational areas. IMHO the SLP career is seriously misrepresented by colleges and media. I am burned out and in process of putting all my licenses on "inactive" and doing something else with my life. I have come to the realization that something the chair of my department said in grad school has come true (much as I hate to admit it), she said "Unless and until SLPs have the word DOCTOR in front of our names, we will never be truly respected by medical and educational professionals." I wish you well, but don't waste time and money on such a dead-end career. Between Medicare, insurance companies, school districts and general ignorance of the public at large, it's become a constant battle to actually be of help to anyone in need. And confidentially, there are many of use with years of experience who get the sense that most of the patients who got very much better would have probably gotten better without us anyway. PTs and OTs do not have to deliver bad news on a daily basis. SLPs do. Here are my 2 best examples: 1) "I'm sorry but your mother will never be able to eat or speak again;" 2) "No I don't know when little Johnny will start speaking. With his genetic mutations and severe multiple challenges, we just don't know if it will ever happen." Good Luck.

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Faith in Springfield, Missouri

1 month ago

The consensus on this strand seems to be that a career as an SLP or SLPA is boring and unrewarding. I have been in this field for 35 years (school settings) and while it has it's disadvantages, I would never say that it is either one of those. I don't agree that speech therapy does not help. I have seen progress in students who have struggled with artic and/or language disorders. I've also seen a lack of progress, but even at that, most of the students whom I have treated have benefited from individual or small group therapy. It probably sounds "old school" but repetition and drill work are the keys. If it seems dry and boring, think of how happy you'd feel when you begin to hear correct sound production because of all that drill.

I do agree with the opinion that speech therapy does not often help those with stuttering disorders and that carry-over of artic skills can be extremely difficult to accomplish. I have always believed that stuttering problems are more a matter of a psychological disturbance than a speech problem. I have seen some progress with a few stuttering cases, but VERY few and it is rarely enough to satisfy parents. Carry-over is best implemented with the help of the classroom teachers and parents, but they will often forget to help with that. It is also frustrating for the student to have to constantly monitor him/herself. No one wants to constantly examine how they produce speech sounds when all they want to do is quickly express themselves and be like their peers. I wouldn't want to have that burden on my shoulders if I were those kids either.

I think this is a worthy career, even though is not always well understood in a school setting. I have heard all the jokes and snide remarks about what we do. I try to explain and correct. Some wind up agreeing with me yet others don't. I can't control that, but I can see where my influence has made a positive difference.

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