You call me the Speech Teacher, Speech Lady/Guy, SLP, or Speech Path but what you don’t know is that I actually have many occupations…
I am a writer… I write paperwork, materials, letters, e-mails, and much more. Carefully crafted and worded with every ounce of knowledge I have or can find, my words are powerful and important.
I am an actor… I act out therapy games like Scattergories and Headbanz to help my students with executive functioning and language skills. I act silly to help a new client feel at home in my sessions. You may think I’m just having fun, but I assure you that my acting skills are necessary to help those in my office each day.
I am a teacher… I teach my clients the power of communication. I teach them the skills they are lacking using the specialized knowledge I have gained in my area. I may not be a teacher of a class of 25 students but my lessons are as well thought-out and evidence-based as theirs.
I am an artist… I help people to express their thoughts and feelings through the most effective medium they can. Spoken words, AAC, writing, sign language, nonverbal… it’s all a beautiful work of art to me.
I am a statistician… I collect, analyze, and interpret numerical data. You may just think those scratch marks on that paper are doodles, but they tell me if a client is making progress or not. I am a master of gathering and using this information to direct my sessions. My data is one of my best friends and is incredibly helpful.
I am a carpenter… I build communication. I construct and repair communication structures for the benefit of my clients. You may not always notice the structures that I help to build, but those for whom the structure is built will always appreciate the beauty of it.
I am a chef… I make the best nectar, honey, and pudding that you have ever tasted. It may not be what you ordered, but these delicious concoctions are safest for the clients I work with.
I am a journalist… I gather information and write news stories. Others may call them progress notes, IEPs, reports, and SOAP notes but I know they are the news that families are depending on to know how their loved one is progressing. My news is delivered carefully but truthfully for each person I work with.
I am a web developer… When I couldn’t find an app that served my clients, I researched, wrote, and published my own. I’ve also shared resources that I’ve created with others via websites. Oh, and I designed and launched my own website as well.
I am a coach… I coach my clients in the sport of communication. I challenge them and praise them. I cannot play the game for them but I can do my best to call the right plays and get them the right equipment to be successful.
I am a psychologist… I do my best to study the mind of my clients. I want to know what might not be working well in their brains or find what makes them “tick”. This information can help me to connect the dots of communication and better understand the needs of those I work with.
I am a dentist… I know an incredible amount about the oral mechanism, digestive system, and swallowing. I can identify malocclusion types, muscle names, and the effect of difficulties with dentition and oral structures.
I am a librarian… I help people find facts. I also love literature and use it daily with clients. I know which books may be good for practicing the /s/, or for teaching about adjectives, or for learning science vocabulary. My clients love books and I love using books in therapy.
I am a firefighter… I may be called upon to put out fires with clients when they are running hot. There is a special bond that we have cultivated and invested in together and, at times, that is the best extinguisher for a client’s difficulties with others.
I am a housekeeper… I can often be found disinfecting my work space and supplies. I like my clients but they sure can be messy.
I am a CEO… I have worked hard to open my own private practice, staffing company, website, or other company… or I want to some day. I treat those in my employment with the utmost respect because I understand their job. I will continue working hard to provide therapy to those in need and hire the best in the field.
But, most importantly…
I am a Speech-Language Pathologist.