Speech Language Pathologist: What’s that? Say that again? Hmmm, never heard of that? So you help people talk? Oh ok, you help kids learn to say things the right way?
These are just a few of the questions I encounter when I tell people that I am a Speech-Language Pathologist. It can be a mouthful so I sometimes shorten it to “speech therapist” but that term doesn’t really give Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) credit for all that we do.
A Speech Language Pathologist can work with children and adults in several settings. You can find us at hospitals, clinics, schools, private practices, universities and research labs. Speech, language, voice and swallowing disorders can occur in children and adults. Speech-Language Pathologists are the professionals trained to help individuals through the rehabilitation process.
What’s up with the all those letters behind your name?
SLPs write M.S., CCC-SLP behind their name. SLP stands for Speech Language Pathologist. The M.S. stands for Master of Science. Some of us have a Master of Arts and you will see M.A. abbreviated instead of M.S. The three letters, CCC, stand for Clinical Certificate of Competence. You earn the CCC after completing a fellowship post graduating with a Master’s degree. The clinician fellowship is completing after graduating with a masters degree and takes about 9-12 months. During this time we work closely with a mentor to continue learning about our roles before we can independently practice. After completing our fellowship, we can apply to be licensed in the state we will be practicing in. In Florida, our license is awared by the Florida Department of Health. Learning is never over. We are all required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain and renew our license. Some of us seek to become specialists in a certain area and will focus on taking continuing education courses on a specific disorder like apraxia, dysphagia or voice.
Roles of a Speech Language Pathologist
Looking information about how to help your child with a language disorder? Check out “Reading with a Toddler” for useful strategies to help him/her improve vocabulary skills with books.
I’d love to answer your questions. Let me know in the comments below.
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