Are we related?



I’ve had several inquiries lately along the lines of, “what does a career in speech language pathology look like?” I truly love our field so it’s wonderful to share why and what we do with someone who is considering pursuing it themself. It’s even had me on the ASHA website looking to see what resources are available to those in the very early stages (undergrad) of the decision.  And it gave me a flashback of coming home one weekend (with my laundry), to tell my parents I was done with my roommates.  I was done with being poor in Manhattan.  I was going back to school.  (Which seems like it would have given them palpitations, but I think they were so relieved I was moving out of the city, nothing was ever said.  But I digress….)

Anyway, explaining the training we go though, and then the areas of treatment in which to practice, not to mention choice of environment, selling the profession if you will, well, I was reminded how awesome it all is!  (I think my job is awesome all the time, but I don’t usually sit back and consider the other areas/options within the field that I don’t work in.)

Then I had another inquiry.  What about the student with an undergrad degree (in a related field like education or psych) that loves what we do, but isn’t able to pursue a masters degree (for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s an impossibility under any circumstance).  What would you recommend?

My first thought was SLP assistant, of course!  I worked with a few in GA.  Often it was someone taking a few years to gain experience and earn some money before going back to school to pursue their CCCs.  But it turns out that this role is controversial. Many areas of the country, especially the northeast, don’t permit this opportunity.  I seem to remember an issue out in CA as well. And there doesn’t appear to be a standard certification process. It’s too bad because there are plenty of areas an assistant could work appropriately under the guidance of a SLP.

Physical therapy has plenty of PT techs.  Does OT have the same?

What if you wanted to stay with the language/education of little ones (birth to 5 yrs.).  Anyone have other ideas?  I was thinking that there might be a certification for a certain kind of play therapy?  Music therapy?  Might sign language be a possibility (is there a certification for this)?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. I know someone has a brilliant idea to pass along!


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lisa

    While in undergrad, I worked as a behavioral therapy assistant and implemented an early intensive behavioral intervention program. This field is very rewarding for someone who would like to work with children with autism. Someone could also pursue becoming a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) to implement and plan early intervention programs for children with autism.

  2. Darci

    I currently work as a certified SLPA in the state of Washington (I have an undergrad in Communication Disorders but no masters degree) as I’m trying to put my husband through HIS grad program. Before this job, I was able to get a great job as a Developmental Specialist in an Early Intervention Program- basically a generalist and parent educator. I would recommend looking into SLPA or early intervention if anyone is unable to (currently) pursue a masters.

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.