Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Short Summary of the diversity of the SLP

So what usually happens when people find out I'm a Speech/Language Pathologist?  I get tales of lisps, badly articulated /l, s, r/ stories and then am asked if I do that all day long.  Really?  is that really what the general public still thinks we do [only]?

Let me start by saying....I love my kids with articulation problems....yes I have a couple of kids with a lisp, or if going a little more professional a lateral /s/.  and couple with /r/ issues that make them sound like they belong on the East Coast....but let me also give a rundown of my caseload and show you how diverse we really are in our work....there is a reason why we MUST have a graduate degree in order to work in most states. 

Apraxia:  Very challenging and keeps me reading and researching better methods to help out one of my kids.

Rett Syndrome:  Working now with AAC devices to help out my girl who is a 6th grader. 

Fragile X Syndrome:  Like any syndrome, kiddos can range from mild-severe.

Stuttering:  Can come with secondary characteristics as well.  I have both a child with mild suttering and one with severe stuttering.

Autism:  Covers a wide spectrum and is very "hot" right now in the media and news articles. 

Cerebral Palsy:  While children can communicate and usually are of average intelligence, if a child is severely affected, I help with the AAC devices.

Down Syndrome:  My babies make up a good percentage of the moderate/severe special day class.  Focus is primarily on functional language skills.

Intellectual Disability:  What used to be called MR.  These are the children where no syndrome is found and are cognitively impaired. 

Language Disorder:  My most common dealings.  Usually are also seen by another Special Education teacher as well for learning disabilities. 

Articulation/Phonology:  Surprisingly not my highest on my caseload.

Well that about covers what is on my caseload right now.  As you can see it can be pretty diverse and this is why we are always attending new conferences and always reading our journal articles.  Lots of information to reseasrch in order to be better at our jobs.

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