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broomrider broomrider is offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,799
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broomrider's Avatar
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,799
Senior Member
I've done both
Old 05-16-2018, 12:00 PM
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I moved from speech-language to a classroom position when the first grade ratio went to l6 to 1 after doing 60 to one for six years as a public school "speechie." I worked as a SLP in a state hospital program for autistics for six years before that.

I was always the only one at my schools, but had monthly meetings with others to share information, encouragement, etc.

There were lots of IEP meetings, many in association with the sped teacher, others for speech only were solo--sometimes there were hassles getting admin to come to those to say nothing of parents.

In schools, I have vivid memories of standing in the hallway going "I have to assess this referral" "No, I have to meet the IEP therapy time" and trying to figure out how to incorporate everything to do in the time available. About 40% of my time was assessment for new referrals and yearly re-assessments, about 80% of my time was for therapy. You do the math. I also traveled among two to three schools, sometimes on the same day.

It's true that speech problems were generally resolvable, articulation (th for s, w for r) was the most amenable. Difficulties such as stuttering, cleft palate, cerebral palsy, vocal abuse (yellers keep yelling) were more difficult. Language disabilities such as processing incoming messages, organizing thoughts, and expressing ideas are far more resistant to therapy and services can be ongoing for years. Many times, I shared students with the sped teacher.

Time spent creating therapy materials can be long, writing IEPs is usually done outside of class and can be quite time consuming, IEP meetings are often held before or after school taking more time.

There is no perfect job, but I rather prefer the classroom with the chance to know a smaller group of children more deeply and to do a variety of activities and teach more topics. That's just me.

Speech-Language people are in high demand both in education and in medical settings which gives more options for your work setting. You can work in your own private practice, as part of a private clinic, or in public settings.

You might want to shadow a few SLPs in various places to see what is involved and to ask questions of someone who is current in the field.
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