What my title is, what the letters “SLP” mean, and what I do.
I know it’s easier to just refer to us as “the speech teacher,” but that’s not actually our job title. We spend 6+ years getting our masters degree to practice, and the official title is actually speech language pathologist. (Pro tip: if you call your SLP by the right title, you may make a friend for life!)
This title is important, because we still come across a large number of people that don’t know that we work with more than just speech sounds. As SLPs, we love what we do, and we want other people to know what we do, too!
Let’s use the correct terminology for other things, too.
I often hear some outdated terms – like with most things in education, our terminology has changed as time has passed. Most SLPs don’t use the term “speech impediment” – if you are talking about difficulty saying certain sounds, that is an articulation or phonological disorder, while if you’re talking about getting stuck on words, that is stuttering or a fluency disorder. If you’re not sure what to call something, please ask!
You might see us playing games, but we’re working on valuable skills.
- asking questions, using the right words in the right order
- following one- and multi-step directions
- understanding prepositions and time concepts (next to, above, before, after, etc.)
- increasing vocabulary
- expanding sentence length
- appropriate verb tenses (present, future, past, irregular)
- conversational turn taking
- understanding how things go together through categories, similarities, and differences
- describing items
- using appropriate personal and possessive pronouns
- discussing feelings and how to respond to others appropriately
I’m an Educational Interpreter for the Deaf and have worked in elementary schools for the last 20 years. All of the students I’ve worked with have gone to SLPs and, except for the one SLP who was fluent in ASL, I’ve always accompanied my students to their therapy sessions.
I’ve learned so much from those SLPs over the years and, hopefully, shared some of my knowledge and experience with them. I loved this article and shared the link on my FB page so more of my friends and colleagues can see it. Thanks for a very informative piece!