Tag Archives: A day in the life of … a Speech-Language Pathologist

A day in the life of a Speech Pathologist

Every morning I wake up with a feeling of excitement about what the day ahead will hold.¬† Today could be the day for a speech breakthrough, my child can’t speak could turn into my child won’t stop talking, an embarrassing stutter could smooth out into something soulful. Anything is possible.

I try to limit the number of patients I see per day so I can give more time to each person – from preparing for the speech therapy session to working through it and then spending some time afterward to reflect and tweak it to pull more from the patient. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I don’t become the drill sergeant speech therapist pushing patients beyond limits – far from it.

By pulling a little more I mean tapping into the strength that is already there but just needs a little awakening nudge. That’s often where stories of miracle recoveries come from – when the untapped inner power is unleashed.

If I am seeing a new patient I will prepare for an assessment session which will help in determining exactly the type of therapy a patient needs. The goal of course is to get the patient functional, but for example if your child does not speak at all then we will start communication through pictures before moving to speaking mode so that the transition is gentle. In some cases we use electronic Augmentative Alternative  Communication (AAC) devices which can really help children that are withdrawn open up since they find it easier to connect through a device Рit is really quite fascinating.

I believe parental or caregiver participation in the healing process is absolutely essential for success. So a typical day can include a speech therapy session with the patient and then a consulting session with the parent or caregiver. What goes on at home has a big impact on how effective the speech therapy will be so I provide tips on what you can do at home to enforce what is taught during the speech and language therapy sessions.

I specialize in speech and swallowing therapies related to neurological disorders so a typical day will also include consultations with doctors who are looking for a speech and language pathologist (SLP) to join the rehabilitation team.

I then provide special after-school sessions for kids and evening sessions for adults. The days can be long but since I run my own practice I space out the sessions throughout the day based on patient needs while ensuring I schedule in a coffee and chocolate break for myself in between (healthy bitter chocolate of course:)

No matter how long the day is I am always ready to go early the next morning since a new day means coming face to face with little miracles that make it all so worth it.