“Exactly what do you do?”
I have a Master’s degree in science in communication sciences and disorders. I am currently undergoing my clinical fellowship that allows me to work as a speech-language pathologist (SLP).
I am not a teacher. I am not a doctor or a nurse. To clarify, I am sort of a hybrid of these with many bonus features.
I work on language, speech, voice, augmentative communication, fluency (stuttering), and communication difficulties related to brain injury (including aphasia and dysarthria related to stroke, disease, dementia, traumatic brain injury, etc.) or developmental differences.
I help people determine if they are able to safely eat food by mouth or if other means need to be implemented (dysphagia). I provide support for alaryngeal speech (larygectomees, placing valves on tracheostomy, etc.), build and enhance the cognitive skills necessary for communication (memory, attention, problem solving),receptive language (understanding what is said), accent modification, social/pragmatic language (my specialty), and anything else under the sun related to communication.
I can work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities, homes of clients, government agencies, rehab centers, non profit organizations, private practices, and other health clinic settings.
I can understand your confusion, given the wide scope of practice that SLPs have, our presence in a variety of settings, and the title itself is quite misleading. If I were to give myself my own title, I’d call myself a “Talktor”. In general terms, I am someone who specializes in communication, thinking skills, and helping to support your access to these skills.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!