At least three times a week, someone will ask me what my major is in college. My response? Communication Sciences and Disorders. Most people have no idea what this means, so I try to simplify it down to Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), and this still usually doesn't work. So to those who have no idea what my major is all about, let me tell you everything I want you to know:
1. We do more than just teach you how to talk.
We treat swallowing disorders, neurological disorders and reading/language disorders too.
2. Our major is a lot harder than some people think.
No wonder it's one of the most difficult majors at Longwood.
3. We do more than just work with little kiddos in the school.
We can treat every other age range too!
4. We are basically doctors that don't go to med school.
We do have the opportunity to work in a hospital, after all.
5. We can't do anything with our undergraduate degree...
Which is sad.
6. ... so graduate school is essential.
And very, very, very competitive.
7. The "C's Get Degrees" rule doesn't apply to us.
Our rule of thumb is you should probably retake a class if you get below a B.
8. Our anatomy class won't be the same as yours, so don't tell us your class was so easy.
We only learn about the head and neck, but we learn EVERYTHING about the head and neck.
9. With our degree, we can work in almost every setting.
Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and so many more.
10. No, we are not the same as teachers.
We get paid more than them too.
11. The least glamorous part of our job we have to look forward to is paperwork, charting, and testing.
But you can't forget the ways we treat feeding and swallowing disorders... yum!
12. We get to meet and treat all different kinds of people.
It doesn't matter how old you are or where you come from, you will probably be on our caseload.
13. Whenever we go to hear someone speak, we unintentionally analyze their voice for any irregularities/problems.
Sometimes, we just can't help it!
14. We can do more than just be an SLP with our Master's degree.
You can also be an Audiologist, Special Education teacher or Psychologist.
15. We are constantly told we have to be the best of the best to succeed in this major.
Getting your Master's won't be easy and we are reminded of it 24/7.
16. We unintentionally write using the Phonetics alphabet in our other classes.
17. We cannot wait to put those letters after our name when we graduate.
18. We chose this career path because we want to see people smile.
And keep that smile forever.
19. We will probably get spit on and cursed at at one point, but we wouldn't trade our job for anything in the world.
Becoming an SLP is definitely not for everyone, but if it's for you, run with it and you will enjoy every single minute!