If you work as a speech therapist, you’re probably already aware of the benefits of working in the profession. Speech therapists play a vital role in helping people overcome various language, speech, and swallowing problems. But if you have only worked in hospitals, rehab centers, and nursing homes, you might not know about the advantages of working as a school-based speech therapist. There are several great reasons for making the switch and working as a school speech therapist including the following:
- Treating children with a variety of communication disorders: When you work as a school speech therapist, you have the opportunity to work with children with a wide array of disorders that may impact hearing, speech and language. For example, you might have children on your caseload who have Down Syndrome, hearing loss, and autism spectrum disorder. It’s also common to work with students who have various expressive and receptive language delays.
- Getting to know children and their families: In a hospital or rehab center, you often only work with patients for a short time, but school speech therapists often treat children over an extended time. You might work with the same child for several years in a row. Working with children long-term not only helps you get a better sense of their goals, but it allows you to see both immediate and long-term progress.
- Working together as part of a team: In addition to teachers, counselor, and other professionals, speech therapists also work with parents to help children reach their IEP goals. Not only do you have support when you work as part of an interdisciplinary team, but you have the chance to learn from each other. You also have other team members to bounce ideas off of.
- Helping disadvantaged children: It’s rewarding to help anyone improve their ability to communicate. But when you work with disadvantaged children who may otherwise not get the help they need reach their potential, it’s especially rewarding.
- Making a difference in the day to day lives of children: Effective communication helps improve a child’s overall quality of life. School-based speech therapists help improve a child’s ability communicate in a variety of ways. A therapist can help students learn how to use communication devices, talk without stuttering, and understand non-verbal social signs. The communication skills a child learns during speech therapy can improve their academic potential, assist in social interactions, and help them throughout their life.
- Weekends and summers off: If you work as a hospital, nursing home, or rehab speech therapist, you probably work year-round including some weekends. School-based speech therapists typically work the same schedule as teachers, which usually means weekends off. Although academic calendars vary, many schools don’t hold classes during the summer, which means you also have summers off! A few months off in the summer every year is another awesome reason working as a school-based therapist might be a great career option.