Being a Speech Pathologist is a wonderful, rewarding career choice. But there are a lot of common misconceptions about being a Speech Pathologist that you’ll come across in university, when chatting with friends and family, and even after casually mentioning to strangers what you do for work.
In today’s blog, we’re sharing some of the most common misconceptions about being a Speech Pathologist that our team have noticed along their journeys. Whether it was their own misconception before heading into the profession, or something someone told them that turned out to be completely wrong!
Keep on reading to discover the common misconceptions about being a Speech Pathologists that you’ll come across in your career.
5 Common Misconceptions About Being a Speech Pathologist
#1: Speech Pathologists teach children how to talk
First and foremost, one of the most common misconceptions about being a Speech Pathologist is that we teach children how to talk. While supporting children with acquiring age-appropriate language skills is an important part of our jobs, our scope of practice is much larger than what most people might think!
#2: Speech Pathologists only work in the hospitals, private practices, and schools
Speech Pathologists can be found in a whole range of professional settings – some that will probably surprise you! We can work in nursing homes, community rehabilitation centres, within the corrections systems, and even as professional voice coaches for singers and production companies.
Did you know that with the recent Elvis movie, Austin Butler worked with voice coaches for a year to perfect his portrayal? There are so many ways Speech Pathologists can support people to achieve their goals, including making it on the big screen.
#3: Speech Pathologists only work with people who stutter
One of the most common misconceptions about being a Speech Pathologist is that we only work with people (children and adults!) who have a stutter. While this is a condition that we can support people with, it’s only a small part of our scope of practice. You can learn more about the different domains of Speech Pathology (speech, language, voice, swallowing, AAC, fluency) and how Speech Pathologists support people across the lifespan here.
#4: Speech Pathologists only help people with verbal communication
As passionate Speech Pathologists working in the disability (NDIS) sector, something that often surprises people is that we do a lot to support people with verbal communication difficulties! Here at SpeechEase, we encourage all of our Speech Pathologists to take up professional development in the area of Alternative and Augmentative Communication so they can best support our clients with complex communication needs.
#5: Speech Pathologists just play games all the time
As a parent or family member sitting in on a paediatric Speech Therapy session, it can often look like all we do is play games! But there’s a very good reason why we incorporate games and activities into Speech Therapy sessions for kids. Play-based therapy allows us to get on the child’s level, and to engage them in speech therapy practice in a way that is enjoyable and allows them to maintain focus and attention for longer periods of time.
We’re also often targeting multiple goals with kids, so playing a few different games during a session allows us to meet all of our progress markers while not overwhelming the child with repetitive exercises that would bore them! At the end of the day, we always want our clients to enjoy their time in Speech Therapy, and that means creating an experience that is enjoyable and appropriate for the age of the client.
Did you learn something new about Speech Pathologists and the world of Speech Pathology? We sure hope so! If we’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to learn more about a career in Speech Pathology, take a look at our blog on the lifestyle benefits of being a Speech Pathologist.