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A day in the life of a speech language pathologist

Jenny: A day in the life of a Speech Pathologist




The services of a Speech Language Pathologist are in high demand. Dr Jenny Harasty is a renowned Speech Pathologist and Neuroscientist, with a Masters and PhD in the area of brain function. Jenny has been practicing for the past 25 years, providing her with the skills to work with a wide range of families and adults. Contrary to what many people believe, her caseload is not limited to children struggling with articulation. This profession encompasses a variety of complex difficulties and disabilities.

Jenny can see as many as eight different clients in one day, all at different locations! In the morning, Jenny may start with a five-year-old who needs positive behavioral management, because he cannot control his tantrums and has an autism spectrum disorder. Jenny works diligently to find the most effective technique to teach this child. Some kids prefer reading a story about super heroes and how they handle their anger. When they get an answer correct, receiving a piece of clay to fiddle with might be the encouragement they need to continue to improve. Others may show more progress when they play games, and are awarded points when they act appropriately.

On multiple occasions Jenny has found that it is not a specific activity that causes the child to tantrum, but rather, he is lacking the language skills to express what he is thinking. If this is the case, Jenny then works to pinpoint the breakdown in the learning process, and uses evidence-based methods to target the root problem.

Jenny could then leave her clinic and travel to a nursing home, where she works closely with the staff to assist her clients afflicted with dysphagia. Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder than can lead to aspiration. Jenny must use a variety of tools and methods to assess the kinds of foods these patients can and cannot eat. Difficulties with swallowing can major health problems, so Jenny’s attentiveness is vital!

From there, Jenny may travel to a primary school to aid a child who has suffered from a traumatic brain injury. She uses a variety of games like Twister and card games to physically and mentally stimulate this child. But her ability to help the people is not limited to the younger and older generations. Working in their homes can act as a safe place for teenagers working through the pressures of secondary school. Making friends can be a foreign task to some kids, but Jenny creates a welcoming and enriching environment to help these young adults learn to love themselves and others. After this she may help a young adult with difficulties train for travel and a vocation. Helping them follow the instructions needed in their job and sorting out difficulties with processes and remembering words needed so they can stay in the job.

A day in the life of Speech Pathologist can be hectic, but it is also a science that helps a variety of people. Bouncing from case to case sounds difficult, but Jenny is a pro!


-Molly Cagle


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