Archive for January, 2012

Looking for Your First SLP Job

You have just completed what may have been the most stressful two years of your life – a graduate program in speech-language pathology and now it’s time for the real world. Looking for that first professional job, which in itself is another stressful experience, poses a variety of questions: Where to apply?  Who’s even hiring clinical fellows? What interview questions will be asked?

Seven years ago I searched for my first SLP job, and now I’m doing some interviewing of new candidates. From my real life experience, here’s some help for first-time job seekers:

Where to apply?

This question and your answer depend on the job market in your area as well as what setting you want to aim for. Odds are that if you are in a metropolitan area there will most likely be a variety of jobs open to you across all settings: school based, clinic/private practice, hospital/skilled nursing or home health.  Each of these settings has their own respective pros and cons.


Pros: Summers and holidays off; teacher-therapist collaborations

Cons: High number of meetings; high caseload with lots of paperwork; possible travel time; treated like a ‘resource teacher’


Pros: Enjoyment of working with adults; improved patient progress in an acute-care setting; clients have greater investment in making progress

Cons: Insurance paperwork; limited sessions with patients; low productivity in outpatient settings due to cancellations; long hours


Pros: Flexible hours; cross discipline opportunities; greater impact on client and family’s success; opportunity to specialize

Cons: Large numbers of cancellations/no shows; insurance/billing paperwork; travel time (if home health)

Interview questions to anticipate

Beyond the basic interview questions (such as, ‘what are your strengths and weakness?’) candidates for speech-language pathology jobs should anticipate specialized queries like the following. Also, some interviewers will present you with a scenario or mock client, and then ask for your input about what course of action to take, so be prepared for ‘what if’ questions.

  • What got you interested in speech-language pathology?
  • Tell me about your clinical experience. What areas do you enjoy most?
  • What type of client are you most comfortable treating? What type of client are you not comfortable treating?
  • What do you look for in a supervisor?
  • What level of supervision are you comfortable with?
  • What hours are you willing to work?
  • Are you comfortable conducting group therapy?
  • Are you willing to travel?

These questions are a basic outline of what could be asked and will be more specific depending on your setting, which means you may be asked about IEP paperwork, CTP codes, hospital billing and other documentation.

Questions to ask your perspective employer

  • How much supervision is offered? Do you offer mentors?
  • Is the job salaried or am I payed per visit?
  • Will I get paid for travel time?
  • Will I get paid for cancellations?
  • Is there dedicated time for paperwork? Billing? SOAP notes? Evaluation reports? Progress reports?
  • Do you take taxes out or am I responsible?
  • Is there a supply budget? What type of supplies do you offer?
  • Do I need to sign a noncompete clause?

Good luck finding that first job!

“I’d rather be pissed off, then pissed on.”

Grammar 911

The title of this Blog post was taken right off someone’s facebook post and got me thinking on grammar in the age of 140 or less character messages. Living in the faced paced texting, tweeting, and facebooking world there is the inevitable #textingdisaster (a great new hashtag and segment on Jimmy Fallon).  That being said there are those acceptable occasional spelling errors and those unacceptable grammatical errors that quickly change the meaning of your message. “I’d rather be pissed off, then pissed on” is an example of an unacceptable error.

For those of you working on these words with your students I think you can appreciate how some of these  than vs then errors occur.  So do these errors continue throughout one’s lifetime or are they just caused by poor proofreading or that damn auto-correct?  

Let’s take some time to review how defines these words.



1.(used, as after comparative adjectives and adverbs, to introduce the second member of an unequal comparison):She’s taller than I am.
2.(used after some adverbs and adjectives expressing choiceor diversity, such as other, otherwise, else, anywhere,  or different,  to introduce an alternative or denote a differencein kind, place, style, identity, etc.): I had no choice other than that. You won’t find such freedom anywhere else than in this country.
3.(used to introduce the rejected choice in expressions ofpreference): I’d rather walk than drive there.
4.except; other than: We had no choice than to return home.
5.when: We had barely arrived than we had to leave again.

adverb that time: Prices were lower then.
2.immediately or soon afterward: The rain stopped and then started again. in order of time: We ate, then we started home. the same time: At first the water seemed blue, then gray. in order of place: Standing beside Charlie is my uncle, then my cousin, then my brother.

If anything “I’d rather be pissed off, then pissed on.” could be the perfect teaching tool to help those people confused use the correct word every time! They might start getting that correct and then give you a sentence like this one.“The dog the girl the boy knew saw ran away.”  This technically is a grammatically correct sentence but hurts your head.

Just be sure to take the extra 3 seconds to proof read your posts before posting people! If you don’t,  you could end up being a #textingdisaster  superstar.

  A Functional App Search

Quixey makes your search for Apps  functional.  You do not need to know the specific spelling or even name of the app. What Quixey does that is unique and different from tradtional ‘keyword’ searches is that it expands it’s scan of the web to sites, blogs, forums, and even social media to ‘learn’ what apps can do. Quixey then takes all that and crunches the data, figures out the platforms, and makes it searchable.

So let’s take a look at it in action:

I ran a search for articulation  and Quixey gave me this:

At this point it gives you the top Apps it thinks is useful for Articulation. You can hit search or if you see something you like you can click on it.

I selected Sunny Articulation Phonology Test because I was interested in a app for artic/phono assessment. As you can see it gave me a cross section of information from across the app store, twitter, and even youtube.

Let’s take  further look at the data that Quixey compiles in it’s App Search.  On the left side bar it filters the search by platform  and paid vs free.  The search includes many platofroms like Android, iOS, Facebook, or even WebOs.  The left side of the middle column is a ‘snip’ of the App giving details of what it does the right side is a ‘snippet’ offering specific settings. Here is an example of a search for Angry Birds.

So there you go a cool efficient way to search for apps!

Image Spinner = Fun

Here is a real simple app released today called Image Spinner. It’s available for both iPhone and iPad for .99 cents.  It’s simplicity is what gives this app a lot of potential. You can virtually use this with what ever skill you are targeting:  articulation, receptive/expressive language, pragmatics etc…

You are able to to choose from 3 to up to 10 pictures to place on your spinner.

Here is an example of a /r/  cluster  spinner board.  You tap the screen and the spinner randomly lands on a picture.

Here is another example of a spinner.  We were working on opposites (The pictures on the spinner also are puzzle pieces). My client would spin the spinner land on a picture, find the matching puzzle piece and then find its opposite. It  was very motivating!

As I play around with this app I envision adding pictures such as emotions, verbs, or even sight words.

So there you go, a cheap simple app that has lots of potential!  With a little help from a creative therapist of course!!  Have fun 🙂

Image Spinner iTunes Link  <—

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