5 PrAACtical Suggestions for New SLPs
It’s graduation time where we live and a whole new cadre of SLPs is off to spread their wings. We’ve been so inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication of some of the graduate students we’ve met this year that we thought it would be a good time to write a post just for them. So here are a few words of advice for the new grads.
- Don’t be afraid of AAC: We get that you may feel that you don’t know enough, but the truth is that we’ve all felt that way. You can do this, and, honestly, we desperately we need you. There aren’t nearly enough good AAC interventionists to go around.
- Reach out: There is an amazing community of professionals and parents who are willing to help you get up to speed. If you’re willing to branch out into social media you will find a ton of help and support. And if you play your cards right, you can be the beneficiary of some incredible mentorship.
- Invest in your own learning: It takes time to learn how to do this therapy. Establish the professional habit of attending AAC-related webinars/presentations and reading books/articles that will strengthen the services you provide. Engage in reflective practices and challenge yourself to be the best SLP you can be.
- Know what you don’t know: Well, that’s kind of impossible, but at least accept that there is a lot you don’t yet know. Resist the urge to be over-confident in making predictions and decisions that have far-reaching implications. If you’re wrong, it’s better to err on the side of OVERestimating your client’s capabilities. As a field, we don’t know nearly as much as we like to think we do about how much our AAC learners understand, given how challenging it is for most of them to reveal their true capabilities. So share a piece of our humble pie and tread lightly. Above all, presume competence.
- Support families: We’re just a blip in the lives of these AAC learners. Hopefully, a nice, helpful blip, but a blip nonetheless. It’s the family who needs your help understanding the nuances of AAC and your support in becoming empowered, informed decision-makers.
Finally, welcome to our prAACtical world. We are so glad to count you among our colleagues.
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking
This post was written by Carole Zangari