You're an SL- What?: Life of a High School SLP

Greetings!!  My name and professional title is Monica Judy, MS, CCC-SLP.  I am a pediatric speech language pathologist.  I received my master’s degree in 2004 from the University of Tulsa, OK.  I have worked in many environments since graduation including outpatient clinics, home health, teletherapy, and schools, providing speech therapy services to teenagers and young adults.  
I had an early knowledge of the speech therapy world as both my Mom and brother have received speech therapy as they were growing up.  I have always known I would work in the medical field and had a great passion for language.  Speech language pathology was the perfect fit for me.
I currently provide speech therapy services to teenage youth via teletherapy and in the traditional school setting.  I work with the individual student in my teletherapy sessions, which is essentially conducting a traditional therapy session via Skype.  I enjoy this model as it is a more relaxed setting.  The student is very comfortable in their home or classroom and I get to know the student on a personal level; where I develop the sessions specifically to them, their interests, and needs.  My students in the traditional school setting, I typically see in a much more collaborative role in a group setting in their classroom.  I work directly with the classroom teacher to provide them support in order to give them the tools and strategies to help the student be most successful in their communications in the academic setting.  I work with teens with varying diagnoses and needs.  I work with neurotypical teens who struggle to produce articulation sounds or have decreased vocabularies, students who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and teens diagnosed with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder or other cognitive/developmental delays.   
The greatest challenge for me is the time limitations or qualifications for students in the academic setting.  I feel the academic framework at times does not allow for the amount of time that the student may need for varying reasons including caseload numbers and qualification standards for therapy services. 
The greatest reward of my job is to provide my students with positivity and support so that they can reach their fullest potential.  I love helping my students find and utilize their voice no matter the mode of communication. 
My most favorite journey is when I have helped a child who was nonverbal and had no communication grow and flourish into a young lady who now is able to use her vocabulary of words and phrases to say I love you to her family.  
If I could teach the world one thing about our field…it would be the importance and value of words or communication.  That a manual sign, picture, or spoken word all hold significant value and deserve the chance to be heard.
I absolutely love my job!!  I find the greatest joy in helping my speech kids shine their light and helping their families and teachers in supporting that child be their best self!!
Monica Judy, MS, CCC-SLP

Thank you, Ms. Monica! The high school setting is one that I find so interesting and is definitely a special niche! Your students are so lucky to have you and I feel so lucky to know you! 

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