Speech Language Pathologists speak their own language that only other SLPs truly understand. This is the case for many different professionals, but it is complicated by the fact that most of the time SLPs are isolated from others. We’re usually the only SLP at our school or in our town. Often we’re in a closet away from everybody else. And, no one at our schools knows exactly what we do.
As a result, when we go to conferences with other SLPs it’s a relief to be able to speak in our native tongue and to talk about our experiences, our problems, our great ideas, and our frustrations with another SLP. After all, this is someone who completely understands what we’re talking about. I’ve found that it usually takes the speaker a little bit of time to get a group of SLPs to stop talking in order to start their presentation. Then, after the program, they sometimes have to kick us out as well. We’re not trying to be rude, we just love hanging out with other SLPs. We are trying to fill our canteen while we can before we go back to the desert where people don’t understand the frustrations of vocalic /r/ and our exciting new therapy toys (as you can tell, I work with children). We just don’t get to see each other often enough.
So, when I stumbled upon Twitter I quickly realized the potential for networking with other Speech Language Pathologists. Slowly I’ve found a good group of SLPeeps (the name that we’ve given ourselves on the web), to which I’ve been able to direct my assessment and therapy questions, give my frustrations, and talk about SLP issues in general. Sometimes we just get a little silly and have a good time with our conversations. It’s been wonderful to be able to have a group that understands SLP talk and what I’m doing at my finger tips.
I’ve made friends with other SLPs all over the world. It’s interesting to find out how they do things in other places. Different educational backgrounds, experiences and interests have resulted in a rich resource on Twitter. I’m beginning to feel like I’m part of a greater international community of Speech Language Pathologists.
There are many people and resources for SLPs online that you can easily find via Twitter among other sources. There are many vendors, specialists, professors, and plenty of clinical SLPs. I’ve found that they are always willing to answer questions. We’ve been able to get special discounts from some of the vendors. One time Super Duper gave us a special discount on Chipper Chat products just because one of the SLPeeps asked about it. Super Duper frequently has Twitter promotions. I have also had Dynavox answer simple support questions over Twitter. SLPs also share online resources, including websites that provide free materials for education or therapy.
Lists of SLPs and other related stuff on Twitter.
You can find followers by searching SLP-related words; well, you can find a few at least. The better way to start finding other SLPs on Twitter is to start looking through the follower lists of other SLPs (my Twitter name is @speechbob), or better yet, look at the followers of @ASHAweb.
So, come join us. We don’t bite, promise.
Robert Bateman, MS CCC-SLP is an educational SLP working at Davis School District in Utah He’s also the co-writer of the new SLP blog Pathologically Speaking.