2 answers

Are there any careers out there that combine speech-language pathology (SLP) and applied behavior analysis (ABA) ?

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I’m extremely interested in becoming an SLP out of my interest in improving the communicative/throat-related functional abilities of individuals with special needs, but I also have an interest in helping individuals with special needs have an overall better quality of life through applied behavior analysis. To my understanding, both occupations allow an individual to either work in a school or clinical setting, so if there are no careers that combine my two interests, can anyone give me insight on their experiences as either an SLP or ABA in either setting? Thank you!

#career-path #slp #aba #specialneeds

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Ashley’s Answer

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Hello!
I'm a SLP with over 10 years of experience. I have worked in the schools, private practices and home health. When working in the schools, you typically see children in groups. In these groups you target a variety of goals and tailor your activities around those goals. There is a lot of paperwork in the school setting. You have to write IEPs, eligibility determination, attend meetings often, etc. Caseloads can vary based on the needs of the school and area. You have to collaborate with other educators which has it's own set of challenges but can be done especially if all parties are on the same page.
Private practice is a bit different. There's usually more flexibility in work schedule especially if you're an independent contractor. You typically conduct 1:1 sessions. Caregivers/parents are usually easier to talk to and implement skills as they attend sessions also. In both settings, you will have a variety of exceptionalities. In private practice you can focus more on any specific areas that you enjoy the most (AAC, Autism, Early Intervention, Feeding, etc). If you're looking to work for yourself one day, speech pathology is definitely a good choice.
I've recently began working with ABA therapists. My experience is fairly new so it's had it's challenges. I haven't had the opportunity to collaborate like I would like. Hopefully, that will change.

Hope this is helpful!
Thank you so much for your contribution! It really means a lot to me! I have one additional question, if you don’t mind: since you have experience in both settings, which setting would you recommend for someone to begin in if they would also like to work in both settings throughout their career? Do you believe that the transition from school to clinical setting would be more feasible or vice verse? Asya M.
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John’s Answer

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Asya M.,

Have you considered working with patients with Autism?

https://www.speechpathologygraduateprograms.org/patients-with-autism/

Below are a few other options for ABA careers

Market Research Analyst/Consumer Behavior Analyst
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
FBI Profiler/Analyst
Human Resources Professional
School Counselor
Special Education Teacher
Social Worker
Researcher
Thank you so much for your help! I will definitely take all of the information you provided into account! Asya M.
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