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I am interested in a career in pediatric SLP. I am currently a school bus driver with 10 plus years experience with Special needs children of all ages. Would I be able to count my current job towards this degree?

I am 40 years and just went back to school at a community college. I have spoken to my counselor about this career, now I am just trying to find more information about this degree.

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Vanessa!

It's so exciting to hear that you're thinking about a career in pediatric speech-language pathology (SLP)! Your vast experience with special needs children is definitely a plus. Now, regarding your current role as a school bus driver and whether it can contribute towards your SLP degree, we need to look at the specific qualifications and requirements for this profession.

Firstly, let's understand what a pediatric speech-language pathologist does. They help kids who have speech, language, communication, and swallowing issues. They evaluate, diagnose, and treat these problems to enhance the kids' communication skills and overall life quality. Your current job gives you a unique perspective on the daily challenges faced by special needs children, which is invaluable.

When it comes to getting a degree in pediatric SLP, different programs and institutions may have varying requirements for prior work experience. Some might appreciate hands-on experience with special needs kids, while others might focus more on academic qualifications and relevant coursework. So, it's crucial to look into the admission requirements of the programs you're interested in.

It's fantastic that you've gone back to community college - a big step towards your career goals! As you continue your studies, think about finding opportunities to gain experience or knowledge in speech-language pathology. This could be volunteering, shadowing professionals in pediatric SLP, taking relevant courses or workshops, or joining activities related to child development and communication disorders.

It's also a good idea to connect with admissions officers or faculty members from institutions offering pediatric SLP programs. They can give you personalized advice on how your current job experiences align with their program expectations and suggest any additional steps to strengthen your application.

Remember, changing careers or going back to school later in life requires determination and flexibility. Many people do it, bringing a wealth of life experiences that can enrich their new fields. Your background as a school bus driver, working extensively with special needs children, could offer unique insights and empathy that are highly valuable in pediatric SLP.

As you gather information about getting a degree in pediatric SLP, consider exploring resources like the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or academic journals in speech-language pathology. They can give you a sense of current trends, best practices, and educational pathways in the field.

In conclusion, while it's hard to say definitively if your current job as a school bus driver would count towards a pediatric SLP degree without knowing the specific program requirements, your experience with special needs children is definitely relevant and valuable. By researching program requirements, seeking advice from academic professionals, and continuing your educational journey with determination and passion, you're well on your way to achieving your dream of becoming a pediatric speech-language pathologist.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications or Domain Names:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Academic Journals in the Field of Speech-Language Pathology
Professional Organizations related to Speech-Language Pathology

God Bless You!
James.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, James Constantine! Vanessa
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Mychael’s Answer

Hi Vanessa!

It's absolutely wonderful that you're venturing into the field of pediatric speech language pathology (SLP). My niece, who works as an SLP in an elementary school, always shares how dynamic and fulfilling her career is.

James has already given you a comprehensive and insightful response. I'd just like to emphasize that irrespective of whether your bus driving experience with special needs children contributes directly towards your SLP degree, it will undoubtedly enhance your resume. Combining your SLP degree with your hands-on experience with special needs children could potentially make you a standout candidate when it comes to job interviews.

Wishing you nothing but success!
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