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SOP -Speech Pathology- lots of competition for grad slots

joannasperber 1 / -  
Dec 9, 2011   #1
I left the prompts at the top of each section - Thank You!

how you became interested in speech-language pathology?

I first became captivated with speech pathology while working as a paraprofessional at Don Julio Jr. High School. A student I was working with had weak receptive language skills. Throughout the school year, this student worked with our speech pathologist not only to her improved receptive language but also to improve her pragmatic development and literacy skills. By the end of the school year, the student attained a 5% achievement. After observing this student obtain vast gains in communication development, I wanted to learn more about a career in speech pathology. I expressed interest in communication disorders to our speech pathologist at the junior high school and she suggested enrolling in sign language courses and further explained that sign language was not only used as a communication tool for the deaf community, but that speech pathologists use sign language with patients who have little or no speech capability. Sign language can be of valuable means for a variety of communication disorders; from infants whose speech is delayed to dysarthria patients who have lost their speech motor skills. I am proficient in American Sign Language and even more committed to use my ASL expertise as a future speech pathologist

your personal reasons for applying to our program?

During my time working at the junior high school, I was drawn toward the literacy accepts of speech pathology. Both my father and older brother struggled with reading, writing and spelling. They were diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age. Yet neither one received services learning how to cope with the reading and writing disorder. While researching dyslexia, I learned it is a language based reading disorder and primarily attributed to the weakness in phonolgical processing. As a speech pathologist, I would have the opportunity to help children who struggle with reading and gave them the skill set needed to overcome literacy development disorders. New Mexico State University uses their Speech & Hearing Center as a community resource by offering supervised services, including Reading/Literacy to community members. I would prize the opportunity work with the community members of Las Cruces and to complete clinical observations at the Edgar R. Garret Speech and Hearing Center.

aspects of the profession that you find intriguing; critical consciousness of ethnic, disability, age, gender, and socioeconomic diversity?

I worked in Oakland Unified School District Adult Education department for 3 years and had the opportunity to interact with a diverse community. Many of our adult students were English language learners with a concentration of Cambodian, Vietnamese and Hmong immigrant. I was able to observe these students learn phonemes that were entirely new to their receptive and expressive speech. For example, a Cambodian learner of English will find it difficult to hear the difference between /l/ and /r/ and may mispronounce rake and rice as lake and lice. A speech pathologist has the competence needed to aid an ESL student in pronouncing English phonemes and learning the suffixes and derivational morphemes plus help with accent development. Another opportunity I had while in the adult education department was working with adults with disabilities. Classes ranged from art, physical education, to reading. The program was truly amazing and great resource for disabled community members. We worked with a range of disabled adults. Some adult suffered from cerebral palsy and others had an intellectual disability. Unfortunately, adult education department budget was cut in 2009 and no longer offers classes to the ESL students or Adults with Disabilities. The Oakland community lost a wonderful resource. This made me want to start courses in speech pathology and work within the community to support people with language differences and disorders.

New Mexico State University offers a clinic in dysarthria which I find fascinating. Dysarthria is motor speech disorder usually caused by a stroke, head injury or cerebral palsy. Speech pathologists work with dysarthria patients to increase movement in their mouth, tongue and lip and improve articulation for clear speech. Apraxia is another form of motor speech disorder that can also affect other parts of the body such as arms and legs. A speech pathologist has the adeptness to differentiate between the two disorders. I would value prospect to observe speech pathologists in practice at the Edgar R. Garret Speech and Hearing Center.

other information that would show the review committee of your commitment to the field of speech-language pathology?

To enhance my knowledge and take the beginning steps toward becoming a speech pathologist I enrolled in Utah State University post-bachelor degree problem for Communication Disorders. The vast about of information I learn in the first semester confirms my commitment to a vocation in speech pathology. There are many professional career paths one can take as a speech pathologist. I love working with children and my heart goes out to the students who have literacy development disorders. I am also intrigued by the impact a speech pathologist has in a hospital setting working with stroke patients; aiding them in learning to speak again. A speech pathologist can also make a lasting impact on a person who suffers from cerebral palsy; helping them develop better control of jaw and mouth muscles. Lastly, I want to give back to the community around me; aiding ESL students in the phoneme and morphological developments that are most difficult for English language learners to grasp. As a student in New Mexico State University, I will be able to define my career path as a speech pathologist.

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