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Bretonve

Need Volunteering Opportunities for Aspiring SLP

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Greetings, 

Any advice on where to apply to observe and/or volunteer with an SLP? I am currently a school teacher and would like to become an SLP but before making that transition I wanted to get a feel for the field to ensure this is the right move for me. I am not in school therefore not sure what places are willing to take volunteers that isn't part of a clinical placement.  I am in the South Florida area.  

Thank you!

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Are you currently working at a school? If so (or if you're in a district with other schools) perhaps you could look into observing a SLP at your school or other schools in your district. (I have no idea, but I do wonder if because you work there it would be easier.) In general I think it's becoming harder to observe SLPs; although I was able to do it in high school and uni (mostly due to my mom's connections and school connections) my undergrad program added an observation course in lieu of students doing independent observation due to apparent difficulty finding places that allow you to observe. That being said, maybe you'd have luck reaching out to private practices nearby as well.

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I researched some private practices in my area and emailed a few: one let me observe. It was convenient because I could go for a couple hours after work and didn't have to take any time off. There was also no red tape (background checks, etc) to worry about, which I've heard can be a pain about observing in schools and hospitals. However, if you're interested in becoming a school SLP then it would be more beneficial for you to observe in a school to get a good feel for it.

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I also emailed a private practice near my university to volunteer! They ended up letting me observe a lot for an entire summer and ended up giving me a job as well! Before them, I had emailed nursing homes to see if they needed volunteers and in exchange I could shadow. I didn't end up doing it but some places were down!

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Try the hospitals in your area! Especially in you have one specifically for children. I volunteered at a ped hospital in my area and was able to specifically work with the therapy department. 

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