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Hi!

This is my first post here on GradCafe, so if I mess up, please lmk!

Anyway, I am a college student and am in desperate need of some advice. I have decided to pursue one of two career fields: Occupational Therapy or Speech- Language Pathology. I 100% want to work in Pediatrics; in OT I would prefer an Outpatient Setting, and in SLP I would prefer the school setting.

I love the games and the mats in OT, but I don’t love their scope of practice. Daily living skills are incredibly important, and I have no problem with the thought of helping people develop them; I just don’t want to dedicate to it. For SLP, I love their scope and I would love to help those children learn to communicate correctly. I imaging that some of my students would, unfortunately, be bullied for their speech, and I want to help them. I also am interested in learning disabilities and the school setting in general. However, I am afraid that the therapy will be too repetitive. I also want to have fun with the children I treat, and fear they won’t enjoy it since it wouldn’t be as fun for them.

I have shadowed an SLP in the school setting, and I observed my cousin’s OT Therapy in an outpatient setting; I loved both...

I would love any advice that you guys have. Thank you very much! :)

Edited by PedsInTraining
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  • 3 weeks later...

hey, I think you hit the nail on the head with your understanding of both. If you KNOW you don't want to dedicate yourself to OT, then it sounds like you should do SLP even though I think SLP is indeed repetitive. To be honest though, I don't think you're giving OT enough credit for the impact it can make. At the school I used to work at, the students just LOVED the time they had with their OT- the OT is someone seen as fun, a break from monotonous school work. The OT is able to form real meaningful relationships with the students they work with. They teach them extremely important skills, arguably as important as speech- like handwriting, tying shoes, etc. Personally, I would do OT because I agree that SLP can be monotonous. But if you really enjoy this work, then it isn't a bad choice either!

~a past special ed teacher, currently special ed phd candidate

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