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kgehlha

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Hello all. I'm currently realizing that I probably won't get into graduate school this year. I'm just curious what kind of jobs would help revamp my application and how to research these jobs. I'm from a small town in Indiana so any help/advice you have, would be helpful! Thanks in advance! 

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Hey I'm from Bloomington Indiana! I have realized that I probably won't get in this year as well. I graduated a year and a half ago and have been rejected for 2 going on 3 application cycles. Since graduating I have worked in ABA and am going to get my masters in ABA if I don't get in to SLP this time around. You should look into it! It has a lot of similarities to the SLP field.

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I'm from Jasper Indiana so that's really cool! So do you have a job around Bloomington or did you have to look further into places like Indianapolis? I'm just trying to judge on where I may have to move to find work in ABA or such. I'm also not quite sure on how to go about researching and finding a job like this? Did you have to get any special accreditation to work in ABA (besides possibly getting your masters)? 

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Have you asked any of the schools you might reapply to how they suggest you improve your application?  Don't be afraid to be direct - ask specifically about work and volunteer experience they prefer.  Do you have a specialized area of interest in SLP (medical, bilingual, deaf population, autism, early intervention etc)?  If so it would behoove you to find opportunities that would complement your specific interest.  

Some ideas: as previous poster mentioned - ABA, literacy coach/tutor, volunteer in hospital or nursing home, tutor ESL students (esp. if bilingualism is of interest), involvement in camps or special programs for learning disabled (especially in the summer), ask professors about assisting with research, etc.. 

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I'm not really sure what you have to do to be certified in ABA but working as a TA for a special needs program might be an easier position to obtain! I have heard from many people who have worked in this field and then be successful in getting into schools. Plus it's a great way to not only observe speech sessions, but a variety of it as well. For ex. the program that I worked in has many classrooms so the cognitive levels of the students were all very diff, so I was able to see speech sessions ranging from solely relying on aac devices, to how to socially interact w peers, to motor control issues, and I feel like that gave me a great foundation for speech

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To get promoted to a decent-paying supervisory position in ABA requires a master's degree in a related field (SLP used to be one but they tightened the requirements so now unless the school has a specific autism track, it doesn't qualify), passing a certification exam, and a certain number of hours' experience working in ABA. I would strongly recommend you shadow some behavior interventionists because ABA is *NOT* an easy field.

My daughter has autism and has been receiving ABA for several years. I know I'm personally much better suited towards working with multiple clients for shorter sessions each day like a SLP does rather than a single child for long sessions like a BI does. I wouldn't mind working as a case manager since that would be doing shorter sessions with more kids but there's no way to get hired as one without first working as a BI.

I'm doing a SLP Assistant certificate concurrently with my COMD 2nd bachelor's. Plan B would be to work as a SLPA (hopefully with deaf & hard-of-hearing kids) and re-apply. Plan C would be doing a master's in deaf education and becoming an auditory-verbal educator rather than an auditory-verbal therapist.

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I make pretty good money as an ABA therapist with only a bachelor's degree. Also, slpa positions are very rare especially in rural Indiana. I absolutely love my job and feel that it has prepared me immensely for implementing speech therapy techniques. ABA isn't an easy field, but I have gained so much exposure and experience to  therapy techniques. I also work alongside a SLP, which is great experience.

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I'm going to volunteer more and I'm trying to get a job as an assistant in a hospital inpatient therapy department. I don't have stellar grades or GRE scores so I'm really trying to get all the relevant experience I can. I'm going to reapply for the spring semester and I'm going to be much more selective with my schools and try to write a better SOP. I'm also hoping to improve my GPA by getting straight A's in my last 4 post-bacc classes.

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22 hours ago, kgehlha said:

Hello all. I'm currently realizing that I probably won't get into graduate school this year. I'm just curious what kind of jobs would help revamp my application and how to research these jobs. I'm from a small town in Indiana so any help/advice you have, would be helpful! Thanks in advance! 

I'm from rural Indiana too! When I didn't get in the first time around as a senior I tried looking into SLPA jobs and even tried getting advice from my advisor. Even he basically said it is practically impossible to a. find a position and b. get certified to even be one in Indiana. Unless you are already doing it, it seems very difficult to get certified. I too work in ABA now. For my position you only need a 2 year degree, and I would not say the pay is "great". My company contracts with the DOE and I get paid hourly. I don't get paid for holidays, breaks, or even if my student is sick or doesn't show up that day. It can be hard work but it is also very fulfilling. An option would be to go on and get your Masters in this instead. I would definitely suggest starting out as a therapist though to even see if you would like it. This application round I am waitlisted at 5 schools, got rejected to 3, and have yet to hear from one. The first time I got rejected to all but one waitlist. I definitely think the experience has helped my applications. Hopefully one of these waitlists works out for me! Good luck to you as well!

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I'm doing some specialized training this summer in auditory-verbal therapy (primarily to help my daughter with her post-cochlear implant auditory rehab) that I hope will have the added bonus of helping me get a good SLPA training field placement next year and job contacts (either as a SLPA or a CF). There aren't enough SLP's trained in AVT to meet the demand for them so I'm hoping that the clinics/schools might be more open to hiring a SLPA with AVT training.

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YAY ABA therapists! :) I currently work as an ABA therapist here in Texas! I've been working for a little over a year and have loved every minute of it (even on the rough days). I'm so thankful for my job as it has led me to SLP as a profession. I love my kiddos and they are what drive me to continue to persevere through another round of applications! As a lot of posters above me have stated, ABA is not for everyone but it could also lead you down another path to pursue a BCBA instead.

People experience different things with ABA so I can only tell you a bit of what I've gone through! I've been spitted at, hit, kicked, hair-pulled, and had a chair thrown at me. All these behavior episodes fade in the back when I've seen the progress my kids have made. Literally my kiddos have so much potential just locked inside and I love being able to see them blossom. I've also had the opportunity to observe countless speech sessions and continue to grow more in love with the field. 

There is a need for SLPs who have experience with autism because I've seen so many SLPs come through and are just unprepared when dealing with my clients. One behavior episode and they are running for the hills! lol 

Anyway, not trying to scare you away - just not many people will tell you about the challenges of the job and I prefer to be straight-forward. Again, ABA isn't easy - but it definitely is rewarding in every way and will shape you into a wonderful SLP. :D 

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I've sat with a behavior interventionist through a multi-hour tantrum on the part of my daughter on more than one occasion. Screaming, physical aggression, throwing things, etc. Fortunately she no longer has that kind of tantrum (ABA really does work!) but I barely had the patience to put up with it as her mom. I can't imagine trying to sit calmly through it with someone else's kid the way the BI's did. At least with SLP, the sessions are 30-60 minutes so if the kid is having an absolute meltdown, the time with him/her is relatively short (ABA sessions can be up to 5 hours long).

Also, with ABA the tasks are often designed to provoke the child in order to work on flexibility and tolerating "non-preferred" activities. SLP tends to be much more child-led in terms of using "preferred" activities to work on the speech & language goals.

God bless the BI's because the work they do is invaluable. But it is definitely something that takes the right temperament for.

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1 hour ago, Crimson Wife said:

God bless the BI's because the work they do is invaluable. But it is definitely something that takes the right temperament for.

Having worked in this type of setting, I agree 1000%.  ABA works, but it's hard work.

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Thank you guys for all your advice! I guess my biggest concern is, if I need to reapply again, do I ask my old recommenders for letters again? What did you do for the second year applying? 

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I asked 3 new people for letters of recommendation. So far, I've been rejected to a reach school and am waiting to hear from 2 other schools. So, I'm not sure yet if the new recommendations will make a difference or not.

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1 hour ago, kgehlha said:

Thank you guys for all your advice! I guess my biggest concern is, if I need to reapply again, do I ask my old recommenders for letters again? What did you do for the second year applying? 

I'm going to ask one of my recommenders to help me out again because she's a close family friend and an SLP that I shadowed with and she's super supportive of me reapplying. I'm going to ask two different teachers though instead of the ones I asked for the fall because I realized that they really didn't know me as well because I only had one class with each of them and it was online. I'm going to ask two of my teachers that I've had two classes each with now and hopefully they'll be able to speak to my academic abilities better.

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Would anyone recommend getting a second bachelor's if I already have most of the SLP classes done through a pre-req program? I'm about to finish up all the classes through Longwood's SLPOnline program but it's not going to give me any sort of certificate or degree, it's just pre-req classes. I'm realizing now that it won't affect my GPA at all really and I'm worried I won't ever get in anywhere because my undergrad GPA was 3.0 and that's all the schools will see. Should I get a second bachelor's through USU? Only thing I'm worried about is that it's about $10,000 and I don't really have that kind of money at all right now.

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USU won't accept more than 1 transfer course so you'd probably wind up having to retake most of the pre-reqs in order to earn the 2nd bachelor's. Not sure how grad schools would look at that.

Were you the poster who was really interested in Gallaudet? USU offers a 2 course certificate in deafblindness. I'm taking the first course this semester (it's a CSD elective) and so far it has been very interesting. The intro course will be offered again this summer and the follow-on course in the fall (I'm planning on taking that to finish out the certificate). http://distance.usu.edu/deafblindness-cert/

The cost would be $2.4k if you are not a UT resident.

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I'm currently working in ABA as well.  Here there is so much need.  They are starting to change the requirements because insurance companies want to see that therapists are registered behavioral technicians.  My company is giving us the training though to do that.  It's definitely not an easy field and not as high of a pay as a SLPA job, which is what I plan to do after this and before grad school, but I feel it's good experience if I pursue a masters in SLP later because in many cases we will have people with autism on our caseload.

Edited by ApplyingSLP

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