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I'm currently working as a direct staff support for a home of adults that have intellectual disabilities. I thought a majority of the job was going to be on communication with them but that consist of 25%-30% of the job. The rest I am basically a caregiver--cleaning the house, cooking, helping them with personal management, hygiene, etc. I'm looking into other jobs. I got an interview for an assistant to a teacher at a preschool but I'm not sure if that will better my chances of getting into grad school. I'm having second thoughts about the job search and just sticking with the job I have. I have a second job and between that and this other job, I don't have time to shadow SLPs. When I asked what I needed to improve on, the admissions said my GRE could use some work. I'm studying for the GRE but I feel that that is not enough and I don't want to waste my time with this job and not doing something else. Any advice would be great!

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After two failed rounds of applying to grad school and twice retaking the gre to only improving my writing from a 3.5 4o 4 and only improving my verbal a couple points, I decided I would try and gain some volunteer experience with the population. I volunteered the past school year once a week at an integrated preschool. There I assisted the special education teacher with the classroom and got to work with kids with Autism, Down Syndrome and developmental delays. They were also super helpful and let me observe with an slp since I expressed an interest an becoming an slp. I think that really boosted my application and after 3 times trying to apply I am going to grad school in the fall and I even had a choice between schools :) It sounds like you have awesome experience with adults! I would use that and also if you are able apply to schools all over. I found that I had a better time not restricting my applications to a certain region of the country. Don't give up if this is what you want to do!

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Here are some ideas:

-Becoming an ABA therapist. This will give you great experience 

-Rehabilitation technician: working under the direct supervision of speech, occupational, and physical therapists. 

These jobs will give you hands on experience and are a bit more relevant to our field 

I believe that both of these positions are fairly easy to find (I'm from the east coast) 

Edited by speechstudent300
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  • 2 weeks later...

I wouldn't knock either of those jobs as a bad opportunity. Many applicants who get in have related experience, and those job probably require many skills that an SLP needs too. First and foremost, having experience working with populations who may need speech services is a step above many applicants. It requires patience, compassion, and you get experience being around individuals with speech/language needs. I would think about what you are interested in and try to focus your efforts in those areas. Adults, children, autism, brain injury? If you're unsure then I would try to diversify your experience. It might be good to have the caregiver position AND preschool on your resume. The experience will help you determine your interests and write you personal statements. You may have to be a little creative, but both are definitely worthwhile experiences. 

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I agree with everyone here! I believe it will be very beneficial to have that understanding of the everyday life of these people with intellectual disabilities. Definitely try to do both. It'll open up some doors for you and better experience with different populations. That really will help you figure out what interests you in the field! 

 

Im actually kind of in the same boat right now. I work as a rehab tech in a hospital part time and 80% of the time I'm either helping my boss with tedious administrative tasks or waiting for someone to need my assistance. But I get to sit in on video swallows every week which is amazing.  I'm looking at full time teaching assistant jobs, but wondering if instead do part time teaching assistant and keep the hospital job. part time doesn't always mean less than 15 hours because I used to work retail full time with an average of 30 hours each week lol. Life. So much fun, right?! ?

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