ASHA requires anyone who wants to become a speech-language pathologist to obtain 400 clinical hours. Out of the 400 hours, at least 25 hours must be observations of SLPs. Two weeks ago I observed at an aphasia clinic.
At the aphasia clinic, I observed three clients. One client had Wernicke’s aphasia, which meant that the person could express language but had trouble comprehending language. The SLP worked with the client on recognizing letters G-M, coming up with sentences using pictures of verbs, matching word cards to pictures, and identifying objects around the room. The client also worked on name recognition in the computer lab with software that helped the person recognize names.
The other client I observed had Broca’s aphasia, which meant that the person could understand/comprehend language but had trouble expressing language. The SLP worked with the client on increasing volume, repeating simple phrases, and using action words to describe what is happening in pictures. The last client I observed had Broca’s aphasia and the SLP worked with the client on prosody and on increasing inflection when asking questions.
I really enjoyed observing at the aphasia clinic. One thing I liked was that the environment was not too fast paced and chaotic. We stayed in the SLP’s office for close to an hour before we went to the computer lab. I liked that we weren’t moving from place to place every few minutes. I also liked that the therapy materials were a mixture of handouts and technology. This observation served as a reminder to not take knowing the alphabet for granted and to not take knowing how to change my voice to ask a question for granted. I’m learning that this profession is a humbling experience. Overall, this observation was a good experience and I am looking forward to my aphasia class in the fall!