No Disrespect Intended Regarding the issue of professional identity being maintained through proper titling in the Jan.18 issue, I agree that referencing ourselves as “speech-language pathologists” is appropriate, especially in formal situations and when introducing ourselves to others. (Actually, we should be far more hyphenated: “speech-language-cognitive-dysphagia professionals.” I jest?) But I respectfully take ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   March 01, 2011
No Disrespect Intended
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Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Inbox
Inbox   |   March 01, 2011
No Disrespect Intended
The ASHA Leader, March 2011, Vol. 16, 2. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.16032011.2
The ASHA Leader, March 2011, Vol. 16, 2. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.16032011.2
Regarding the issue of professional identity being maintained through proper titling in the Jan.18 issue, I agree that referencing ourselves as “speech-language pathologists” is appropriate, especially in formal situations and when introducing ourselves to others. (Actually, we should be far more hyphenated: “speech-language-cognitive-dysphagia professionals.” I jest?)
But I respectfully take issue with us “insisting” others use our formal title at all times. “Speech-language pathologist,” ironically, is a cumbersome mouthful, and at times tangles the tongues of the most articulate professionals, and more so, the communication-challenged individuals we serve.
Perhaps we may want to take a dose of our own social pragmatics, and check our “insisting” attitudes at the door. The effective work we do matters more than what someone calls us.
It is not an insult when someone calls us “speech therapists” in our presence or in a Hollywood movie. We can choose not to be offended and “insist” on proper titles only when formally necessary.
A few years ago, there was a highly respected, jovial medical director I often encountered who called SLPs and OTRs [occupational therapists] “slips and otters.” I loved it. It always got a laugh and he championed and praised our professional skills and services 24/7 to everyone in earshot! No disrespect was intended, and none was taken. We have earned great respect in our field. Can’t we choose not to be offended if someone finds “speech therapist” easier to say than “speech-language pathologist”? Grace is a good thing.
Anne Maki Wichita, Kansas
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March 2011
Volume 16, Issue 3