The Value of the Full Title Even though it’s a mouthful, I’ve been making a habit of using the full title “speech-language pathologist (SLP)” when I introduce myself professionally. It’s not about pride; it’s about making an effort to clarify what it is that I do and the misperceptions that exist. Educating just one more person ... Inbox
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The Value of the Full Title
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ASHA News & Member Stories / Inbox
Inbox   |   February 01, 2016
The Value of the Full Title
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.21022016.6
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.21022016.6
Even though it’s a mouthful, I’ve been making a habit of using the full title “speech-language pathologist (SLP)” when I introduce myself professionally. It’s not about pride; it’s about making an effort to clarify what it is that I do and the misperceptions that exist.
Educating just one more person makes the effort worthwhile. Like many of my colleagues, I was once concerned about being perceived as pompous when using my full title. However, over time I have become increasingly concerned about students, parents and teachers not understanding the purpose or value of speech-language treatment, particularly when speech production is not the area of concern. I have made it my mission to educate university students on the importance of explaining what “language” describes and not to be humble about using their full professional title once they earn their credentials.
Attending the ASHA convention increased my awareness even further regarding the impact of this pervasive problem. I learned that families’ unawareness of “language” within their children’s intervention affects the type of information they share in interviews conducted in research, thereby affecting accuracy of reporting. I have yet to meet an SLP who is not frustrated by the lack of understanding of what we do and its detrimental effects. We can simply commiserate, or we can do us all a favor and educate others by using our full title. After all, if anyone is willing to take the time to talk, it should be the SLP.
Stephanie Verrico, Williamsville, New York

This long-debated issue surfaced in the pages of the Leader in 2011, after then-President Tommie L. Robinson Jr. raised it in his November 2010 column. Search “title” at leader.pubs.asha.org to view the many responses.

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FROM THIS ISSUE
February 2016
Volume 21, Issue 2