Speech and Language Pathology

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Do you actually use ASL?
redfingerpaint wrote in speechpathology
I plan on moving to Houston after grad school. When browsing through job positions many are willing to pay more if you are bilingual in English & Spanish. I plan on perfecting my Spanish and taking the ACTFL in oral proficiency. However, I wanted to learn American Sign Language, but I've read that most SLPs don't actually use it.


Side note: ACTFL=American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages, test required for most teachers who are teaching a foreign language. The oral proficiency exam is basically a 20-30 minute interview to see if you can actually hold a conversation in Spanish.

I'm in the DFW area, not Houston, but...

I use ASL very rarely. Many of our Hearing Impaired students attend a centralized campus where instruction can be completed in ASL. Those with a hearing impairment on my campus are typically those with a mild or moderate loss who have HAs.

I do use some simple sign language with my non-verbal 3-5 year olds. Usually it's "more" and "finished."

Are you attending a bilingual SLP program? If not, you may have to jump through a few extra hoops to be considered a "bilingual SLP," speaking Spanish alone may not be enough. I know my CF supervisor talked about this, but I don't remember any specifics.

The internet is not being helpful, either.

I unfortunately am not attending a bilingual SLP program (University of Georgia). I'm guess that it is because of the smaller Hispanic community. The closest would be Florida International, and I'm not willing to leave the state. I'm going to compare my program to the bilingual SLP programs to see what I should do to do reach that bilingual status.

It is my understanding that you only need to be fluent/proficient in ASL if you choose to work primarily/exclusively with HI/Deaf. However, it is highly useful to know at least some basic signs for those nonverbal kiddos or if you happen to get a few HI kiddos on your caseload. For instance, we have phonological awareness groups with Pre-K and I have one group that is all HI.

I have a childhood friend who was HI, and we communicated through ASL. She taught me quite a bit. I am also able to understand HI people when they speak, which most of my peers have difficulty doing. ASL is so much fun! When I have kids, (a gazillion years from now, of course) I plan on using baby sign language. Maybe I will work primarily with HI/Deaf kids.

I wish I knew it, but that's because I'm interested in HI. I know just a few basic signs to use with my nonverbal students. I use visual phonics frequently with my students and love it.

If you plan to work with any nonverbal clients, or the early intervention population, it is extremely helpful to know basic signs to implement some sort of communication. Not full on grammatically correct sentences, but enough to label common objects and reduce frustration and as a visual tool to supplement speech.

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