Females dominate the world of Speech and Language Pathology. And yet, men are represented online to a large degree.
Erica Lester, M.S., CCC-SLP
Erica Lester is the owner and clinical director of speech language pathology programs at Talk Time, Speech Language Therapy and has a passion for helping others. Her enthusiasm for working with young children as a Speech-Language Pathologist serves as the foundation of Talk Time’s core values and standards.
Lester’s determination and steadfast desire to change the delivery of speech-language therapy into a delightful experience for children and their parents has been proven to be successful and is the goal for every child’s treatment program.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Indiana University-Bloomington and a Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall University.
Lester has extensive experience in various areas of the speech, language and hearing disorders/mechanisms including Apraxia, Articulation, Attention Deficit, Auditory Processing, Augmentative Communication, Developmental Delays, Neurogenic Disorders, and Sensory, Social and Behavioral Deficiencies.
Her special interests include treating children with disabilities, autism and autistic like behaviors as well as working with children that have language and learning disabilities, expressive and receptive language delays, articulation concerns, auditory processing issues, phonological disorders and limited social skills.
Lester’s proven clinical experience is a result from working in private schools, public schools, early intervention and private practice settings.
In addition, she has taught as an adjunct professor for the Department of Speech Language Pathology at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. Lester developed and instructed an introductory course to communication disorders for prospective speech pathology graduate students where she formulated and integrated curriculum as well as mentored and advised undergraduate learners.
She is proud of the dedicated and highly qualified speech-language pathologists who work for her. She enjoys teaching and collaborating with them along with learning from them.
Jill Tate, MS CCC-SLP
Jill Tate received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Oregon in 2001, and completed her Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College, Boston in 2003.
Tate returned to Portland for her Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) at Child Development Rehabilitation Center (CDRC) and has worked in a variety of clinic environments to date. Jill was introduced to speech and language disorders at the age of 7 when she participated in her brother’s speech therapy sessions with Dr. Robert (Bob) Buckendorf.
This experience sparked a desire within her to help children communicate. Tate is passionate about connecting with and engaging each child in a manner that supports their individual needs.
She has expertise working with children who have speech disorders including phonological and articulation disorders (especially remediation of R), childhood apraxia of speech, dysarthria, fluency/stuttering and craniofacial disorders.
Tate also enjoys working with the pediatric population in areas including early language development. In 2013, she became an independent consultant for Complete Speech and more recently joined their advisory board.
The Smart Palate is a therapy tool that Tate proudly uses and shares with others. Tate is the owner of Jill Tate Speech Therapy and currently provides speech and language services in NE Portland and Lake Oswego.
Shelagh Davies has a Master of Science degree in Speech and Audiological Sciences from the University of British Columbia, an Honors BA in English and Drama from Queen’s University at Kingston, and two diplomas in Speech Arts, from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and the Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary, Alberta.
Davies is also certified to administer the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Program – a speech/voice treatment program specifically designed for people with Parkinson ’s disease.
For the past 25 years, Davies has been in private practice, specializing in the care of the voice. She has lectured nationally and internationally, including seminars and workshops in locations as diverse as Singapore and Crete, and is also a frequent presenter in schools, universities, colleges and voice training programs throughout British Columbia.
Davies is Clinical Associate Professor and clinical researcher in the School of Speech and Audiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She provides speech and voice training to transsexual women through the Transgender Health Information Program of British Columbia.
Prior to establishing her own practice, Davies worked in hospitals with people who had suffered strokes, neurological disorders, brain injury and throat cancer. Davies developed the speech-language services program at Lions Gate Hospital and Burnaby General Hospital, and has worked in a number of other acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care settings.
Davies’ connections to the scientific and artistic worlds of voice include:
- Registered member, College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia
- Member, BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists
- Certified member, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
- Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
- Certification in the administration of the LSVT program, a speech/voice training program specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease
- Member, National Association of Teachers of Singing
- Member, Voice and Speech Trainers Association
- Member, Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health
These women are building a career for themselves in this interesting and challenging field. Are you planning to join them? If so, please let us know how we can support you.
Speech and Language Therapy Personal Statement
I first became interested in Speech and Language Therapy as a career opportunity through my mother’s franchise of Tumble Tots in West Sussex, where many parents in the area were having trouble finding a speech therapist for their child. Having spent my whole life surrounded by younger children I know communication is a vital skill. I therefore felt that for these children and their families not to have access to an important service was wrong. I want to be able to help people who have difficulty with basic communication skills. I’ve gained valuable experience by attending talks by speech and language therapists and psychologists about the importance of Speech Therapy, what a career in Speech and Language Therapy is like and the mental health spectrum. I have also read relevant articles and watched videos by I CAN. These resources offered me the opportunity to fully understand what a career in Speech Therapy would be like and have increased my determination to achieve it.
Since the beginning of July 2008 I have been volunteering at the Grace Eyre Foundation, Brighton, a day centre for adults with learning difficulties. I also take part in their ‘Travel Buddy Scheme’ assisting a disabled lady to use public transport to get home so that she can have increased independence. Volunteering at Grace Eyre has shown me how Speech Therapy can improve someone’s life greatly by giving them the opportunity to express themselves. At Grace Eyre I have been taking basic Makaton lessons which I have found a fantastic tool when trying to communicate with some of the people there.
In July 2008 I volunteered for a week at the Care Co-ops Community Farm, East Sussex, which is maintained by adults with disabilities, both mental and physical. Whilst there I experienced how rewarding it is to help people with disabilities through having fun and being creative and this deepened my resolve to become a speech therapist. I have also worked with both able and disabled children; in June 2006 I did a week’s work experience at Cumann Iosaef Community Pre-school, it allowed me to see the interaction between able and disabled children. I also helped to run a weekly sports club at Davigdor Infants School for 4 months in 2006 as part of my sports leaders qualification.
On the 1st and 2nd of October 2008 I shadowed Speech Therapist Yamini Burgul at the Evelina Children’s Hospital which was fascinating, I got so much out of my two days there and although some of the cases I saw were tragic the difference that Yamini was making to the children’s lives was so apparent that it strengthened my relsolve go into this career. I have also organised to shadow Speech Therapist Alison Eccles at Chailey Secondary School in January 2009.
My A level choices give me a good understanding of different aspects of Speech and Language Therapy. In Human Biology I’m learning about the structure of the body and what can go wrong to cause speech or swallowing difficulties. Psychology lets me explore cognitive development further than I did in GCSE Child Development. I did a long term study of the normal development of a child, looking at their physical, cognitive, emotional and social development and I achieved 102/105 marks for my study. Performing Arts is a subject that requires me to put in a lot of work and challenges me to be creative and outgoing. When working with children in Speech Therapy my experience from this subject will help lots.
When I first considered Speech and Language Therapy I was sure I would want to work with children, however, my work at Care Co-ops and Grace Eyre have shown me the importance of speech in adulthood and now feel that I could work in either field. My time at the Evelina Children’s Hospital showed me how important Speech Therapy is and I know that it is the only career path I want to take.
Universities Applied to:
- UEA - Rejected after Interview
- Reading - 320 points (Firm)
- Sheffield - Rejected after Interview
- Manchester - Rejected after Interview
- Leeds - 300 points (Insurance)
This is a good basis for a PS but it needs a lot of improvement. The applicant clearly has a lot of relevant experience; however it needs to be related more specifically and overtly to their interest in SaLT. If necessary, not all of it needs mentioning: quality over quantity. This would mean that the applicant could reflect on their experience far more, talking about what they learned about the client base and the job of a SaLT. The applicant should also talk about any personal qualities or skills that they possess which should be desirable in a SaLT/SaLT student. It is also important to note that the applicant doesn’t really show awareness for the fact that disability and speech and language problems are not always connected. The applicant also needs to be careful of overcapitalising, and thinking of where parts could be written more concisely/removed.
Comments on the statement:
I first became interested in speech and language therapy as a career opportunity through my mother’s franchise of Tumble Tots in West Sussex, where many parents in the area were having trouble finding a speech therapist for their child. This doesn’t explain WHY it is interesting. It’s also not important to mention where the mother works. Having spent my whole life surrounded by younger children I know communication is a vital skill. The applicant needs to show awareness that not all communication is verbal. E.g. Makaton. I therefore felt that for these children and their families not to have access to an important service was wrong. This needs expanding on: why did this trigger the applicant’s interest in SLT? Feeling it is wrong doesn’t mean that someone wants to study something. I starting sentences in a row with ‘I’ mean that they don’t flow well together want to be able to help people who have difficulty with basic spoken linguistic skills. Why? Why is it appealing? I have contractions should not be used in a formal document such as this gained valuable experience by attending talks by speech and language therapists and psychologists about the importance of speech therapy, This needs expanding on about how this motivated the applicant to study it what a career in speech and language therapy is like and the mental health spectrum. Not everyone requiring SLT has mental health issues, so it’s unwise to mention this. I have also read relevant articles and watched videos by I CAN. This needs expanding on (best to do it in a later paragraph) about how this enhanced the applicant’s interest in SaLT. These resources offered me the opportunity to fully understand what a career in speech therapy would be like and have increased my determination to achieve it. This is the sort of thing that needs to be shown through describing and reflecting on work experience.
This paragraph tries to fit far too much into it, meaning that things are just listed and not expanded on. At the moment, it’s unclear why the applicant is wanting to study SaLT, apart from to give families a chance to access it (which isn’t something that they will be actively involved in, as children need to be referred by schools/GPs/EPs/parents/etc.). Also, the work could well involve older people (e.g. those recovering from strokes).
Since the beginning of July 2008 I have been volunteering at the Grace Eyre Foundation, Brighton, the location is irrelevant a day centre for adults with learning difficulties. I also take part in their ‘travelbuddy scheme’ assisting a disabled lady to use public transport to get home so that she can have increased independence. The applicant needs to relate this to SaLT if they can, such as skills gained that will be useful. Volunteering at Grace Eyre has shown me how speech therapy can improve someone’s life greatly by giving them the opportunity to for expression . How has it? So far, there is no evidence to prove this point. At Grace Eyre I have been taking Makaton lessons, which I have found a fantastic tool too informal when communicating with some of the people there. This paragraph could be revised to be more concise, although information directly relevant to SLT should remain, such as the Makaton lessons.
In July 2008 I volunteered for a week at the Care Co-ops Community Farm, East Sussex, again, location is irrelevant which is maintained by adults with disabilities, both mental the use of the term ‘mental disability’ is unwise and physical. Whilst there I experienced how rewarding it is to help people through having fun and being creative and this deepened my resolve to become a speech therapist. People needing SaLT do not always have a disability or associate themselves as having one... This needs to be related more specifically to the SaLT, e.g. by answering questions such as: how did working with people make the applicant want to be one? What speech difficulties were the people you were working with have? How were they being helped to overcome them or better dealing with them through therapy? I have also worked with both children at a pre school allowed me to see the interaction between able and disabled Again, the relation to SaLT needs to be more explicit: what exact disabilities did the children have? How would the interaction between a child with say, a physical impediment and one who didn't relate to ST? children. I also helped to run a weekly sports club at Davigdor Infants School again, location is irrelevant for four numbers should generally be written out in full months in 2006 as part of my sports leaders qualification. Unless the applicant experienced anything related to SLT in school it doesn't need to be there.
On the 1st and 2nd of October 2008 the specific dates are unimportant I have shadowed a speech therapist no need to name them the difference that she/he was making to the children’s lives was so apparent that it strengthened my resolve go into this career. Why? What differences was she making? How? Why does this appeal to the applicant? I have also organised to shadow another speech therapist in January . It’s not necessary to discuss something they haven’t done, as it doesn’t really add anything. If interviews are after this, it can be mentioned then no problem. Quality of the experience is better than quantity.
My A level choices give me a good understanding of different aspects of speech and language therapy. An introduction sentence like this wastes space. In Human Biology I am learning about the structure of the body and what can go wrong to cause speech or swallowing difficulties. The applicant needs to discuss their interests – after all, everyone doing this will learn this, but the vast majority of those people will not go on to study SaLT. Doesn’t really add anything I did a long term study of the normal development of a child, looking at their physical, cognitive, emotional and social development the applicant should discuss what this taught them about language and why it was interesting The PS is not a good place to discuss module/coursework marks. Performing Arts is a subject that requires me to put in a lot of work and challenges me to be creative and outgoing. When working with children in Speech Therapy my experience from this subject will help a lot. Once again, this needs expanding on. Why do SaLTs need this? What other skills do they need, and why? This is the sort of thing to discuss in the work experience section.
It’s not necessary to try and link every subject to their chosen subject. Only do it if it is especially relevant.
When I first considered speech and language therapy I was sure I would want to work with children, however, my volunteering saves space has shown me the importance of speech in adulthood and I would enjoy working with both. It would be best to avoid mentioning that the applicant thought they only wanted to work with children. Although you may go on to specialise later, you may not get a choice of who you help. It would be better to say that you are interested in speech difficulties in both adults and children, and maybe compare and contrast them. This showed me how important speech therapy is and I know that it is the only career path I want to take. This needs to be more specific: why? Why does the applicant think it is so important? What challenges is the applicant looking forward to facing? What makes them a good candidate for the course?
Article by TSR User on Thursday 15 February 2018