May is Better Hearing and Speech month—a time dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders and the role speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists play in providing life-changing treatment. This is a month where we, as hearing and speech professionals, educate and celebrate. As a speech-language pathologist, I know all of the incredible things that SLPs do and all of the awesome knowledge and skills they possess—and this month, I want to share that appreciation with the world.

If you’re lucky enough to have an SLP in your life, there are so many reasons to give him or her a high five this month—or any month, really. Here are just a few:

  1. SLPs know when each phoneme (speech sound) develops in children. This is important when it comes to helping children acquire these phonemes in their speech. It also helps SLPs calm new moms when their 3-year-old is not yet using the /r/ phoneme.
  2. SLPs are really good at throwing fun vocabulary words into everyday conversations. You may hear, “Oh, I just aspirated a bit!” Or, “Stop yelling, you’ll hurt your vocal folds.” Or the ever-popular, “My buccinator is tired!” These vocabulary terms help SLPs to understand, diagnose, and treat a variety of speech, language, voice, fluency, and swallowing delays and disorders—but they’re also just fun to say.
  3. SLPs have the best diadochokinetic rate in town. You may have never heard the word “puhtuhkuh,” but SLPs can produce this word quickly—and use it to help those demonstrating difficulty in producing a series of rapid, alternating sounds.
  4. SLPs are everywhere! You can give an SLP a high-five in a public school, private school, clinic, hospital, outpatient rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility, profit/nonprofit agency, home health environment, corporation/business, early intervention environment—and the list goes on!
  5. They are always learning. Even SLPs who have a master's degree or doctorate must obtain 30 hours of professional development and training every three years. This means SLPs are always working to stay current in research and best practice. They are learning innovative techniques and constantly seeking out new, helpful materials. SLPs who are dedicated to continuous learning definitely deserve a solid high-five.
  6. SLPs are creative! They create materials for Teachers Pay Teachers, develop therapy apps, start their own companies, and more. This creativity directly impacts their clients in wonderful ways.
  7. SLPs write top-notch, thorough reports—and they do so with clients and caregivers in mind. They set goals that are lofty, yet attainable—and they incorporate data into report-writing as well. SLPs are great with words (it comes with the territory), and they use that skill in their reports, too.
  8. SLPs are amazing listeners. Their profession is rooted in communication, but SLPs truly understand the value of listening instead of always talking. They consider what is being said and have a dialogue when appropriate. Their ability to really listen to clients, caregivers, staff, and others allows them to continue fully supporting their clients.
  9. They advocate for their clients and families—and that’s something that is truly deserving of a high-five. SLPs have a strong conviction for those they serve. That passion—combined with their strong knowledge base—allows SLPs to tirelessly advocate for their clients. And their dedication to their clients extends beyond traditional working hours. In fact, SLPs are usually thinking about ways to help their clients—even at home in the evenings or over weekends.
  10. SLPs see potential in every person. While many people will dismiss a person’s abilities or underestimate his or her potential, SLPs always believe in their clients. They believe that anybody can, with wonderful support, make great strides toward their goals. SLPs do not give up on clients; they problem-solve until they find what works.

So, as you can plainly see, SLPs are awesome—and when somebody is awesome, you give that person a high-five! So this month, as we celebrate and educate in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month 2018, take some time to celebrate the wonderful SLPs in your life—even if that celebration is as simple as a genuine “good job” in the form of a high-five.


Danielle Reed, M.S., CCC-SLP, is an ASHA-certified school-based speech-language pathologist with experience in preschool-eighth grade and early intervention services in Kansas City, Chicago, and Phoenix. Danielle currently serves as her district’s lead SLP, providing professional development, coaching, mentorship, and other support for the related service providers in her district. In addition to being the author of the blog Sublime Speech, Danielle is the Chief Experience Officer and Co-Founder of XceptionalED. Danielle is a graduate of Missouri State University and continues to cultivate her passion for technology, AAC, and leadership within the SLP community and schools. You can connect with Danielle on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

The State of Rehab Therapy in 2018 - Regular BannerThe State of Rehab Therapy in 2018 - Small Banner
  • Celebrating OT Month 2018: 10 Reasons I Still Love Being an Occupational Therapist Image

    articleApr 2, 2018 | 4 min. read

    Celebrating OT Month 2018: 10 Reasons I Still Love Being an Occupational Therapist

    On the first day of my first job as an OT, I remember being told about an OT with 20 years of experience in the field. I was in awe of her expertise, knowledge, and skill. But the thing that impressed me the most about this highly experienced OT was the compassion she showed for her clients and their families—and her passion for occupational therapy. Looking back on that day, it seems like someone must have hit …

  • Happy World Physical Therapy Day 2014 Image

    articleSep 8, 2014 | 3 min. read

    Happy World Physical Therapy Day 2014

    More than a decade has passed since the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) designated September 8 as World Physical Therapy Day—a day to celebrate, unify, and support the physical therapy profession worldwide. Launched in 1996, World PT Day raises awareness about the positive impact physical therapy has on local communities across the globe as well as society as a whole.' The theme for this year’s World PT Day is “Fit to Take Part.” Specifically, the theme …

  • Common Questions from Our 2018 State of Rehab Therapy Webinar Image

    articleJul 13, 2018 | 21 min. read

    Common Questions from Our 2018 State of Rehab Therapy Webinar

    Earlier this year, we surveyed nearly 7,000 PT, OT, and SLP professionals on the current state of the rehab therapy industry, asking questions on everything from salary and student loan debt to payer mix and patient dropout. We then compiled their responses into our comprehensive State of Rehab Therapy in 2018 report and hosted webinar during which Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, president and co-founder of WebPT, and Nancy Ham, WebPT CEO, offered their take on …

  • 6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015 Image

    articleNov 16, 2015 | 10 min. read

    6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015

    Last week, I joined hundreds of amazing physical therapy professionals, students, and vendors (including yours truly, WebPT) at this year's PPS Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Despite the uncomfortable combination of tropical heat and humidity outside—and near-freezing conference rooms inside—everyone was in high spirits. Though I never made it to Disney World, I still felt like I was in the most magical place on Earth, thanks to the inspiring and informative presentations I saw and the thought-provoking …

  • The Ultimate Checklist for PT, OT, and SLP New Grads Image

    articleMay 9, 2018 | 7 min. read

    The Ultimate Checklist for PT, OT, and SLP New Grads

    The end of graduate school is an exciting time. For newly minted clinicians, the lure of treating patients with a greater sense of ownership and autonomy is empowering and liberating. Caught up in the rush of that newfound freedom, though, it’s easy to forget about some of the crucial steps we must take to set our careers in the right direction. Never fear! Even if you’re still busy sipping cocktails on the beach and celebrating, we’ve got …

  • Knock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue Image

    webinarFeb 12, 2018

    Knock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue

    In one corner, we have a highly skilled rehab therapy provider known for delivering amazing clinical outcomes through noninvasive, movement-based treatment. And in the other corner, we have a discouraged, disengaged patient whose quality of life has taken a major hit due to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. [video://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/d11isduky2]   If you’re a rehab therapy provider, you’ve probably seen this battle play out more times than you can count—and we’re betting that more often than not, your therapy …

  • The State of Rehab Therapy in 2018 Image

    downloadJun 28, 2018

    The State of Rehab Therapy in 2018

    To say that the healthcare industry is complex would be an understatement. While the advent of technology has made care more precise, efficient, and collaborative than ever before, it has also put greater pressure on providers to deliver high-value care at scale. After all, big data makes it possible to not only develop the most effective, evidence-based best practices for individual diagnoses, but also form evidence-based strategies for managing the health of populations. In the spirit of …

  • Founder Letter: Top 4 Trends for PTs, OTs, and SLPs in 2018 Image

    articleJan 3, 2018 | 10 min. read

    Founder Letter: Top 4 Trends for PTs, OTs, and SLPs in 2018

    It’s become an annual tradition of mine to look ahead to the new year and forecast the trends that are most likely to impact the rehab therapy industry. While I don’t have a crystal ball—what would be the fun in that?—I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting what’s on our horizon. (You can check out my 2017 post here and my 2016 one here .) There’s nothing on my list for this year that should come as a …

  • Expectation vs. Reality: Why Patients Really Drop Out of Therapy Image

    articleAug 29, 2017 | 6 min. read

    Expectation vs. Reality: Why Patients Really Drop Out of Therapy

    As a rehab therapy provider, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the following scenario: a new patient comes to therapy, sets goals, and agrees to the course of treatment. Then, within the first few visits, he or she vanishes into thin air. This disappearing act is beyond disappointing , especially when you know that patients who remain in therapy are more likely to recover—and there’s a lot of research to back that up. But as Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.