What's the Difference, Anyway?
Speech and language pathology encompasses a HUGE range of topics. When I tell people I am a SLP (the much shorter way to say a speech-language pathologist), I often get a confused look. It can mean anything from treating stroke to swallowing to autism to early childhood development!
Most SLPs find an area that they are passionate about to focus on. I learned pretty quickly that working in the hospital treating aphasia was not for me. After graduation, I worked in the public schools. Though this was a more specific age group, I still saw a diverse caseload: developmental delay, autism, expressive language disorder, receptive language disorder, articulation impairment, stuttering, augmentative communication, voice disorder, phonological disorder, apraxia. These years were important to establish my clinical skills, but also helped me to narrow down what area I am passionate about treating.
Although I wish I could be an expert in every area of my occupation, that is a very lofty (and stressful) goal! We don't often see olympic athletes compete in swimming, gymnastics, figure skating, and bobsledding. I love helping children improve their speech skills. Not sure what that means? See below!