Megan Libonate headshot



Speech-Language Pathology Intern, Frederick County Public Schools

Major: Hearing and Speech Sciencea

Minor: Disability Studies

Class Year: 2022





What was a typical week like in your position?

I interned with a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist during FCPS’s Extended School Year (ESY) program during the summer. This program ran for 4 days a week for 4 weeks, and provided Special Education, General Education, and additional support services (such as speech therapy) for elementary school students that qualified. The SLP I interned for had 22 students on her caseload, and provided each of them with a 30 minute (at least) therapy session throughout the course of the week. I provided support and assistance when needed, and discussed effective therapy techniques and strategies with her during the sessions I observed.



What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I have interned with public school-based SLPs before, but interning during the ESY program was different and very fascinating as every student that qualified for services had more severe needs and required more support, which differs from a typical-school-year caseload. I saw a wide variety of different speech and language disorders and difficulties during my 4 week internship - from articulation, to non-verbal communication, to speech difficulties resulting from a hearing loss, to social language. I really enjoyed the wide-range of experience I was able to get in such a short timeframe, and felt like I learned so much.



How did your coursework help you in your position?

Hearing and Speech Sciences undergraduate coursework isn’t designed to extensively teach you how to actually implement therapy, as that is covered more so in graduate school, but my three years of undergraduate coursework has provided me with a great understanding of specific speech and language difficulties or disorders. When discussing what each student was working on in speech therapy, I was familiar with their areas of weakness and had an understanding of what was atypical and what should be happening, as well as the basic routes therapy can take to work on these areas of weakness.



How did you locate your position?

I reached out to my home school system in the spring, and asked if they had any Speech-Language Pathologists interested in allowing me to shadow them for the end of the school year, or throughout the summer. Luckily, my mentor was very open to having someone shadow and observe her throughout the ESY session and incorporated me into every aspect of her job this summer!



Advice for students:

Getting an internship, or even just shadowing someone, in my field of interest was very difficult due to the prevalence of covid, as speech therapy works best when done in-person, and in a hands-on environment. I was very persistent in reaching out to my home school system, which I would say was the key that led me to getting an internship placement. I would also recommend being very flexible with your placement, and open to anything that is remotely related to the field you are interested in because any experience at all is helpful. Finally, come prepared with questions: come early or stay late to ask your questions, ask questions when time permits throughout the day, if you are confused about something, ASK! Your mentor wouldn’t have taken on an intern if they weren’t open to answering questions.