If you haven’t heard the name Erik Raj, you are definitely missing out.  Erik is a common name in the social media world.  Dr. Raj recently earned the title Dr. and is professor in New Jersey.

Erik loves to teach SLPs how to have fun with therapy and with the use of apps and technology.  You will often find him presenting at state level conventions and the National ASHA Convention (held annually in November in various cities.)  This year Erik will be presenting in Los Angelos at the National ASHA Convention.

Dr. Raj recently started a company that sells fun swag.  Pins by Erik offers a variety of fun, Speech Pathology related pins for your lanyard, name tag or wherever you may wear a pin.

Erik writes a blog that is full of fun and exciting tips and ideas for creating exciting speech therapy sessions.

Erik specializes in fluency disorders or stuttering and often works at Camp Shoutout, a camp for school-age students with fluency disorders.

Question:  How did you become an SLP?
Answer:  I always knew that I wanted to become an educator of children because I wanted to convey my love of discovery to young-learners, and to ultimately motivate those children to become life-long learners.  Communication is a passion of mine so it was only natural for me to gravitate towards the field of speech-language pathology.  Knowing that I am able to help children communicate their wants and needs effectively warms my heart.  I continuously give children the skills they need so that they can solidify their speech and language abilities.  I feel like I am really contributing to society.

Question:  In what setting are you currently working?
Answer:  I currently work within a university setting that has a speech-language therapy teaching clinic within it.

Question:  Describe a typical day in your setting.
Answer:  I have the pleasure of training graduate-level students to better understand all aspects related to clinical practice.  Together on a daily basis, we provide speech-language therapy to our clients and after each session, my graduate students and I reflect on how it went.  All of this in an effort to help the graduate students (future clinicians) grow their clinical abilities and overall understanding of all things related to speech and language therapy.

Question:  What area of speech language pathology most interests you?

Answer:  I am passionate about fluency disorders, and in particular, stuttering.  Stuttering is a complex communication difficulty that not only impacts a person’s forward flow of speech, but it also can impact their thoughts and feelings as they relate to communication.  Working with individuals who stutter allows me to further practice my counseling skills in an effort to treat the “whole person” and not just the verbal output.

Question:  What advice would you give someone just starting in the field?
Answer:  If you work with children, do not be afraid to get silly during a therapy session – smile, laugh, make jokes.  This sounds so simple; however, I have noticed that sometimes educators forget to do all of these actions and have fun.  Humor helps to build trust and draw the child and therapist into a closer alliance.  Building that relationship is the foundation of learning.