Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Primer on Speech-Language Pathologists

Purvi Gandhi
ladders reaching toward a target symbol

Hello everyone,

Today, I am writing about the work performed by speech-language pathologists.

Case study: Michael is a 3-year-old boy with delayed speech and language skills who was referred by his pediatrician (teachers also can make such referrals) to see a speech-language pathologist.

What runs through a parent’s mind when a child is referred to a speech-language pathologist? Almost certainly, they wonder how the pathologist can help their child and what techniques will be utilized. Here are examples of tasks performed by speech-language pathologists:

  1. Assess current level of functional communications and prepare written evaluations.
  2. Participate in an annual review process and transdisciplinary determination of individualized education program (IEP) goals based on the criteria of present and future environment.
  3. Design and implement goals for individual and group therapy.
  4. Provide therapeutic intervention and implement a variety of activities and methods in a child-friendly manner to facilitate speech, language and feeding goals during therapy sessions.
  5. Provide therapy as mandated on the child’s IEP.
  6. Design and integrate appropriate nonverbal devices, if appropriate, to facilitate functional communication.
  7. Consult with parents and teachers regarding elicitation and generalization of speech and language goals in a variety of communication settings to maintain consistent programming.
  8. Consult with other health professionals to discuss and implement appropriate therapeutic intervention.
  9. Research and implement direct therapeutic programs and make appropriate referrals, if applicable.
  10. Maintain contact and provide direct instruction to families regarding their child’s speech and language goals.
  11. Maintain daily attendance, individual session logs and data collection for pertinent IEP goals.
  12. Plan and conduct seminars for parents.
  13. Remain sensitive and responsive to cultural differences present in the practice’s clients.
  14. Evaluate feeding skills and determine appropriate therapeutic intervention and follow-up including referrals to specialists.
  15. Maintain active licenses, paying dues and acquiring continuing education credits as required.