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