As a part of NSSLHA and our Advocacy aspect as Speech-Language Pathologists, we are encouraged and happy to spread information about our profession. Personally, I want more people to know how an SLP can help in more than just one or two aspects of the field. While every profession – nursing, PT, OT, respiratory, teachers – has its place among the disciplines, I am focused on how SLPs can impact more and more people.
A great way to spread the word about our profession and skill-set is to piggy-back off of Nationally recognized “Awareness Months” with an SLP twist. So,if you are looking for a way to stretch our services or reach new clients, may I suggest one of the following:
After a few years of Alaska dreaming, on May 2, 2012 I boarded a plane in Atlanta, Georgia to fulfill my dream. I had multiple purposes for the trip: observe 3 Speech-Language Pathologists, be a super touristy tourist, and figure out if I could live in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. I think my trip was a success…so I shall share my success in hopes others may have similar aspirations today or in the future.
I used Kayak.com to find my round-trip flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Anchorage, Alaska. For some reason (which I attribute to the mercy of the Lord), my round-trip flight was $438.00…ridiculously cheap thank goodness. Then I took a small connecting flight from Anchorage to Kenai, Alaska on a small plane via ERA Alaska Airlines for around $100. I left ATL at 7:30am on May 2 and finally arrived in Kenai Alaska about 12:30pm May 3.
A WONDERFUL and helpful book for the growing SLP is entitled “Here’s How to Do Therapy: Hands-On Core Skills in Speech-Language Pathology” Not only is her book encouraging and practical, the accompanying CD is wonderful.
While topics below are covered in many textbooks and SLP grad courses, this is my attempt to share those gems of knowledge and further explanation, which have stuck with me along the way:
A few years ago, I made this flyer for CSD Awareness Month - What is a Speech Language Pathologist?. Yet, I think I still missed the mark. Let me break it down – Speech…Language…Pathologist…
- Speech – the coordination of the brain and necessary muscles used to produce speech
- Language - a system of codes, symbols, and sounds that convey meaning and is rule-governed
- Pathologist – a person who deals with the theory and causation of disorders
A Speech-Language Pathologist is qualified to evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. We treat individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly…and people wonder why a Master’s degree, Clinical Fellowship, and a series of tests are required.
Every semester we are assigned clients in the on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic . *nerves* The frightening sensation that someone is paying to have me work with their child, teen, or with them as an adult is surreal. Just a year ago I was sitting in class thinking about what I was going to do for Spring Break or over Summer vacation. Now, my thoughts are about the types of therapy techniques for clients with Dysphagia or if I know what to do for a child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)….For the record, I do know these things :)
Anywho… Evidence Based Practice: What drives Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Our Supervisors give us the task to find 3 articles to support the type of therapy intervention we choose for our clients.
Here is a general profile of what I used in serach of Evidence to base my Practice on:
I decided to use a Play-based therapy approach termed Milieu, where the child directs therapy, given a set of activities I pre-determine.
I found the following 3 articles to support using a Mileu Therapy. They are followed by my accompanying reviews:
In 2001, Michael Moran and James Fitch published an article titled Phonological Awareness Skills of University Students: Implications for Teaching Phonetics. I first read the article in Summer 2010 and have thought of it often. When I was a Senior in the UWG Speech-Language Pathology Undergrad program, I offered Phonetic tutoring sessions for the rising juniors. I took a liking to the different ‘language’ phonetics offers, and thought I could lend some help.
What is most striking about the article is the “Phonological Awareness Tasks” which the authors tried on 21 CSD students taking a phonetics course.
The tasks look at:
- Phoneme Switching (“had bear” = “bad hair”
- Phonetic Reversal (“sick” = “kiss)
- Phoneme Counting (soul = 3 phonemes)
- Vowel Matching (“shoe” matches “two”)