Social EBP for SLP

When I decided to start blogging about SLP related things, I never stopped to think, “Will anyone actually read my blog?” It was more about putting my answers out into the cyber world because I couldn’t “Google-it-out” (instead of ‘figure-it-out ). When I have an SLP related question about a new therapy idea, rationale for a therapy approach, or just want to see what other #slpeeps are doing, doesn’t everyone just Google it?

Maybe I’m not speaking to the entire crowd of Google enthusiast, but I am sure a few of you might relate. Now, I know the ‘book’ says Evidence Based Practice is the way to go, and I agree to a certain extent. However, when you run out of ideas, plateau in your data, get bored of your own warm-ups/drills/games…where else can you turn besides journals?

  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • SLP friends
  • Creative teachers and tweak their classroom activities/ideas
  • SLP blogs

I think these should have their own EBP  – “The EBP Social Heptagon”

Why else would people like PediaStaff on Pinterest have 10,000 + followers on their blog? While SLPs use current research from peer-reviewed journals and follow ASHA’s Compendium of EBP Guidelines and Systematic Reviews, these methods don’t usually tell you the day-to-day, nitty-gritty of speech and language therapy. The ability to communicate with more than just those around you opens up more possibilities and opportunities for SLPs and clients.

As I began writing this post, the ASHA Leader published an article called “Put a Pin In It” by Kellie Rowden-Racette & Maggie McGary. They point out the exact topics regarding using social networking sites such as Pinterest as a means to gain therapy ideas. They make wonderful points about using Pinterest as an SLP; yet, they don’t mention something I find important….

What is the difference between a parent reading a Pin about a therapy idea and an SLP reading one?

When an SLP looks at a pin such as “Ice Cream Parts of Speech Sort” they see more than an activity. An SLP might think about what age group this would be appropriate with, the type of disorder it would be appropriate for, and/or does this fit with a child-based approach to therapy. SLPs are required to have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree for a reason; while parents can make a huge difference by working with their child in a language rich environment, sometimes an SLP is necessary.

I’ve learned to be careful with the activities and ideas you find on these social networks. While useful, in the wrong hands they won’t be as effective unless you let an SLP get a hold of them 🙂

3 thoughts on “Social EBP for SLP

  1. Mike Richards

    I agree with you on this. I think it’s probably important to throw apps into the mix as well though. Where people are able to access speech therapy it’s important that the profession can demonstrate its importance and value so parents/clients/MDTs know why we should be involved and what value we bring. Without our input having access to all these things may run the risk of being like having flat pack furniture in a box with no assembly instructions!

    1. You are right, I should have added Apps. There are probably more that I forgot or don’t use personally. 🙂

      It might seem tempting for parents or potential clients to make up their own ‘therapy’ instead of paying for an SLP due to all these social sites. It is so important for speech therapists to demonstrate our importance and value!

  2. Pingback: The #SLPeeps at ASHA 2012 – Atlanta or Bust « SLP_Echo

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