Over the past eleven years I have worked in speech pathology, I have always pondered the question, "what does a Speech Pathologist do that is most impactful and really makes a difference during therapy?". After much thought I have boiled it down to 3 key elements. Therapy method must:
3. Be easy to train parents and Educational Assistants.
Both speed and high repetition have been discussed in earlier posts. Today I want to focus on the third point above. Therapy must be easy for parents and caregivers to understand and follow. From experience I have learned that if there is any doubt or question in the minds of the individuals you provide your home program to, the likelihood of them not doing it increases dramatically! It is easy for them to feel overwhelmed and start to question whether they are doing the drills properly. They must be given a simple roadmap to follow and time needs to be spent explaining the “how” and the “why” your homework drills need to be done in a specific way.
It is critical to design therapy homework that is easily carried out and performed by someone other than the clinician. Doing so makes a world of difference in your client’s progress. The ability to easily train and empower others into providing exceptional support and followthrough on homework is critical to success. The ability to duplicate a small part of what you do as a speech pathologist in others is a worthwhile goal with a huge payoff. For me, this is what speech pathology is about.