Articulation Therapy-A Clinicians Responsibility.

In my last post we looked at a Henry Ford quote and used it as an inspiration for developing the proper mindset for articulation success.  The focus was on the individual who was taking on doing speech therapy drills at home for themselves or their child.  In today’s post we will consider the clinicians perspective towards a caregiver or parent as agent of speech therapy homework.  I have modified the Henry Ford quote to suit this purpose.  I have changed the word “you” to the word “they” to reflect how a Speech Language Pathologist looks at a potential agent of a home speech therapy program.

If you think they can do a thing or think they can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

If a Speech Pathologist “thinks” that parents can be of little or limited help in their child’s speech remediation it will dramatically increase the “likelihood” that the parents involvement will be of little value.  It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  Why?  A Speech Pathologist with this mindset will not spend the time and effort educating a parent to be effective at home.  They may believe it is a waste of time and that they could be spending on their client directly.  If this is their belief, whether conscious or not, it will shape how they implement their therapy program and ultimately how quickly progress will be made. 

Having parents be effective with a home program starts with the fundamental belief that it is possible.  When a Speech Pathologist “thinks” a parent or caregiver can be an effective agent of a home speech therapy program, their actions will be inline with supporting those individuals in being effective.  It is at this point that a clinician will realize the value of putting the time and effort into training an individual to be effective with the drills they are doing at home.  Training parents is not a little task that can be done in five minutes.  It takes a big commitment on the Speech Pathologists part to step up to the task of training parents.  It is much, much, much easier to take on the commitment of training parents to be effective if you actually believe they can be effective. 

I am a firm believer that when a parent is actively involved and trained to be effective, the whole remediation process goes much quicker.  This fact is reinforced every week I work with clients who attend an evening speech clinic I work at.  Clients I see in the evening clinic setting must have their parents in attendance.  By working with both client and parents simultaneously the progress of clients seen in the clinic is significantly faster than clients I see during the school day without their parents present.  The bottom line is kids working on a home therapy program progress significantly faster when a parent is trained to be effective and is being supported on an ongoing basis. 

I believe whole heartedly that parents and caregivers can be extremely effective in working on speech therapy programs.  I know this to be true.  Do you?

 

Yours in making a difference,

Marcus Little