Speech Therapy is a Team Effort
As the Speech/Language Pathologist here at Stewart Home & School I see students, in group only, individual only, and individual and group only sessions, with a variety of disorders to include, language disorders, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Down’s Syndrome, non-verbal students, articulations delays, and disorders, to name a few, for speech therapy. Activities in speech, range, from reading books, games, utilizing the iPad to elicit speech, or language, by utilizing various applications that are available, Skyping with families on the computer, utilizing the telephone to improve pragmatic skills, and increase meaningful verbalizations. As you know, we also utilize pictures of the staff/rooms and pictures I have taken of the students (past and present), to assist students in improving their memory skills, and elicit speech. We also use videos during speech to allow the student to have feedback of their sessions and to help them improve their skills. For extra incentive, the students earn stamps for good work and behavior and after 10 stamps are acquired, they receive a treat.
Parents play a big role in the students’ speech therapy, by speaking to the students on the phone, in addition to Skype, and by providing photo albums with labels of the students while they are at home along with their families, friends, and activities, to help initiate and to assist students in expanding their speech skills. We keep those photo albums in the speech room for easy access. I visit the students on their buildings to speak with the houseparents about things they can do to assist in carryover of speech outside of the speech room. I try to interact with the students’ teachers to let them know about things they can do in their classes to help the students with improving their speech skills. Also, if any teachers or houseparents need assistance to help a student in class, or on the building, we try to work together to help that student get extra instruction, one on one. The staff also provide valuable information from their trips to assist me in discussing the various things that the students did on the trips. I have recently been using Facebook and pictures the staff have provided to interact with my students during speech to help elicit increased meaningful verbalizations and conversation skills.
I hope this gives you some insight into the Stewart Home School Speech Program.
written by Caroline Wright, speech/language pathologist