Our Time Matters
Every day is a chance to make a positive difference in the lives of clients, families, and colleagues. Our daily activities are important and have immediate effects. When days are hectic, it becomes easy to feel rushed and overwhelmed. Reflecting on the primary motivation of our work can guide us. We can see how our time matters.
Speech-language pathologists support communicative growth and foster social engagement for clients. When we take a moment to list just a few of our plans for one week, we can highlight the incredible work of our field.
We use data from previous therapy sessions, client input, partnerships with staff and families, and research to guide our intervention. Here are a few highlights from my upcoming week:
• Articulation: Respond to the teacher’s comments about the child’s oral reading skills in the classroom and analyze why the “ire” sound, as in “fire” is the most challenging /r/ sound for the child to produce.
• Fluency/Stuttering: Continue a heartfelt discussion with a student who shared that he is afraid that he won’t be able to warn somebody in time if there is an emergency because of his stuttering.
• Voice: Begin a lesson on the basic anatomy and physiology of the vocal mechanism by watching the YouTube video “Inside the Voice” featuring a narrated endoscopic view of the larynx for a child who has a diagnosis of vocal nodules.
• Language: Practice retelling events with two and three-part picture sequences to show the relationship between the concepts “first/then” and “before/after” for a child who has attention and executive functioning challenges.
• Language and Literacy: Use the Reading Rockets Word Study lesson on word families, phonological awareness, and orthography for the multiple spellings of the “o” sound (no, know, bow, dough, etc.) for a child with a language learning disability.
• Pragmatics/Social Language: Begin a lesson on how positive and negative comments in conversation affect the feelings of peers for a child who has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
• Collegial support: Share resources to conduct a small group activity on asking questions and stating preferences for adolescents with significant developmental delays.
• Family partnerships: Prepare and send home practice materials for a child who has mastered “or” and “ar” r-controlled vowels, as in “four” and “far”.
• Medical partnerships: Prepare a letter to the primary care physician detailing concerns about oral anatomy, tongue range of motion, and likelihood of ankyloglossia (tongue tie), which may be affecting progress in speech sound production.
When we list just a few of the many different tasks we perform within a week, we can see direct connections between our time and positive outcomes. What are you going to do this week?