Rethinking Language Therapy

Dear Speech Friends,

If you haven't noticed I've been Missing In Action lately. The past few months I have been questioning my techniques for language therapy and instruction. You probably could have guessed since I'm doing this whole language disorders review. I'm just not convinced of the validity of some of the techniques I've seen. It feels like language therapy is similar to trying to solve an entire puzzle with only one or two pieces. This whole questioning phase has been crazy. It has seriously rocked my "beliefs" in what I do as a speech language pathologist. I feel lost in purpose.

It surprises me how much this feels like a time in my life when I questioned my belief in God. I am a person of faith. Religion was part of my upbringing. But my faith in what I believe came from my own questioning, deep reflection and personal experiences. This is in no way meant to be a religious post. It's just truly a perfect analogy for what I'm going through right now and I'm trying to describe the reason behind my MIA status.

Have any other SLPs out there gone through this same questioning of our validity as Language Therapists? Don't get me wrong, I seriously think we do a world of good out there. SLPs are the smartest, most creative, fun and caring group of people out there. And our ability to think through and adapt lessons to individual children's needs is like our superpower. But are we doing it the best way? Are our techniques proven? Are our models of service delivery adequate?

Let me tell you this, I have no doubt that we are helping kids! I'm just not posting awesome ideas of therapy techniques right now because, well, I'm going through a shift of therapy emphasis and it's taking some time to "convert" if you will.

I hope I haven't offended anyone with this post. I'm a lover of all people, religious or atheist or don't-care-ist. But be it said that we are all speech language pathologists and we should probably believe in the validity of what we do. :)

Hope all is well with you speech friends of the world. If you are a school based SLP my thoughts are with you and the dreaded end of year paperwork and filing that ensues. WE CAN DO IT!!! Think of how great you will feel in a week or two!




Michelle said...

know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like these kids would have figured stuff out without my intervention. But then I think back to some of their ah-hah! moments and realize that I have made a difference. So just remember that!!

Also, would you mind putting a link to my blog on your sidebar?

Lindsay said...

It's nice to know I am not the only one! Since taking a little break and then coming back to study, all while raising my own five kids and watching only their typical development, I too have LOTS of questions. I am not in the situation however to see what you see in your job everyday, kids with real artic and language delays. I get confused when I think of discrete teaching of something that is so broad. In such a short time, in such a small context... And that is just the beginning of one my questions. :) PLEASE FILL ME IN ON WHAT YOU LEARN! (You're probably thinking, I could answer your question in 10 seconds flat!) But I would love to hear how and what you learn as you question. I want to convert too. :)

Chicory Blue said...

I love what you said......... it feels like language therapy is similar to trying to solve an entire puzzle with only one or two pieces. It sums up how I feel in a nutshell.

I have been formulating an idea to make this upcoming year a journey of discovery to somehow answer my questions concretely. Not sure how I am doing this..but you are not alone here.

psslp@hotmail.com said...

Hi Annie,

I have gone thru somewhat of a transformation in my therapeutic approaches for the various populations I serve these last few years. One approach/SLP who has influenced me enormously is Sarah Ward. She has a webinar with ASHA. I watched it once, implemented many of her suggestions and hope to watch the webinar again. The webinar is on Executive Function Disorders. Has anyone else been trying out her ideas? Patty