This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: What reading programs do you use with children who have apraxia or dysarthria?
I do not teach reading. It is my opinion that the SLP has no business teaching kids to read. We are speech-language pathologists, not reading specialists. I’m sorry to disappoint. I do not go along with things just because they are popular points of view.
In my opinion it is unethical for SLP’s to be teaching reading.
Therefore I do not keep up with reading programs. I view that to be the responsibility of the reading specialist. We are SPEECH-LANGUAGE specialists who are supposed to be teaching speech and language, not reading.
Please note that I do USE reading in my practice when I feel it will support the speech I am trying to teach. As a simple example, I use three-letter words like “cat” and four-letter words like “book” if I am stimulating final consonants.
In fact I always use reading and spelling activities this way. My clients and I spell out B-words when we are working on /b/. We make S-word lists when we are working on /s/. We write out sentences like, “My mom made mushy marshmallows” when working on /m/, and so forth. We also read dictionaries, textbooks, storybooks, rhymes, jokes, and speeches.
My clients may learn a lot about reading along the way, and I certainly have seen many children flash that facial expression that exclaims, “Hey, I get it!” when the ability to read and sound-out words becomes clear to them during our activities. Just thinking about that moment gives me chills. But I do not teach them to read. I teach them to work on their speech while engaged in reading activities.