Tag: Education and Schools

Slow Dysarthric Speech and Peer Awareness

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I am serving a student with moderate acquired dysarthria impacting speech intelligibility due to impaired respiration, phonation, coordination, speech rate and articulatory precision. She is six-years old and her accident was 2 years ago. She can follow directions well and is aware that she sounds different than her peers. The most obvious speech quality is the slow rate, pausing, and unnatural phrasing. Her peers tend to ignore her when she is speaking because these qualities make her sound so…

On Criticizing Colleagues

By Pam Marshalla

Q: Can you help me deal with a situation? I work in the schools. A private SLP accused me in a meeting with parents recently of not using the correct “motor planning methods” with a mutual apraxic child. Do you know what she is talking about? She really embarrassed me. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I regret the competitiveness that some therapists have, and absolutely detest the way some private therapists treat SLPs in the schools.  You should not have had to experience that….

Cutting Artic from School Therapy

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I am helping with policy development in my district and we’re facing significant budget cuts. We have to cut mild artic kids from the caseload. Do you have any advice about this? I am wondering if they are considering cutting services for very low functioning kids too. Kids with very low communication skills tend to be seen quite often these days, often 2-3 times per week.  On the other hand, high-functioning artic kids are being seen less and less…

Cost-Cutting Treatment and Caseload Management

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I am faced with cutting my caseload down considerably due to budget cuts. We will see the more severe kids a max of one time per week, and that’s fine. However, we are being asked to cut the mild kids more, and even eliminate them from our caseloads. Do you have any ideas? Many therapists are facing this today.  Here is a brainstorm I had that may get you thinking outside the box. The idea is to use four…

No Child Left Behind? My Opinion

By Pam Marshalla

Q: What do you think of the “no-child-left-behind” perspective so pervasive in the schools today? How is it possible that a teacher or therapist could guarantee to leave no child behind?  There always have been and there always will be people left behind.  That’s is how life is, and no matter what ideal pie-in-the-sky philosophy one has, one cannot leave the facts of life out of the equation. For example, when it comes to hard sciences like chemistry and physics,…

Individual vs Group Therapy with Average intelligence

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My 5-year-old son has average intelligence but speaks in 3-5 word utterances. He had hearing problems earlier. The SLP at school wants to put him into a group. Can he be affected by the modeling of the other students who also have poor articulation? Isn’t a 1-to-1 setting better? I work in private practice because I always prefer the 1:1 situation, but a group can be useful for many reasons.  Group work can be more motivating and fun.  Language…

Low Cognition and SLP: Therapy vs. Babysitting and School Culture

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I am very frustrated working in the public school. I am forced to see very low functioning children 2-4 times per week, and even with this much therapy they are not progressing in vocabulary, phonemes, nothing. Am I doing something wrong? Let me be very blunt here. Warning! Those of you who don’t know me need to be warned that I do not speak with political correctness. I find it to be an imposition on our freedom of speech…

Denying Lisp Services in the Schools

By Shanti McGinley

Q: My friend’s daughter has a lateral lisp and has been denied services in her school because “it does not affect her ability to learn the curriculum.”  I was alarmed and upset by this. Is it possible that certain school districts do not treat this?  What is your stance on this? Unfortunately there now are many school districts that hold this policy. Frankly, it makes me sick. If I were a parent I would be screaming about this. Sometimes a…

Phonological Policies

By Shanti McGinley

Q: My school district has been suggesting that we work on stopping before s-clusters, and I thought that would be a mistake leading to lots of frustration for both the SLPs and the students. Do you have any comments? I think that whenever we set policy –– “my district has been suggesting that we work on stopping before s-clusters” –– we are forgetting the individual child. There is no hierarchy or policy that should “work.”  What “works” is what works…

Articulation Therapy In the Public Schools

By Shanti McGinley

This opinion paper was originally posted as a downloadable PDF on my website’s resources page. I am slowly formatting the articles over there for posting to this blog. This post was authored in September, 2010. Download the original PDF here. *** Articulation Therapy In the Public Schools Some of today’s public schools are trying to eliminate articulation therapy for mild cases from their school programs because it is believed that these errors do not impact education. However, throughout the history…