Curriculum and Speech Therapy

Feb 15, 2012 by

Curriculum and Speech Therapy

I was recently asked by a new therapist, working at the middle school level, if I was able to use curriculum material in therapy.  Over the years I found that it was very difficult to incorporate curriculum into therapy.  So I guess my answer is no but with some clarifications and of course exceptions.

 

*Speech therapists generally don’t see the kids often enough to keep up with the curriculum.  Most of my students in middle school also work with a special education teacher that services them much more often both in and out of the classroom.  The special education teachers are or at least should be connected to the regular education teachers.

*Therapy groups are often made up of students from several different classes (sometimes even different grades) rarely are they working on the same thing at the same time.  I’ve occasionally been able to organize a session around a specific  book a grade might be reading.  Talking about higher level language, underlying meaning setting or conflict.

*If planning time with teachers isn’t built in clearly you will not know what is specifically going on in the classroom.  One thing that you can always ask teachers for is curriculum vocabulary.  It never hurts to preview, review or introduce a knowledge connection to new vocabulary.

*Occasionally when I’ve consulted or observed a classroom where I noticed a skill or concept introduced that looks challenging.  I can usually assume that my students might need simplification, clarification, reinforcement, relevant examples or a knowledge connection.  I’ll start out by asking them about what was covered in therapy to see what they retained.  Then adjust the therapy session accordingly.

*Even though many would disagree with me, the speech pathologist is not there to teach academics.  We are there to fill gaps.  The SLP needs to focus on teaching underlying skills that aid independent learning and life skills.  It is difficult to work on remediating language disabilities if we also have to address academics.

Last thoughts……It is important to have an idea of the basic curriculum.  If a student asks for help with academics, try to drop everything, find out what they need and help them out.  I know that if a student comes to me with an academic questions they are either struggling, confused or overwhelmed.

4 Comments

  1. Saundra

    Thanks so much for the Curriculum and Speech Therapy section! I am not a language arts teacher. It seems to me that SLPs are getting “lost” with new expectations now. I work with middle school students and I really feel they need strategies to help them help themselves at this point… How to learn new words, how to study, how to identify your strengths and weaknesses…
    So, thanks for putting it into the words I didn’t have! :)

    • Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply to my article “Curriculum and Speech Therapy”. It’s nice to know others feel the same way. Every time I reread the article there are more points I want to make. Please let me know of any points you might like to add.

      Thanks Again
      Teresa

      • Barbara,I left TIRR on Monday and am now dedicating the rest of my worknig life to helping those with communication difficulties and teaching their loved ones and caregivers expert methods of speech therapy.Thank you for sending this blog to us, and being supportive of continued care at home.Best regards to you and Walt and the rest of your family.Always the best,Mark

  2. Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc

    This was a comment that came through e-mail. Saundra thanks for passing the article along

    SaundraThanks so much for the Curriculum and Speech Therapy section! I am not a laugange arts teacher. It seems to me that SLPs are getting lost with new expectations now. I work with middle school students and I really feel they need strategies to help them help themselves at this point How to learn new words, how to study, how to identify your strengths and weaknesses So, thanks for putting it into the words I didn\’t have!
    A

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