Thursday, May 28, 2015

Interview With a Speech-Language Specialist: Part 6 of the Blog Chronicles

Where has the month gone? Just when I think I have a handle on EVERYTHING, it all slips away! I admit, I am very excited for the end of the school year. This summer will be taking us on several college visits and I am hoping to meet some of my speech "besties" while on the road. Summer is so restorative to me, but we're not finished yet, soooo without further ado, I present the next installment of the blog chronicles. In NH we have an emergency certification for speech-language specialists during periods of critical shortage.
"An individual may obtain Alternative 4 Certification Path for Critical Shortage Areas with a bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology or Communications Disorders. By plan completion, candidates for Speech-Language Specialist must obtain a master's degree in communications disorders or a closely related area."
My friend holds this certification and agreed to add her two cents to the blog series.
How do you see a true multidisciplinary team functioning?

A true multidisciplinary system works best when each member's expertise is understood and appreciated, members consult with one another prior to making important programming decisions about students and once programming is established, consult continues relative to progress. Ideally co-treating among related service providers would happen, especially for the youngest students.

What message do you have for the powers that be (administration, DOE, elected officials, etc. Your choice).
There is nothing more important to our future as a society than the education of our children. When we invest in the education of our community's children we are at the same time, investing in the future of our community. On a related note, post-secondary education should be accessible to all who want it, and we need to make it affordable because potentially qualified people are shying away from lower paying careers (like education) because of the burden of debt.
What do you see as the most pressing issue impacting our students today? Why?
I feel as though students today are not taught with enough time and attention to the basics of 'HOW' to learn. It seems that the expectations are skewed more towards quantity with less regard for quality. Also, tracking every student towards a four year college degree is a mistake. Our society needs quality tradesmen and tradeswomen and there are less and less of the types of programs (i.e.: vocational education) in public schools that allow students to explore these options.
What energizes you to come to work everyday? What keeps it "fresh" for you?
I am energized by the camaraderie of working closely with my colleagues whom I respect and also have respect for me. What keeps things "fresh" for me is the challenge of working with all the different types of learners and figuring out best therapy practices.
Describe your dream work environment? How does your dream compare with your reality?
How can you make it a reality?

My dream work environment would allow all young children to attend a quality preschool with certified early childhood teachers at no charge and would have a teacher/parent mentorship component so that parents who need it could learn some skills relative to early childhood under the mentorship of a teacher or other experienced parent. Right now, although we have an integrated preschool, only parents of typically developing students that can afford preschool can attend. Children who do not have an IEP, but are borderline at-risk because of poverty or other factors cannot attend. Also, although we try to communicate with parents, there is very little hands-on training of parents in preschool.

Well said, my friend, well said! I agree wholeheartedly! I sometimes can't believe how fortunate I am to know such talented professionals!


  1. Well said, indeed!!!
    Our governor just initiated a program where qualified people can go to community college for long as they meet the requirements. While it's not a bachelor's degree, it will get some people closer to that door!