Speech Therapy: Language and Literacy – Podcast



hi welcome to therapy playground I'm Joanne and I'm Mary Beth today Mary Beth is going to be discussing a little bit about how a speech-language pathologist can specialize in literacy and I know some of you are thinking literacy you know what can a speech-language pathologists not do I mean we work with feeding you know literacy what else is there well there are lots of different types of therapists and you know many therapists specialize in many different things when you have the therapist that is really good with language and they focus on grammar and you have the articulation therapist is really good with teaching kids sounds you know phonological processes you have the therapists you know that believes that oral motor weakness can affect speech and not all therapists work on oral mooder you have the auditory comprehension therapists who you know work with therapeutic listening and those types of therapies and then you have a literacy therapist so Mary Beth can you tell us a little bit about the literacy therapist yes well basically when we're talking about speech pathologists covering such a broad spectrum of disorders in such a broad spectrum of therapies the question really comes into play when you're talking about children with severe speech and language difficulties that might have difficulty being understood by their peers they have difficulty expressing their thoughts even having the confidence to raise their hand in the classroom they have secondary problems with their social skills at school and last and often overlooked by the speech pathologist is their reading and their reading comprehension and basically what aksha which is our governing body for speech pathology has said about that is that when it's the case of a severe communication impairment or a child that has multiple disabilities it is the speech pathologist role to step in and provide direct treatment so what we have to look for as parents and as therapists is identifying those children so that we know when and how to give them their being to not overlook that so some of the things that you can look for and those children are starting at an early early age is it now a predictor of whether they will have a reading impairment later on and some of those things would be if they were a late talker if they had severe phonological processes meaning they follow rules that they make up versus following the adult room so it's different than just articulation if they were very severe at a young age being able to name their letters and their letter sounds at an early age or some of the skills that we don't really think about like drawing a picture and telling mommy what the picture is up those are all indicators of what their literacy and their ability to learn to read later on are going to be and it's very difficult when you have a child that is so involved but they have you know they have a language delay they have a phonological delay you know their parents are focused on getting their child to speak getting they're getting you know their child to where they can understand them and you know the literacy portion is overlooked and then when they get into school and they're in kindergarten they're learning to read they're falling behind and you know you wonder why well you know especially be kid on the phonological processes sorter you know they're not processing you know the sounds right you know it could be very difficult so you know if a child does have problems with literacy is that a different treatment session or you know is it targeted altogether you know how would a speech therapist do this well the question is one if your child is having difficulties with some of those things how do you know and when do you start that kind of therapy and the question is kind of multifaceted if it is a young child some of those things can be worked into therapy on the side and most of that at a young age is really some that the parents can be doing at home but it is our role as a speech pathologists to tell the parents because it's it's overlooked by speech pathologists which means it's definitely overlooked by a lot of families that you know are concentrated on the real severe problems that they see right then with their children so it is at an early intervention stage our responsibility to tell parents different things that they can do you can practice naming letters which a lot of parents do but then the other side of that is the letter sounds so doing simple things like the Apple song that so many ask see that says Apple Apple Act and I can't I love that the kids love it and it's simple enough and it teaches the sound to letter correspondence versus just the name of the letter which is what we see a lot kids to name it but they can't identify what sounds don't with it another thing at an early early age having the child hold books understanding where to point to a word on a page understanding to hold the book the correct way instead of upside down those are all things that just add to their print awareness and add to their ability to understand what literacy is when you get into the preschool to kindergarten level you can do more of sound segmenting doing parts of words and separating and finding the first letter of a word in the last letter but once you get into an older age then it becomes a whole different ballgame of things that you have to be looking for in different ways and that's when it becomes the speech pathologist responsibility in therapy is when we can take over okay so what you're saying is that there wouldn't be kind of like a separate therapy session you would have to target this you know with the other goals and kind of incorporate literacy activities into the treatment to help the kid progress or help them learn exactly so what we're talking about when you get into the older child and once again we're talking about a child that has more than likely severe speech and language or just severe language difficulties and this is probably a child that will have difficulty with their syntax using the markers at the end of words to indicate what happened yesterday and what's happening today we're looking at a child that like we said probably has difficulties with pragmatics all of these different areas so the question then becomes how do you know as a parent and as a therapist that the target of your therapy should be literacy or it should be grammar or it should be any of these other things and the answer from the literacy clinician is to target all the things together and the way that you would do that is to do your reading activity but through reading you can also target your conversational skills by reading about what is happening and then applying it to daily life you can target your vocabulary skills during a reading activity by learning new words identifying new words and then learning the meaning which is also very good a lot of the time those words that they don't know are going to be the ones that they are having difficulty yeah so they're all tied very closely together it's just kind of taking a step back and making sure that we know what the family's needs are and that the family knows that we can help in that area yes most the times it's not brought towards which is yeah it's really interesting um you know because but we have 30 minutes of a session most the time and it's really difficult to target the four or five goals we have plus include literacy activities so if you're able to do that together it's great you know a lot of us like to send home homework as well so you could send home you know reading activities like you said to the parents that you know target their language goals as well as promote literacy so that's really interesting one question I have is you know for a child is a more observation and question with their question with with their parents and their schools to find out if they have problems with literacy or is there testing can do to determine if they have you know difficulties there there is standardized testing that can be given most of the time it will be given secondary so it is given after either the therapist sees that there are concerns or the parent reports that there's concerns it is not normally given as a blanket assessment so that's why it is crucial for the parent to know that we are a resource that they can use because we can give assessments and it will break down what areas are the weakness and show us whether it is comprehension or if it is reading and the phonemic awareness the fundamentals and when it's the fundamentals then we can take rhenium and break it down to level just like in all other therapy that the child can achieve at the end boost their confidence give them word attack skills and really word in fact let's everybody say that because I remember that from grad school you know and I remember you know learning about ways to incorporate literacy you know from our literacy therapist who is our professor I actually did give an evaluation the other day for a kid he was having trouble with language and articulation and it turned out that mom said that the child was having trouble reading in schools while one was falling behind so I recommended my furlough to see evaluation we have her scheduled for one at the cane office so hopefully that therapist that she ends up with will find a way to incorporate literacy into the treatment to be able to you know help that try not enough and the parent out um you know so you know what can what else can parents do well like we've talked about all of the things that you can do at an early age and then also there are things that you can do even if your child is in school and right now your child is not kind of assistance from the speech pathologist there's a resource that I really like to use and I use it in my therapy it is called the Florida Center for reading research it is designed for the state of Florida they actually use it in all of their schools and it's designed for teachers so they are games their activities but they're broken down per grade level and per topic so that's cool so you see what area of weakness the child has and then you can break it down into little skills that they can achieve and I really like this resource because it's something that we can do in therapy and then sit at home with the parent and they have access to it it's not something that we hold and they have to get it from us it's something that they can do at home and we can really work together on it yeah are they like computer games or they're printouts they're printouts their media files but most of them can be laminated and made into board games how great different different things and they are made for a group so if you have a group of children or all of your kids at home they can play the game together and help their siblings that kind of thing but that is a free resource and it's the FC r r dot org and it goes all the way from pre-k up through 5th grade reading and comprehension so it's a really great resource really great thank you so much very mathematics playing that's all of us if you have concerns about your child's ability to read if there are you receiving services talk to your speech-language pathologists about this and talk about ways that you know they can incorporate literacy into the treatment session or maybe even schedule an evaluation to determine if you know they do have you know phonological awareness problems if you do not currently receive services a therapy playground you can call us our website therapy playground comm you can find our address and our phone number in our address there you can come stop by or give us a call and schedule for an evaluation thanks for watching

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