Faith Restored

In 2013, I wrote a post titled Where Graduate Programs are Lacking. It really pained me to write that post; I’m a firm believer that those of us who have been in the field for a long time should give back to the young ones just starting out. I really had lost faith in a nearby university’s graduate program. I am ecstatic to now say that my faith has been restored.
I questioned myself about having unrealistic expectations, of having set my expectations too high. I spoke with my principal at the time & other SLPs who were supervising students. My principal told me not to lower my standards; my colleagues assured me their interns were performing to the standards I thought they should have been.
So, what is the difference? One thing that may make a difference is when an intern completed undergraduate studies in Communicative Disorders. I believe that makes a big difference; I think it gives them a good foundation on which to build.
Another thing that may make a difference is the personality. Some people are just wired to be good with children, and to have good instincts when it comes to modifying activities when a child is having difficulty with a task.
I will say this: I think that graduate programs should be up front with their students. The instructors in the university programs should have a sense of what kind of therapists the students are going to be. They need to have the guts to tell those students that speech/language pathology may not be a good fit for them. They need to tell them before too much time and money has been spent. You would think they would do this before they get out in the field; it’s not going to look good on the university if someone gets out in a setting to do her practicum and doesn’t know what she’s doing.
I don’t expect my interns to be perfect; I expect them to ask questions and accept constructive criticism to want to become a good therapist. I expect them to have a good foundation with their discrimination skills, and to have common sense when it comes to developing activities for their students. I also expect them to be aware of the students’ performance and know that something needs to change, even if they aren’t sure exactly how to go about it.
Most of all, I expect them to come to me with a new-found love of what they’re doing, as well as an excitement to help my students. And ask questions. Lots of questions!

Things an SLP Should Always Say: {A Frenzied SLP Linky}

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed Things SLPs Should Never Say. We're following that up by discussing things we should say. Thanks again to Doyle Speech Works, Sparklle SLP, and All Y'all Need for being such fantastic hosts this month!
Don't forget to "like" The Frenzied SLPs Facebook Page!

1. I love your child. Every parent wants to hear that. But, don't say it unless you mean it. And, if you don't mean it, maybe it's time to look for a different setting.

2. Hello. Seriously. Some grown-ups don't even say hello to students, much less ask them how their day is going or how their weekend was. Take time to talk to your students. So what if something takes up some of your therapy time? You may just find that there's a teaching moment within the conversation.

3. During meetings, be positive. Even with those tough kids, find something positive to say. Put yourself in the parents' shoes. Would you want to hear only bad things about your child?

4. Any words of encouragement. We all have those /r/ kids who just aren't getting it. Sometimes we work on just getting an /r/ in isolation for more than a year, and everybody starts getting discouraged. Even words of encouragement such as "almost" or "that was a little bit better" may give them the encouragement to continue and not give up.

What words of encouragement do you use with your students/parents? If you're an SLP blogger, we'd love to have you link up! If you're not a blogger, a Facebook post will work! Just click below, complete the information, and you're IN!

Things an SLP Should Never Say: {A Frenzied SLP Linky}

The Frenzied SLPs have a fun, informative month for March! We're starting off with Things SLPs Should Never Say. Thanks to Doyle Speech Works, Sparklle SLPand All Y'all Need for hosting this month!

1. I'm sorry I can't give your child the time he needs; I have a full schedule and can't fit him in. Oh, yeah; I've heard that one. If you hear that in your head, it's time to take a step back and re-evaluate your schedule. You may even have to start from scratch. You see, it's about the child, not us or our schedule.

2. I hate my job. Really???  Then there's the door. You're not doing yourself or the children any good by coming to work when you don't want to be there. If it's the setting, look for another one. If it's the profession as a whole, look for another one. That's the great thing about being an SLP: So Many Options!

3. The "R" word. Even in jest. I've heard professionals use that term, such as "That's so retarded". That's so offensive. My state just recently (like, in the past 2 years) did away with "Mental Retardation" as a certification. (I know, I know...I always joke that we're 10 years behind the rest of the country!) Every time I heard that as a certification, I would cringe. There's such a stigma with that word.

4.  This next one isn't really a "never", but rather a "try to limit". Telling a child No following a response during therapy should be limited. You want to encourage the student, and if he keeps hearing "no" he'll soon get discouraged. Instead, try saying good try, or almost, or even, I like how hard you're trying.

Go check out my other frenzied friends below and see what words of wisdom they have. I know you'll get a good laugh out of 1 or 2! Don't forget to check out our Facebook Page to keep up what we're doing to keep from being so frenzied!

If you're an SLP Blogger, we'd love to have you jump in! Or, if you're not a blogger, you can still join by linking up a Facebook Post.

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