Getting the message out

May 2, 2012
Kira Wright, CCC-SLP

This is part of a continuing series of posts on therapy ideas to support assistants (SLPAs) and paraprofessionals in the schools in their work with students and their supervising SLPs.

Even though we’re experts in communication, it can be difficult to think of new ways to communicate our message to already overloaded teachers, busy parents, and distracted kids! Better Hearing and Speech Month may increase discussion on this topic, but every day is an opportunity to educate those around us. Work with your supervising SLP to choose some strategies that would work for you:

  • Classroom visits - arrange a time with classroom teachers to come in and talk about communication
    • Non-verbal communication can be a fun discussion - think of all the ways we communicate!
    • Teach a song in sign language
    • Read an age-appropriate book and lead a discussion
  • Bulletin boards (focus on a theme - stuttering, typical articulation development?)
  • Email blasts - use district email lists (sparingly!) to share resources or recommendations
  • Attach communication trivia to your email signature
  • Newsletters - offer to put a one-time announcement in the newsletter or have a running column. You could include everyday activities that support speech, ways to incorporate speech/language into popular games, or book recommendations!
  • Hallway activities - Find out if your school would allow you to post hallway challenges (i.e. lift this flap to see opposites - proud/ashamed, towering/cowering - or categories, or synonyms, etc. etc.)

SLPAs and paraprofessionals should always operate within the scope defined by state and national licensing organizations and should only conduct allowable tasks under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist.