As another school year winds down, I have been both encouraged by the number of school-based speech therapists who have resonated with the message in my book, “Voice Unearthed.”
Over 50 speech therapists have contacted me directly, sharing their concerns, their fears, and their unrelenting passion to help a child who stutters and to do no harm. I have no idea how many have ordered the book through Amazon or as an e-book, but I assume that for every one who has contacted me, there are many more out there who feel inadequately prepared yet professionally obligated to help these kids.
School-based therapists are struggling with ways to get parents involved, developing, measuring, and reporting on IEP goals that go beyond counting speech errors, supporting the child in the classroom, and a host of other issues. Flexibility seems to vary greatly from district to district. Some therapists have been able to be very creative when it comes to keeping these kids talking and engaged. Many feel stymied by the parameters and scheduling options within a school setting.
We cannot keep limping along, hoping that a child who stutters “never darkens my doorway” as one school-based speech therapist put it. These kids deserve better. These therapists deserve better too. Maybe the best place to start is with the therapists themselves.
And start we have! Speech therapists are invited to join the newly created Yahoo Group; Voice Unearthed – Speech Therapists. This is a place they can anonymously or openly share concerns, ideas, and success stories. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vuspeechtherapists to join!
Please feel free to forward this message to colleagues who might be interested… thank you.
Doreen (Dori) Lenz Holte