Month: May 2013

The Importance of a Multi-Disciplinary Team

One of the benefits of working in a school is the interaction between the various disciplines.  I work with a fabulous team of occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologist, social worker, and special educators.  We are able to look at a child and each use a different perspective to help aid that child’s ability to learn.  Frequently, I find myself baby-hearing-protectionasking the physical therapist for advice on positioning and going to the occupational therapist for ideas on how to have a child better focus on reading and writing tasks. They come to me to learn about speech and language milestones and how to phrase questions to get better responses from their students.

This week, I had the opportunity to visit another important member of the multi-disciplinary team: the audiologist.  I am sure you remember your hearing screenings throughout the school years, but how many of you have actually been to an audiologist?  A visit to the audiologist is an important first step for any child with speech and language delays. Just imagine what it sounds like to listen to someone’s voice when you are underwater–hearing muffled voices  can make learning to speak a very difficult task for a 2-year-old! Recurrent ear infections, build-up of earwax, and reflux should all be followed up with a visit to an audiologist.

During my visit with audiologist Dr. Shirley Pollack, she walked me through the entire process of an audiological exam.  She takes a thorough case history, builds rapport with children, and makes test results “real” for children and their families.  Her office also provides Central Auditory Processing  Disorder (CAPD) testing for children over 5. I’m glad to have added another member to my multi-disciplinary team!

Look out for future postings with interviews with my team members!

For more information on audiological exams or language delays, contact Jocelyn M. Wood

Teachers need speech therapy too!

When meeting new people, one of the first questions I get asked is “What do you do for work?”  I respond by saying that I work in a school, but that I also work with babies to provide speech and feeding therapy.  99% of the time, the reply is “But how can you help babies to yellingtalk?!”
Through writing this blog, my primary goal is to open your eyes to the world of speech therapy.  As a profession, we can wear many different hats, and can reach out to many different populations.  Today, my focus is on my closest friends and colleagues—teachers!

 

A recent article in Advance Magazine focused on voice disorders in teachers.  It makes sense–the teachers I know are CONSTANTLY abusing their voices, by speaking for 6-7 hours per day (usually more!), addressing a growing class-size of 25-30 students, and not taking time out of their day to re-hydrate and drink water!  With parent teacher conferences next week, I know quite a few of my colleagues will return the next day with sore throats or lost voices.

 

Voice disorders do not have to be an occupational hazard, though.  Speech therapists can help!  If you are a teacher, you probably have a speech therapist working in your school, who you can reach out to for advice, voice exercises, or referrals to a specialized voice professional.  There is also a free online program offered by University of Iowa, that can help you to overcome your vocal misuse.

 

For a more tailored and personalized program, it is always best to contact a speech language pathologist with specific training in speech language pathology.

 

If you are a teacher who is tired of sore throats and raspy voices, contact me for more information or to set up an evaluation.  Your vocal cords (and students) will thank you!

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