Building the Relationship Between
Parents, Team and School
What should parents know about coordinating speech therapy between the team and school?
Be aware that both the team speech Pathologist and the school-based Speech Pathologist have very busy schedules! This should not detract from your child’s needs being met or affect what services your child is eligible for but busy schedules are a reality that must be managed. When parents can assist with the communication between the two providers–school professionals and treatment team–things can happen more efficiently.
Some of the ideas that have helped with coordination between our center and the many school districts in our area may be helpful to others, as well:
Offer to initiate an email between the two speech therapists. I work on a local team and I see children in my private practice that specializes in cleft. In both settings most of my patients receive services at school as well. When a parent initiates an email between the school and center, it gets things moving! And, be sure to ask to be copied on all correspondence, too. This way, you know the communication happened and can nudge things along if progress slows.
Bring any reports from your school-based speech pathologist and/or your private speech pathologist in the community to ALL team meetings! This includes IEP reports or goals and progress reports. When I am evaluating a child on the day of team with a short amount of time, the input from the treating speech pathologist at school will often guide me in the evaluation.
Why commit to speech therapy for school-aged kids?
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Share all team reports with your school-based speech pathologist. Be sure that he or she actually sees the report! If the report is put in your child’s school folder housed in the office, it may not be read by the ones that should see it. Many of the school-based speech pathologists feel they are part of your child’s team (which they are!) when they are included in the reports between meetings. You can even invite them to your child’s team evaluation if they have time. This is often difficult based on the school schedule, but inviting them will go a long way toward emphasizing their value, contribution and participation in your child’s coordinated plans (both medical and educational).
Part 2 of 8
Miss the first post in this series?
Find Speech With the Team, Speech at School here.
About this series: We recently asked Theresa M Snelling, M.A.,CCC-SLP, to help us learn more about speech development and support for the school-aged child. We are so pleased to share her response with you in this special eight-part, One From the Team series, Speech Therapy and the School-Aged Child.
Teresa is clinical coordinator for the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center at Rose Medical Center, Denver, CO and has been working with patients and families affected by clefts for more than 30 years. If you need assistance locating a team or a cleft-specializing speech therapist, please, drop us a line or give us a call! 1.800.242.5338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.