Language and Learning Disabilities: Speech and Langugage Pathologist competence
Speech and Language Pathologists are trained at the university Masters level (studies include linguistics, anatomy and neurological sciences, psychology, language disorders and treatment, research). Their job is to « assess the language, voice and speech functions, determine a treatment and intervention plan and ensure its implementation in order to improve or restore communication for a person in interaction with his environment » (Quebec Professional Code).
It is well known that speech and language pathologists will treat speech impediments, but their expertise and field are much wider, to include all dimensions of human communication in both oral and written modalities, thus including conversation, reading, writing, etc. They are trained to help with language delays in your children as well as learning difficulties and academic functioning. In recent years, there is a bulk of scientific evidence about the genetic and neurological nature of language and learning disorders, and about the importance of language every minute of a school day. Speech and Language Pathologists are ready to help you understand your child's school difficulties, and to design and implement a treatment plan to help progress. There are no result promises, but it is your SLP's responsibility to use all available tools and strategies and base their work on scientific evidence to help treat disorders and compensate their effects. They also are expected by the professionnal college to keep abreast of developments and engage in continuing education.
SLP treatment benefits.
SLP benefits for children
- Positive Impact on self-esteem;
- Self awareness of strenghts and challenges, thus helping to develop metacognitive skills;
- Significant relationship with an adult who knows their type of disorder and is aware of their skills and challenges;
- Specific and individually targeted treatment plan, following profile determined with initial assessment;
- Establishing more rewarding rapport with school work, materials and requiements;
- Learning study and review strategies;
- Developing academic competence and skills (reading, writing, calculation and arithmetics, problem solving, etc.) using adapted strategies to take into account your child's characteristics;
- Preparing for exams.
SLP benefits for parents
- Parents will better understand their child's functioning, their strenghts and challenges and the reasons why they don't succeed yet despite all effort, time and energy spent
- Help and support communicating more effectively with the school;
- Guiding and counselling parents regarding management of homework and supervision of studying;
- Modeling adequate intervention strategies to be used with your child;
- Ability to obtain daily successes despite persistence of disorders;
- Help lower stress level and avoid disorder related conflicts.