The School Speech Language Pathologist: A Book Review

For those of us who provide services in the educational setting, it’s almost time to return to school! If you are like me, every year is a new opportunity to not only challenge yourself with new and exciting therapy techniques but also a chance to educate your district, school and co-workers in new and exciting ways about our WONDERFUL profession!

The book is easy to read. It only took me about an hour even with highlighting and re-reading what I wanted to especially remember. My principal asked me if she could read it too which was an automatic “Yes! Let me get it for you!”
Her comments after reading the book were: “The book is very insightful, especially for admins/districts that don’t have someone like you who advocates and brings ideas to the campus.”
I would recommend it for any administrator, teacher, department manager, superintendent, school board member, curriculum director, counselor, and especially for all of the SLPs working in school settings. This book clearly explains what our role is and what it could be with our education and skill set specifically for students in our school.
Some of my “highlighted” quotes are:
-Workload and caseload are two completely different concepts.
-SLPs usually do not have enough influence to effect change.
-Adding more students to an SLP’s caseload just ends up taking away intensive and necessary services from other students.
As a SLP with almost 30 years of experience, Teresa accurately identifies the role of the SLP as a quite diverse one that crosses both medical and educational disciplines. She also defines language (receptive, expressive, nonverbal and pragmatic) in an easy to understand format so that those reading understand that SLPs treat more than just “speech”.
The duties and responsibilities of a school SLP are listed and divided out over the course of one work week based on a caseload of 30 students. It is perfect for those of us who are struggling to get everything done to our own personal standard to share with our administrators.
There are ELEVEN pages of strategies that can aid management of the SLP workload. They are practical resources that are possible to implement as soon as you get back to work in the Fall. Some require additional collaboration with other departments such as curriculum, but all are absolutely doable.
Her pages on entrance/exit criteria have so many things to consider that may affect the students’ abilities to adequately perform in the classroom setting that I didn’t even think about before.
This book was such an incredible read. I will definitely keep it handy on my desk and will be reading it again before school starts…maybe first week of inservice! I will be holding a training session for our teachers and I will be using parts of it to educate my co-workers as we get ready to begin a new year.

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