Working With Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Schools

Some of you reading this article might be thinking that “I’m already cultural and/or linguistically diverse” and that may be true from whatever or where ever your family background may include. But speaking from experience, nothing quite prepares you for when a child and their family comes into your office,  clinic, hospital or school seeking therapeutic services and some of the following scenarios come into play: (1) they don’t look and/or sound like you, (2) they may even not share the same native language as you, (3) something that you did or could do might invalidate an evaluation performance/score or insult a student or family member (i.e., depending on the client’s culture -- asking a direct question, looking/staring directly into a client’s eyes during testing, developing a treatment plan that goes against traditional cultural values, etc.). What would you do then?

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Making Guardians and Educators Feel Important, Included, and Heard

When I was a new SLP, I worked for an organization that emphasized a “Get In/Get Out” philosophy to therapy. Most of our effort was to go toward the treatment of the child, with little concern to guardian or teacher input. In this approach, once you had the standardized testing results, you had all the information you needed; outside input was relegated to other standardized measures, grades, and background medical information that might impact the possible outcome of therapy.

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Holiday Gifts That Give Back!

It’s no secret that the holidays are upon us and it all starts with the three-month stretch beginning in October. It’s a time of reflection that comes at the close of a year; the way we huddle a little more with our families, gather our friends around tables to toast and celebrate memories. And if you have stepped into any store lately, you’ve seen that retailers are already in full-on holiday mode. Trees are twinkling and the Christmas music has been cued and piped through the speakers.  Depending on your personality, you either feel excited for the shopping season ahead or anxious as you wind your way through the decked halls.

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