How to Engage Severely Delayed Preschoolers

Having weathered the travails of more than one job search in my capacity as a SLPA, I can say one thing for certain: very few people want to work with preschoolers.  One of the first questions the district officials and agency head-hunters always ask is, “Are you willing to work in preschool?” If your answer is “yes,” you will be employed in a matter of days.  Not being one to balk at a challenge, I decided to take a job working with preschoolers. However, these were not just preschoolers with your run-of-the-mill articulation and language delays. They were the most severely delayed due to autism, ID and Down Syndrome. Furthermore, they were socially disadvantaged preschoolers attending public school in the most blighted areas of Compton, California. With a bit of trepidation and much hubris, I spent a year commuting two hours from my home in Pomona to Compton, falling in love with the most precious bunch of 3-year-olds imaginable and making many mistakes which, in turn, led to many discoveries.

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Self-Harm: A Difficult Topic

Self-harm can be a way of dealing with deep distress and emotional pain. It may help you express feelings you have a difficult time putting into words, distracting you from things in your life, or releasing emotional pain that has built up. Afterwards, you probably feel better—at least for a little while. But then the painful feelings return, and you begin to feel the urge to hurt yourself again.

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Behind the Scenes: What Therapists don't see

I'm sure most of us reading this are therapists who work with children and if you aren't, you might have asked yourself, "Why does this child behave this way?" "What is happening in their home that I'm not seeing?" "What has happened in their young life that makes them think this way?"

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Mental Wellness Month

If you have ever wondered how “Speech-Language Pathology” has frequently ended up on the lists of “Least Stressful Jobs,” then you’re most likely not alone. Chronic stress of school-based SLPs is a considerable factor in overall burnout, leading to shortages across the nation. Whether or not you are new to this field or have been practicing for years, chronic stress is something that may have steadily and sneakily crept up on you without any immediate symptoms. Signs of burnout include disassociation from staff and clients; increased cynicism about the effectiveness of one’s job; emotional fatigue; decreased productivity; frequent absences or tardies; dread of returning to work; increased irritability; or even physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach pain, fatigue, dehydration, etc. Occasional bouts of stress are normal and can even be beneficial, helping you overcome those moments of procrastination. But it should come as no shock that chronic stress, which is stress that the body has been exposed to for long periods of time resulting in an inability to perform functional life tasks, can have significant negative effects on one’s health.

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