Questions and Answers

If you have any questions or concerns that relate to speech language pathology in any way, at any level....just ask.
I will answer them to the best of my ability on my blog.
Contact me at

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Check out my new expanded blog

Google has made life a little difficult. We lets just say not as easy as it was. I was hoping to maintain this blog in conjunction with new expanded blog "The School Speech Therapist". If you find this site helpful please talk a look at Thanks Teresa

Friday, March 2, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Curriculum in Therapy

I was recently asked by a new therapist, working at the middle school level, if I was able to use curriculum material in therapy.  Over the years I found that it was very difficult to incorporate curriculum into therapy.  So I guess my answer is no but with some clarifications and of course exceptions. 

Speech therapists generally don’t see the kids often enough to keep up with the curriculum.  Most of my students in middle school also work with a special education teacher that services them much more often both in and out of the classroom.  The special education teachers are or at least should be connected to the regular education teachers.

Therapy groups are often made up of students from several different classes (sometimes even different grades) rarely are they working on the same thing at the same time.  I’ve occasionally been able to organize a session around a specific  book a grade might be reading.  Talking about higher level language, underlying meaning setting or conflict.

If planning time with teachers isn’t built in clearly you will not know what is specifically going on in the classroom.  One thing that you can always ask teachers for is curriculum vocabulary.  It never hurts to preview, review or introduce a knowledge connection to new vocabulary.

Occasionally when I’ve consulted or observed a classroom where I noticed a skill or concept introduced that looks challenging.  I can usually assume that my students might need simplification, clarification, reinforcement, relevant examples or a knowledge connection.  I’ll start out by asking them about what was covered in therapy to see what they retained.  Then adjust the therapy session accordingly.

Even though many would disagree with me, the speech pathologist is not there to teach academics.  We are there to fill gaps.  The SLP needs to focus on teaching underlying skills that aid independent learning and life skills.  It is difficult to work on remediating language disabilities if we also have to address academics.
Last thoughts......It is important to have an idea of the basic curriculum.  If a student asks for help with academics, try to drop everything, find out what they need and help them out.  I know that if a student comes to me with an academic questions they are either struggling, confused or overwhelmed.

From my newest blog The School Speech Therapist  for more information on Speech and Language development.

Your Middle Schooler is staying put!

Hello Everyone,
     Last week I launched my new blog The School Speech Therapist.  On my new blog is a page for "Your Middle Schooler:  A Unique Age".  I was going to discontinue this blog but have decided to post middle school material on both blog sites.  Please visit my new site and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Your Middle Schooler: A Unique Age is Moving!

Hello Everyone!

     Your Middle Schooler: A Unique Age is not only moving but expanding.  The new site is called
The School Speech Therapist.  Your Middle Schooler: A Unique Age will have its own page on the site.
     I am very excited about the prospect of expanding my site.  There have been many topics in the field of Speech Language Pathology that I have been interested in writing about that don't quite fit in Your MIddle Schooler.
     Please take a look but keep in mind the site is still under construction.  I welcome comments and questions.  I really want this site to become interactive for parents, therapists, teachers and administrators.

Teresa Sadowski MA/SLP-ccc

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

For SLP's Only.........Goal and Objective Writing

     I would love to find out how other speech therapists across the country are writing goals and objectives.  I want to collect actual goal samples  in all areas  but especially in the areas of pragmatics and higher level language development.  I'm interested in how detailed you get and how you measure those goals (observation vs. hard data).  Please include what area of the country you are from, how big your caseload is, what type of school/clinic you work at and if you do your own testing.  
     After over 25 years of working maybe I need to freshen up my skills a little.  I also want to know it there is such a think as a "right" way to write goals and objectives.
     I would also be interested in speech and language materials that would be leveled for specific ages and grades.  Any suggestions are welcomed     Please send samples to my e-mail or post on this site.  I may compile the sample goals for an article.


Teresa Sadowski
Ipswich MA


Monday, November 7, 2011

Being Proactive is Key

     I happen to come across this article called "Special Ed Strategies: Be Clear, Be Proactive, Be Inventive"  I was actually quite impressed.  I have to say I am lucky enough to work in a school that follows most if not all of the proactive steps outlined.  In the past 25 years, I know systems that work better are the ones that are flexible enough to be proactive, see it from the parents perspective and have the administration support.
     If I knew that an extra half hour of speech and language services was going to help a parent feel empowered and more comfortable with the service delivery, I offered it.  Once I worked with a very skilled program manager who had no problem holding marathon IEP meetings.  This made the parent feel like the team cared about their child, was listening to their concerns and taking those concerns seriously.  Rushing meetings or squeezing them into a half hour or hour just feels wrong.
     There are a few other things that would bother me as a parent that I've seen happen in meetings that are not proactive.  I don't see classroom teachers taking notes when specialists are presenting their opinion or findings.  Team members often play musical chairs during meetings.  They leave and don't come back or send someone in their place.  So they only get half the information.  Advice..... be proactive and hire a sub.  I saw one administrator pull out their blackberry during a meeting, hope someone let this new administrator know it wasn't a typical board meeting.
     Being proactive is also a good rule for regular education too.  A good behavioral plan that is consistent can solve a lot of problems.  Creating and initiating universal supports will only strengthen your curriculum and hopefully save time.  Schools need to preach high expectations and follow through.
     I've worked in schools that take proactive measures and schools that didn't.  The schools that didn't are always trying out new programs and new systems as a knee jerk reaction.  Schools like this rarely accomplish anything.  With some proactive measures in place it will be amazing how well your school can run.