Flexibility: the contortions of an SLP

On Tuesday I listed the basic format I follow for a 30 min artic treatment session. But does it always follow that rigid a timeline? Of course not.

Last week, I collected a cherub from his classroom. I had our treatment room prepared with an assortment of exciting activities.

We built rapport on our walk in the hall. We recapped goals. We started some rapid sequence drills and then…..”WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”

Good news, the bloodcurdling scream was not from the child across from me. However, much like a fire truck roaring up behind you, this little person came down the hallway and turned into our alcove. “BAM” went the guidance counselor’s door—clearly a child in need of serious guidance. The tantrum intensified. The acoustics, never ideal in my closet, reverberated until I considered a tantrum too.
And that’s when a treatment plan goes out the window. Suddenly, we are having impromptu scavenger hunts in (distant) hallways. We are rehearsing, then engaging other with a question. We use bulletin boards to elicit targets.

Pediatric therapists are, by necessity, a flexible bunch. You never know if a child will go along with a plan on a given day. But it pays to remember that a plan is a list of suggestions—don’t be afraid to bend!



The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.