Monday, April 20, 2009

Speech Therapy and International Adoption

This is a blog post that I've been going to post for several months, but just hadn't found the time, or done it yet. I've had several parents ask me questions regarding adoption/international adoption/ speech-language therapy lately.
I am a SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist) and work in the public school setting. I have to admit that this area (as you would suspect) is a HUGE interest to me...

Let me give you a little background... I graduated with my Master's in Speech-Language Pathology in 2002, and have been employed with the public school systems ever since! This is my 7th year as a SLP in the public school setting. Yes, not a lot of experience, but some at the same time. I remember NOTHING in undergraduate or graduate school about speech-language in internationally adopted kids. (This DOES NOT mean they didn't cover it... I've forgotten so much...) Yes, we did learn some about English as a second language, but mainly I remember that we can't/don't serve a child for speech-language delays/disorders, unless we know that this child has a delay that is not a direct result of lack of instruction in English.
Of course you have to be able to show on standardized testing that the child has a delay/disorder... and if the child isn't fluent or does not understand English.. well, you'd have to test him/her in the language they know and have been taught.... and if they don't have a delay in that area.. then NO, they wouldn't qualify for speech therapy.

As the months have passed and I've watched and read numerous families coming home with their babies/children from all over the world. My heart has argued with my brain. I have wondered how this is so... Isn't the job of a SLP to help the children COMMUNICATE?!?! I know that's my goal... to help the kids I serve communicate in their world around them... and if their speech/language skills are interfering with their academics/ communication with teachers and peers.... well, then yes, they need to be seen! :-)

I have been very interested to read things on this subject and have done a little research myself... trying to educate myself to what other SLP's are saying and thinking!

Basically, I want to help my friends and other adoptive families get the therapy they need for their children!

ASHA (American Speech-Hearing Association) is the association all SLP's must belong to in order to practice as an SLP and maintain their ccc's. There was an article over this exact subject in the ASHA journal a few months ago... and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Click HERE to read. (It's fairly long, so instead of posting it.. I'll let you go there and read it for yourself!)

It is a very well written article and gives some great answers to common MYTHS regarding speech-language and international adoption. The author is also an SLP and a fellow adopted mom.

I will be the first to admit that I AM NOT an expert in this area, but I want to see any and all children be able to communicate to their fullest potential! I would love to answer any questions anyone has about this issue.. and try to help if you have any questions.

Many Blessings,


Jessica and Chris said...

This is an EXCELLENT article. It seems to be that children should be seen and then if it is determined later that they do not need it, then well it did not hurt them in the least. The article says that many did not need it but that some did. Wouldn't you rather have it and not need it than the other way around. I found this fascinating!!!! I already forwarded it to the SLP and the partent I was talking to you about. thanks!!!!

The Gobble's (Lanetta) said...

The good thing about this article is that it's supported and approved by ASHA.... any SLP would have a hard time denying it's validity... I was also excited to find it... and have continued to research this very issue!!!!
I want everyone to just bring those adopted babies to me... I'll see EVERY single one for Speech Therapy!!!! :-) and I'd love every minute!!!

Jstar said...

Great timing - Sasha goes in for a speech assessment tomorrow!

Baby Kaz Moore said...

Interesting - thanks! Susan

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name, welcomes me!” Matt 18:5

Visit our website...

Click here to visit our website to read about how our journey to international adoption began... and how God spoke to our hearts to open our lives and family to a child who otherwise might not ever know him.
God bless!

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