The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role in Reading and Writing: In Theory Meets In Reality As the calendar turned from the 20th to the 21st century, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) published a series of papers that led with the title, Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists with Respect to Reading and Writing in Children and Adolescents (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2001). Given my personal ... Article
Article  |   September 29, 2017
The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role in Reading and Writing: In Theory Meets In Reality
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. Melanie Schuele
    Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: C. Melanie Schuele has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: C. Melanie Schuele has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: C. Melanie Schuele has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: C. Melanie Schuele has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Part 3
Article   |   September 29, 2017
The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role in Reading and Writing: In Theory Meets In Reality
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2017, Vol. 2, 115-116. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.115
History: Received February 15, 2017 , Revised May 30, 2017 , Accepted July 5, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2017, Vol. 2, 115-116. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.115
History: Received February 15, 2017; Revised May 30, 2017; Accepted July 5, 2017
As the calendar turned from the 20th to the 21st century, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) published a series of papers that led with the title, Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists with Respect to Reading and Writing in Children and Adolescents (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2001). Given my personal interest in reading and writing that began as an undergraduate, I was thrilled to see these documents. As a school clinician in the 1980s, I actively participated in furthering the literacy achievement of my students. For example, I participated in the meetings about adopting a new basal reading series in my school district. I regularly included literacy measures in my assessment of children with speech-language impairment. I incorporated print into my therapy sessions. I advocated for special education services in reading and writing for my students with language impairments. But as a college professor these documents somewhat scared me. How could I possibly prepare my students to assume these roles and meet these responsibilities as newly minted speech-language pathologists (SLPs)? Once I adopted the perspective that the Roles and Responsibilities document was really a road map for pre-professional and professional development, my anxiety decreased. My job as a college professor was two-fold. First I had to make sure that my teaching pushed my students onto the reading and writing road. Second, I had to make sure my students had the roadmap in their back pockets as they headed out the door after graduation to become life-long learners of language and literacy. My job as a professional development provider was to craft professional development experiences that enhanced SLPs' knowledge and skills in assuming these roles and meeting these responsibilities. And I had to remind each student that if he/she followed this roadmap, then perhaps on the last day of his/her career, he/she might say, “Yes, I can do everything on that roadmap and do it well.”
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