Speech and Language Pathology
What do Helen Keller, King George the VI, and Brehm students have in common? They all benefited from hard-working, creative communication teachers. Born blind and deaf, Keller learned to speak, write, and read. King George overcame a stutter and conquered his fear of public speaking. And Brehm students have advanced skills and self-confidence through the services of Brehm’s credentialed Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs).
Speech and Language today is a scientific, evidence-based clinical profession specializing in the fundamentals of communication and swallowing. In general, Speech-Language treatment addresses deficits in:
articulation, fluency, voice
word, sentence, paragraph meaning; reading, writing, literacy
hearing acuity, auditory processing
oral and laryngeal mechanics
reading situations and people, advocating, conversing
problem-solving, executive function, attention, and memory
When desired, SLPs can also aid in accent reduction, transgender communication, professional voice use, and business communication. Speech services are offered throughout the lifespan: from babies failing to thrive during feeding; toddlers struggling to speak; to stroke patients with aphasia.
What Speech and Language Pathologists Do
SLPs use standardized tests to determine whether an examinee’s skills are within age expectations, or if a delay or disorder is present. SLPs then develop goals and deliver treatment using evidence-based interventions. Beyond the session room, SLPs educate individuals and families, consult with other professionals, and give expert testimony in court cases. Speech-Language can be a mandated “related service” in the IEP process.
What Speech and Language Pathologists Do
Brehm Speech-Language Pathologists work to enhance student lives by improving their ability to navigate the world, find social and academic success, discover their strengths, and heal their self-esteem. Many students come to Brehm with unique learning and functional challenges which may have eluded previous interventions. Aspects of many Learning Disabilities (LDs) can be remediated through Speech and Language, which is why it was part of the bedrock of the Brehm program from its inception. For example, a reading comprehension LD may have roots in delayed vocabulary development, made worse by poor memory; a written expression disability may be based in poor language organization skills. Students with autism have varying levels of “theory of mind.” A word-finding deficit may impact a student both in the classroom and socially. Therefore, 95% of Brehm students automatically receive Speech-Language services typically of 100-150 minutes per week at no extra cost.
Brehm employs several SLPs, allowing for small caseloads and provision of at least one individual session and one group session weekly per student. Usually, students are “pulled out” of non-content classes, such as art or PE.
“Given Brehm’s holistic approach and outstanding interdisciplinary communication, SLPs access an extensive range of student data and professional perspectives. This comprehensive analysis results in highly tailored, creative, effective treatment approaches.”
Brehm SLPs are part of a holistic team that collaborates with teachers, dorm parents, social workers, administrative staff, and parents to promote understanding of the student and develop strategies. We participate in team meetings, IEPs, and due process hearings. Brehm SLPs stay informed and research appropriate scientific interventions and will make referrals to other professionals. SLPs help students with homework, speeches, friendship, dating, planning, problem-solving; whatever they need. We often help them understand the nature of their disability and what can be done about it.
In addition, SLPs at Brehm are well-versed in facilitative learning and self-awareness principles which are themselves language based. These include growth mindset, Bloom’s taxonomy of learning, executive functioning strategies, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Social emotional learning can be facilitated in Speech-Language through practice “reframing” negative statements and expansion of emotional vocabulary, in collaboration with related professionals.
Our work is an integral part of the big-picture goal at Brehm of helping students heal their self-esteem by developing and believing in their strengths.
“Speech and Language services at Brehm directly underpin the mission to empower students.”
SLP Qualifications & Training
SLPs undergo rigorous master’s-level education with a year of internship and are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This certification is maintained through regular continuing education to keep our practitioners current with new research and practices. Some SLPs are further qualified with teacher certification. State professional licensure is also required, and ethical standards are upheld in both national and state contexts.