One reason that I named this practice 'ConnectSLP' is that I believe that communication growth happens primarily through relationships - through connecting with others. Other factors play a role, but the key is not drills, not apps, not formulas, not programs, not philosophies, not theories...the key is relationships. Lots of what we do is almost natural...my friend Brad says that our work is deceptively simple, and he's right. The ideas we share with parents sometimes seem too simple to be as powerful as they are.
That's why I'm a strong supporter of keeping a child in a natural setting, such as their classroom or their home or in the presence of their parents during therapy and that working together with the parents or teacher will come up with a much more powerful formula to help a child with delays or struggles than if I was sitting in a little room with them by myself working on some sounds once a week or so. Don't get me wrong, I've done that plenty through the years, in fact I did it just this morning for some /r/ words with two little girls! SLPs like to joke about the tiny therapy rooms we've used...bathrooms, hallways...I even remember sitting on a stack of bulk water bottles as my chair as the little closet room was too small to fit another chair! Good times. But it is tempting for us SLPs to enjoy looking like we have all the answers, and I know that is almost never the case. :)
You'd think this philosophy of working together with the child's team would be welcomed by the masses, but often I really have to convince a parent or teacher to be a key part of the treatment. Parents are often grieving about their dreams for their child, or really afraid about seeing some significant difficulties in their child, and that's a really tough space to be in. Also, I think sometimes all of us would like to just drop our kids off and come back with them all 'fixed', and it sometimes doesn't feel like therapy to a parent when the SLP talks to the parent for a good portion of the session. I don't say that to be condescending, as this is true for all kinds of parents that I have met through the years, including myself! But that time spent working with parents is really purposeful for me, as I really believe that training the parent will help the child more in the long run than a bit more pull-out treatment time. That being said, I feel really alive when I'm working directly with a child with speech and language difficulties, and it is exciting to see that connection and build their confidence and watch them grow. I have often said it's like magic, and it is magic to me, even after all these years, to see the light come on for a child as they realize the piece that they've been missing!
At ConnectSLP, I want our relationships to be humble, to be in partnership with others, to realize everyone has something worthwhile to share, and to be targeting what is truly useful for the child and their family from a holistic point of view.