What we do, what we don’t do – common misconceptions

I have worked as a Speech and Language therapist for the last 16 years and it is a large part of my life. However, I always make sure to remember that parents of the children I work with often have very little experience of what we do.
One of the most common preconceptions adults have of Speech and Language Therapy is that it is all about ‘speech impediments’. We would never use the word ‘impediment’ because it is unnecessarily negative and reduces a sometimes complex communication difficulty down to something that sounds like a physical quirk.
Most of the work we do is supporting children who have difficulty understanding or using spoken language. So, for example, language therapy is about understanding what people are saying and enabling children to express themselves effectively in their own words. This sounds straightforward. Most of the time we do not think about the process of communicating. It seems like an ‘innate’ skill. But when there is a hitch it can be devastating and it takes knowledge and experience to unpick and rebuild.
This has been just a starter, as you can tell, it’s a huge topic, which I will be revisiting on this blog.