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Samantha Santiaguel

Professor Kole Matheson

English 211C

24 April 2017

The Importance of Early Intervention for Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathology is a combination of both sciences and social sciences and is

primarily the study of speech, language, and communication disorders. Speech Pathologists

focus their treatment on six fields; speech, language, cognition, swallowing, fluency, and voice.

Research is combined with reason in order to make effective clinical decisions for the patient.

The services that Speech Pathologists provide is important because it allows those with speech

impediments to learn crucial communication skills needed for daily and basic needs and wants

from childhood to adulthood (McHose). A central issue in Speech-Language Pathology is early

intervention for those who show early signs of speech or language delays at a young agefrom

birth to the age of five. These studies have emphasized early intervention, as opposed to parents

who have chosen to wait and see if their children would grow out of their delay (Eisenberg).

The aim of this paper is to persuade parents to seek speech-language therapy as soon as they

notice any speech, language, or communication delays in their children, further explore my

chosen major, and to have future success in English class.

According to Carrie Rosler, a registered Speech-Language Pathologist who practices

pediatric speech pathology, many parents are told by friends and family to wait and see when

they realize that their child has a speech or language delay. What people mean when they say

wait and see, is that their child will eventually grow out of their language delay in their own
time and that their delay in communication is not that big of a deal. Although most would agree

that this method is indeed effective, Elaine Weitzman, speech-language pathologist and

Executive Director of The Hanen Centre, states that delaying speech therapy is detrimental to

child development by delaying or losing precious time that they need during their childs

learning phases. She further goes into detail by explaining that from birth to about five years of

age, children are more responsive and pay more attention to what is going on around them. By

receiving therapy during an early age, children are able to get the support they need in order to

receive necessary feedback for language-learning (Starting Early). Early intervention is

important and crucial to a child because it helps to better develop communication skills,

interactions with others, and develops social skills and emotional development where they are

able to better express themselves in a way that benefits both themselves and whoever they are

interacting with (Rosler). It is more so crucial to start to get the child to catch up with their peers

because it is exceptionally difficult for the child to be on par with their classmates while in

school. Classmate interactions may be difficult and it can also make it difficult for the teacher to

find an effective way to teach that single child if they are behind in their developmental skills,

forcing them to either come up with a specialized lesson plan or to isolate them from their peers,

which they are more likely to choose the latter (McHose).

Although seeking Speech-Language therapy can be beneficial to a childs development,

the wait and see tactic may also be beneficial for a child. It really all depends on the condition

and the child. There are times when using the wait and see strategy is more convenient because

the child may simply be experiencing a short delay in their learning curve and after waiting it out

a few months and working with the child personally, they can potentially catch up on their own

without seeking further professional help. Other cases are much more serious though, and it is
always safe to say that seeking professional help from a Speech-Language Pathologist is more

beneficial for both the child and parent (Rosler).

As stated by Norbury, children that do not receive speech-language help are more prone

to obtaining more language deficiencies, increasing their chances of needing psychopathology

because these simple language or speech delays can further develop into problems with the

childs mentality as they grow older. The purpose of learning primary school level knowledge is

to be able to have a basis on further knowledge needed when attending higher education levels.

When a child is unable to keep up with the lessons learned in kindergarten or first grade, they

have more trouble with expressing themselves in class, causing them to either speaking limitedly

or not speaking at all. This not only affects their social skills, but it also affects their future

education (McHose). The sudden break or delay in a childs communication skills are more

serious than what most people think. A delay may also coexist with other problem behaviors such

as autism spectrum disorder, meaning the parents should definitely take action as soon as

possible in order to find better ways in which the child can work with their disability while in

school.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, there are

four principles that guide Speech-Language Pathologists in performing effective early

intervention. The first principle is that the services are family-centered, meaning that the family

of the patient must be involved in the sessions and should be the primary beneficiary of the

services. By doing so, the child and family will have better communication with each other, not

only that, but parents are the number one role models that children look up to as they grow older.

The second principle is that the sessions provided are in a natural setting. By doing so, the child

can learn and grow efficiently by going through normal social activities they may face in the
future. Again, parents play a big role in this principle because they can put in their knowledge

learned from the speech pathologist. For example, parents may exercise language strategies and

activities during playtime, while reading books, and also while doing other daily routines. The

third principle is that sessions are comprehensive, coordinated, and often team based. Lastly, the

fourth principle is that sessions are on the highest quality evidence available in order to better

guide the Speech Pathologist with their decisions in therapy. (Paul and Roth 320).

METHODS

For my research in the IMRaD essay, I researched the topic of early intervention for speech-

language therapy. I looked at the benefits of early intervention and considered the alternatives to

speech therapy. Through the research done, I talked about the importance of seeking speech

therapy in children that show signs of a language, speech, or communication disorder. In order to

write the IMRaD essay, I conducted research through reading articles that came from the Old

Dominion University Library database. I made sure that the articles that I pulled from the library

database were peer-reviewed articles that contained the sources that they used in their own

research. Not only did I use articles from the library database, but I also included information

that I learned from my professor from my Survey Communication and Disorders class. Along

with the peer-reviewed articles and the information I learned from my class, I included articles

that I found simply from searching up my research topic on Google. Through the process of

writing the IMRaD essay, we did multiple in class writings where we were able to think critically

on our research topics. We thoroughly went through and evaluated each of our sources and jotted

down which information was valuable enough to be included into the research paper. Class

discussions also aided in the process of the essay as it helped us to decide on the topics we were

required to include into the assigned paper. Going from the Social Justice synthesis paper to the
IMRaD Research paper, I was able to carryover the learned skills of finding primary sources and

I was able to accurately use the sources within my paper.

RESULTS

Throughout the course of English 211C, I have shown good performance in keeping up with the

essays and writing journals. Although some of the writing journals were not turned in, I was still

able to portray requirements for the class. I have attended all classes with an exception of one

class where I left a few minutes early and have acquired a total of 700 participation points for

doing so. Out of the eleven word journals we had throughout the course, I have completed a total

of nine world journals and received a complete grade for all of them. Along with the word

journals, I have also completed all of the in class assignments such as the discussion questions

and free writes. The essays that were assigned to be completed in the class were mostly

completed and were all turned in through Google Drive. With the peer reviews and instructor

conferences, I was able to reflect on my own writing as well as other fellow classmates writings.

I found this very useful in the process of writing each essay because I could fix any mistakes or

further improve my paper in order to receive a good grade in the class. As a new essay is

assigned throughout the course, we work on building up topics that we can use within each paper

in class. By doing so, we were able to slowly build up on drafts for the paper, and before the

paper is due, we have a good blueprint of what we are required to write about for the final

product. This helped in the process of essay writing as it made it easier for me, the writer, giving

me a solid ground to start on for writing.

DISCUSSION
The aim of the articles contained in the introduction is to persuade parents to seek professional

help from a Speech-Language Pathologist as soon as they notice any delays or even changes in

their childs speech or communication. Some controversies that were apparent throughout several

articles pertaining whether it is worth it to go through with early intervention or to wait it out

and see if the child will grow out of their delay (Eisenberg). I feel that it is more important to

seek professional help because it not only benefits the child, but it also helps build a strong

relationship between the children and their parents. The features of the articles that I like was that

they went into detail about how Speech Pathologists should not be the main influence on the

children, but the parents should be because they are the main role models and are constantly in

contact with their children in a natural setting (Paul and Roth 320).

Writing in the field of Speech-Language Pathology plays a major role in the process of making

procedures for patients. Although physically writing out procedures, case studies, and treatments

are important, there are also other means of writing. For example, in some cases of examinations,

a Speech Pathologist may need to use a technique called a Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation on

Swallowing, or FEES for short. FEES is basically a x-ray video of the patient swallowing

various liquids. The purpose of FEES is to see whether or not foods or liquids are able to clearly

pass through the pharynx (McHose). In order to write effectively in my field, I must use

professional vocabulary that is necessary to accurately and thoroughly explain the condition of a

patient. I must be accurate in my writings so as not to confuse both myself and any higher-ups

that may evaluate my diagnosis.

My attitude towards myself as a writer has changed significantly. I have become more positive

and confident in my writing skills and find it easy to write out my thoughts. My strengths as a

writer are that I am able to accurately distinguish the difference between primary and secondary
sources, and I am able to find them in the right format in order for me to utilize them into my

writing. Among the papers that I have written so far, I am the most confident in the IMRaD essay

because I feel that I am the strongest in writing research papers. Although I feel that I have

grown more confident in my writing, I feel that I still need to improve. The paper that I show the

most weakness in is the Who Am I? essay because I did not know exactly what to write about

since I was required to talk about myself. Due to being enrolled in this course, I have been able

to apply concepts from this course to other courses where writing is required. I am able to

accurately source any articles I have used or talked about in my papers in the citations page and I

am also able to accurately use in-text citations.


Works Cited

Eisenberg, Becca. 5 Reasons Why Speech & Language Therapy is Crucial for a Non-Verbal Child.

Friendship Circle Special Needs Resource Blog, 14 May 2015. Accessed 24 March 2017.

McHose, Beth. Personal interview. 10 January 2017.

Norbury, Courtenay Frazier. "Editorial: Early Intervention in Response to Language Delays - Is There a

Danger of Putting Too Many Eggs in the Wrong Basket?." Journal of Child Psychology &

Psychiatry, vol. 56, no. 8, Aug. 2015, pp. 835-836. Accessed 20 March 2017.

Paul, Diane and Roth, Froma. "Guiding Principles and Clinical Applications for Speech-Language

Pathology Practice in Early Intervention." Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools, vol.

42, no. 3, July 2011, pp. 320-330. Accessed 15 March 2017.

Rosler, Carrie. Benefits of Tackling Speech and Language Delays Early On. S.L Hunter Speechworks

to Understand and Be Understood, February 2015

slhunterspeechworks.com/2015/02/17/benefits-tackling-speech-language-delays-early/. Accessed

16 March 2017.

Starting Early: Why Its So Important. The Hanen Centre, www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/When-You-

Are-Concerned/Starting-Early.aspx. Accessed 16 March 2017.