A typical day varies depending on the client groups that the therapist is working with. Speech and language therapists work with children and adults with speech difficulties and with language difficulties including understanding and using language. Possible client groups include clients with learning disability, physical difficulties such as cerebral palsy, genetic syndromes including down syndrome, delayed language development, stammering, stroke, head injury, autism, attention deficit disorder, cleft lip and palate, dyslexia, hearing impairment, voice difficulties, swallowing difficulties.
My typical day involves: I spend four mornings a week in a local primary school where there are two language units. These are small classes for children with specific language impairment. This means that they have average intellectual abilities but have severe speech or language difficulties. They receive their speech and language therapy during school hours several times every week.
In the afternoons and on Fridays I see children in two centres; the local health centre and an outpatient centre for children with physical and sensory difficulties. These children come to the clinic with their parents for assessment and therapy. The therapy I provide varies greatly depending on the client's individual needs. It may include: speech work, oro-motor exercises (these target the muscles involved in speech production), listening skills, play skills, following instructions, grammar, sentence production, conversational skills, and understanding of concepts.
This timetable can change as I sometimes visit schools to liaise with teachers regarding a child's speech and language programme. I also attend meetings to discuss and develop our service and I sometimes attend courses to learn new assessment and therapy skills. Working from a variety of locations every week requires organisation and forward planning. I have to plan ahead what I will need in each location and the children I will be working with.