1. What is an SLP?
Speech-language pathologists (also known as SLPs or speech therapists) are professionals who are highly trained in the assessment and treatment of communication disorders. SLPs work with people of all ages who struggle with making sounds (articulation), producing and understanding language, and issues related to vocal quality, fluency (stuttering), and swallowing and feeding. SLPs who “have their C’s” are holders of the Certificate of Clinical Competence, a credential issued by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association that assures a level of clinical excellence.
2. What is an OT?
Occupational therapists (or OTs) are professionals who are highly trained in the assessment and treatment of issues related to the performance of everyday activities. OTs work with people of all ages and abilities to help them fully participate and gain independence in all aspects of daily life, including dressing, feeding, and work-related skills. Some OTs also specialize in issues related to the hands or issues related to sensory processing. OTs may earn both Board Certification and/or Speciality Certification from the American Occupational Therapy Association.
3. What is a school psychologist?
School psychologists are professionals who are highly trained in the areas of developmental psychology, educational psychology, and mental health. They work to assess students and develop plans that support student success across school environments. School psychologists are credentialed by the state in which they work and may also be certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB), a program administered by The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
4. Why do school districts and ESDs contact you for help?
High workloads for staff, family leaves, vacancies, short-term medical leaves can all result in the need for administrators to contact us for assistance. We can even provide substitutes if staff are ill. In addition, school districts committed to superior service are always interested in identifying high quality service providers. We have a reputation for being easy to work with, transparent, and for being student focused. And of course, our clinicians are second to none!
5. How do you ensure the highest quality of service to students and districts?
We dedicate resources to Delivering Quality Service at every level of our organization. First, we work to understand district and building priorities before a contract is signed so that our specialists enter their placements ready to be effective team members. Then, while our specialists are in your district, we provide site supervision to ensure they are meeting both our high expectations and the needs of the workload. We further support our clinicians and the work they do with ongoing free continuing education and a vibrant online community that is always available for collaboration. Finally, our conversations with districts and specialists don’t stop when the contract is signed. Our Leadership Team is available to answer phone calls and emails everyday and prides itself on prompt, clear, and meaningful communication.
6. When considering hiring, what do you look for in a specialist?
We want to know what is important to you as a clinician, professionally and personally. We look for folks who ask smart questions, who are curious, who are open to tackling challenges and dynamic problem-solving. Experience working in the public schools is important. We are not interested in someone who already knows most everything. We love the folks that are strong enough to ask for help. Our consistent delivery of superior service comes from staff with passionate whys and a belief in the power of service within the schools. Candidates must be a good fit for our culture of collaboration, sharing, energy, and learning.
7. What do specialists bring to the table?
Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists bring a unique and highly specialized perspective to any discussion regarding student success. They are distinctly equipped to identify a given student’s strengths and challenges as they relate to the general education curriculum. Specialists are also able to provide specially designed instruction direct to the student, and to support other staff in scaffolding instruction to the child’s ability level. Active, engaged, and enthusiastic specialists ensure every student experiences success throughout the school day.