I am a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA), more commonly known as a Speech Language Assistant (SLA), (recent grads may be using Communication Health Assistant), who supports a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) (and/or Audiologist) by:
- Providing treatment that is customized for the client, their family, and their learning styles.
- Targeting speech and language therapy goals from the SLP (or Audiologist) in a treatment plan.
- Collecting data or language samples for measurement of progress of goals, types of prompts and cues.
- Creating and programming Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) visuals.
- Writing progress notes documenting types of prompts and cues to support.
- Providing feedback to the client and their caregiver about weekly progress and homework.
- Monthly meetings with SLP for documentation review and joint sessions as per allotted supervision.
How Do I Do All of This?
- Play – songs, books, toys, sensory, pretend & imaginary play, constructional.
- Activities – art, music, drills – anything that is interesting to the client.
- Games – people games, rule-based, structured, made-up, reinforcers.
- Conversations – with the client and their families, with the SLP and colleagues, with the community.
- Handouts – visual representation of strategies and homework for carry-over.
- In-person (strict guidelines during pandemic).
- Virtual care (mostly during pandemic).
What Are the Tricks?
Educating on Communication
- Language is the understanding and knowledge of the world around us.
- Speech is a way to verbally express our understanding and knowledge.
- Communication is how we connect with others to share these messages: verbal and non-verbal.
- Connection is the key to a good interaction.
- A good interaction has a balanced back and forth which leads to opportunities for learning and sharing.
- Foundational skills of a good interaction should not be skipped!
- A lot of layers of strategies within strategies come into play.
- Naturalistic approach integrated with structured approach always seems to be successful.
- Speech, language, and communication are my passion.
- I can go on forever about these linguistic subjects!
This is me…my ‘why’. Unraveling more potential after my Technical Writing journey, resurfacing for more.