After researching the different types of technology available for speech patients and the media’s opinion of technology used for speech therapy I thought it would be helpful to learn first hand how a Speech Language Pathologist feels about this new mode of therapy, and whether or not it’s actually helpful. I have been shadowing a really great SLP at High Shoals Elementary, Mrs. Diana Hendry, and when I asked her for help with my question she was more than happy to give me information.
Mrs. Hendry is very positive about the rise of technology as an aid for practicing speech therapy. She herself has a Smart Board in her classroom and uses it fairly often for younger students who learn better by playing speech oriented games. She noted that while the technology is very helpful, it is important to have an adult with the child while they are playing the games to make sure they’re actually saying the sound or phrases they’re working on. She was very happy about the new helpful role of technology. While she doesn’t fully depend on technology to conduct therapy in the classroom, she is definitely happy about it as an aid when she needs it.
When I asked Ms. Hendry about technology that students can use at home for their own speech therapy practice, she showed me a website that I thought was really cool. The website, Qia.com, has a speech therapy tab where activities can be found for the specific speech or language goals the child is working on at the time. I thought this was a really great resource, and it was easy enough to navigate that I feel a child could use it. She did say that, again, a parent might want to be close by so that the child is actually saying the words the correct way and practicing the right way.
The specific Qia website is here: http://www.quia.com/shared/speech_therapy/
I thought it was really interesting to hear about Mrs. Hendry’s opinion of technology in speech therapy today, and how she finds it useful. I know there are some who are pretty skeptical about its use and are wary to adopt it as a technique. I was able to see some of her students practice on the smart board, and it was obvious that they were enjoying the way they were learning. It would make sense that this might be the case if the technology was in the home for practice as well.