I recently watched a webinar regarding ethics in Speech Language Pathology. The lecturer, who had a fabulous Irish accent, discussed what makes a Speech Language Pathologist clinically competent or even an “expert”. Is it how many letters she has after her name? (I am using female pronouns for the sake of simplicity. I apologize to males in my field.) Is it how many articles she has published? Is it her tenured position at a prestigious university? Of course the answer is no. What makes a therapist competent is her continual quest for learning and researching. She needs to be able to draw upon her knowledge and experience when making a clinical decision about a client. AND she needs to be able to to combine her knowledge, clinical judgment, with the family members’ insight and desires when developing a therapy plan. Parents and clients are the greatest source of information, the TRUE EXPERTS, and they should feel involved and valued. If parents feel bullied or discounted, therapy will not be effective. Child first, family first…that is the philosophy at Reaching New Heights.
Donna Rowan Culley is an SLP and a life long learner!