A school based Speech and Language Therapist shared this letter with us. She sends it home to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
Notice the positive, collaborative tone and her emphasis on you being involved in the IEP process.
My name is Mrs. _________ and I am the school’s Speech & Language Pathologist. This letter is to welcome you to this upcoming school year and to let you know that I will be one of the professionals from the team of professionals that will be working with your child this year. While each and every specialist that will be working with your child will provide them with a great deal of education, an array of skills/techniques and support to further enhance their education, it is imperative that you keep in mind that these professionals, including me, only have a limited amount of time to spend with your child. That being said, the main point of this letter is to remind you and express to you, the parents/guardians, of the important role that you play in your child’s education. Although it may seem that as educators, we know how to best help your child, but you, in fact hold a vital role in furthering your child’s education and doing all that you can do in order to help them make functional gains from the services they receive while at school. Keeping this information in mind, I will now take this time to provide you with helpful tips of how you can best assist your children in benefiting from the education, skills and techniques they are provided at school.
Firstly, the best tip that I can give any parent is to be as involved and as proactive about your child’s education as possible. For example, any child receiving Speech & Language services in the school setting is entitled to an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This IEP involves a process in which the child’s parents meet with the team of professionals that will be working with your child. During this process, information regarding the services that your child will be provided are discussed, such as the goals that will be set for your child and the progress they are making via receiving these professional services. I encourage you to be present at these meetings and to be proactive and ask questions and be as involved as possible in order to ensure that your child will receive the maximum amount of support in order to make the maximum amount of progress.
Other than being involved in meetings, it is important that you, as the parent/guardian stay on top of your child’s school work. This not only includes making sure that they complete their homework, but as one of the professionals working with your child, I will be sending a folder home with your child that will contain the materials that we worked on during our sessions each week. I hope that you could set aside fifteen minutes a few nights of the week to review and practice the information that is sent home with your child. Apart from reviewing the material that is in the folder that will be sent home with your child weekly, another thing that you can do with your child that can help them improve their speech & language skills is joint book reading. Reading with your child is not only a great way to bond with your child and to improve these speech & language skills, but it is also a way in which you can get a feel for the areas in which your child is excelling or the areas that your child can benefit from improvement.
I hope that you highly consider and implement the tips that I have provided you in this letter. If there is any way that I can be of any more help, or if you would like some more tips or have any questions, please feel free to contact me either via email or by phone. I am looking forward to an exciting and successful year with your child!
Your Child’s SLP