- Weed through all of the papers, manuals, and orientation/training materials you received and make a list of all important deadlines in progressive order. This will ensure you stay on top of them!
- Make a spreadsheet schedule of when you see clients/students, laminate it, and follow it!
- Print a list of your clients/students in order of when annual reviews and reevaluations are due.
- If you’re overloaded with initial evaluations to complete, pick a feasible number of evaluations to be completed weekly. Schedule those and pat yourself on the back when you accomplish the number you set, even if it’s just one or two weekly.
- When first getting to know your clients/students, place simple abbreviations of their goals on the data sheets you’re utilizing to quickly jog your memory about their challenge areas. Even if your main target for the therapy session is X, you can be indirectly addressing Y or Z as well.
- Be prepared for meetings. If you know certain topics, disorders, or clients/students will be discussed, if you are unfamiliar with that subject, do your homework. You don’t have to know it all, but aim to gain the trust of those around you by adding to the discussion.
- Maintain open and frequent communications with your CFY supervisor.
- As you build your “tool box” of therapy materials, think functional, relevant, and motivational. Invest in materials that will motivate your clients/students to invest themselves in their own progress.
- Don’t merely make plans for great therapy sessions…carry them out!
- Make yourself readily available to family members, parents, teachers, administrators, and coworkers. Be an approachable point of contact for questions or concerns. If you don’t know the answer, there’s always opportunity to look it up!
- Know your clients’/students’ birthdays and other important information. We all like to know that we’re more than just a name (or number on a caseload).
- Take part in your clients’/students’ special activities or life events when possible.
- Develop a simple monthly or quarterly newsletter for family members, parents, teachers, administrators and/or coworkers. Let the first one be an introduction to yourself and market yourself as a resource on speech and language issues. Because we’re all inundated with things to read and little time to read them, make each newsletter short, concise, and interesting.
- Prepare a bulletin board accentuating your services or an area of interest or benefit to your clients/students. Don’t wait until May when Better Speech and Hearing Month comes around!
(This post originally appeared on The Speech Stop)
Ana Paula G. Mumy, MS, CCC-SLP, is a trilingual speech-language pathologist and the author of various continuing education eCourses, leveled storybooks, and instructional therapy materials for speech/language intervention, as well as the co-author of her latest eSongbook which features songs for speech, language and hearing goals. She has provided school-based and pediatric home health care services for nearly 12 years and thoroughly enjoys providing resources for SLPs, educators and parents on her website The Speech Stop.