A Day in the Life of a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist

March 11, 2015

ZeringueAt The Emerge Center, we offer a variety of services, and many of our patients receive multiple therapies. You may know the types of therapy your child is receiving but still wonder what goes on inside the classroom to help your child reach their full potential. We spoke to Ms. Christie Zeringue, one of our Pediatric Speech Language Pathologists (SLP), to find out what an average day for her is like with her patients.

Q: What is one of your main goals that you keep top of mind each day?

A: “As a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in an early intervention setting, it is crucial to remember how important these early years are for our little friends. One of the main goals for an SLP in this setting is to establish and/or improve communication, both verbal and non-verbal. It’s important that we think about things like eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, and sounds in addition to our verbal language.”

Q: What do you think is a key component of successful therapy for an SLP?

A: “As I go through the day, I keep in mind that an important component in therapy success is building trust with the child. Most of the children that I see are between the ages of two and six. Due to the younger age range, most of the therapy is conducted in a ‘play’ format. This ‘play’ format creates both a level of fun, trust and friendship. Through this trust, I begin to help the children expand their communication skills.”

Q: What are some specific things you work on every day with your patients?

A: “In a single day, I see a variety of children; each with their own individualized skills and goals. There are several areas I may target with different children depending on those individual skills and goals. These target areas could be any of the following: receptive language, expressive language, social language, augmentative communication (communication through a device) and/or articulation.”

Q: In your opinion, what is something that sets our speech department apart from others?

A: “One of the most unique things about being a speech therapist at The Emerge Center is the group language therapy approach. With this approach, therapy is provided to a group of approximately six children in a naturalistic manner throughout a preschool-style format. When leading groups each day, I have the opportunity to facilitate and promote a variety of language skills as well as peer interaction.”

“I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity in life to enable communication for these children. Each and every day in the life of a pediatric speech therapist can be different based on each child; however one thing always remains the same and that is the absolute joy that comes from being around these children.”