At Bilinguistics, we work with Spanish speaking children almost exclusively. Having said that however, bilingual speech pathologists make up only 3% of the field with the rest being monolingual English. We’re on this bilingual island but have important information that monolingual English-speaking therapists need. Many of the Spanish- speaking SLP’s in Central Texas Districts know about us, but we also need to speak as much or more to the monolingual community. They can truly benefit from our expertise and the resources we’ve created to address the needs of this fast growing segment.
We’re kind-of lulled into a sense of security here in Central Texas where we are getting good at handling the bilingual speech needs of children. However, as you move further away from Central Texas, many districts are having problems properly identifying and supporting the needs of bilingual children. Many school districts don’t have bilingual therapists on staff and deal with evaluations by bringing in a translator to work with an English-speaking therapist. While this can be successful, it can also prove very challenging for the therapist and many times the child. If it’s not done right the result can be Spanish- speaking kids who are not impaired ending up in special education classes. We’ve also seen the other extreme of a child who was profoundly deaf placed in a general education classroom because they just assumed she didn’t speak English and couldn’t understand. These are the types of complexities we deal with everyday.
There are huge issues in smaller communities that don’t have easy access to workshops or other resources that will help address bilingual populations. We realized our team could take a much more active role in helping to engage all SLP’s, whether bilingual or monolingual in the best ways to deal with the bilingual speech needs of children. At Bilinguistics we’ve built a great, experienced team and some fantastic tools to work with English Language Learners. We realized we can serve the monolingual English speech therapists through an online web community. Our online CEU’s have been focused in this area for some time but now we are creating this blog & interactive community for the monolingual and bilingual speech pathologists.
We encourage you to share your experiences and problems in these areas. We invite you to ask questions and want to hear your stories.
You can post comments on our blog below or send us an email by clicking here and submitting your questions and ideas to our team. Also, please forward this on to others that you think would benefit from being involved in the conversation.