Hey there current, future, and friends of SLPs! This post is for you. As any speechie knows, especially those who work in the schools, there are SO many different materials you can buy (or make) for those kiddos and adults with speech and language disorders. While all of the awesome things Super Duper offers can be very useful, they are not necessarily essential in your practice! Here are my recommendations for some other must-haves for speech-language pathologists:
Toys and Craft Supplies
First and foremost, you need items to keep your kids busy and happy. Toys and craft supplies are useful because you can keep them happy while educating them at the same time. In fact, a lot of toys and craft supplies can actually be helpful when it comes to teaching them about different word sounds.
Printed handouts are a must in speech pathology. A lot of our students do better with visuals and hands-on activities vs. just repeating words constantly. While a lot of the time, schools will offer printers, what some do not know is that depending on the school, you have to pay for it yourself anyway and the quality is well below average, so I choose to go with the professional, commercial printers at BuckBlue in Atlanta that can help me teach my students with ease, using helpful printouts and crafts that can be printed.
Originally founded in 1987, BuckBlue has been focusing on reliable service and dependable quality since the beginning. They say, “In 2005, Ron and Joe Carr noticed something on the Atlanta printing scene: the promise of service and quality had become a catch phrase – and only that. Ron and Joe saw a clear opportunity to revive the attentive service and dedication once provided by Atlanta printing companies while also fulfilling their desire to work together to build a knowledgeable, dedicated, reliable printing company. And thus, BuckBlue was born.” They support the claims daily by hiring dependable, talented employees, staying accessible (your call will always be answered by someone who knows you and understands your business needs!), maintaining a sense of urgency, and investing in the best of the best when it comes to technology.
Some of the printing services that BuckBlue offers are digital and offset printing, large format posters and banners, banners and trade show displays, signage, kitting and fulfillment, finishing, design, direct mail and variable data, and more! If you really want to go above and beyond for your students, you could also make custom designed printouts with the help of their in-house graphic design team that has the experience and skill to bring your idea to life, which will definitely help you stand out.
Good Cleaning Supplies
I’m speaking to my school speechies here (although arguably those who work with adults need these just as much)! Cleaning supplies are an absolute must in your classroom (or old janitor’s closet) to keep those germs away, especially in those sick-prone winter months. I’m talkin hand sanitizer out the wazoo, sanitizing wipes for materials and toys used, cleaning sprays – whatever you want to use that will kill those yucky germs. Have your kids “foam in and foam out” as they enter and leave your room, and make sure to wipe down everything from toys to computer keyboards after they are used! Your immune system and family back home will thank you.
A Patient Heart (and ears)
Many people hear “speech pathologist” and think of the speech teacher playing with kids and having them say words with the /r/ sound in them, and think “wow, what an easy and fun job!” Oh boy, us speechies know how wrong they are!
While our job can be fun and incredibly rewarding, it is far from easy, and is so much more than most people think! As an SLP, one of the most important things you can have is patience. We face behavior problems, disappointment when our students/patients don’t meet goals, and incredibly large caseloads amongst many other difficulties. In these times, patience is a must. Usually with patience, your problems can be solved!
If you want to see a glimpse into what it is like as a speech pathologist, you can check out my previous post here.
A Supportive Team
Last but not least, you need a supportive team behind you to cheer you on and help you handle any potential situations that arrive. Luckily, where I am going to be working, the team is supposed to be amazing and I cannot wait to connect and bond with them, forming a strong and supportive team!