Policy on questions from SLPs/SLTs on child speech assessment and intervention


This web site was launched in June 1998 and revised and relocated to a new server on December 12, 2011.

Developing and maintaining it is an enjoyable spare-time activity for Caroline Bowen, who funds and produces it as a small contribution to the Speech-Language Pathology / Speech and Language Therapy profession.


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Policy on questions from SLPs/SLTs on child speech assessment and intervention

From June 2007, in the interests of self-preservation, and of having a life outside of work, child speech questions, including assessment and therapy questions, are only answered on the phonologicaltherapy list where (usually) many hands make light work.

What happens if you email me with a child speech (or other) question

If you have not seen this policy and you email or Tweet me with a question about the definition, classification, assessment, differential diagnosis or treatment of children's speech sound disorders, or with questions about clinical phonology theory and research, or with questions related to the content of a CPD event presented by me that you have attended, I will refer you to this page. If you are not already a member I will also invite you to join the phonologicaltherapy list.

If you email me with other questions about asessment and intervention for individuals with communication or swallowing disorders, or questions related to student assignments, I will refer you to this page.

Why the phonologicaltherapy list was founded

Since its inception in 1998, the number of hits speech-language-therapy.com has received per month has gradually climbed along with the volume of email that the site generates. By December 2001 fifteen or more emails a week were arriving from SLPs/SLTs and students with specific, and often very detailed questions about the definition, classification, assessment and treatment of children's speech sound disorders, as well as questions about clinical phonology theory and research. While interesting and relevant, most of the questions were time consuming to deal with, and many resulted in lengthy exchanges of messages ... even the ones headed "just a quick question"! This was too big a load for me to deal with.

In an attempt to solve the problem the phonologicaltherapy discussion group was launched at the end of 2001, and the flow of private emails containing questions reduced for a period, only to gradually increase. By June 2007 the volume of personal email from colleagues requesting input regarding therapy for individual children's speech amounted to between 20 and 35 a week. Clearly a policy (see above) was required as to how to deal with these questions without disappointing site visitors.

"I know you are busy, but I just have a quick question..."

In 2012 the volume of email from SLPs/SLTs and students containing one or more child speech questions ranges from 10 to 15 per week. Some come from people who have read the policy, and some from people who have not. A surprising number of these messages start with, "I know you are very busy, but..." or "I just wanted to ask a quick question..." or "I am not sure how strict you are about your questions policy", or words to that effect.

Please do not be offended when I say that, yes, I am busy; there is such a thing as a quick question, but a quick question often begs a not-so-quick answer; and, I am perfectly serious about the policy.

As a professional or student, on phono-tx you can ask (and answer) many questions

Signing up to become a phonologicaltherapy (phono-tx) list participant is free and quick, and new members are always welcome.

Simply go to the group web site and click 'join this group'. Alternatively, if you would like an invitation to become a member of the group, please ask. There is more information about the discussion group here.

Members can browse and search the message archive which comprises a permanent record of discussions since December 2001, along with extensive files and links. To access these features you need a Yahoo! ID. Any member (actually, anyone with an email address) can obtain a Yahoo ID by clicking here and following the onscreen instructions. Once you have a Yahoo ID you can go here at any time and set your mail delivery preferences (to individual emails, daily digest or web only) yourself.

Other questions, e-mail interviews, and student projects

Students, please do not invite me to participate in e-mail interviews or student projects relating to speech-language pathology as a career.