In case you found your way here without knowing who I am, my name is Seth Koster and I'm a Speech Language Pathologist currently working in Early Intervention (Part C - birth through 36 months). I have special interests in neurogenic speech and language disorders, Assistive Technology (AT) especially in the realm of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), early intervention, culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and dysphagia in infants and toddlers.
Speech Language Pathology
Speech Language Pathology is an allied health profession. We assess, diagnose and treat people with speech and/or language disorders or delays, are involved in the process of dysphagia assessment and treatment, and provide services for certain non- delayed or disordered speech and language needs such as accent modification. Ourselves and Audiologists share a national governing organization, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which sets specific standards regarding our Scope of Practice and our Code of Ethics and certifies us as clinically competent based on education requirements, clinical internships, and a passing score on a Praxis examination.
On a personal note, I find the profession to be exceptionally fulfilling and it brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction when the children I serve make progress. I always enjoy hearing back from parents of children who have left my service about how the kids are doing and what new things are going on in their lives. I follow a path of play-based treatment with an emphasis on family/caregiver education because I firmly believe that the work of a child is to play and a caregiver's best tool for improving speech and language is to play with their child using language rich activities and environment.
My basic philosophy of treatment is that implementing evidence based techniques as part of a well thought out hierarchical strategy in a way which is fun for the child will lead to the greatest gains.
AAC and AT
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is anything which supports communication, it can be something as low tech as a stick to point at things with or hand drawn pictures of things, or as high tech as the most advanced Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA) with features such as text to speech, eye gaze and scanning. Assistive Technology (AT) is any technology which assists an individual with performing their activities of daily living. AT can be anywhere on the technology spectrum, from simple grabbers to access out of reach items to modified vehicles for persons who do not have use of their legs. It's important to keep in mind that not only do the individuals who use the AAC/AT benefit, but society benefits as well. A world without AT and AAC would be a world without the contributions of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Stephen Hawking.
I've heard from families that they are concerned that the use of AAC will take the place of verbal communication. It's important to note that the research clearly shows that the use of AAC supports verbal language and that it does not impede talking Millar, D. C., Light, J. C., & Schlosser, R. W. (2006).
Electronic mail: seth (at) speechsquirrel (dot) com
Telephone number: +1 (240) 718–TALK (8255)