Where To Start When Working With Older Speech Students

There are so many goals and skills that older speech students need.  They have been receiving speech for years.  Where to begin?  How can you make the most of their time with you?

Need ideas for where to start when working with older speech students? I've got you covered in this blog post! It can be hard for SLPs to determine what to target when older students come into our speech room, but there are tips to help make your speech therapy with these students successful. Click through to read!

I have been there.  You have this group of students.  They might be complaining about being there.  You are taking them out of content time or maybe their special which is their only break in the day.  You want to make sure you are using their time wisely.  I will give you my best tips to make sure that you know where to begin when it comes to working with older speech students.  I want to help you make sure your activities and goals are functional and relevant for your older speech students.

Look at their last evaluation

Whether it was last year or 2-3 years ago.  Look at the scores.  Where did they struggle the most?  Don't just look at subtests but look at composite scores.  Is their main area of weakness receptive or expressive language?  Was it vocabulary?  Try to group together the areas of weakness and find some commonalities. Are they weak across the board?  I will give you more tips on what to do next.

Speak with the classroom teachers

What are their biggest complaints?  Where do they see this student struggling?  Is it the writing?  Comprehension? Decoding?  Is it answering?  Is it PROCESSING?  What are they seeing in the classroom?  You can even look at teacher reports in old meeting packets and files.

Use the data!

Most of our older speech students have been receiving speech services for years.  Yes, there are a few that get initially evaluated later in their academic careers but it is rare.  Look at the data.  What has been worked on?  What has been tried?  How can you build upon that?  If they are still struggling year after year on the same goals how can you break up those goals further to truly realize why they aren't able to meet these goals.  What can you do differently?

Know the curriculum

By knowing the curriculum, and what your students are expected to accomplish in the classroom, you can make some appropriate decisions on goals (longer term and short term).  What will give you the most bang for your buck with these students?  What language skills can you work on that will correlate with what they are working on in the classroom?  How can you support the curriculum and their needs?  How can you learn the curriculum, ask an administrator or the classroom teacher for a copy of a curriculum map or textbook?  Look at the standards your district/state is using (many are posted online).  Look at copies of old state tests.


Now what?

This is why I love working with older students.  They all tend to be working on and need the same things:
-Listening comprehension

-Sentence structure


Those three things tend to relate to all the other goals and skills our students need such as answering questions, written expression, context clues, inferencing, sequencing, main idea, etc.


If you are looking for ideas to make sure your activities and goals are functional and relevant for your older speech students without spending hours and hours browsing materials, you need to check out SLP Elevate! SLP Elevate is the first membership designed specifically for older students ages 4+.

Wondering what is included?

💜Monthly high-interest thematic bundles that contain fiction and nonfiction articles and supplemental materials to target the various speech and language goals common for our older speech students. Previous themes have been Lego, Social Media, and Anime just to name a few!
💜Baseline tools to help you determine what goals to work on and how your students are progressing.
💜Digital Data Tool so you can easily collect data in groups, monitor progress, and see how your students are doing.
💜Interest finder so you can determine what your students are into (great for icebreakers for back to school)
💜Caseload tracker to stay organized.
💜An exclusive Facebook community so you don’t feel alone.
💜Bonus resources and training.
And more!
Check it out at www.slpelevate.com 

Want to read even more about why I love working with older speech students?!  CLICK HERE!

Want to check out my bundle of activities perfect for older speech students?  CLICK HERE!