SLPs and ACEs

So my career as a Speech and Language Pathologist has taken a new turn.  After working in schools, and then preschools, and then providing services for children and families in homes and childcare, it has become clear to me that children with language challenges often are experiencing toxic stress in their homes.  Unfortunately, that stress is carried over from parents who are and have been experiencing their own toxic stress.  Traditional speech therapy is not going to work for those families.  They are not emotionally and cognitively available… distracted and overwhelmed, experiencing attention and memory challenges.  The brain research through Center on the Developing Child( is showing how the brain responds to Toxic Stress.  Take a look! 

So now what do we do with this information? 

As a speech and language pathologist, these strategies are the foundation: 

  • Listen to children and understand who they are.
  • Learn about their developmental experience.
  • Learn more about how they cope in the world. 

The big question for me is; 

  • What influence does the environment and relationship have on speech and language development?
  • Does a child have a speech and language disorder or have they experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) that have impacted their brain development in such a way that language is challenging to process????
  • Are we limiting the potential of children by saying that they have a delay or disorder or impairment?  More on Growth Mindset later… 
 What are your thoughts and questions?  Follow me in my Facebook Group:  SLPS and ACES

See you there!