Children who need speech therapy almost always have a better outcome from that therapy when a range of professionals offer their support to the therapy process. This paper presents an overview of the ways in which different types of professionals can come together in different contexts to provide the kinds of therapy that a child with speech difficulties may benefit from.
Although we may have in our heads the image of a child in a doctor's office or some other professional surrounding, children in need of speech therapy may receive that therapy in any number of different environments. Indeed, most children who are receiving speech therapy now receive that therapy in school and at home as the concept of "service delivery" has become validated by research as well as by the demands of our complex modern lives. Rather than removing children from their regular environments of home and school and providing therapy in an environment that is unfamiliar and even potentially somewhat frightening to a child, much of speech therapy today is "delivered" to the child in his or her ordinary classroom or at home.
It should be noted that the venue in which children receive speech therapy varies by the level of therapy needed. While in general professionals prefer whenever possible to provide speech therapy to students in the general-education classroom, sometimes this is not practical and children have to be removed from the general education classroom (although usually for only part of the day) so that they can receive therapy in a more sheltered surrounding.
This was not always the case. Until the last ten to twenty years, according to Roth & Worthington (2000), most children received speech-language intervention through a "pull-out model", which tended to isolate the child and, while providing appropriate speech therapy, tended to create social and emotional problems for the child who was often stigmatized. This near-total reliance on pull-...