Nathaniel’s Story

Jul 21, 2023 | Stories

“Problem child.” What a label to give a child, but that was how Nathaniel was known at school.

When Nathaniel started school therapy with his CHAT SLP, she noticed that he arrived at every speech session unhappy and obstinate, which did not bode well for the sessions’ outcomes. 

When his SLP asked why this might be happening, she learned that Nathaniel got pulled out of class for many different services, missing much of the school day. His seventh-grade classmates noticed, and often made fun of him for it, making Nathaniel increasingly resentful of support services in general.

CHAT was founded on the principle that there is no such thing as a “problem child,” and this remains our guiding philosophy today. Nathaniel’s SLP dug for answers and worked with him toward solutions to make therapy more palatable and effective. Could the schedule be adjusted to find a better time for Nathaniel to leave class? Could Nathaniel be quietly excused from class rather than having the SLP pull him out in front of the class? And, most importantly, could Nathaniel be empowered to want to come to speech therapy, and ultimately, to advocate for himself?

After working with Nathaniel and his teachers for over four weeks, that is just what happened. Now, Nathaniel chooses to come to speech therapy on his own and the sessions run smoothly. 

This is what can happen when you take the time to listen to and understand the people you serve. CHAT’s rapport-based, relationship-centered approach sees the whole person, leading to better outcomes. When you assume the best and empower someone to help seek their own solutions, great things result.