Course Introduction

Hey there, middle and high school SLPs. Any of this sound familiar?

Pressure to dismiss students from service after so many years?

Administrators who think you shouldn’t be doing direct therapy anymore?

“At this point, they aren’t going to make progress.”

Feeling like a homework tutor or overqualified classroom para?

Clunky AAC systems that have been unsuccessful (and unused) for years and years?

We’ve been there. Figuring out how to deliver meaningful services to older students can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the support you need. What can help? Knowing the research. Not only can it give you ideas for effective therapy, it can go a long way in convincing reluctant stakeholders to see things your way. While most of our field’s intervention research tends to focus on the little ones, there is still good stuff out there for you too. We’ve pulled together a collection of research reviews that focus explicitly on these older students. From syntax to vocabulary, from social communication to vocational skills, the topics covered are as diverse as your caseload. Developmental language disorder, Down Syndrome, autism, Fragile X are all represented, as are our emergent communicators. Need to shake up your routine? There are ideas for novel intervention approaches that leverage parents, peers, classroom staff, and technology.

Bonus? There’s a vocabulary program where all the materials and lesson plans are available free online (!!).

Now if only we could get them to give us therapy rooms...

Learning Outcomes & Details

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe strategies for improving syntax and vocabulary skills in with adolescent-age children with developmental language disorder.

  2. Describe how targeting narratives in language therapy can boost the language skills of children with Down Syndrome or autism.

  3. List two different therapy strategies that could be used for training vocational skills in adolescents with communication disorders.

Course Type: Text; Web or downloadable PDF

Time: This is an hour course.

ASHA CEUs: This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)

Course Completion Requirements: Read the full course, then take a quiz at the end. Must pass with a score of 80% or better (two attempts allowed).


Questions? See our frequently asked questions.


Course edited and compiled by:

Meredith Harold, PhD, CCC-SLP is owner of The Informed SLP and faculty at Rockhurst University. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from The Informed SLP and Rockhurst University. Nonfinancial Disclosure— Vice President of Speech–Language Pathology for the Kansas Speech–Language–Hearing Association Board; Board member of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association Committee on Clinical Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence-Based Practice.

Karen Evans, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech–language pathologist at Intermediate District 287, and employee of The Informed SLP. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from Intermediate District 287 and The Informed SLP. Nonfinancial Disclosure— None.

Full research and writing team bios can be found here. The Informed SLP’s researchers and writers are prohibited from having any financial or nonfinancial conflicts of interest related to the content they research and report on.

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This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).