Celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month

Celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month in Conversation With a Speech Language Pathologist
Posted on 05/25/2021
Deborah Jackman, a Speech Language Pathologist at Loggers’ Run Community Middle School

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Better Hearing and Speech Month in May provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of ASHA members in providing life-altering treatment.

For 2021, the theme is "Building Connections," and that accurately describes the work of one dedicated professional in the School District of Palm Beach County, as she marks her 14th year with the District.

“We help students to communicate, using their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in many different ways depending on their needs, so they can be successful in school and in their future careers,” said Deborah Jackman, a Speech Language Pathologist at Loggers’ Run Community Middle School.

In her role, Jackman provides a number of important services to students, such as speech therapy, working with them on their articulation and fluency. She also offers language therapy that involves vocabulary, comprehension, basic reading and written language skills.

Additionally, language therapy includes social language skills, working with students to strengthen their abilities in the areas of turn-taking, participating in a conversation, initiating conversation, and proper use of body language in communication. When receiving help in these areas, students may be seen individually, in small groups, or supported within the classroom.

“I always knew I wanted to do something that would help people,” Jackman said. “When I was in high school, I visited a friend at university and took a tour of the campus. On that tour, I saw a therapy room and thought that was something I could do to help people.”

Jackman went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Science, and a master’s degree in Communication Disorders. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the ASHA, in addition to being licensed by the Florida Department of Health.

As a member of a school-based team, Jackman works with the School Psychologist and Administration. She screens and evaluates students for speech and language services, and provides that support to facilitate and improve a student’s school performance. She collaborates and co-teaches with teachers, in addition to working with the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) coordinator and ESE team.

After more than 30 years in her profession, Jackman has worked with students and patients in medical settings ranging from 4 years old to 101 years old. She recognizes that everyone has different needs, and it is her goal to improve their communication skills to help them reach their maximum potential.

“Some of the most gratifying times during my career have been when I see students achieve progress toward their goals and my services are either decreased or discontinued altogether,” Jackman said. “I hope that students will remember that I cared about them and wanted them to be successful in everything they do!”

The School District of Palm Beach County