Diversity, Inclusion, & Cultural Responsiveness with Dennis Mathew, SLP & Author

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dennis Mathew, speech language pathologist, children’s book author, and musician/song writer. We had a great conversation about diversity, inclusion, and culturally responsive practices in the field of speech/language pathology. We both recognize the importance of these topics and the practical application that is well needed in speech/language therapy. He currently resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with his wife and daughter. He is a school based speech language pathologist in an elementary school setting. Dennis has worked previously in Boston, Massachusetts as a speech language pathologist. He believes that relationship building with the children and families are a success key to effective delivery of speech/language therapy services. It is very important to build rapport with them so that children can make progress on their speech/language goals. Dennis was motivated to write children’s books that appeal to young children that are navigating feeling included with their peers at school. He desires children to find their purpose and be true to their identities by reading and listening to his stories as well as his music.

Dennis Mathew published his first book, Bello the Cello, in December of 2018 and it is a Mom’s Choice Award recipient. This book is ideal for preschool aged children who are starting a new school or students in Kindergarten-2nd grade. In this story, Bello meets his classmates for the first time. The teacher, Ms. Melody instructs them to say their names and sing their songs as a “get to know you” activity. As the story unfolds, we get to meet the whimsical classmates or musical instruments such as Timmy the Tambourine, Finnegan the Flute, Guillermo the Guitar, Sierra the Saxophone, and Deeya the Drum. Bello is unsure what he should sing and how he will sound in front of his classmates. Luckily with encouragement from his classmates, he discovers the magic of his own song. Over the past two years this book has been presented to over 60,000 students and has motivated them to be confident in themselves. He enjoys playing his guitar and singing during his author visits. His music album for children, The Let’s Roar experience, was released in August of 2020. Dennis Mathew’s books and music are geared to the current issues that students and teachers face in the classroom especially with a focus on social-emotional development.

Here’s the recent interview to learn more. Click here. Make sure that you also visit his websites http://BooksbyDennis.com and http://booksbydennis.bandcamp.com to preview his amazing artistry through stories and music. I know that you will enjoy his talented and inspiring work. Have a wonderful week.

All the best,

Tamara Anderson, M.S., Ed.S., CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Education Specialist/Consultant

Diversity & Equity Advocate

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