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May 24, 2016 10:16 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Let's start with a virtual field trip to the zoo to watch the hippos eating watermelon, using multimedia.

With YouTube, we can bring entertaining videos of zoo animals to therapy sessions. The hippos, with their mouths wide open awaiting a large, whole watermelon, give us a way to build our describing skills.

We can start with ...


As a final project in Motor Speech Disorders class, we were required to complete a case study on a make-believe client that presented with different stages and severities of a dysarthria. My partner and I were assigned a child with cerebral palsy that presented hypotonic characteristics such as weakness in oral muscles ...

May 17, 2016 9:09 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

How do you decide if a child needs articulation therapy? My colleague and I discussed different factors.

Does it sound like the child has an accent?
A mother shared with me that everyone thinks they're from another part of the country.
Their son's articulation disorder sounds like an accent. Whenever they meet people who have met their son first, they have to explain that they are really locals. What ...


"When will my child talk?"

I get asked this question often. Speech therapy is not a miracle pill nor magic, things don't just happen overnight.

We get involved as speech-language pathologists to consult with the families. We work together to determine what small changes and habits can be incorporated everyday into the family's lives to create new communication habits in the child's everyday life. ...

May 4, 2016 8:09 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

How do you say, "Squirrel"? Does your pronunciation truly match the spelling of "squirrel"?

A bright student and I were practicing the postvocalic /r/ sound in "first". I re-spelled the word (incorrectly) as "ferr-st" to show how it's pronounced with an emphasis on the underlying vowel and a prolongation of the /r/. "Even though it has an 'i' in it, we say, 'er', like in 'her', or 'fur'." We began to generate ...

April 29, 2016 8:29 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Did you ever catch your friend's eye from across the room at a crowded event and let her know that you were ready to leave? Briefly tilting your head to the side and a quick glance toward the door can represent an entire sentence.

We exchange thoughts and ideas through ...


My motor speech disorders class this semester covered the sometimes uncomfortable and personal task of giving an oral mech. So every class, we prepped with a different checklist for facial and oral structures with accompanying disordered physiology, practicing on other classmates to become more comfortable ...

April 19, 2016 11:35 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Do you have an emotional response to consonant mastery charts for age of acquisition for speech sounds? I do. Just the mere mention of late mastery of sounds makes me bristle.

Do you use the Poole ...

April 12, 2016 3:00 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Confidence is widely regarded as an important trait for success, and insecurity is often considered a liability.

Recently, a colleague who is transitioning to a new team shared her fears with me about her position change. She will soon be working alongside Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists to serve children who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication. ...


Working with a child who may be exhibiting delays is like working with an onion. The child is the inner core of the onion and surrounding the core are many different layers that are also part of that same onion.

Understanding this concept and being respectful that we have signed on to work with the entirety of that child and the layers or the support systems of that child is important to recognize. ...

April 5, 2016 10:37 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

A child who is substituting /w/ for /r/ makes progress producing /r/. He is now using /r/ in initial position in words. Surprisingly, he is also now substituting /r/ for /w/. He is producing "right" correctly, but now he is no longer saying "white".

My colleague shared this story with me and explained how she needed to provide specific directions to the child, e.g., "It's OK for you to still say /w/. 'Wing' ...


Over the past few years, I have come up with a few techniques to evaluate whether a child who does not respond to their name may be having hearing issues or whether the lack of response could be due to attention.

When doing an evaluation, rather than asking the parents whether their child responds to their name, I actually have the parent call their name, once while the child is exploring and then again ...

March 29, 2016 9:15 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Speech sound production and articulation are often treated casually in comparison to their fancy partner, language. The complexity of language and the mysterious relationship between language and cognition tend to overshadow the finely timed coordination of motor movements for speech clarity. Speech, however, isn't an unimportant subdomain of communication.

Speech, itself, is incredibly powerful. We live ...

March 22, 2016 1:59 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

I would like to award you an honorary degree in professionalism. You worked hard for this degree. You studied and learned every day of your career, gaining insight from daily clinical, family, and staff interactions. You have specialized skills specific to clinical practice that you acquired through hard work and dedication.

As practitioners, we have obtained high levels of achievement both clinically and interpersonally. ...

March 16, 2016 2:06 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

I received an unfriendly email message from a colleague. The message started nicely with kind words, but ended with criticism and complaints. I felt stung. The whole situation was a misunderstanding and I had not even caused the problem.

"I'm innocent," I wanted to proclaim. "It wasn't my fault. We didn't even know that there could be a problem." Multiple emotions confused my thinking in a mixture of sadness ...


By Dana Wetmore


March 8, 2016 7:51 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

"There's a zombie on your lawn." This catchy refrain is from the theme song for the video game "Plants vs. Zombies." Even though I'm not personally a fan of zombies, it's easy to see how zombies have become part of the current cultural landscape for children. I held out as long as I could before I finally invited zombies into therapy using pictures from the video game.

In "Plants vs. Zombies", animated smiling ...


As a young therapist I felt it was my duty my mission to mention autism the second I saw it. Over the years I think I have changed or evolved to another train of thought.

Yes, early identification is important. And yes, parents deserve to know if we have concerns as a professional.

The problem is, if I am the treating therapist and mention the "A" word I can break the rapport of the parent ...

February 29, 2016 4:51 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

A few years ago, I attended a restorative listening community event, which brought together parents/caregivers, general education teachers, special education service providers, and administrators. I wasn't sure what to expect as I entered a large hall filled with round tables. Seating was organized so that each table contained members of the different constituent groups. Restorative listening is part of restorative ...

February 22, 2016 4:36 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Spelling is misleading. The orthographic system does not reflect all aspects of pronunciation. Word stress, syllable breaks, articulatory placement, and co-articulatory processes affect speech production. In General American English, 80% of words in conversation have stress on the initial syllable. Stressed syllables are typically produced more loudly, with a higher pitch, and held for a longer period of time. Unstressed ...

February 17, 2016 9:54 AM by jasna cowan of The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention

Dear "not so nice" Mommy,

I am sorry that you feel the need to be so pushy with me. I do have just as much experience as your last therapist or at the very least I am open to continue to learn. Bringing up your previous therapist and comparing us is just not nice. I am sure she was a wonderful therapist.

But no, unfortunately, I am not her and I have my own style. Believe me, I really do ...

February 16, 2016 8:17 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

In the early days of my career, I was at an IEP meeting waiting to present goals for a kindergarten student with multiple needs. He was an enthusiastic young boy with mild coordination difficulties, who frequently bumped into furniture and other children. He had language and learning delays, and slightly imprecise articulation. His grandmother was his legal guardian and she was at the meeting to discuss goals for his ...

February 12, 2016 7:13 AM by Dana Wetmore of The First Session: New SLP Experiences

By Dana Wetmore

February 8, 2016 9:19 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Vowels have lip, tongue, and jaw positions. Lip positions vary from highly spread (almost smiling) to rounded (puckered) positions. When you say "cheese" for a photo, you are producing the "ee" vowel, which puts your lips in the most spread position.

Many children master consonant /r/ (pre-vocalic, e.g., "run", "right", etc.) before r-colored vowels (post-vocalic /r/). Producing the glide /w/ with puckered lips, ...



Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP, discusses her experiences in early intervention and offers tips to clinicians and families.

A blog by and for school-based speech-language pathologists.

Tips, tricks, reviews, and ideas for using touch screen apps and technology to enhance therapy, work, and the lives of your clients. 

Josh Gilbert is entering his third year as a Doctor of Audiology student at The University of Florida. He is a graduate of Baylor University in Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in World Affairs.

Darlida is a school based and early intervention therapist and evaluator who works with culturally and linguistically diverse infants and middle school students.

Guest bloggers working anywhere within the speech and hearing field share their therapy experiences, new research, lessons learned, useful tools and more.

This blog is about using a common sense, evidence-based approach to evaluating, treating and implementing Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

A pediatric SLP shares her experiences in early intervention, and offers tips, tricks and strategies for other speech therapists.

Advocating for national accreditation.

The very first emotions and experiences of any SLP as described by a current graduate student studying all aspects of therapy.