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August 8, 2016 4:15 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

I hate making clinical mistakes. They make me feel bad about my skills and myself. Mistakes may often be based on lack of information, which affects the development of a relationship. Sometimes the desire to make a difference as quickly as possible negatively affects the collection of comprehensive background information and prolonged rapport-building activities. Often mistakes can come from not knowing our clients as ...


My life has been surrounded by sports since I can remember walking. I tried playing everything imaginable when I was in elementary and middle school, finding myself loving the competition and finesse of little league games. Field hockey stole my heart quickly, as I found myself dedicating ...

August 1, 2016 9:35 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Everyone enjoys something. It might take us a while to find out just what will make another person smile, but if we watch closely, we can find it.

Some years ago I was working with a student who had significant cognitive delays and behavioral challenges. He attended his neighborhood elementary school, however, the staff was not sufficiently equipped to manage his needs. Teachers alternated shifts throughout ...

July 26, 2016 10:04 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

All of our treatment materials teach cultural values and morals. The words, photographs, drawings, games and activities represent what society perceives to be important. They imply ways to behave and belief systems.


My ...


A good waitress communicates, well, tells you the specials and maybe how long something will take to make.

A good waitress knows her customer so well that they can remember what kinds of foods you like and maybe recommend something else around your taste buds. She remembers your name and asks how you've been and demonstrates a genuine interest in what has been going on for you personally. A good waitress ...

July 7, 2016 3:07 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Humans may be able to remember thousands of words, but we definitely can't always find the word we want when we want it! We may have unlimited storage for words and concepts, but we definitely have limited retrieval.

We can make word recall easier through organization and categorization. When we think of with a word, we search through a large lexicon, like an internal database of words and concepts that reflect ...

June 29, 2016 9:05 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Fairies represent magic and wonder.

The word "fairy" is a magic because it helps students transition from consonantal /r/ to vocalic /r/. The intervocalic /r/ in medial position allows us to produce /r/ at the end of the first syllable and the beginning of the second syllable, "fairrrr-- -rry".

We can teach the postvocalic /r/ through anticipatory placement of the upcoming consonantal /r/. After ...


I remember many years ago when I worked for a public school district and I was touching base with the teacher about one of her students. I asked her if she had any insight about the child's motivators - things I could use to motivate him in therapy.

The next few words out of her mouth really made an impact on me forever. She said, "Johnny? Don't even bother. He is not too smart and he will probably ...


By Dana Wetmore


My favorite day of ...

June 14, 2016 2:04 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Cell phones and tablets allow for immediate audio and video recording. Students typically begin by making silly recordings of greetings and funny sayings.

Since most of us are initially surprised at how our voice sounds on a recording, we watch British Radio 1 Scientist, Greg Foot's YouTube video, "Why does your voice sound different on a recording?", which explains the inner ear and how vocal fold vibration ...

June 9, 2016 9:25 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Every school year we learn new things. I recently took a few minutes to ask each student the question, "What have you learned about your talking and your speaking this year?"

Here are a few of the different responses:
    "I learned that I can do good R's fairly consistently."
    "I learned a different kind of R and to put my tongue back more."
    "I made ...

May 31, 2016 3:38 PM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

"We need to write a letter to your tongue so that it will know what to do. What directions do we need to give your tongue?"

The students generate directions and tips that we write on a card. A "Dear Tongue" letter for /r/ might be:

"Dear Tongue,
    Remember to go to the back of the mouth
    Lift up the sides a little bit so you can feel the molars

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 ...



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.