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January 21, 2015 1:37 PM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

It's always exciting when someone gets a new communication device. It's even more exciting when they have been waiting (because the old one broke).

Yesterday, Corey brought me his brand new device to set up. He looked at the student that is working with me and said, "I've named this one 'Sky.'" Corey's last communication device ...


 
January 20, 2015 8:00 AM by jasna cowan of The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention

As an early interventionist, we are many, many things. We are counselors, as we are the shoulder for the parent to cry on when they find out that their child, just a baby, is already falling behind. We are teachers, and what we do will impact the child's interest in learning or not. We are travelers, visiting our clients in homes, parks and daycares -- often carrying a suitcase full of toys. We are guests, as ...


 
January 19, 2015 7:49 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Do your students know about their own mouths? Teaching children about the parts of their mouth and the placement of sounds increases proprioceptive skills and may improve volitional control over speech sound production. Once while walking two kindergarten children to the speech room, I stopped the pair, as one child was 'walking' a bit exuberantly, nearly skipping down the hallway. I said to him, "Remember, we walk in ...

 
January 15, 2015 10:24 AM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

Yesterday I evaluated a wonderful woman who unfortunately had a stroke that affected her communication. As a speech-language pathologist who works in outpatient, I see those who do not require communication devices as well as those who are sent specifically for augmentative communication.

This evaluation was a typical speech and language evaluation, looking at how her stroke affected her communication and cognitive ...


 
January 13, 2015 8:00 AM by jasna cowan of The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention

Working as a vendor for Golden Gate Regional Center in the San Francisco Bay Area, we adhere to the policies of providing speech therapy in the child's natural environment. The Natural Environment policy indicates that services need be provided at home and in the child's community -- not in a doctor's office, or other sterile environment that is not a "natural" part of the child's daily routine. So our private practice ...

 
January 12, 2015 7:59 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Professional organizers and wardrobe consultants tell us that we only wear 25% of the clothes we own. Apparently, the other 75% just takes up space in our closets. Perhaps this same ratio holds true for our therapy materials. You may order a book, game, activity, resource guide, etc., based on the title, a passing recommendation from a colleague, a discount or promotional special, or after reviewing a couple sample pages. ...

 
January 7, 2015 12:36 PM by Ashley Brannon of Speaking of Apps

Virtual Speech Center Inc. has designed their newest articulation app around a vacation theme with 4 mini games. These innovative games cycle through as the students target their articulation goals in word, sentence, or story level. This has become my new favorite articulation app. It offers more than the typical matching games and flash cards to keep children engaged. My current students have been very receptive and ...

 
January 7, 2015 10:52 AM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

My husband and I were watching an old episode of Star Trek the other day about the crew of the Enterprise being caught in a time loop. The way the crew figured this out was that they started experiencing déjà vu around certain events. This episode made me think a lot about some of the special needs families I help and how they experience déjà vu every day. Some of these are melt downs because of the environment; some ...

 
January 5, 2015 4:03 PM by jasna cowan of The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention

I can imagine it must be a nerve-racking process to allow a stranger, even a professional (an MFT, SLP, OT or MD), into your two-year-old's world to conduct "an evaluation" of their skills. Parents tend to feel like the evaluation process of their child is a report card of themselves. Being a mother of three children myself, I can't even begin to imagine. Our children are our most perfect creation to us as parents. ...


 
January 5, 2015 9:42 AM by Speech Merion of Speech and Hearing Perspectives

By Christine Cubelo, CAOHC

If you've ever volunteered at a nursing home, you probably helped feed residents, walk them to various areas of the facility, or change the bed sheets. Residents have probably also enjoyed your fellowship during a game or craft activity, manicure or pedicure, being read to, or simply sharing their life story with open ears. But researchers using the Nursing Home Hearing Handicap ...


 
January 5, 2015 9:18 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

One of my talented colleagues uses a "Gratitude Wall" to teach students about recognizing the positive aspects of their lives. She was inspired by the Mind Up Curriculum, a structured social-emotional program, which emphasizes kindness and the development of empathy skills. My colleague works with children and families experiencing life stressors, ...

 
December 29, 2014 8:53 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Have you ever thought that going to the movies could be part of your job? Think about the students on your caseload and the movies they are watching. Keeping current with blockbusters lets you add culturally relevant context to therapy. If you work with elementary children, you will likely watch family films and animated offerings. If you work with adolescents, you may need to do a little research to find

1 comments  
December 29, 2014 8:10 AM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

The great thing about the web and about advancing technology is that there are many resources available for you to utilize in relation to AAC. With improvements in technology and research, it is important to take the time to check out resources to make sure you are helping a device user make the best decision related to communication.

Some of my favorites still are vendor websites because they spotlight the different ...


 
December 22, 2014 8:36 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Our work is noble. We are making improvements in the lives of our clients and their families. The communication and swallowing therapy that we provide has the capacity to change the course of a person's life, and it's time that we let people know about the great things that we do! It's common to be asked about your profession, from the friendly conversation-starter, "What do you do?" to the more deliberate information ...

 

As the year comes to a close, I am very thankful for the host of opportunities that I have been given to contribute to caring for patients and learn valuable clinical skills from a number of preceptors.

Of the many important attributes necessary for becoming a skilled clinician, I think that being able to accept criticism and successfully integrate suggested changes from one's preceptors are two of the ...


 
December 17, 2014 1:25 PM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

Every time I write an AAC evaluation, one area that I have to address is whether a low tech option is appropriate for the communication device user. I will now give you a disclaimer: I have a bias towards the high tech Speech Generating Devices (SGDs); however, low tech options should always be considered.

When should low tech items be considered? There are a few instances when low tech options may be beneficial ...


1 comments  
December 15, 2014 8:55 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

Semantic gradient is the fancy term for ranking concepts along degrees of intensity -- making nuanced measurements of meaning. We use gradients in everyday casual speech. When someone asks you how you're doing, you might use gradations of neutrality, e.g., "so-so," "okay," "not bad," "fine," "alright," or "pretty good." Reading ...

1 comments  
December 11, 2014 11:17 AM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" The holidays are a great time to expand communication, work on language development and vocabulary, as well as help some AAC users deal with the stress of altered schedules. This is particularly important when working with pediatric AAC users.

Expanding Communication: For many pediatric users, there is a continuous need to expand communication. As users get more ...


 
December 8, 2014 9:34 AM by Teresa Roberts of Speech in the Schools

You are a creative thinker. You are using a heightened form of behavioral artistry every day in your job. For those of us who work in school settings, from preschoolers in Early Intervention through young adults in Adult Community Transition Programs, we understand creativity. Ensuring that therapeutic intervention is a positive experience for a toddler, a third-grader, and a less than enthusiastic adolescent isn't an ...

 
December 3, 2014 1:08 PM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

Yesterday I was working with Bri and Caroline (who you may remember from some of my previous blogs). We were discussing options for creating alternate pages for Bri's communication device.  Bri is starting college in January and we have to meet the challenge of helping Bri write for her English class. As we were discussing what those pages may look like for Bri, Caroline gave me some information that I had not thought ...

1 comments  
December 1, 2014 9:22 AM by Speech Merion of Speech and Hearing Perspectives

By Christine Cubelo, COHC

When my father went to his doctor for a check-up and his A1C test results came back abnormal, it elicited a sense of urgency for him to warn me of being potentially pre-diabetic. Given this newly learned term, I decided to do a bit of research, and as an audiometrist, I was amazed to find there is a significant connection between hearing health and diabetes. The American Diabetes ...


 
November 26, 2014 3:07 PM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

This is a fabulous time of the year to express thanks. There is so much to be thankful for when it comes to giving the non-verbal or limited verbal the ability to communicate. Here are a few things that I am thankful for...

  1. Medicare is asking for input related to Speech Generating Devices. We have until December 6th to provide input to how communication devices should and are used to make sure ...

 

Somehow, half of my externship year has already past!

I continue to learn many new things each day and have begun to see HA patients more regularly in addition to performing diagnostic testing. I really appreciate my preceptors' perspective in having externs focus on diagnostics for the first few months of the externship and gradually integrate HAs thereafter. While I still have room for improvement in my diagnostic ...

 
November 20, 2014 9:40 AM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

I recently received a call from someone who works with one of my young communication device user. It makes my heart sing when someone calls to seek guidance for a new user. The more that we communicate with each other the more opportunities for communication and language expansion a new user can have.

She was confused as to why this particular child could benefit from a communication device. After all, he has a ...


1 comments  
November 12, 2014 12:16 PM by Kimberly Jasensky of Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

It is with great pleasure that I can share with you that Medicare has rescinded a very significant change that they attempted to implement in relation to Speech Generating Devices. As I wrote in my blog

1 comments  

ABOUT OUR BLOGS

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.