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  • Deconstructing Describing

    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 a basic noun phrase ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 24, 2016
  • Articulation: Social Belonging and Safety

    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, ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 17, 2016
  • Spelling /r/

    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 ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 4, 2016
  • Steps of Communication

    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 gestures, facial expressions, body postures, and physical ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 29, 2016
  • Politics of Mastery Charts

    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 study from 1934 or the Templin study from 1957[1] as a means to determine whether or not a child is demonstrating an articulation delay? The ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 19, 2016
  • Benefits of Insecurity

    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 ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 12, 2016
  • Hearing Two Phonemes

    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 ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 5, 2016
  • Evaluating Attention vs. Hearing

    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 ...
    Posted to The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention (Weblog) on March 29, 2016
  • What is Speech Worth?

    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 ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 29, 2016
  • Recovering From an Angry Email

    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.” ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 16, 2016
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