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  • First Class Clinicians

    Last week I met a skilled clinician who had recently relocated, transitioning from running a private practice in an urban environment to working in a rural school district. After our conversation, she shared the following sentiment: “I was encouraged by your own strong feelings that school-based clinicians aren't second class therapists and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 3, 2015
  • Your Child and AAC: One Mother’s Tips for Success

    Elizabeth Kenkel is a 21-year-old young woman with Moebius Syndrome and cerebral palsy who no longer has to rely on anyone to share her ideas, thoughts and feelings thanks to her speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. Her mother, Sandra Kenkel, shares the following tips for other parents of children using ...
    Posted to Speech and Hearing Perspectives (Weblog) on June 30, 2015
  • The Gift of Communication

    I am so grateful to have chosen the career that I have as a speech-language pathologist. At one point in my education, I remember being worried about choosing the right job. I did all of the prerequisites to become a nurse at first. At the last minute, I decided to pursue the field of speech therapy at San Francisco State University. Looking ...
    Posted to The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention (Weblog) on June 25, 2015
  • Speaking and Being Heard

    In the early days of my career, I apprenticed with a clinician who specialized in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She was highly skilled and in tune with her clients, who used forms of AAC to communicate. One day, a young girl arrived for her therapy appointment. The girl wore ankle/foot orthotics on both legs and had a stilted ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 18, 2015
  • Assessing Articulation in Toddlers

    It is common for parents to indicate they are concerned about their toddler’s speech sounds at age two. Although most of the time these concerns are typical and age appropriate, there are times when further evaluation or consideration for speech therapy is necessary. We have all heard baby-talk, or children who use phonological processes. ...
    Posted to The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention (Weblog) on June 9, 2015
  • Safety in Silliness

    It may take a great deal of bravery to try something new – something that you don’t know how to do, something that feels foreign or strange. When we ask our clients to produce sounds in different ways, we are asking them to experience unfamiliar motor movements. When we shape progressive approximations of targets, we ask our clients to make ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 5, 2015
  • The Study of Strengths

    As speech language pathologists, we are highly trained at observing and listening. We recognize and identify client productions that deviate from normative targets. We listen for errors and sort errors by type, degree, and frequency to plan remediation. Our testing methods enable us to pinpoint specific areas of difficulty and design intervention ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 29, 2015
  • Dinosaur Rhotics

    An excited student (working on generalizing /r/) recently told me all about an upcoming summer blockbuster dinosaur movie. He wanted us to watch the movie trailer (and he was highly motivated to talk about the movie). We made a list of /r/ words from the film clips and our own articulation cards using index cards and markers. We highlighted where ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 21, 2015
  • The Culture of Definitions

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was testing a second-grade boy who is African-American. The student was bright and engaging, and I was beginning to wonder about the validity of the initial referral for evaluation. I was administering a comprehensive standardized language assessment. One of the subtests required the student to provide a ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 15, 2015
  • Maturity and Optimism

    This past week was a rough one. I was working long hours each day, and A. was having a crisis at her school. One of her good friends, E., stopped having anything to do with her. I'm still not sure what happened. As much as I can gather, other students have started a rumor that A. is, in fact, NOT autistic, and it seems like E. might believe these ...
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