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  • Beginning With Goodbye

    There’s always a small thread of sadness mixed in with the happiness when a client completes therapy.Our relationships with students are temporary. Sometimes they last a few years, and sometimes they last a few months or less. Yesterday, a student who has been making excellent progress on her articulation asked me, “What happens when I’m finished ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 21, 2015
  • Winning the Job Lottery

    “What would you do if you won a million dollars?”A few years ago I was working with an entertaining group of fifth grade students who were practicing producing their speech sounds at the sentence and conversational level. We were taking turns answering social questions from a deck of cards. We turned over the card with the question, “What would ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 14, 2015
  • Categorical Negation

    Which of the following is not an easy way to ask a question?a)    Inclusivityb)    Exclusivityc)    Negationd)    Both (b) and (c)My colleague and I worked with a friendly, middle school student, who had language-learning challenges. In the classroom, the students read classic and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 24, 2015
  • Demographic Meanings

    “My caseload is really diverse. About 25% of the students are African-American, 25% are Hispanic, 25% are Asian, and the rest are American.”One of my colleagues offered this description of her caseload at a social event attended by other clinicians and university faculty. Did you notice anything interesting about the above statement? Perhaps you ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 16, 2015
  • Interrupting the Monologue

    Many people are enthusiastic communicators who love to share stories and talk about their hobbies and interests. I once worked with an 11-year-old boy who was creative, engaging, and entertaining. He had specialized interests and advanced skills in engineering. He loved to talk about his latest inventions – in a long, detailed, running ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 9, 2015
  • 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
  • Window into Stuttering

    As clinicians, many of us do not have a societally recognized form of disability. We have the privilege of able-ness. Our work ensures daily contact with individuals who may be identified by society and/or may self-identify as individuals with a disability.  Even though providing therapeutic services is our calling, we are still only able ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 25, 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
  • Every Mouth is Special

    Early in my career, I was completing what I expected to be a routine oral mechanism examination for a shy girl in the 4th grade. She opened her mouth wide and I shined my flashlight into her mouth. She had two complete sets of teeth, side-by-side – like a shark’s mouth. I was shocked. I had never seen anything like that, nor imagined that children ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 8, 2015
  • Verb Choices and Learning Opportunities

    Our daily lives are filled with a combination of both obligations and opportunities. Sometimes we may even have difficulty distinguishing between the two. Having the chance to work hard, to push oneself to accomplish tasks, and to learn new things is an opportunity. Access to education is not universal – learning is in many ways still a ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 27, 2015
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