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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Letter to a Friend

    Dear Friend,Thank you for trusting me and telling me about everything. I didn’t realize how difficult this fall has been for you. The problems you described are painfully familiar:•    Fundamental imbalances in the amount of tasks required within the time period allotted•    Insurmountable paperwork and documentation, ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on October 9, 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
  • 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
  • Terminology and the Power of Plain Language

    Speech language pathologists use an impressive amount of technical terminology, also known as jargon. This is to be expected within any professional discipline, however, clinicians are regularly required to code-switch between high-level terminology and plain language.Back in my early days, I was presenting to a teacher and a young ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 3, 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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