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  • 'Is the Teacher a Racist?'

    “Do you think that the teacher is a racist?”Does this question offend you? Does it depend on the context? Does the context matter?Here is the actual situation: the special education team is reviewing referrals from general education staff. One teacher (not present) has referred a fourth grade student for concerns about his reading and math ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on November 20, 2015
  • Dear Future Leader

    Last week you told me about a recent leadership meeting: participants, proposed initiatives, attempted negotiations, and post-meeting allegiances. I didn’t hear what you needed, but I should have. I tried to dissuade you from higher-level politics. I don’t know if I felt jaded, or if I was trying to protect you. I care about you a lot. I don’t ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on November 6, 2015
  • Blending Clusters

    Clients working on cluster blends, /pl/, /bl/, /fl/, /kl/, /gl/, and /sl/, may initially demonstrate vowel epenthesis, inserting a schwa between two consonants, e.g., “puh-lay” for “play”, and altering the syllable shape from CCV to CVCV. We can directly teach how to blend consonants to produce near simultaneous release of sound – and lose the ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on October 30, 2015
  • Describing Dialect

    “Do you think that the student’s responses are affected by dialect?” I asked my colleague. We were discussing a student’s performance on a subtest that required generating original sentences given a picture and a stimulus word.“What dialect?” she countered, “Trailer Park?”After a momentary pause, I said, “I was thinking rural or mountain ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on September 25, 2015
  • Search That Fact

    Imagine a contemporary trivia game show with teenage contestants pitted against each other to see who can find information the quickest. The host asks a series of factual questions across content areas (history, literature, science, music, etc.). Contestants type key words on their cell phones, which appear on large monitors placed above their ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on September 14, 2015
  • 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
  • Metacognition and Success Mindset

    How we ask questions and the types of questions that we ask our clients may encourage success-based thinking patterns. Forward-thinking and future-based questions may help clients envision themselves meeting their goals. Being able to see oneself in the future is a metacognitive skill. As clinicians, we believe that our clients are able to ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 30, 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
  • 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
  • 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
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