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  • 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
  • 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
  • There’s a Zombie on Your Lawn

    “There’s a zombie on your lawn.” This catchy refrain is from the theme song for the video game “Plants vs. Zombies.” Even though I’m not personally a fan of zombies, it’s easy to see how zombies have become part of the current cultural landscape for children. I held out as long as I could before I finally invited zombies into therapy using ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 8, 2016
  • Lip Position and Vowel R

    Vowels have lip, tongue, and jaw positions. Lip positions vary from highly spread (almost smiling) to rounded (puckered) positions. When you say “cheese” for a photo, you are producing the “ee” vowel, which puts your lips in the most spread position. Many children master consonant /r/ (pre-vocalic, e.g., “run”, “right”, etc.) before r-colored ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on February 8, 2016
  • Naturalistic Repetition

    Clinicians typically rely heavily on the phrases “say it again” and the mind-numbing “one more time” in articulation therapy. Intervention for speech sound disorders generally includes repeated trials of target words to facilitate auditory discrimination of correct/incorrect productions, self-monitoring of accuracy, and the formation of a new ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on January 31, 2016
  • Deconstructing Sounds

    I was working with a bright student who has difficulty producing /r/ and consonant clusters. He was explaining about writing computer code in Java script. The word “script” was challenging for him. We stopped the conversation to practice it.“Did you know that script is ‘crypt’ with an ‘s’ at the beginning?” I asked, while writing ‘script’ and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on January 11, 2016
  • Planning for Practice

    With speech sound therapy, guided questions may help children recognize which words to practice and allow for visualization of a semi-independent practice routine.Co-create a list of practice words:•    Which of these words did you think were your star words – your best words?•    Which of these words do you want to ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on December 28, 2015
  • Calendars Make Time Visible

    “What day is it today?” I ask students this question at the beginning of every session. It started as strategy of modeling self-talk, showing students my thought processes as I recorded the session data in the data log. Thinking aloud highlights internal steps of planning and information seeking. With busy schedules, often across multiple sites, ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on December 18, 2015
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