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  • Learning from Clinical Mistakes

    I hate making clinical mistakes. They make me feel bad about my skills and myself. Mistakes may often be based on lack of information, which affects the development of a relationship. Sometimes the desire to make a difference as quickly as possible negatively affects the collection of comprehensive background information and prolonged ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 8, 2016
  • What Did You Learn This Year?

    Every school year we learn new things. I recently took a few minutes to ask each student the question, “What have you learned about your talking and your speaking this year?”Here are a few of the different responses:•    “I learned that I can do good R’s fairly consistently.”•    “I learned a different kind of R and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 9, 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
  • 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
  • '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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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