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  • 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
  • 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
  • Describing: Beyond Adjectives

    Many students have describing goals. Describing is the ability to provide details and specific information about a person, place, object, or concept. Descriptors allow a listener to create a mental picture of a shared idea. Descriptors help differentiate between different possible interpretations of an entity, e.g., for “dog”, “the small dog” ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on December 14, 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
  • 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
  • Belonging in Competition

    Competition may be inherently divisive and alienating, as people are sorted into predetermined roles based on “winning” and “losing”. People handle competition in different ways, and some types of responses are more successful than others. Ideally, we gradually learn to manage our frustration when we don’t win a game. Recently, I was touched by ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 27, 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
  • 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
  • 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
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