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  • 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
  • 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
  • The Study of Strengths

    As speech language pathologists, we are highly trained at observing and listening. We recognize and identify client productions that deviate from normative targets. We listen for errors and sort errors by type, degree, and frequency to plan remediation. Our testing methods enable us to pinpoint specific areas of difficulty and design intervention ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 29, 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
  • Introducing the SLP Profession

    May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness of every individual’s fundamental right to communication. Communication allows us to make social connections, develop emotional bonds with others, and have a sense of agency - to be active in the daily decisions of our lives. Visible markers, from a poster, ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 30, 2015
  • Consonant Clusters with Coarticulation

    Many children with articulation disorders may have difficulty with consonant clusters (two sounds together), possibly inserting a sound such as “puh-lay” for “play”. As we produce intricately timed sequences of speech sounds, we are simultaneously completing one sound while we are preparing for the next sound. Our primary active articulators (lips ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 17, 2015
  • Joining the Conversation

    Daily conversation unites individuals and groups. We establish social bonding and friendships through every day, seemingly trivial, exchanges. Many children with pragmatic challenges (impairments in social language) may have difficulty joining a conversation. Sometimes children have an underlying pragmatic deficit, such as Autism Spectrum ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on April 10, 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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