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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
  • 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
  • Window into Stuttering

    As clinicians, many of us do not have a societally recognized form of disability. We have the privilege of able-ness. Our work ensures daily contact with individuals who may be identified by society and/or may self-identify as individuals with a disability.  Even though providing therapeutic services is our calling, we are still only able ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 25, 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
  • 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
  • Verb Choices and Learning Opportunities

    Our daily lives are filled with a combination of both obligations and opportunities. Sometimes we may even have difficulty distinguishing between the two. Having the chance to work hard, to push oneself to accomplish tasks, and to learn new things is an opportunity. Access to education is not universal – learning is in many ways still a ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 27, 2015
  • Advocates for Acceptance

    In our practice we recognize differing communication and learning abilities. As clinicians, we work to increase our clients’ access to social opportunities and interactions. We understand that all people have a unique way of expressing their thoughts and ideas. Within the nature of the human condition, skills vary across domains, and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 13, 2015
  • White/Gold vs. Blue/Black Dress

    Millions of people on social media and later mainstream media recently viewed a photo of a particular dress that stirred a national debate. Due to the background lighting and photographic exposure, people saw the two colors of the dress differently. For all of us who debated the colors of that dress (blue/black or white/gold), we had a ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 4, 2015
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