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  • 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
  • Interrupting the Monologue

    Many people are enthusiastic communicators who love to share stories and talk about their hobbies and interests. I once worked with an 11-year-old boy who was creative, engaging, and entertaining. He had specialized interests and advanced skills in engineering. He loved to talk about his latest inventions – in a long, detailed, running ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 9, 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
  • 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
  • Becoming Our Own Client

    As dedicated professionals, we work long hours, possibly staying late to finish just one more thing. In providing supports to others, sometimes we may not think of our own needs. Exhaustion is an interesting phenomenon. It may be a slow process. We may not realize that we are nearing exhaustion until we are completely fatigued. Perhaps you have ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 11, 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
  • The Culture of Definitions

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was testing a second-grade boy who is African-American. The student was bright and engaging, and I was beginning to wonder about the validity of the initial referral for evaluation. I was administering a comprehensive standardized language assessment. One of the subtests required the student to provide a ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 15, 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
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