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  • Observing the Complexity of Fun

    We know that we make positive changes in the lives of our clients, but our work can also make a meaningful difference to the next generation of speech-language pathologists. Many years ago, when I was learning to be a clinician, I observed Dr. Bob, a speech-language pathologist in private practice. Dr. Bob specialized in working with children ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on September 6, 2016
  • Articulation: Social Belonging and Safety

    How do you decide if a child needs articulation therapy? My colleague and I discussed different factors.Does it sound like the child has an accent?A mother shared with me that everyone thinks they’re from another part of the country.Their son’s articulation disorder sounds like an accent. Whenever they meet people who have met their son first, ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on May 17, 2016
  • 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
  • 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
  • Vocabulary Schemes

    I almost got in an argument with a five-year-old. We were working on describing skills and taking turns providing descriptors for familiar objects. We were looking at a picture of a car. I attempted to give him a clue. I whispered that a car needs a key. He shook his head, “no”. He said that a car didn’t need a key. I looked at him ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on January 25, 2016
  • Graduate School Applications

    Do you know anyone applying to graduate school? Here are some tips to share:Writer’s block: Fight the freeze by starting in the middle of the essay. Sometimes we discover introductions through conclusions. Return to the opening lines only after you’ve reached the end.Answer simple questions: Unsure what to say? Start with everyday, plain language. ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on November 16, 2015
  • Letter to a Friend

    Dear Friend,Thank you for trusting me and telling me about everything. I didn’t realize how difficult this fall has been for you. The problems you described are painfully familiar:•    Fundamental imbalances in the amount of tasks required within the time period allotted•    Insurmountable paperwork and documentation, ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on October 9, 2015
  • Advice on Giving Advice

    When the right advice is given at the appropriate time, it improves lives. When off-hand, unsolicited advice is given, it may be a source of frustration. The concept of advice is to guide another person in making a decision or completing an action. As Speech Language Pathologists, we are often expected to provide advice and demonstrate expertise. ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on October 2, 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
  • 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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