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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
  • Find the Smile

    Everyone enjoys something. It might take us a while to find out just what will make another person smile, but if we watch closely, we can find it.Some years ago I was working with a student who had significant cognitive delays and behavioral challenges. He attended his neighborhood elementary school, however, the staff was not sufficiently ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 1, 2016
  • What Did You Learn This Year?

    Every school year we learn new things. I recently took a few minutes to ask each student the question, “What have you learned about your talking and your speaking this year?”Here are a few of the different responses:•    “I learned that I can do good R’s fairly consistently.”•    “I learned a different kind of R and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 9, 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
  • 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
  • Calendars Make Time Visible

    “What day is it today?” I ask students this question at the beginning of every session. It started as strategy of modeling self-talk, showing students my thought processes as I recorded the session data in the data log. Thinking aloud highlights internal steps of planning and information seeking. With busy schedules, often across multiple sites, ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on December 18, 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
  • 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
  • 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