Sunday, August 12, 2018

MEMES Only SLPs Will Laugh At

It's back to school time, and as I think about all that our jobs as SLPs entail, I have to chuckle. I mean, apparently we have super powers because we do SO much (much of which only WE understand) and sometimes it's just plain comical. 

These days, I'm a speech coordinator in a big school district with about 45 SLPs. I headed back to school 3 weeks ago, and the school SLPs have just recently returned. I'm in the process of getting ready for our annual "Back to School Speech Meeting," and I came across the slide show from last year's shindig. I can't believe I never shared it with y'all! 
So here ya go! Better late than never. 

For any non-SLPs here, you're about to get a peek at #slplife...

Oh yeah, if schools had superlatives for staff, we would 100% be voted "most popular" by students! 

Let's make a bet. 

     I mean, we need positive reinforcement, too.  

"Do I have speech today??" 
No buddy, you come on Mondays and Wednesdays, just like you have for the past 22 weeks. 

A little part of me dies inside.

And I have to fix that? 

NO, I REALLY MEANT ARTIC, Mr. Autocorrect!! 

We've all been there. 

I feel your pain, sweetie. 

Yep, so have I. 

You get the good feeling of winning! 

We're good, but we're not magic.

No, you see I can't possibly have a new student because my schedule is finished.  And full. 

You feel me? 

Sometimes you have to be an evil genius to get the job done. 

Then you have to decide whether or not to hunt that person down to discuss your concerns. 

It happens to everyone, right?  


I imagine this is what being attacked by wolves feels like.

Another speech mystery solved by our keen eye and sharp intellect. We deserve a raise.

Better than Christmas.

I can't even. 

Stop the insanity.

I swear I can read.

Uh-Oh, now what? 

QUIET, PEOPLE! Do you have any idea how soft a 20db tone is? 

Been there, done that. Anyone else? 

I'll just leave it at that. jussssst said it correctlyyyyyyyy.

Man, we're good. 

It's okay, little guy. 

Okay. I'm okay. Everything's gonna be okay. 



YOU get a summer break, and YOU get a summer break!!

Summer break will be here in time, but in the meantime, have the best school year yet! 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

#4 IN A SERIES: 8 things you need to know about working with children with autism

Okay so, YIKES, I got a little distracted. I'm sorry I left you hanging after numbers 1, 2, and 3, but here we are again. Thanks for hanging in with me! The FOURTH thing you need to know when working with children with ASD... 

Prompting, scaffolding and cueing as commonly used interchangeably (whether that is incorrect or correct is up for debate-more on that later), but they all involve inserting something between the request or demand (do this) and the target behavior (child does the thing we said) in order to get our desired response. 

There is a hierarchy of prompts from least restrictuve to most restrictive. Now you know the name of the game in schools is least restrictive. We should use the least restrictive prompt needed to elicit a correct response. 

TIP: Before even giving a prompt or cue, have another child do it first. Peer modeling is so powerful....well, IF the student is attending to the peer. 

Here is the hierarchy: 

Being least restrictive sounds like common sense, but it's harder than it sounds. Think about it - how often to we go straight to verbal? Or even physical? Not only us but think about teachers and even paraprofessionals. YIKES! 

Let's use the simple example of a child who either puts things in his mouth or touches others while walking down the hallway. Our target skill would be for him to keep his hands to himself. 

In that case, these would be some appropriate prompts from least to most restrictive: 

1) Gestural: Point to our own hands.
2) Verbal: Say, "hands to self" or "quiet hands, please."
3) Visual: Show a visual prompt like the symbol for quiet hands. 
4) Model: Act out folding our hands over our belly or whatever gesture that the child could understand for "hands to self" or "quiet hands."
5) Physical: Go to the child and physically place his hands in a quiet hands position. 

Over prompting and not using
the hierarchy results in prompt
dependency and learned

WE (yes, you and I) can CAUSE prompt dependency!! 

Think of that student who just LOOKS toward his or her paraprofessional each and every time a directive is given.

I love this video of prompt dependency from Navigation ABA. Take a look and see if any of YOUR kids look or act like Valerie...

OOPS! Doesn't that make you think?! 

It makes ME think THIS... 

So I said I wouldn't get into the debate of prompt vs. cue but I can't help myself...

OH, and I'm not going to lie... I didn't come up with this all by myself. I heard it from a very wise SLP with lots of experience working with kids with ASD....

When kids have to do the thinking and decision making, they start to finally take advantage of contextual cues in the environment, AND when they start doing the thinking, they're taking steps toward independence. THAT is our ultimate goal so we must move from prompts to cues in order to foster independence.

If a child has to think on their own about what to do, it’s a cue.
Example? Well, a cue for quiet hands (as opposed to all of those prompts listed above) would be "Sally (nearby peer) I love how you are keeping your hands to yourself" OR asking the child, "What should you be doing right now?"

If you tell directly them what to do, its a prompt.

Simple to conceptualize - not so simple to put into practice, but I challenge you to try!

Take the Prompt Vs. Cue Kahoot Quiz above. Try it with your colleagues or sped team!

As educators, our goal is always to cause learning. For kids to learn they have to be doing the thinking; we can't continually do the thinking for them.

I hope this post also has YOU thinking!
Thanks for reading; now go out there and create some independent thinkers! 

Got more tips? I'd love to hear them. 
Please share your wisdom below because we need all the help we can get! 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Throwback: SLPs circa 1964 in honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month

Happy Better Speech and Hearing Month to my SLPeeps! 

In the spirit of BSHM, I just had to share a rare find (that only SLPs will enjoy) I stumbled upon while cleaning out my office. You see, I moved into my current office that came with my current job (as district coordinator of speech, language, hearing services and deaf education) in January of 2016, but I didn't completely purge it. I moved my stuff in and got to work! Now I'm trying to get more organized, and I'm cleaning like a mad woman.  I found this book (from a former SLP no doubt) and it stopped me dead in my tracks. 

Wow. Just wow. 

Here is it... Mending the Child's Speech by Edith Goldberg.  Mending
THAT's a word I've never heard in connection to our profession.  When I think of mending, I tend to think of sewing, but I can see how it "fits" here. 

It was originally published in 1959, but I guess there were so many advances in speech pathology over the following 5 years that it had to be revised in 1964. :) 


Okay, so try not to cringe at this next pic. I'd bet you can't...

EEK!!  Speech Cripples!!  Did you cringe?  I know I did.  

"...the largest group of handicapped children in this country are speech cripples..."  
Well, there are 2 words you don't hear anymore.  Thankfully!!!
Oh my, how things have changed!


It was interesting to me that even back then SLPs were collaborating with teachers....

except they weren't SLPs - they were speech correctionists and this handy dandy book advises them to have the teacher "inaugurate" a DIY speech program. 
{Insert facepalm here.} 

While all of this is very cringeworthy, it's really fascinating so see how our profession has evolved!
We've come a long way, baby. 

I'm so proud that we aren't using the word "defective" to described a child's speech anymore; however, when I think about it, it's not much different from the word "impaired" or "impairment" which we use regularly without a thought. 

Hmmm, maybe there will be a day when future SLPs are cringing over our terminology.
I wonder if our grad school text books will one day be the source of a future SLPs shock and dismay. 

Mending the child's speech wouldn't be complete without mentioning "sluggish tongues" in need of tongue exercises. Make it dance :)

While some of the techniques and terminology found in this oldie but goodie book made my roll my eyes or raise my eyebrows, I'm proud to be carrying on the work that those speech correctionists did.
I'm proud our profession is one that keeps growing, pushing boundaries and knocking down barriers.
I'm proud to be an speech language pathologist, a professional that changes lives in tremendous ways for all those clients/patients/students we touch.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this little book I found, and I'd really love for you to share YOUR

Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget