Compliments Are the Best!
Whether the compliment comes from your supervisor, a
coworker or a parent of one of your students, a genuine compliment always has a
magical way of making your heart feel all warm and fuzzy, according to blogger Erik X. Raj. And because "who doesn't love feelin' all warm and fuzzy inside?"
he offers six compliments—three specifically for speech-language pathologists
in schools and three for SLPs in health care settings. For school clinicians,
he offers, "Your IEPs are like a beautifully written classic novel. Even better
than anything by William Shakespeare." For the medical SLP, he suggests,
"You're a spectacular chef. Gordon Ramsay, Rachael Ray and Bobby Flay would all
approve of your yummy dysphagia pureed meals." Compliments cost nothing, Raj
says: "Feel free to give one of our compliments to your favorite SLP right
Why the Food Battles?
In a guest post on the PediaStaff blog, SLP Melanie Potock
suggests becoming a "feeding detective" to discover why a child is a picky
eater. "When I meet a child for the first time, my job is to assess much more than
just what foods he will or will not eat. Assessing why a child won't eat
requires investigating three areas directly related to eating: physiology,
motor skills and behavior." Physiological factors include not just
gastrointestinal issues, but the child's vestibular and proprioceptive systems.
Fine and gross motor skills are also important—can the child, for example, pick
up a single piece of dry cereal? And what behaviors, positive and negative,
have had an impact on meal times? "Each family's situation is different and
each child's symptoms unique," Potock suggests. "That's why I love being a
therapist—it requires a little detective work to figure out all the pieces of
My Precious Pacing Board
SLP Jennifer Getch is selfless enough to share with her
fellow professionals why her most prized possession in her speech room is her
pacing board. In a post on the NW Speech Therapy blog, she even admits to
referring to it as her "precious."
"I discovered the idea of a pacing board in my second year
of grad school (I won't mention how long ago that was). I had a clinical
advisor who suggested it to me when I was working with a child who still had
not been diagnosed completely as he was very involved and very difficult to
understand … You could probably imagine my frustration with working with this
client as nothing I did seemed to consistently help and I felt as if I was
failing him. When my advisor suggested a pacing board that she had made by
grabbing a piece of paper and drawing circles on it, I thought she was
downright crazy. I had tried the plethora of expensive therapy tools that we
had at our fingertips in our college clinic and nothing was helping and she
wanted me to use a piece of paper with circles on it."
Each Artic in Its Place
For school-based SLPs short on storage space, it can be
difficult to locate the exact pages needed for a given exercise. At the
Speaking of Speech blog, SLP Pat Mervine provides a few creative (and cost-effective) strategies to help SLPs organize their articulation materials.
"For every consonant phoneme, I labeled eight folders: 'X
discrimination, X exercises, X initial words, X medial words, X final words, X
initial sentences, X medial sentences, X final sentences.' (In the 'exercises'
folder, I have sound-level activities). I also have folders for /l, r, s/
blends. I went through my artic books, photocopying pages and filing them in
the appropriate folder; multiple copies were made of the pages I use most
often, ready to be handed out to the students."