July 1, 2013 Departments

Blogjam: July 2013

SLPs and audiologists are blogging about their experience and discoveries. Check out some of their posts.

Don't Just Sit There

Speech-language pathologists who work with children know all too well that their young clients can get bored fairly easily during treatment sessions—as can the SLPs themselves! On Playing With Words 365, blogger Katie comments, "Let's be honest ... how many of us love to be sitting in one place for long periods of time having to use a LOT of brain power?"

She suggests incorporating games that get students and clinicians up and moving in speech-language treatment sessions. "I have found that most kids thrive in these activities that got them moving and grooving, while also helping to increase motivation and attention. Translation: More fun and more progress!"

Katie offers ways to incorporate treatment activities into some favorite kid-friendly activities—bowling, ring toss, hopscotch, bean bag toss, basketball, and balloon tennis/racquetball/volleyball—with photos and videos to illustrate the variations.

Get That AAC in the IEP, Uh Huh

PrAACtical AAC, written by speech-language pathology professors Robin Parker and Carole Zangari, features guest blogger Lauren Enders, who comes to the rescue of teachers and SLPs trying to create individualized education program goals for students who use augmentative and alternative communication. She takes the top four frequently asked questions about how to refer to AAC in IEPs and breaks them down for readers.

"Frequently, SLPs and teachers contact me in a complete panic because they need to generate an IEP and write IEP goals for a student who is using (or beginning to use) augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). These folks have lots of questions and, most often, have no idea where to begin. There are a number of questions that come up repeatedly in these panicked requests. When approached by PrAACtical AAC to write a post about IEPs and AAC, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the most common questions I hear along with the answers I provide."

Pump Up Your Profit Margins

At Just Audiology Stuff—a blog about commercial strategies in audiology and health care—Geoffrey Cooling talks about the changes sweeping through hearing health care, and the shrinking margins that often accompany a thriving industry. Even though the profession's profitability has increased, revenues are not rising consistently to match, and Cooling explores ways to reverse the trend.

"It is a common concern I hear in this market: People are busy enough, but [the] margin is constantly squeezed. Sales are not up enough to make up for that squeeze in margin. Most customers also talk about the quiet times being quieter. Marketing is not really delivering and they obtain most of their sales through their existing customers—either through re-sales or referral sales.

"However, for at least one of my customers in Ireland the story is very different. He has tripled his revenue over three years. He has increased both revenue and margin whilst profitability as a percentage has remained stable. In a growth phase profitability may remain stable or indeed slip, that is the nature of a growth phase. In purely figures terms, profitability has increased, more unit sales, more revenue, bigger profit figure. The question is why?"

3 for Me!

On Speech Room News, Jenna Rayburn offers a way to encourage children to use their hard-won articulation gains. "Articulation carryover has to be one of the most difficult skills we teach during speech and language intervention," she says. "Start your next session by giving each of your students three magical gold coins. Really, three of anything will work (bingo chips, pictures, pennies, etc.). The goal is for the students to keep all of their coins across the session." If a student working on /r/ sounds, for example, says a word with an /r/ produced incorrectly and doesn't self-correct, Rayburn takes a coin.

"Of course, you could use this same idea to work on other skills. I've used it for pronoun carryover, so if a student makes an error in conversational speech with subjective and possessive pronouns, I take a coin." For students just learning to work on carryover, she ups the allotment to five or six coins, because "You don't want the student to run out of coins in the first five minutes!"

Students who have coins left at the end of the session earn rewards, and "If I got all their coins (three for me!) then they have an extra sheet of homework."


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