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End of the Week SLP Blues-Spring has Sprung

(Anyone else feel like this?!?)

While it feels like summer here in Texas, it may feel more like spring everywhere else.  Here are some fun and springy ideas to cure your "End of the Week SLP Blues".

Tiny Seed Activity (that will actually last you a whole week!)

Worm Day
Cute sequencing activity and I think I would secretly do this just to make and eat the "dirt". 

Target increasing adjectives and getting that positive self-talk going. 

Butterfly Clothespin Comprehension Game
Fun activity that's already made and waiting for you to use!

This would be fun to do with articulation words on each of the rectangles attached to the string.  Oh I'm excited about this even as I'm typing.  I'll be using this tomorrow for sure!

Live, Speak, Love Spring Activities
Cute BINGO game to work on vocabulary!

Appy Hour

Action Words-Free

First, they give you 4 pictures and give you an action word.  The goal is for the student to pick the corresponding action word.  Once we've decided which one it goes with, before I let them touch the picture we have to talk about the other 3 pictures.  "What is he doing?", "He's jumping over the water." etc.


What Does Not Belong?-Free

Great game for categorizing, describing functions, and answering "why" questions. 


Make sure your students are listening, because this app gives you clues to what item they are talking about and tells you where to put each item in the bedroom i.e. "What tells time and wakes you up with an alarm? Move it to the table."

Happy "Appy" Hour J

Why I Do What I Do

I’m often asked how I got interested in speech and language pathology.  To tell you the truth, I grew up wanting to be an architect.  I interned at an architecture firm, took AutoCAD and interior design in highschool, started out my time at K-State as an architecture major.  Needless to say, I didn’t last very long in that architecture program.  I hated the fact that I was stuck in studio for entire days not talking to anyone and drawing line after line after line.  When I called my parents to tell them I was dropping out of that program I got the obvious question “Well what do you want to do then?” I had no clue.  I looked into classes and found Intro to Communication Sciences and Disorders.  My youngest cousin struggled with Apraxia as a child and my aunt Sharon, being the go-getter, I shall conquer all, woman that I look up to, started the network for parents and professionals to get information related to Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  You may know it as CASANA or have used the website  If any of you have had the pleasure of meeting her you can see the passion she has to help children and parents.  She's my aunt so I can brag on her, right?!
So back to the story, I took this intro class and loved it.  I loved the anatomy, the physiology, the medical side of it all.  I went through the rest of my 3 years really enjoying all my SLP classes.  Then it was time for graduate school.  I don’t like to admit this, but I didn’t get into any of the schools I applied to my first go-round.  I was heartbroken. Every time one of those letters arrived in my mailbox, I felt like I needed “REJECT” tattooed on my forehead.  I felt defeated like maybe being an SLP wasn't in my cards.  What was I going to do now? So being the planner, like all SLPs tend to be, I needed a plan of attack for the next year.  Would I just hang around and re-apply in the winter? That was not an option financially, so I applied for a para-professional job in the public schools.  I got a call for an interview, and as it turns out it was the elementary school that I went to as a child.  A little girl at the school needed a 1:1 and I was lucky enough to get the job.  Still being disappointed that I wasn’t starting graduate school with my peers, I didn’t realize that this was the best possible thing that could have ever happened to me.  If there is such a thing as soul mates, I found one of mine in Elizabeth.  Elizabeth and I were inseparable and not just because we had to be. 

Elizabeth has cerebral palsy, is in a wheelchair, has a feeding tube and is non-verbal.  Elizabeth also has the greatest smile, best laugh and can make a bad day better with a simple trusting look in the eyes.  I cannot even begin to tell you everything Elizabeth taught me.  If I had to name a few, they would be compassion, patience, hope, gratitude, the hilarity of hitting myself in the head and of course the many things I learned by going with her to OT, PT, speech etc.  I now look back on my “reject” year and wonder if I would be the same person I am today without the opportunity to work with the wonderful people I worked with, and the wonderful child I worked with.  My “reject” year to me now is known as my “lucky” year.  If I didn’t believe in things happen for a reason, I sure do now.  The next year I did get into graduate school, and I can’t help but think that my experience helped me get into those schools.  Elizabeth continues to be a big part of my life.  I may not physically see her everyday, but I have pictures of her up in my classroom and I think of her everyday.  Anytime I get frustrated with my job and all the paperwork piled up on my desk I remember why I do this everyday.  I’m helping children communicate, something so many people take for granted.  While we might not make all the money in the world, we can go home each day knowing that we’ve helped a child get a voice of their own.  That’s huge! 
I think every SLP has at least one student that has changed their life and inspired them.  For me it was Elizabeth, and I’m so grateful to her and her wonderful family.  So here is a big thank you to all the people that got me to this place, and thanks to Elizabeth for inspiring me everyday and teaching me so much. 

Happy Better Speech and Hearing Month

If you're visiting this site and not quite sure what a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is, or you're a student trying to understand what it takes to be an SLP here is a great handout from SuperDuper Inc.

Here are some posters and other handouts from Speaking of Speech.

Here is a great article that gives parents a "check list" of sorts to help them decide if their child might need assistance from an SLP. 

These handouts are amazing from Live, Speak, Love

I had a request for some ideas on how to incorporate BSHM for our preschool kiddos.  Depending on their level of language and understanding, you could talk about how to take care of your voice and how there are different levels of vocal intensity.  I have a chart on my chalkboard that I have to use with kids all the time.  It's pretty basic, but does the trick.  Here it is for you to download.  You could do a matching game of sorts and have them decide what voice they should use during certain circumstances,  "You're in a library, which voice do you use?" "Use the whisper voice." etc.  I think this is a good opportunity to talk about the parts of our body that we use for speech.  Get a cut-out of a person and have labels for lungs, larynx, tongue, nose, brain, ears, teeth, lips etc. 

Discounted apps galore at SuperDuper Inc., Smarty Ears, PocketSLP , Hamaguchi , Sounding Board

Check back tomorrow to find out what made me become an SLP.