Tuesday, July 12, 2011

IN THE NEWS

Here are a few photos and video links of palatometer therapy. I'm using the palatometer technology, which is a visual tool that allows people to see exactly what their tongue is doing. It's a great speech tool.
video


Here is one more NEWS SITE.
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705387805/Speech-therapy-a-cinch-with-new-tongue-technology.html


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Speech Program; Volunteer's Review

Mrs. Dorais,

I had a fantastic experience volunteering with the intensive summer speech program. It was amazing working with these kids. They showed me that I really do love this field! The palatometer is one of the coolest tools I have ever seen. It really helps these kids, and older clients, understand how to produce sounds correctly, and I can't believe the progress they made!

Sincerely,
Cassie


Hello Mrs. Dorais,

I must say that I was incredibly impressed with the intensive summer speech program. It was well-organized and I was amazed with the progress that the participants made. They all (and their parents or grandparents) seemed so thrilled with personal articulatory and phonological gains. You and the other speech therapists were very much in tune with the specific needs of each client. You pushed them to work hard and make improvements, but not beyond their breaking points, so to speak. I really hope to develop such adeptness pertaining to a child's limits and behavior management.

Thank you again for the experience. It was extremely worthwhile!

Sincerely,
Liz Perry

Mrs. Dorais
Thank you for allowing me to work with you during the summer clinic. I felt comfortable in the clinic setting as you were so accommodating and inviting to me and all of the other volunteers . I learned a great deal about Speech Therapy and people in general. It was a special experience for me to see the concepts I have learned about in class be applied to real situations. Disorders of Articulation became real to me as I saw how the palotometer worked and practiced the /r/ phoneme daily with C. (one of Kristine’s patients). The concepts of Speech Anatomy were reaffirmed to me as I witnessed how simple breath adjustments and relaxation of the articulators could produce the perfect /r/ blend. It amazed me how the simple instructions of laying down, breathing in the nose, letting air out the mouth, opening up the vowels and saying words like “are”, “or”, “air”, “ear”, etc. while relaxing could be the perfect adjustment to making the /r/ sound perfect! Language Disorders and the stories I had heard Dr. Fujiki and Dr. Brinton share became very clear to me while I worked with sweet G. I learned how important language is as a communication tool and its everyday implications. I also learned how important family support is through the process of acquiring language. Watching mothers, fathers, and grandparents attend therapy sessions daily and then talking to them about their child’s accomplishments in speech was special for me. G’s mother, particularly, became a saint in my eyes! Hopefully that gives you an idea of what I learned these past several weeks. Thank you again for allowing me to be part of the experience. Have a wonderful summer!

Kimberly Clark

Intensive Summer Speech Program; Parent Review

Thank you parents and participants!
Well it was unanimous that the Intensive Summer Speech Program was successful.
All the parents that took the time to submit the the program survey indicated that they felt the Summer Intensive Speech Program was either "very successful" or "extremely successful" for their child. It was also noted that they wanted more time with the therapists. This showed they liked what was going on. With this said, they didn't realize that the program was running on a research principle that indicated that 30 minutes of intense therapy time was optimal for most age ranges. This is done to avoid client burn out, or fade into poor production. Yes, some wrote it took a little time to get warmed up with some kids, but that was mostly due to the child's nature more than the program. Even if they got 20 minutes of optimal time, that is considered better than forcing work over 45 or 50 minutes.

Again thanks to the parents, clients, volunteers, and staff for their hard work and positive support! Each summer the demand has increased so I imagine it will continue to increase as usual. I look forward to next year's group. Please share your positive experience with everyone you know so the program can continue to grow and help others.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Instensive Summer Speech Program; Therapist's Review

It's hard to believe 5 weeks of summer speech therapy could go by so quickly.
Tomorrow is the last day of summer speech program. It's bitter sweet, as it's been challenging for some clients yet so rewarding to see their progress. It's nice to be finished but hard to say goodbye to so many.

I continue to learn how to streamline and make therapy optimal for each client. This summer we tried a new system and it seemed to work quite well.
1. We practiced with a voice warm-up for some clients who needed to increase their "speech power" (loudness and breath support), and for other clients we went through the /R/ warm-up sheet. With some we had them play with the tongue coordination game.
2. We practiced words from the previous day's last target sound worked on for 5-10 minutes
3. We rotated through a new target sound during the 3-5 minute individual practice time. This practice time is one of the most critical components of speech therapy using the palatometer technology. This private time allows the client to really focus on making connection with the whole process, as they light up their tongue target display.
4. We reviewed and worked some more on their target sound, went over their scores, their challenges and so on.
5. If time was left, we practiced one more words with a new sound target during the 30 minute session.

The next day, it starts all over again, we first reviewed the last target sound that was practiced, so on. This practice pattern seemed to allow for more sounds to be corrected in a short period of time. If one target sound was troublesome, it was almost better to review lightly than to over work it. Once they get all their target sounds down well, we moved into recording (with a digital recorder or the Ipad) the client for 2-3 minutes with their spontaneous speech without the mouthpiece. Then we typed or wrote down every word they say with their target sound in it, next we reviewed the same words with the "smartpalate" back in their mouth on "gold standard" to see how they scored.

It's interesting what made articulation therapy using the palatometer technology incidental learning for some and more challenging for others. I'd have to say for the most part, clients with good work ethic, good attention made the fastest progress. However, even those that had more issues still made incredible progress with the palatometer technology and intensive speech practice.

If you add any layer of issues even for neuro-typical clients, like lack of motivation, lack of home practice, etc, it cut into their progress.