Friday, August 26, 2016

Lesson Learned Series 1 2016


1. At the beginning; Take time to teach slowly and accurately during the first two weeks of therapy session for  the following items; Each lesson begins with   the word "relax"  This helps start out the client in the manner that's best for learning the new way to speak.

    a) Placement- Location; where sounds are physically made with lip, tongue, jaw, teeth, so on.
    b) Manner of sound- How the sound is made; with correct airflow, central or lateral, burst or continuous, with full contact or minimal contact, etc.
    c) Voicing- If voicing is required or not (if the vocal fold vibrate or not;  e.g. say /s/, now say /z/  same with /p/ vs /b/, so on.

2.  Keep Parents in the loop:  Parents appreciate knowing what to expect from therapy; I let the the parents know the sequence of events.
     a) Build accurate sounds first (as noted above).
    b)  Then build consistent accurate sounds over many trials (build production number to 200-300 using a clicker. Also by using several methods;  the sandwich method; (start out slow rate, regular rate, slow rate, then move to regular rate, slow rate, regular rate.  Then fade the use of computer displays; look at the computer/ look away from the display if using the SmartPalate Technology, or use facilitating tools to promote placement like mirrors, straws, or flosser, then without them).
    c) Then work through the linguistic complexity; accurate sounds in all positions of words; initial medial, and final position, to phrases, sentences, conversation, Q and As, readings, retells, so on.

3.  The most frequent question parents have about speech therapy;  When will my child make the correct sounds on their own in everyday speech??  (in other words; when will they generalize what they learned in therapy to regular speech).
     a) The answer of course is "it depends" on the child's age. The older and longer a person has had persistent articulation error, the longer you can expect to create new "muscle memory" and fade the old habits.
     b) Mindset of the client;  does he only give his best practice during the "sessions" and never practices his "good speech" at home, in the car, at school, wherever he is too?. Recently I had several kids say, I don't think about my speech anywhere else except during speech time.  Do you see a flaw with that line of thinking??

4. Homework;  this ties in with generalizing- using their "good speech" patterns in other places and with lots of people.
    a) When parents help set up regular homework time, use data charts and provide rewards of some sorts, Progress flows more consistently and naturally. The practice time only needs to be 5-10 minutes per day  or at least 3X per week. 
Here are the rationales for practicing outside the therapy room.
Rationale for Homework
1. Develops better neuro-pathways with practice
2. Strengthens generalization and automaticity
3. Correct productions become more accurate and consistent with less effort.
4. Progress seen across linguistic complexity.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016


This is one of the best designed comprehensive speech apps around.
This sale goes through This Thursday!  Be sure and check it out.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


This may be on the minds of many children who don't say their words accurately.
Help them to use the SMART-PALATE technology as they fix their speech sounds.

People like to "SEE"

The SP technology makes practice easier and more accurate

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gut Feelings

As a new school year begins, remember to listen and follow through with your parental "gut feeling" about helping your child.  It can be improving his/her academics, or organizational skills, social skills, or articulation.
Don't let another year go by without getting the speech-language therapy your child needs from a certified speech language pathologist.
Here is a reminder of what certified speech therapists work on.

Standards III-V must have evidence of competency in the following nine areas:
1. Articulation
2. Fluency- stuttering
3. Voice/Resonance
4. Language  (receptive and expressive, literacy and social language).
5. Hearing- aural rehab, auditory processing.
6. Swallowing  disorders
7. Cognitive aspects of communication
8. Social aspects of communication
9. Communication modalities

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Vacations are so important.  The older I get the more I realize how important it is to change up your everyday work and life, with a real break; a real vacation, a real change.  It needs to happen for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.  You become a better professional and person with breaks, you see things differently which can be a huge benefit.

This summer as a private speech therapist; I decided it was time to allow myself to take one week off each month during the summer months.  I still held my summer intensive program in June for three weeks, then I took one week off, then worked two weeks then took one week off then worked two weeks then took another one week off.  Then I will be more than ready to get back to working full time.

Vacations can start out small, even driving or hiking to your location (camping). You don't have to fly but if you can plan and pay for larger trips and cruises, it's all the better; you can spend more time there than  spending the time driving there.

Here are a few photos from each of my breaks;  You will see how very different each was.

Nebraska: Visiting a friend who moved.


Vancouver British Columbia; 
Adele Concert, Harrison Hot Springs along the way.

Adele Concert was what we really came to BC Vancouver for.  It was one of the best concerts I've been to.

Manzanita Beach Oregon; Along the Columbia River, passed Cannon Beach to Manzanita Beach for my final R and R break.


Here are a few thoughts that popped into my mind; Prepare lunches ahead, get backpacks ready, signing off papers, and making sure your kids get on the right bus.

Long term; don't hesitate to get the help your child needs for long-term success.  Make sure if your child needs speech therapy or extra education support that you start early with the process of signing up.

Common question: what can I do to help my child get the right resources to succeed in school?

A few answers:

1. Call your local school district and get your child tested.
Then follow-up with them about getting into the right program. Attend all meetings that make decisions about your child's needs.
2. You can also sign up your child at your local university for testing and therapy.
3. You can also check with private therapy clinics.  (FYI medical insurance do not finance speech therapy, but they will usually pay for testing for particular cases).
4. Check online at for developmental norms and speech therapists licensed in your city and state.