Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A Year in Review

As we are only a few hours away from 2013, I can't help but reflect on the bounties that have been bestowed upon me in 2012. I began the year with a bang, as I became engaged on New Years Eve 2011. I knew 2012 would be filled with positivity and boy was I right!

In June, after much thought, I decided to bite the bullet and began Let's Talk Speech and Language. Shortly afterwards, I joined the Twitter and Facebook universe. Boy was that a great idea! Through social mingling, I have been able to connect with other SLP bloggers, parents, students, clinicians, you name it! Not only has blogging provided me with an outlet to share resources on my home site and as a guest blogger, it has also introduced me to many new resources I wouldn't have found otherwise.

Aside from blogging, I became a health insurance and Medicaid provider. I even went on to begin treating my very first client!

Organization was definitely the theme this year, as I was able to reserve dates for my upcoming nuptials (in lovely St. Lucia) as well as develop a wedding website (almost done). Additionally, 2012 was the year I became more financially organized. I finally set up a retirement account (Roth IRA) and have improved my budgeting abilities with the help of the wonderful!

I look back on 2012 with pride, and look forward to 2013 with eagerness. Have a wonderful New Year!

What were some of your personal/professional accomplishments in 2012?

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chain Letter Link-Up

In an effort to expose readers to the wonderful SLP and educational bloggers out there, Teach Speech 365 came up with a creative idea for a "Chain Letter Link-Up." Visit Word Nerd Speech Teach to read my interview as well as find some cool freebies.

Today I am going to feature two fabulous SLP bloggers:  Mary Huston from Speech Adventures and Teresa Sadowski from The School Speech Therapist. Learn more about these lovely ladies below!

1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one.

Mary Huston

2. When and why did you start blogging?

The when is easy, I started blogging in June or July of 2012. The why is it a bit trickier…I am an active participant in the twitter community #SLPeeps. Over the past couple of years, it was strongly suggested I start to blog. I wrote a few guest blogs and enjoyed it, but I was very concerned about not having enough time to do it well. Finally, this summer I decided to take a chance and do it…I’m very glad I did! The time worry is real for me, I’m not able to do as many as I would like, but I figure I’ll go for quality.

3. What is your favorite population to work with?

I would in the schools. As the only SLP in my K-12 school, I can (and have) worked with kids from 3- 21. Currently I see kids 3-15 or so.

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?

On an average, I’d say a few hours a week blogging and/or researching information to blog about. It depends on if I’m doing an app review or blogging about a particular topic pertaining to speech- language.

5. What's your favorite topic to create materials for?

I love the creativity that so many people in this field have. I have nearly zero creativity when it comes to creating hands-on materials to use in therapy. That’s part of why I love Teachers-Pay-Teachers. It allows me to get some new great games at a very inexpensive price – and it supports someone who is WAY more creative than I ever could be.

That said, I love creating iPad apps for therapy. The apps that I’ve authored (and am helping author) are specifically apps that I had a need for in therapy. Once again though, I’m not the creative one – creating the pictures, layout, etc… I find the content, create the concept/idea – and then work with a developer to create the product. I may not be creative on my own – but I surround myself with incredibly creative people and reap the benefits.

6. What's the best thing about blogging?

I think the best thing about blogging is giving a voice to those who are otherwise unable to say something. Yes, I do some app reviews – and I love to do those, they’re fairly simple and straight forward – either a like an app or I don’t. But I know, there are several blogs that do a much better job than I do writing those app reviews. The posts that seem to garner the most interest – the most hits and comments – are those that deal with the issues in our field.

7. Do you have any blogging tips?

Nothing that wordpress doesn’t already say. Blog often. Use Keywords. Use categories.

Really though…the truly important thing… is enjoy it. Bloggers have a lot to share with the world. A blog can be fluff, can be meaty, can be just about anything that you want it to be.

8. Add a question and answer of your choice (can be speech related or not).

Did you go to ASHA12? If so, did you stop by the Pediastaff Media Booth to discuss Twitter,
Blogging, and Pinterest? Where do you see the online community in a year…in 5 years?

Yes, I went to ASHA12 and not only stopped by the Pediastaff booth, but volunteered there teaching people about blogging, pinterest, and twitter. In 5 years, I think more of us will be active and involved on various social platforms.

Get to know Mary by visiting her site

1. Your name, email, blog address, link to TpT store if you have one

Teresa Sadowski

2. When and why did you start blogging?

I began blogging in 2008 with Your Middle Schooler:  A Unique Age.  At that time I had been working at the middle school level for over 10 years.  During 7 of those years I also had a child in middle school.  I recognized the unique needs of the middle school population both as a parent and a therapist.  Middle schoolers who do not acquire higher order language or higher order thinking fall behind very quickly.  You could find all kinds of information on little ones with language issues but back then little was written about the needs of older children.  It was almost impossible to find relevant information especially in the areas of higher order thinking and pragmatics.  I thought my blog could fill a niche that hadn’t been addressed.

In January 2012, I expanded my blog creating The School Speech Therapist.  I wanted to write about more than just the middle school population.  I wanted to address real issues and needs of the school speech therapist.  I was also motivated by the fact that that higher powers in education were changing our field and honestly I didn’t like a lot of the changes.
3. What is your favorite population to work with?

I do love working with my little folks.  They always seem so happy and willing to work.  However, I still like the middle school population the best.

4. How much time per week do you spend blogging and/or creating materials?

 In 2008 I learned quickly that the type of blogging I like to do is actually work.  The good thing about your own blog is that you don’t have deadlines.  I try to prepare at least one big piece a week.  This usually takes anywhere from 3-4 hours.  I wish I could spend more time and usually do during the summer months.  Work keeps me pretty bogged down.

5. What's your favorite topic to create materials for?

Higher order language and humor

6. What's the best thing about blogging?

Doing it at my own pace.  I also like connecting with other SLP’s, education professionals and parents.  And oh yeah, I also get to vent.

7. Do you have any blogging tips?

I spend a lot of time learning the technical pieces to running a web site.  If you can pay someone to set you up or have someone in your life that can do it, take full advantage.  Other than that share, share and share alike.  What we do isn’t a mystery but sometimes it is hard to figure out.

8. Add a question and answer of your choice (can be speech related or not).

Is our job in public schools easier or more difficult that it was 25 years ago?

The actual direct service piece of the job is very much the same as it was 25 years ago. We’re servicing more students without a significant in staff. Our testing is more thorough and we are identifying more students with language needs that effect life and learning. The paperwork piece and the expectations
to attend to other not direct service duties has increased 10 fold. So yes the job is a lot more difficult than it was. The most frustrating thing is that we are still thought of as the “speech teacher”. Co- workers and administration have no idea of our level of expertise. Still I keep going back.

Visit The School Speech Therapist here

Hope you all enjoyed getting to know these lovely ladies, learn more by checking out their page. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Auditory Processing of Early Language Comprehension Skills {Review}

Frequently asking for directives to be repeated, delays in response time, difficulty following complex auditory directives, decreased comprehension in noise (the list goes on). According to ASHA's technical report (2005),             "(C)APD (central auditory processing disorders) may lead to or be associated with difficulties in higher order language, learning, and communication functions." Auditory Processing of Early Language Comprehension Skills is a useful resource from Great Ideas for Teaching Inc. meant to target the deficits those with processing disorders present.

Pages are perforated for easy tearing and photocopying

This 60 page workbook contains 30 reproducible black and white illustrations designed to improve comprehension skills.

While looking at pictures, students listen to a story pertaining to the illustration. Questions that gauge students' abilities related to comprehension, execution of directives, use of context clues, memory, inferencing, time, spatial details, etc. are provided (see below).

Despite being advertised as an activity for younger ages (6-9), students of any age who lack the aforementioned skills can benefit from these lessons. Activities can easily be expanded upon by requiring students to provide written instead of oral responses, as well as prompting students to provide supporting details to rationalize their responses. The activities in Auditory Processing of Early Language Comprehension Skills are straightforward, yet target a multitude of skills.

For those with skills that are a bit more advanced, Targeting Auditory Memory and Processing is a workbook from the same author that addresses auditory memory in addition to vocabulary, prepositions, verbs, etc.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005). (central) auditory processing disorders [Technical Report]. Available from

Disclosure Statement: Great Ideas for Teaching, Inc. provided resources for testing in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed in this review are mine. No other compensation was provided. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Multiple Choice Articulation {App Review & Giveaway}

Rarely do my students who transition to middle school have articulation goals on their IEP's, despite having obvious and consistent errors in their speech. Multiple Choice Articulation (below) is a newly developed app by Erik Raj meant to address articulation while targeting receptive and expressive language in a conversational manner. 
Users are able to target 7 phonemes.

For $9.99 users get:
  • Over 500 multiple choice questions targeting 7 phonemes (above image)
  • Option of having questions read aloud to user
  • Option of having answers provided via audio to user
    Users have the option to hear the question and answer
    •  Users are able to select phoneme positions they would like to have targeted (below)

    Things I liked:
    • In addition to articulation, receptive (auditory processing, language memory, 'wh' question comprehension, turn taking, reasoning) and expressive language use (pronoun use, sentence formulation, word order, etc.) are also able to be elicited
    •  Students/users will want to discuss these scenarios as they are a departure from the more "traditional" questions adults would ask them e.g. "What would you rather sleep on - a pillow made of smooth mud or a pillow made of itchy cloth? Why?"
    Things I would change:
    • Visuals of the absurd questions would have been a great addition, as it would add to the discussion as well as provide assistance to those with difficulty visualizing
    • Price: Although Erik Raj has churned out some quality apps,  $9.99 is costly for the average SLP/educator who has little to no budget for materials at their place of employment.
    App Compatibility:

    Multiple Choice Articulation is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

    For a chance to win this new app please enter below. Good luck! 


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Disclosure Statement: I was provided a copy of this app by the developer. No other compensation was provided. This review includes solely my opinions. 

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