|I tip my hat to you, Mr. Bear!|
Today is my last week of work before two weeks off for the holidays. I'm excited, and the office is buzzing with excitement. Of course, some of that may be due to the sugar rush from treats that some of the families have brought in - haha!
Although Thanksgiving is I guess more of a time to give thanks, I do want to take the opportunity to reflect on how happy I am with my job, my coworkers, and all of the wonderful families I serve. I love each and every one of the children I see, and I am excited to come into work each day to see their (most of the time) smiling faces. Even in the midst of the worst tantrums, I'm thankful that my job lets me get paid for playing games and making kids laugh and feel success all day!
Another thing I'm thankful for? The expanding number of readers for SpeechieSpeaking!
On Friday, I made the decision to purchase the domain for www.SpeechieSpeaking.com. It appears that it isn't quite up yet, so hopefully there hasn't been any issues with accessing the blog in the meantime.
Thinking of taking the time that I have a cancelled client to film a product review for an awesome app I love called ArtikPix! Of course, preparing for my afternoon children with some extra homework is probably a much better plan :)
Off to be productive!
The A-ha moment is that moment when the client you are working with just.. *gets it.*
It is seriously the most amazing feeling ever. I think I should have probably added a third person in my stick figure drawing of me crazy dancing with happiness.
Today, I did a crazy dance. The victory? A child who has a very hard time with fronting said "cup." Wow. Commence with crazy happy dancing now!
|"Huh??" --> "A-ha!!!"|
Another a-ha... I am working with an older child on planning and writing for a variety of purposes. Currently we are tackling persuasive writing. My plan of attack for the day was to brainstorm together!
We talked through the topic out loud, and while we discussed it, I wrote down everything we said. We would think of negatives/positives for the ideas we discussed. Usually I write down notes and take data throughout the entire session, so I didn't tell the child that I wasn't doing just that in this particular session. After we were done coming up with lots of good points, I showed the child what I had written.
The child literally said:
Wow! This is like the essay right here! All I have to do is add more words to make the points sentences!As aforementioned happy dance is not always appreciated in the above 5 year old crowd, I happy-danced inside. He just had his "A-ha!" moment for why we outline and plan for writing. That kind of learning experience is priceless. I could have told him a million times that outlining will help you plan essays, will help you write more clearly, will help you to stay on topic... but having him discover this himself - amazing!!
I hope to see many more "A-ha's" in my years to come as an SLP!
#slpeeps - Share your best "a-ha" moments! I would love to hear about them...
Not even remotely.
One thing I wasn't really prepared for was the fact that school systems, the government, even teachers/support staff... may not have your kiddo's best interest in mind. As an outsider, (and someone completely inexperienced with needing services), I always figured that if a child needed therapy, they got therapy. If a child needed some kind of AAC device, walker, writing tools, they got them. The reality is so far from this...
A lot of it stems from the core issue of money. Isn't money always the problem? You cut services here and there for X, Y, and Z, trying to save money for salaries, supplies, etc. Kids end up in group therapy sessions, 30 minutes weekly, with severe language impairments. One SLP may serve several schools in a county with over 100 kids on his/her caseload. I really marvel at the fact that any progress is actually achieved in the school setting.
Recent changes have brought a new system implemented in Florida classrooms called "RTI." You can read more about RTI on Wikipedia. They give a decent overview.
In reality, it is ... a beast. A nasty, paperwork filled, service delaying beast. I am incredibly happy that I do not work in a school system.
As you know, I haven't been practicing for very long. Despite my short stint so far as an SLP, I've seen several children get stuck going through the different tiers, for weeks at a time (!) making no progress and struggling. I see these kids come in to me upset, frustrated, and just wanting to give up on reading/language materials because they aren't receiving the true intensive services they need. In order to receive the highest tier of services -- or the most intensive service available -- a child must progress through the different tiers. The less intensive interventions must first be tried before a child can be moved to more intensive programs. Now what I didn't tell you is that the FIRST step in the RTI process is teacher observations and data collection. This alone could go on for a few weeks. Then you have smaller groups within the classroom... then perhaps tutoring of some sort... then maybe pull out into a resource class... I mean this goes on and on. You end up having a child struggle for an entire school year, failing miserably while they progress through the RTI tiers. And it starts all over again the next school year if an IEP is not put in place.
Let me add here that this is not always the case I'm sure. I'm sure there are school systems and areas that implement RTI wonderfully, and children receive services as needed, and there aren't frustrated parents and outside SLPs pulling out their hair.
Since I have digressed, let me get back on topic! The idea of this post is to NEVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT! And yes, my friends, you will be fighting.
It is not an uncommon situation for me to see a child that is just simply not being served well within the school system they attend. Parents must really become proactive at this point and become their child's advocate. It is our job as SLPs to support and educate parents to the best of our abilities so that they are able to successfully advocate for services. It can be a true fight to get the services that you know your child needs. But... never give up the fight.
I have had a recent case that I have been sending letters and e-mails back-and-forth regarding a child not receiving the services I believe she requires. We finally have an IEP meeting set up to discuss this matter. I cannot even begin to explain the weird crazy "We-made-progress!" dance I did when I got the e-mail. This matter has been going on for months, and the folks in charge did the best they could to brush us (the parent and I) to the side. We did not give up. We gathered data. We presented clear arguments. We cited IDEA (oh yes, we went there). We fought for our child! And hopefully, I will report back that it was successful.
Hoping to report back that this particular "fight" was worth it... until then, adios!
Have a good "fight the system" story? Share it to encourage the good fighting mojo in others!
Feel free to ask me if you have any questions. I will be doing a review of the TimeTimer iPad app as well.
A friend of mine has a four month old that has had a difficult few months with management of oral/pharyngeal mucous. Also add onto that fun mix some projectile vomiting, and you've got some worrying symptoms. From the get-go he was breastfed, and he has done great! Consistently gaining weight, not appearing (from maternal observation) to have difficulties with suck/swallow/breath patterns. All seemed pretty normal as far as those areas go. Only other notable information is that he is a frequent feeder at times (1 to 2 hours in between feedings at night for example). Considering he can feed for a longer period of time, and go for longer periods of time in between feedings, it all balances out to a normal, healthy baby.
The mucous began to really be an issue. He began having periods of what was likely a penetration or aspiration of mucous causing some choking spells with difficulty breathing. Yikes! Poor little guy (and parents) weren't happy.
Added info update: The mom has talked to pediatrician who feels his drooling is a normal amount (they unfortunately live in a different state), woohoo! Mainly the issue appears to be overly thick mucous
The pediatrician, (and admittedly me) think perhaps it could be GERD (reflux). Another thought was that it might be due to a slight allergy to dairy products. The mother stops dairy products, AND... there is a significant improvement! Since dairy products can thicken mucous due to fat content, I am curious if this could carry over to breast milk thickness as well. I still have lots to learn about pediatric dysphagia.
Despite the significant improvement, the poor guy is still having choking with periods of apnea. The parents are awesome though, and they didn't give up trying to figure out what was up with their little one's feeding issues! (Add on... significant drooling; poor oral management of mucous) Through a friend that is a chiropractor, they learned that the little one appears to be suffering from a vertebral subluxation.
Due to the trauma of birth, vertebrae can become misaligned. If the vertebrae are misaligned, this can cause nerve difficulties and tightening of muscles. From what I read though, the idea of subluxation among chiropractors is not a 100% agreed upon diagnosis due to lack of clinical research evidence. Regardless, this could just be due to the lack of accurate/appropriate research being completed. Not my field to know the answer to that question... either way -- the doctor performed an adjustment on the baby and now it is a waiting game! He believes that this subluxation caused an over tightening of the neck muscles (comparative to whiplash), which may be causing difficulties in managing mucous.
I'm incredibly curious if this will help him out because:
a) I don't want him or his family to have to go through the pain of him having difficulties any more!
b) I'm curious if there are other cases out there which might benefit from chiropractic intervention.
Of course, it is not my place to recommend/refer a client to a chiropractor, but I would love to see if there is more information out there. A quick search of the ASHA journals didn't really turn up anything immediately.
So... we shall see!
Otherwise... next step I'd recommend? Perhaps a barium swallow study to make sure we've got 100% normal anatomy going on there. Course... I'm a Speechie, so of course I'd recommend that!
:) Here is thinking happy thoughts that they have found a fix! AND.... I welcome any insight from chiropractors or pediatric dysphagia specialists that may have dealt with a situation like this before.
Time to head home and try to put my work out of my mind for at least a little bit. ;)
Update!: thank you for the comment with suggestions! I haven't recommended a swallow study to her yet because he has not had any major respiratory issues that would make me immediately think aspiration. I am guessing most likely penetration, no aspiration. But thickened mucous, difficulty swallowing appropriately... Hmm? Will update as we get more info. It is an "interesting" case (though it feels inappropriate to say that, I think my friend would agree)
Logitech webcam that I use is on sale -- lightning sale folks! :) Only two hours left!!
Click here for the sale (the lightning sale info is at the right):
Logitech Webcam Pro 9000
I did take the time to update my aStore (from Amazon). It now has a lot more products and no blank categories.
Also proud to announce that I am now the owner of Proloquo2go on my iPad! I still have to learn the ins-and-outs of the program to really utilize well, but I am incredibly excited. I have been accepted to be part of the Centers program through the company. Basically, it lists my company/location as a place that will complete evaluations and trials with a Proloquo2go device. Pretty neat!
I think I will try to go do some productive work to kick off the work week the right way. Until later...
With my time off, I do plan to do some more writing and reviewing of products. But... hello to all! Here is to Turkey Day celebrations!
1. I have been using the 3" model in therapy, and it is a great visual, as I mentioned. A lot of my kids who aren't really very savvy with telling time ask me to set that one for them so they can see it. It has, believe it or not, prevented some tantrums. Woot!
2. It is not without flaws. I love how there is a plastic cover that can go over the face of it to protect it, but there is a design flaw. If the timer falls down onto its back (or falls down off the table), it knocks the battery out of the holder. Then your timer stops going, or, when you set it back on the table and try to set it later, you might not notice that time is not elapsing for a minute or so. Boo. I'll do a video about this later.
3. I got the iPad version as well! At only $6.99, I figured it was worth a try. The iPhone version is somewhat sparse looking (from screenshots), so even though it was cheaper at $1.99, I went for the $6.99 version that is made for iPad. It does have several advantages over buying the cheaper iPhone version.
4. So far, no Android app! When I contacted the company, I was told to watch for it in the fall. I checked the Android Market last night, and no luck thus far. Perhaps it is still in the works...
Until later... when I have time to do a video!
It is awesome how a story that is simply that good and amazing needs no embellishments. A story that good speaks for itself. Makily, my darling, you are positively yelling with your story!
Hope I can do some more stories like this in the future. Being a speech therapist is truly an ah-mazing job. I seriously have little and big victories almosy every day with a child. It is so exciting for the child, for their family, and for me! (Can't lie... I'm selfish and love a good victory hehe) I can't share all those stories, but I always will be able to smile when I think of those kids.
Until another time....
I met Makily when I was a graduate student. I was seeing her under the guidance of my supervising SLP. At first, I only observed my supervisor working with her. My first impressions were that Makily was a sweet, beautiful girl. She loved working with my supervisor, and they had a special bond. You could sense that Makily was just incredibly comfortable with the SLP. She would giggle and laugh and make wonderful eye contact to share stories without verbalizing with this SLP. My first impression was that I hoped I could get to that point with some of my future clients. That kind of bond is powerful.
Makily is a child that has had quite a journey in her life thus far. It is not my place to tell her story, but I can share links to blogs her mother has written. Please go to "My New Normal" to read her mother's blog about their amazing journey and daily life. It takes guts to share the kind of insights and feelings that Trish, her mother, does in her writing. I think she does a fabulous job of reaching out to many families who have children with special needs because of her ability to expose herself like that.
Makily is a child with Emanuel Syndrome. Emanuel Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that is extremely rare. Makily has faced, and will continue to face, many many challenges in her life. With all that said, I must say this little girl is a warrior! She reminds me to smile in the face of adversity.
Another thing Makily has taught me... never underestimate a child. When you hear about the difficulties that accompany a disorder such as Emanuel Syndrome, it can be daunting as a therapist. Where do I start? What can I do to make a difference? Will this child be able to make progress?
The Criterion of the Least Dangerous Assumption by Anne Donnellan come into play here.
"The criterion of least dangerous assumption holds that in the absence of conclusive data, educational decisions ought to be based on assumptions which, if incorrect, will have the least dangerous effect on the likelihood that students will be able to functional independently as adults"What in the world does this mean?? Basically -- never make an assumption that, if you are wrong, will limit a child's ability to succeed. If you assume a child will never be able to talk or vocalize, or even read, then you won't work on those areas obviously. But... how will you know? How do you KNOW what a child can and can't do?
I try to keep this in mind during my daily practice. If I provide the most supportive environment I can (visual, verbal, tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, etc.), is it possible this child may be successful in obtaining this skill? Invariably the answer is that I must try and see. If a therapeutic technique doesn't work, given time and family support, then you must consider an alternative.
Makily is an amazing example of this. She is beating the odds by living today! For the brief amount of time I worked with her, I saw her ability and her desire and her need to communicate. She would reach out her hand to start a toy or activity again. She would search for my eyes to tell me she wants more. She would try her best to vocalize and tell me verbally. You can't make any assumptions about Makily. She is a beautiful, strong, and happy child that has taught me so much more than I can put into words.
What does the future hold for Makily? Perhaps an augmentative device! She has had success with PECs in the past, and I am optimistic about this avenue of communication for this sweet little girl.
I know that this blog probably hasn't said much... but I hope it perhaps reminded others out there that it is important to never underestimate a child. Thank you Trish, for letting me share what an impact Makily has had on my life!
I decided this weekend to play with the idea of a TheraKids page on Facebook. A little playing, a bit of fiddling with Google, and... TheraKids, Inc. on Facebook is born! Let me give a little background how-to for others interested.
Opening up a business page on Facebook is done from within your regular profile. For me, there were already people that logged into a TheraKids location, so I only had to "claim" the page. (Isn't that an odd concept??) When you first load up your business page, you can't personalize the address. You must first get to 25 "likes"/fans in order to do this. Since I was eager to add the "like" button to our websites, I went ahead and invited my friends and family to like us. Once you get to 25 likes, you can then go to "Edit page." It will open up a bunch of options to personalize. Under "Basic Information" you will find the option to select a username. You cannot change the username once you select it, so get your best typing and thinking skills ready for that one. I chose: OcalaTheraKids. Since this username was available, our website on Facebook is now: http://www.facebook.com/OcalaTheraKids
Really pretty easy so far!
Now, I wanted to personalize the first page that people saw when they went to the site on Facebook. I didn't want a wall to be the first thing that came up, so I started fiddling with the idea of personalizing the page. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't have built-in ways to do it through their company. However, you can use third-party applications to do this. Some of them are amazing looking... but cost a lot of money. Some of them take a little fiddling, but are free! I obviously opted for free.
I found a great tutorial from a blog here: http://www.labnol.org/internet/create-custom-facebook-page/19903/
What I did is build a website through (free) Google Sites that will automatically load whenever someone goes to my page. (Go here to see it) I customized the "tab" (or page) that will open automatically when people go to our site on Facebook under the "Edit Page" --> "Manage Permissions" area (Default Landing Tab). You use a third-party application through Facebook to create an app yourself that runs on your Facebook page. It then creates a "tab." I think the best thing to do at this point is to link to the video from the blog I cited above. Really not as bad to do as it seems! :) Enjoy!
Also, I have added a few things from Amazon to link to products I love. Just like the other ads on my site, but done directly through Amazon. They are one of the few sites online I trust *almost* 100%. *As an FYI to my readers, I do get paid a few cents (something like that) if folks click on the links for the products I discuss*
For now, I'd like to post on the week that has passed.
It has been busy my friends. I have been a working slave, but it is all for a good cause. I have my new SOAP note system up and running. On a whim, I decided that I would do digital versions of my daily take-home homework sheets that I give to parents. Usually on these sheets I note how the child behaves (using a checklist) and then handwrite the goals we are targeting and work to follow up with at home. That can take a long time to write (as I think I have lamented about in another post). But wowza - I'm loving the electronic versions! I have all my children planned and prepped for Monday. It allows me to spend more time creating fun take home activities that parents can utilize. I love to create personalized materials based on each child's particular difficulties and strengths, but sometimes I am strapped for time so that isn't feasible. Now it looks like I may have a bit more time in my schedule! You would think a sane person would use that time to... ya know... breathe and enjoy life. But, what can I say? I enjoy life by overworking. I am my father's child.
I also completed my second DynaVox AAC evaluations. Again, the process was relatively pain-free and easy to complete. One of the children was so excited, he kept saying, "Wow, wow, wow, wow!" over and over. He was practically jumping out of his chair at the thought of getting one of the devices to use.
I have to say... the biggest hurdle I have found in augmentative device trials (aside from making the sad decision if a child is not quite ready for a device) is the insurance process. For instance, Medicaid requires that we have the school sign a form saying that they are in agreement with the suggested device. It doesn't bind them to use the device *or* replace the device if it is broken. However, for some reason, some school districts are not so gung-ho about signing this wonderful form. The real people hurt in this bureaucratic business of the paperwork are the children and their families. This just delays the time before they can receive a device that will help them to communicate their wants and needs. Some insurances only cover a small percentage of the devices. Others will cover 100% with no need for a school concurrence form. It is a frustrating mess of a system, that is for certain.
*le sigh* is all I can think... for now, I will just have to dream of my "THERAPIST OF THE YEAR" award when I get a device to every child who needs one....
A how-to video on creating a useable Excel document for SOAP notes. FREE! :) Isn't that the best word to hear?
Enjoy and comment with suggestions.
I googled, and fiddled, and tinkered, and I figured out how to do drop down options for the forms as opposed to selecting a number with a key. Much easier!
Will do a video later today to show you how to do this...
I can't keep this electronic SOAPiness to myself though... so I took a few images of the basic formula used to create my SOAP note. Here is how it basically works:
- - A key exists on a second page of your document. It is in a table format. The first column is where you fill in a number based on the options for the blanks in your field. Each row stands for each blank in your form.
- - In my form (the first page with the SOAP note), I would type everything that stays the same in one cell, and then in the next cell I would put in a formula. The formula is the "CHOOSE" formula. It allows you to automatically fill in that cell based on a choice you make from another cell.
- - Here is an example of the formula that I might place in my first cell, column A, row 1 (A1): =CHOOSE(B2,"with cheese.","without cheese.").
- - In this example, cell B2 (column B, row 2) will be the place that I will either type a 1 for "with cheese." or a 2 for "without cheese." You don't have to have a key for the formula to work, but unless you have a super memory, you will want it.
- - Let's look at it in pictures!
|Click to see this enlarged!|
Here I create the next fill-in cell, E9. In this formula, it will fill in data based on the number I type into N7. You can see also that I have typed "1" into N6. This has autofilled D9 with the option 1 -- "with"
|Click to see this enlarged!|
In this final image, you can see that I have selected option 1 in N6 and option 2 in N7. These numbers are the choices for "with" "caregiver."
|Click to see this enlarged!|
Using this basic idea, you can create a form to select the types of treatment/behavior/etc. from a list of options you create.
What if you want to leave a cell blank? Just make that an option. The formula would look like this with a blank: =CHOOSE(N7, "parent.","caregiver", " ")
If I were to type the number 3 in N7, it would fill in my cell with two spaces (the quotation marks do not transfer).
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about how to implement it! I hope to create a form that has buttons to select instead of numbers in the future. Will take a bit more fiddling to figure that one out!
Time is a hot commodity for SLPs. I have a caseload of about 40 kids I see individually in private therapy. I have to plan and print work for almost every one each week, and after each session I must complete a note that documents their progress. This kind of note is called a SOAP note. SOAP notes are used across the medical field, and we are no exception.
S - SubjectiveO - ObjectiveA - AssessmentP - Plan
S -- In the subjective section, you give your subjective opinion about the client. This is where information about behavior would go. Was the child super duper or a stinker? Explaining in detail can help you to see patterns of behaviors. For example, if Child A had a tantrum every time that the parent came into the therapy room, I could see this and request that mom/dad step out.
O - In the objective section, we give information that is not based on opinion. For example, we would say what the treatment would included, if parent instructions were provided, etc.
A -In the assessment section, we assess how their work was for this session. Usually these needs to be stated in relation to their goals. For example:
Pt. will identify colors in a choice of two - 5/10 times; minimal cueing
You would want to be sure to document as clearly as you can the progress the child makes in a measurable way. If a child has not reached a goal, but is clearly making slow but steady progress, you will be able to see this in your assessment numbers. This will help you to readjust your goals as necessary. This is also where you would want to add information about how the child achieved this -- was it with minimal cueing or max cueing? Was it done independently (AKA spontaneously)?
You should document both long term goals (ex: increase receptive language skills) and short term goals (like the example above).
P - In the plan section you should document future plans for treatment. For example, when will the client return for therapy?
The A/P sections can kind of blur together a bit -- in some instances, I've seen long term goals only documented in the P section as it is a future plan. This is a rough outline for a format I use.
Currently, my company uses a template/checklist style list. We can check off for attitude, who the client was with, what treatment was included, etc. We still have to manually write out the information for each goal that was addressed. I'm hoping to think of a way to digitize this information so that we can simply do everything on a computer as a checklist. We will have to print the SOAP notes as we have a paper based system and not electronic, but the time I spend checking things, or writing out the goals feels like a waste of time.
If I find a good system for making a SOAP note that will automatically fills in your goals in the correct format, I will certainly share. If you are an SLP out there in the "interwebz" that has a good program they are in love with, please share!
Off to head home... hoping to get in some time with my new hobby (knitting)!
Lots of changes at work, trying new programs out, etc.. I will have to write more later, but I wanted to post a quick, "Hello!!" to anyone who may be reading.
Hopefully the start to everyone's school year has gone well so far.
Got a TimeTimer woohoo!
Check it out on Amazon.com:Click here!
Here is a quick snapshot I took with my phone of some of the letters:
They have a lot of information on their website. The program is relatively inexpensive to get the materials (how refreshing). The multisensory approach is a proven technique that works. Love that they took a proven method and added a twist to help it appeal to different children.
Check out their program. (By the way... training was only $25!! Watch for their condensed course -- totally worth it)
- - Asking questions in the correct grammatical order -- "Can I have more please?" instead of "I can have more please?"
- - Using questions to request for action and/or information -- if your child needs something, do they ask you with a question or simply tell you? (Think: "Juice please" versus "Can I have juice please?")
- - Asking questions in conversation -- if your child has trouble thinking of things to talk to others about, conversational skills can be targeted by giving your child some visual supports on topics/questions they can discuss with others
- - Answering questions in conversation -- if you ask a question, does your child respond appropriately?
Blik has vinyl wall decals that are awesome. There are lots of different designs available, but I chose this blowfish design (click here) and this removable/reusable alphabet design for a border (click here). I absolutely love them, and I filmed the process of me putting up the blowfish for those interested. On the pricey side, but it just brings a lot of warmth and happiness to the room.
Check out the video:
Here is a product review of the Gazillion Bubbles Bubble Cyclone!
To sum up the video, the bubble blower only gets an "okay" in my book. Not good for therapy. Too loud, too much trouble continuing and starting to make bubbles. It was cheap (~$6), but you get what you pay for in this case. Skip the loud one (although I believe I may have said it was okay in the video ;) ):
Yes, like your spine/back. I guess I never thought about that as a "casualty" of the job, but it is really hard on your back to work with kids all day. Whether you choose to sit in a tiny chair (ouch my bottom), or to take a chair with a lever and lower it their level, you always somehow seem to have to scrunch up somehow and kinking your back 9 times out of 10. Which brings me to a tip for parents and new SLPs/graduate students --
don't be afraid to get on their level!
Yes. You are going to climb on the floor.
Yes. You will squish your legs under that child-sized table.
Yes. You will maneuver yourself like you are pop-locking to get some quality eye contact.
But boy, oh boy does it make a difference! Getting "down on their level" means that you are sure that you are eye to eye (preferably) or at least close so you can be sure they are paying attention, understanding what you are saying, and sharing attention on the same objects. If you can't get good eye contact with your child, or if you can't at least see the child's face, you have no clear indication of confusion, or small signs that the child is becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes just seeing a little uncertainty on a child's face will give you a clue to take it back a step and prevent a major meltdown due to frustration.
So my fellow Speechies -- Get down like James Brown!
And... if anyone has any suggestions for ways to sit more comfortably, do let me know ;)
Soon will do some tweaks on my site here as well!
- Following complex or conditional directions
- Learning body parts
- My/mine you/yours
- Imaginative play or even role playing (for example with younger children who stutter)
Was about $2 for a bag of 12. They have boy and girl shapes, and skin colored shapes. Don't have a bag with boys and girls together so I would suggest getting the bag with girl shapes and just cutting them to make it boys.
Love good finds!
Target had some cute (and cheap) therapy cards in their bargain area. Check out this set of occupations! Great for working on "er" endings and vocabulary.
This made me giggle...
So I would like to share about one of my most recent learning experiences --AAC Device Trials, Reports, and Other Joys...
Let me get less jargony here -- AAC stands for Alternative Augmentative Communication. This basically means any/all alternatives to using only verbal language. AAC includes things like gestures, complex gestural language systems (think: ASL), pictures, buttons you press to talk, and computers that talk for you. An AAC device is any type of electronic device that helps in communication efforts. There are things like a "BIGmack" -- a big button that can activate a mechanical device, or can hold a recorded message. On the more complex end of the spectrum are what we call "Speech Generating Devices" -- ones like an iPad or a DynaVox Maestro. These devices are used to generate speech -- whether it be an electronic, artificial voice, or a pre-recorded voice. There is a lot of terminology with AAC, and I hope to dedicate a post to some of the bigger ones to explain it better. But for now, this will have to do.
Although I studied AAC in graduate school, experience is the best teacher. I have observed AAC evaluations in the past (several) and have written mock AAC device reports. Recently, I conducted four AAC evaluations at my practice.
I have to say, my DynaVox representative is amazing. As I don't have a device within my practice, I naturally have a lot of questions about how to go about the process.
I do have to say though, the report that Medicaid currently requires for approval to cover AAC devices is a beast. It is a rather lengthy report, so prepare yourself. I'm still trudging through mine, but I plan to finish them tonight. Energy drink anyone?
DynaVox is really good about helping to make the process easier. I haven't dealt with any other companies, but it is promising to see that the process has been simplified.
An area of AAC that I really would love to get into is the use of iPads as AAC devices. I don't have an iPad right now, but in the future I do plan to buy one. A good AAC program on the iPad that I have seen in use is Proloquo2Go.
I will write more as I enter the next steps of the approval processes.
Off to work on reports. Reportate. Reportation.
Here is the very prompt reply I received:
Thank you for your email. We are working on the Android application and hope to have it ready this Fall. Please check back in September for the release. Thanks!
Time Timer LLC
So watch out for it! For now, you can buy it for PC/Mac and iPod/iPad/iPhone
Love it when timing works out perfectly
I tinkered a bit with my boyfriend's Mac today and made a logo for my website on a neat program he has. Took a while, but I also edited the settings for the background and layout.
Yes, I have ads. I thought it would be worth a try to add some ads in the blog. They seem to be related to the content, so woo hoo! I can't click them, but if you do, please comment and let me know if you do find anything useful.
I plan to make some buttons and other goodies for the rest of the page, but for tonight, this will do.
Off to do something else!
Another week is over, and unfortunately it was not the best of weeks sadly. I caught a cold and ended up losing my voice from coughing. Croaking and squeaking out animal sounds or "more please" to my two year old clients might frighten them!
"All done Ms. Kelseyyy!"
I figure I will start my blog out with an intro into what I do.
I get paid to play play doh. I bark and meow. I play Hungry Hippos and Candy Land for a good part of my workday. When I am not playing awesome games, I am helping families communicate with their children. I help moms and dads and caregivers have more successful interactions with their kids. I help children tell their needs and wants and reduce their frustrations. I watch kids learn to read and write stories, and hear them go from their first words and sounds to sentences and conversations. It is the best job.
I am a pediatric speech-language pathologist, and my job ROCKS!
I am a (relatively) newly minted speechie. I graduated from the University of Florida in 2010 with my Masters. I highly recommend this field. Best recommendations? Patience, a willingness to learn for life, a willingness to be goofy (!), and a love of kids if you work with that population.
Now, I should add here the PSA that speech therapists do a lot more than just work on "r" problems. Part of our training and field includes work in voice, feeding, swallowing, cognitive, and reading therapy. I so far have primarily specialized in early intervention work, reading and writing, language disorders, and some pragmatics work. I work with a lot of different kids and all of them have something about them that makes me smile
I hope to share any ideas and happy/funny stories on here as they happen. I look forward to sharing with other speeches out there in cyber world.
Let's talk! Check the right hand side for links to recent and older blog posts. See above for informational pages and my Amazon.com Associates store.
Thanks for stopping by!
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