My Book “The School SLP”

It’s here!!!

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THE SCHOOL SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST is now for sale at all storefronts as an e-book for $4.99:

AMAZON:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y6YDAZI

BARNES & NOBLE:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-school-speech-language-pathologist-teresa-sadowski/1121994087?ean=2940151592819&itm=1&usri=2940151592819

BOOKLOCKER:
http://booklocker.com/books/8038.html

ITUNES:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/school-speech-language-pathologist/id998181107

KOBO:
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-school-language-pathologist

Smart Goals made easy

Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in Administrators Page, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

Smart Goals made easy

Hey SLPs

If you are thinking about your personal “smart goal” for the next school year you might want to check out my site on Teachers Pay Teachers.   A few years back the SLPs in my district were asked to put together a short in-service for teaching assistants about the role of the SLP in schools, students we work with and how they can support language development in the classroom. This was to satisfy one of our “smart goal” requirements.  Since I did put a little bit of work into it I decided to make it available on TPT.  The in-service is titled Speech and Language Services In Schools In-service for Teaching AssistantsIt is made up of a presenter’s packet and a packet for participants.  The in-service is appropriate for all levels through middle school.  When I presented this in-service I supplemented with generic guidelines for over language development/language expectations based on the ages the participants were working with.  It is a quick and easy in-service.  Administrators are always looking for appropriate in-services for assistants/paraprofessionals.

The other “smart goal” activity I presented was to write a monthly/bimonthly blurb in the school newsletter on language development and what parents could do to engage and encourage their child’s language. Several of these can also be found in my TPT store, The School Speech Therapist.  They are available in Word so they can be edited to fit your newsletter or if you have other words of wisdom.

I would love to hear about other smart goal ideas.  So many SLPs think they have to reinvent the wheel or take copious amounts of data to achieve their smart goal.  Reality is it does not have to be that challenging and there is no reason not to share ideas.

One year many of my students had an objective to share 1-2 experiences.  I made that one of my student smart goals, that every student would share experience information during each session.  (They also had to show that the listened to each other by retelling others experiencesJ) That was so easy to keep track of and that’s how we started therapy.

I would love to hear about other personal and student based smart goals that have worked well.

 

 

The Essential 55-book review

Posted by on Apr 8, 2018 in Administrators Page, Parent Information, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

The Essential 55-book review

I was dusting some of my bookshelves and found this book The Essential 55 by Ron Clark. I remember being very impressed with this book back in 2009 and even wrote a book review. Remember something is a few years old doesn’t mean it isn’t very good or passe. Common sense and good manners go a long way. This book went beyond focusing on successful students (which seems to be the only focus these days)…it focused on creating successful people.

From 2009 Your Middle Schooler: A Unique Age
I’m always on the look out for common sense ideas that enhance more than just academics. In my field of Speech Language Pathology, pragmatic skill development is as important to us as receptive and expressive language development. Pragmatic skills are the social speech skills that help us become effective communicators, critical thinkers and problem solvers. People who are not strong students academically can do well in life if pragmatic skills are well developed and expectations are high.
I recently picked up the book The Essential 55, An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child, by Ron Clark winner of the 2001 Disney Teacher of the Year Award. The title caught my eye, I see so many kids that are bright but seem to be lacking the tools for success. In the Essential 55, Ron Clark gives his opinion on the 55 rules that can make every child successful as a student. His rules are not on the order of study more, read more or stay after school for help. Clark’s rules are rules for life. The focus of the rules is on enriching pragmatic awareness, improving pragmatic skills and expecting basic etiquette. Not to mention his rules make sense.
The Essential 55 also focuses on providing clear cut expectations for a child. If you read my blog, you know I am BIG on providing expectations for children. Six of The Essential 55 that I like best are:

#1 Responding to Adults
Mr. Clark suggests that you tell/expect children to say, “Yes sir” and “no ma’am. He says it set the tone for the kind of respect he expects from his students. For him a nod of a head or a “yeah” is not good enough. I sometimes feel the child/adult relationships, especially in schools, are too casual. This is great tool for kids to have, saying, “yes sir” and “no ma’am” usually makes a very good impression on others.

#2 Eye Contact
Eye contact is so important in communication. When you make eye contact, you are attending to and acknowledging the speaker. From my perspective, eye contact is also important because without eye contact you miss many of the non-verbal cues that clarify messages. Plus it’s polite. When a child’s disability effects their ability to make good eye contact, I spend a lot of time trying to get eye contact to the best level possible.

#6 If you are asked a question in conversation, ask a question in return
This is an excellent habit to get into. Again, it shows people you are listening and interested. This is a good foundation for developing good conversation skills.

#11 Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness
This is an excellent suggestion and should jut go without saying. However, we all need reminders to do this from time to time. How many times have you said to yourself “I should have helped……..”, when regretting that you did help someone out. This one goes in effect at my house today. We all seem to be lacking in that lately. Recently, one of my very disabled students in the middle of a tough moment said to me “Stop being nice to me!” When I responded with a smile “No, I can’t do that, I am just a nice person”, he was so taken back by my kind response he calmed down almost immediately. A little kindness actually made a tough situation easier and almost humorous for me.

#15 Do not ask for a reward
Mr. Clark rewards his student’s often but asking for a reward is out of the question. He feels students should strive to do their best all the time not just for a reward. He states that in the real world rewards are not always given for a job well done. He feels that that this rule helps kids appreciate their efforts over their rewards.

#48 If anyone is bullying you let me know
He wants the kids to feel safe in school and know that he will stand up for him. Kids should never have to put up with bullying in school (we would not expect or put up with bullying at work). A big step to preventing bulling is to empower children to report bullying incidents since most happen out of earshot or view of adults.

If you notice Ron Clark’s rules are not just school or student rules they are rules for life. It was hard to pick just 6 to highlight. I would like to tell you more of them but you will just have to pick up his book.
With the Essential 55, Ron Clark has developed a “hidden curriculum”. A “hidden curriculum” is defined as the rules we all know but are never taught. I could see his Essential 55 presented weekly or expanded and presented daily at announcements instead of (or in addition to) “word of the day”.
This is a good read for both teachers and parents. The reality is if you expect good things from kids and are willing to teach them, they usually deliver.

Just renewed my liability insurance…..don’t forget yours!

Posted by on Jan 6, 2018 in Administrators Page, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

Over the years I’ve had a habit of forgetting to renew my liability insurance.  Now I just put it in my calendar and keep the bill with my personal bills.  Trust Risk Management Services made renewel very easy this year letting me renew on line.   Since I incorporated this year and started a private practice I did have to make some changes but usually the renewal is straight forward.

While I’ve never needed to use my liability insurance I have carried it most of my professional career.  Sorry here is my soap box…If you don’t carry liability you really should.  Schools, clinics and hospitals all carry insurance that will cover you but in this very litigious world you can be sued personally.  My fee for part time work was right around $125 which makes it very affordable for a piece of minds.

You can go to the TRMS web site for a comparative rate. Just click on the link below

Accommodations are they really that effective?

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Administrators Page, Parent Information, pictures, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

Accommodations are they really that effective?

Every once in awhile I read back through my blog and look at the relevance and passion of my posts.  I recently reread the post called     “Are accommodations taking the place of specialized instruction”   

Looking at some recent IEPs I would think the answer is yes.  I know I still write a lot of accommodations.  My reasons are because I know I either don’t have the time to follow up on every thing during the limited weekly sessions or there are things I want to address (and do address) that just can’t be measured easily.   Now I know most of the accommodations are related to testing but I have to ask are those accommodations being followed every time a test is given.  With 20-30 kids in a classroom I seriously doubt it.  I actually worked in one school where they though the accommodations I presented were only suppose to be followed in PE and other specialists.  I set them straight but the Harvard educated program manager did not believe me.  I think the biggest problem with accommodations is that it gives the parent and student the false sense that all will be well with accommodations.  I have never understood why we are not front loading kids with specialized services when they are little but that is a topic for another time.

So what are your go to accommodations for you speech and language students?  Who follows up on if the accommodations are being used?  How do you measure if the accommodation is helpful or not?   Do teachers come to you looking for help implimenting accommodations?  Does anyone feel the same way I do that accommodations are taking the place of specialized instruction?

The Speech Teacher’s Handbook: Book Review

Posted by on Dec 28, 2017 in Administrators Page, Parent Information, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

The Speech Teacher’s Handbook:  Book Review

I recently came across this book on Amazon. It piqued my interest so I bought it. It is called “The Speech Teacher’s Handbook, A Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language” by Molly Dresner, MS SLP-CCC. I found the title to be a little awkward but the information in the book to be pretty good. First of all I know a lot of you out there will take exception to the use of “The Speech Teacher”, you all need to get past that. Face it we have a branding issue, which is certainly a topic for another time. I can understand why Ms. Dresner used the title “Speech Teacher” because in the world of early intervention that is how we are known. In the book she makes it clear that she is a “Speech Language Pathologist.”

The second part of her title provided a little more explanation regarding whom the book was written for but still seemed a little incomplete to me. People who are not Speech Language Pathologists might ask Speech and Language what? Parents might not know immediately that it is written for them.

Getting past the title, this little book contains a lot of good information for parents on how to foster speech and language skills with their little ones. Ms. Dresner’s guidance and explanations are clear and concise. There is a nice little summary at the end of each chapter. Some easy to understand speech and language developmental norms are found at the end of the book.

A seasoned SLP might look at some of Ms. Dresner’s suggestions and say that most of her information is just common sense. However, I’m seeing more and more older students who can’t name body parts/common objects, have poor listening/memory skills and produce short sentences so some parents out there do need this information.

The chapter on “Cocktail Talk” puzzled me a little bit since that seemed to be written for SLP’s. While Ms. Dresner initially mentions that you should make sure parents know they can get an assessment through their school system, she goes on to mention parameters of speech and language development in a variety of areas. (I personally back off on talking about speech and language issues when asked outside the professional realm. I have found that that people who engage me usually don’t follow my advice or take my advice to mean the child is probably ok. When people speak to you outside of the professional realm and without the child there, you have no knowledge of their background or other developmental needs. I’m big on including both in my assessments of students, even my middle to high school students.)

I’m giving thumbs up on this book. I think it would be an excellent resource to give out either to early intervention clients or as a welcome to daycare packet for little ones. Day care teachers could read this book as a refresher and daycare assistants could use this book as continuing education. Ms. Dresner has put together some wonderful ideas for simply interacting with your child through out the day. This book is not just for children with speech and language delays but for typically developing children as well. This book will “Help You Help Your Little One” which I believe was Ms. Dresner’s goal when she sat down to write this book.

Visualizing and Verbalizing goals/objectives

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in Administrators Page, slider, SLP Chat, SLP Conferences/Workshops Review | 0 comments

Visualizing and Verbalizing goals/objectives

Several years ago I took the Visualizing and Verbalizing course. It must have been a 3 or 4-day course. I didn’t take it directly from Lindamood Bell but from a local agency that was approved by Lindamood-Bell and used Visualizing and Verbalizing in their practice. I was honestly very impressed with V and V. My initial impression was that it tapped into a lot of what I was trying to do with many of my students. Basically it presented me with a better-organized and sequential program that fit my needs at the time. At the completion of the course I wrote a reflection paper, which I feel is still relevant today.

Now ironically, the V and V kit along with LIPS (then known as ADD) kit sat on my inherited shelves for years untouched. I seem to remember seeing them collecting dust in various reading specialists offices too. I’m really sorry I didn’t jump on this bandwagon sooner. I also regret not taking the longer LIPS course when I was younger and becoming an expert in it.

I think most of the people taking the course with me were just as excited and anxious to use V and V in their practice. The big question came up. How do we write goals for this? All the controversy around goal writing was just starting to heat up and we needed something substantial. As a group we talked about wording and I’m still searching for those notes. What I did find was the handout given to us by the instructor after our group discussion. Keep in mind that the instructor worked in a clinical setting and that these were generated long before schools started requiring some tie in to curriculum. Also in schools we are not suppose to write goals around a specific program. While V and V isn’t mentioned the first one refers to structure words and the second one mentions felts.

  1. Student will verbalize the main idea and details of a given picture, word or sentence using 10/12 of the structured words independently and spontaneously.
  2. Student will read a paragraph, verbalize his images after each sentence or chunk of sentences (2-3 sentences), and give a picture summary with 80% accuracy (4/5 felts)
  3. Student will state the main idea of a fiction or non-fiction paragraph 8/10 times.
  4. Student will read a single or multiparagraph selection, verbalize a retell which includes the main idea of a paragraph and his images after each paragraph and dictate a summary of the selections 8/10 times

After rereading these, it’s clear that these are more less an objective for each stage of the program.

Several years later, I still like V and V and use pieces of it. Visualizing as a skill is being taught more frequently in classrooms than it was even 10 years ago. Schools now have reading specialists that hopefully incorporate some visualizing skill development. I tend to use the program to help expand language, increase vocabulary, help to recognize details/background information and improve semantic/pragmatic understanding. I have specific photos on my IPad that I collected over the years and often use the structured words in conjunction. I sometimes take it down to an even lower level using just one or two of the structure words as appropriate.

However, the real question for me is why don’t these very expensive programs come with goal suggestions that can be used in schools? Why don’t we leave conferences with specific goal language in hand? So often we leave conferences with a lot of background information (sometimes a lot of review) and very little in terms of specifics around implementation. I feel the same way about formal tests; there is so little discussion on test interpretation and what to do about it. I get that we are suppose to use our clinical judgment but a little guidance and a few more examples would be nice. I guess that’s a discussion for another day.

Hey if you haven’t tried V and V it’s worth taking the course.  As an SLP I’ve never had a chance to use the full kit.  However, I would love to be involved with a school or clinic that uses the program on a regular basis.



 

 

Trust Risk Management Services for SLP Liability Insurance

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Advertise on The School Speech Therapist, pictures, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

Trust Risk Management Services for SLP Liability Insurance

I just want to say thank you to Trust Risk Management Services for your continued support of my blog The School Speech Therapist the past 3 years. Trust Risk Management Services provides liability insurance for SLPs with comprehensive coverage and reasonable rates. I hope if you are a practicing SLP you already carry some type of liability insurance. However, if you don’t have insurance please take a look at the policies offered by TRMS. If you have insurance, next time your policy is up for renewal I hope you will take the time to compare your policy to what TRMS offers.

My own personal feeling is that personal professional liability insurance is a must. Protection offered by schools, hospitals and agencies is usually there to protect their interests not necessarily yours. http://www.theschoolspeechtherapist.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1394&action=edit

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I’m back and want your input on SLPs in schools

Posted by on Aug 20, 2017 in Administrators Page, slider, SLP Chat, Your Middle Schooler: A Unique Age | 0 comments

I’m back and want your input on SLPs in schools

Well it has been awhile since I seriously worked on my blog. In December I left my school position to start a private practice. In July I made it official forming my own LLC called TBS Speech Therapy. I did a little contracting work earlier this year and have firmed up my first consulting gig for the fall. My school year ended without the usual drama and the amount of time I spent on paperwork was significantly less and compensated. Right now work life is good.

 

If you follow my blog you know I’ve done a little bit of work on advocacy for SLPs in schools. Writing my book, The School Speech Therapist: An administrators guide to understanding the role of the SLP in schools along with strategies to aid staffing, workload management and student success, presenting at ASHA 2016 and writing articles on my blog, has drawn only a little bit of attention but a lot of support from SLPs finding themselves in similar situations. Frankly, I had to give it a rest for a while when I realized that despite my best efforts I was not able to advocate for myself and get results. I was feeling very much like I was hitting my head against a brick wall while burning out at the same time.

 

I reached out to ASHA years ago on the topic of advocacy in schools and didn’t get much of a response. At the time all I saw were articles on caseload management. Honestly, I was a pro at caseload management. I mentioned my concerns to SIG 16 at ASHA 2017 and even that went nowhere. However, ASHA 2016 was the turning point for me. The motivational speaker who presented at the opening get together inspired me to make a change.

 

Now after a nice long hiatus and a fun/relaxing summer, I’m feeling productive again. I want to write and article on why SLPs leave school based positions (and also maybe why they don’t leave). I would love any and all input. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to hear but I want to see if there is a pattern.

 

You can tell me your thoughts here, PM or respond on my facebook page, The School Speech Therapist or send an email to theschoolspeechtherapist@gmail.com All is confidential. Thanks Teresa

 

SLPs, Contribute to your school newsletter

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Administrators Page, Parent Information, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

SLPs, Contribute to your school newsletter

In my state, teachers and all professional staff have to generate personal SMART goals. With all the work SLPs do, the last thing I wanted to do was have to keep complicated data on something I was doing. At that point I decided to do something very easy for me that would benefit all students not just those with language issues. My SMART goal was to write monthly articles focusing on language development.

Initially, I found it wasn’t that easy to find universal themes that could be beneficial to all. However, knowing all we know about language and learning once I had a topic writing for parents was easy. I created articles about once or twice a month for that school year. The idea was well received by my principal. Basically it was free content for the school newsletter. Best of all if I published one article a month (sometimes weekly) I achieved my goal without extensive data collection.

I’ve slowly made these articles available to other SLPs on Teachers Pay Teachers. Here is my current list of articles available on TPT. These articles are written in a word document so they can be edited to fit the needs of you specific setting.

The School Newsletter: Practice Those Memory Skills-free
The School Newsletter: 10 tips to building a strong vocabulary (5 article series)
The School Newsletter: Don’t Drop Picture Books Too Soon
The School Newsletter: Don’t Forget The Details
The School Newsletter: Strengthen Language Skills Through Conversation

My section of the school newsletter was titled “Notes from the School Speech Therapist.” If I were to introduce this at another school I would probably change that title.

The articles are available in my TPT store. This was such an easy way to achieve my Smart goal. I received some very nice complements from my staff and administrators. It also made my presence in the building more obvious, helped to encourage language and learning beyond the school day and hopefully made parents more aware of what they could do to support their child’s development. I believe the articles were also a universal support that helped with general language development. Better Speech and hearing should be highlighted all year around not just in May.

Let me know what you think. I do have other articles to post so please check back often. If you have ideas for articles I would love to hear them.
Teresa

Stopping the Stuttering Trajectory in the Preschool Years

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Parent Information, slider, SLP Chat | 2 comments

Stopping the Stuttering Trajectory in the Preschool Years

The School Speech Therapist would like to welcome guest blogger Mirla G. Raz. I first became acquainted with Ms. Raz when I was asked to review her most recent publication Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do. I was duly impressed with the book (you can read my review here). As it turned out I was already very familiar with Ms. Raz’s work since I had been using her books from her Help Me Talk Right series for years. The Help Me Talk Right Books continue to be a staple in my therapy room.
Ms. Raz has shared an excerpt taken from her newly developed course Stopping the Stuttering Trajectory in the Preschool Years available through Northern Speech Services.  The course is designed to teach SLPs how they can help parents navigate the emotional and often confusing landscape of stuttering. Given that Ms. Raz’s book was so helpful to me, I believe her course will significantly add to your body of knowledge. Teresa

From Stopping the Stuttering Trajectory in the Preschool Years By Mirla G. Raz
Stuttering during the preschool years can be an easy problem to solve, one that may stop the child’s stutter before therapy is ever needed. We can do this by helping parents understand the disorder and advising them how best to communicate with their preschooler.
When parents hear their child stutter, their first inclination is often to intervene without professional input. They believe that what they do will help their child stop stuttering. They may not realize that their actions can be counterproductive. We can help parents by asking them to avoid specific interactions. We can help them by offering replacement interactions.

Below I have listed the interactions to be avoided:

  • Speaking for the child.
  • Finishing words or sentences for the child.
  • Interrupting the child when he is speaking.
  • Facial or body language that shows the child the parent is anxious or upset about the child’s speech.
  • Asking the child to perform or recite in front of others.
  • Talking about the child’s speech when others are present.
  • Getting upset or distressed when the child stutters.
  • Calling the child a “stutterer.”
  • Limiting the amount of time the child has to speak or indicating that the parent is in a rush and does not have the time to listen.
  • Bombarding the child with questions.
  • Poking fun of the child’s speech or teasing him about it.

Parent can replace unhelpful interactions with the following:

  • The parent should get down to eye level with the child and make eye contact.
  • The parent should listen to what the child is saying.
  • The parent should not interrupt the child or try to help him as he stutters.
  • When the child is done talking the parent should comment on what the child has said, not how he has said it.
A little bit about Mirla

Mirla G. Raz has been working as an SLP for over 40 years.  She is the author of the popular Help Me Talk Right books. Her most recent publication, Preschool Stuttering: What Parents Can Do is a comprehensive book designed to help parents understand stuttering during the preschool years. The book explains what happens when a child stutters, stuttering facts, the role of emotions and temperament in stuttering, the emotions and roles of the parents, what can cause the stutter to be better or worse, the impact of the child’s environment, when and where to seek professional help and more. The books are available through her website www.helpmetalkright.com and Amazon (see links below).