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:
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KOBO:
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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 | 1 comment

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).




 

Progress Monitoring Made Easy with SLP Toolkit

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in slider, SLP Chat | 2 comments

Progress Monitoring Made Easy with SLP Toolkit

The School Speech Therapist would like to welcome guest bloggers Lisa Kathman, M.S. CCC-SLP & Sarah Bevier, M.S. CCC-SLP.   I met Lisa and Sarah at the 2016 ASHA convention. Sarah gave me a quick demonstration of their product, SLP Toolkit and every aspect of it made sense. My initial impression was that it really could help school based SLPs. The following day I attended their formal presentation and continued to be impressed. For school SLPs the biggest drag is the copious amount of paperwork and vast amount of data we are suppose to collect. SLP Tool Kit has programs set up to take care of everything from goal writing to progress reports. They’ve set up ways to keep/measure data and have it organized for progress report writing. I’ve seen many a program over the years that is suppose to help with one thing or another but none with the universal potential of SLP Toolkit. I want every school based SLP to know about SLP Toolkit. Please take the time to check out this web based product.  If you like it, don’t wait for your school to approve it.  Sign up for a free trial or just get it for yourself.  It might just make your life significantly easier.  Teresa

Why does every school-based SLP dread the end of the grading period? It may have something to do with the 60 or so progress reports that go along with it (and the fact that you usually have to complete them over your vacation).

If you look at your current caseload, chances are that most of your goals are written in a format that uses SLP data as the criteria for measurement. So progress reports involve you pulling out your speech files, pouring through the session notes, doing some math, and hoping you have what you need to fill in the progress section on your report…because if not, you will be doing some last minute scrambling to collect data points or even worse, making “smart guesses” on progress.
The issue is not whether we collect data. We are speech-language pathologists! We not only are trained to take data and are good at it, but it is in our nature to love data. The problem is the the fact that the data we collect doesn’t necessarily align to how a goal is written. Let me explain further. The whole point of taking data in speech therapy is to make ongoing treatment decisions (e.g. What cues/intervention strategies worked best? What isn’t working? Is change occurring? What direction do I want to go in next time?) This is usually different data than what we need for a progress report, which is the performance on a skill in percentage format that you want a student to achieve within a year.

This is especially true for new IEPs when you may be working on underpinnings for the skill or related skills, but not the skill exactly as it is written in the IEP. Even when you think you are taking black and white data, for example for a skill like naming synonyms, there can be a wide variation in scores you record in your notes if there is no consideration in selection of stimulus items during therapy. For example, if one week you’re asking the student to name a synonym for the word “big” and the next week you’re asking for a synonym for the word “artificial”, scores look very different. No wonder panic and meltdowns happen at the time of writing progress reports.

This is where criterion referenced tests (CRTs) and rubrics can come to the rescue! CRTs measure a student’s performance against a predetermined criteria. Teachers frequently use CRTs to evaluate whether students have learned a skill or have met the expected academic standards. This form of measurement is also an excellent way for SLPs to collect baseline data on communication skills and then retest the student’s performance using the same criteria each quarter to monitor progress. The consistency of using the same CRT to retest improves accuracy of the data. The same set of stimulus items is used each grading period to determine progress on the skill.
As with any other assessment, it is important not to teach the items on the criterion referenced test. In treatment you are working on the strategies a student needs to acquire that skill in various contexts and then use the CRT at the end of the grading period to determine if those skills can be applied to the test.

Another effective way to measure progress on IEP goals is to use a rubric. Rubrics list a set criteria for mastery that include both quantitative and qualitative data in a way that makes sense to teachers and parents. They can include objective performance data on the skill, level of cueing needed, setting skill is used among other things, making it a more authentic measurement of the skill, with points assigned for each level of performance. Rubrics are particularly helpful for breaking down and assessing the complex nature of social skills, which can be complex and subjective. However, they are not limited to this communication area.

When using a rubric, it is important to attach the rubric to the student’s IEP so it is clear how the goal is being measured. Otherwise parents/teachers/unfamiliar readers may interpret a rubric score of 14/15 as a ratio rather than a total number of points to achieve.
If you would like to see some examples of CRTs and rubrics, SLP Toolkit has created a large bank with hundreds of speech/language CRTs and rubrics for a variety of communication skills. Sign up for a free trial at www.slptoolkit.com to access all content within the app for up to five students, including the progress monitoring tools.
For more information on criterion referenced tests and rubrics, check out our video tutorials on our Vimeo channel.

 

Lisa Kathman, M.S. CCC-SLP & Sarah Bevier, M.S. CCC-SLP are co-founders of SLP Toolkit, an innovative web app designed to streamline the workload for school-based SLPs.

A little about Lisa and Sarah: Both hold master’s degrees in communication disorders from Arizona State University. Lisa has been an SLP for 20 years and is the lead SLP for Mesa Public Schools. She has presented on multiple topics in a variety of communication areas to general/special education teachers, directors, and students. Sarah has been in the field of speech pathology as an SLPA, speech technician and SLP for 10 years. Sarah has experience providing training to SLPs, school staff and university students on therapy topics and assessment.

Follow SLP Toolkit on Instagram and Facebook.

Speech and Language Service Delivery, Be Proactive Parents

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Administrators Page, Parent Information, slider | 0 comments

Speech and Language Service Delivery,  Be Proactive Parents

This article was originally published by Teresa Sadowski M.A., CCC-SLP on the now defunct Examiner web site in February 2012. Speech and Language Service Delivery, Be Proactive Parents was written to help parents advocate for appropriate and effective speech and language services for their child.

Once your child has been diagnosed with a language disorder or weakness, it’s important to be proactive about service delivery. Asking, “How often will my child be seen by the Speech Language Pathologist?” isn’t enough.
The service delivery process begins with the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) making their recommendation at the team meeting based on testing, progress and your child’s specific needs. Unfortunately, recommendations may also be driven by the school’s schedule, the therapist’s caseload or the school’s philosophy. A typical recommendation might be 1-2 thirty minutes sessions a week using either the “pull out” or “push in” model.
In the “pull out” model, your child receives services in a separate small group**** or individual setting. They’ll receive specific instruction and practice in their area(s) of need. School schedules might not be conducive to this model. Sometimes it’s difficult to find half hour blocks where the student isn’t missing something important. Ask the team to explain the schedule to you. Ask when services will take place and what your child will be missing. Some schools have scheduled in a daily block of time that accommodates children who receive special services. During that block of time the other students are free reading, taking an extra elective or working on special projects. This not only helps with scheduling, it keeps the special need student from feeling singled out or from falling behind. If your school has not developed this block of time ask the administration to consider it.
Many schools are opting for the “push in” model which means the therapist goes into the classroom. If the “push in” model is recommended there’s a lot more to ask.
How many other students is the therapist servicing at the same time in the classroom? Any more than 3 or 4 students and you might begin to wonder if the therapist will have any significant contact with your child. How will the therapist address my child’s specific needs? If you are not satisfied with the response to this question, continue questioning using the proposed goals and objectives as a guide. How much consultation do the therapist and teacher have before and after the lesson? If consult time between SLP and teacher isn’t built in, “push in” will not be very effective. One of the main purposes of the “push in” model is to educate teachers on the language disability and how to implement classroom lesson plans that accommodate a student’s specific needs. Therapists may often recommend a combination of push in and pull out as an appropriate solution.
How big is the therapist’s caseload?. In some school systems SLPs are servicing 80+ students. Even a therapist with 30-40+ students is going to have little time to devote to your child. Trained Speech Therapy Assistants are frequently used in schools with large numbers. Just like therapists, some therapy assistants are good and some have limited skills. If a therapy assistant is involved in your child’s programming you need to ask three questions. How much experience does the therapy assistant have? Everyone has to start somewhere but if you have a child with specific and challenging language needs that require flexibility in programing, insist the SLP primarily works with your child. What kind of training does the therapy assistant have? Therapy assistants should either hold a certificate from an accredited program or have undergraduate degree in speech language pathology. How often does the assistant meet and consult with the SLP? In reality they should meet daily to discuss mutual caseloads, that doesn’t always happen. In some states the SLP must be in the building available to observe and supervise the assistant at all times. If you are uncomfortable with the response you receive to this question, ask to see the state regulations.
Most schools really do look out for the best interest of their students. And most therapists will answer programming questions with relative ease during the team meeting. However, it is easy for schools and therapists to become overwhelmed or find themselves struggling with limited resources. Develop a good working relationship with your child’s special educational team, check in with their service providers every so often and ask what you can do to help. In the end, your proactive actions will only benefit one person……..your child.

****Also ask how many students will be in your child’s small group. If 4 students are in a 30 minute group, only about 7 of those minutes might be dedicated to your child’s specific needs.

Adopting a growth mindset

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in pictures, slider, SLP Chat | 0 comments

Adopting a growth mindset

Today The School Speech Therapist wants to introduce guest blogger Rochel Lieberman MA CCC-SLP who has recently written a children’s book called Pearla and her Unpredictably Perfect Day: A story about how a sprinkling of mistakes can be a recipe for success. Perla is written for children aged 4-12, particularly those who experience anxiety or developmental issues. It demonstrates that you can’t succeed unless you try and that it’s ok to make mistakes. Pearla’s strategies for solving her problems will help children to overcome their own hurdles. Read more about Pearla and the motivation behind this book below. Please consider sharing this book with the children in your life. Teresa

There is a charity bake sale at school. Sara, juggling two jobs while raising her three children does not have the time nor energy to bake a cake for the sale. She thought about putting in the effort, but her previous baking attempts have not been successful. On her way home from work, she picks up a tray of large round cookies at the supermarket. She meets Lisa, her close friend, and they begin with the “mom talk”. Lisa relays that she does not enjoy baking, will probably stay up late to bake a cake anyway, and wonders aloud why she is struggling with herself for this endeavor.

I believe that there are multiple sources for the intense pressure for perfection that is found in both children and adults. Thankfully, there are a great many ways to combat that pressure. While genetics, family of origin, and innate personality can lay the foundation for pressure, there is also a mindset that plays a significant role in how one views perfection.

Growth vs. Fixed Mindset:
Dr. Carol Dweck, a world leading researcher on motivation and success from Stanford University, studied why some people succeed and others do not. What she uncovered was that there are some people who believe in a fixed mindset, that basic traits and talents which you were born or endowed with, like intelligence, are fixed. Others, she found, believe in a growth mindset, where success is attributed to hard work and effort. Individuals with a fixed mindset usually only choose items and activities that they know they’re good at. Individuals with a growth mindset welcome mistakes and accept that it they are part of the path to success, thus increasing their successful opportunities.

In Pearla and Her Unpredictably Perfect Day, Pearla embarks on a journey that begins with a fixed belief that mistakes are “just not okay in Pearla’s perfect world”. In this story we meet other characters who share similar limiting beliefs; we meet Mrs. PeggyOpal and daughter Darla who come from the other side of the river wearing matching sundresses. They travel with a tester, a person to taste each confection before they eat it. Darla and her mother, are horrified to see the mistake cupcakes, and say, “I only eat tall cupcakes with perfect wiggly white cream”. As is typical of those with a fixed mindset, the PeggyOpals leave the store without any cupcakes to take home. While they are stuck in their fixed mindset of success, even proudly displaying their peg-board status on their license plate (“Pego”), Pearla begins to question her beliefs and thinks of a promising plan to deal with her mistake. In doing this, she develops a growth mindset. At the end of the entertaining tale, she learns an important lesson that she will never forget: “Sometimes things don’t go perfectly. By staying calm, we might see that imperfect changes can turn into perfectly perfect plans!”

While the reader can feel empathy for the PeggyOpals, it is important to understand that anyone can adopt a growth mindset. At the end of the story, the PeggyOpals reconsider if they should try the imperfect confections! They can be seen standing outside the bakery with their taster. Although we do not know if they will indeed enter the bakery, this a big step in developing their growth mindset. Individuals with a growth mindset understand that challenges will arise and problem solving will be required. Take one second and ask yourself ask “in what area of my life do I have a fixed mindset?”

To read more about Rochel and to purchase Pearla and Her Unpredictably Perfect Day visit www.ariberspeech.com

Note: This information belongs to Rochel Lieberman. In order to forward, edit, or use this information, you must obtain express permission from Rochel Lieberman, via email @ rochel@ariberspeech.com.

 

Workshop: Yoga and Mindfulness in the Classroom

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Administrators Page, Parent Information, slider, SLP Chat, SLP Conferences/Workshops Review | 0 comments

Workshop: Yoga and Mindfulness in the Classroom

Back in mid-December I attended a one day workshop called “Yoga and Mindfulness in the Classroom: Tools to improve self-regulation, learning and classroom climate” Lisa Flynn, E-RYT, RCYT presented a program that she designed to help bring yoga and mindfulness into the classroom. Not only did she present the concrete parts of the program, Ms. Flynn also did a good job explaining how students could benefit both academically and behaviorally.

My motivation for attending was to learn a little bit about mindfulness and incorporate some quick and simple techniques into my therapy sessions. I was actually planning for that to be my smart goal for the year. The initial sequence presented focused on activities that could easily fall under the SLPs scope of practice. One listening activity focused on auditory attention, some breathing and head/neck movements could fall under oral motor, movements that pair up with others could fall under social and another activity focusing on relaxation/imagination is basically visual imagery. I’m sure I could find many more examples.

Ms. Flynn has modified many of the basic yoga positions to be “school friendly.” This means nothing too challenging, minimal space requirements and no touching the floor. Even more impressive is that she has put together a variety of sequences to choose from depending on needs. Ms. Flynn was also very mindful of the time constraints schools face, creating sequences that vary from 1-2 minutes to 20 minutes. Her suggested sequences include

  • Morning meeting
  • Take a Break
  • Transitions
  • Pre-Writing and Writing Break
  • Pre-Test and Test Break
  • Calm/Focus
  • Mood/Energy Shift
  • Close of Day

Several of these 1-2 minute sequences would be perfect for speech/language therapy sessions.

Yoga and Mindfulness in the Classroom was hosted by PESI. It really was a good bang for the buck. Not only was Ms. Flynn very knowledgeable but she also shared an awful lot of information and the take homes were very complete. If you wanted to implement her techniques on a larger scale there were materials available to purchase. Ms. Flynn has created sets of cards to guide, explain and demonstrate the aspects of her program and I must say they were quite good.

If it would up to me, I spend some consult dollars on this program to have Ms. Flynn train the teachers and develop a program that would fit my schools needs. I see this approach as proactive and being able to help in so many ways. I could also envision physical education teachers taking the lead on this to help incorporate this into daily practice. This is a program all kids could benefit from. This could be considered a universal support in schools and foster skill development in so many areas.

This was honestly one of the most enjoyable workshops I’ve been to in a long time. I do have to wonder if it was enjoyable because we got to get up and move around. If movement and breathing made the workshop more enjoyable that just proves it works. I’m looking forward to incorporating many of these techniques into my therapy sessions.

Read more about Lisa Flynn’s Yoga 4 Classrooms program on her web site

Final thoughts on my ASHA convention experience

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in slider, SLP Chat, SLP Conferences/Workshops Review | 0 comments

Final thoughts on my ASHA convention experience

Well it’s been over a month since I attended the ASHA Convention in Philly. I’ve been wanting to follow up my ASHA Convention Experience article series with a summary of my experience and thoughts on the whole thing. Overall my whole ASHA Convention experience gets a flexible B to B-.

The Sessions
There were two main reasons in my mind to go to ASHA. One was the amazing amount information I expected to be exposed to. ASHA gets a solid A for the quality of speakers. With 15,000 in attendance, ASHA presented a nice variety of sessions in terms of topics and length. There were always several sessions I wanted to attend that fell at the same time. Overflow was handled well when sessions were extremely popular.

My Poster Session
The second main reason to attend the ASHA convention was to present my poster (based on my book) on Educating School Administrators about the Speech Language Pathologist’s scope of practice and role in schools. Unfortunately, I presented my poster on Saturday the last day and last session. There were several people who had made it a point to come and talk to me and that was great. I couldn’t even linger afterward to talk with the few still milling about because the venue kicked us out. I also think at that point people were on “information overload” and either left the conference or were more interested in vendor deals. I did end up giving away a few of my books. Yes I am a soft touch. I also had a great rack card handout to give to principals and administrators. I was surprised more were not taken. However, when people took the time to read the rack card info they often came back for more or sent their friends over to get one.

Information Overload
I like to talk speech language pathology as much as the next guy but three full days is almost too much of an overload. I know by Saturday I was ready to ditch the sessions I planned to attend. I forced myself to go since I had paid for the conference. I was glad I did.

The Mira App
I did like using the Mira app. I think it helped to organize my time to help me get the maximum ceus possible. Organizing for this convention was overwhelming because so many sessions were offered. Not only did I prepare before I went but I firmed up my schedule the night before. I used my IPad to reference the uploaded conference materials during sessions and that helped with note taking. I ended up with 17.5 CEUs and that was with very little down time. If you plan on using your IPad at any convention make sure you have an external charger handy those batteries drain quickly.

Connections
I found that ASHA can be a very lonely place when you go alone. Honestly, I keep myself busy so that really doesn’t bother me. However, it would have been nice to have some formal opportunities to really discuss topics with other SLPs rather than just listening to lectures. Of course I would chitchat with people sitting next to me or sharing a table at breakfast but it was just surface conversation. I wish ASHA would offer roundtable discussions where you could meet and discuss current topics/concerns/share ideas/possible initiate change. I’m also at the point in my career where a few more opportunities to network and collaborate would be nice. (Sorry SLPs I have to say this…we’re still a very clicky crowd.)

The Keynote Speaker
I have to give a shout out to the keynote speaker, Drew Dudley, he was excellent. I usually don’t go in for the rah-rah of opening ceremonies but I am glad I went. He actually inspired me to make a key decision regarding my career.

The Vendors
The biggies were there such as Pearson and Super Duper. Apparently it is a tradition for many to leave with their yearly Super Duper bag that they give-a-way. I will admit it is a nice bag. There were lots of raffles so I hope someone won something. Tag scanning makes entering a lot easier. A few of the bigger ones were giving away like one copy of one test-such Princes. Too many staffing agencies were there trying to get you to sign up with them (that will be an article for another time). There were also several vendors hawking TENS units. Those small vibrators that are suppose to help pain. I have to wonder if SLP have a higher percentage of pain compared to other fields because of all the bags we carry. And yes there was a bag lady there. At least she was an SLP. There were not as many tchotchkes to pick up as there were 30 years ago. I didn’t buy anything but I did see a few things that would work for me in therapy. Some of the vendors were offering conference discounts. I noticed the private practice folks loading up on discounted materials.

I did meet the ladies who have created SLP Toolkit and they have one heck of a product that I want to try.

The Cost
When all was said and done I spent around 1,500 to go to ASHA. I got the early bird ASHA conference fee (no discount for presenters which I think is wrong). Airfare was reasonable. Now I stayed at the Marriott to be at the venue so that added significantly to the cost. Sharing was not something I would have ever considered, even in my younger days. Let’s think about this ladies….do you think men go to conferences and ask, “Who will I room with?” I doubt the men of ASHA were sharing hotel rooms. Why would that even be something to consider, we are adult professionals. Poster costs were minimal but the hours involved in prep were not. (Poster presenters do not even get credit for the time they stand at their poster presenting-it isn’t a great deal CEU wise) However, presenting is voluntary and if you aren’t willing to put in the time you don’t have to do it. It is obvious they have no difficulty getting quality presenters with the current system. I doubt other fields give away their information like that.

Dining
The food situation at this particular conference was terrible. The venue did not have enough staff on to even sell coffee in the morning. Long lines were everywhere and so many food stands were not even opened. There was very little time between sessions to get something to eat. A half hour was not going to be enough given the food situation. The hotel restaurants had incredible waits (due to poor staffing from what I could see). Even lines at the giant food court across the street were huge. I ended up eating hot dogs off a food truck for two lunches. I might consider the box lunch option if there is a next time. Luckily, I participate in the Marriott rewards program so I had breakfast and enough of a snack around dinner to call it a meal. Now I did have a lovely dinner one night with an old friend and her husband. We picked a great spot and got to see a little bit of the city.

The City
It would have been nice to have some time built in to see the city or take a tour. I know other professional conferences offer that. ASHA is all business. SLPs just don’t have the luxury of taking time off from learning.

Final Thoughts
I am glad that I went but I can’t say I enjoyed the experience. I think I just went in with expectations that were too high. The funny thing about that is that after 30 years of continuing education, I know better. The content presented in the sessions I attended was better than average. Very rarely do you actually get practical information out of any conference you attend. I would say that I took away good ideas from around 50-75% of the sessions I attended. Which I think is pretty good.

I think it was more the social aspects of ASHA that didn’t meet my expectations. I was hoping for more opportunities to talk shop with other SLPs, find out what others are doing and share some thoughts. It’s almost like ASHA and SLPs need a pragmatic goal or expectation. We are so isolated in our work that I though perhaps at the ASHA convention I might get to meet and discuss issues with like minded SLPs. Unless I decide to present again I won’t go to another ASHA till it comes back to Boston. I’ll spend my continuing education budget on smaller conferences. But who knows, I’m thinking about submitting to present at the Schools Connect, Health Care Connect, and Private Practice Connect in New Orleans in July. The only turn off there is New Orleans in July. I’m still not giving up my mission of advocating for SLPs and speech/language students through increased education for school administrators.
screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-7-40-21-pm

ASHA Day 3

Posted by on Nov 20, 2016 in slider, SLP Conferences/Workshops Review | 0 comments

ASHA Day 3

So how did day three end at ASHA? Saturday seemed to be a very low energy day at ASHA. If I was someone who was only able to go for one day, Saturday would have been very disappointing. I did go to some very good sessions but nothing special was going on.

As I mentioned I listened to Wayne Secord speak in the early morning then went to a session on struggling writers presented by Melissa Feller. Melissa and I met later on the plane ride home and had a chance to chat. Turned out we had many mutual acquaintances in common. Small world.

I finally presented my poster session. I only had about 10-15 people come up and talk to me during the hour and a half so that was a little disappointing. I really wanted more people to get my rack card handout for administrators. However, those 10-15 people were very interested and felt the topic needed to be highlighted. Several people mentioned that their districts were working on developing a workload model. I hope someone somewhere has some success developing on that will work. I’ll be working on some blog posts in the future around the comments I received

There just wasn’t a lot of foot traffic going through the poster hall during my session and then the venue promptly kicked us out at 2:00. Actually shut off the lights so there was no time to linger. That was really disappointing.

Needless to say I have a ton of rack cards left. If you really wanted one send me a self addressed stamped envelope and I will mail you a few.
Teresa Sadowski
6 Birch Lane
Ipswich, MA 01938
If you want more than 10 shoot me an email at theschoolspeechtherapist.com.

ASHA was a successful trip for me. I spoke to a lot of like minded folks, made some connections, saw some amazing and fun products, met up with an old friend, introduced advocacy for SLPs, got some very positive feedback and picked up some very good information. I wish I could have stayed a few more days to see a little bit of the city.

 

Doing things differently

Posted by on Nov 19, 2016 in slider, SLP Conferences/Workshops Review | 0 comments

Doing things differently

Morning session listening to Wayne Secore speak on practical classroom performance assessment. Talking about a different way to assess using the celf observational rating scale. Great information and humorous

check out my first impression of the celf 5 http://www.theschoolspeechtherapist.com/are-you-a-celfie/

Please stop by and visit my poster today. Board 273. Rack card for administrators handout

ASHA 2016 Day 2

Posted by on Nov 19, 2016 in slider, SLP Conferences/Workshops Review | 1 comment

ASHA 2016 Day 2

Well I logged in almost 20,000 steps on the fit bit today.  Seemed like all the sessions I wanted to attend were at the other end of the complex.  Started early with a session on helping students with narratives.  That seems to be a big issue on my caseload these days but in not your typical way.  Did get some good ideas to share.  I also had my picture taken in the PR Lounge with advocate as my title.

The second session was titled Progress Monitoring and put on by the two ladies who created the product SLP Toolkit.  Lisa Kathman and Sarah Bevier are two dynamic working SLPs who may have just come up with a program and practical material that could work for school SLPs.  I stopped by their booth (739) yesterday and got a demo.  If you follow my blog you know I’m pretty critical but I was duly impressed.  Lots of time you look at material or programs that just don’t fit but I think the SLP Toolkit fits.

The mindfulness session I attended wasn’t what I thought it might be so I went on to another session focusing on spelling disabilities.  I got some good information out of that.

Decided to put my feet up for an hour or so before setting up my poster and meeting friends for dinner.  I’m excited to present my poster and share my concerns.  I”ve created a rack card that you can give to your school administrator to help start the conversation.  The rack cards will be there all day and I will be there from 12:30-2. Board 273

asha-poster-photo

Finally got out of this building and walked to Little Nonnas with friends.  A fun little hole in the wall on Locust street.  We had an excellent meal.  It was just such a cute place.  Highly recommend.

One more day to go.

Teresa