Blogjam Observing students with hearing loss in their regular education classrooms is essential for collecting data for evaluations, IEPs and progress reports, writes Rule the School blogger Monica Faherty in an Activity Tailor guest post. “If a student’s language skills are age-appropriate or close to it, all or most ... Blogjam
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Blogjam  |   November 01, 2016
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Blogjam
Blogjam   |   November 01, 2016
Blogjam
The ASHA Leader, November 2016, Vol. 21, 18-19. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.21112016.18
The ASHA Leader, November 2016, Vol. 21, 18-19. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.21112016.18
A Foot in the (Classroom) Door
Observing students with hearing loss in their regular education classrooms is essential for collecting data for evaluations, IEPs and progress reports, writes Rule the School blogger Monica Faherty in an Activity Tailor guest post.
“If a student’s language skills are age-appropriate or close to it, all or most of the student’s day will be in the regular class,” the SLP writes. Monitoring them in this environment “allows me to see how well the student is applying what we’ve been working on and if there are any issues that need to be problem-solved.”
Faherty provides a checklist of what she looks for in the classroom, including:
  • What are the student’s immediate surroundings like? “Is there a noisy peer sitting close to the student? If so, how does my student handle the situation? This gives me information for our next pull-out session. Does the student need coaching on how to handle the situation?”

  • Does the student self-advocate? “Does the student need to let the teacher know about an issue? If so, we discuss that in our next session, practice how to say it and decide whether the student wants to do this on her own or with my support.”

  • How does the student do with activities? “Is the student accurately following verbal directions? Does the student use the FM and other accommodations and communication repair strategies with peers? How well does the student understand what is being said in small group or buddy work?”

What’s the Deal With ‘Wh’?
Young clients who have trouble answering “wh” questions may struggle with the task for a variety of reasons. In a recent post, the Speech 2 U blogger shares six common reasons why “wh” questions can stump someone:
  • They didn’t realize you asked a question.

  • They didn’t realize you expect them to respond.

  • They respond with immediate echolalia.

  • They don’t understand the difference in “wh” words.

  • They have vocabulary deficits.

  • They have auditory memory difficulties.

“Teaching ‘wh’ questions doesn’t have to just be drill and kill,” she writes. “By analyzing ‘wh’ question error patterns, you can target the specific areas where your client needs to work and save time in therapy.” Read the full post for examples and how to start treatment in each situation.
Bye, Bye, Bye
Wanting a cleaner, less cluttered office space is easy—doing the actual purging is the hard part. But the result is well worth the effort, writes Super Power Speech blogger Cheri Chin.
“Although I’m a huge fan of purging at home (my family is constantly complaining that I never keep anything!), I actually have a harder time purging at work. Why? Probably because I didn’t buy many of my speech materials, so I feel like I have no right to get rid of them. And that’s true,” she writes. “But I do have every right to do one of the following: pass things along to other SLPs in the district, send them to my district office, and (with district permission) send items to SLPs in other districts who have recently lost their materials (such as the schools in Louisiana that recently lost everything in the flood).”
Some of Chin’s suggested materials to toss (or pass along, when appropriate):
  • Outdated testing materials: “These can just go. No need to pass them along because it would be unethical to use these.”

  • Anything you haven’t used in the last year: “There will always be some exceptions. […] Don’t throw out your favorite fluency materials just because you didn’t have a fluency student last year. But the 100 language activities in your closet? Purge!”

  • Super bulky materials: “If it takes up more than a small box or file folder, then really consider if you need to keep that item.”

No More Missed Sessions
Stigma, awkward scheduling and organizational struggles can keep your middle and high school students out of the speech room—so how can you make sure they show up for sessions?
Jennifer Moses, who blogs as SLP Runner, shares things to remember when working with tweens and teens: Be mindful of stigma, be respectful of their age, and ask them questions and listen.
To help decrease the likelihood of older students missing sessions, Moses suggests using both old-school (appointment cards or hall passes with service time, teacher name and location pre-written on them) and new-school techniques (alarms or calendar alerts on students’ smartphones) to remind students of their appointments. However, all the reminders in the world won’t make a difference if the student feels awkward about when they have to leave or return to class. With student input, “try to make the service start or end time during a transition or when the student doesn’t mind leaving his/her classroom.”
Moses also recommends writing service times on the student’s daily schedule as “Communication Skills,” alongside all of their other classes. But if all else fails, talk to the student and teachers about ways you can call into the classroom without embarrassing the student. “I let the phone ring once, and the student and teacher know that it’s my specialized instruction time.”
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FROM THIS ISSUE
November 2016
Volume 21, Issue 11