Blogjam SLPs and audiologists are blogging about their experiences and discoveries. Check out some of their posts. Blogjam
Blogjam  |   September 01, 2015
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Blogjam   |   September 01, 2015
The ASHA Leader, September 2015, Vol. 20, 20-21. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.20092015.20
The ASHA Leader, September 2015, Vol. 20, 20-21. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.20092015.20
Inside Out
“It’s complicated and often difficult to find the words that most clearly express what we want to say,” writes Helen Coleman on her Speechbloguk site. “This is even more difficult for children, and especially children with language difficulties.”
Coleman, who contributes to the blog along with fellow U.K.-based SLP Elizabeth Gunner, compiled tips for teaching emotion words to children younger than 7.
  • Start with a few words. Coleman suggests “happy,” “sad” and “angry” (or, as she says in British English, “cross”), and using them in real-life situations to describe how other people, and the child, are feeling.

  • Discuss whether people look happy, sad or angry in photos. You can search for images online, or even use family photos. “See if your child can copy different facial expressions,” suggests Coleman.

  • Identify emotions in characters in the child’s favorite books, TV shows or movies, and how they can change throughout the story.

Coleman includes more tips, including for older children, in the full blog post.
Am I Doing This Right?
How confident are you in your clinical skills? Blogger Teach Speech 365 asked herself this question as she reflected on her work as an SLP.
“Most days, I’m pretty confident in my ability to target goals, speak with colleagues, [and] comment on language/articulation/voice/fluency/social skills,” she writes. “Then there are the days that I’m not so confident. The days when I come home and think, ‘Am I doing therapy right?’”
And while she notes there’s no one “right” way of doing things, she weighs her self-perceived successes and shortcomings. Her assessment? She thrives with drill-based exercises, but thinks she may need to work harder at play-based interventions with younger children.
She lists five things she’s done to conquer her self-doubt and amp up her interventions. Check out her full blog post to prompt your own self-assessment.
Kick It Into Class
With students back in class, try transferring their excitement about other parts of the day (recess, gym, lunch) to your speech room through vocabulary words. Miss Speechie, the Speech Time Fun blogger, shares how she tweaked her plans after finding inspiration hiding in her hallways.
“I was getting ready for my next speech group when I heard the class coming back from gym. They were busy chatting in the hallway about the game they were playing,” she writes. “I decided to throw out my current plan and create something else on the spot!”
Using kickball vocabulary (“base,” “field,” “kick,” “throw” and so on), she was able to target several goals at once, including verb and noun forms, sentence creation with vocabulary, and expressed sequences of events.
Flexibility helps when figuring out which interventions will work best on a particular day. “I realized it would be in my best interest to keep the kids motivated,” writes Miss Speechie, so she also created a visual for the lesson, which you can access on her post.
Parental Advisory
Challenging parents? Every school-based SLP has encountered at least a few. Under the name SLPrunner, Jennifer Moses offers five ways to team with parents—especially difficult ones—to help their children.
  • Communicate. Parents often don’t feel as if they’re included in all the information or as part of the team, writes Moses. “Really listen to parents and use the helpful phrase, ‘I hear you.’ It doesn’t say ‘I agree’ or ‘I am wrong,’ it simply states that you are listening and hearing what the parent is saying.”

  • Schedule meetings. If you receive an unexpected call from an angry parent, stay calm and suggest setting up a meeting where you can focus and spend more time addressing the parent’s concerns.

  • Try the broken-record technique. Use a neutral tone and repeat your point, which ensures the conversation stays on topic and that parents have a clear understanding of what you’re saying.

  • Use “fogging” to defuse tense, heated situations. Stay calm and don’t respond defensively or argumentatively. “When the conversation is less heated, it will be possible to discuss the student more reasonably.”

  • Focus on your common interest—the student! “This should include the whole child; educational, social, physical and emotional. Always bring the focus back to the student.”

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September 2015
Volume 20, Issue 9