Blogjam SLPs and audiologists are blogging about their experiences and discoveries. Check out some of their posts. Blogjam
Blogjam  |   November 01, 2015
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Blogjam   |   November 01, 2015
The ASHA Leader, November 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/
The ASHA Leader, November 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/
Brace Yourself
When SLP Maureen Wilson started wearing Invisalign braces on her teeth, she expected an adjustment period. But what the Speech Bubble SLP blogger hadn’t anticipated was how much the experience would help her relate to her students.
Wearing the braces initially gave her a “slushly lisp,” Wilson writes, and it took a lot of effort— more than she’d thought—to work on correcting it.
“I never had to think about making a sound before, so this was a bit eye-opening,” she writes. “I had to play around with placement and practice it for quite a bit.”
Slowing down her speech rate to produce the sound correctly took some practice too, and she even drilled productions in the car to get the right placement.
“In the future, I will still remind my students that they need to monitor their rate but will be more understanding when they aren’t doing it all the time. I get it now,” Wilson writes. “I have also learned a lot of progress depends on motivation. If you want change, and work for change, change will come. I may spend more time working on motivation with my kids than I have in the past.”
Schedule Savior
Sarah Wu is here to save your calendar. Blogging on her Speech Is Beautiful site, the SLP shared 10 hacks for speech schedules that she’s cultivated over the years in the public schools.
A few of her tips:
  • Use basic, easy-to-read fonts. “Keeping your schedule concise and easy-to-read will help you out if someone needs to fill in for you,” Wu writes.

  • Group students by classroom to avoid interrupting teachers multiple times each day. “It does mean I have groups of different disorders, but I can usually make it work just fine.”

  • Save space at the bottom for notes. If you’re constantly away from your desk and working around the school, you can jot down reminders so you can later transfer them to your “master to-do list.”

  • Block out evaluation time, prep time and lunch. “I have had to build in blocks of time for evaluations and meetings—as well as prep time. Check your school’s policies to be sure of how much you should get on a daily basis,” Wu recommends.

Check out Wu’s full post for the rest of the hacks.
Wrangle That Data
If you’re thinking about revamping the way you do data collection, SLP Meredith Avren has a few easy tips on her Peachie Speechie blog to help you stay organized.
Avren starts out by making one big data binder for all her students. “I use tabbed dividers to organize the data sheets by grade,” she writes. “That way, when I am seeing a group of two or three students, I can easily flip to their sheet to take data without having to fumble with files/folders.”
She also makes two piles for discarded flashcards when working with her students—one for correct responses, the other for incorrect responses. When the session’s over, Avren quickly calculates percentages. “I like doing this because I don’t have to have my data binder open on the table the whole time. I can be totally focused on the session and then just deal with the data quickly at the end,” she writes.
And sometimes she even involves the kids, who are ecstatic at the chance to use dry-erase markers to write pluses or minuses on the table to reflect whether they produced a sound correctly. “Sometimes the littlest things are the most motivating!” Avren writes.
Check It Out
When performing language evaluations in schools, SLPs have a list components they need to complete—one of which is showing evidence of “adverse classroom impact.”
Gaining teacher input is an important step for measuring that impact, and in a recent blog post, Chapel Hill Snippets’ Ruth Morgan pulls together several free downloadable checklists and rating scales developed by state associations and other groups that SLPs can use to gather and organize teacher input.
“’Adverse effect’ means that the progress of the child is impeded by the disability to the extent that the educational performance is significantly and consistently below the level of similar-aged peers,” Morgan explains. “Teacher rating scales require a classroom teacher to rank a child’s skills based on what a typical child does in the same environment. The scales should reflect the communication demands of the curriculum, and now several systems have developed rating scales based on the Common Core standards.”
SLPs can visit the original post to download the compiled checklists, or search for their own state checklists and guidelines.
“A teacher checklist, as simple as it seems, is an invaluable tool for you in your assessment and therapy planning!” Morgan writes. “Your assessment, no matter how thorough, is incomplete without teacher input.”
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November 2015
Volume 20, Issue 11