Blogjam SLPs and audiologists are blogging about their experiences and discoveries. Check out some of their posts. Blogjam
Blogjam  |   June 01, 2016
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Blogjam   |   June 01, 2016
The ASHA Leader, June 2016, Vol. 21, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.21062016.22
The ASHA Leader, June 2016, Vol. 21, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.21062016.22
Play, Rinse, Repeat
Repeating games, words and play routines probably isn’t an SLP’s favorite part of the job. But it’s an essential one, writes SLP Jessie Nelson on the Kid’s Creek Therapy blog.
“Some days, I’m just itching for something new because I don’t think I can do this activity one more time without going crazy!” Nelson writes. “It’s tempting to forget that I’m the therapist and it isn’t about me … It doesn’t matter if I’m bored or if I’m tired. It matters how the child is doing.”
And sometimes, repeating exercises is what a child needs to grasp a concept. “Each time they do the same activity, they have more information to pull from and the demand placed on them gradually becomes less and less.”
Take notice of the next time a child achieves a goal after many rounds of the same exercise, activity or instruction. Nelson had her own reminder recently when one of her patients tried to engage her in play—a goal she’d been trying to attain through repetitions of the same activity.
She writes: “I am grateful for reminders like these that help me remember some of the basics of my profession.”
No Words Needed
Pat Mervine knows the amazing feeling of witnessing a child finally—with intense concentration and focus—getting lost in the imaginary world of a book. But fueling the imagination isn’t limited to books with text, the SLP writes on her Speaking of Speech Blog.
“Indeed, wordless picture books may tap into more imagination, more language, more critical thinking, and more projecting of one’s self into the story,” she says.
Her post includes a long list of questions that can be discussed when reading a picture book with a child with a speech or language disorder—as well as goals addressed by letting the child lead a “reading” of the story. These goals include describing, labeling, grammar, predicting, articulation and fluency—and, after the story’s finished, recall, retelling and sequencing.
Mervine also points out the benefits of wordless picture books for children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): “Children can use their AAC system at the single-word, phrase or full-sentence levels to tell the story, answer your questions, and ask questions of their own.”
Their (Own) Emotional Rescue
Handling runaway feelings can be especially challenging for children with social-language impairments. On her Speech and Language Kids blog, SLP Carrie Clark offers some ways to help. After teaching them to identify their emotions, she advises, “talk about which emotions are good and helpful and which ones get in the way.” Next, pinpoint ones the child has trouble regulating.
Then explore possible situations that could trigger those feelings and what happens physically within the child, she writes. Next, brainstorm and have the child choose three to five coping mechanisms to deal with the troubling emotions, and display them on a choice board.
“The next time the child gets into that emotion or mood, offer the choice board and have him try strategies until he finds one that works,” Clark writes. “Continue doing this until the child can use the choice board independently or use the strategies without needing to go to the choice board.”
Teaching Teachers About Stuttering
General education teachers may not always be prepared to interact with children who stutter, so blogger Brooke Leiman of the Stuttering Source shares teacher-friendly tips (with an easy-to-print PDF handout) that fellow SLPs can pass along.
Some of Leiman’s suggestions for teachers:
  • Avoid saying things like “slow down” or “take a deep breath,” which can add more pressure to young children and trigger more disfluency. “Instead, slow your own rate of speech by adding pauses within your sentences at natural breaks, between your sentences and after the student finishes their thought to reduce pressure.”

  • Maintain eye contact with the student to show you are listening, and let them finish their complete thought before speaking.

  • Talk privately—if the student is comfortable with discussing stuttering—about how you can help on particularly difficult days, and find out which situations makes things easier or harder.

  • Ask your school’s SLP for help “before asking the child to use any strategies within the classroom.”

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June 2016
Volume 21, Issue 6