Saturday, November 19, 2011

Play Therapy

In grading some papers today, I came across one where the student was baffled at the fact that an SLP would allow a child 'play breaks' between test sets.  I believe that play can be very constructive.  For this specific example, speech assessments can be long and taxing. Most children (especially pre-school age) NEED a break. They are not accustomed to sitting for long periods of time.  A one or two minute play break is plenty and helps them perform better/more accurately and they are happier.

Play therapy is one of the best ways to engage children in "work." They will be learning and growing and progressing while having fun.  Drill is the most effective therapy, but if a child gets drilled to the point that they do not want to attend therapy, they will do worse.  A good mix of drill and play is best!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks to Joshua for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.
The rules in accepting this award: Thank the person who nominated you. Tell 7 things about yourself so that your readers may learn more about you and nominate 7 other newly discovered bloggers and let them know you nominated them.

1. I am in school full time. Senior year! yay!
2. I am a wife. And mother of four beautiful, wonderful children, two boys, two girls.
3. Growing up I moved three times, in the same town. Married, I have moved 15 times, in three different states.
4. I am the third child out of nine.
5. I am terrified of water and still can't swim. (Even movies with the ocean get my heart racing)
6. I was the Salutatorian (Ranked 2nd) at my high school graduation.
7. My mother passed away from Pancreatic Cancer in 2005. November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month.

7 Versatile Bloggers

1. Domestic Ventures! - this is my sister's blog.  She is SO creative and makes the cutest stuff. This is what I do on my downtime...craft!

2. If Only I had Super Powers - An SLP's blog that I have read and gained great tips from.

3. Play on Words - Great tips for play speech therapy. It doesn't have to all be drill.

4. Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits - A teacher with fun tips that can be used in any classroom.

5. Speech Lady Liz - A great place for speech games and homework.

6. Free Language Stuff - Every SLP needs help with ideas, and who doesn't love free!

7. Mommy Speech Therapy - A great resource when you have questions and get help. Also, the best therapy for kids is in the home!

There are SO many resources out there. I LOVE the internet and the ease with which we can share ideas and tips and games and frustrations.  There are many more out there!  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


There are "rules" to communication. Here are some as addressed in one of my classes.

Tacitly agree to share one another's interests.  We commit our mental resources to attending to our communication partner's message, and respond to the message in a way that furthers the discussion.

Ensure that no single person does all of the talking. We do not dominate the conversation with our own talking, and we don not expect our communication partners to bear the onus of continuing the conversation alone. We share speaking turns.

Participate in choosing what to talk about, and participate in developing the topic. Typically, there is not a "chief" who leads the conversation , and who alone decides what is talked about and how that subject is developed. Rather, all participants play a role, at some point or other, in deciding what is talked about and in shaping the direction in which the discussion progresses.

Take turns in an orderly fashion. Everyone should have a chance to contribute to the conversation, and to end a contribution before someone else begins their speaking turn. This means that interruptions do not occur too often.

Try to be relevant to the topic of conversation. If a conversation is centered on automobiles and someone abruptly begins to talk about a recipe for cornbread, that individual has violated an implicit rule of conversation by not being relevant to the discussion.

Provide enough information to convey a message without being verbose. In a conversation, we expect our communication partners to deliver their message in a fairly succinct way, and in a manner that maintains our interest in listening.

Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone who does not "follow" the rules? Tell me about your experience.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Noble Calling of being an SLP

I was approached about doing a guest post.  After reading his submission, I am excited to have you read 10 reasons SLP is a noble calling.  But just as a disclaimer, I do not promote any particular college or institution.  There are pros and cons to all schools. Some have more pros, others more cons. You need to do your own research on a good college for your degree.

10 Reasons SLP is a Noble Calling
--Philip J Reed, on behalf of Westwood College

Few careers are more rewarding or personally fulfilling than those that deal directly with helping
others. And of those, SLP (speech-language pathology, also known as logopaedics) may be
even more rewarding than most.

Why? Well, read on, because we’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons SLP is a noble calling, and we
know that you’ll not only agree, but that you’ll be able to add at least another 10 of your own.

1) Helping Children
A very large number of SLP patients are children. Those young patients need assistance with
understanding, processing and reacting to the world around them, and the sooner they get that
assistance – and receive an accurate diagnosis – the better.

2) Helping Others
It’s not just children that need SLP TLC though! Speech-language pathologists help people of
all ages, of all backgrounds, and with all sorts of different needs. The variety of patients you will
encounter is limitless, and for every one of them, you can improve their quality of life in a very real
and tangible way.

3) Giving the Gift of Communication
What’s one of the best gifts you can think of? It’s difficult to conceive of a gift more valuable to
any human being than the gift of communication. Most of us were given that gift more or less by
default when we were born, but not everybody is that lucky. Speech-language pathologists work
with those who have difficulty communicating effectively with others, and that’s a gift of greater
value than one might realize. The best part is that it often comes packaged with the additional
gifts of higher self-esteem, increased happiness, and greater confidence.

4) Staying Engaged
Few careers will keep you as engaged in what you’re doing as SLP. Your patients are all
individuals with different desires, aspirations, and things to communicate to the world, and every
single one of them – and every session that you have with them – will be a unique experience of
its own. It requires the ability to think on your feet as well as the gift of creativity when it comes to
crafting lessons and exercises – often on the fly – to help your patients overcome their difficulties.

5) Putting Your Education to Use
Certainly you’ve heard friends and family speak about the work they do, and how it often does
not match up with the classes they took or even the degrees that they hold. Sometimes that
schooling can seem like something of a waste. With SLP, however, you can be sure that all of
your training will be put to good use…and then some! Your classes, your certification and your
medical assisting training can all come together to form the important groundwork for the job that
you do. It won’t be enough on its own to prepare you for everything – nothing can prepare you for
everything after all – but you’ll be glad you have it all the same!

6) Touching Lives
The younger your patient the more obvious this might be, but no matter how young or old they
may be, you are touching their lives in very important ways. You are shaping the way they
communicate their feelings, emotions and needs to those that they love, and your hard work will
be validated by every word that they were previously unable to speak, and every thought that
they previously had difficulty expressing. That’s a big responsibility, but it’s also a reward like no

7) Changing the World
And, of course, as you touch these lives you also, in a very literal sense, change the world. Your
patients live complete and full lives of their own, and they touch other lives themselves. Every
day they leave their mark upon the world, and it’s a mark shaped by the hard work that you did
with them. The effects of your work will be vaster, wider and longer-lived than you might expect,
and that’s something to be very proud of.

8) Becoming a Better Parent
By working so closely with those who struggle to communicate, for such a wide variety of
reasons, you will gain insight into how communication works in general, and how people express
what they want, need, and feel. This can – and almost certainly will – make you a better parent
(or even spouse) in this regard. By being more acutely aware of what your children are trying to
say, as opposed to what they are actually saying or not saying, you will be better able to provide
for them, and that’s a skill you can’t put a price tag on.

9) You Do it Because You Love It
Speech-language pathologists are a distinctive breed. You won’t meet many of them, or possibly
even any of them, who do it for the money. SLP is a labor of love, and those who decide upon
it as a career path do it knowing full well that they will not be famous for it…but they may well be
loved. Which brings us to…

10) You Will Always Be Remembered
Those that you touch will never forget you. Their lives will change for the better, specifically
because of the work that you did with them, the gift of communication that you helped them to
develop, and the confidence that you gave them just by helping them overcome the difficulties
that they have. Speech-language pathologists don’t have patients; they have legacies. It’s a
noble calling, and one beyond reward.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hearing aid - personal story (not mine)

For one of my assignments I was asked to interview people who wear hearing aids.  I was able to interview a 54 year old lady.  Here is her story:

Ruth grew up like any other hearing child. When she was nine years old, she was bumped by a car.  She was crossing the road and a car came to a screeching halt just past her.  It bumped her to her knees.  As far as she knew, her only injury was scraped up knees.  She began having a gradual hearing loss, to the point, six months later, she was deaf. She was placed in the hard of hearing class in elementary school. In the 60's it was taboo to teach a child who was hard of hearing sign language, especially one who already had oral language.  So she was taught lip reading and oral speech therapy to keep her speech skills.  She rode the bus with kids who were deaf. But because she was not taught sign, she would just enviously watch.  She wanted to know what they were saying.  When she was a teenager, she went to a summer camp where she learned more sign and gained friends who were deaf who helped teach her sign language.

Ruth's favorite job was working for a Deaf Agency.  Her job was to teach late deafened adults the tools out there for them.  To show them the different hearing aids and assistive technologies available.  To teach them assertiveness, to speak up and not withdraw. To help them know that they were still a person and important.

With her hearing aids, Ruth has 50% or more hearing.  She said that without her hearing aids she becomes drowsy and withdrawn. She is completely disinterested in the world around her.  She becomes a different person.  Everyone she loves is hearing, she is so grateful for modern technology to be able to communicate and hear and understand all those she loves.

Ruth married a man who is hearing.  All of her children are hearing.  One of her daughters married a man who is hard of hearing.  This same daughter is an ASL interpreter for a child who is now in junior high. (She worked with the same child since elementary school.) What I find fascinating is the fact that this couple signed with their kids from birth and they began signing around 9 mos. of age! I think all babies should learn sign, so they can communicate so much earlier than oral speech.

Ruth wears a behind the ear hearing aid (they are the strongest available to her). She has been wearing hearing aids for 45 years.  10 years ago she switched to digital hearing aids instead of analog.  Her only complaint is that music sounds different.  Not a good different.  Speech is so much clearer and as much as she loves music, she'll take the decrease in music enjoyment to be able to hear clearer speech.  When using assistive technology, if there is a choice between ASL and CC (closed captioning) Ruth prefers CC.  She says, "after all, English is my first language."  (ASL is it's own language, with it's own sentence structures. It is not English in sign)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Esteem hearing implant

I have recently heard of a new hearing implant. It is called the Esteem Hearing Implant. From the little I've been  able to read, it sounds amazing! The website also explains how it works.

Here is a video of a woman (Sarah) when her Esteem was first turned on:
My confusion was in how clear her speech is. Apparently, she just had really good SLP's and has always had pretty clear speech.  She explains it here:
Like a hearing aid, she can still turn it off (like her husband snores and so she turns it off at night).

This costs $30,000 per ear. (much less than a cochlear), but insurance does not cover it. If you watch the video, you see that Envoy (the company that makes Esteem) paid for Sarah's second ear and paid her back for the cost of the first one.

Let me know what you have heard about it.  It sounds like a miracle to me!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Unfair Hearing test

I had to listen to one similar to this for my audiologic rehabilitation class.  How did you do? I love how this helps put us in the shoes of those we are helping.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bahh or Fahh? What do you hear?

A fellow classmate of mine told me about this video.  I think it's amazing.  What is most amazing to me is that the brain cannot override the speech sensory input.  Even knowing what is going on doesn't change the perception in change of sound.  Crazy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New technology

The field of Speech and Language Pathology is full of fun new techy gadgets.  I personally do not own anything i (like iphone, ipad, ipod, itouch, etc...).  However, in my TA job of grading papers I have heard about an assessment called the Sunny Articulation Test. "The Sunny Articulation & Phonology Test (SAPT) can be used to identify articulation errors patterns in children as well"   (this is off the apple website).   Here is the manual. The manual states: "The Sunny Articulation Test is an individually administered qualitative clinical tool for
screening, identification, diagnosis and follow up evaluation of articulation skills in English
speaking individuals. The SAT was developed by Barbara Fernandes, a Trilingual Speech and
Language Pathologist and Smarty Ears LLC. The Sunny Articulation Test can be used with
individuals of all age groups."
Has anyone used this? How is it?

Monday, September 26, 2011


Last spring I was able to observe a real life SLP in her work setting (an elementary school).  It was fascinating!  I loved her room and how she handled her groups.  Being in an elementary, she was not able to do one-on-one therapy.  But she still gave the kids as much one-on-one as she could.  Her room had three computers with various language skill building exercises. She also had these: 

and books for each phoneme that the children could practice with, to themselves. For those who are unfamiliar with these, they are sometimes called a whisper phone.  The child puts it to their ear/mouth like a phone and they practice their phoneme.  This will enable them to hear themselves and hopefully self correct as needed.  Based on where they were with a particular phoneme, they would practice at isolation, syllable, word or sentence level.

There were also these:

and the phoneme books. And based on how many times they said an assigned phoneme they would possibly receive a reward/treat.

It was very fun to see the different tools she used to help the children with therapy while still offering some one-on-one time.

As the children come into the classroom, she would tell them where to go and which phoneme to practice and one child would be with her. And they would rotate during the time in her classroom. At the end, all of the children and the SLP would play a short game together. At the end of the game the children were expected to congratulate each other on playing a good game (good sportsmanship!) and then give one other child a sincere compliment. It was all very fascinating.  They were able to learn how to play games and not worry so much about winning or losing, but having fun.  They were able to increase their social skills by complimenting each other and by having to pay attention enough to each other to offer a sincere compliment.  I will definitely be implementing some of these activities in my own classroom when I am done with school!

Friday, September 23, 2011


A new semester is here! I have also been fortunate enough to get a part time TA position at the college! It is fun and busy, but I love it! My youngest also just started first grade, so I am home alone all day for the first time.  It is great for me to have time to get my school work done while the kids are gone, but I found that it is depressing to be home alone so much!
I am in some great classes including: basic audiology, speech science, and aural rehabilitation!  I am really enjoying this semester.  It is also my last semester for my bachelors and I will be applying to grad school soon. Any recommendations on where to go? I can't wait to get out into the field!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fun Idea

A friend of mine recently got me involved in Pinterest.  It's a lot of fun.  My favorite thing I have found so far are these: 

And to give credit where it is due, here is where the idea comes from:

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I have been remiss in posting...we recently moved.  I am back online and should have a new post soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I frequently get mixed up with some of the terminology of speech therapy.  So, I thought if I write down the words and what they mean, they will stay in my head better.
Language is made up of four sets of rules:
1. Pragmatics - context of use of language
2. Syntax - rules of grammar
3. Semantics - meaning (of words, signs, sentences, etc)
4. Phonology - rules of pronunciation
I went to my favorite website, for the definitions and then condensed them in my own words.
These are the basics.

 I also forget which sounds go under which category, so here they are: (this is called manner)
Stops: /p, b, t, d, k, g/
Nasals: /m, n, ŋ (sounds like the ng in 'ring')/
Fricatives: /f, v, s, z, ʃ (sh), ʒ (si in vision), θ (th in thin), ð (th in this)/
Affricates: /dʒ (j in jump), tʃ (ch)/
Liquids: /l, r/
Glides: /w, h, j (y in you)/

I also have to remember the place each sound takes place, such as:
Bilabial: articulated with both lips (such as M)
Labiodental: articulated with lower lip and upper teeth (such as F)
Dental: articulated with the tongue against upper teeth (such as T)
Alveolar: articulated with the tongue against upper gum ridge (the alveolar ridge) (such at D)
Palatal: articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (such as /j/ or Y)
Velar: articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate (such as G)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Email from a professor

I wanted to give you a brief report about our recent trip to South Vietnam.  Janet Fuller and I, along with 4 of our wonderful graduate students, participated in a teacher and audiology training program at the Thuan An Center, which is a deaf education school just outside of Ho Chi Minh City.  The program provided training to approximately 90 teachers, 18 audiologists, and 40 families (most of whom traveled many, many hours by motorcycle to attend). The teachers who attended represented 35 schools and early intervention programs throughout South Vietnam.  We toured two hospitals, met with several physicians and other personnel who are dedicated to improving services to young children with hearing loss.  In addition, we were able to fit 30 hearing aids on young children who otherwise would not receive this technology.  Our students, Jane Fenton, Liz Hankins, Kate Powell, and Jeanette Smoot, were amazing.  Their contribution was significant beginning first thing in the morning and continuing until late into the evening.  They did training to large groups, small groups, and individuals.  They organized events, prepared materials, took care of last-minute or unexpected details, and entertained many, many children.  I received numerous compliments regarding their knowledge and skills, with many comments along the lines of “what would we have done without them here” ….I felt like a proud mom.
It was a wonderful experience and brought together people who live half a world apart who, despite the language barrier, have the same desires to provide the best services possible to children with hearing loss.

Lauri Nelson, PhD
Assistant Professor 
Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education
Utah State University

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My accomplishments.

I really enjoy reading personal stories more than all the technical information.  So I am going to try to make things less technical and more personal. If you have any personal stories to share, I would love to hear them!
I am a mother of four. I am over 30. I am trying to get my bachelors degree.  When I hit the age of 30, I felt like I did not have much to show as accomplishments.  In talking with a new friend this weekend, I have four great accomplishments.  Now, I do not take full credit for how they have turned out.  Someone once told me that if you take credit for your children's good deeds then you have to take credit for their bad as well. But, my kids are much better than I could have "made" them.  I love these four with all my heart and it is amazing how my heart swells with pride when I hear good things about them from other people.  I have always expected to be a stay at home mom.  As my youngest enters first grade this year and I see that I will have six hours in the day where no kids are home, I feel a great desire to be out and helping others.  There may be other mothers who have not had the opportunity I have to be home with their kids. There may be kids that go home to an empty home because mom/dad are at work. I realize that not everyone's situation is ideal, but I hope to be around to help facilitate their parenting.  As an educational professional, I cannot replace parenting, but I hope to help.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Strategies to use for providing feedback and scaffolding

Strategies to use for providing feedback and scaffolding. (Emerging Literacy)

For all these, the story of The Three Little Pigs is referenced. These can all be used Pre reading, during reading and post reading.
This is a handout from one of my classes, COMD5200 at USU with the professor, Karen Filimoehala.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

IPA Alphabet

In talking with my sister the other day, I decided that I need to talk about the IPA alphabet.  IPA stands for International Phonetic Alphabet. IPA “is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is used by foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech pathologists and therapists, singers, actors, lexicographers, artificial language enthusiasts (conlangers), and translators.” (Wikipedia)

IPA symbols have two basic types, letters and diacritics (like accents and a few more).  As of 2008, there are 107 letters, 52 diacritics, and four prosodic (rhythm, stress or intonation) marks in the IPA.
Here is a chart of the IPA:

“The general principle of the IPA is to provide one letter for each distinctive sound (speech segment). This means that it does not use combinations of letters to represent single sounds, the way English does with ‹sh› and ‹ng›, or single letters to represent multiple sounds the way ‹x› represents /ks/ or /ɡz/ in English. There are no letters that have context-dependent sound values, as ‹c› does in English and other European languages.” (Wikipedia) 
An example of this is: aj wɛnt tu ðə stɔr. (I went to the store.)  The fun thing is when you get different accents!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I am out of town, so cannot post a full post today, but a friend sent me this link and I thought it was a good idea, so here it is for you!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oral Peripheral Exam

My latest assignment at school is to perform an Oral Peripheral Exam on at least 15 people.  Any volunteers?

An oral periph. exam consists of more than just looking in someone's mouth. It is "evaluating their face, tongue, jaw, teeth, hard palate, soft palate, diadochokinectic rates, and pharynx.

For the tongue, you will be noting any structural abnormalities as well as range of motion (ROM).
For the jaw, you will be noting the occlusion at the level of the first premolar, as well as the bite - normal,  overjet, underbite, crossbite, etc.
For the teeth, please note number and condition (presence of dental caries (cavities)).
For the hard palate, please note any abnormalities in height/width.
For the soft palate, note the symmetry and movement of the velum.
For diadochokinectic rates (DDK's) administer the following: /pə/, /tə/, /kə/, /pətə/, and /pətəkə/. Listen for problems with rate and/or rhythm.
For the pharynx, note movement of the faucial pillars and the presence/absence of tonsils."
(This is quoted from my professor on my assignment.)

For a lip check, the examinee will be asked to round lips, draw corners back, close lips then puff cheeks and bite lower lip.
For the tongue, the examinee will need to stick their tongue out and put the tip up, tip down, tip right, tip left and then take the tip and draw back along hard palate.

Here is an example of DDK's:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Multiple Oppositions Approach (MOA)

This is a paper I have to hand in tomorrow. As you can see it is a group paper.

Multiple Oppositions Approach (MOA)

Presented by:  April Hoyt, James Larkin, Lauren Pagnard, Megan Quimby and Shanna Siporin

MOA was created by Lynn A. Williams at East Tennessee State University.  Research suggests that it is an excellent way to help clients with multiple errors and should be used more frequently.  Lynn A. Williams states that as this becomes more commonplace, the way SLP’s diagnose will advance as well.  They will concentrate more on the system and its errors and less on each specific sound error.  As a group, we were only able to find one or two SLP’s who uses this approach.

What is it?
v      Alternative contrastive approach in phonological intervention for treatment of severe speech disorders in children
v      Premise is that the systemic level of phonological organization is essential in the description and intervention of disordered sound systems
v      Used to remediate troubles with homonyms and to contrast errors with multiple targets.
§         Example:  “……a child who collapses the voiceless obstruents /s, sh, k, ch / to [t] would pronounce the words sip, ship, Kip, and chip all as [tIp]” (Williams, 2000). 
v      MOA uses this collapse to introduce to the client that there are differences in words that they previously could not distinguish from.

Target Clients
v      Mainly used with children 3 & 6 years of age, but can be used with any population group
v      Children with a minimum of six sounds across three manner categories excluded from their phonetic inventories
v      Suitable for children who exhibit severe speech disorders

Process - “The most important part of the MOA is the initial assessment” (Williams, 2000). 
1.      Analyze the child’s errors to obtain a detailed understanding of how to proceed forward with treatment
§         Initial assessment of child’s speech takes two hours
§         MOA uses 200 pictures instead of 20-50
§         This allows the determination of rules and sounds that are part of the child’s language.
2.      Select treatment targets
§         Begin with knowledge of child’s unique error patterns (eg: /s, sh, k, ch / to [t]) and targets must be:
·         Maximally distinctive from the child’s error
·         Salient, therefore presumably more learnable
3.      Treatment should occur twice a week for 30 minutes/session
§         Error sound is presented by the first treatment card
§         Target sounds are represented by subsequent treatment cards
4.      Begin with imitative phase until 90% accuracy across two consecutive training sets are reached
5.      Progress to spontaneous phase

v      By helping them understand the extent of change necessary, they are able to use the correlation for all the sound errors to make connections about phonologic strategies and revise their current strategy. 
v      This is an excellent approach as it requires the clinician to individualize each case.  Each child has a different system and this approach creates a unique intervention.

v      Though the average time under traditional approaches is between five and seven years, this approach took between one and two years before children were released.
v      After participating in the MOA treatment program, the average improved 85.1% however one child improved from 14% to 99% in 19 months of treatment.

Cycles Approach: A brief intro        
v      “The cycles approach was developed [by Hodson and Paden] for use with children with highly unintelligible speech.” (Shulman, B.B., & CaponeN.C. (2009)
v      The client is given quick exposure to the desired target and then given time to “internalize, sort, experiment with, and do self-rehearsal” (needs a citation?) as they would normally do within typical language learning. 
v      Introduces new targets before old ones are mastered.  .
v      Helps “synchronize” two of the methods of learning: kinesthetic and auditory; and to encourage the client to learn on his/her own. The client is expected to learn new rules for producing sounds as their current rules are not working. 
v      Hodson and Paden state that many preschoolers require less than a year of their intervention to become intelligible. 
v      Research suggests that this approach is more efficient than other approaches because it targets and fixes more speech sounds in less time.

Multiple Oppositions vs. Cycles Approach: A Comparison

                             MOA                                                       Cycles Approach           
Designed for: Children with severe-profound phonological impairment who substitute one sound for several phonemes
Designed For: primarily highly unintelligible children
Focuses on: system wide change, addressing the child’s error rule as a whole unit
Focuses on: Change through listening, gradual phonological change, child as actively involved in change
Process: Targets multiple substitutions at the same time-don’t need to do all-child should generalize, targets maximally opposing phonemes with the rule
Process: Targets addressed for a set amount of time (not accuracy, rules are placed in developmental order in a specific timeframe, when time is up the next rule is targeted, after all rules are targeted the cycle begins again with the first rule


            Berman, S., Garcia, D., & Bauman-Waengler, J. (2007, November). Cycles Approach and Integral Stimulation: Outcome Measures for Unintelligible Children.  Poster session presented to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Annual Convention.

            Hassink, J.M., & Wendt, O. (2008, June). A Critically Appraised Topic on the effectiveness of the Cycles approach for phonological disorders. International Child Phonology Conference, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

McElligott, Maureen. CCC-SLP. Hemet Unified School District. Idyllwild, California.

Shulman, B.B., & Capone, N.C. (2009). Language development: foundations, processes, and clinical applications. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Williams, A. L. (2000).  Multiple oppositions: Theoretical foundations for an alternative contrastive intervention approach.  American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 9, 282-288.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The main reason I am interested in being an SLP is because of my daughter.  She has not officially been diagnosed with anything.  When she was two, our pediatrician became concerned about her level of speaking.  I was not overly concerned because she is my third child and her older brothers loved her and would frequently speak for her.  I assumed that was her reason for delay. She never struggled with reception, only expression.  I thought I would humor the pediatrician by getting her evaluated for speech.  She was delayed and we received in home services.  My thoughts still were that she would catch up quickly and be just fine.  She turned three. At age three, if your child is still delayed, there are other options for treatment, including preschool.  We decided to send her to preschool.    
            (side story) When this daughter was about 1, I worked at this preschool as an aide, but only for a few months.  I didn’t know much about speech disorders, but I could play with little kids.  This entire preschool was dedicated to speech disorders.  They would enroll 2 students per session that were ‘model’ students so the other kids would know at what level they should be speaking.  One of the boys that I assumed was a model student was there for speech.  I was told that he used to be completely unintelligible and something clicked for him and he spoke SO perfectly.
            (Back to original story)  At age three my daughter was admitted to this preschool.  I always had it in the back of my mind that she would be like the boy above.  That one day it would just click and she would speak perfectly normal. It hasn’t happened.  She is now 8 and still in speech therapy. 
            Having her in speech has been wonderful.  I think having her in preschool and in therapy her whole life has been good for her.  She has been surrounded by others just like her.  She has NEVER suffered from low self-esteem.  It has never been something scary for her because it has always been part of her life.  We have moved a lot and we have had to fight for her to get therapy sometimes.  The school she is currently in, for example.  Her regular teacher said there was nothing wrong with her speech.  We went to the principle and requested she be tested.  (In one of our moves, her paperwork was lost and I didn’t have it to bring with us as her currently receiving therapy).  She was tested and now receives her therapy during the school year.  She has greatly improved over the years and is very intelligible. 
            She struggled with she/her up until last year, she struggles with plurals and past tense.  What I’m seeing with her now is struggling in reading and spelling.  She reads slowly, pausing after each word.  We read together as a family, every morning, and when I’m especially tired (yes, I am not a perfect mom) it is very frustrating.  I try, on those mornings, to just keep my mouth shut and let my husband help her.  She adds sounds, she leaves off endings.  In order for her to see the whole word, she has to read slow.  We are working on fluency with her.  What I truly worry about now, is her younger sister is almost caught up with her.  When she surpasses her, I worry about her self-esteem. She spells like a kindergartner (she will be entering 3rd grade in the fall).
            This is why I want to be an SLP. I want to help those who don’t have a clue, just like I have no clue when it comes to my daughter.  I want to be there for someone who is struggling and I can say, ‘I know how you feel, I’ve been there.’ I want to see the child’s eyes light up as some little piece clicks for them. It may not be the whole of speech, but one tiny piece. This is why for me.
            Why do you do what you do?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

     Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) has unknown causes.  It is called apraxia because the errors produced are similar to the adult apraxia. There is no brain damage and no neurological damage, but it is a disorder of coordination, not strength.
     Some of the characteristics of CAS include moderate to severe speech intelligibility, inconsistent sound errors (the same word will have different errors when repeated), unusual articulation errors, slow rate of speech and there is usually a gap in receptive and expressive language skills (receptive higher).  

Here is a child who has been diagnosed with Apraxia.
Here is the same child 6 months later, with therapy.
     The best way to help children with this is frequent and intensive treatment. They tend to do better when seen individually rather than in group. In order to improve, they must practice. It is essential that the family practice with the child as well.  "One of the most important things for the family to remember is that treatment of apraxia of speech takes time and commitment. Children with CAS need a supportive environment that helps them feel successful with communication."

Monday, June 27, 2011


The English language has a total of 15 vowels. In writing the vowels, I will use their IPA representation. They consist of the front vowels: i as in eat, week, and tree. I as in pin and invite. e as in eight, locate, and balletɛ as in extra and bet. æ as in at and glass. and a as in the British pronunciation of path. Our central vowels are: ʌ as in under and sun. ə as in asleep, balloon, and zebraɝ as in herd, earth, furɚ as in farmer and waterfall. Back vowels are: u as in drewʊ as in foot. o as in over, boat, helloɔ as in all, hall, jaw.  ɑ as in awkward, clock, and raw. There are three diphthongs which include:  ɑI as in aisle, mine, and tryɑʊ as in hour, mouth, and plow. and ɔI as in oil, spoil, and destroy.
In comparison, the Spanish (Mexico) language has 5 vowels. A, E, I, O, U. They are consistent in every word. They always have the same sound.
There is a reason that English is a difficult language to learn.  Not only do we have a plethora of vowels, but they are not consistent in how they are pronounced. For example, the word "bow" can be pronounced as  /bɑʊor /bo/. The 'ow' in this word can represent more than one vowel. So, when our children are struggling to learn this information, there is a viable reason that it is difficult.