Author: CCCSLP

Improving Fluency with the Logue Academy

Improving Fluency with the Logue Academy

Happy New Year! To kick off 2014, we introduce you to the Logue Academy. Michael Retzinger and Kevin Eldridge both struggled with dysfluency as children. Now as Board Certified Specialists in Fluency Disorders, they share how they have addressed Communication Apprehension in order to help their clients become more fluent speakers. Welcome Logue Academy!

The Logue Academy
by Michael Retzinger, M.S. CCC-SLP

The doors to the Logue Academy – located in Woodstock, Illinois – were officially opened in November 2013!

The Logue Academy was founded by Kevin Eldridge, PhD, CCC-SLP and Michael Retzinger, M.S., CCC-SLP as the result of both men sharing the desire to help individuals who stutter attain the same level of natural speech that each of them possess. Kevin and Michael are privileged and honored to help others discover their own path to speaking freely.

Another goal shared by both men is to offer training to speech & language pathologists wanting to expand their professional skills to include the release of natural speech in those who stutter as an outcome of therapy. Kevin and Michael are both Board Certified Specialists in Fluency Disorders recognized by the American Board of Fluency Disorders.

Our Approach

Our personal and professional experience demonstrates that addressing communication apprehension in the treatment of stuttering is the key to a successful therapeutic outcome for the individual who stutters, and their listeners. Research suggests that people who stutter have a speech mechanism that is not as robust as a normally fluent speaker. However, most people who stutter have naturally flowing speech in some situations.

The tension-related speech behaviors that people call stuttering are based primarily in the fear of stuttering, fear of speaking and the fear of interacting.

If an individual is trying to hide the fact that they stutter or are afraid of what might happen when they stutter, and are afraid to speak, they will be unable to release the natural speech they possess.
Our approach does not focus on stopping or controlling stuttering. This is not the goal, nor should it be. Most of us have gone down that path and been disappointed. If you stutter, you have a voice, a voice others should hear. Our goal is to help you share it without fear.

The Logue Academy offers the following:
– Three-Day Intensive therapeutic programs that include three follow-up sessions provided via teleconferencing, such as SKYPE or Face Time, during the 6 weeks following the program. These Three-Day Intensives are offered to teens who stutter and their parents, as well as to adults who stutter.
– A One-Day or Two-Day Workshop entitled “ADDRESSING FEAR: THE RETURN TO NATURAL SPEECH FOR THOSE WHO STUTTER ”. The One-Day Workshop is geared towards speech & language pathologists wanting to expand their professional skills to incorporate the effective treatment of Communication Apprehension, including the fear of stuttering, the fear of speaking and the fear of interacting with others associated with the disorder of stuttering.

In addition to the material covered in the One-Day Workshop, the Two-Day Workshop offers professionals the opportunity to engage in a second day of small and large group activities specifically designed to provide hands-on experience in developing activities and strategies for the effective reduction of Communication Apprehension in those who stutter.

For information regarding the Logue Academy, you can go to , contact Dr. Kevin Eldridge by phone at 815.308.5477 or email at .

Information contained herein does not necessarily reflect endorsement by web host.

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Dolls That Teach Emotions

Dolls That Teach Emotions

by Padmini Sriman
For this installment of My Guru, we introduce you to a new, dynamic way to teach emotions to children with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Welcome Padmini!

The Power of Emotiplush

When you see a doll, do you see the potential it has? The doll could be cast one day as a child’s friend, another day as a villain and another day as any other conceivable character. Dolls have been uncovered from Egypt circa 2000 BCE emphasizing their importance in everyday lives of children even eons ago. If you really think about it, dolls and playing pretend with them have always been a part of a child’s healthy psychological development and for a good reason too. A child can safely explore several different scenarios and role play without actually experiencing any negative consequences at all – as these are after all within the bubble of the child’s imagination.

For a special-needs or a child with language delay, pretend play, in my opinion, is even more important as it acts as a great motivator to engage and produce speech. In particular, pretend play can be very useful in introducing and teaching emotions because they are best learned when those very emotions are experienced and relevant.
Compare two scenarios. One where a child is shown a picture of a person with an angry face and with the label “Angry”. The educator makes the child recognize the card and to label it “Angry”. Contrast this with another scenario where the child is engaged in pretend play with the educator who is giving voice to a doll who says “I’m angry you took my cookie!” to another doll or the child who snatched the cookie from the said doll. Now the educator asks the child “How does Dolly feel?” Which scenario would give a better chance for the child to understand the emotion anger?

Now imagine we have a doll that displays the correct facial expression for the feeling that was just being taught. What a more relevant and educational experience it would be for the child at that moment! That is the thought-process behind the Emotiplush Dolls. These dolls have a patent pending design that allow the eyebrows and mouth to be manipulated to show a range of facial expressions.
I believe these dolls take learning to the next level for children with disabilities or otherwise using his or her own innate imagination. In the words of Albert Einstein , “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere”.

Padmini Sriman
Inventor at Emotiplush Dolls.

About the author
Padmini lives in Naperville, Ilinois with her husband and 2 children. She had worked in the Software Industry for a decade until one of her children was diagnosed with developmental delays. She has now transformed into a special-needs advocate and is constantly looking for tools and techniques that will enhance their lives.

Information contained herein does not necessarily reflect endorsement by the web host.

Do you have expertise or a product we should know about? Contact us at to inquire about guest blogging. We’d love to here from you.

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Great finds at ASHA13

Great finds at ASHA13

We had a great time in the Exhibit Hall at ASHA13. Lots of Colleagues came by our booth to chat and when we had time to stroll the floor, we found some great products and services, most developed by our fellow ASHA members.

We add them now to the Treasure Chest for your information.

Language with Laura
Information, downloads, ideas, therapy materials and ideas centered on language development.

I Can Do Apps
Educational apps that are teaching tools for speech and language development.

Author of “There Once Was a Kid Who….” Limericks for fun, speech and reading fluency. Illustrated by Ana Kova

Emoti Plush
Dolls that teach emotions.

Camp Shout Out
An overnight therapy program for youth with fluency challenges held at a recreational camp setting in Holton , Michigan.

Speak Eazy Apps
Featuring “Feed Maxi”, which teaches children with special needs to label and identify food items by feeding Maxi, and adorable hungry monkey who requests, comments and uses simple sign language to enhance communication skills.

Teach Speech Now
Engaging and affordable speech therapy materials designed to remediate the most challenging articulation and language problems facing school age children.

Therapy and Expert Reviews for Therapy Apps

SpeechKites software is a data collection program designed to create, edit, and use audio recording for easy recall/review with client family and support staff. The software allows clinicians to easily capture audio recordings using tags used to mark significant moments in the audio timeline.

Advanced Social Robotics
Designs and builds a new series of social robots that allow people to interact with robots in a more natural manner and on a more personal level than ever before. Support them on Kickstarter to own and help launch the very first affordable advanced social robot Zeno R25.

The Logue Academy
An intensive therapeutic approach to stuttering focusing on diminishing “communication apprehension” in order to improve fluent speech.

5-Minute Kids
5 Minute Kids is a program for delivering services to students with speech sound disorders by scheduling short, individual drill sessions. This program requires little planning for the professional and minimal time out of the classroom for the student.

CAPDOTS Integrated
Web app for dichotic listening training to improve binaural integration, auditory closure and auditory figure ground discrimination.

from Wilson Language Basics thoroughly teaches the Foundational Skills of the Common Core State Standards by addressing all 5 areas of reading instruction plus spelling and handwriting using a multi-sensory systematic approach.…

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Thanks Mom!

Thanks Mom!

by Lisa Yauch-Cadden

In this installment of Mom’s Corner, we acknowledge a great mom (mine) who recognized that all of her children were special no matter what their abilities. She fostered confidence and independence in all of us that has served us well into adulthood. For my sister and me, she affirmed it by placing this poem over our beds when we were little.
I post it here for all moms and all children to recognize the uniqueness in all of us. Thanks Mom!

I’m Special

I’m Special
In all the world there’s nobody like me
Nobody has my smile.
Nobody has my eyes, nose, hair or voice.

I’m Special
No one laughs like me or cries like me.
No one sees things just as I do.
No one reacts just as I would react.

I’m Special
I’m the only one in all creation who has my set of abilities.
My unique combination of gifts, talents, and abilities are an original symphony.

I’m Special
And I’m beginning to see that I was made for a very special purpose.
Out there is a job for me that no one else can do as well as I can.
Out of all the applicants there is only one that is qualifed.

That one is me.

I’m Special

By Elizabeth Anne Richards Schurg.
Written in 1968 for a creative writing class in Royal Oak, MI. Copyright number TXu 420-395. See for the poem in full.…

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How Do You Count Success?

How Do You Count Success?

by Lisa Yauch-Cadden, MS CCC-SLP

Here at ASHA 2013, I am not standing on my soapbox, I am standing on a mountain peak. The journey to get here started when 2 friends began chatting about work, needing an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on. That conversation grew into a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Now we have 1000 friends who can share ideas, frustrations, successes and be an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

The climb up this mountain was not easy, but we persevered. We have much more to do, but the view is awesome and we can’t wait to see what awaits us. We invite all of our colleagues to join us in a conversation about our favorite subject: Communication disorders. Nothing is off limits, because there are no limits when we work together. Welcome to Join us as we continue our climb.

About the author

Lisa Yauch-Cadden was born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan area. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Michigan. She has worked as an SLP in nearly all facets of the field: skilled nursing facilities, home care, acute care, transitional care, medical offices and schools. Throughout her career as a therapist, manager and business owner, Lisa has never strayed from providing direct line service, including state of the art evaluations using FEES/FEESST and MBS. While she needs no accolades to do her job, she is deserving of many. Her tireless efforts to advance the best clinical practices in Speech Language Pathology have changed lives for her patients, her clinical fellows, and those of us lucky enough to work with her on a regular basis. Contact Lisa at…

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Productivity Schmroductivity

Productivity Schmroductivity

by Lisa Yauch-Cadden, MS CCC-SLP

“You need to get your productivity up”.
“Your productivity is way down”.
“Speech Efficiency needs to improve”.
“We need to fill these gaps in your schedule”.
“You’re spending too much time with your patients”.
“We have to do more with less.”

And the list goes on….

I know there is not one clinician out there who has not heard these words and been totally frustrated by them. Within all of these quotes is the assumption that we are doing something wrong; that we do not know how to do our jobs and that we are wasting time and money. In all my years as an SLP, providing direct care and supervising others, from new grads to seasoned clinicians, I would say that this is rarely the case. Most of the time, nay nearly all of the time, we are working in the service of our patients, and if you, like me are the only clinician at your site, I would say that except for lunch and bathroom breaks (and sometimes not even those) you are spending all of your your time in the service of your patients.

The problem of course is defining what is “productive time”? Most often, it is considered “direct” time with the patient, which according to Medicare is the face to face time we spend with the patient. This of course would be a fine tracker of productivity, if Medicare (and everyone else) didn’t require that we document our time with the patient, according to their guidelines (of course), so that they will not look back retrospectively and deny our servicies. It would also be a fine indicator of productivity if we didn’t have to deal with pesky things like doctors and doctor’s orders and families and referring clinicians and other team members, and patients who get sick and can’t/won’t participate. If we worked in a vacuuum with patients that came to us on a conveyor belt, we could just go from patient to patient and be 100% productive. That would be grand….And it would be wrong.

That is because patients are people and they deserve respect. They deserve our time and our thought and our planning and our follow through. As we all know, a treatment session isn’t just our time with the patient. It is the chart review and the materials preparation and the face to face time and the documentation and the billing and the call to the family, physician or fellow clinician. It should involve collaboration and teamwork. All of that is skilled service. If we don’t do it and do it well, then, while we may have been very efficient, we haven’t been very effective.

And that is why I say productivity schromuctivity. Because it all counts! It’s all important. You can put any productivity standard out there that you want, but if all those things don’t happen, you won’t get paid anyway. The patient won’t make progress and we will find ourselves further marginalized in healthcare, as payors decide that treatment doesn’t benefit the patient.

So, what to do? Well, first things first, determine who is appropriate for services and treat the patient to the best of your ability. Do the right thing. Document appropriately. And at all times advocate for your patients and yourself. Most often, when “efficiency” is down, it is because someone decided to stop counting something that needs to be done or decided that it should take less time to do something than it actually does. Most often the people that decide these things are not clinicians. People often quote the “7 minute” rule to demonstrate built in “down-time” or “indirect time” with Medicare patients. Well this would be fine if built in down-time was recognized across all payors and if notes (daily, weekly, monthly,etc.), team communication, etc., only took seven minutes and if you could always wrap up or extend your sessions to capitalize on those 7 minutes. In my experience, this is rarely the case.

Furthermore, the least expensive care for the patient is at the bedside. We should be advocating for more therapy hours not less to improve levels of function and patient independence, in order to decrease burdens of care and chronic hospitalizations. Our patients at every level, need more, appropriate, state of the art therapy, not less. If we cease to advocate for ourselves and our patients, we will find that we will have no problem being efficient, because there will be no one left for us to treat.

Your thoughts?

About the author

Lisa Yauch-Cadden was born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan area. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Michigan. She has worked as an SLP in nearly all facets of the field: skilled nursing facilities, home care, acute care, transitional care, medical offices and schools. Throughout her career as a therapist, manager and business owner, Lisa has never strayed from providing direct line service, including state of the art evaluations using FEES/FEESST and MBS. While she needs no accolades to do her job, she is deserving of many. Her tireless efforts to advance the best clinical practices in Speech Language Pathology have changed lives for her patients, her clinical fellows, and those of us lucky enough to work with her on a regular basis. Contact Lisa at…

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Apps we use everyday…

Apps we use everyday…

Working in adult out-patient, our iPads are now our new best friends!
Here are some speech/language/cognitive apps that we can’t live without:

For Attention/Concentration:
Stroop Effect
Doodle Find Pro
Alternating Trail Making Test
Visual Attention Therappy
Constant Therapy
Lumosity for iPad

For Immediate/Short-Term Memeory
Blink Test
Crazy Copy
Sketchy Memory
Awesome Memory
Constant Therapy
Lumosity for iPad

For New Learning
Spaced Retrieval Therappy

For Problem Solving/Sequencing
Rush Hour
Where’s My Water?
Cut the Rope
Plants vs Zombies
Constant Therapy
Lumosity for iPad

For Naming
4 pics 1 word
Little Riddles
Emoji Pop
Word Analogy
I Know
Clean Up
Chain of Thought
Hooked on Words

For Aphasia
Tactus Language Therappy
Lingraphica Small Talk and Talk Path
Constant Therapy

For Dysarthria
Bla Bla Bla
Quick Voice
Tongue Twisters

For Dysfluency

We know there are lots more…
Check out
for 190+iOS Apps for Adult Speech-Language Therapy

And please tell us the Apps that you can’t live without!!…

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Conflicting Emotions

Conflicting Emotions

by Marguerite Mullaney, MS CCC-SLP and Lisa Yauch-Cadden, MS CCC-SLP

This entry of REFLECTIONS brings the founders of this website together once again following some disappointing news…

Lisa Yauch-Cadden and I met in 1999 when the SNF world was freezing to death in the new ice age of PPS. I was doing per diem with every company operating in MA because all the full time positions vanished between midnight December 31, 1998 and 12:01 am January 1, 1999. Lisa was the SLP Regional for a company that no longer exists and whose name is better left in the past.

My life was in a spiral. Lisa doesn’t know, at least she didn’t until she read this draft, how close to pulling the plug on my own life I was that winter day in 1999 when we spoke by telephone. The telephone was one of those super heavy Nokias which could be used as a weapon if some ruffian set upon me. I was in more danger from the internal bully egging me on to end my temporary misery with a permanent solution.

I was in the front seat of my car watching the gentle waves of Dorchester Bay near Castle Island in South Boston. Lisa was driving somewhere in southeastern MA. She was giving me a quick run down on what PPS was all about and how it would impact my service delivery.

To be honest, I was only half listening. My mind was stuffed with grief over my father’s death just 19 months before and all the things he left undone: a distraught and broken wife, a physically handicapped son, a mentally ill son, an incarcerated son, and very tiny grandchildren who needed every adult in their little lives who could feign normalcy, to do so. Then there were his bills. Hundreds of thousands of dollars with nobody to pay them except my sister and me. So, the collapse of healthcare and the resultant destruction of my steady, reliable paycheck could not have come at a worse time. Yet, there I sat in the frigid cold front seat of my car, having decided that today I would not just walk into the sweet Atlantic and end it all, listening to the confidence Lisa expressed about the future.

Surely, she was a mad woman.

Her advice resonated though. It made wonderful sense in a world of senseless new rules. The advice was, in fact, brilliant. It gave me a path forward from the professional and personal hole I was being consumed by.

“Just treat your patients. If we all just take care of our patients then everything else will flow from there.”

So, I decided that this SLP radical I was talking to, while she tooled around in the land of Lizzie Borden, might be on to something. And, if she wasn’t, I could always walk into the sea on another, warmer day.

That year, following Lisa’s ‘just treat’ advice, I made more money than in the previous two years or the following year as a full time employee for one company. The success of it went very far in restoring some stability in my still overly complicated life.

Lisa and I didn’t touch base for a few years following that call. The company she worked for folded and her supervisors opened a new group. They were planning to do it right. Patient care first. I initially inquired about work with them but the office manager was kind of … difficult and the pay rate was a little less than ok. But, then after a few months they advertised for a per diem at a place less than 15 minutes from home. I could take a few dollars less and a snippy receptionist for a clean SNF 10 miles from my front door.

Lisa met me on September 15, 2001. The country was in chaos. I was less suicidal than during our previous conversation but everything else in my life was just as complicated. It would have been the 48th birthday of my brother. He died 10 months before, leaving my sister and me heartbroken and lonely. I thought I was meeting Lisa for an interview. Lisa arrived with the employment forms and launched into my Orientation while I filled the materials out. When I asked her if this was an interview, she looked stunned.

“We already know each other. Why rebuild the wheel? Besides, there are patients waiting to be treated.”

So, that first day was Interview, Orientation, an eval and three treats all wrapped into one. It sounds crazy but Lisa’s confidence in “just treat our patients” made it seem silly not to do it the way we had. Besides, it was great to hear that certainty of the path forward again.

For the next two years Lisa and I developed a model which placed one SLP in each SNF. The ratio of therapists to buildings went from one therapist to nine buildings to one therapist per one and a half buildings. We were flourishing and growing. It was amazing. We started a CF program and launched the careers of some truly remarkable therapists. We established clinical relationships that flowed into lasting friendships. So much so, that my Facebook list of friends and family has almost fifty people I met through the company. I am super selective about work people being on my feed because I don’t like to blur lines, so it stunned me when I counted them up yesterday. It was such a period of exciting professional growth that I think of those days when I personally struggled with a family in crisis as some of the happiest days of my adult life.

But, all good things end.

The cash flow wasn’t enough for profit margins. The owners, who once prided themselves with answering the phone in the mornings, hired somebody to GROW the business. That is a euphemism for driving revenue to increase profits at all costs. The new management person quickly ended the homespun, family business approach. All communication went through her. The owners were not allowed to talk directly to staff. They stopped answering the phone. Which was easy for them to do because their sole office staff swelled to more than twenty full time people. Lisa left before me. I wandered away from the management end but lingered to treat. Eventually, the cultural shift drove me away completely.

It is easiest to describe the environment the company became like this: staff in the company office, which they dubbed corporate even though it was not a corporation, behaved as if their jobs would be better if there were no pesky customers and annoying therapist to call and cause them trouble. And, decisions about direct care which are best made by treating therapists and people who actually see the patients were being challenged by people in an office miles way reviewing records. The challenges were never to provide less billable units.

One conversation I had went something like this:

CORPORATE TYPE: The patient needs 50 min by all three therapies today.
me: Can’t do it.
CORPORATE TYPE: It’s your job, you will do it.
me: The patient is sick. I can’t do any minutes with her and neither can the others.
CORPORATE TYPE: Did you check to see if you can do education.
me: I did more than that. I held her hair back while she vomited and I got her a cold cloth for her forehead. None of that is billable. Maybe you should go up and see if she has stopped projectile vomiting yet.
CORPORATE TYPE: I’m not going to do that.
me: Somehow I knew you’d say that.

None of us saw our client that day for treatment. We all spent time with her trying to keep her comfortable which was nice for both her and the nurses. She passed away that night. So, the minutes not given to treatment didn’t matter even one little bit. I called the corporate type to let her know. She was unmoved by the news.

So, why am I babbling about a job I left in 2007? The FBI raided their offices on Thursday.

I met some of my best friends at that company. Lisa is not only a friend but she is a business partner and mentor and all around reasonable voice in an unreasonable world. The work she and I did there was life changing for staff and patients alike. The care model we developed is still being used by the national companies who won contracts at the homes our former company lost. So much to be proud of. So much to be grateful for.

Yet, today I am embarrassed to have the name of that company on my résumé.

It is unreasonable to feel this way. I left long before the rumors about ethical decline really picked up steam. My story pales in comparison to some of the war stories others have told.

Still, I don’t like how close my name sits to their name on the annotated history of my career.

It has yet to be determined if there is anything to the allegations. The FBI under the direction of OIG is investigating. There have been no findings to date. We are a country of laws. Innocent until proven guilty is the cornerstone of our due process. I firmly believe this to be true.

But, I feel betrayed by the news of the investigation.

I am left wondering how a company that started with the goal of doing it right, and was so single minded about patient care that it pulled me back from the brink of self annihilation, could end up with armed FBI agents storming in the front door to remove boxes and computers.

How did the owners let all those good people I met there, who they had the good sense to hire, down? How did they lose the key to greatness? How did they let themselves be lead astray from just taking care of our patients?


And the answer to that question of course is…MONEY. Money lead them astray and locked the door to greatness. Money let down the staff and the supervisors. Money tried to tell clinicians how to treat their patients. And Money forgot that patients and clinicians are people and need to be treated with respect.

When I began in the company, it was as Marguerite described: owners with simple, straightforward ideas about how to build a better mousetrap. Establish strong relationships with your contracts and staff. Do the right thing. Treat the patients according to their needs. Follow the rules. When you make a mistake own it and when your staff make a mistake, stand behind them.

When I spoke with Marguerite over the phone all those years ago, I believed what I said. If you treat the patients, the rest will follow. I still believe that. The best way to make money is to do a good job. If you want to make more money, do a better job and if you want to make the most money, do the best job of all of your competitors. What this means to me is that you understand your patients’ problems, you know how to treat them, you exhaust all possibilities in your quest to help them get better and you understand their funding source as it applies to your services.

I think where people may go astray is in their determination of how much money is enough. How much do you need to be successful? How many corners can you cut in the name of efficiency? When do your cuts compromise patient care and how long will it be before those cuts compromise your integrity?
And that is the slippery slope on which so many clinicians have found themselves.

The changes in healthcare have made it harder for clinicians to stand against the tide. I think this is particularly true for SLPs. Rarely is our supervisor in any setting an SLP. When we have a concern, who is there to stand up for us? Who understands our perspective?

A few years ago, I was looking for a new job. I did a phone interview for a large rehab company. I was told that none of their regional supervisors in New England was an SLP. My immediate, uncensored reaction was “That’s outrageous!” I suspect that the OT that was interviewing me at the time did not share my view because I never heard from that company again. But it is outrageous.

When Marguerite talks about the systems we set up, the programs we created and the staff we trained, one of the things we prided ourselves on was making sure our staff knew that we did not want them to do anything they were not comfortable doing, and if someone was asking them to do something that didn’t seem right, they needed to:
1). not do it, and
2). inform us so that we could look into it.

But that is harder now. Our economy requires job security. It is not so easy to walk out defiantly and directly into another position. And healthcare is changing. But that shouldn’t mean our core values have to change.

I sincerely hope that the investigation into our former employer turns up empty; that the founding principles of the company to which I devoted so much of my career remain intact. When I left, I was proud of the work I had done.
No one can take that away.

About the Authors
Marguerite Mullaney was born and raised in and around the Boston area. She continues to make her home in the Commonweath and rarely finds it necessary to travel beyond the 128 belt. Her undergraduate program was completed at Bridgewater State College and she attended Northeastern University for graduate school. Adult neurological disorders has been the primary focus of her clinical practice. Her vast knowledge of the field, thoughtful, pragmatic approach and incredible sense of humor have enlightened and inspired her patients, staff and colleagues for over 20 years. Contact Marguerite at

Lisa Yauch-Cadden was born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan area. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Michigan. She has worked as an SLP in nearly all facets of the field: skilled nursing facilities, home care, acute care, transitional care, medical offices and schools. Throughout her career as a therapist, manager and business owner, Lisa has never strayed from providing direct line service, including state of the art evaluations using FEES/FEESST and MBS. While she needs no accolades to do her job, she is deserving of many. Her tireless efforts to advance the best clinical practices in Speech Language Pathology have changed lives for her patients, her clinical fellows, and those of us lucky enough to work with her on a regular basis. Contact Lisa at ……

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Great links from around the web

Great links from around the web

Recently we have collected some great links that we want to share with you.

Toys for kids that don’t play with toys:

25 Great Toys For Kids Who Don’t Play With Toys

Handy Handouts from Super Duper:–+But+Won’t!

Atlas of Gastroenterology – Cool Images of esophageal disorders like esophageal web, Zenker’s Diverticula, etc.:

100+ Apps for Adults compiled by Tactus Therapy:

These are just a few. What else have you found?

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Bedrock Leadership Beliefs

Bedrock Leadership Beliefs

by Lisa Erwin-Davidson, MS, CCC, SLP

It is our privilege to have Lisa Erwin-Davidson join CCCSLP to share her thoughts on leadership. I have known Lisa for over 20 years as a dear friend and colleague. Her exceptional talents and skill as an SLP, her passion and drive to advance what is best in our field, and her caring and compassion for her patients, students and staff make her a true leader in our field. Welcome Lisa and Happy Birthday!

Friday morning of November 16 I met five of the top SLP leaders in the country. Thanks to a research study and national search, we now know a little bit more about the conceptual brain patterns of SLP’s who lead.

Dr. Wayne Secord, Dr. Elisbeth Wiig, Dr. Robert Fox, and Michael Towey were curious how SLP leaders got things done and if they shared similar bedrock beliefs. Out of the University of Ohio, a short answer questionnaire was created, but before that was sent out, these researchers solicited nominations from each of the state’s speech & hearing associations, and asked for names of the top SLPs in their state. Then, those nominated SLP’s were emailed a questionnaire entitled the “Clinical Leadership Questionnaire.” Responses to these questionnaires were organized and statistically analyzed, then core leadership values were plucked out from all the responses, and out of hundreds of responses, six SLP’s were chosen who had inspiring stories to tell, and who shared similar ideas of leadership. None of these SLP’s knew their leadership beliefs were being analyzed, or that their names had been submitted by their state leadership – I should know, I was one of these SLP’s.

Dr. Robert Fox, who was inducted as an ASHA fellow at this November ASHA, put our “bedrock leadership beliefs” to statistical analysis, and created a visual concept “cloud” identifying the primary mind activities shared by the six SLP leaders from around the USA. I must admit, the purpose of such an analysis seemed rather enigmatic, but after reading Mark F. Goldberg’s article on “Leadership in Education: Five Commonalities”, I began to see the rationale. Mr. Goldberg had conducted 43 interviews since 1989 with eminent individuals, and extrapolated their “ big picture” characteristics. As a new graduate school instructor, and a long time clinical mentor for SLP students, I could see the value of nurturing such characteristics and inspiring others to be catalysts for change.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, all six of us shared common stories. Even though we grew up in different states from all sections of the country, we had parents who served as examples of leadership, even though their actions may not have resulted in immediate change. All six of us had faced a problem, or a set of ongoing problems, and basically said, “That’s the last straw!” There was usually a “catalyst” , and something that pushed us to engage others, solve problems, and change how things were done in our field, our state, or with an individual client. All of us worked for the betterment of working conditions every day, we rarely took “no” for an answer, and successfully developed programs, systems or activities that were goal directed and that improved the lives of people.

My personal “bedrock leadership beliefs” were formed by my upbringing, then nurtured by wonderful mentors, and finally honed throughout my 25 years of working as a speech language pathologist. Most of the time, I was not trying to lead, but merely trying to actively listen, then listen again, until I really understood what needed to be changed.
Only by being an accepted voice for those who could not speak, showing compassion, keeping perspective, and persevering despite great odds, did anything change.

Describing leadership qualities across individuals is not new information by any means.

Historically, military leaders have had their leadership qualities sung or written about and their skills extolled. Political leaders, activists, CEO’s and religious leaders have all been analyzed for their leadership qualities. Mark F Goldberg identified “large-minded qualities”, such as the “courage to swim upstream , possession of a social conscience, seriousness of purpose, and situational mastery”. There were these “bedrock beliefs” that kept leaders on a path with purpose.

Leadership abilities can emerge within any socioeconomic class and requires no specialized education. People have emerged as leaders even when placed in horrendous situations, such as Malala Yousufzai, the young Pakistani education activist, shot for having seriousness of purpose.

If I learned anything from being a part of the ASHA Short Course: “Leadership & Clinical Excellence: Up Close & Personal”, it was that other SLP’s need to be inspired. It is easy to become negative when fighting to justify one’s existence to the insurance world. It is easy to become complacent. One may have reasons that make it difficult to make “big changes” , such as fear of losing a job. There are, however, smaller changes which can be made with “seriousness of purpose” to improve our clients’ lives or our working environment. Most importantly, those SLP’s who are new to this field need to understand that despite challenges, time pressures, and stress, it is a great field, and if they believe in a cause, and wish to right an injustice, they should be mentored through the process of change.

My advice is to Lead On but be smart about how you wish to make a change. Avoid impulsive decision making, examine the ramifications of the change you wish to make, and who it ultimately affects. Be respectful and avoid getting caught up in emotions. Keep your “eyes on the prize”. Envision the goal, select people who are like-minded in that goal, and can envision the change as well. Choose people on your “leadership team” who offer different but necessary talents to achieve that goal. Try not to sway from that goal, and persevere despite the odds. Your timeline may need adjustment, but lead on anyway. Most importantly, maintain a sense of humor.

About the Author
Lisa Erwin-Davidson, MS, CCC ran for the Vermont State House of Representatives in 2010, was chosen as 1 of 3 top clinical SLP leaders in the nation this November, started the first SLP department in a northern VT hospital in 2001, and is active on the Northwoods Stewardship Center conservation board in beautiful East Charleston. She has held numerous professional & community leadership & activist roles. Her younger brother, Dr. Eric Erwin, an elementary school assistant principal, will readily tell people his older sister has always been “bossy”. Lisa likes to remind her brother that she is a Black Belt in TaeKwonDo. This usually keeps him quiet.
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