Tag: asha

Support the Supporters: Helping Caregivers of People with Aphasia

Support the Supporters: Helping Caregivers of People with Aphasia

By Lisa Haynes, MS, CCC-SLP, Clinical Consultant, Lingraphica

In our experience working with those with acquired language disorders, we have found that one of the most challenging issues is assuring carryover and functional use of an AAC/SGD once a device has been determined to be appropriate and purchased. How many times have we set up/trained a patient with a device only to find that once the patient is discharged from treatment, the device ends up collecting dust in a closet? Luckily for us, we met Lisa Haynes of Lingraphica at ASHA 2012 and she agreed to guest blog for us about this very issue. It seems that Lingraphica has some systems in place to support users, caregivers and therapists that may keep those devices out of the closet. Welcome Lisa!

November was National Caregiver Awareness Month and many took the opportunity to express their gratitude, thanks, and appreciation for caregivers who devote themselves to helping someone else. November has ended, but at Lingraphica, we make it a point to support caregivers year-round.

Lingraphica’s mission is simple: Help adults with aphasia re-establish communication with family, friends, and community. We do so by offering speech-generating devices (SGDs) communication apps (SmallTalk tm), and our recently released speech therapy apps (TalkPath sm). We know from our years of experience that when it comes to re-establishing communication or reacquiring speech, this lengthy process is more manageable when the patient has the dedicated assistance of a caregiver — whether it’s a spouse, child, friend, or paid assistant. This is why Lingraphica offers unlimited, free support and training for all of our SGDs — for as long as the patient owns the device.

When the goal is to help those with aphasia better communicate, training on their devices is an essential component to success. As such, we extend our complimentary support to everyone involved with the care and treatment of the patient, including:

• Caregivers: Our technical support team is available to answer any questions a caregiver may have regarding the use of the SGD. Caregivers can contact us via phone or email. There is no charge for the extra service and our technician will spend the necessary time to resolve the issue and ensure satisfaction.

• Speech-language pathologists (SLPs): We offer free device trails and training for any SLP who thinks a Lingraphica device is a good fit for a patient. We can help them make that determination and set up one-on-one, remote training to ensure the SLP has the training to help the patient use the device effectively.

• Patients: Everyone involved has a role in the process, but at the end of the day it’s about how well the patient is able to use the device to communicate. This is why we offer online, remote training and telephone assistance for patients, as well.

Those caring for someone with aphasia have a difficult job and communication can be a challenge. It can be even more frustrating if they are unable to assist their loved one with the learning curve involved with any SGD. Lingraphica makes every effort to arm caregivers with the support, training, and information needed to be a helpful resource at home.

So, if you haven’t yet offered your appreciation to the caregiver of someone with aphasia, now is the perfect time. National Caregiver Awareness month may have ended, but it is never too late to support their efforts.

In your case, Lingraphica makes it easy to offer that assistance — simply start a free device trial and we’ll take care of the rest.

About the Author

Lisa Haynes, MS, CCC-SLP, is a Clinical Consultant at Lingraphica applying her expertise as an AAC specialist to clinicians and caregivers using Lingraphica speech-generating devices or beginning a free device trial.  Contact Lisa at lhaynes@lingraphica.com

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 media@cccslp.net to inquire about guest blogging.  We’d love to here from you.


Read more ›
Sun sets on ASHA 2012

Sun sets on ASHA 2012

After all the planning and the travel and the drama.  ASHA 2012 has come to an end.  The closing ceremonies will be underway in a few hours.  However, I will be on a plan heading for Boston by then.  With a little luck Ill be asleep before take off.  ASHA was a wonder chance to connect but sleep was sorely neglected.

We learned a lot. Made good connections with therapists.  And, we were reminded why it is we do what we do.…

Read more ›
Look at what was in the bottom of the suitcase!

Look at what was in the bottom of the suitcase!

We’re midflight heading for ASHA 2012 ATLANTA and reminiscing about ASHAs of Novembers past.  Digging into our suitcase, we’ve found sage words of advice from trusted colleagues and a few laugh out loud suggestions to brighten any gray treatment afternoon.

George implores us to be Creative!  be Functional! Explore ALL the possibilities.

Build trust first – wise words from Julie.

Ginia has a delicious suggestion for bringing food to your session. And, few confections are better than ice cream.

Peter Boyle said, life is about finding the funny.  Don’t forget that at the therapy room door – smile, be humorous, stay positive.

Three words: practice, practice, practice.

Trust your gut.

Bracketology comes to us from Andy.  Andy, email us. We are interested learning more about this sports themed technique.

Pamela noted to get to know the neighborhood, for our home health based therapists. We would like to add, please do this during daylight hours and try not to look too suspicious.

Then there are the unusual suspects:

  •  Shaker Exercises.
  •  Oral Motor Exercises.
  • Kim suggested Exercise Physiology.  If you are reading this Kim, please contact us.  We need to know MORE!
  • Entire World of R.      Poor X; overlooked again.

And, when all else fails, Jenny recommends, laying on the floor and let them come to you.…

Read more ›


By Lisa Yauch-Cadden


As someone who grew up in Motown, I know a little bit about Aretha Franklin and her mantra. As a clinician who has been around awhile, I know a lot about why it is so important.

In our business, we deal with all kinds of people: patients, families, physicians, nurses, therapists, case managers, social workers, insurance representatives, students, etc. Like any business that involves personal interaction, everyone has a perspective, an agenda, a point of view. In our role as a diagnostician/therapist, we may need to bring all of these perspectives together, and if we can’t bring them all together, we certainly need to appreciate them. Every person that works with/interacts with our patient has a perspective about that patient, and those perspectives may be important to us. When I evaluate a patient, I always try to ask them what they think the nature of their problem is. I also ask their family members: “What problems do you see?” “Why do you think they are occurring?” I canvas the nurses and the CNAs. I consult with the physician. I ask the treating clinician (CFY, SLP-A) who may be working with them. All of these people invariably know the patient better than I do and their insights are important to me and to the patient. When I come to a conclusion, I let patients/families know, “Here’s what I think”. I seek confirmation, when I can, (e.g., “Does this make sense with what you see at home?”). It provides for a better recommendation, usually leading to one the patient can live with (think: modified diet/thickened liquids).

I also have used this approach as a manager and find that staff generally do a better job when you treat them with respect. I know, novel concept. Having worked for managers that don’t share this philosophy, however, makes me think that this is may not be an intuitive strategy for some people. The concept, however, is simple. People have their own opinions and perspective, as do you, and like you, people think that they are right. As a manager, you need to appreciate that, and sometimes solicit that perspective, in order to come to a shared conclusion. Like you, people need to be validated. Once you let them know that their perspective has value, they are much more likely to hear your side of the story. And when that side doesn’t necessarily agree with theirs, or doesn’t give them what they want, you are less likely to have problems afterward, as long as you’ve told them the truth.

And that’s the second part of the equation: Tell the truth. Respect the person you are dealing with enough to let them know the truth. If they know you are being truthful, even if they don’t like what they are hearing, they are more likely to accept it. Isn’t that how you would like to be treated? Imagine what a world it would be if everyone acted this way.

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 lycslp@gmail.com. .

If you have something to say, please submit your article for consideration to lycslp@gmail.com. .…

Read more ›
Reflections on a Career in SLP

Reflections on a Career in SLP

By Therese M. O’Neil-Pirozzi, ScD, CCC-SLP

I doubt that there’s anyone who hasn’t been impacted by the January earthquake in Haiti –  maybe you lost someone who lived there…  maybe you spent some time volunteering there…  maybe you were touched by photos that you’ve seen or by articles that you’ve read…

I’ve been following the news about medical teams that have traveled to Haiti, and I’ve read about the minimal technology available to assist them in their provision of care to those in need.  Reasons for this include the limited technology in place before the earthquake because of the country’s economy and the fact that much of the technology that was previously available was destroyed by the earthquake.  Nonetheless, the injured are benefiting from quality care, and the health care providers ministering to them are expressing great pride and satisfaction with the work that they are doing

You don’t have to be providing care in a country that’s just experienced an earthquake to be challenged by limited resources trying to do so-  maybe you’re employed in a school system with no monies to purchase assessments…  maybe you work in a medical setting that doesn’t have easy access to videofluoroscopy or endoscopy…  maybe you volunteer at a homeless shelter where there’s no quiet space to empower parents to stimulate their children’s language literacy development…  Nonetheless, you minister to your students, clients, patients, and “new friends” effectively, with these people demonstrating positive outcomes as a result.

As part of Speech-Language Pathology coursework, many of us completed assignments in which we created our own articulation tests, our own auditory discrimination tests, and our own language intervention kits.  I remember painstakingly trying to draw pictures of common objects and 3-step activities and then showing them to young nieces and nephews to see if they could tell what they were supposed to be.  One of my undergraduate final exams was as follows:  “You and a 7-year old boy are in a room with a table, two chairs, and a window.  You have a pencil, a paper, and a piece of string.  Do a complete speech-language evaluation on this child.”  Although I was sure that that final was going to mark the end of my future as a speech-language pathologist, I passed the exam and continued on…

Since then, I have had to conduct countless diagnostic and therapeutic sessions without the benefit of valuable technology and other equipment and materials that I find useful.  And, in spite of the obvious challenges that this presents, I feel that these experiences have made me a better clinician.  With my eyes, ears, a deck of cards, a free newspaper, and some continually evolving critical thinking skills, I have figured out ways to do what needs to be done to benefit those with whom I am working.  Is it challenging doing this?  Yes!  Is it my preference to do things this way?  No!!  But, I think that the fundamental key to our effectiveness as clinicians is not the tools that are available for us to use with our students, clients, patients, and “new friends,” but, rather, our ability to learn how to problem solve evidence-supported ways to do what we need to do with whatever we do or do not have.

…You have a lollipop, a cup, and a phone bill.  Do a complete diagnostic evaluation on a 57-year old female with suspected cognitive-communication impairments…

Therese M. O’Neil-Pirozzi, ScD, CCC-SLP

About the author

Therese O’Neil-Pirozzi, ScD, CCC-SLP is the SLP Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She is also a Clinical Researcher and Clinician for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Author of many research articles, she is a frequent presenter at ASHA’s annual conventions. Her areas of interest crisscross from adults to children, from voice to aphasia, from dysphagia to literacy. If Speech Language Pathology ever had a renaissance clinician, then it would surely be Therese. In addition to her body of work, Therese continues to find time to be a resource to practicing clinicians, an advisor to graduate students, a good friend for those of us lucky enough to know her, and a devoted Red Sox fan. Her email address is: t.oneil-pirozzi@neu.edu

If you would like to reflect on your career in Speech Language Pathology/Audiology, please submit your article for consideration to mullaneycccslp@comcast.net.…

Read more ›