Tag: SLP

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

This has become the spring of my discontent in a thoroughly terrible year. A year which still has seven and a half months to play out. Any number of things could be causing my distress.

It was a miserable weather winter
The spring has been an epic weather failure
Politicians and talking heads argue about endlessly
Nothing gets solved with arguments
We are either having global warming or not
Honeybees are dying off and nobody cares
A whole plane went missing and then CNN lost interest
The economy is making a come back or not
Healthcare is failing or not
Obamacare is succeeding or not
Sugar is subsidized but the federal government
Sugar is addictive or not
Trouble in the Ukraine until CNN lost interest
A glacier broke last week and can’t be fixed
The melting glacier will flood the planet drowning us
Apparently 100% of California is burning or not
Soldiers are dying in a country that is hard to spell
10 million Americans were expected to protest in DC 5/16
10 million Americans were unable to find Washington DC
The Bruins lost the playoffs

That last one really hurt.

So, what are we to do? The world is spinning widely out of control and will surely snap right off its axis. All is lost. And, it’s all our own fault

or not

I’m tired of the blame for not saving the world. Because I do save the world. Everyday I go to work, I save a little bit of somebody’s world. I give them the tools they need to speak their mind or save their minds. I help them get back to regular diets or closer to regular diets.

I’m an SLP and I walk the walk but, more important is I talk the talk so they can too. …

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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 www.logueacademy.com , contact Dr. Kevin Eldridge by phone at 815.308.5477 or email at LogueAcademy@gmail.com .

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. www.emotiplush.com

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

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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 http://tactustherapy.com/adultapplist.pdf
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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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.
Contact Lisa at l.e-d@comcast.net…

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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.


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When Rehab Came to Long-Term Care

When Rehab Came to Long-Term Care

For this entry of REFLECTIONS, the founders of this website decided to take a moment to reflect on our own careers in the field of Speech Language Pathology, particularly that portion that brought us together.

Way back in the very late 1980s/very early 1990s, we were both moonlighting as contractors in long-term care.  We had both come from in-patient rehab settings working with brain-injured adults and were looking to expand our skills.  Back then, SLP’s were required only on an ‘as needed’ basis in nursing homes. PT’s were required 6 hours a month and OTs were regulated to 4 hours.  There were no rehab teams, because rehab didn’t happen in nursing homes.  Nursing homes were for custodial nursing care.  If a patient had a problem, the home would call us. We would swoop in, do an evaluation and leave a long (sometimes very long) list of recommendations for the nurses to carry out.  We didn’t treat the problem.  Follow up was PRN – at the request of the nurse – if the problem didn’t resolve, given our extensive recommendations.  Thinking back, it is shocking how much we didn’t do.  Even more surprising was the fact that the head injury facility where one of us worked full time (in a department that included two other full time SLPs and two full-time SLP-As) actually occupied three wings of a four wing long-term care facility, and in five years of providing full time care, our department was called to the nursing home wing only once.

Then things changed.  In order to cut costs and defer care away from high priced hospitals, insurance companies and the federal government’s medical insurance plan, Medicare, began to reimburse nursing homes for rehabilitative care.  It was pretty much a pass through arrangement which allowed nursing homes to charge a fee for rehabilitation services which Medicare then paid.  This opened up huge opportunities for nursing homes and contract rehabilitation companies that provided rehab staff
(PTs, OTs and SLPs) to nursing homes.  This was now the mid 1990s and we found ourselves setting up departments and policies and feeding programs and language therapy in facilities that had never had them.

A population we always thought we’d just dabble in, in a setting no one ever liked, we began to love.  And then we started to teach other people (students and CFYs) to love it.  Senior citizens are awesome.  They are wise and hilarious and generous and aggravating. They allowed us into their home (the nursing facility) so that we could care for them.  It was a joy to see them improve, heartbreaking when they didn’t and an honor to shepherd them through difficult times as they approached the end of life.  The process transformed traditional nursing homes where people went to die into skilled care facilities where people lived, got better, sometimes went home or stayed and lived their lives in a place they could call home.

Then came more change.  Enter the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.  The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 was an omnibus legislative package enacted to balance the federal budget by 2002.  The Act resulted in $160 billion in spending reductions between 1998 and 2002 with Medicare cuts responsible for $112 billion of that total.  This became the real test of our love of long-term care.  We now of course, had to do more with less, but this is also when our programs started to grow and coordinate with nursing and our fellow rehab professionals.  We were a smaller more mobile band of therapists working hard to treat a population that viewed the nursing home as a short-term stop on their road to recovery. Before our entry into rehab in long-term care, no one would have ever thought that a patient would return to the community once they entered a nursing home.  Now today, most rehabilitation following surgery, strokes or general hospitalization happens in nursing homes for people over 55.

As we look back/reflect on this part of our careers, we are pleased to have been a part of the group of professionals who changed how healthcare was provided in the US. Our work extended care to millions of neglected older Americans warehoused in institutions. We improved their lives in terms of survival and opportunities to return home. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a nursing home in the U.S., accepting Medicare dollars that does not have an SLP as part of their team. It has been our privilege to participate in this leap forward in service delivery to provide a better quality of life for our Nation’s most valuable living treasures: our parents and grandparents.

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 mullaneycccslp@comcast.net.

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.

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10s   by Gene Pizzolato, MS CCC-SLP

10s by Gene Pizzolato, MS CCC-SLP

1. Cookie of choice (for bedside swallow exams)
Lorna Doone

2. BDAE or WAB (for language testing)

3. PICA +/- (for scoring)

+  Love the PICA!  In fact, I’ve used it for over 30 years with therapy plans and I call it a “Prompt-Cue Score” (PCS) system. After years of applying this format to my plans I considered it to be my own creation, until the PICA comparison was made by this web site’s Co-founder!. In any case my PCS provides me with great data to monitor progress.

4. Muppets or dwarves (for entertainment purposes only)


4a. Favorite individual muppet

Fozzie Bear

5. Worst treatment moment of your career.

Medicaid Audit

6. Best advice you ever ignored.

“Don’t ever accept Medicaid payments”

7. Favorite, most reliable and practical treatment strategy.

I find that visual information organization strategies work well to support
information processing, comprehension and expressive language therapy.

8. Why SLP and not world domination?

Less stress

9. Would you do it all over again exactly the same way?

Absolutely not…… well maybe ….. actually “yes” with some adjustments.


10. What one thing do you still want to do before your career goals are completely achieved?

To organize my best therapy practices into a package that could be easily shared.

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION IN 30 WORDS (there actually is no word limit really so say whatever you want).

Gene Pizzolato, MS CCC SLP is a graduate of Columbia University and has been in private practice for 30 years. Specializing in working with school age children and adults with developmental disabilities, Gene has been a pioneer in the collaborative approach to treatment. Always a man of vision, Gene has been able to adapt his practice to meet the changing needs of the healthcare and school based communities as well as to continue to expand his clinical skills. As a mentor to countless students and new clinicians, Gene has entertained and inspired us as we endeavor to follow his lead.

Given this opportunity for shameless self-promotion, Gene would like to share with you some sage words of advice:

  1.  Be careful who you stand behind when scheduling your college courses, you may end up pursuing that line of study.
  2. If your business is based out of your home, a mudroom helps facilitate communication with itinerant therapists. You can leave them notes, schedules, reports, etc. And they can leave you cookies.
  3. Professional relationships, (all relationships, really) work best if they are based on mutual trust and respect.
  4. When asking for favors, it helps if you are charming and look like someone famous.

Contact Gene at: genepizz@gmail.com…

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How may I assist you?  Life as an SLP-A

How may I assist you? Life as an SLP-A

by Christine Botelho, BA

I have been a Speech Language Pathology Assistant for over 20 years, licensed in Massachusetts for 4 years (not all states require licensure). Use of Speech Language Pathology Assistants is not allowed in all areas of the Speech and Language field and it is not an easy position to acquire. I have been fortunate to have met Speech Language Pathologists who have given me the opportunities that I have had. I have worked in acute rehab settings, nursing homes, day hab programs, schools and private practice.

As an SLP-A , I have always worked with Speech Language Pathologists. Initially it is difficult to work with a new, unfamiliar SLP because of different treatment styles and expectations. I have found that the speech and language field can be extremely subjective.  A patient, given the same tests and acquiring the same results may have different goals and objectives created by different therapists.  The therapists may desire the same outcome yet approach the treatment from different directions.  Having had the opportunity to work with numerous Speech Language Pathologists has given me countless treatment strategies to refer to while I am working my patients.  Every SLP has their own style of treatment and each patient is an individual- what works for one patient may not work for the other.  It has been helpful to have multiple strategies to try.

My overall responsibility as an SLP-A is to comprehend the recommendations, goals and objectives of the supervising SLP and implement the treatment to maximize the patient’s success. An SLP-A needs to have a basic understanding of the disabilities they are working with. However, their greatest strength is in knowing what materials are available, with an ability to modify and create novel ones in order to motivate their patients.  I feel the optimal use of an SLP-A is to accomplish the “drill work” needed to attain the goals the SLP created.  Therefore, the needs of the patient and their rate of progress determines the ratio of SLP to SLP-A treatment.   ASHA has guidelines for supervision of SLP-A’s and I believe it is important to adhere to these in order to assure the best outcomes. In addition, as this website shows, it’s lonely out there! We need SLPs to bounce ideas off of and to make sure we are on the right track. Our training and experience only gets us so far. The SLP has the education and the responsibility to drive the treatment plan.

Often I look back over my career and remember my patients from the early days and think how much more I could help them, knowing what I know now. If my career has taught me anything it’s that we have to have an appreciation for what we don’t know with the courage to ask questions and continue to search for answers even in the most challenging situations. It is becoming too easy to blame the patients and families for a lack of progress instead confronting our own limitations. I enjoy learning new things in order to help my patients. One reason I like being an SLP-A is that you always have someone to consult and brainstorm with. It is harder to feel defeated when you are part of a team. My best experiences have been working with SLPs that share my ideology and philosophy.

As our field continues to grow and change, I would like to see SLP-A’s working with SLP’s all settings with services reimbursed by all insurances in order to reach as many patients as possible. After all, I bet everyone could use a little assistance.

About the Author

Christine Botelho is an SLP-A with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Disorders from Bridgewater State College. When not amazing her school based caseload with a variety of original materials, fun reinforcers and tireless energy, Chris can be found in southeastern Massachusets enjoying time with her family and learning archery.
Contact Chris at sb01@comcast.net.

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A New Tool for the Inner Clinician

A New Tool for the Inner Clinician

The space reserved for the idle and often stray thoughts by Marguerite Mullaney, MS CCC SLP.

A New Tool for the Inner Clinician

After a very long time away, we are back!  CCCSLP has returned and I could not be happier.  There are so many challenges facing Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists and Assistants and Speech Scientists but there seem to be fewer and fewer places for professionals to share ideas, hopes, and frustrations.  Sometimes, it feels like we are all alone in our careers.  When the inevitable roadblocks and red tape frustrate our efforts to care for our patients all to often we have nowhere to turn for advice, conversation, or venting.

Venting?  Yep, that is the building block of all great ideas.  If people were 100% satisfied with all they encountered America would never have been colonized.  But, the art of complaining will be a future article.

Today, I want to share a new option for refreshing the professionals’ spirits.  CCCSLP has a YouTube channel.  Currently, there are six videos which are under three minutes each.  They are not about articulation or swallowing or hearing or language.  In fact, there are no words.

The videos are of the beach.  They are by design, quiet moments of a lovely view.  Sunrise, blowing sand, crashing waves, seagull calls; short clips to ease an overly burdened day.  It is literally a few minutes at the beach without leaving your desk.

I hope you follow the link to our YouTube Channel and enjoy a chance to virtually relax.  We all need it in the crush of busy day with demands from every angle.  We all deserve to do something for ourselves within tight schedule of our high pressured careers.

About the author

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.


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