A Goal of Good Enough

I had an IG post last week that seemed to strike a nerve. I wasn’t sure how it would be received, honestly, but I’m getting close to the end of the school year and taking a hard look at some of my kiddos. Despite what parents and teachers sometimes want, “good enough” might be exactly what I’m striving for. (Click here to see the IG post.) I can be such a theater nerd, so indulge me for a moment. In the musical, “Matilda,” there’s a song titled “Miracle.” The students from the school, perfect Dahl-esque brats every one, sing about

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Irregular Plural Nouns

x The weather was finally better this weekend and I was able to get out and walk several days in a row. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to do that and I was overjoyed, although I think I need to order some new sneakers. My foots are starting to hurt me. Foots. It might sound cute when a 3 year old says it, but once kiddos hit elementary age….incorrect irregular plural forms stand out as…..wrong. The tough thing is that English has a variety of irregular forms and there aren’t any hard and fast rules. So for our

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Tiny Scanner for Parent Communication in Speech Therapy

For the past few years I’ve been working at one school, but this year I started seeing students at a couple other locations as well (this is the kind of flexibility you need when you work for yourself and the numbers don’t meet your criteria in one setting). At my “primary” school I talk to classroom and resource teachers frequently and I’m apt to bump into parents or just have more contact with them even if just for scheduling because I’m more integrated into the day. When I’m at other schools, communication is much more of an issue. It easy

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Highly Unintelligible Students

I’ve got a few students that sound pretty good in single words, but listen to them in conversation and you’re left scratching your head. Ugh.  Sooooo much time and effort (on both of our parts) and teachers who wonder what exactly it is we’re doing.   Why can’t you please use your sounds in conversation? I started reading The Informed SLP last summer and I was intrigued by an article on REST (Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment). I was definitely willing to give it a go. The general idea is to have kiddos repeat multisyllabic nonsense words perfectly—sound, rate and prosody.  I

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Powering Through

This is such a tough time of the year to power through. The weather is gross. The kids are antsy from being indoors too much and we’re still nearly a month away from a decent break. Once we hit April I tend to feel better. Blue skies make a HUGE difference for me. I wanted to take a moment and remind you that the 7th of the month is the SLP Must Have Sale on TPT. It’s a way to grab materials (often seasonal ones) at a 50% discount—always great. But, what I tend to like even more is that

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Winging It

I was scrolling through my social media feeds the other day and a few comments caught my eye. The gist was with so much paperwork and limited time, most therapists wing it when it comes to therapy. You guys. It makes me cringe, not because I think you need to walk in with set lesson plans for each session, but because we undervalue our work. We are quick to list our credentials and the hard work we put into our certification and wring our hands over inappropriate caseload sizes and low compensation, but when we say we “wing it,” we’re

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Claw Machine Articulation and Phonemic Awareness Skills

The teachers I work with really get the relationship between articulation and phonemic awareness skills and that our students who struggle with articulation are at much greater risk for reading and spelling difficulties. So I don’t just hear, “he can’t say /f/,” I get, “he’s having a lot of f/th confusion.” I work a lot with minimal pairs to get my kiddos thinking about how a change in articulation can change the word altogether and to, hopefully, get them producing something different (even if it isn’t quite perfect yet) for each of the pair. And as we continue to perfect

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Sticking with Stickers

I know a lot of therapists have moved away from stickers and I totally get it. It’s aggravating when they take forever to pick one out. It’s an added expense. It’s another thing to remember if you’re already hauling stuff all over the school. But I still like ‘em. I don’t do it every single time (meaning I usually do if we meet in my room, but almost never if we meet elsewhere), so if we need to skip I don’t run into tantrums. It’s a really easy way to show my little ones I’m listening to what they say

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Paper Chains for Articulation

Back in December, I made paper chains with my kiddos working on articulation. I brought the strips in and, in typical harried December fashion, wrote words or sentences on them as we went. A little tough under pressure when you’re working on a specific vocalic /r/, but it got the job done. But they loved it so much, I decided to get more organized and start doing it more often. Because heart chains are SO CUTE and rivaled only by snakes and Hungry Caterpillars. Making a heart loop is just as easy as a circle. Simply fold the strip in

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The Case for Obscure Vocabulary

I work with lots of students on their articulation. Some have language needs as well, but many don’t (although, by in large, all my artic students need some explicit phonemic awareness support). Often our articulation materials contain pretty basic vocabulary–cow, key, cup–for initial /k/ targets, maybe rabbit, rocket and rat for prevocalic /r/. While it certainly makes sense for students to gain mastery over high frequency words, I’m beginning to feel there’s a strong case for obscure vocabulary as well. There is research to suggest that articulation programs that focus on nonsense words to start can be more efficient because

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