Whipping Up a Couple Batches

  A more balanced diet I love that new year feeling and I’m soooooo happy to work in a school setting and get that new year promise twice a year! But the January 1st marker is when I tend to think about how I’m handling things as a whole and for the past few years, I keep revisiting the idea of “balance.”  In 2016, I vowed to give up multi-taking (I’ve made inroads with this) and last year I talked about scheduling in more downtime (note the full month I took off from blogging during the holidays as well as

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You Say…at the Holidays FREEBIE!

One of the most unnerving parent things I’ve done is teach a child to drive. You are suddenly aware of all the hazards you could hit (cones, curbs, pedestrians) as well as all of those that could hit you (crazy minivan mom, other new drivers near the high school).  I found myself talking in a constant stream of consciousness, “I’m watching that car at the next intersection and checking that they don’t pull out suddenly. I’m thinking we should get over a lane so we can take the next left at the light. I can see that the vehicles ahead

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Sleep, Read, Search

Remember “Eat, Pray, Love?” I read it when it came out in 2006, and I was deep in the thick of child rearing a 5 and 7 year old. My husband travelled for business.  A lot. And I found the book both intoxicating and aggravating. As far as I was concerned, it was a piece of fiction. Who really has a year to indulge a worldwide voyage of self-discovery? This summer we had a family crisis that knocked my socks off.  Then our daughter left for her first year of college in August. Then our son, a junior in high

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Skipping ASHA

My ASHA pocket planner came last month and it sat on the kitchen island for almost a week, unopened, before I moved it to a less conspicuous spot. It was too taunting. I didn’t go to ASHA this year. The first time I haven’t gone since 2010 and it was for a combination of reasons.  Los Angeles is about as far from me as you can get which means needing a full day on either end for travel and, more importantly, it fell on my son’s birthday and I wasn’t going to miss that. It’s okay not to go. When

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Thanksgiving Activities in Speech

It’s a short, hectic month for me. We miss a few days for conferences. I’m usually at ASHA for a few more (but not this year–more on that sadness later), and then, bam! Thanksgiving is here. It’s not a month for a lot of prep. If this sums you up too, take a look at some of the quick, seasonal activities you can do below and then grab a couple freebies! Pronouns: Let’s have a feast! Place a clearly male and female character at the table and give them a green or red plate (or cut them a red or

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Lunch Dates in Speech

Despite having parents that are nervous about their child pulled for speech during the school day (“I don’t want them to be singled out.”), I more often run into kiddos who don’t want to stop. At the beginning of the year, they’ll catch me in the hall to say, “sign me up again this year.” Flattering to be sure, but I see students on a private basis so I need to get them (in and) out in a timely manner. Often I handle this by decreasing the frequency or length of sessions, but I also dangle the option for “lunch

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Halloween Freebies!

You know, it’s funny that I’m not a big costume person and I manage to keep my sweet tooth in check, but I loooove Halloween. The decorations are so fun and it’s a total no pressure holiday! Which may be why I have so many Halloween freebies.  If you haven’t had a chance to pick these up before, please take a moment to download now.  All of these are print and go! These silly Halloween jokes are sure to elicit giggles and my students love to practice these outside of the therapy room. Helpful for articulation carry-over, language, fluency and

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Becoming an Informed SLP

My coffee table always has a slippery stack of glossy magazines. I love opening the mailbox and seeing any one of them there—cooking, travel, news,…or the ASHA Leader. But years ago, you used to check two journals that would be delivered to your house each month and those I had a very different relationship with. Those austere covers stacked up so quickly and stood in a reproachful pile until I hid them in a box, unable to actually throw them away. At one point, I started perusing the article titles (you didn’t even have to actually open the journal for

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Scissor Skills and Speech: A Perfect Match

Stick with me.  We’re gonna talk crafts. Not the glitter-flying, drying-time crafts, but specifically those that incorporate scissor skills. Maybe a glue stick or crayons.  Even those of you who swear you can’t or won’t “do crafts” will be tempted to add these and here’s why…. Have you ever noticed there’s a disproportionate number of kids from the classroom that see (or should see) both you and the OT?  It’s not a coincidence. Articulation is the fine-iest of the fine motor skills, involving lots of little muscles in a symphony of movement and coordinated timing. But our kiddos who are

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Easier Assessments (and Artic) with Throat Scope

I need to come clean here. I don’t do a lot of oral mech exams. I’ll do a cursory look at how the tongue is moving and see if the can modify the movement with some verbal cues during an assessment, but I’m hesitant to alienate a child I might start seeing for therapy during their assessment by holding their tongue down with a tongue depressor and really getting in there. (And I would never try for a gag reflex! Not with my population who would be much more likely to throw-up on me than give me any neurological insight.)

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