Having weathered the travails of more than one job search in my capacity as a SLPA, I can say one thing for certain: very few people want to work with preschoolers. One of the first questions the district officials and agency head-hunters always ask is, “Are you willing to work in preschool?” If your answer is “yes,” you will be employed in a matter of days. Not being one to balk at a challenge, I decided to take a job working with preschoolers. However, these were not just preschoolers with your run-of-the-mill articulation and language delays. They were the most severely delayed due to autism, ID and Down Syndrome. Furthermore, they were socially disadvantaged preschoolers attending public school in the most blighted areas of Compton, California. With a bit of trepidation and much hubris, I spent a year commuting two hours from my home in Pomona to Compton, falling in love with the most precious bunch of 3-year-olds imaginable and making many mistakes which, in turn, led to many discoveries.Read More
Self-harm can be a way of dealing with deep distress and emotional pain. It may help you express feelings you have a difficult time putting into words, distracting you from things in your life, or releasing emotional pain that has built up. Afterwards, you probably feel better—at least for a little while. But then the painful feelings return, and you begin to feel the urge to hurt yourself again.Read More
I'm sure most of us reading this are therapists who work with children and if you aren't, you might have asked yourself, "Why does this child behave this way?" "What is happening in their home that I'm not seeing?" "What has happened in their young life that makes them think this way?"Read More
If you have ever wondered how “Speech-Language Pathology” has frequently ended up on the lists of “Least Stressful Jobs,” then you’re most likely not alone. Chronic stress of school-based SLPs is a considerable factor in overall burnout, leading to shortages across the nation. Whether or not you are new to this field or have been practicing for years, chronic stress is something that may have steadily and sneakily crept up on you without any immediate symptoms. Signs of burnout include disassociation from staff and clients; increased cynicism about the effectiveness of one’s job; emotional fatigue; decreased productivity; frequent absences or tardies; dread of returning to work; increased irritability; or even physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach pain, fatigue, dehydration, etc. Occasional bouts of stress are normal and can even be beneficial, helping you overcome those moments of procrastination. But it should come as no shock that chronic stress, which is stress that the body has been exposed to for long periods of time resulting in an inability to perform functional life tasks, can have significant negative effects on one’s health.Read More
As winter approaches and the cold weather limits our activities we need to be creative and come up with some indoor activities. Don’t let the cold weather keep you from having fun with your classrooms! There are plenty of fun, festive activities your students will love. Here are a few of my favorites you can use with multiple age and skill levels!Read More
If you are working in education, there is a good chance that you’re a helper. As therapists and psychologists, we are great at making sure everyone around us is well and taken care of. For many, this means pouring from an empty glass. Burnout is a very real situation for many in the field of education. Burnout can be defined as “a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who work with people in some capacity (Maslach, 1986).” So, how do you know if you’re at risk for burnout, and what do you do if it’s already happening to you?Read More
- You read testing and normative data. It’s not every day we work with someone who truly understands a bell curve, normative data, and what makes standardized scores…standard. It makes us feel understood too.
- Another voice of reason. There are a lot of people that make up a Case Conference Committee and emotions can run high. You provide not only the data, but an objective perspective and cool head.
In light of new research and emphasis on Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), a lot of SPED departments are wanting to move towards a push-in model of services for speech and language, particularly for preschool students. This is how I provide push-in services to my Preschool students in Special Day Classes and how it can be adapted to fit general ed preschools as well.Read More