I Choose to be Happy: Self-Care in the School Setting

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?

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Preschool Push-In Speech/Language Services

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.

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Home Exercise Program For Families On The Go

Home exercise programs (HEPs) are customized plans that are designed to specifically target identified areas of weakness. They are typically an extension of therapy tasks that are explained and are structured in such a way that they can be practiced outside of the therapy environment. Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists know the golden rule that the more time an individual devotes to a specific skill, the greater their strength and/or ability will be to perform this task across a variety of settings- this is the ultimate goal for therapy. A common misconception is that HEP often take up a significant amount of time and/or that many parents/caregivers are constantly on the go with a pile of academic homework to complete in the evenings – who actually has time for additional work outside of everything else they have to do?

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Dealing with Parent Denial

We want to help kids. It’s our job and it’s the reason we chose our work. Parents want the best for their children, too. However, sometimes the parent denies there’s any issue with their child’s communication. Or, when the assessment is done, the result is sometimes more serious than a parent can cope with.

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6 Classroom Tips to Deal with Separation Anxiety in Children with Special Needs

Child care drop off can be difficult for children and their parents, but it may also create a challenge for child care teachers.  As the teacher, it is your responsibility to make sure every child you are caring for feels safe and comfortable in the classroom. This can be difficult when dealing with a child who is experiencing separation anxiety. If you work together with the child’s parents, however, you can quickly establish a secure routine for drop off that works for everyone.

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Tips for Your Clinical Fellowship

Congratulations! You’ve earned another degree, passed the Praxis, and will be starting a new career- that’s reason to celebrate.  As a Speech- Language Pathologist, you’ve selected a career path that will change you and the way you view the world. Whether you’ve decided to work in a rehab facility, hospital, private practice, or school setting, you’ll have the unique privilege of helping others in amazing ways. You will be challenged in new ways, you will learn so much, and the reward of helping others will keep you going. Going into my fourth year of this amazing career field, I’ve come up with 10 tips I hope will carry you through your first year as an SLP. Best of luck, you’ll do great things!

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Tips to Avoid Summer Learning Loss

Summer is almost halfway over and the stores are lining shelves with back to school supplies, but you haven’t practiced your child’s speech and language skills since the last bell. Don’t fret, it’s not too late to start practicing, refreshing, and getting back on track! If you can’t remember goal areas, it’s time to dig up that IEP, progress report, or if possible see if your kiddo remembers. No matter what the specifics are, most (not all) goals focus on specific sounds (articulation) or on words/vocabulary/sentences (language). Even if your child’s skill area is slightly different such as stuttering or social skills, these tips and tricks can be applied or modified slightly to provide a boost to all areas of speech and language. Here are some quick, easy, and fun activities with a language or sound-based focus to spruce up the last half of your summer!

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Podcasts You Should Add to Your Playlist

Sometimes I feel a bit late to the party.  The most recent party I have become aware of is Podcasts!  I know I may not be the only one who has joined into the auditory fiesta of podcasts, and the buffet is overwhelming with choices of what to tune into.  As someone who collects data as part of my job, I collected some polling data from special educators across the country to find what they are listening to.

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Tonsils--what every SLP should know

Tonsils are often overlooked, often undiagnosed, often troublesome part of the human body.  A visual look at a patient’s tonsils should be included in all oral mechanism evaluations done by speech therapists because enlarged tonsils can cause a variety of speech-related issues such as unintelligible speech, uncontrollable drooling, restless sleeping, or untimely eating. Tonsils are located above the “throat” where the trachea leads to your lungs and your esophagus to your stomach.  The tonsils hang out way in the back of the mouth, one positioned on each side of the uvula, which hangs in the “middle” and back part of your mouth. Tonsils are supposed to be minimally visible when a mouth is opened widely and the tongue is down (think--say “ahhhh”), but they do swell with infection and contact to germs because it’s their job to stop the germs from getting further into the body.  

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Can We Start Again Please? - Reasons to Set Goals for Next School Year Now

You’ve made it to the end of the school year.  You can finally reap the rewards of working in a school and cash in that summer freedom.  Time to pack up, check out, and go, right?  WRONG!  Didn’t you read the title of this blog post?  Before you take a summer-long breather, I challenge you to delay your exit by 10 minutes (maximum 30 minutes) and set 3-5 goals for next school year.  Here’s why I think now is the time:

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