Motivation, humor, and ideas that every speech-language pathologist who works with children will love!

Making Articulation Speech Therapy More Fun with Wacky Selfie Articulation

Making Articulation Speech Therapy More Fun with Wacky Selfie Articulation

Like it or not, ‘selfie photos’ are now a modern fact of life and people of ALL ages enjoy taking selfies. The iconic self-portraiture has been finding it’s way into every aspect of daily living, so why not let selfies exist within the speech therapy room? If you can get behind that idea, and I know you can, let me introduce you to my brand new app called Wacky Selfie Articulation because it allows you to take speech therapy selfies.

Speech therapy selfies?! HUH?!

Let me explain. Wacky Selfie Articulation, which is available for your iPad and/or iPhone, takes advantage of camera technology to create a truly unique speech therapy experience for all students who love taking selfies. This app gives a youngster the opportunity to snap a selfie of him or herself and, like magic; the app randomly adds a sound-specific sticker right on top of the student’s head (hence, making’ the selfie VERY wacky and VERY speechie)!

Here’s an example of the app in action:

After you choose the sound you’re working on and it’s position within the app, simply place your face in the displayed outline and tap the red button to snap your selfie!

wacky-screen-1

How about a soapy selfie!?

Since this child chose the /S/ sound in the initial position, his selfie shows that he has some soap on his head! Now he can easily say some silly /S/ sentences that revolve around the fact that there’s some soap on his head.

wacky-screen-2

How about a seafoody selfie!?

If he wants to see other random initial /S/ things on his head, all he has to do is tap the Randomizer icon (the die picture at the top) and the app will generate another sound-specific selfie sticker. Anyone hungry for some seafood?! HAHA!

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Lots and LOTS of sound-specific selfie stickers!

Wacky Selfie Articulation features a comprehensive collection of over 450 hilarious sound-specific selfie stickers for the following speech sounds: S, Z, R, L, S/R/L Blends, SH, CH, and TH. Are you excited to try out this app yet, or what?!

Personalized fun for ALL students!

The format of Wacky Selfie Articulation is a departure from traditional articulation drill materials and is effective for students ages 6 and up. And because of the personal selfie approach, students enjoy talking about the various selfies of themselves with their friends and classmates outside of the speech therapy room, further practicing their communication skills and thereby facilitating the sometimes difficult stage of carrying over newly-acquired skills. By talking about the selfies with the youngster, paraprofessionals in the classroom and/or parents at home can reinforce the targeted articulation skills while sharing a personalized fun activity. Practicing these skills in environments outside the speech therapy setting increases opportunities for generalization.

The possibilities are endless!

I invite you to use Wacky Selfie Articulation to spice up your speech therapy sessions. All of the sound-specific stickers are intended to initiate excitement and humor. And in all honesty, each selfie has the potential to spark conversations that could lead almost anywhere. Even a selfie that appears simple can trigger a unique thought that surprises all parties involved.

In closing . . .

Regardless of when, where, or how Wacky Selfie Articulation is used within the speech therapy session, one thing is certain, children (as well as clinicians) will have a blast taking selfies and talking about them . . . and in the process, all of the youngsters will continue to practice the correct pronunciation of their sounds. So what are you waiting for? Let your imagination run wild and have fun with this one of a kind photo-based speech therapy material! Download it RIGHT HERE, my friend.

4 Halloween Costumes That Are Perfect for Speech-Language Pathologists

4 Halloween Costumes That Are Perfect for Speech-Language Pathologists

Are you ready for Halloween? I hope so because the last day of October is going to be here before you know it and, if you’re a speech-language pathologist, everyone will be expecting you to have an awesome costume. Why? Well, because SLPs are some of the most creative individuals on the planet, that’s why! But don’t worry if you’re still having a bit of trouble deciding on what your Halloween costume should be. I got ya covered with some ideas.

How about a broom?

broom-costume

It’s no secret that some school-based SLPs are forced to provide speech-language therapy in rooms that are small. Like, really small — the size of a broom closet! So maybe if you’re in that unfortunate situation, have some fun with it and dress up like a broom this Halloween! And who knows, maybe you dressing up like a broom might persuade your building principal or supervisor to finally get you into a bigger room somewhere else in the building? Hey, ya never know!

How about a box of tissues?

tissue-box-costume

Any SLPs who work with children will agree with me when I say that tissues are an absolute must in the therapy room. Sometimes the youngsters I work with forget that I have a box of tissues, so they proceed to use their hands and/or sleeves instead of tissues during instances of runny noses and sneezy sneezes. Dressing up as a box of tissues for Halloween could be the best way to remind everyone on your caseload that you have tissues and you invite everyone to use them. Yay!

How about a laminator?

laminator-costume

Oh the magic of a laminator. As an SLP, I’ve laminated so many therapy-related things — speech-language games/worksheets, developmental milestone charts, and so much more. If it can fit through my laminator, it’s gettin’ laminated, HAHA! So in an effort to show your undying love for your laminator, why not give it the highest form of recognition and actually dress up as a laminator this Halloween? But please be careful if you end up wearing your laminator costume in an elementary school because you very well might get dozens and dozens of accidental paper-cuts from teachers who will most likely not even realize it’s a costume! They will probably start throwing tons and tons of papers at you so their sheets could be laminated. Ouch!

How about an iPad?

ipad-costume

If you adore iPads as much as I do, you should seriously consider dressing up as one for Halloween. It doesn’t seem like it would really take all that much to make an iPad costume. All you probably need are a couple pieces of cardboard and some paint and BAM you got yourself an iPad costume. And guess what? Because I love iPads so much, if you dress up like one this Halloween, just email me a picture of you rockin’ your iPad costume and I’ll give you any one of my articulation apps FOR FREE. Pretty cool, huh?

In closing . . .

I hope that my Halloween costume ideas were able to inspire you. Can you think of any other SLP-related costumes that could also be cool for us SLPs? Shoot me a message because I seriously enjoy hearing from terrific SLPs like you. Happy Halloween to you and every single kiddo on your caseload!

A Speech-Language Pathologist’s Praise for TheMighty.com

The Internet is filled with lots of websites. Lots and lots. In fact, Internet Live Stats currently shows that there’s over one billion websites out there and it’s climbing higher and higher each and every single day. So with that being said, I think it’s safe to say that there sure isn’t a lack of things for us to read on the good ol’ World Wide Web.

At times, finding quality amongst quantity can be difficult.

With the sheer number of websites that are available for us to consume, sometimes the amazing ones get lost in the shuffle because they get surrounded by a huge collection of mediocre ones. What a shame! Well, I’m here today to brush away some of the mediocre ones so I can show you an amazing website that deserves a great deal of praise. It’s called TheMighty.com and it’s a website that, in my opinion, should be consistently visited by all speech-language pathologists because it’s just THAT good.

A wealth of information.

TheMighty.com is a location on the Internet that contains hundreds and hundreds of real stories by real people facing real challenges. The creators of the website believe that disability or disease doesn’t have to be an isolating experience. So, with that in mind, they’ve created a safe space online for people to publicly share written thoughts and feelings about topics such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and so much more.

My favorite articles on TheMighty.com.

If you already know about TheMighty.com, then I’m sure you totally agree with the praise that I’m giving it. But if you’re new to TheMighty.com, please allow me to share with you a few of my favorite posts on it in hopes that I can convert you into as big of a TheMighty.com fan as I am.

Such beautiful pieces of writing!

Those highlighted posts are a few of the many articles that I’ve learned from. As I read each word written on TheMighty.com, I’m able to expand my understanding of the given subject that is being written about in a way that is so genuine and so real. To every person that has written an article on TheMighty.com – thank you for your teaching.

Full disclosure:

I just want ya’ll to know that I wasn’t paid by TheMighty.com to write this. In fact, I don’t even know a single person over at TheMighty.com (but one of these days, I sure hope I get the opportunity to meet someone from TheMighty.com because I’m going to give them one of the biggest hugs in the history of hugs so I hope he/she is ready for me!).

In closing . . .

I hope you can find a few extra minutes sometime today to check out TheMighty.com because I promise ya, it will do your speechie brain a lot of good. Give it a go and let me know what ya think!

A Speech-Language Pathologist’s Praise for TheMighty.com

The Number One Personal Quality of a Speech-Language Pathologist

As the summer season fades away and autumn starts to tiptoe up to our front steps, most of us lovingly welcome the seasonal transition because autumn brings many lovely things with it. From pumpkin-flavored things to Halloween-themed things, this time of the year is a favorite time for many individuals (myself included!).

Ah-choo!

Oh, and sometimes with the change in seasons, you might also find yourself getting a bit sick. Did you know that October is officially the kick-off month of the flu season in the United States?

Visiting with doctors.

The chances that you might get a bit sick with the sniffles during this time of the year are pretty high. And the chances that you might visit a doctor to help you with your sniffles; that’s pretty high, too.

Personal qualities of a health care provider.

As a speech-language pathologist, I can’t help but notice that sometimes doctors don’t have the best “bedside manners.” Sometimes when I have the sniffles and I visit a doctor, sometimes they aren’t as warm as I’d hope they’d be. And let me be clear, not all doctors are like this, but some certainly are so it forces me to think about interactions, as a whole. The ways that we, as health care providers, interact with our clients are important to think about because our chosen approach and attitude to interacting can (and does) set the stage for improved/effective care and client satisfaction.

SLP personal qualities.

As I mentioned in the video portion of this blog post, my friends and I recently got into a great discussion about what’s the one personal quality that every SLP should have, in order to be the best clinician who provides the best services? Maybe it’s being encouraging when we interact with our clients. Maybe it’s being patient during these interactions. Maybe it’s being appropriately humorous. How about being self-aware? Imaginative? Empathetic?

Which one is THE ONE?

The answer to that question is quite simple: there isn’t an answer because there isn’t a magical ONE. If we want to think about our SLP “bedside manners” and how we interact with our clients, we need to fully understand that, in regards to the aforementioned personal qualities, we need to have a combination of all of those, and more, if we hope to be the best clinician who provides the best services.

Think about your personal qualities.

For anyone that knows me, ya’ll know that I’m all about reflecting. I’m all about taking an honest look at myself, as a clinician, to evaluate how I’m doing. When I do these self-evaluations on myself, I always come across some aspects that I know I can improve upon. During my most recent self-evaluation, I came to the realization that I could afford to be more organized because my organization isn’t as strong as it could be. Organization and the act of being organized, that’s a legitimate personal quality and it’s one that I want to improve. I want to be more organized (particularly with my therapy filing cabinet and my whole filing system) because I know it will set the stage for improved/effective care and client satisfaction when I interact with my clients.

Find the colleagues that are doing it right and mirror what they’re doing!

Maureen Wilson is a good friend of mine and I’ve learned so much from her over the past few years. The moment that I said to myself, “Yo! Erik! You need to improve your organization . . .” Maureen was the first person I thought of. She’s an SLP organization champion – as evidenced by some of her more recent blog posts like I Heart Organization, How Do I Make A Speech Therapy Schedule, and What You Should Be Bringing To An IEP Meeting. So since reading the blog posts that I’ve just mentioned, I’ve adopted some of her ideas into my world and I’ve totally been reaping the benefits from the new organized me!

You can improve your personal qualities if you want to.

I’ve come across a lot of people in my day say things like, “Oh, personal qualities are so deeply engrained in you that they’re all pretty set in stone.” Well, I respectfully disagree with that notion. Humans can change if they want to. If you’re a doctor that doesn’t have the best “bedside manners,” you can work on empathy and other aspects that relate to “bedside manners.” And if you’re an SLP who feels he’s a bit unorganized, you can absolutely work on organization. All personal qualities can be improved; you just have to want to improve.

In closing . . .

As an SLP, what personal qualities do you want to work on so that you keep on growing as a clinician? Maybe you want to work on some of your “bedside manners?” Or perhaps you want to work on being more organized? The sky is the limit with you, so let’s make sure we keep on having conversations with on another that encourage clinical growth. Cool? Cool!

The Number One Personal Quality of a Speech-Language Pathologist

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