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

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?


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?


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?


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?


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

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 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. 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

If you already know about, then I’m sure you totally agree with the praise that I’m giving it. But if you’re new to, 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 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, 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 – thank you for your teaching.

Full disclosure:

I just want ya’ll to know that I wasn’t paid by to write this. In fact, I don’t even know a single person over at (but one of these days, I sure hope I get the opportunity to meet someone from 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 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

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!).


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

Attention Speech-Language Pathologists: It’s OK to Not Know the Answer Sometimes

Attention Speech-Language Pathologists: It’s OK to Not Know the Answer Sometimes

Let me walk you through a scenario that I think a lot of us speech-language pathologists have been in before. You’re having a meeting about a student with a parent or another educator and someone asks you a question. However, as smart as you are (and trust me, I know you’re VERY smart), you might not actually KNOW the answer to this specific question off the top of your head.

What do you do in a scenario like this?

Well, there’s pretty much two roads you could travel down. The first road is one that I like to call Awkward Street. This consists of you verbally dancing around the question in an awkward manner. Awkward Street has lots of potholes. In an attempt to seem like you know the answer, you blurt out some “big words” that you think make you sound “smart” as you attempt to drive down that bumpy street. All of this is in hopes that you’re able to convince the question-asker that you can’t be stumped. But does this work?

Meh. Maybe sometimes.

What about the other road, though? Let’s call it Honesty Street. This one consists of you being completely honest that you don’t know the answer off the top of your head, but you’ll find out as soon as possible. This is a much smoother street – not a single pothole to be found. To me, the honest response displays sincerity and it communicates to the question-asker that you value the question enough to NOT dance around it. And because of that value, you take the initiative to seek out a clear and concise answer. So if you ask me, it seems like Honesty Street is the best road to travel down.

But why do some SLPs choose to go down Awkward Street?

When I first started out as an SLP, I was a clinician who would choose to travel down Awkward Street every now and again because I never wanted to be seen as an clinician who didn’t know his stuff. I would verbally dance around a question I didn’t know the answer to because I had this false idea in my head that all SLPs should know every single answer to any single question that related to speech-language pathology. I was too early into my career to truly understand that it’s OK to not know the answer sometimes.

Seriously, it’s OK to not know the answer sometimes.

Before we go any further though, when I say it’s OK to not know the answer sometimes, I don’t mean it’s OK to not know answers to basic questions like, “Mr. Raj, what’s the real name of that voice box thingy inside a person’s throat?” Yes, if you’re an SLP then you absolutely should be able to answer basic questions like that (and for the record, the answer is larynx, LOL!).

I’m not talking about not knowing answers to basic questions.

I’m talking about not knowing answers to questions that usually revolve around something that’s so brand-new that you just haven’t had the opportunity to hear about it yet. Questions such as:

  • “Everyone is talking about the brand-new method to teaching articulation called X. I’m wondering if you think it would work with (student’s name)?”
  • “I’m sure you’re familiar with the brand-new approach to promoting social skills called X. I’m wondering if you think it would work with (student’s name)?”
  • “I’ve heard about this brand-new structured literacy program called X. I’m wondering if you think it would work with (student’s name)?”

In the past, I would verbally dance around questions like that.

To those types of questions, when I first started out as a clinician, you could find me traveling down Awkward Street. I would buckle up and brace myself for the bumpy ride by nervously responding with things like, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of X before, I mean, who hasn’t heard of X . . .” Then, I would hold on to the steering wheel tightly and drive straight into a long run-on sentence where I would try to give off the impression that I actually did hear of X. What a reckless driver I was. Silly me.

So listen up.

I’m here to tell you what I wish someone told me years ago – it’s OK to not know the answer sometimes. I’m writing this blog post for you. Yes YOU. I see you reading this post. I’m waving to you. Do you see me waving? You do? Good. So now that you see me, listen to me when I say this again:

It’s OK to not know the answer sometimes.

Now that I’ve been a clinician for a while, I know that it’s impossible to know it all. So now, whenever I’m asked a question that contains a bit of terminology that I’m unfamiliar with, I confidently let it be known that I’m not familiar with X. I happily travel down Honesty Street because I’ve come to realize that what’s usually found at the end of Honesty Street is a big ol’ bucket of new knowledge. Either the person explains whatever X is or you go back to your computer and you look up X yourself. Either way, you win because you gain a big ol’ bucket of new knowledge. And new knowledge, well, that’s the fuel that keeps us all trucking along on our never-ending road trip towards becoming the best possible clinicians that we can be.

In closing . . .

Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to say the following out loud to yourself. “It’s OK to not know the answer sometimes.” How did that feel? Pretty good, right? Next, I want you to send a text message to your favorite SLP buddy that reads, “Erik X. Raj told me to tell you that it’s OK to not know the answer sometimes.” And if your friend replies with, “Who’s Erik X. Raj?” – just tell your pal that he’s a cool dude who loves dance parties and Spider-Man.

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