Updates, ideas, and more!

Category Archives: Speech Therapy Motivation

Speech-Language Pathologists are Smart Cookies [Free Download]

Speech-Language Pathologists are Smart Cookies [Free Download]

A new year is here and with this specific time of year often comes a time of reflection. In regards to being a practicing speech-language pathologist, what went right for you this past year? What didn’t go quite as planned? What changes do you want to make during the next 365 days? These are just a few questions that I am sure you have had cooking in your brain over the last few days (I know I have!).

In an attempt to help YOU get ready for another successful SLP year that’s filled with inspiration and learning, I have created some FREE materials that will make you squeal with happiness.

Free motivational posters for ALL!

I made not one, but two motivational SLP posters for you to hang up in your speech therapy room. Click HERE to download the poster that reads, “speech-language pathologists are smart cookies” and click HERE to download the other poster that reads, “speech-language pathologists make the world a better place.” Both posters are beautiful and I hope you’ll love ’em to bits!

The main reason I believe these posters are extremely important is because sometimes we forget how smart we REALLY are and how much of a difference we REALLY make. Well, I don’t want you to forget. Ever! To quote one of my favorite past blog posts, “The field of speech-language pathology is lucky; sooooooo ridiculously lucky. How is it lucky, you ask? It’s lucky because it has YOU providing therapy.”

Free online workshop for ALL!

One of my favorite things to do is share my speech therapy tips and tricks with passionate clinicians. That’s exactly why I created my FREE online workshop called Articulation Acronyms in Speech Therapy. This workshop features a bunch of online videos of me describing my strategies for teaching the following sounds: S, Z, R, L, SH, CH, and TH. In addition, you will get a ton of printable worksheets (pdf files) that correspond to my articulation strategies that you can use right away with your students.

This online workshop is convenient because you don’t have to worry about driving your car to a specific location to learn my information (gas is too expensive, yo!). All you need is an Internet connection and a willingness to learn new articulation strategies. Click HERE to get started.

Oh, and you have my full permission to broadcast this online workshop to large groups of SLPs during any continuing education event or one of your SLP meetings. I don’t have a problem with that at all. Just shoot me an email to let me know you plan on doing that.

In closing . . .

I know that you and I are going to have a terrific year. I can just feel it in my bones. I truly look forward to it all and if I can ever help you out with anything, please know that I am only an email away. Stay cool!

The Best Thing About Being a Speech-Language Pathologist is ______

The Best Thing About Being a Speech-Language Pathologist is ______

I love asking questions related to the field of speech-language pathology that force us to think about things we normally don’t think about. For example, do you remember when I asked, “What motivates you as an SLP?” Pretty good question, right? Well, here is a new question I have been pondering; how would you finish the following sentence?

The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is ______.

For answers to this question, I asked my good friends on Twitter to share with me (and the world) their take on my fill-in-the-blank question.

Needless to say, I was blown away with their responses:

  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is amazing colleagues (especially the #slpeeps) who never let us stop learning and growing! –@atklingensmith
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is being there to help when a person/family needs you the most. –@TactusTherapy
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is helping someone get their voice (both literal and non-literal) back!! –@LaurenCreek
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is being able to help deliver a valuable gift . . . the gift of a voice and the ability to communicate in more ways than one. –@thatspeechy
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is figuring out ways to facilitate communication in the face of trauma or adversity. –@ProjectSLP
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is listening and watching kids increase in confidence as their speech and language skills grow! –@originalcherbie
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is hearing someone say you gave them their life back or the tear in a parent’s eye as they hear their child speak clearly for 1st time. –@yjohnsonmccoy
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is being able to bring hope to a client and their whole family, regardless of their condition. –@LetstalkST
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is helping to make a difference to someone else’s life! (Or that’s what we secretly hope for anyway hehe!). –@GemSLT
  • The best thing about being a speech-language pathologist is being able to change lives. It doesn’t get better than that. –@SLPgoneWiLd

Now, it’s YOUR TURN to ask this question!

Here is your mission: During your next scheduled SLP meeting, I want you to present my fill-in-the-blank question to your group. I believe this question can help to create an avalanche of motivating and awe-inspiring conversation. By hearing your colleagues’ responses, you JUST MIGHT discover something new about YOURSELF (and if that isn’t exciting, I don’t know what is)!

Keep up the great work and let me know how it goes.

Do You Ever Want to Quit Being a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Do You Ever Want to Quit Being a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Let me ask you a question. Do you sometimes flirt with the idea of leaving the speech therapy field? Don’t worry; you can be honest with me (trust me, I won’t tell a soul). Listen, we’ve all felt that way before. Sometimes the IEPs get crazy. Sometimes the parents yell. Sometimes the administrators just don’t get us or understand what we do. Sometimes . . . it just gets rough. I feel you.

I have to be honest with you

Not too long ago I was in a slump. I was losing focus and stepped back and wondered if this was the right profession for me. A good friend of mine noticed that I was a bit off so he invited me out to lunch. While we were eating pizza, he asked me to do something that I will never forget. He handed me a pen and instructed me to divide my napkin into 3 separate columns.

Then he gave me 3 simple instructions:

  • 1. In the first column, write down all the things in the past 2 months that have made you smile so wide that it hurt.
  • 2. In the second column, write down all the things in the past 2 months that made you laugh so hard that you were sure milk was going to squirt out of your nose.
  • 3. In the third and final column, write down all the things in the past 2 months that made you so excited that you simply could not get a wink of sleep at night because you couldn’t stop thinking about it.

He and I looked at the scribbled up napkin together and then he goes, “Erik, you see any items that appear in more than one column? What is overlapping?”

And it all came together

I couldn’t believe it. Speech therapy appeared in ALL THREE COLUMNS and I didn’t even REALIZE IT, but it made SO MUCH SENSE, TOO! My students always made me smile wider than a school bus. They always made me laugh my head off. They always kept me up at night because I was always so pumped to try new speech therapy approaches with them in the morning. As cheesy as this may sound, I told him, “DUDE, I LOVE SPEECH THERAPY!”

He punched me in the arm and said, “No duh, man!”

Stay strong and never lose sight!

Sometimes the paperwork gets crazy. Sometimes the parents get a bit unpredictable. Sometimes the administrators act strange. But remember, we are doing it all for the kiddos. The speech kiddos. OUR speech kiddos. We were put on this planet to do one thing – help our students become the best possible communicators they can be!

In closing . . .

If you ever feel down in the dumps, grab a pen and a napkin and make those three columns like my buddy instructed me to. It just might help you gain some much needed perspective.

5 Ninja Characteristics All Speech Pathologists Have [Free Download]

5 Ninja Characteristics All Speech Pathologists Have [Free Download]

When most people hear the word ninja, images of Power Rangers, mutant turtles, or extremely fast people wearing full black body suits and masks usually come to mind. But guess what? When I hear someone speaking about a person skilled in ninjutsu (the Japanese martial art characterized by stealthy movement and camouflage), the first thing that comes to MY mind is a speech-language pathologist!

So, here are five ninja characteristics that I know all SLPs have (plus a FREE DOWNLOAD just for you at the end of the post!):

1. We have SPEED!

We understand that our time is limited so we jump right into all of our therapy sessions. We are quick and we never waste a single moment. A speech therapist is able to inject his/her client with weeks worth of valuable information in a single 30 minute block. All of this helps to ensure that our students are becoming black belt communicators!

2. We have STRENGTH!

I have always heard that the tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body. With that being said, SLPs are the ones in charge of taming the tongue so that its owner is able to pronounce the target sound appropriately. So in theory, we are voluntarily wrestling the strongest muscle in the body on a daily basis and we never get hurt. Talk about being tough! Hi ya!

3. We have STAMINA!

Students today are so used to immediate gratification that they struggle with waiting for anything. Sometimes our clients do not make progress right away but we never give up on them or the therapy. We always let our clients and their parents know that we are in this for as long as it takes. Speech therapists, just like ninjas, are patient, calm, understanding, and devoted to their cause.

4. We have TECHNIQUES!

Its true! Ninjas have swords and throwing stars but they don’t NEED them to be effective. Same with SLPs – we have tons of therapy materials but we don’t NEED them to provide awesome therapy. We are adaptable to any situation and we are armed with an infinite amount of approaches to teaching.


Ninjas are trained to master a large amount of different weapons and practice their craft in every possible situation (in the rain, in dark, in a tree, etc). Variety builds smarts! We are trained to assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency. In a single day, we could work with a wide age-range of students from preschoolers to high schoolers and beyond. Not just any brain could provide services to such a diverse population. It requires attention to detail and intense concentration.

In closing . . .

So as you can see, a ninja does not necessarily have to be someone who wears black, drops down from the ceiling, and slices everything in the room to pieces! The term ninja can also be very applicable to a speech-language pathologist. So the next time a new friend asks you the question of “What do you do for a living?” you can tell proudly them“I’m a speech ninja!”

Oh, and don’t forget about your FREE DOWNLOAD!

Click HERE to download your very own speech ninja poster.