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Category Archives: Speech Therapy Motivation

You Are Seriously the Best Speech-Language Pathologist Around

You Are Seriously the Best Speech-Language Pathologist Around

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. You truly make a difference in your students’ lives and if this field were to not have you as a clinician, it just would NOT be the same. I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of that. You are special.

Seriously, YOU ROCK!

Why did I mention this to you? Let me take a second to explain. I feel like I can’t even turn on the news lately without seeing some doom and gloom statistic about the unemployment rate. There are experts out there that are claiming that this global economic crisis just might be the “new norm.” Scary stuff, huh? Almost every other day, someone I know will say to me, “Erik, you are so lucky to have a job.”

Trust me, I know I am.

Don’t get me wrong! Boy do I thank my lucky stars every night that I’m employed, but I feel the need to announce that while I’m lucky to have this job, this job is equally (if not more) lucky to have me! I’m a speech-language pathologist who truly and deeply cares about all of my speech students. I believe that each child on my caseload can soar beyond any imagined limits. Together, my students and I work our butts off as a team to make all of this happen.

And here’s the thing – I know you are JUST LIKE ME.

We both think outside the box, outside the classroom, and outside the norm. We make learning fun and we proudly give our students the gift of communication. That’s why we were put on this planet – to be speech-language pathologists.

Again, YOU ROCK!

So the next time someone walks up to you and says, “Hey, you work at a school, huh? Yea, you are lucky you have a job” – remember that if I was standing next to you, I would happily declare that your job is AMAZINGLY lucky to have you. Keep up the great work and share this blog post with a colleague you care about.

I Seriously Take the Internet for Granted

I Seriously Take the Internet for Granted

Not too long ago I received an email of praise from a fellow speech-language pathologist. She wrote “I recently checked your site and signed up for your messages, I must tell you that I really appreciate your ideas and your way of dealing with stuff is great.”


As if you couldn’t guess, I was happier than a bear swimming in a pool of honey while I was reading her words! Her message truly made my day, but here is a bit of information that will BLOW your mind . . . I purposely didn’t tell you where that speech therapist was from. She. Was. From . . . Lebanon!

That’s pretty far away from where I live (USA)

After receiving a message like that, I came to two conclusions I would like to expand on.

1. I seriously take the Internet for granted

I probably never would have met this woman from Lebanon face-to-face, but the Internet has made it possible for us to have a textual conversation. Her email made me stop and think a little bit more about what I already knew, but never truly appreciated: even though people might be separated by thousands of miles, time zones and sometimes even languages, we can still connect with each other and inspire each other with the click of a button.

2. I don’t thank people enough for sharing on the Internet

On any given day, I read 10-15 blog posts and articles online that directly relate to the field of communication difficulties. Those writings clearly impact me and help me to grow to become a better speech-language pathologist. But I hardly ever reach out and give the writer the genuine thank you that he/she deserves. I might convince myself I’m too busy that day – that I don’t have time to fill out those little comment boxes, or take the extra step to click on the author’s email address. But really, those things only take about 60 seconds to do. I’m going to try to remember to give praise, reach out and say thank you to authors and bloggers that have put valuable, free information in front of me. I encourage you to reach out and do the same. Thanking a stranger for their insight can make their day and it won’t make you feel so bad, either.

So much gratitude! So much!

Maria, thank you for writing me such a positive, thought-provoking email. And to everyone who visits my site, thank you for the support. It truly means the world to me to know that there is a community of like-minded people in this field who share my vision and passion for speech therapy. YOU ROCK!

Do You Use a Ladder to Get into a Pool? Or Do You Just Jump?

Do You Use a Ladder to Get into a Pool? Or Do You Just Jump?

Warmer months are finally here and boy oh boy, the weather sure has been hot. For most of us school-based SLPs, summer vacation is almost here! And you know what that means – sun tanning, barbecuing, and swimming in cool water. As a matter of fact, I’m currently writing this blog post while relaxing next to a pool. So let me take this moment to ask you a pool-related question that may or may not relate to pools once you really take the time to think about your response.

How do YOU get into a pool?

That’s a pretty serious question that I think you should consider. As I’m looking at this pool right now, I see 2 types of people – those who use the ladder to enter the pool and those who simply just jump on in. Which person are you? Do you play it safe and use the ladder? Ladders are pretty predictable. There is only one way to go down a ladder, putting both hands on each side and alternating one foot at a time to climb down. If that’s the way you want to enter the pool, that’s fine, but could you be missing out on something fun? Should you consider trying something else?

Jumping into the pool? Now that’s a bit more exciting. I believe that what makes it so exciting is the fact that there are just so many different jumping variations! How about a cannonball? Ninja kick? Flapping your arms like a bird? Back flip? I have seen all of these over the last 30 minutes, and to be completely honest, these unpredictable actions are nothing short of inspiring.

How do YOU do your speech therapy sessions?

Have you been using the same old and boring speech therapy materials for the past few years? Are you keeping speech therapy fresh and fun or are your students consistently falling asleep in class? Have you been thinking about doing something new, but opted not to because it would be “too much of a pain to put together, impossible to set up, really hard to create, etc?” Well, you need to stop making excuses and start doing it. Whatever it is, do it! Jump in, splash around, and let everyone know that you mean business. Because let’s be real, no one remembers the person who used the ladder, but everyone remembers the person who screamed and did the front flip into the water.

In closing . . .

You can dissect and analyze this blog post however you want. You can even argue that it has nothing to do with speech-language therapy at all. Well, I think it has everything to do with speech therapy and I think you might want to try to stop using the ladder from time to time. Let’s try our hardest to think outside-the-box and create some awesome speech therapy activities that our students will remember for years to come. Why? Because life is too short for snooze-fest speech therapy.

Ok, I’m off to go do a cannonball right now! Bye! LOL!

You Need to Thank Someone Right Now [Free Download]

You Need to Thank Someone Right Now [Free Download]

To be completely honest with all of you, I’ve wanted to be a speech-language pathologist since I was 6 years-old. I know that might sound cheesy, but it’s the truth. While all of my friends were saying popular lines like “I want to be a rock star, movie star, etc. when I grow up,” . . . I was the little boy who proudly shouted “I’m going to be a speech teacher when I grow up!” (In fact, check out the FREE DOWNLOAD at the end of this post to see what I mean, lol).

Those tricky /S/ and /R/ sounds

I had some extremely common articulation difficulties as a 6 year-old that included sloppy /S/ sounds and a far from perfect /R/ sound. I started to see a speech-language pathologist and within a year, I was able to make my sounds (yippie!). I had such a great time during my speech sessions that I knew I wanted to do that as an adult. In my 6 year-old mind, I thought the only thing we were doing was playing games, but it was not the only thing that was happening (as evidenced by my new found ability to produce the /S/ and /R/ sounds).

Learning CAN and SHOULD be fun!

We, as speech-language pathologists, have such a unique opportunity not only to combine learning with pure fun, but to influence and inspire by giving the gift of communication. There is no other job in the world like this and not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that my family took me to see Miss R., the self-proclaimed speech lady, as a child.

Who has helped you?

So here is a question for you to ponder . . . none of us live in a vacuum; therefore who has helped you become who you are now? (And have you thanked them lately?) Miss R. passed away before I even graduated high school, but she helped to plant the speech therapy seed in my head. I really wish I could’ve thanked her as an adult for all she did for me as a child. I’m positive that she is smiling down on me every time I give one of my students a high five.

In closing . . .

So is there a phone call you need to make? Is there a letter you need to write? Chances are your answer is probably yes. Take this moment to contact that educator (or person in general) that has influenced you. Even if you have no idea where that person is now, you’d be amazed how simple it is to find them through the magical and mystical powers of the Internet. Trust me; you need to do this right now. Let me know how it goes.

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

Click HERE to download your very own SLP poster that answers the age-old question of, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I pinky promise, it’ll make ya happy as a clam. 🙂