If I was asked to list my top three challenges as a school-based SLP, correcting /r/ would top the list in terms of difficulty and high incidence. (The other two challenges are laterals and dysfluency. Fortunately, these have been very low incidence on my caseload).
If I was asked to list the top three benefits that have come out of my website, Speaking of Speech.com, and this blog, the answer would be:
- Materials! Through the vast Materials Exchange on my site, I’ve been able to build up my “bag of tricks,” by either using the free materials “as is” or by using them as a guide to create materials specific to student needs.
- New therapy techniques! Through product reviews I’ve done on the site, I’ve increasingly expanded and refined my speech and language therapy. I’ve also learned a lot from the generous SLPs who answer questions, give advice, and share tips on the various message boards in the SLP Message Center.
- The growth of the Speaking of Speech.com community! So many SLPs have contributed to the growth of the site by sharing materials, participating on the message boards, and spreading the word about the site to colleagues, SLPs in training, teachers and parents. I have personally developed close relationships with so many SLPs around the world through Speaking of Speech.com and related social media. Even though I haven’t met all of these SLPs face-to-face, we recognize each other as kindred spirits in support of children with communication challenges. And I’m not the only one who has forged close relationships because of the site! Susan Sexton and Linda Seth met through my site and — wow! — what a productive relationship that has been!
Linda Seth has more than 30 years’ experience as a school-based SLP and 5 years as a classroom teacher. Her varied experiences range from inner city schools in New Jersey to the last one-room schoolhouse in West Virginia. She has achieved national recognition as an outstanding (and one of my very favorite!) presenter across the country. Linda is the author of numerous volumes of therapy materials that seek to actively engage students (individually, in small groups, and in classrooms) in fun and meaningful learning. Great examples are the books in the G.R.O.W. series, which stands for Get Rid of Worksheets. See what I mean? Active learning is what Linda is all about, and she has an unlimited wealth of ideas toward that goal. If Linda is ever presenting in your area, DO NOT miss the opportunity to attend! To see and purchase all of Linda’s materials, visit Great Ideas for Teaching.
Susan Sexton is a retired school-based SLP from Michigan. Susan broke away from traditional 30-minute small group therapy and pioneered the idea of short, frequent, intensive therapy sessions that became the basis of her very popular “5 Minute Kids” therapy plan and materials. Research and anecdotal evidence shows that students make measurable progress and the length of time in therapy is reduced, using this approach. Be sure to visit Susan’s website for details, samples, and purchase of her must-have materials.
It was through Speaking of Speech.com that Linda and Susan connected — and, boy, did they ever! Putting their two very creative heads together, they produced the fabulous series of books: “5-Minute Kids Therapy,” “5-Minute Games,” and “5-Minute Verbs.” As soon as I saw these books, I knew they were going to my all-time favorite “go to” materials. And now — oh, joy! — a new volume has just been published! While the other “5-Minute Kids Therapy” books address all of the consonant sounds that are frequently addressed in therapy, this new one is all about vocalic /r/!! The book follows the same format as the predecessors: repetition lists at the word/phrase/sentence levels, data charts, pages for independent practice, quick games to keep kids motivated, and homework and carryover activities. Really, what more could you want??
Check out this new book (special new release price of $22!)from Susan Sexton and Linda Seth, and then check out all of their other gems. In addition to using these books for short, frequent, intensive therapy, I’ve used them for group therapy, homework, and for establishing baseline and progress monitoring. Every time I use them, I am so glad that Speaking of Speech.com brought these SLPs together!