Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Today I helped a high schooler.  Well, I do that every week, but today was different. Students in California are required to pass the CAHSEE.  What on Earth is THAT? CAHSEE stands for the California High School Exit Exam, which is required to graduate from high school.  Some of our students who are language/learning disabled have difficulty passing this test. Note: It is NOT because they are not intelligent.  It sometimes happens because they have difficulty using words to express themselves. Does that mean they should not graduate?  Of course not. So, what exactly did I do to help a student in this situation? I identified her problem and because of that she will NOW receive some assistance in passing.  No, that does not mean she gets out of taking the test.  It simply means that she will receive specialized tutoring to help her compensate for her difficulties, and, hopefully, pass the CAHSEE! Yes, all of this seems like it should not be that big a deal....but it could mean the difference between participating in graduation and not participating.  Can you imagine not "walking" with your class at graduation?  Of course not.  So, even though few people really know how SLPs impact the lives of others...today I hope I did just that...made an impact. At the very  least, I set a student up for success.  There is no greater goal.  And...I will be there to watch her "walk" with her class.  How is that for positive thinking?

In a future post, I will share other ways SLPs help high school students....stay tuned.

Monday, March 18, 2013

To my fellow SLPs and any interested others...sometimes there is help for your child or student just around the corner! Today I enlisted the assistance of a parent helper at one of my schools.  I have a student who has multiple needs--in SLP talk--she has a severe lateral lisp and grammar issues.  We all know that schools are very short of money. Thankfully, we have parents who volunteer at our schools.  There is a parent in the classroom next door to my office (at one of my 3 schools) who is a registered nurse.  She is in training to become a teacher and is assisting in a classroom twice a week.  I asked her if she would be able to sit down with my student for five minutes both days she was here.  I explained our rules for confidentiality--being a nurse, she was very familiar with HIPAA, of course. She offered to work twice weekly with my student--what a great resource! So, while I would not ask just anyone to help out a speech student, sometimes you can find wonderful helpers by just inquiring!  Looking forward to seeing faster progress for my student!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

Hello!

While I am very new to blogging, this being my first post, I am most definitely not new to speech - language pathology! I am about to complete my 29th year in field (at the end of March). Many things in this field have changed since I began practicing in March, 1984.

Fairly recently, I have been treating several Pre-K and kindergarten-aged children for Childhood Apraxia of Speech-CAS. While this disorder has been around as long as I have been practicing, recent studies and seminars have brought new information to light. In a nutshell, here is what I have found to be necessary for children with CAS to make progress:  1) PRACTICE--more is definitely better; 2) cueing for correct placement (I will post a video I made for a parent about this), 3) specific feedback (e.g. "you put your lips together-good job!," 4) motivation-activities must be engaging and motivating.  To that end, I have created a packet designed specifically for young children with CAS.  I will post pictures demonstrating it in action next week.  While I have given suggestions for use, come up with your own uses and let me know what works for your students!  So, I proudly introduce the Playful Puppies! This packet includes articulation cards for the /p/, /b/ and /m/ sounds as well as cards to address comprehension and use of prepositions, basic shapes and colors.  There is also an open-ended game board and bingo cards all featuring the "puppies" theme. The link to this packet is here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Playful-Puppies-

I have freebies on my TpT store, so please check them out and PLEASE leave me some feedback!  My TpT store is here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Goldcountryslp

Tracy W. Morlan, M.A. CCC-SLP

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