About Speech Therapy Talk
Hi, Everyone. Welcome to Speech Therapy Talk. I am so glad you are here.
You might be thinking...what is this site all about? If you are, that is a great question!
Well, actually, this hasn’t been the easiest question to answer. I started this website in 2014 on sort of a whim. I had just moved and started my 6th speech therapy job and had a newborn baby. So why not start a website too, right? I know, crazy!
The truth was, I had worked with almost every different population possible and was starting to notice a stark and disappointing theme. No matter where I was working, there seemed to be a large disconnect between therapy and real life. This was true for outpatient therapy, inpatient rehab, school therapy, and long-term rehab. In private practice, I was able to connect with families daily, which did HELP A LOT, but still, the family education and empowerment thing was lacking.
So, I started this site. Done.
Well, not really. Not by a long shot!
Creating a website is TIME-CONSUMING and OVERWHELMING. At the same time, I was growing my adorable and energetic family. Things were and still are crazy.
I worked on the website as I could but it was spotty at best. I REALLY wanted to share with the world ALL THINGS SPEECH THERAPY. I am a speech pathologist after all and this is my skill to give back. However, all things speech therapy is quite broad and I was stressed that I wasn’t doing it justice. I am not doing it justice. But, in my defense, there is no time. Speech therapy is a vast field and speech language pathologists do so much! I'm not sure how I thought I could cover everything I wanted while working only during my children's naps.
I always wanted to do more, share more, write more, answer all emails, care for my children, start my private practice, and have a life. It was TOO MUCH!
So, I took an entire summer to reflect on what I was trying to achieve. This was an important reflection as working on this site is taking time away from my kids, from spending time with friends, from reading fiction books, from biking, from life!
So I put my devices down and took the time to reflect on:
- My original mission (which I had strayed from)
- My life goals...to TRULY HELP those in need
- How to empower parents and caregivers….how can I do that best?
- Research….does my therapy and my recommendations really work?
This time taught me that my original mission WAS and IS my goal. I want to make speech therapy meaningful again. I want to educate those who are listening on how communication doesn’t only happen 30 minutes a week during therapy. It happens ALL DAY LONG. Luckily, there are ways to functionally support communication growth if only everyone knew what to do.
What You Won't Find Here
So, if you are still reading this rambling page...thanks! I appreciate that!
There are many websites out there created by WONDERFUL and TALENTED speech language pathologists who make wonderful crafts and worksheets. That is not me. I don’t know how to make them or even want to make them.
From time to time, I do enjoy these wonderful therapy materials; however, it isn't who I am as a therapist. So, if you want cute worksheets and color/cut/copy/paste type of activities, you won't find it here (again, there's nothing wrong with those materials). If you need some, please head over to Teacher Pay Teachers.
To me, some of these activities, which are useful from time to time, tend short and disconnected. This translates into a lot of time wasted on prepping sessions (aka, less time for my kids and hobbies) for only ONE session! You can call me lazy if you want but I call it practical.
What You Will Find Here
For those who know me, I am practical. I am practical in all aspects of my life and I bring that practicality to speech therapy.
Communication does not happen in worksheets. Communication happens all day long. It happens during a conversation, it happens with our choice of body language, it happens during storytelling, it happens while answering questions, it happens when telling jokes, and it happens when we need others to help us. IT HAPPENS ALL DAY LONG!
So, instead of cute games (remember I do USE cute games from time to time to spice things up and I am SO thankful for the speech therapists that take the time to make them and then sell them for a bargain on TpT so I don’t have to), I walk into a therapy session with my goals on paper, the learning styles of each child or adult in mind, and a general idea of where we need to go according to my therapy plan. I use whatever materials interest my clients and I quickly adapt them to achieve our underlying goal. I am always performing a dynamic assessment and adapting each activity/prompt/situation on the fly.
All my materials that I have made or plan on making will be functional and adaptable and be paired with home practice ideas or guidelines.
You will also find background information on speech and language development. It is so important for both parents and professionals to review the basics from time to time. You can't expect to create strong therapy plans without having a strong grasp of all areas of language development.
Speech Therapy Talk's Mission
My personal mission for Speech Therapy Talk is:
- To educate parents and caregivers on how to best support their child's communication outside the therapy room.
- To create purposeful and meaningful therapy programs for each of my clients.
- Offer bilingual materials. This is a little off topic but I am raising my children in a bilingual home and have worked with many bilingual children. This is a professional interest of mine. Since there seems to be a lack of materials in this area, I will be throwing that in there too! As I grow in this area, I will share what I learn 🙂
I will be reviewing the research in these areas and creating a game plan. I want to share my successes and failures with other SLP’s who are also looking to create purposeful and meaningful speech therapy programs.
By combining purposeful speech therapy with a functional and meaningful home program, each child increases his/her chances on making fantastic progress towards his/her individual goals and generalizing that progress into everyday life.
So there you have it. This is the direction I am headed! I think ALL of us could benefit from this.
I Promise To:
- Stick to the research: All of us professionals and parents must get back to the research. The internet has been amazing for countless things, but it also has open the door for people to scam consumers with outrageous claims on products that are not research-based. These products are usually expensive and don't deliver on their promises. You can rest assure here that anything I suggest or talk about is research-based and I am constantly reading up on the research and reflecting on my own practices to make sure that I stay on track.
- Have grammar mistakes: I make a TON of grammar mistakes. It is horrible. In my defense, I am typing this with a squirmy toddler on my lap 🙂 In all honestly, I am working on this. I have downloaded Grammarly and I have been trying every trick Under the Sun but I will let you know that I have been trying every trick under the sun since I was in second grade. Grammar is not my friend when typing. But don't worry, I can always find other people's grammar mistakes, just not my own 🙁
- Answer all emails and comments when possible. Life is good but life is busy. If I don’t respond to a message, it doesn’t mean that I have forgotten about you. I want to take time to personally think about and respond purposefully (quite the theme here). This is important but takes time.
- Admit when I am wrong. I make mistakes. Research changes. It happens. If I made a mistake, I will admit it and change it! If you catch a mistake, LET ME KNOW! I will be forever be in your debt. Life is nothing if it isn't a long learning process.
- Create FUNCTIONAL materials: All the materials that I have made or will make will be functional! They will be focused on home practice as well!
Education and Expertise
I am a licensed, ASHA certified, speech language pathologist who has been practicing since 2006. I love my field and I am passionate about offering my knowledge and expertise to help others improve their communication skills and quality of life.
When I am not being a speech language pathologist, I’m a wife to a wonderful and supportive husband, Juan, and a mother to 2 adorable sons! You will find me playing, spending time with my family and friends, and when schedules allow, mountain biking!
I graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor’s in Speech and Hearing Science and a Minor in Spanish. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master’s in Communicative Disorders. I have extensive experience working with children and adults with articulation disorders, phonological disorders, language learning disorders, feeding disorders, apraxia, aphasia, oral motor disorders, dysphagia, childhood apraxia of speech,