Questions and Answers

If you have any questions or concerns that relate to speech language pathology in any way, at any level....just ask.
I will answer them to the best of my ability on my blog.
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

The 09-10 school year starts soon

With the new school year starting in a week or so, already started in some parts of the country, does anyone (parents, teachers, therapists) have any specific concerns or worries? Is your child looking forward to the new school year? Are you (parents, teachers, therapists)looking forward to school starting?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Question for SLP's only. Therapists in Pain

This isn't a speech related question but maybe it is. Actually I am just curious. I have spent the good part of the last 6 months with intermittent shoulder and neck pain on the right side. My acupuncturists told me that in Chinese medicine it is referred to as 50 year old shoulder. That made my day. The past few weeks I have been going to PT and they feel it is a posture issue. So they have me doing their exercise routine and participating in treatments. Actually I am feeling better.

Here is the funny part. Another speech therapist was at the PT center receiving the same treatment for the same thing. This woman was a little younger (still wearing shorts with her college name on them). That made me think that maybe this is a occupation related issue. Even an occupational hazard. Think about it we lean over the computer a lot, lean over desks and tables, look down at kids, carry heavy bags from school to school, lean over hospital beds (if that's your setting) and even lean down over testing to keep it hidden.

Anyone else with the same symptoms? Just wondering:)


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Interesting and Informative Web Site

The New England League of Middle Schools has an interesting and informative page called the parent room. On this page they have lots of links to sites dedicated to the middle school age level. On regular searches these sites are often hard to find. It's worth a look.

Book Review-Alphabet Kids

Alphabet Kids

By Robbie Woliver

I picked this book up at my public library a few weeks ago. The title and cover caught my attention. It’s a book that highlights and explains many childhood syndromes. In a nutshell, I like the book and feel it could be a very useful tool for both professionals and parents.

Mr. Woliver explains syndromes their possible causes, symptoms and typical expected behaviors in a way that is easy to read and easy to understand. I obviously didn’t read the whole book but I did peruse the syndroms with speech and language disorders along with syndromes I’ve become familiar with over the years. I felt the information he provided was both accurate and again easy to understand. Some of the syndromes have “true stories” to go along with the general information. “True stories” are good and bad in this context but for everyone they provide some perspective to the syndrome.

I wouldn’t recommend that every parent go out and buy this book but it is certainly a good reference book for anyone who’s child is in the process of being diagnosed or was recently diagnosed. However, any professional who works with families trying to understand and cope with early diagnosis of a syndrome would find this book very useful (guidance professionals, early intervention programs, hospital evaluation teams, neuropsychologists). I could also see this book on the shelf of every school psychologist to provide teachers with quick and easy information to help parents understand particular syndromes. Teacher’s lack of understanding and in honesty the special education team’s lack of helping teachers to understand syndromes and disorders is usually a problem especially at the middle school level. Yes, I include myself as lacking in this area.

Pediatricians need this book. Over the course of my 20+ years as a speech language pathologist, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have heard parents report that their Pediatrician told them to wait for development to kick in, they’d grow out of it or that nothing was wrong. I hope this has changed and I hope Pediatricians now take more intense courses on child development. I also hope they are more aware of syndromes, disabilities, mother’s intuition, assessment and services available. It wouldn’t hurt to have this book sitting on their shelf too as a reference.

It is obvious that a lot of this information is on line. However, I am old school and still like to have the reference in my hand. I do believe Alphabet Kids presents information in an easy to read and easy to understand format. Mr. Woliver takes out the medical jargon and clearly explains acronyms. Parents especially need a format like this. I’ve worked with families from all different economic backgrounds and levels of education. It’s interesting that parents with the higher levels of education often have more difficulty understanding and accepting their child’s needs.

Hopefully, most students arrive at the middle school with a diagnosis. That doesn’t mean that everyone working with the child understands the behaviors presented by the child. It also does not mean that we are super educators and can immediately design the perfect program for the student. Alphabet Kids could be very helpful in providing initial information for all professionals, staff and administration (administration often does not have a good understanding to the extent of disabilities related to syndromes) in order to help design that almost perfect program.