When Inclusion Hurts

Posted by Landria Seals Green, MA., CCC-SLP on 21 March 2014 | 0 Comments

Yes I said Inclusion can hurt.  It can be downright painful.  And that's truth.  The old saying Nothing Good Comes Easy can definitely be applied toward the process of including.  And each year, things change (teachers, therapists, kids, the social dynamic increases).  Inclusion in the early years is not as much of a challenge than when hitting second and third grade.  Preschool and Kindergarten are easy relatively speaking.  Everyone is young and cute...drool, tantrums, language on different levels is widely accepted for most as all the children are starting off. 

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It's a Sippy Cup Nation

Posted by Landria Seals Green, MA., CCC-SLP on 14 January 2014 | 0 Comments

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No matter how many times SLPs, Physicians, Nutritionists provide parents with the DO NOT USE THE SIPPY CUP rule,it will be broken.  Not because parent's don't want what's best for their children, but because the practitioner did not position ourselves as a value add.  Being a value added professional is something I hear my corporate friends discuss a lot.  How to become a value add, how to position themselves or support their direct reports in being value added members of the team.  In fact, one of my famous interview questions is "How will you be a value add to SLC and your colleagues?"  Being a value add is just that.  Adding more than the "Don't and Why" but also the "How, Where, When, and What".

Let me back up...I am a behaviorally based SLP with extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis.  I also have worked successfully with many many families.  One of the reasons I am a fan and have an astute knowledge base in applied behavior analysis is that the model works and has enhanced how I collect data, train families, support and train my staff, and program for my clients.  One of the major rules in applied behavior analysis is that practitioners should Replace the Behavior we don't want with the Behavior we want to see.  The replacement is not overnight, it is not judgemental, it is not accomodating.  But it is clear about the scope and sequence of moving from the baseline toward proficiency.

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Making Therapy Work

Posted by Landria Seals Green, MA,CCC-SLP on 7 January 2014 | 0 Comments

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I have long felt that "Therapy Should Make You Better".  This phrase not only sounds good, its also empowering.  But in practice, what does it really mean?  How does therapy really make a person better?  Is it stringing beads in Occupational Therapy?  Is it saying vowel sounds in speech therapy?  In practical application, how do vowel sounds and stringing beads actually help and empower families after the session(s) are over?  While the long term effects of those practices are building blocks to real skills, the real truth is they are not practical at all.  

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Teaching Talk

Posted by Landria Seals Green, M.A., CCC-SLP on 20 July 2013 | 0 Comments

This Empowered Parent VLOG (Video Blog) talks about Imitation Skills as a key ingredient to improving speech coordination and movement.  Parents can gain information on ABA Therapy and its connection to speech therapy by learning how Gross Motor Imitation programs can influence speech praxis -movement.

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Beginning Your Career as an SLP

Posted by Landria Seals Green, M.A., CCC-SLP on 29 April 2013 | 2 Comments

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Speech Language Pathology was recently listed as a top career selection...that's excellent news.  We have made it (finally) to career day, top 20 careers, and have the pleasure of being listed amongst engineers (my husband and father are both), physicians, and attorneys.  As a seasoned SLP and Executive Director, I am often asked for observation hours and we receive resumes for grads looking for jobs.  I have a love and passion for my profession, but I hesitate on the CF, yet I yield to the calling of paying it forward as some wonderful mentors opened doors for me.  But after reading some tweets and cover letters this evening, I decided to give some helpful tools that will hopefully shift the thinking or perspective of the new grad.

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Autism Awareness Month

Posted by Landria Seals Green,M.A., CCC-SLP on 1 April 2013 | 4 Comments

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Today is April 1, the beginning of a month long campaign to improve autism awareness. Early in my career the prevalence rate was 1 in 150.  I remember distinctly researching this detail as I delivered a speech for the Westchester County-Fairfield chapter of Autism Speaks.  The speech was requested to improve the collaboration amongst private providers.  In this speech, I discussed Autism as being an Out of the Box disorder requiring every professional to step outside of their box of speech and occupational therapy and actually collaborate well to improve the system and performance of people with autism. Almost 8 years later, the prevalence rate is now suggested to be at 1 in 55.  This rate could mean that awareness happened and more children are being diagnosed and/or properly diagnosed.

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The Kurio, Tablet for Kids

Posted by Landria seals Green, CEO on 23 March 2013 | 0 Comments

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Maybe you know about this tablet!  It's pretty new to me.  The Kurio is not only inexpensive, but loaded with reinforcers.  What's great is that parents can set the time intervals for play and the allowable sites to visit.  This is great and moves the kids from you phones.  I often see children transitioning from the waiting room to treatment and face the challenge of leaving their favorite game on their parents phone behind.  Or in a behavior assessement, one of the challenges being listed is letting go of the technology.  While I think the latter requires a different kind of attention, both challenges can be addressed by having children use something of thier own. 

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Burying the Work-Life Balance Myth, Finding My Own REALity

Posted by Landria Seals Green, CEO on 23 March 2013 | 2 Comments

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I have always been the "I am there for you" person.  I am the drop anything for you friend, speak to a parent at night (when their children are asleep) therapist to review goals, etc.  Stay up until the wee hours of the morning to get ready for the next day's IEP or to write a masterpiece report.  I was also frustrated and guilty because I had absolutely no work life balance.  The phrasing "Work Hard and Play Even Harder" was meant for other people...I wasn't playing hardly at all.  Even on vacations, I was fielding calls from my office, writing emails, reviewing reports, or even writing reports...and that was before cloud computing!  I secretly envied friends who could leave their jobs and turn it off.  My friends would constantly assure me that as Director and Owner of a private practice, this was my life and comes with the territory.  Still frustrated, I felt like I was on a never ending chase of the ellusive work-life balance.  And then I had a baby. 

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No More Tongue Depressors, Let's Use Food

Posted by Landria Seals Green, M.A., CCC-SLP on 12 October 2012 | 1 Comments

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As a child, I have never ever liked tongue depressors.  In fact, I recall as a child the mere presence of them and watching them come towards my mouth would result in severe gagging and occasional regurgitation.  Tongue depressors were a norm for me as a child as I was always a casualty of October strep throat.  Even as an adult, every September and October...I get a bit of a cold (when I fall off of my healthy eating regime).  I did  quickly learn, as a youth, to open wider and verbalize to the doctor that I did not require a tongue depressor. 

As a speech language pathologist working primarily with children with autism, I get their perspective quite frequently.  For those verbal, vocal, and nonverbal...I understand that often times you just don't want to share, you just want to relax and not work, and you just don't want the tongue depressor.  I have been fortunate to attend awesome schools and have extraordinary mentor SLPs in my young career.  These SLPs pushed me to the limits and today I am forever grateful.  One in particular, in the North surburbs of Chicago (Andrea, SLP), taught me how to reduce use of tongue depressors, horns, and the like to elicit speech and use real things. Andrea was the district consultant for Assistive Technology for children with Intensive Learning Needs in this special education school district.  First day, I was given assignments and told that my job was to make children better...get going.  She did not hold my hand at all (very different from the training and supervision a lot of new SLPs now want...is this generational?!? hmmm)!

I was taught to reimagine how I could elicit the target sounds and integrate Anatomy, Nerve Function, Physiology with Real food/real objects.  Real: items that are part of the child's everyday world or exposure and accessible to families.  I quickly learned that the Twizzler wrapped in gauze (for weight) and dipped in applesauce (or any other flavor) can give a wonderful impact for placement cues for lingual back sounds (k, g).  I utilize P.R.O.M.P.T. and other tactile cues to support...but let's face it, food is much more appealing and welcoming when we think of objects that should come towards our face and mouth.

This week I have been working with a youngster trying to achieve bilabial placement for the production to [m].  We have some real coordination and placement issues.  I pulled out a trusty cracker.  and we held it with both lips at the place where the lips should be meeting for the production of the sound.  We did not over place this food item, but quickly transferred that placement cue to the production of the sound.  And he's got it. 

Social Emotional Learning is important when it comes to supporting motor speech disorders.  He likes crackers.  From a behavior analysis standpoint, I paired the "like" with the goal I am trying to achieve, and now I am shaping speech.  Communication connects people.  The tools we use to elicit these motor patterns, oral motor placement cues, must also support the transference of the connection to the desired movement.  Yes it takes thought and a great deal of time, especially if the youngster has aversions to textures, tastes, and the like. 

For those that are more Finicky Eaters, it is a wonderfully messy task to play with food from the feet up.  In Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and ABA Therapy we are rolling our car toys over crackers and pudding, playing in foam, steping on fruit snacks and then moving up to the mouth.  Motor begats motor.  Sensory Motor processing supports speech therapy.  Both are important.    This week I have worked more than a sweat in treating children and loving every minute of it.  I just wanted to thank a school SLP who was my graduate mentor for a full semester while at Northwestern because I went back to the basics.

Enjoy and Be Empowered

 

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Speech, Occupational Therapy, ABA Therapy information for Michigan families

Posted by Landria Seals Green, M.A., CCC-SLP on 24 July 2012 | 85 Comments

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Effective September 1, 2012, SLC Therapy will be an in-network provider for ABA Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy services for Cofinity/Aetna plans.  This will better serve our Michigan families and help support the financial impact of a diagnosis of autism.  SLC Therapy provides a center based ABA program along with Occupational Therapy (including Sensory Integration Therapy), Feeding Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Augmentative Communication Therapy. Home based ABA programs are also provided and based upon availability of staff, scheduling, and best treatment environment for clients. 

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