Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) is the time of year when speech-language pathologists and audiologists get to take center stage and bask in the glow while we shine a light on the many incredible things that these professionals do every.single.day. all.year.long. every.year. 

To a layperson such as myself, the idea of a stage lends itself well to the daily work of our clinicians at The Hello Clinic. These energetic SLPs are like actors. Kids often come in bouncing off the walls, full of wiggly energy, or the opposite, barely awake after falling asleep in the car. They can be so hungry they are having a meltdown. Or, they might feel peeved that their parents are making them come to speech therapy. We see such a wide variety of feelings, energy, and attitudes enter our waiting room. Right then, as if on cue, our therapists enter the stage. They assess the state of their client and meet them right where they are. Sometimes they talk out the feelings the client might be having difficulty expressing, sometimes they dance or hop to engage and transition the client to therapy. In short, they improvise and direct, and demonstrate an amazing ability to make it look effortless, as many artists do. Bravo!

So for this BHSM, I asked our SLPs to think about what they are doing better. We hope you enjoy and can learn from what our clinicians shared in our efforts to grow, stretch and laugh with our clinic friends.

Jenny

We have a 10-year-old client who is working on his /r/ sound. Yesterday we came up with some questions and interviewed Kim M. Check out the interview below! And if you’re working on the /r/ sound too, feel free use these questions (and add your own!) to interview someone in your life. And…you’re welcome, we italicized all the Rs for you 🙂

  1. What is your name? Kim M.
  2. What is your favorite animal? Oh, that would have to be a sloth or a narwhal.
  3. What is the yummiest thing you’ve ever eaten? That’s a hard one! I love ice cream, so it was probably some delicious ice cream.
  4. What is the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten? Squid! It was rubbery.
  5. What are you scared of? Definitely snakes.
  6. When were you born? October .
  7. What is your favorite breakfast? Anything with bacon, maybe add eggs and hash browns.
  8. What is your dream vacation? I happen to be going on my dream vacation…to Iceland.
  9. Do you have a pet? Yes, a cat.
  10. What’s three x three? Ha, 9.

Kim T.

A 6-year-old client and I recently created a new member of the Thinkables team, superheroes from Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking program. They help us defeat the Unthinkables, who get in the way of flexible thinking and friendly behavior. FreeezeBreathe is a superhero made up especially for my client to help him take steps to calm himself when becomes upset. After he drew this awesome, detailed drawing of FreezeBreathe, we practiced with FreezeBreathe’s 3-step plan: Freeze, Count to 10, and Breathe with three deep belly breaths. My client took home a copy of the picture so that FreezeBreathe can help him practice his new calming strategy at home and school. And my client feels more connection and ownership because it’s his very own creation!
 

Lori

The sun is out and it is testing season in schools, which means that lots of kids are feeling extra wiggly. We bring movement into our sessions to let our bodies move while we practice our speech and language skills!

Laura

I tried something new today: shaving cream mirror racing during a co-treat SLP/OT session. We were helping a client get used to the texture and messiness of shaving cream while using highly motivating objects for this kiddo  (“shake ‘n go” cars and the mirror) while also working on requesting the continuation of an activity. It was a giant mess but super fun!

 

Alice

As spring blooms and the end of the school year approaches, my school age clients have enjoyed opportunities to leave the table and move around the room. We’ve done everything from tossing a koosh ball to doing burpees, but the biggest hit has been throwing a suction cup ball at the window. I tape pictures to my window and we practice articulation or language goals using the voice the ball lands nearest to. The most popular voices have been monster, baby, and robot.

Alice also recently worked with a teenage client to create a poster for National Stuttering Awareness Week. We hope you check it out and share.

Kim M. and Christina

Christina and I have been working with two little boys who both get speech and OT. We sometimes have a play date at the end of our sessions to work on social skills and generalization. We did a shared activity where we read “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” by Mo Willems. We learned about thinking about others, body language, and feeding skills. The best part was sharing some ice cream together at the end! The two boys got to model and practice different skills for each other, and who doesn’t love ice cream?! We were able to create real-life opportunities to practice skills in a fun and functional way.
 

Sarah

One of my clients was getting a little tired of working on her articulation targets each week. I brought in a tally counter for our session, set a five-minute timer, and she got to click the counter for each sentence she said using her target sounds. She was able to say over 75 sentences in five minutes! Even better, she wanted to skip the game we were playing in order to beat her score. It was a great reminder that sometimes all we need are small tweaks to make therapy feel new again.
 

Kathleen

I have been setting up the movement room as an obstacle course and having my artic kids earn “tickets” for entry (e.g. by saying X number of targets for me) has been very motivating. Or letting them choose how many obstacles to set up and then having to say that many words to earn entry to the course.