What Research Shows About the Functional Relevance of Standardized Language Tests

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As an SLP who routinely conducts speech and language assessments in several settings (e.g., school and private practice), I understand the utility of and the need for standardized speech, language, and literacy tests.  However, as an SLP who works with children with dramatically varying degree of cognition, abilities, and skill-sets, I also highly value supplementing […]

Embracing ‘Translanguaging’ Practices: A Tutorial for SLPs

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Please note that this post was originally published in the Summer 2016 NJSHA’s VOICES (available HERE).   If you have been keeping up with new developments in the field of bilingualism then you’ve probably heard the term “translanguaging,” increasingly mentioned at bilingual conferences across the nation.  If you haven’t, ‘translanguaging’ is the “ability of multilingual speakers […]

Teaching Punctuation for Writing Success

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Last week  I wrote a blog post entitled: “Teaching Metalinguistic Vocabulary for Reading Success” in which I described the importance of explicitly teaching students basic metalinguistic vocabulary terms as elementary building blocks needed for reading success (HERE).  This week I wanted to write a brief blog post regarding terminology related to one particular, often ignored […]

Teaching Metalinguistic Vocabulary for Reading Success

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In my therapy sessions I spend a significant amount of time improving literacy skills (reading, spelling, and writing) of language impaired students.  In my work with these students I emphasize goals with a focus on phonics, phonological awareness, encoding (spelling) etc. However, what I have frequently observed in my sessions are significant gaps in the […]

The Limitations of Using Total/Core Scores When Determining Speech-Language Eligibility

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In both of the settings where I work, psychiatric outpatient school as well as private practice, I spend a fair amount of time reviewing speech language evaluation reports.  As I’m looking at these reports I am seeing that many examiners choose to base their decision making with respect to speech language services eligibility on the students’ […]

Intervention at the Last Moment or Why We Need Better Preschool Evaluations

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“Well, the school did their evaluations and he doesn’t qualify for services” tells me a parent of a 3.5 year old, newly admitted private practice client.  “I just don’t get it” she says bemusedly, “It is so obvious to anyone who spends even 10 minutes with him that his language is nowhere near other kids his age!” […]

Why Are My Child’s Test Scores Dropping?

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“I just don’t understand,” says a parent bewilderingly, “she’s receiving so many different therapies and tutoring every week, but her scores on educational, speech-language, and psychological testing just keep dropping!” I hear a variation of this comment far too frequently in both my private practice as well as outpatient school in hospital setting, from parents […]

Test Review: Test of Written Language-4 (TOWL-4)

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Today due to popular demand I am reviewing the The Test of Written Language-4 or TOWL-4. TOWL-4 assesses the basic writing readiness skills of students 9:00-17:11 years of age. The tests consists of two forms – A and B, (which contain different subtest content). According to the manual, the entire test takes approximately between 60-90 minutes to administer and examines 7 skill […]

Assessing Behaviorally Impaired Students: Why Background History Matters!

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As a speech language pathologist (SLP) who works in an outpatient psychiatric school-based setting, I frequently review incoming students previous speech language evaluation reports.  There are a number of trends I see in these reports which I have written about in the past as well as planned on writing about in the future. For example, […]

What’s Memes Got To Do With It?

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Today, after a long hiatus, I am continuing my series of blog posts on “Scholars Who do Not Receive Enough Mainstream Exposure” by summarizing select key points from Dr. Alan G. Kamhi’s 2004 article: “A Meme’s Eye View of Speech-Language Pathology“. Some of you may be wondering: “Why is she reviewing an article that is more […]

Introducing New Product Service: Comprehensive Report Tutorials

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For those of you who follow my blog you know that I have not been publishing any new posts since August 31 of this year. For that I sincerely apologize! These past few months have been very busy. I did a lot more speaking engagements than last year as a result of which I have been preparing […]

Review and Giveaway Wh-Questions Island

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Today I am reviewing WH Questions Island by Virtual Speech Center.  The app was originally released a few years ago but since I recently reviewed their “Questions Hunt“, and because this app was recently updated, I was very interested in comparing how the two stack up. This app contains a total of 480 what, where, who, […]

Parent Consultation Services

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Today I’d like to officially introduce a new parent consultation service which I had originally initiated  with a few out-of-state clients through my practice a few years ago. The idea for this service came after numerous parents contacted me and initiated dialogue via email and phone calls regarding the services/assessments needed for their monolingual/bilingual internationally/domestically adopted or biological children with […]

Creating A Learning Rich Environment for Language Delayed Preschoolers

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Today I’m excited to introduce a new product: “Creating A Learning Rich Environment for Language Delayed Preschoolers“.  —This 40 page presentation provides suggestions to parents regarding how to facilitate further language development in language delayed/impaired preschoolers at home in conjunction with existing outpatient, school, or private practice based speech language services. It details implementation strategies as well as […]

Professional Consultation Services for Speech Language Pathologists

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Today I’d like to officially introduce a new professional consultation service for  speech language pathologists (SLPs), which I initiated  with select few clinicians through my practice some time ago. The idea for this service came after numerous SLPs contacted me and initiated dialogue via email and phone calls regarding cases they were working on or asked for advice on […]

What do Auditory Memory Deficits Indicate in the Presence of Average General Language Scores?

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I frequently see a variation of the following question on a variety of speech language forums: “My student scored within the average range on all the tested subtests with the exception of working memory and sentence recall. What other testing do you recommend to determine whether these difficulties are impacting their academics?” First, lets provide a […]

Have you Worked on Morphological Awareness Lately?

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Last year an esteemed colleague, Dr. Roseberry-McKibbin posed this question in our Bilingual SLPs Facebook Group:  “Is anyone working on morphological awareness in therapy with ELLs (English Language Learners) with language disorders?” Her question got me thinking: “How much time do I spend on treating morphological awareness in therapy with monolingual and bilingual language disordered clients?” […]

Back to School SLP Efficiency Bundles™

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Back to school time is rapidly approaching and many speech language pathologists (SLPs) are looking to efficiently prepare for assessing and treating a variety of clients on their caseloads. With that in mind, a few years ago I created SLP Efficiency Bundles™, which are materials highly useful for SLPs working with pediatric clients. These materials are […]

Assessing Social Communication Abilities of School-Aged Children

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Recently, I’ve published an article in SIG 16 Perspectives on School Based Issues discussing the importance of social communication assessments of school aged children 2-18 years of age. Below I would like to summarize article highlights. First, I summarize the effect of social communication on academic abilities and review the notion of the “academic impact”. Then, I go over […]

Review and Giveaway: ‘I Can Do’ Apps Early Literacy and Critical Thinking Bundle

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Today I’m excited to review  not just one but a bundle of four different apps I Can Do Apps    developed by Carrie Steenbergen M.S, CCC-SLP. This bundle consists of the following 4 apps: Associations Categories Rhyming Starting Sounds These apps are perfect for young preschool and kindergarten age children or older children with developmental disabilities and language delay. Reminiscent […]

What Are Speech Pathologists To Do If the (C)APD Diagnosis is NOT Valid?

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Last week I wrote a blog post entitled: “Why (C) APD Diagnosis is NOT Valid!” citing the latest research literature to explain that the controversial diagnosis of (C)APD tends to a) detract from understanding that the child presents with legitimate language based deficits in the areas of comprehension, expression, social communication and literacy development b) may result […]

Alternative Therapies, Herbs, Pills, and Snake Oils or “What’s the Harm in That?”

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time and have finally decided to do it now due to an increased prevalence of “non-traditional” treatment options available to parents of language impaired children. More and more unscrupulous or misguided individuals are offering fantastical cures to children diagnosed with the wide variety of disorders including but not limited […]

Why (C) APD Diagnosis is NOT Valid!

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Today’s post will make a number of people quite angry and is intended to be controversial!  Why? Because controversy promotes critical thinking, broadens perspectives, allows to acquire better knowledge of the construct in question as well as ultimately guides better decision making on the part of the parties in question. So why the lengthy disclaimer? Because today […]

Show me the Data or Why I Hate the Phrase: “It’s Not So Bad”

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A few days ago I was asked by my higher-ups for a second opinion on a consult regarding a psychological evaluation on an 11-year-old boy, which was depicting a certain pattern of deficits without a reasonable justification as to why they were occurring. I had a working hypothesis but needed more evidence to turn it into a viable […]

What Does “Their Social Skills Are Just Fine” Really Means When it Comes to Children with Language Impairment

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As a frequent participant in a variety of speech pathology forums I’ve read through countless “mini scenarios” of SLPs asking for advice regarding various aspects of therapy service provision for children with average IQ and language impairment (characterized by weaknesses in the area of listening comprehension, language processing, vocabulary acquisition, sentence formulation, as well as conversational […]

App Review and Giveaway Questions Hunt

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Today I am reviewing an app from Virtual Speech Center called Questions Hunt.  The app targets answering 60 yes/no as well as 360 WH questions (what, where, who, when, why and how) in young children with language disorders. This app is thematically based with questions in the following categories: Beach Park Store Campground Airport and […]

Preventing Learned Helplessness in Students with Language Impairments

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A few weeks ago in one of my private speech language therapy sessions, I was reviewing the homework  of an 11-year-old student,  part of which involved  synonym and  antonym production describing abstract feelings (e.g., disinterested, furious, etc.). These words were in the client’s lexicon as we had been working on the concept of abstract feelings for a number of weeks. […]

Special Education Disputes and Comprehensive Language Testing: What Parents, Attorneys, and Advocates Need to Know

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Several years after I started my private speech pathology practice, I began performing comprehensive independent speech and language evaluations (IEEs). For those of you who may be hearing the term IEE for the first time, an Independent Educational Evaluation is “an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for […]

App Review and Giveaway: Listening Power Preschool HD by Hamaguchi

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Today, I am very excited to review the Listening Power Preschool HD recently released by Hamaguchi for children ~3.5 + years of age  with a focus on improving language processing and listening comprehension. This app consists of 5  levels of increasing complexity.   Each of its five levels contains “easy”,  “intermediate”, and “advanced” options and can be […]

Friend or Friendly: What Does Age Have To Do with It?

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In my social pragmatic language groups I target a wide variety of social communication goals for children with varying levels and degrees of impairment with a focus on improving their social pragmatic language competence.  In the past I have written blog posts on a variety of social  pragmatic language therapy topics, including strategies for improving […]

Improving Emotional Intelligence of Children with Social Communication Disorders

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Our ability to recognize our own and other people’s emotions, distinguish between and correctly identify different feelings, as well as use that information to guide our thinking and behavior is called Emotional Intelligence (EI) (Salovey, et al, 2008). EI encompasses dual areas of: emotion understanding, which is an awareness and comprehension of one’s and others emotions (Harris, 2008) and emotion regulation, which […]

Teaching “Insight” to students with language, social communication, and executive functions impairments

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One common difficulty our “higher functioning” (refers to subjective notion of ‘perceived’ functioning in school setting only) language impaired students with social communication and executive function difficulties present with – is lack of insight into own strengths and weaknesses. Yet insight is a very important skill, which most typically developing students exhibit without consciously thinking […]

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