A poem for Clinical Fellows


Where did I leave it?

My confidence, my wit.

Confrontation seems to stifle my flame.

There’s a part of me that now feels lame.

How can I know what I know, yet need to justify my stance.

Nothing I can say will help me in this professional dance.

I’m new and I’m young, yet I have things to say.

How long is long enough to have a heyday?

Just when I gain ground,

I get stuck on the mound.

I know, ref -

I’m just a CF.

I mixed up my "ref" and "ump" - but it didn't rhyme :)

Millennials and Future SLPs


The 2009 ASHA Board of Directors and  Lemke and Dublinske prepared a document – Designing ASHA’s Future: Trends for the Association and the Professions - for the SLP profession. One of the future “trends” I was most interested in related to Generation Y, or the Millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2002).

In 2011, ASHA surveyed the professions’ impression of Generation Y with the question “What has your experience with members of generation Y led you to believe about their future involvement in Association volunteer roles compared to that of other generations?” (ASHA, 2011).  Most respondents, 68%, agreed it would be more challenging to engage this group of individuals; however, the article compared the results to a 2007 survey which showed:

“Respondents reported the generation  to believe more strongly in the importance of volunteering…[the challenge] will be in finding meaningful and substantive ways to involve these less experienced but eager young professionals” (p. 4).

**Waves** I’m an “eager young professional” ASHA – I am ready to be captivated **

So what was the consensus solution to address the issue?  ASHA’s strategic objectives to address future issues included:

  1. Develop and implement programs that engage members in ASHA activities,
  2. Increase targeted events for new members only in the profession three to five years.
  3. Public relations with members and STUDENTS
  4. Customize programs and products for the targeted audience

pln

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What are my chances of getting into SLP grad school? Part 2


In 2012, I wrote “What are my chances of getting into grad school for SLP?”. It’s my most read post I’ve ever published. I know exactly why, too. People want to know if investing in a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist is easy or difficult and worth the investment.

In 2013, a joint publication by the Council of Academic Programs in Communications Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) published survey data based on information provided by nation-wide SLP graduate programs. It’s the same survey I used to find the data in my first post. In this post, I wanted to compare the 2 documents and see what’s changed over the past few years. One thing to keep in mind as you read through these, many individuals apply to more than one university – the large number of applications does not reflect the actual number of people who applied, just the number of applications. Check out the resource and info below for yourself…

Table 1 shows GRE scores that haven’t been converted to reflect the new score reporting using the ETS Concordance Table. No data was available from the 2011-2012 report.

average verbal - quantitative scores for SLP grad school

Table 1

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A Must-Buy book for New SLPs


There hasn’t been a week during this first year as an SLP that I haven’t turned to pages in this book with an unmistakable urge to hunt down the authors and hug them forever.

Secord, W. A., Boyce, S. E., Donahue, J. S., Fox, R. A., & Shine, R. E. (2007). Eliciting sounds: Techniques and strategies for clinicians [spiral bound]. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning. 

It runs about $50-$70. When I first bought this book, it didn’t feel important. It was almost like a leaflet you might pick up at a doctor’s office. Like an adult “Highlights Magazine”, except more expensive. Now days, it holds an esteemed place of honor in my top right hand drawer. Easily accessible. Always nearby. I would pay $100 for this gem.

I’m hoping this book is a standard required reading source in SLP grad school. If not, then buy it. You won’t regret it.

That is all for now. I’m cold…in Alaska…breaking news, huh? :)

In related news:

Interview with Wayne Secord on his book

Wayne Secord presentation on elicitation techniques

Eliciting /k/ and /g/ with help from Secord’s book

SLP_Echo now on Facebook


All right. So I added my Blog as a page on Facebook. It felt like I was selling out. I don’t know why. I’m way late to the game. I know. When I started my blog, I didn’t want anyone to know it was me writing. I was just starting SLP grad school in 2011;I was worried my professors would think I was ranting about them.

In 2014, I love that people can comment, email, tweet, and Google + me. Facebook just felt so….personal. But I’m ready to get personal. My readers are on Facebook as much as I am – so now my posts will be shared there as well. Along with other day-to-day happenings of my life and work in Alaska.

If you read my blog, like my posts, and have ever connected with me elsewhere, feel free to “Like” my page on Facebook. Here.

If it helps readers find my blog and they can find something I say helpful – success. I’m all about connecting – so – Let’s Connect!

facebook echo

SLP Clinical Fellowship – Honestly


4 years of an undergraduate degree followed by 2 years getting a Master’s degree, all you really think about is that first payday when you start your Clinical Fellowship. Something about being paid for the work you are doing – it rights the soul. All those sleepless nights studying, worrying, writing, reading – ugh! If I had been paid for the work I invested in my education, let’s just say you could all come stay with me on my own Alaskan homestead.

Now, some honesty…

knight echo

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Which SLP university should I pick? – At least consider the debt


I’ve had a few moments lately where I started thinking about what I was thinking, and how I came to think that way. It has little to do with the school’s name on my diploma or how much it cost me. It has everything to do with the supervisors and professors who taught me there. Obviously the university hired the professors and paid them, then I in-turn gave them all my money. So thank you University of West Georgia. But really….a degree in Speech-Language Pathology is a 2 year mentor-ship, littered with independent studying and sleepless nights. Conveniently located on a campus where everyone else is just as mentor-dependent. 

The quality of a mentor does not directly correlate with the amount of debt you have to incur in order to achieve a degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

debt slp

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Streamlining SLP Grad School Applications


This isn’t a post with answers. This is a post with questions. Questions to add to the already mounting questions other SLP Graduate school hopefuls have after filling out an avalanche of applications.

People applying to SLP Graduate Programs across the country have to do the following, in general:

  1. Locate an accredited university with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology
  2. Find the Communication Sciences and Disorders (or SLP) tab/link/website/hidden portal to the underworld
  3. See the requirements for applications – 3+ letters of recommendation, resume, letter of intent, essay, application form, all your money (approx $3.8 million per school…approximately).
  4. Find the application portal. (All these portals, you would think we are getting somewhere. But no, you stay in one place waiting for their call)
  5. Submit application requirements.
  6. Wait for what seems like eternity. Usually 1-4 months.
  7. Receive rejection or acceptance email/letter/pigeon – Rejoice! or Weep in a pool of tears.

CONFUSED echo

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A follow up to “Craft a Stand-Out Application”


In the January 2014 publication of the ASHA Leader, there was  a post entitled “Student’s Say: Craft a Stand-Out Application” As far as my Google search of “ASHA + SLP grad school applications” took me, this is one of the first of it’s kind for ASHA. I’ve been blogging about these same issues for over 2 years. Giving similar hints, tips, and advice the author, Carol Polovoy, offered up.

What I particularly appreciate about this post is that she was able to interview and get recent statistics from SLP grad schools. For instance,   she reported “Montclair (N.J.) State University, for example, received 541 speech-language pathology program applications and accepted 38 (7 percent) for the 2011–2012 year.” 7%!!!!??? Woah. That’s depressing. But then she followed with another recent statistic, saying  “The University of Pittsburgh…received 339 applications for 2011– 2012, and offered admission to 94 (27.7 percent).” 27.7% is WAY better than 7%.

I’ve never claimed to be an expert, but in 2012 I wrote a post on the chances of getting admitted into an SLP graduate school. I collected my numbers from the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). I’ve also written several other posts – here and here and here and here  – about the application process. It’s now 2014. The process has only gotten tougher and more competitive. People are interested in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Applicants are frustrated, tired, and worn down by the process of applying and the potential rejection.

ASHA, I appreciate the post and the thoroughness the author went through to get the information. Now…what’s next? Are there any more posts planned on this topic? Because there are so many questions from students. They need answers, and not from me. My blog is only popular because these issues aren’t being addressed elsewhere. I hope ASHA has more posts like this.. real, heart felt, and research based.

I can’t be the only one blabbering on about the SLP grad school trenches. Let’s see what happens.

Reading Comprehension Research


As a new SLP in the schools, one thing I feel inadequately prepared for is the reading comprehension difficulties I see in children with language disorders, as well as Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). I found this article which looked at 3 case studies for children with ASD.  The study discussed the application of reading comprehension techniques.

I love research, even (especially) case-studies, that gives clinical methods I can turn around and use tomorrow. This is that kind of article that makes me happy. The author brings up excellent strategies that could be further investigated with my own clients. She chose the strategies based off other studies done in the past that show deficits in children with ASD then suggest one or two strategies. She has combined the research for literacy strategies and offers explanations on how to implement using the anonymous case-study individuals.

research tuesday

The strategies for increasing reading comprehension and higher order thinking skills were priming background knowledge, picture walks, visual maps, think-alouds and reciprocal thinking, understanding narrative text structure, goal structure mapping, emotional thermometers, and social stories. Read the rest of this entry

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