Coming Summer 2015….


Speech Language Pathologists

Professional Development

Planning professional development is very much like planning a wedding. Who should be on the guest list? Will everyone from birth to death like the meal you have picked out? What will everyone post on Facebook after regarding the vows, your dress, the cake?


Professional development is also about empowerment. How do you empower 125 people with different personalities, varying skill sets, and diverse caseloads to learn and grow?

Well-I think we have done it! We are excited to give you a preview of what to expect when you need 18 hours of flexible professional development. (Please know some of the particulars are being worked out as far as days, presenters, etc.)

  • During the Low Incidence Institute the following may be of interest to you:
    • Collaborative Teaming-How to Role Release Speech Services to the Classroom Teacher
    • AT Book Camp 101 (3 hours specific to SLPs 7/31/15). This session will focus on a variety of ACC devices. Format will be 15 minutes of device description followed by 15 minutes of “play”.

The following sessions will be offered August 3rd-6th, 2015

Finally in our continued effort to add to our tool kit as school based speech language pathologists, we will have a full day consisting of large group session and breakout sessions. Large group will consist of a keynote motivational speaker, department updates, and an optional group networking lunch. Breakout sessions will focus on building our RTI offerings for regular education teachers regarding behavior, ADHD, and Autism/Pragmatics as well as enhancing our ability to collaborate and educate teachers regarding adverse academic impact (including those complex communication students) as well as using News2You and Unique Learning.


I hope you all will be as excited as we are.



Apps for Therapy

Today, Kim Carter has agreed to share some ideas for using apps in therapy with older students:

As a middle and high school clinician, I try to incorporate technology in most of my sessions. Technology doesn’t only provide an efficient way to plan, but also helps maintain the student’s attention. Many of my middle/high school student’s goals target vocabulary development such as identifying synonyms, antonyms, and multiple meaning words. Goals also target identifying and using context clues to explain the meaning of unfamiliar words and/or non-literal language. Here are some apps that I use during my session that correspond to the goals.

  • PROVERBidioms by Greenstone Games LTD

    • I use this game to address non-literal language goals. This app offers visual supports and examples of hundreds of English sayings.

  • Middle School Vocabulary 7th Grade by Monkey in the Middle Apps

    • This app is great! It includes 60 words collected from the common core for middle school. The app provides multiple choices answers. I use this to help students identify the context clues as well as define unfamiliar words. This company also offers Math and Science apps for 6th– 8th

  • Stack- A word association brain game by: MochiBits, Inc

    • I use this app for students who are working on word associations. Words can be related, synonyms, antonyms and/or compound words.

  • Heads Up by Warner Bros.

    • I use this game to work on identifying categories and describing attributes. Kids love this game.

I also use Smart Notebook to find PowerPoints and lesson plans. Lauren S. Enders and Jill Kuzma are both great resources for a variety of activities.

Thanks, Kim!! Do you use apps during therapy? What are some that you have found useful?


Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Today’s Post was prepared for you by Terri Bowles. She offers some suggestions and information about students who are transitioning to middle and high school. This post is accompanied by the “Transition Checklists” created by the middle/high PLC. Thanks to all of you for your work on these documents!

Which of my speech students should I send on to middle or high school?


In an effort to find a way to help in the understanding of the complex differences between speech language services at elementary vs. middle/high, the Middle/High School PLC has spent some time putting together two “Checklists” and some tips/facts to help Elementary and Middle School SLPs work together when making decisions about some of those transitioning students they might have on their caseloads. We hope they help!

Middle and High School Speech Language Services;  The Big Picture;

  • Most middle and high schools have 6-7 periods lasting from 45 to 55 minutes each. Teachers want the students to be there for the first 5 minutes of class to get the assignment and then release them.
  • LRE should be just like in elementary—no restrictions. Indicate special education:  speech language services OR Co teaching: speech language services.
  • Consider holding a transition meeting prior to the end of the 5th grade school year and amend the IEP to reflect speech/language time compatible with the Middle/High school schedules (i.e. 1 x 30 , 1 x 45, 1×50 if they are moving on with speech. The receiving SLP would love a call prior to the meeting to ask them how they schedule their students.
  • If you are sending students, make sure they have appropriate goals that warrant specific, direct service and that there are a manageable number to collect data.   Seventeen benchmarks are difficult on both the SLP and the student.
  • If you see there is a duplication in services with ECE services, the question needs to be, “Where is the adverse impact—communication or their main area of eligibility”?
  • Data for every goal is so important. This allows you to make sure the student is making adequate progress, been at a plateau level for an extended period of time or already met a goal or benchmark.
  • Contemplate releasing students who have reached 75% out of 80% accuracy.
  • It is most helpful as middle/high SLPs if we have a current KY Consent form with parent permission for a Type A reevaluation.


The Articulation and Language Checklists can be used, if you so choose, prior to scheduling the IEP meetings in the 5th and 8th grade years.  As Middle/High SLPs we have used them ourselves with our own caseload.  It was eye opening to see students from a different perspective.  We hope they are helpful and will be a great resource for you when thinking about students transitioning from one level to another.

Final Draft Articulation (PDF)

Final Language Checklist copy PDF

Service Delivery: To Pull or Not To Pull ???

Today, Carrie Kaelin shares her experience with push-in therapy within the regular classroom setting.

The scene: You are developing an IEP. You have written a fantastic PLEP, even remembering to include baseline data (right?), and have formulated the perfect goal and objectives (right?). You continue on, checking all boxes correctly, etc. Finally you make it to the LRE and the Special Education / Related Services sections. You glance at the little ‘Location’ box. Maybe you consider typing ‘Regular Classroom’, wait… WHAT? Are you NUTS? You quickly banish the thought!

Most of us have tried delivering services in the classroom and have not-so-fond memories of it. Words that come to mind: Silent Observer, Tutor, Awkward, Sans Data. This school year I found myself in a situation that made me have to give this model another look.

One of my 3rd grade students, “Hero”, didn’t like being pulled from class for his therapy session. He enjoyed the session once he was there, but getting there was the problem. He would see me at his classroom door, his head would fall a bit, and then he would lumber past his peers, out the door to receive special help that they didn’t need. In addition to this issue, Hero was struggling with his academics (no ECE resource help), and therefore needed to be in class as much as possible. The committee discussed all of this and decided it may be better for Hero to receive his language therapy services in the classroom. Wh – Wh –What? Oh my. But honestly, I was up for the challenge and really wanted it to work.

They say timing is everything. Generally mine is the pits but in this case I knew I had to get it right. I asked Hero’s Language Arts teacher (who is fantastic) about the flow of the morning and observed the classroom routine in action. This was important. I wanted to choose the best time to be in the room. My school is known for self-directed learning; the students do quite a bit of independent and small group work, and this has been fairly conducive to me being a part of the mix.

During my time in the classroom the students are usually either doing partner-reading or working independently in their workbooks. Whatever material the class is using becomes the therapy material for the session. Eureka! What could be better? The curricular vocabulary is right there with each chapter in their Journeys book and there are beautiful illustrations that we use for picture description tasks.

2 3 4

We have also used materials such as the National Geographic Kids Magazine, and classic books such as Because of Winn-Dixie. So far things are going well. Hero seems to like that I am in the room helping him and along the way I am discovering many unexpected ‘pluses’ of being in the classroom!

A list of pros that I have noted thus far:

*You form a better relationship with the teacher.

*You become more familiar with skills being taught at that grade level.

*You become familiar with the classroom routine.

*You have access to pertinent, core content materials.

*You can observe how the student’s communication disorder is adversely impacting him/her in the classroom.

*The teacher can take a restroom break, b/c there is another adult in the room. J

*You can observe how other students on your caseload who are in the class are doing, and cue them for carryover.

*You come to know the other children in the classroom and observe peer dynamics.

*You get to meet the class pet! J


This is Snickerdoodle……very cute!

It’s not always rosy of course. Every now and then things do feel slightly awkward, like I’m a bit out of place…. but this happens less and less as time goes on. This model does not work for all students, or all classrooms, or all SLP’s schedules. The stars do need to align to some degree. If they do, I encourage you to try service delivery in the classroom.

I would suggest that you discuss it with the teacher and try it out a couple of times before the IEP meeting (be sure to document why you were in the classroom). Then, if it feels like it would be a good fit, go for it!


Carrie H. Kaelin, MS-CCC/SLP