While working with gifted students certainly makes some parts of therapy easier, it also presents new challenges. In particular, I have found that gifted students not only do well with challenges - they absolutely need them in order to stay motivated and to keep behaviors to a minimum. They can be quick to bore with drill and articulation cards (you know the ones!), and look for new activities almost every session.
I also find that sometimes my most gifted students are often the ones who have the hardest time hearing (and applying) feedback. They have been successful at things they've tried their whole lives and coming to speech and working on their sound may be one of the first times that something hasn't come easily to them. This may come through as defensiveness, and sometimes I see it come through as feigned (or very real) disinterest. Either way, like most students, I get better results when I recognize and play into their strengths. I also add in a lot of growth mindset, but that's a blog for another day.
With a large portion of my caseload functioning above grade-level, over the years I have developed and curated a library of resources that provide these students with true challenges. They allow the students to stay motivated and also distract from any negativity they may feel coming from feedback.
3Teachers and Speech Language Pathologists are both highly-trained professionals in their areas. I know that I, as an SLP would really struggle to many things that teacher does on a daily (heck, hourly) basis. As "special educators", school-based SLPs have a specialized skill set that helps us to work with students that have speech and language disorders. Through our years of schooling and experience, there are specific strategies we use on a daily basis that are essential in how we help our students learn. For most of us, these strategies are so ingrained - we find ourselves using them on our own children and yes, our husbands. Sorry, babe.
Here are 3 of my favorite simple strategies that can be used in all classrooms with all students, every day.
When I went to write this post, I originally was going to title it:
"How To Get it All Done as an SLP and Mom."
Then I realized a more accurate title would have been:
"How To Get it All Done as an SLP and Mom...Hint, You Can't."
I then asked myself: As a mom, an SLP, and a million other shoes to fill - what do YOU want out of your week? What is your goal?
Well, if I'm being honest, I just want to make it out alive.
They say there are seasons of parenthood. I've heard from many that it doesn't get "better", it just gets hard in different ways. As the mother of a just-turned-two-year-old and a four-and-a-half-year old, my struggles differ from those of parents of teenagers, or those with four kids needing to all be at practice at the same time, or those applying to college. That sounds hard. I don't envy you. Those sound like hard years. These feel like hard years. Parenting is hard.
Reasonably often, I hear comments like, "I don't know how you do it all!" "You do so many things! How do you have time for it all?" The answer is, I don't. I don't get it "all" done, and those things I do get done, I don't always do well. And that's okay.
However, over the last few years, I've found a few hacks (and yes, investments) that have helped me immensely to get through the week alive and to reduce the anxiety I feel about getting things done.
Back to school time is super overwhelming. And really, who wants to think about it at any other time? Not me. However, the reality is that I DO think about it - All. Summer. Long. It hangs over my head and stresses me out.
So, I've put together a little list of some small tasks you can do now to help you ease into the school year later.
If you've got students like I do, who have mastered prevocalic or initial R, but are struggling to get vocalic R, you know how frustrating it can be.
Over the years, I have developed a few tools I love to use for vocalic R, as well as a 5-step session routine that has been working very well for me.
A little fact about me...I LOVE to travel. I don't just mean that I really enjoy heading to Mexico for a little R&R (though that sounds lovely), but I really, truly, love to TRAVEL.
I like to spend weeks in each place, and really start "living" there. In 2010, right after I finished up with grad school, I spend almost 3 months traveling, largely on my own. While many of my travels have been completely non-SLP related (turtle conservation in Costa Rica, anyone?), I've also been able to utilize my expertise on a few occasions. I taught English to Tibetan refugees living in India, and helped open up some new clinics for autism in Bosnia.
Let me start with how Kiwi Speech got its name. I currently live in Pittsburgh, but it took living in a few different states and countries to get here. One of which (and the one that is truly "home"), was New Zealand. When I was first starting my business, I wanted a name that represented who I was, but was also catchy and kid-friendly. A person from New Zealand is colloquially referred to as a "kiwi", hence, Kiwi Speech was born.
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