Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Heart in the Right Place

When I have time I try my best to read articles and blogs from all over the corners of the web.  Many of the pieces I find myself reading are what I have dubbed "Starter Pieces".  These starter pieces are typically written by a parent or professional who has their heart in the right place, are trying to get information out to other people for all the right reasons, but they fall short on completing the whole circle of information.  I'll give an example of one I recently read.

The /m/ Sound (and the rest of the blog itself) is a nice blog set up to pass along information, and frankly they have done a much better job of being dedicated and keeping up the depth of posts than I have. ;)  Regardless, the information is a place for a "mommy" to start [certain distinct sounds, exercises, quick tricks to try]. On the /m/ page, she does mention that some kids may have low tone and to "contact her for exercises", but doesn't address those kids with apraxia who may not be able to access the motor plan.  As a parent if I read that and my child couldn't do the work, I'm not sure I'd know where to go next.  Also, if you look into her blog at her "exercise" recommendations, they are the generic type...put your lips together over and over on a tongue depressor or straw to eliminate drooling. Did we forget that their may be sensory, jaw and tongue issues involved?

In my younger years I often felt that this information was misleading or doing a disservice on some level because I knew there was SO MUCH more information and training needed to address many of these issues.  However, today I feel differently, I feel encouraged that people will put themselves out there for review, for crticism and praise, and dedicate themselves - I know it takes a lot of time.  So if you find articles or blogs or have questions, pass them along, make comments on here, and I will do my best to continue closing the circle on as many Starter Pieces as I possibly can!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Parents Are the Linchpin

Good morning everyone!  I was reading a couple blogs this morning when I found a nice post regarding parents performing therapy at home.  More than a couple parents commented to the post stating how they often forget and feel bad for not performing therapy as a regimen.  Sometimes is takes support groups, reminder buddies, a beeping appointment on your phone - whatever it takes, PARENTS YOU ARE THE LINCHPINS!  Thank you for sharing and being honest, thank you for for stepping to the plate.  Your therapists cannot succeed without you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Teach?

After 6 weeks on the road I am finally back in Tucson for a little R&R. Teaching my classes in Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) for Speech Clarity and Feeding is one of the joys of my life. Even though this takes me away from home I have felt for a long time that this is what I need to do at this stage in my career. Every once in a while I meet someone who confirms to me, once again, that I have indeed made the correct choice (I wish for everyone to have this experience in their careers).  I was teaching my “Three Part Treatment Plan for Oral-Motor Therapy” class in Springfield, Massachusetts in March.  Just as I was about to walk to the front of the room to begin a women in her mid-fourties rushed to the registration table totally out of breath. She had no idea who I was and said to me, “I have a terrible headache, my daughter is sick and I should be home with her. I have no idea why I am here as I am probably going to quit my job as speech therapy is no longer what I want to do. I didn’t sleep too well last night so forgive me if I rest my head on my arms and fall asleep.” My husband Phil, always the gentleman, led her to her seat and asked her if he could do anything for her.  She just needed rest.

At the end of the second day the same woman, who by the way never did fall asleep, came up to me. This time she took my hand and said, “You have changed my world. For the first time you have explained the science of speech therapy and I cannot wait to get back to my clients on Monday.” What a great day!

So my family and friends, now you know why when you call you never know if I will pick up the cell phone in Tucson or in Canada. Next stop… China.