Saturday, August 31, 2013

SLP 101: Getting Started in the Schools

I'm back with the third installment of SLP 101. We've already discussed Interviews and Salaries. If you're in a school based position it can sometimes be overwhelming once you get back into your office after those first professional development days.

Where do I start? What should I do first? What should I be doing that I'm not!

Since I'm in a new district this year some of those things that are usually automatic have taken a lot longer than usual! This is my personal to-do list. I put them in order for how I tackled them!
  • Inventory your materials
  • Find your caseload
  • Gather the student files for your caseload
  • Create a caseload list: I make 3 lists: alphabetical, by IEP date, by re-evaluation date.
  • Do file reviews: see included sheet below
  • Access to IEP Files
  • Set up meetings for any immediate needs (this might include transfers into the district - they often need to be done immediately before you can begin services).
  • Create a Welcome Letter and gather any other information to send home and make folders. 
  • Develop an attendance system
  • Develop a medicaid billing system
  • Check on FM systems
  • Check on 504 students
  • Create Data Sheets
  • Create Schedule
  • Develop lesson plans for the first week. 
Let's dig into a few of these to get started!

Inventory your materials: This is one thing you should really do when you move into a new space. You likely won't think about it until the end of the school year. At that time the administrator will probably ask you to turn in your inventory. If there is every a busted pipe or fire, the school needs to know what was in your office. I make an inventory in an excel sheet. That lets me email it to myself for safe keeping (an inventory stored in your room isn't much help in case of emergency!)This is also a great way to sit and take the time to really see what your building already has!

Caseload: Every school has a different system for keeping the caseloads listed. Generally speaking the special education clerks are the go-to people for this! I gather a caseload list and compare that to the actual files I have in my cabinet. Then take that list down the intervention specialists and have them identify which students they are the caseload manager for. I always ask them if they know of any move-in students that get special education services (sometimes those get left off the lists.)

Gather Files: Check for files for each student. Do you have to email other district SLPs to find current IEPs? Make sure you have a file for each student.

Create Caseload Lists: I use excel to create caseload lists. I use a different excel document for each of my buildings.  I enter my students' name, DOB, eligibility category, case manager, IEP due date, re-eval due date, grade, teacher, minutes per week and location of service. Once these are entered I copy/paste them into 3 different sheets. I sort them alphabetically, by IEP date and by re-evaluation due date.

Here is an example. I had to use myself as an example student but you can see the different sheets labeled at the bottom. Using excel makes it really easy to sort the sheets when we add kids to the caseload. If you don't know how to sort quickly in Excel, here is a quick explanation.

Next I sit and complete a File Review.

I use this sheet (available for free in my TpT store) to complete a file review. It helps me start to get to know the students. I find if I make myself write things out I remember them better. This becomes the first sheet that goes into my 'working folders' for each student. Grab the worksheet for free using this link. 

Access to IEP Forms: My district requires SLPs to have student sign off on Access to IEP forms. This sheet has teachers verify that teachers are aware that the specific student is on an IEP. I suggest you develop some type of system that has teachers verify that you have given them a copy of each student's IEP.

Transfer Meetings: In most districts transfer students need to have a meeting right away to begin receiving services for special education. Check to see if you have any students who moved-in over the summer and get those meetings schedule ASAP.

Are you hanging in? We made it through the first 7 bullets on my 'back to school' to-do list! My next post will delve into more of that list! Check back for the rest of the SLP 101 series! 

Speech Spotlight: AFV SLP

Today's Speech Spotlight is featuring Karen from Adaptable, Flexible, Versatile Speech-Language Therapy. 

Karen says that she tends to find ideas and try to adapt them to fit any kid's needs. 

She also had some great freebies on her blog. I loved this football one because it's quite seasonal! You could easily use it with your chipper chat magnets and wands or with dry erase markers! 

Her other freebies include Pinky and Stinky game and Scooby Snacks 

Karen is am also compiling and creating volumes of artic words that are a little more complex than your out of the box type that SLP publishers sell. Volume I is L and R, Volume II is S and Z, Volume III is SH, CH, J, TH. She says, "These carefully selected words have turbo boosted some of my artic students into graduation from speech! A volume IV will be coming in the future. These volumes are available for a small donation."

Karen says she is also prepping for her first graduate student's clinical practicum. She is really looking forward to this new experience, and any advice from seasoned supervisors is welcomed!

Go check our Karen's blog today! If you'd like to be featured please share you blog or tpt store information in the application at the top of the page! 

Photos of people looking at art

(Via) - Just click here.

Rocky Red Stripe

Rocky The Squirrel in Red Stripe Jamaican Lager Box
Rocky The Squirrel in Red Stripe Jamaican Lager Box

Friday, August 30, 2013

Trawick Prize Finalists

The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards is a visual art prize produced by the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District that honors artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The annual juried competition awards $14,000 in prize monies to selected artists and features the work of the finalists in a group exhibition.

The 2013 exhibition will be held September 4-28 at Gallery B, located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, Bethesda, MD 20814. 

Congratulations to the 2013 finalists!

Lauren Adams - Baltimore, MD

Selin Balci - Annapolis, MD
Travis Childers - Fairfax, VA
Adam Hager - Washington, D.C.
Mariah Anne Johnson - Washington, D.C.
Gary Kachadourian - Baltimore, MD
Kate Kretz - Colesville, MD

The 2013 competition was juried by Cynthia Connelly, Alexander Heilner and Vesela Sretenović - interesting to note that possibly for the first time or second that I can recall, there are no Richmond-based jurors, and thus the lack of Richmond-based artists. The MICA juror brings in two Baltimore artists (and possibly the Annapolis artist), but the rest are DMV area artists, reflecting the other two DMV-based jurors.
Cynthia Connolly, Photographer and Visual Arts Curator at Artisphere, Arlington, VA, was born in Los Angeles, and grew up in Washington, D.C. where she attended the Corcoran School of Art (bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design 1985). In 2003 she received a certificate from Auburn University’s design/build architecture program The Rural Studio. Internationally shown and a prolific artist, she is known for works in the Beautiful Losers exhibit, the book Banned in DC, her post cards, and curatorial work at DC Space, the Ellipse Arts Center and Artisphere. Her photography is in many private collections as well as the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Her art connects disparate places, people and things.
Alexander Heilner is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in photography, video, digital imaging, installation, lighting design and sculpture. His work has been exhibited, screened, and performed nationally and internationally, from MoMA to Burning Man. Earlier this year, he won Baltimore’s Baker Artist Prize and his commissioned digital collages were featured in the new Johns Hopkins Hospital complex. Alex earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and his master’s degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has been teaching photography at Maryland Institute College of Art since 2003, and currently serves as the college’s Associate Dean of Design and Media Studies.
Dr. Vesela Sretenović is senior curator of modern and contemporary art at The Phillps Collection in Washington, D.C. She joined The Phillips Collection in January of 2009, bringing significant experience as a museum professional and scholar. Prior to joining the Phillips, Sretenović spent 10 years as curator at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University. She has also taught courses in contemporary art and art theory at the Rhode Island School of Design. Earlier in her career, Sretenović worked for the University at Buffalo (SUNY) Art Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, as well as several galleries in New York. She received her doctorate in humanities from Syracuse University; a master’s degree in modern art history, theory, and criticism from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and a bachelor’s degree in the history of art from the University of Belgrade, former Yugoslavia.
Who's gonna win? I'm like batting 70% picking these, so let me do a little research and by next week the Lenster will have the inside scoop on the potential winner... I like the fact that for the first time the Trawick had an artist in its jury panel...

Wanna be in the (e)merge art fair?

Deadline: Monday, September 2, 2013 at 5pm

Washington Project for the Arts is pleased to announce a call for 8” x 8” works on paper by WPA Member Artists to be on view and for sale in WPA’s room during the (e)merge art fair

All current WPA members are invited to submit one 8” x 8” work on paper. Work submitted MUST be 8” x  8” and must be delivered without a mat or frame. If a member artist wishes to submit a work that is smaller than 8” x 8”, it must be submitted mounted to an 8” x 8” sheet of paper. WORK THAT IS LARGER THAN 8” X 8” WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

Check out the usual great opportunity by the WPA here.

(e)merge art fair's Call for Volunteers

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: (e)merge art fair
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS (Click here to view this as a .pdf online.)

WHAT: The third edition of the (e)merge art fair is coming right up and they need your help! Every year, volunteers provide instrumental support to their team by working the box office, assisting with production, and creating an inviting and warm atmosphere for fairgoers. Volunteers receive complimentary admission to one day of the fair for each shift worked. As a volunteer, you will also have the opportunity to engage with artists, curators, collectors, and industry professionals throughout the 4+ days of the fair. All volunteers must attend an Orientation session in advance of the fair (details forthcoming).

WHEN: The following represents the schedule of volunteer shifts for the 2013 (e)merge art fair, which runs from 5:00 PM, Thursday, October 3 through 5:00 PM, Sunday, October 6. Please note that a shift can run from 4-5 hours, depending on your availability:

Tuesday, October 1 (production): 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday, October 2 (production): 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday, October 3: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Fair Hours: VIP/Press Preview 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM; Opening and Concert 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Friday, October 4: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Fair Hours: 12:00 – 7:00 PM
Saturday, October 5: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Fair Hours: 12:00 – 7:00 PM
Sunday, October 6: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Fair Hours: 12:00 – 5:00 PM

WHERE: The Capitol Skyline Hotel, 10 “I” Street SW, Washington, DC 20024 (Green Line: Navy Yard Metro)

WHO: Students, artists, art enthusiasts…all are welcome to apply. Some event volunteer/management experience is preferred (but not required), with a big plus for art fair experience. Reliability, strong customer service orientation, flexibility, positive attitude, and sense of humor required.

HOW: Email a resume, cover letter, and availability to with “Volunteer Application” in the subject line. Interviews will be held from September 13-14, 2013.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Lilith

The Lilith is a watercolor by F. Lennox Campello
"The Lilith"
7x5 inches. Watercolor on Paper
Heading to the (e)merge art fair next month!
Sold! Now in a private collection in Australia

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Social Thinking: Getting Started

Last week I was chatting with ome other SLPs who are introducing Social Thinking programs for the first time. The big question was... where do I start? In past years, I've introduced a few concepts at a time as I added students and formed groups. This year was a little different since I'm starting with all new kids in my new district who aren't familiar with the program. In case you aren't familiar read my posts about the Social Thinking Curriculum by Michelle Garcia Winner to get caught up!

In all my groups (1-6th graders) this week I started with the book You are a Social Detective

 (Amazon Afflilitate Links included for your convenience below!)

This book is the PERFECT introduction. It's in comic book form and discusses the underlying vocabulary you need. Some kids will stay at this level for a while, while older kids might move on to the Superflex Curriculum pretty quickly.

At the beginning of the Social Detective Book, there is an emphasis on different kinds of 'smarts'. School smarts, musics smarts, social smarts, etc.!  I find it great way to talk about the need to work on social skills, especially when kids are resistant to talk about their weaknesses. I had them write two strengths and two weaknesses. 

I just found a brain picture and drew some lines throughout it. The kids decided which kinds of smarts they each had! 

I orded these stress balls this year for our group. I love that they are multi-colored like the different 'smarts' in our brains! 

These will make great fidgets, great models of our different smarts, plus they are flexible for our 'flexible vs. rock brain conversations' later down the road!

A few other new items I ordered for this year include these awesome brain pencil toppers! I'm hoping this will be a great way to be that visual reminder when kids head back into the classrooms! I think I'll even give teachers one to put on their desks! We all need visual cues to use our social thinking!

Another goofy toy I use a lot is another fidget or stressball toy. It's a brain with eyes that bulge out! These poppin' peepers are a great visual reminder to use while you emphasize the 'Eyes  in the Group' idea!

As you can tell, I'm into the multi-sensory materials this year! If you use Social Thinking, where do you start? How do you incorporate other materials into your speech room?

Four years old!

Anderson Lennox Franklin Lars Timothy Angus Pict Eric Florencio Brude James Tiberius Campello Anderson Cruzata Jaspersen Alonso Zaar Marrero Karling Comba Noren Dalke Hartsell y Lennox is four years old today!

Photo of Anderson Lennox Franklin Lars Timothy Angus Pict Eric Florencio Brude James Tiberius Campello Anderson Cruzata Jaspersen Alonso Zaar Marrero Karling Comba Noren Dalke Hartsell y Lennox

Adam and The Lilith heading to (e)merge

Adam and The Lilith
Watercolor on Paper
5 x 7 inches
Will be in Room 215 next month at the (e)merge art fair in DC

SLP 101: Salaries

Welcome back to SLP 101. Today's SLP 101 is the reason you just went to school for 6 years to earn that Master's Degree.

Salaries. These are really going to vary by state, city and settings. I can't tell you exactly how much to expect to be compensated, but I can tell you where to look for that information.

You're best tool leading into a negotiation is knowledge. If you're looking for a school job, keep in mind that you can find out the salary of your position before you even interview if the position is hired through the district teacher contract. Most schools publish their contract agreement which includes the salary. Try searching for 'XX district teacher contract'. You should find a salary schedule. In my state, I even found a comparison document that listed all the district in my state. 

Try out these different sources to find salary information for your location and setting: 

ASHA (includes salary surveys for different settings)Advance (includes the 2011 salary surveys) 
US Bureau of Labor Statistics  
Other SLPs - Be sensitive, but if you have the appropriate relationships don't be afraid to ask your colleagues. They know the local market the best. 

Thoughts to consider:
  • Benefits - these can vary a lot between jobs
  • Vacation Time
  • The cost of working holidays and weekends
  • Your preferences: Job happiness means a lot. 

Keep in mind that school based positions only give you credit (usually) for your years of school experience. So if you work for 3 years in a clinic and then go to a school, you may lose your years of experience and therefore need to accept a lower pay.  In a clinic, you're bringing your years of experience with you. 

PRN (hourly as needed) jobs at clinics and hospitals are great ways to increase your salary. When you're hired as PR, the employer isn't responsible for your benefits and therefore your hourly wage is higher. Supplement with these jobs, especially while you're trying to find your favorite niche!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hanen Center CEUs {review & giveaway}

I was introduced to the Hanen Centre during graduate school. During a time when we were being introduced to many different methodologies, The Hanen Approach, really stuck out to me. The Ontario, Canada based program features training programs for SLPs. Their approach focuses on training the parent in a variety of techniques for language delayed children.

This is the home page from the session!

I won't give you a huge lesson on all their programs but here is a blurb from the Hanen Website.

The Hanen Centre is a not-for-profit charitable organization with a difference. We are a social entrepreneur, operating our business for a clear social purpose – to enable young children to develop the best possible language and literacy skills. Founded in 1975 by Ayala Hanen Manolson, a speech-language pathologist who saw the potential of involving parents in their child’s early language intervention, The Hanen Centre is dedicated to addressing a pressing social problem – delays in language development in young children, including children with developmental delays and autism.
 A language delay has a significant impact on the child, his family and society as a whole. Language delay is the most common developmental disorder and is 3-4 times more common in boys than in girls. Approximately 5-8% of preschool children experience a delay in their language development that continues into adulthood, highlighting the fact that many children don't "grow out of it" as is commonly thought. Language delay can affect academic performance and achievement, social relationships, can cause behaviour problems and make it more difficult for adults to find employment.
Knowing that the window of opportunity is greatest when children are very young, we must harness the commitment of parents and professionals to give children the chance to develop the language they need to succeed socially and academically.
 Not content to accomplish this on a small, local scale, The Hanen Centre has developed a business model, which is designed to help us achieve our social goal in many parts of the world. The sales of our train-the-trainer workshops, educational resources and membership dues enable us to support our operations, as well as our research and development.

While I completed my graduate school internships, one of my supervisors was a Hanen trained SLP. She used It Takes Two to Talk and More than Words during our treatment and I learned a lot about treating toddlers and young children with language delays. 

Maybe you're like me and you've been exposed to the program or you've had access to the materials but not able to attend the full training sessions. The people over at Hanen contacted me and asked if I wanted to check out one of their online e-Seminars. I told them I'd love to review this professional development opportunity. The opinions here are mine and based on my recent experience! 

The e-seminars are available in two formats. Live seminars are watched in real-time and allow you to interact with the presenter. On Demand workshops are not interactive, but you can still watch all the questions and polls as they happened during the presentation. I chose the do the On Demand option just because it was easier to fit into my schedule!
So let's look at what CEU's are available:

-Making Book Reading a Time for Interaction and Conversation

-Coaching Parents in How to Play

-Make Words Sparkle for Preschoolers and Kindergarten Children: Bring Vocabulary to Life During Book Reading and Daily Interactions

-Starting Early: Red Flags and Treatment Tips for Toddlers on the Autism Spectrum

I selected to try the Starting Early: Red Flags and Treatment Tips for Toddlers on the Autism Spectrum. The course would typically cost $85 dollars. The course was 2 hours in length and was registered with ASHA for CEU credits.

The learning targets included:

-Describe the implications of early identification of autism spectrum disorder for the provision of early language intervention to this group of children and their families.
-Describe typical early social communication development in toddlers
-Identify early red flags which place children at risk for autism spectrum disorder
-Select appropriate intervention goals for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder
-Describe specific interaction strategies from the More Than Words® Program that can be taught to parents in order to facilitate their child’s achievement of intervention goals

The seminar is available to watch with an internet connection.

When you're done you can easily submit your information for the CE registry. Once you register for a course you have open access to it for 30 days. Perfect for when 'life' gets in the way of your plans!

Pros: When I'm attending CEU courses one of the post important things to me is practicality. This is exactly the type of CEU course I look for. It gave typical development background, red flags for delays, specific intervention strategies, demonstrated interventions through video and all items cited research. During this session I was able to take specific notes on strategies for implementing with toddlers and their parents immediately in therapy next week. These included tips for foundational social communication enjoyment, joint attention, gestures, imitating and more. I also really loved the real-life videos demonstrating the skills. This might be a perfect course for those who suddenly end up with toddler on their caseload after not working with the young ones for a while!

Cons: The cost of $85 is pretty high for those self-funded SLPs. If you're able, use the group rate!

Have you attend the live workshops or done any Hanen e-seminars? What did YOU think?

Hanen wants to give one e-seminar to a professional who works with early intervention. Please only enter if you're qualified to earn professional CEUs and if you work with this age of student. Enter on the rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Same on you - Sydney U!

Photograph: Jennifer Yiu/Honi Soit

"Eighteen vulvas. All belong to women of Sydney University, and feature on the cover of Honi Soit, the university's student newspaper. We were told to cover them with ugly black bars before publishing. Why, even after complying with this, were the issues taken off the stands?"

Read the whole article here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Art of Political Change at MOCA

“The Art of Political Change” is an invitational show curated by DMV area artist Roy Utley – the show is all about art and politics and has been getting quite a bit of pre-opening attention from the press in this most political of towns.

The show opens on my birthday (Sept. 6) and the Opening Reception is Sept 14th from 6:00 to 10:00. The exhibition runs through September 28 at the legendary MOCA DC gallery in Georgetown, and there’s an open mike political poetry night on Sept 20 from 6:00 to 10:00, followed by a Film screening night on Sept 21 from 6:00 to 10:00 (hosted by Lucy Gebre-Egziabher) and a Closing Party on Sept 27 from 6:00 to 10:00.

The show features distinctive works of social commentary by a diverse group of Washington area artists, including yours truly. They come from all across the artistic landscape – painters, sculptors, poets, filmmakers and more. The dozens of works on display by the artists will connect with the viewer on a personal visual level, as only visual art can, while the live video feeds will enable everyone with internet access to view the events as they happen.

My own exposure to political art is that (in the past) it has been usually (or maybe mostly) the left doing negative artwork about the right. 

And that's cool! 

Political art is seldom "positive" (other than in Nazi Germany, the former USSR, North Korea and Cuba - that's a smiling lot ain't it?).

The Presidency of George W. Bush left behind a huge trail of political art of all genres, all harshly critical (and a lot quite threatening) of the former President. 

Some of it was very smart and intelligent and some of it downright offensive and mean, and c'mon - once you step into the White House, you sort of expect to be the target focus of harsh political criticism.

Some artists, such as Richard Serra’s crayon drawing of an Abu Ghraib prisoner with the caption "STOP BUSH”, employed that time sensitive and horrifying war issue to achieve instant fame, and now the minimalist sculptor is perhaps best known for that rather simplistic and powerful piece, which essentially got him a ticket to a Venice Biennale.

From my experience/exposure, other than a few right wing nuts here and there, anti Presidential political art has been all but AWOL during the Obama presidency, perhaps because the mainstream media has been rather successful in re-calibrating their approach to the President and also in exacting harsh revenge on anyone who dares to deviate from a overly positive depiction of our current President.

I sent them an email asking for clarification on this issue, and since I never heard back, then I wrote them a letter... still waiting for a response.

In view of the current multiple woes of the administration, ranging from the NSA revelations to the IRS scandal and others, the vast left wing nuttery has begun to turn on the President, and I will be curious to see if Utley’s political show addresses the anti-Presidential venom so common to past political American art, but now with an Obama focus. 

It is clear from Dana Ellyn's always sharp eye and caustic talented brush, that the answer is apparently yes!
“He’s Making a (Kill) List” by Dana Ellyn 
I love this country! See ya there! 

The artists are:

SLP 101: Interviewing

I've been chatting on Facebook and Instagram with so many of you getting ready to start your Clinical Fellowship in different settings. It's a little overwhelming to get started sometimes! The good news is that we've all felt like that at some point! I'm obviously NOT a CF this year, but I am starting a new job. With that in mind, I'm having to ask all those questions you ask when you're new. Many of the skills I'm going to highlight in my SLP 101 series are pertinent to the first job or a new job. They become familiar once you're settled in a job.

SLP 101 is a series to help you get started if you're new to the field or new to a position as a speech language pathologist in the schools.

Up first, I want to give you some ideas and tips for interviewing to be a speech language pathologist. You might be a stellar clinician but that won't matter if you can't land your dream job!

Many of these thoughts and ideas come from our :::SLP CHAT::: held several times a week on the SRN facebook page. Of course I work primarily in a school, so my POV is school based. Feel free to add any comments that apply to hospitals or clinics.

Locating Job Openings:

  • State education departments (ie: Ohio Department of Education)
  • State SLP organizations
  • ASHA
  • Contract Companies 
  • Advance
  • School district websites (this tends to be the best in my own area, schools have enough applicants and don't need to advertise outside of their own websites.)
  • Often a state is divided up into Area Education Agencies or Education Service Centers
  • Newspaper
  • Some states have a consortium where all schools post jobs 
  • Word of Mouth

Sample Interview Questions:
  • Tell me about your background and experiences. Tell me why you chose to apply for our position.
  • How do you establish relationships and maintain effective communication with parents?
  • How do you incorporate the Common Core State Standards in your treatment and paperwork?
  • How will you work with the team to determine transition goals for secondary students?
  • How do you implement RtI?
  • Talk about a difficult experience with a student exhibiting challenging behavior and what you did.
  • If I came into one of your therapy sessions, what would I see?
  • How do you plan to use technology in your therapy sessions?
  • Talk about your planning process in establishing IEP goals and what you do when a student is not meeting those goals.
  • How do you interpret standardized test scores in light of the state eligibility criteria?
  • If you received a referral from a teacher, explain what you would do.
  • What do you do in your evaluations so you can determine whether or not a student is eligible for services?
  • If a teacher doesn't follow through with your classroom recommendations what would you do?
  • How do you do therapy with a group including fluency, artic, and language since students have to be grouped by grade? How do you differentiate therapy?
  • What assessments are you familiar with? 
  • If you go wave a magic wand and change anything about IEPs, what would they be?
  • How do you define educational impact?
  • Tell about your experiences with assistive technology and alternative communication in the classroom.
  • How do you differentiate between articulation disorders and phonological disorders?
  • What assessments do you use for the early childhood population?
  • What kind of innovative treatments approaches can you offer to our early childhood population?
  • What aspects of this job will stretch your professional capabilities?
  • How do you incorporate evidence based practices into your treatment?
  • How is treating students in middle and high school different from treating those in the lower grades?
  • Tell me about a time where collaboration was important.
  • What is your experience with writing and implementation of IEPs?
  • How do you keep children engaged in sessions?
  • What is your experience working with differing populations? (ASD, severe CD, CAS)
  •  Explain your assessment plan for a student whose primary language is not English.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What was your most challenging case?
  • What procedure would you use in order to determine a starting point for a student with articulation delays?
  • What would you say to a parent of a child who is requesting an increase in speech services or summer services but they clearly do not meet the criterion and they are asking you to tell the district their child needs it?
  • Share an example of how you've collaborated with special and general ed colleagues to provide service for a student with communication needs. 
  • How do you determine how much special education service a student should receive? 
  • How do you support students in a general education environment? 
  • What methods do you use for data collection? How do you use that data? 
  • Tell us about your experience with alternative communication systems and assistive technology. 
  • What are the key components to a successful IEP meeting?

Questions You Should Ask:
  • Questions you might want to ask in your interview
  • What are the caseload averages in the district.
  •  How do you handle caseloads that grow during the year? 
  • What would my caseload make-up look like (age, disability, etc.)
  • Do you use a weighted system (workload approach) so that students who more intense needs can be serviced effectively?
  • I know the caseload limits in my state are XX, is there any policy in district that differs from that?
  • How often do SLPs change assignments? Is there an expectations to remain in the position I first accept or do SLPs move between schools or groups? Will I be forced to switch assignments if I love what I'm doing?
  •  Besides direct assessment and intervention, what other responsibilities will I have? RtI teams? IAT teams? Building teams? etc.
  • What is the policy for new teachers/staff (i.e different orientation)? 
  • What program do you use for IEPs and will I get training on it?
  • What type of professional development opportunities are available specific to the needs of SLPs?
  • Do you offer financial incentives for maintaining CCCs?
  • I'm a Clinical Fellow, what type of supervision will you offer? Will my CF supervisor be available for more than the minimum requirements? Has he/she supervised before? Will we be located at the same building? Are they available for questions via phone/email whenever they come up?
  • What is the policy on SLP absences? (Are SLPs expected to make up therapy time for sick days, IEP meetings, etc.?) 
  • How are the minutes of service written on IEPs (minutes per week, month, quarter)? 
  • What space will be available for me to use, and is it shared with other teachers/professionals?
  • What are the guidelines for RtI in the district? For artic only? Language? Based on the SLP's discretion?
  •  For other SLPs/teachers on the panel especially: What do you like about this district/building?
  •  If I am in more than one building, do I have dedicated space there, too? 
  •  Is there any money budgeted for me for this school year if I get hired? 
  • Will I have a district iPad? Computer? 
  • Will I ever be told to see students at places other than the school buildings?
  • Does the district have litigation with any of the families of students who would be on my caseload? 
  • How will I be evaluated? How often?

If you're a CF applicant, the people interviewing you will have less evidence that you're a capable applicant. This might be the time that using a portfolio of your work is especially important. A few things I'd include in that portfolio: 
  • IEPs and ETRs or clinical reports
  • Letters of Reference
  • Examples of activities you created
  • Examples of Data Sheets
  • Copies of thank you notes from families or students
  • Examples of RtI programs
  • Examples of  visuals you've created for students or teachers
Keep in mind that employers will be looking for professionalism, client confidentiality, and quality of work. 

The market for SLPs really varies from state to state. You might have areas that really need SLPs and other areas where the market it saturated. The best advice is to use practicing SLPs you meet during practicum to learn specific details for your area. Every job I've ever gotten started from word of mouth. You can't beat those resources.

Have you interviewed lately? How did you find the opening? What questions were you asked? What questions did you ask?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Role of Galleries

Traditionally, we think of the gallery as having the following functions: providing an exhibition space that allows the public to view art; offering the artist and the curator exposure and access to their consumers; and acting as an intermediary between artists and the market, providing artists with the potential to earn an income as a professional. The first two functions, which connect cultural producers with their audiences, can be executed much more efficiently on the Internet. Artists have the ability to create vast social networks online, promote themselves and their artworks, and use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to share images themselves. Further, while galleries restrict how, when, and where their represented artists show their work to keep demand high, the attention economy rewards artists who produce and share frequently, encouraging artists to be productive and prolific. The Internet allows the artist more autonomy, more agency over the dispersion and reception of their work. Artists can be more effectual than the gallery in cultivating attention and connecting with their audiences. Yet the gallery continues to have the upper hand in connoting value within the art market, and the white cube continues to be the quintessential marker of art-world status.
Read the whole article in The New Inquiry here.

Dear College Male...

Dear College Male,

It's me. Jenna. A twenty-something speech-language pathologist.  Say what? That means I work in a school, clinic, nursing facility, or hospital.  I work on speech, language, cognition or swallowing.  So you're in college.  Let's be honest. You don't want to be an accountant. You really want to be the 1324th male in the Sports Management program at your university. But, let's get serious, you need a major that might actually keep you from moving back to your parents' basement until your 35. Don't worry, I've got you covered. Two Words: Ladies and Legos.

You have to take some general ed. courses to get your degree anyway. Go look up the communication disorders 101 class on campus.  You can read the course information but I'm going to tell you what you REALLY need to know about being an SLP (keep up:  that means Speech-Language Pathologist). 

1. In the words of Motley Crue: Girls, Girls, Girls {because women, women, women just doesn't sound as good}. Wouldn't you love to work in a profession where females make up 96.2% of the professionals. In 2012 there were 136,000 ASHA licensed SLPs, meaning 1 man to every 32 women. You can spend that $30/month you would've spent on buying sticks (to beat the crowds of women off.) 
2. You'll learn words like epiglottis, diadochokinetic rate, glottal fry, velopharyngeal, fricative, schwaa, malocclusion, bolus, prosopagnosia and frenulum. Your friends won't know if you're cursing, talking dirty, or if you've been to med school. If you can't pronounce those words yet just remember that we always do it with frequency, intensity, and duration.
3. Playing legos, race cars and angry birds on the ipad is a daily requirement at my job. Even if your girlfriend is nagging you to 'grow up', your clients never will. 
4.  /ju wl bi eɪbl tə rid fənetɪks/ and use sign language. Bond, James Bond. It's all about secret codes. 
5. This economy sucks. The Jetsons' maybe have used Rosie as their maid, but healthcare jobs will always be required. While there are changes within our field, we don't need to fear the Jetson's era, when robots do our jobs.  

All kidding aside, you'll never forget the first time a 3 year old with Autism says her first word. For me it happened on mini trampoline. You'll never forget the look of thanks when a stroke patient gets to eat real food again. Mashed potatoes never seemed so important. And you'll never feel more compassion than when you make memory books for dementia patients. Remembering family members is the most important thing to them. Our profession was recently rated one of the 25 Most Meaningful Jobs that Pay Well.  We desperately need more males in our profession. The incidence of communication disorders is higher in boys than girls. Adult role models for our clients are rare. So go check out that Communication Disorders 101 class and let me know if you need 10 more reasons to join me!



Thanks for laughing with me today :)