SLPs Build Successful Lives! ASHA Bound!


I am so excited for this week. I have a 2 day work week and then I am off to Orlando, FL (my home state) for ASHA Conference!!! Then I will attend a wedding and have a week of Thanksgiving BREAK!! 🙂

The new year, 2015 will be here before you know it. 2014 has been a great year for me!! It marks my 10th year of living in Atlanta, GA and working as a pediatric speech-language pathologist. Wow! I really can’t believe that these years have gone by sooooo fast. I LOVE working with children with special needs!!! I look forward to many more years to come of enriching the lives of children with various communication, developmental, and learning disorders. 

Building Successful Lives. This is what all SLPs do every day through our awesome job as a SLP!  We teach children how to build language comprehension, oral language, correctly pronounce sounds, speak fluently, and effectively communicate with others. This only scratches the surface of the positive influence that SLPs have on the children and families that we serve. 
Building Relationships. This is what all SLPs do as we equip children with the skills they need to communicate and interact with their family, peers, teachers, and others in their community. We teach them how to observe social cues and problem solve in a highly social world. SLPs also build relationships with parents, educators, OTs, and PTs as we all work towards a common goal of enriching the lives of children with special needs. 
Building Hope.  SLPs are skilled at speaking with parents who are still trying to digest that their child has a communication disorder, hearing loss, developmental disability, and/or learning disability. SLPs empower parents to understand how they play a role in assisting their children achieve communication and language goals. We know how to share evaluation results while highlighting a child’s strengths, areas of needs, and speech/language goals. 
On those extremely hectic days of speech/language therapy sessions, IEP meetings, staff meetings, RTI, report writing, and a million other tasks, remember that SLPs Build Successful Lives!
I look forward to seeing my fellow SLPs at ASHA! Leave a comment to let me know if you’ll be there. Thanks! 

Keep scrolling down to read my previous 2 entries to enter the giveaway for progress monitoring tools. The winners will be announced on Thursday! 🙂

Tamara Anderson
BSL Speech & Language



Seven Keys For a Successful School Year {Parents}

                 *Stay Calm and Parent On!*
1.       Get to know your child’s teacher.
2.      
Encourage your child to work hard  and ask questions.
3.      
Enroll your child in non-academic activities
(e.g. sports, music, dance).
4.      
Listen to your child.
5.      
Join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and
volunteer.
6.      
Set boundaries for your children.
7.      
Stay calm and talk to the teachers, speech
language therapists, and all service providers.

On a Mission {Build Successful Lives}

Hey there! I just got back to Atlanta yesterday from an awesome weekend trip to Dallas, Texas! It was my first time visiting the state and was impressed with the beauty and diversity of the area. The people were quite friendly as well.  This was a great way to finish my summer break as I return to work full time tomorrow! 

—­­­­——–Please pause for a moment of silence————

Here is a picture of me in Uptown aka West Village. 

By the way the pizza at Union Bear is delicious! Everyone in Dallas loves this place. 

Here is a picture of my friend and I visiting the African American History Museum. 

This is a must see and has great history about the community of North Dallas.  

Today I plan on getting some last minute rest and go walking with a friend later so that I will feel revitalized for the 2014-2015 school year! Woah….I can’t believe it! 

While in Dallas yesterday, I visited my friend’s church and the pastor was talking about being on a mission daily to serve others in our community. I was sitting there thinking….hello…that is my personal and professional mantra!! In my life, my relationship with Jesus Christ/Yeshua is of # 1 importance, followed by my family, friends, career, etc. I truly believe that my belief in my savior, my guide, Jesus Christ/Yeshua enables me to do all that I do and provides me with my next steps. So to hear the pastor talk about that yesterday in church was another confirmation that God/Yahweh is amazing and personal! 

I encourage all of you to join BSL Speech & Language’s mission and build successful lives through service to others! I am committed to improving the communication and lives of children with special needs. Go on a mission in your community this year!!
Love, 
Tamara Anderson

Dallas Skyline

Driven by Innovation

On Sunday, I went to one of my favorite places in Atlanta, The High Museum. In fact, I love it so much I have an annual membership that I purchased for a steal back in September! The museum’s latest major exhibition is Dream Cars that features unique and imaginative cars that were designed in the 1930s through the present by Ferrari, Buggatti, General Motors, and Porsche. These automakers designed cars that changed the industry by challenging what was possible both technologically and stylistically. 

Here are a few photos from my visit. 

This made me think about the field of speech-language pathology and education. What are these industries doing to challenge the notion of what is possible for students’ communication and academic successes? What are speech-language pathologists and educators doing to modify how they assess students and implement therapy sessions and instruction? In recent years, I think SLPs and educators have done and continue to do a TREMENDOUS amount of preparation to select evidence based materials, evaluate what children already know, teach, and evaluate again to see what children learned. 

Common Core Standards and differentiated instruction are terms that I hear frequently while working as a school based speech-language pathologist. There are many people on both the pros and cons side of the Common Core Standards discussion and I’ll spare you the debate here. However, I like the accountability piece that the common core standards creates for school districts that use these standards to guide instruction. 

In the same manner, I believe that differentiated instruction, in which a teacher modifies how they teach, what they teach, and how they assess children is an essential shift in the style from traditional teaching. I also think that it should be best practice for all educators to implement curriculum design based on Grant Wiggins’ notion of creating a solid assessment before instructing students so that you know clearly what and how you expect them to demonstrate mastery of specific learning standards. 

As far as technology goes, there has been a significant increase in the amount of technology that SLPs and educators use to select lessons that drive children’s learning while implementing new techniques that assist in delivering results. The use of interactive SMART boards, IPads, Mimio Boards, and computer based therapeutic/educational program are engaging for children and contribute to learning when implemented effectively.  Additionally, teachers and SLPs are able to collaborate with other professionals not only at their school, but also nationwide and globally through the use of online blogs, discussion boards, Twitter, Pinterest, and other forms of social media. Children and adolescents in today’s society are very technologically savvy and I have observed that they love creative and innovative lessons rather than the same old therapy and education styles from even 5 to 10 years ago. 

What are ways that you implement creativity and innovation in your speech language therapy sessions or classroom? I’d love to hear! 

Tamara Anderson, Ed.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Education Specialist
Writer

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