Tagged "Speech Therapy"

Continuing Education BOGO Sale This Holiday Season

Posted by Casey Roy on

It's almost the end of the year; do you still need more ASHA or AOTA Continuing Education Units?

Get a FREE webinar when you register for any self-study course this week.

Choose from online courses about speech therapy, feeding therapy, sensory techniques, autism, Down syndrome, tethered oral tissue, behavior, carryover and more.

This offer expires Sunday, December 9, 2018 at midnight EST.

The discount will automatically apply at checkout when you have at least one self-study course and one webinar in your cart.

Stock up on free webinars! You can use this discount an unlimited amount of times... so, the more self-study courses you register for, the more webinars you will get for FREE.

This is a mix-and-match deal, so you can choose whichever self-study course you like and whichever webinar you like.

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ASHA Convention is next week! Come see us at Booth 423, Sessions 1205 & 1689 ;)

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

TalkTools | ASHA 2016

Who's excited for the annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention next week? The convention is happening November 17-19 in Philadelphia, PA. We are ready to blow your mind both at presentations and at booth #423 and serve you the best we can!


At the booth, you will be able to view and handle all TalkTools' signature products, such as the Horn Kit, the Straw Kit, the Honey Bear, the Bite Blocks and more. Any order placed at the Convention will receive a 20% OFF discount and FREE shipping (most orders will even be fulfilled right there)!!!

Anyone visiting the booth can be entered for our raffle featuring Introduction to OPT Kits ($195 value), Online Courses ($30 to $220 value), Amazon gift cards ($250 value) and more! Just come and have your badge scanned. There will also be free bracelets, pens, chocolate and more for everyone ;) And you will be able to be photographed dressed as a super hero  at our super cool photo station to celebrate your successes in speech & feeding therapy.

Another reason to stop by our booth is to chat with TalkTools experts! Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP, Monica Purdy, MA, CCC-SLP & Colette Ellis, M.ED., CCC-BCS-S will be on hand to answer your therapy questions and discuss your Continuing Education opportunities.


TalkTools is scheduled for two presentations that you don't want to miss, Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning.

"Diet-Shaping for Self–Limited Diets in Children With a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder"

Session Code: 1205 Thursday, November 17, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Room: Terrace Ballroom IV Presenters: Robyn Merkel-Walsh, MA, CCC-SLP & Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT Instructional Level: Intermediate Abstract Type: Professional Education Speech-Language Pathology Topic Area: Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

Abstract: Presentation explores 1) the etiology of self-limited diets in autism; 2) the sensory-motor system as it relates to feeding; 3) sensory processing and how it affects the diet; 4) the importance of establishing home–base when conducting a feeding program and 4) diet–shaping based on a sensory-motor approach to feeding.

Learner Outcomes: 1. Improved understanding of the etiology of a self-limited diet 2. Demonstrate understanding of a home-based diet 3. Comprehend the concept of diet-shaping

"Careful Hand Feeding or Comfort Feeding Evaluations: Techniques in Palliative Dysphagia Management"

Session Code: 1689 Saturday, November 19, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Room: 204A Presenter: Colette EllisM.ED., CCC-BCS-S Instructional Level: Intermediate Abstract Type: Professional Education Speech-Language Pathology Topic Area: Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

Abstract: Review the speech-language pathologist’s role of traditional dysphagia management versus palliative and end of life care. Review primary and secondary recommendations made when there is known risk of aspiration. Address ethical questions SLPs face regarding dysphagia management. Instructing professionals or caregivers in careful hand feeding techniques will be introduced.

Learner Outcomes: 1. Describe the difference between traditional speech pathology services and those available during palliative care 2. Demonstrate the consultant role, service and communication needed during palliative care 3. Apply sensory motor techniques which can facilitate ‘careful hand-feeding’ if this is an option chosen by the patient with severe feeding difficulties and dysphagia

See you in Philadelphia!

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Every day, as an SLP: A Letter to the Parents of Children I Work With

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

TalkTools | Vanessa Anderson-Smith

"Every morning I wake with cautious optimism for the day, hoping I have breakthroughs with your child and every other child I work with.

Every day I comfort a parent and a family. When I say we are on the right track to get your child to speak just one sound or even eat one mere meal a day, I believe it with all my heart.

Every day I pray that my small words may help the parent and family to get through not even the day, but the hour.

Every day I think and sometimes agonize about my patients from sun up to sun down. While I may be running late between sessions or seem frazzled, your child is never far from my mind.

Every day my heart bursts at the seams when your child accomplishes what could be considered a 'small' feat by some. It is never a small feat to me.

Every day I boast to my husband, sister, parents, and anyone else with ears about the accomplishments your child made.

Every day when I give hugs, a high-5, or a 'good job' I can feel the love and happiness in my bones.

Every so often the reality of working with children who have struggles ahead weighs heavy on my heart.

Every so often I am known to sit in my car and break down over the mountains my patients must climb in order to complete the most basic tasks of a human: eat and speak.

Every day I live out my dream and passion through my career of speech-language pathology.

Every night I count my blessings. You allowing me to be a part of your child's life story is the greatest gift you can give me."

~ Vanessa Anderson-Smith

Vanessa Anderson-Smith is a Speech-Language Pathologist born and raised in South Dakota. She received her Bachelor’s Degree at Augustana University and Master’s Degree from The University of South Dakota. In 2013 she began Anderson-Smith Speech Therapy, LLC. She is now the only TalkTools® Level 3 Trained Therapist in South Dakota. Her practice focuses on assessment and treatment of motor-based speech and feeding disorders among children and adults. Vanessa lives in Canton, South Dakota with her extremely supportive husband, Ryan.

Visit her website

Visit her Facebook Page

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TalkTools Instructor in Norway, Line Avers in Media Planet

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

In this article in Norwegian published in Media Planet, Line Avers discusses the need in many cases to look at the child´s foundational skills for feeding and speech.

"In feeding therapy just as in speech therapy, it's about doing exercises that contribute to strengthen mouth muscles and improve oral motor skills," says TalkTools® Instructor in Norway, Line Avers.

"Det er mange barn som sliter med å spise, og det henger ofte sammen med nedsatt munnmotorikk. Fysioterapi i munnen kan være en løsning.

Det er godt dokumentert at barn med Downs Syndrom og Celebral Parese ofte sliter med å spise. Årsaken er gjerne at musklene er svake, særlig i kjeven, og disse barna tyr ofte til myk mat, unngår brødskorper og bruker ofte lang tid på måltidet. De har ikke gode nok tyggeferdigheter, fenomenet henger gjerne sammen med dårlige språkferdighet og gjelder også barn uten disse diagnosene, ifølge logoped ved Barnas språksenter, Line Avers.

Motoriske øvelser

– Akkurat som ved språkproblemer handler det om å gjøre øvelser som bidrar til en bedre muskulatur og motorikk i munnen. Det kan gjøres både hjemme og i barnehage/skole, og er effektivt i kombinasjon med spesifikk spisetrening. Det er viktig å begynne tidlig, og vi jobber alltid sammen med foreldre og barnehage/skole når vi følger opp, sier Avers.

Sensoriske problemer

En annen årsak er at mange barn også strever med sensorikk, og derfor prøver å unngå mat med klumper. Det er gjerne forbundet med negative opplevelser, og resultatet kan da bli et ensidig kosthold. Både i forhold til det sensoriske og det motoriske er det viktig at treningen foregår 1:1, ifølge Line Avers."


Line Kristiansen Avers, MS, SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 12 years of experience specializing in topics within Apraxia, Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), and Oral Placement Therapy. Line teaches classes in Apraxia and AAC at the University of Oslo, lectures at numerous seminars within Norway, and is a member of the TalkTools® speakers bureau. Line heads a private oral-motor, speech and language clinic in Norway, BARNAS språksenter. She has an M.S. from Penn State University and was a Fulbright Scholar.

Hint: if you don't read Norwegian, click right and select "Translate to English". 

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TalkTools News: On-demand Evaluations Now Available

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

After being available for pre-sale for two weeks, 11 new Speech Clarity Evaluation for Therapy Planning Videos On-Demand were finally released yesterday. TalkTools is proud to be offering this innovative way to help Speech and Language Therapists and other professionals perfect their Continuing Education. We hope this technique will improve the way speech, oral-motor and feeding disorders are being treated, as well as facilitate the understanding of special needs.

Each video includes interviews with the referring SLP and parent of the client, an initial Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) evaluation with program plan, and a four month follow-up with a program plan update. The tool is intuitive and lets you go through your training easily and smoothly. You just have to watch the video and take the quiz online to earn your ASHA/AOTA CEUs.

Each video is unique in regards to the client, the diagnoses, and the program plans. The diagnoses treated are:

- Language and Intelligibility: A four-year-old female with the diagnosis of benign hypotonia with a multiple articulation disorder and hyper-nasality is being treated.

- Bilabial and Tongue-Tip Sounds: A four-year-old female with the diagnosis of benign hypotonia with a multiple articulation disorder characterized by an inter-dental production of bilabial and tongue-tip sounds is being treated.

- Speech and Language Delay - Short Frenum: A four-year-old male with the diagnosis of multiple articulation disorder with associated muscle weakness that reduces intelligibility on the conversational level is being treated.

- Speech/Motor Planning Disorder: A three-year-old male with the diagnosis of multiple articulation disorder with motor planning problems not severe enough to be diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is being treated.

- Inter-dental Productions: A seven-year-old male with the diagnosis of inter-dental production of /t, d, l, n, s and z/ is being treated.

- Speech and Language Disorder: A three-year-old male with the diagnosis of multiple articulation disorder and a limited food repertoire is being treated. 

- Motor Planning with Dysarthria: A twelve-year-old male with the diagnosis of multiple articulation disorder secondary to a suspected neurological component is being treated.  He presents with a large gap between what he is saying and what the listener can understand.

- Transitioning from OPT to Speech: A six-year-old female with the diagnosis of inter-dental and lateral production of /s/, /z/, /∫/ (sh) and /t∫/ (ch) and “j” is being treated.

- Lateral /s/ and /z/: A six-year-old male with the diagnosis of multiple articulation disorder with lateral production of /s/ and /z/ is being treated.

- Lip Rounding and Tongue Mobility: A three-year-old male with the diagnoses of a) multiple articulation disorder with no lip rounding and reduced tongue mobility and b) poor chewing skills is being treated.

- Early Intervention Down Syndrome: An eight-month-old female with the diagnosis of Down Syndrome is being treated.

Videos are of various lengths. Videos of 2 hours get you 0.20 CEUs, videos of 2.5 hours get you 0.25 CEUs, and videos of 3 hours get you 0.30 CEUs. Price ranges vary from $55.00 to $75.00.

The other innovative thing is that previews are available for free and let you have a glimpse of what you will learn.


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