Unless someone in your family is a member of a masonic order, it’s possible that everything you know about the long history of American freemasonry comes from the popular 2004 Disney movie National Treasure where Nicholas Cage teams up with a beautiful archivist to uncover the secret location of a massive treasure hidden by Free Masons in the 18th century. Spoiler alert: they find it buried underneath Manhattan’s Trinity Church. Or you’ve spent some time trying to unlock the secrets of the pyramid on the US dollar bill? Even if you missed National Treasure and you don’t care about the mysteries of our currency, you have probably heard of the Shriners. They’re the masonic order that puts on the circus, wears the red Fezs’, and raises millions and millions of dollars for children’s hospitals devoted to treated children with the terrible injuries and illnesses. Well, if you have a child with a speech, hearing, or learning delay, there is one masonic order that you should definitely know about: the Scottish Rite. In the US the Scottish Rite’s financial support for children with language disorders ranks second only to support provided by the public schools. Although slightly less glamorous than buried secret treasure, and not quite as well-known than the Shriners, the Scottish Rite is a serious supporter of the speech and language community.
Did you know that Speech Buddies are eligible for reimbursement under most health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)? If you have one of these plans set-up through your employer, you probably have a new 2014 flexible spending account balance, so check it out! Also, the U.S. Treasury recently relaxed the “use or lose” rules to FSA accounts and will now allow workers to rollover up to $500 in accrued but unspent benefits. That’s great news!
If you have a child with a speech or communication disorder, one of the best things you can do is work with the school to become a partner for your child’s future. When you consider yourself as a teammate for your child’s teachers, you can help your child succeed in school – and in life. Continue reading
Parenting a child with a speech or communication disorder can feel like a lonely journey, especially if you have no experience among family or friends who have faced these challenges. These journeys might feel even more difficult when speech disorders are combined with other conditions in dual diagnoses. Support for parents is a crucial component when it comes to parenting children with any type of challenge or disability, and networking can be your safety net when you feel like falling down on the job. Continue reading
One of the wonderful things about the World Wide Web is accessibility to resources. When it comes to online deals for speech and communication resources, parents, teachers, and SLPs alike can all find inspiration and activities to use with kids without spending a fortune. The key is knowing where to look – and these next 10 bargains can be your first stops for resources on everything from literature activities to articulation exercises. Continue reading
If you’re searching to find a speech therapist in your area you might have several concerns and questions about this process. The choices you have and the decisions you have about your child’s or your own speech therapy process will be based on two key factors: the nature of the disorder and the availability of resources. If you or your child has been diagnosed with a specific speech disorder you can then search for an SLP who has experience treating this type of condition. If you’re just in the process of obtaining an assessment, many speech clinics will be able to provide a thorough evaluation.
The job of a speech pathologist isn’t just to evaluate speech sounds and language development it’s also to get creative. Creativity is an essential part of speech therapy. If you can’t make articulation drills interesting, your pediatric patients won’t likely give you the time of day. Of course, despite having great materials, they often fail to impress a picky patient after the fifth time they see it coming. Ideas, books, worksheets, teaching techniques, and artic activities all need a fresh face once in a while and thanks to Pinterest, finding those ideas just got a whole lot easier. While you might think of Pinterest first and foremost for budget wedding ideas, speech therapy materials are quite practical and easy to approach from Pinterest when you know what to look for.
Spring break can be a great opportunity to engage your child in new activities, even you aren’t traveling to a luxurious locale. It is also a great time to work on generalizing speech and language skills. In speech-therapy, it’s important to remember that getting away from the environment in which we were taught a skill is the best way to generalize and reinforce the lesson. Take advantage of spring break and consider the following activities for your child:
Military families face unique challenges. Every so often, you can expect to pack up and move – possibly to the other side of the world. As an Army brat who was shuttled from Heidelberg, Germany to a tiny island in the South Pacific (Kwajalein) and everywhere in between, I can vouch for the benefits of the unique experiences that living abroad provides. But because I was a kid, I also didn’t have all those adult concerns – like finding a good school or finding new speech therapy resources. And military families with special needs kids have even more on their plates to deal with. In fact, according to one estimate, about 12% of U.S. military families have a family member with special needs. Behind that uniform – the ultimate symbol of respect and authority – could be somebody who is preoccupied with trying to coax one little word out of his autistic son. Fortunately, there is a network of support for military families, and the resources listed below are intended specifically for military families with special needs kids.