New Language Development Research: Early Assessments Predict Future Academic Success

New Language Development Research: Early Assessments Predict Future Academic Success

Language Development News

A recent language development research study sought to understand whether children who were identified as having language challenges in preschool tended to have longer term academic difficulties. As you can see, from the very nature of what they were trying to investigate, this longitudinal study—spanning two decades—was the way to go. Research in the field of speech-language pathology deals with human behavior, which is extraordinarily complex. It can take years to be able to draw solid conclusions about the clinical effects of the work we do. What these authors found was surprising and has important implications for how we approach language challenges in preschool children. This study was just published by the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, and can be accessed in its entirety on their site. But I wanted to make sure that parents would have access to such important work, by describing it’s implications.

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Speech Therapist Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

Speech Therapist Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

News

Back in the summer of 2006, I had the opportunity to take part in one of the most enriching experiences of my career, the Bosnia Speech and Hearing Project. Founded in 1997 by California-based SLP Judi Jewett, the project at its outset primarily supported children with hearing loss, both congenital and those who had experienced traumatic hearing loss – after all, this was only a couple years after the historic Dayton Accords of 1995 that ended the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II. Judi assembled whatever resources she could, mostly via her church community, but over time, the project grew to include hundreds of mostly US-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) looking for speech therapist volunteer opportunities — they donated their services to thousands of Bosnian children in need. Recognizing that a lasting contribution is about empowering local communities to help themselves, the program was instrumental in founding an SLP training program at the University of Tuzla.

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The Crazy and Fascinating History of the English Language

The Crazy and Fascinating History of the English Language

News

The English language is the conduit of more human contact than any other language in the world. It is the official language of 58 sovereign nations in all six habitable continents. And when, for example, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Argentina played each other in the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the players largely communicated with each other and referees in — you guessed it — English. Yet we might take for granted how our language came to be what it is today. Together we’ll look at the history of English and the journey it has taken from Paleolithic times, when it was proto Indo-European, to the bewildering genealogy of the lexicon we use today.

[Illustration from Minna Sundberg’s web comic Stand Still. Stay Silent.]

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6 Best Speech Therapy Movies

News

The King's Speech -- Movies featuring Speech TherapyOk, I admit it: there are other professions that have garnered more attention than the field of speech therapy has, when it comes to portrayals of the field in major motion pictures. There have been a few more films about law enforcement and intelligence operatives, not to mention medicine and law, than have been produced about the great work speech pathologists do every day. Nevertheless, there have been some excellent movies made that feature the field of speech pathology as crucial to the film’s story. Since you probably know all about the story behind the Best-Picture winning The King’s Speech, I wanted to share with you five other films that feature the vital interaction of speech therapy and maybe give you a few fresh ideas for a Friday night in when you just can’t think of a movie to rent.

And I promise not to spoil the endings of any of these movies.

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Speech Evolution and the Origin of Language — or Why Humans are Awesome

Speech Evolution and the Origin of Language — or Why Humans are Awesome

News

How did we, as humans, come to dominate the earth? I fundamentally believe that the core reason our species is top dog, so to speak, is our ability to communicate complex thought processes with one another very efficiently. We are not the fastest species on earth; we are certainly not the strongest; and the pets we have in our homes generally have more acute senses than we do. Yet we have this ability, unique in nature, to speak. This has allowed us to master the art of cooperation and in turn, to exploit natural economies of scale. From an evolutionary standpoint, these complementary skills for communication — one a cognitive skill (language) and the other a motor skill (speech) — are a tour-de-force of coordinated systems. Speech evolution and the origin of language may not be something you think about everyday, but read on to understand why you are even more awesome than you realized.

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The Most Important Supply: Back to School Speech Therapy

News Parents' Corner Speech Therapy Techniques

Speech Therapy with Speech Buddies ConnectIt’s time to start thinking Back to School! As parents and teachers, we want to give our kids everything they need to succeed, and at this time of year it seems easy: pencils, paper, notebooks, a backpack, maybe a lunchbox — all the tools of their trade. But it’s easy to overlook the most important things: excitement, self-esteem, self-confidence. Are there tools for that? Just like the physical tools our kids use to start their new year, emotional needs should be a priority; we want our children to step through the classroom doors with ease. Speech Buddies has been busy building an easy way to make back to school speech therapy, or anytime speech therapy, as accessible as possible…

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From Stutter to Superstar: Megan Washington’s Story

From Stutter to Superstar: Megan Washington’s Story

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Megan Washington

Award-winning singer/songwriter Megan Washington suffers from a stutter. Image Courtesy of ABC.

A multi-platinum singer, two-time ARIA Award winner, and guest judge on The Voice, do you know Megan Washington? As one of Australia’s most famous singer/songwriters, “Washington” as she’s called, is setting stages on fire all across the world. But, did you know that Megan Washington has suffered from a debilitating stutter since she was five years old?  If you have not seen her TEDx presentation, you may have never heard Megan Washington stutter, nor guessed that public speaking was her greatest fear. Her experience, as with many, was that singing therapy for stuttering brought “sweet relief” from her speech impediment. It was the only time she felt her speech was fluent. Washington’s story recently became headline news as she revealed her long-time secret at a TEDx conference in Sydney earlier this year.

“To me, language and music are inextricably linked through one thing. And that thing is I have a stutter.”

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Effect of Stroke on Speech and Language

Effect of Stroke on Speech and Language

News Speech and Hearing Disorders Speech Disorders
Effect of Stroke on Speech and Language

Effect of Stroke on Speech and Language. Image courtesy of www.ndtv.com

Whether or not you are a country music fan, you may have heard recently that grammy-winning country singer Randy Travis has been left unable to speak or sing due to a stroke he suffered last year. After his stroke in July 2013, he was able to restore much of his motor functions with physical therapy, but has not regained his speech. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) usually affects one side of the brain. Movement and sensation for one side of the body is controlled by the opposite side of the brain. What does this mean? If a stroke affects the left side of the brain, there will be problems with the right side of the body.

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Speech Buddies Partners with The Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles

Speech Buddies Partners with The Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles

Cleft Lip and Palate News Parents' Corner

We are thrilled to announce a new partnership that Speech Buddies has formed with The Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles. Cleft lip or palate is one of the most common birth defects in the United States, affecting around 1 in 600 children nationwide. Children who are born with cleft lip or palate are likely to have speech difficulties, as too much air fills the open nasal cavity, making their speech sound “slushy.”

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