In the Blink of an Eye…

Incredibly, but not surprisingly, time flies when you are having fun. After a not-so-brief hiatus from my blog, I’d like to return by sharing with everyone the new adventure that I have embarked on and I can’t think of a day more appropriate than today, Mother’s Day! I am pleased to introduce my first daughter, the angel who has made me a mom, little Miss Reese Marie. She has filled my life with smiles and sunshine since December 6th, 2015. 

Now, I may just be a proud momma talking, but she’s the happiest baby that I have ever met. She’s been a constant reminder to me that positive attitudes make the world a better place. My world is surely better, and much more positive, with her here. I am sure she will continue to grace these posts with her presence in the future. She has already taught me so much about happiness. I know there is more to come! Stay tuned. 

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ASHA 2014 – See you there!

Yay! It’s finally here! The annual gathering of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists aka my favorite convention aka ASHA!

I love participating in an event that allows like-minded individuals to come together, share ideas, form new partnerships and grow as professionals. This convention always seems to rejuvenate me for the rest of the year. It gives me ideas for new interventions, opens my eyes to better see how I can help my kiddos and keeps me, well, positive!

The event itself can be a bit overwhelming though. Sitting for long hours through lectures on tedious (albeit interesting) information, meeting new people, rushing from session to session – it’s exhausting! Each convention, I get a few more ideas regarding what will make my conference experience a little more positive. I’ll list my suggestions below but feel free to suggest your own in the comments!

1. Take a bag!

Vendors pass out lots of fun things and some sessions have handouts. Usually you can nab a FREE bag, but not always so be prepared just in case.

2. Pack your bag with creature comforts.

Bring small snacks, handsanitizer, water bottles, etc,. Anything that will help you to feel more comfortable throughout the day. You want to avoid having a growling stomach during your 10 AM session, because, well, that’s just no fun!

3. Bring some cash in small bills.

You never know what will come up! Yes, most vendors will take cards and I’m sure an ATM is nearby but sometimes you just NEED a Starbucks or an extra water from the vending machine.

4. Dress in layers.

Some rooms are hot. Some are cold. Some are just right. If you dress in layers you can make adjustments as needed.

5. Bring a camera or keep your smart phone handy.

SLPs from all over come to these conventions. You might just run into your best friend from grad school that you haven’t seen in years! Be prepared to capture and enjoy those moments.

6. Make your schedule ahead of time. Include 2 or 3 sessions that interest you for each time slot.

Some sessions fill up more quickly than others. It’s not uncommon to arrive at your first choice only to find that all of the seats are gone. Having second and third choices already picked out helps you to quickly find your way to another great session.

7. Order the catered lunch that ASHA provides.

These lunches are usually provided on the vendor floor. They are packed and ready to go so you can eat quickly and get back to the conference. Planning to leave the conference for lunch often takes much more time than anticipated due to traffic, parking issues, etc.,

Well, I’ll stop there. I’m sure there are other excellent tips for keeping your 2014 ASHA conference experience a positive one but it’s time for me to hit the road! If you think of any more, comment below!

Have fun at ASHA!!

If you’re happy and you know it… Take a break!

Just a friendly reminder to breathe!

Usually, after I’ve checked off everything on my to do list, I bask in the glory for a few minutes while I look for a piece of paper to start writing a new one.

As SLPs, we tend to be goal driven: Without prompting or support, Amanda will write 3 IEPs by Friday with 80% accuracy. But sometimes it’s nice, no, it’s important, to step back and just relax. Reflect over your accomplishments and the challenges you have overcome with a cup of coffee, or a trip to the beach ( I live in Florida. We can do that now.). Take a break! Stop planning. Just analyze the data and return to work refreshed on Monday.

Happy resting!

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M.S., CCC-Serving and Loving People (SLP)

I guess I’ll kick things off with a bit of a throw back. I feel like this is a must because I work with an amazing team that deserves some props for all of their hard work and diligent effort that they’ve put in so far this school year. If you are a School-based SLP, or any type of SLP for that matter, you understand how often we shift gears throughout the day. An 8:00 AM IEP… 9:00 AM Pre-K Autism group… 10:00 AM Evaluation… With all of these transitions, it’s no wonder that our daily headache usually sets in by about noon! BUT I’ve never met a SLP that truly considers their job complete when they punch the clock. So many of us go above and beyond our scheduled eight to serve not only our kids but our communities.

On October 30th, my school hosted a very spooktacular “Reading Isn’t Scary” night. This night was geared towards increasing literacy and a love for books. Myself and the two AMAZING SLPs that work with me collaborated with the Preschool Special Education Teachers to make this night amazing. The results were fantastic!

photo¬†We shared the story “Go Away Big Green, Monster!” by Ed Emberley. This story was so much fun and provided excellent opportunities for expansion activities. Our team was so creative and organized several expansion tasks for children to engage with while adults talked about strategies for reading to children. Our favorites were:

  • Homemade Green Play-doh with Mr.Potato Head pieces
  • Monster Matching Cards (Available on TeachersPayTeachers – Thanks Super Power Speech!)
  • Color, Cut, and Paste Monster Hand-outs
  • Monster Puppets with removable parts

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Every child was able to take home a brand new book all of their own. They also received a delicious (and somewhat vicious) treat. They received bags of Monster Mix made with long noses/candy corn, white teeth/marshmallows, and squiggly ears/raisins. If only you could have seen how their eyes lit up!

All in all, it was truly a fantastic night with plenty of smiles to go around. It was made possible by a FANTASTIC team of SLPs and Teachers who suffer through the head-aches, rearrange their schedules and work a little (or a lot) longer to make a difference for our kids and in our community. I think, at the end of our long day, SLP should stand for Serving and Loving People!

A Little Bit About ME.

Hello! My name is Amanda. I am completing my fourth year as a School-Based Speech-Language Pathologist in Pensacola, FL. I truly love my chosen career path. It is immensely rewarding and incessantly interesting! There is always something new to learn! On the flip-side, SLPs face unique challenges that often leave us frustrated, misunderstood and ready to throw in the towel. Through this Blog, I hope to alleviate some of those frustrations by shining a light on the amazing SLPs within my community, offering up solutions to some of the familiar challenges we face, and ultimately spreading the positivity! Stay tuned…

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