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Checking in so you guys don’t think I died

15 Oct

YO.

Okay so listen, I still don’t have a computer (or internet) in my home and sometimes I just don’t want to blog from my tiny QWERTY phon keyboard. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to share!

1) A mom said I wasn’t kid friendly. But to be fair we ALL know that I have NO poker face whatsoever. I’ve been told this again and again and I just cannot get my face under control. Anyone who has seen my pictures on Facebook knows that my face does exactly what it wants. And I’m an open book anyway so that really doesn’t help. Talk about your heart on your sleeve – more like my heart is on my face.

2) A mom told me I was really connecting with her kid! See – people have good things to say too.

3) One of my adult patients was really into hair. And hugging. And patting my arms.

4) I’ve been doing so MANY swallow evals and I’d love to tell you about them in another post I’m just giving you a quick and dirty run down so hold your horses!

5) I did an AAC eval and I’m starting AAC device trialing this week – see number four for elaboration.

6) I’m trying to talk @kimabts into being a wug for Halloween.

uh. This is a wug.

7. It’s almost my three month anniversary at my job and as such I’m almost done with segment 1 of my CF! Holy guacamole!

8. I got strep for the first time! Yay early intervention! Also all of the children have rashes. Delightful.

9. I always thought I was really good at singing songs about my life activities but now that I’m in EI I can sing anything! WITH a tune. SOMETIMES in SPANISH.

10. My desk collapsed at work and someone came and put a traffic cone next to it. If they were smart they’d just make me wear a traffic cone around my neck at all times.

Yeah. Cone of Shame. Also I was almost crushed by speech therapy materials.

Also if anyone knows of a “communication board” to use with adults in the hospital setting tweet at @kimabts and let her know. I don’t really know any more details than that so don’t ask me ask her!

Okay now I’ll write about visual swallow studies and AAC. And maybe CFs. We’ll see. I only have an hour on this computer in the library.

NP: You Da One – Rihanna

Don’t be alarmed, we’re taking over the ship.

17 Sep

Whoa! Speechie off the port bow!

This post is in dedication to Talk like a Pirate Day (September 19th…of course.) The fine folks over at LessonPix asked the #slpeeps for some pirate-y themed therapy and we obliged (because we’re da bomb dot com.)

First let’s start by saying: LessonPix is AWESOME. I’m not just saying that because they asked me nicely to write this post and be part of their blogging hearties. I’m saying it because I DO WHAT I WANT, YO. What is LessonPix you ask, Dear Reader?

Well, “LessonPix is an easy-to-use online resource that allows users to create various customized learning materials.”

For serious – you can make SO MANY THINGS. It’s $36 a year, and in comparison to something similar (think in the ballpark of $400) I think it is WELL worth it. Especially since I can login on any computer – I don’t need a disk. For $36/yr I’m getting what – 11 years to the $400 one time price. (Obviously prices change and products change and therapy changes so don’t come crying to me in eleven years, that’s just a way to think of it if you’re having trouble with the cost in your brain.)

 What sorts of things can you make? I’ll tell you. Picture cards such as THESE:

Seriously. Do Not Copy. Or I will hunt you down.

Or you can create about a zillion other things. You pick the PIX you want, and the website creates PDFs with your material.

Materials Frankenstein

You can search what you need, upload personal images – it pretty much does all of the things. Which is awesome because I’ve got things to do, I can’t be hanging out in Paint all day trying to draw with my arrow mouse. I couldn’t do that in fourth grade and I can’t do it today.

Self Portrait

Anyway back to the pirates. I’m working for the MOST part as an Early Intervention Therapist. My caseload is composed primarily of two year olds (Yeah I didn’t know I had patience either, you aren’t the only one who is surprised.)

When LessonPix asked if I’d use their pirate materials to do therapy I was all about it. Here are some things I made:

Shapes treasure map

These are GREAT, because obviously I can put anything I need to in there. For a lot of my kiddos we’re working on receptive language – specifically identification of familiar objects/toys and following directions. So in the case of the treasure map up there, I put in images that correspond to a puzzle I was using in therapy. Then I can provide not only a verbal cue, but I can point to an image. Many of my clients require an extra prompt or two so adding a visual component is a great way to supplement cues I’m already providing. And since it’s on a treasure map, I can use these little guys to hop along to the next piece:

Me crew

If I wanted to do a themed therapy session with pirates, I could use the game board and a corresponding toy for a scavenger hunt type of activity. I found this in our therapy cabinet and it worked great for such a task:

Tis me ship

You can see that this toy has many components, such as cannon, helm, mast, spyglass, ladder, etc. While playing we could go over these vocabulary terms and then use the gameboard to prompt “giving” specific items or identifying by pointing. In early childhood therapy themes are often used so even if there was an ocean or beach unit, this type of toy could fit in nicely. And having engaging, novel materials to use with little ones is pretty much key to your survival so LessonPix really helps out with that!

I will absolutely be using LessonPix materials again, I think their product is amazing! My brain can’t even understand how the picture gets to the TV Screen so I have no idea how they’re making customizable materials out of thin air that make my life so easy.  Now all I need is a real pirate to help me cotreat…

NP: The Little Mermaid – Part of your World

ranting. raving. want a job.

16 Mar

Listen ya’ll. Finding a job is hard.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot of them. When people say that SLP is a field that needs people, they aren’t lying. But nobody wants CFs! I’ve lost count of the number of jobs I’ve applied to and I’ve had three interviews. I’ve applied to schools, early childhood centers, contract companies, hopsitals, nursing homes. I’ve applied to full-time, part-time, PRN. I’ve applied all over the state of Missouri but I may need to start branching out. I told the contract company I’ve done a phone interview with that I will go anywhere within a 300 mile radius of St. Louis. WANT JOB.

Even finding the open positions is hard. You have to

(1) think up the names of schools and hospitals or do a ton of research finding places in the city you want,

(2) navigate their website,

(3) find out if there are any SLP positions available,  and

(4) fill out each individual application which takes one thousand billion years.

Contract companies often just have you fill out their inquiry form and then they call you so that isn’t too bad. If you’re looking for something specific – good luck. Trying to find early childhood centers that hire SLPs is quite the undertaking.

Then you have the nasty little problem of not being certified. In Missouri I can pretty much count on one month post-graduation before I can get a provisional license. Today I had an interview and it felt good but then it came down to, “Give me a call when you have your license.” Which is completely understandable – but it still sucks. I want to know at graduation I have a job.

The whole process of getting licensed and certified is also really convoluted. Here’s a little checklist of things you have to do if you want to work in the schools in Missouri:

– 6 years of school! NBD

– Pass the Praxis II – SLP

– Get a provisional license (and then a full license) from the Board of Healing Arts

– Get a Temporary Authorization Certificate from the Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) – you have to get the go ahead from the Board of Healing Arts before you can do anything through DESE.

– Get a school certificate through DESE after you complete your CF (don’t forget – schools treat us like teachers!) called the Student Services Certificate.

– Complete your CF (36 weeks, supervised)

– Get your CCCs

– If you’re contracted in the schools you’ll need to get a Medicaid number. You cannot get a Medicaid number as a CF. So you cannot bill Medicaid.

– PAY FOR ALL OF THIS

– Maintain your certification with CEUs (30 hours of continuing education per biennium) through ASHA, Board of Healing Arts, and DESE

– PS. If you get your CCCs and THEN decide to work in the schools you’ll apply for an Initial Student Services certificate which expires in four years and THEN you get the Career Student Services certificate.

– PSS. You may also wish to be a part of your state association – so remember to pay for that as well!

Completely. Friggin. Insane.

Oh oh oh – and here’s something that is just AWESOME. In order to get a MO Provisional License – you must have a job, supervisor name, and employer name, before you can apply. Yeah. Don’t bother applying for a license unless you have a job already – but you may NOT see clients/patients until receive your license number. WHAT? So basically when you go into an interview you’re saying “Hire me now, but I can’t work for you until the end of June.”

Which is why it’s so hard to find medical placements – they’re hiring for NOW not four months from now.

If you want to find out about your state’s redonkulusness – you may do so on ASHA’s State-by-State website.

NP: Eric Church – Springsteen

C Words

27 Feb

Today I had my second interview with a school district in Kansas City. My interviewer asked me to tell him five words that describe myself. (There is apparently a point. I probably smiled a little. Mostly because it was really hard to think of on the spot.)

And do you know, 4/5 words I used started with “C.”

WHAT? WHY? WHO AM I IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?

I said, “Responsible. Committed. Creative. Compassionate. Competent.”

I couldn’t even throw the “R” word in the middle.

Good grief Charlie Brown.

NP: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – Home

 

 

i can’t sleeeeep

8 Jan

I have tried. No dice. What to DO?! Blog. Duh.

Life update: I’m living in the finished attic of friends KG and DH. They are super lovely and accomodating and without them I’d be living…no where. So basically I’m indebted to them for the rest of time. On Saturday the boyf is moving my storage unit crap to STL. Then I’m here for another two weeks!

This will be week four of the externship with my little bitties. Technically supposed to be my last week but I’m asking for more time because I AM NOT READY.

I succeeded in getting out of bed and going to collect thesis data, for anyone who doubted me. The best part of my project is asking people to “write a sentence” for the MMSE. I get the best sentences and people always look at me like I’m a weirdo at this request (I get the same look when I ask them to count backwards from 100, by seven. Dear Folstein and Folstein, NO ONE CAN DO THAT. Love, Sam). So far the sentences (or fragments of sentences) are,

1. I think this crazy.

2. I would like to make my way to Mountain Grove. (WHAT??)

3. I am going today.

4. The leaves are now all gone.

5. It’s not so bad here.

6. This is a beautiful day.

It’s like a MMSE poem.

I’ve been analyzing the data I’ve got. Nothing to write home about yet, but this weekend I plan to finish data collection and stats so I’ll letcha know what we’ve got going on.

My clinical director said to not start applying to jobs until March or April. However, two women I work with at my site heard this and were completely aghast. Apparently I should start like…NOW. I started fixing up my resume and would LOVE some input. Like, I have a LOT of stuff to put on a resume but my work experience and extra curriculars are basically irrelevant. Do I put those on there? I like to keep my resume to a page so I want to make the most of that page.

I’m putting my resume here so you can judge it:

Seriously, TELL ME WHAT TO DO.

 

I’m all about the constructive criticism. Please tell me what I can do to make this resume beautiful and miraculous. I want a JOOOOB. I also sent this to an SLP who I sort of know in Kansas City so hopefully she’ll have the hook up.

In unrelated news, I got a hamster. His name is Mr. Stoli Socks. He is a Russian dwarf. And he was a Christmas orphan. And he has a nibbled ear. And he is super cute and kind of mean. I think he is misunderstood.

"Oh hey guys. I am super cute. LOVE ME"

I couldn’t stop myself. HE WAS ABANDONED. Also, Monty needed a friend. He was getting tired of my shenanigans. Like I tried putting him in this hanging tunnel thing and his back legs and balls were hanging out because he is SO LAZY he couldn’t get the gumption to pull those body parts into the tunnel. Needless to say, he was none too pleased. The animals on the package looked so happy! But this is what he looked like:

From experience, I can tell you, this is an unhappy pig

This is apparently what should have happened if Monty wasn’t so lackadaisical.

You may be thinking, "That pig doesn't look more or less happy than Monty" and my answer to that is,"This pig's testes are INSIDE the tunnel"

I don’t put Monty and Mr. Socks in the same cage, but piggies and hammies are social critters. So when I put Mr. Socks in the ball and set Monty on the floor they engage. It is QUITE adorable.

In related news, I’m clearly insane.

While I’m an attic troll, my parental units are watching my creatures. Obviously my charms are many.

Since I’ve been back in Springfield, I’ve done the following: gone to hot yoga, gotten a spray tan, and attended a black tie wedding. Life keeps getting weirder and weirder. And awesomer. Also, I’m up to 252 clinic hours and 35 externship hours! Woop woop! 400 here I come!

I hope everyone taking the Praxis next week is having good luck studying! I know a lot of comps are going on as well. Keep your head up! We’re almost there!

I’m going to sleep.

what no one tells you

1 Dec

I’m about to reveal a SECRET.

An SLP secret!

You can’t stop me. Here I go.

When giving the CELF (P or 4)…the second page of the scoring form is VITAL.

See, when one gives a standardized test one should review the manual. And in most cases, we DO review the manual. In the case of the CELF you MUST review the manual because scoring is convoluted and a pain in the behind. But what everyone. EVERYONE. misses, is the second page.

The first time I encountered this was three years ago. My client had been given the CELF-4 several semesters before and I wanted to check out his current functioning. I gave him the test and scored it and OHMYGOD, he improved by like…20 percentiles in ALL AREAS! I was a miracle worker!

But, something just didn’t seem right. So I poured over the test and I made a grad student pour over my scoring and we just couldn’t figure out (a) where I got my numbers and (b) how to get the right numbers. We took it to my clinical supervisor who also appeared baffled. I left the test with her and went about my business.

A few minutes later she returned with the test packet…open to the second page. “Uh. You put the raw scores on the second page and follow the protocol from there.”

PALM TO FOREHEAD. DUH.

Well, since then I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how many frustrated clinicians I’ve seen, frantically flipping through the manual TRYING the figure the CELF out. Only to have me go to them, flip to the second page, and see that they had put everything on the front page.

LISTEN TO ME, Clinicians of the World! Second Page! Do not be suckered into the first page formula that MOST tests utilize. Oh no. That CELF second page is a tricky mistress and she is the key to your success.

Love,

A CELF-doof

NP: Darlene Love – Christmas

ridiculous

22 Nov

One of our professors is super into stuttering and cluttering research, so the name “Kenneth O St. Louis” stands out to my classmates and I quite a bit.

When we saw our professor, Dr. Klaas Bakker, standing with his research buddy, Kenneth, at ASHAcon, we got a little excited about the SLP celebrity sighting.

As any intelligent, well-behaved, grown woman would do, Katie photobombed him.

yep.

NP: The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil

Oda a SLP Graduate School

9 Nov

GRAD SCHOOL HAIKUS

Grad school can be lame

Or fun but mostly I like

Speech pathology

Cog-comm motor speech

Fluency voice aphasia

Dysphagia phono

Heavy drinking can

Lead to liver failure and

Much hilarity

I could be doing

Something useful, but instead,

I’m making haikus

Hey, Albert Einstein didn’t wear socks…

9 Nov

Text from Abtsy, 3:05 PM:

I wore my slippers to internship today…I’m losing it!”

NP: Pistol Annies – Hell on Heels

long distance, A.M. text between two SLP grad students

8 Nov

Abtsy: I need you here to inspire me to do my work!

Weathersby: You’re telling me, I miss my seat neighbor. I’ve got some serious senioritis!

Abtsy: Fo realz, I have 7,000 things to do before ASHA. I’m sure you’re in the same boat. Let’s just paddle away to an island where rum flows out of the water faucets.

Weathersby: I love rum. I’m in.

PS – I named the zit Lou Ferrigno, in case anyone was wondering. Not because it’s green, but because I wouldn’t want to see it when it gets angry.