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Conversations in Speech Pathology

Join speech-language pathologist Jeff Stepen as he interviews a variety of professionals, parents, and other assorted characters about topics related to the practice of speech pathology/therapy.

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CSP 012: You Say Apraxia, I Say Dys…ok, fine- Apraxia!

Join me today as I talk with Dr. Kathy Jakielski, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Augustana College, about the often puzzling disorder we all know and love- Apraxia! Specifically, we’ll be talking about childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). We cover some interesting ground in this episode including: over-diagnosis, popular treatment methods, and more! Links: Please check out apraxia-kids.org for great resources on CAS. Dr. Jakielski can be found at: http://www.augustana.edu/academics/faculty-directory/directory?pid=7rgKPvJ


28 Oct 2014

Rank #1

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CSP 022: Dysphagia Cafe

Jonathan Waller is a speech pathologist in southern California who began the website Dysphagia Cafe more than 2 years ago. It’s purpose is to offer a centralized resource on all things dysphagia for clinicians around the world. The site features blog posts by guest authors, a resources page, and more! Show Notes: The ASHA leader article by Dr. James L. Coyle can be found here. Information about The McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program can be found here. Credits: The track Going Higher was provided courtesy of Bensound.com If you enjoyed this episode, please take a couple of minutes to provide a review in the iTunes store. Thanks!


26 Jul 2015

Rank #2

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CSP 006: Echolalia & ASD: Supporting Natural Language Development

This episode features Marge Blanc of the Communication Development Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Marge is the author of Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum: The Journey from Echolalia to Self-Generated Language. Here are some show notes & links: 1. Marge cited an article from the New York Times Magazine titled “Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney” that she identified as coming from The New Yorker. Here is a link to the actual article and video. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/magazine/reaching-my-autistic-son-through-disney.html?_r=0  2. Marge began taking data in 1993-94 on her clients. She indicates this later in the podcast, but at first mistakenly indicated it was 1997. 3. Ann Peter’s website can be found at: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~ann/ 4. Katherine Quill’s website and books can be found at: http://www.autisminstitute.net/index.htm. The book Marge is referring to which has a chapter by Prizant and Rydell is: Teaching Children with Autism: Strategies to Enhance Communication and Socialization 5. You can read more about Marge Blanc and the Communication Development Center at: http://www.communicationdevelopmentcenter.com/ Thanks for listening!


18 Apr 2014

Rank #3

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CSP 026: The Dynamic Duo of Dysphagia Research

For all of the advancements in dysphagia research and practice that’s taken place over the last decade (it’s been longer than that since I last saw an adult client), some things never seem to change. Today, the most important tool a swallowing clinician has for diagnosis and management of dysphagia is still between the ears. Indeed, that was one of the most important take aways I got from today’s episode, which features Drs. Ianessa Humbert and Emily Plowman (both of the University of Florida). In today’s episode, we cover how Drs. Humbert & Plowman became interested in dysphagia, their newly merged research laboratories (called  Swallowing Systems Core), some current research, and the recent launch of their course titled Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management. Enjoy the episode! General Links: Swallowing Systems Core  Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management Course (next offering in March 2016 at the time of this episode release) YouTube video of Dr. Plowman (discussing her current research involving patients with ALS) Research Articles Cited (PubMed links): Aspiration and swallowing in Parkinson disease and rehabilitation with EMST  (Troche, lead author) Transcranial non-invasive brain stimulation in swallowing rehabilitation following stroke–a review of the literature (Sebastian Doeltgen’s paper) Video-assisted swallowing therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease (Manor, lead author) The effects of feedback on volitional manipulation of airway protection during swallowing (Macrae, lead author)


21 Dec 2015

Rank #4

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CSP 047: APD or Pickles?

I don’t know about you, but auditory processing disorders have always confused me. I’m sure I’ve worked with any number of children who likely had a co-morbid diagnosis of APD without me ever being aware of it. Then again, the diagnosis itself (like many areas in our field) is the subject of ongoing debate. Today I’m happy to welcome Dr. Donna Turetgen, an audiologist in private practice, who helped shed some light on the subject. Some of the areas this episode covers includes: What an auditory processing disorder is (and differences in nomenclature). The Buffalo Model for assessment and intervention (developed by Jack Katz). What role(s) the slp can play in diagnosis and treatment. Donna’s practice is called The Auditory Connection and can be found here. You can read more about Jack Katz and the Buffalo Model here. If you are a fan of this podcast and would like to lend your support, there are 2 ways you can do so right now. If you are a speech pathologist in need of CEU’s, consider becoming a member of Medbridge. They currently have 380 quality online courses featuring some very impressive names from our field. A regular membership costs $145 per year. However, you can bump that cost down to $95 if you use this promo code: STEPEN  (Note: I do receive an affiliate commission should you sign up). Please consider leaving a review of my show on the iTunes store (if you haven’t already). Thanks for listening! -Jeff

1hr 10mins

6 Mar 2018

Rank #5

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CSP 027: Lynn Medley & The Complexities of Social Cognition

Lynn Medley is a speech-language pathologist with over 20 years of experience working with individuals with ASD. In this episode, we discuss how difficult it is to isolate what social cognitive skills should be taught, what goes into forming playgroups, the sometimes thorny topic of motivation, and more! You can check out Lynn’s practice at: mmtaspeech.com. Here are some other links and resources Lynn and her staff have compiled for your viewing and reading pleasure: The Incredible Flexible You & You Are a Social Detective (Michelle Garcia Winner) Jill Kuzma’s blog Pixar Shorts- just type in on YouTube “short animated video” Lindamood Bell’s Visualize and Verbalize curriculum The book Social Language Training Elementary by Linda Bowers and Carolyn LoGiudice The book Practical Theory of Mind Games by Carol Krakower Of course, check out Lynn & MMTA on Facebook for updates on resources Thanks everyone!

1hr 4mins

15 Mar 2016

Rank #6

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CSP 034: The Informed SLP

We all strive to be better clinicians and adhere to using best practices whenever possible. This process requires us to keep up on the literature. But keeping up isn’t easy. For one thing, there are too many journals and papers to sift through. What’s more, consuming research can be expensive if you don’t work at a university (or aren’t a student at one). Meredith Harold can’t allay all of our research anxieties, but she’s here to help! The Informed SLP is a monthly newsletter that distills the most important/noteworthy studies likely to make an immediate impact on our practice. Clinicians can look over her summaries and then decide which papers to pursue further. What a concept! In today’s episode we cover: Meredith’s unconventional career path Why Meredith started The Informed SLP The divide between clinicians and researchers Language sampling, a crazy thought experiment, and more! Please check out The Informed SLP if you haven’t already. Meredith also started a Facebook group and can be followed on Twitter here. Finally, if you aren’t receiving occasional emails from me and remember signing up in the past, feel free to register again on my home page. I had some accidental purging of my email list. Thank you and happy holidays! Jeff


8 Dec 2016

Rank #7

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CSP 005: AAC & Autism

In this episode, I talk with John Halloran from The Center for AAC & Autism about LAMP (Language Aquisition through Motor Planning). John explains the difference between LAMP the approach and the LAMP Words for Life application. We also talk about the role of video modeling in AAC. You can find more information about LAMP at www.aacandautism.com.


3 Mar 2014

Rank #8

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CSP 018: Yvette McCoy on Dysphagia: Resources, Mentors, & More

Today I talk with Yvette McCoy, a private practice owner who is highly interested in dysphagia. Yvette tells me how she became interested in dysphagia and describes some of the resources and people who helped shape the clinician she is today. Links: ASHA’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on dysphagia Northern Speech Services (for CEU’s on dysphagia) Information about the MBSImP (The Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile) The American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders Blog post by Mary Huston about the SLP scope of practice (in the U.S. that is) (By the way- is the scope of practice in the U.S. the same as in other parts of the globe?) As always, let me know if I forgot something! -Jeff


3 Sep 2015

Rank #9

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CSP 033: The Road to Graduate School

I’m not sure what the profession looks like in the rest of the world, but here in the U.S. the field of speech pathology is getting harder to get into. There are currently more applicants than available spots in graduate school. What exactly are graduate programs looking for in candidates these days? Do grades and test scores still matter as much as other factors? Today’s episode can’t begin to answer these questions definitively (I’m sure there are a wide range of requirements depending on the program). But I am happy to welcome Heidi Verticchio, a speech-language pathologist and graduate program/clinic director at Illinois State University’s Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. In our conversation, Heidi talks about what ISU’s program looks for in a candidate, how undergraduates are prepared for the future application process, newer methods for selecting applicants, and more. This episode was made possible in part by at least 2 listener requests. I hope they (and you) get something useful out of it. Go Redbirds!


23 Sep 2016

Rank #10

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CSP 003: Talking RtI with Dr. Pat Van Slyke

Today I’m featuring a former professor of mine, Dr. Pat Van Slyke, who discusses the history of RtI (Response to Intervention) as well as how us SLP’s fit into the picture.  Enjoy! You can find Dr. Pat Van Slyke at: www.patvanslyke.com


6 Feb 2014

Rank #11

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CSP 037: How We Approach Bilinguals (And What is a Bilingual Anyway?)

Happy New Year everyone! Today, on this first podcast of the new year, I welcome noted ASHA fellow Dr. Brian Goldstein to talk about bilingualism. Brian is well known in our field for his work on bilingualism and in particular Spanish phonological development. He is the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs at La Salle University and I’m told from first hand experience that he is an awesome teacher! Here are just a few of the things we cover: When bilingualism became a focus of discussion How we define bilingualism The challenge of being a school-based SLP in a school with many spoken languages. Hope you enjoy it! Jeff


20 Jan 2017

Rank #12

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CSP 040: Aphasia App-titude with Megan Sutton

This episode is going to be a departure for me because I’m handing over the mic to none other than Rinki Varindani Desai to guest host! You might remember Rinki from a previous CSP episode. I was very impressed with Rinki’s passion for the field and her eagerness to take on so many extra-curricular projects. It was only natural I suppose, that I would eventually ask her to guest host on a topic that she has much more familiarity than I do.Rinki’s guest today is Megan Sutton of Tactus Therapy, which is an app development company that develops a host of apps for the adult neurogenic population (aphasia, apraxia, dysphagia, etc.). Megan is an experienced clinical speech pathologist who has extensive experience in the area of aphasia and is a contributor to the book Healing the Broken Brain: Leading Experts Answer 100 Questions about Stroke Recovery which should be released in paperback around the time of this episode airs. Links to today’s episode: Tactus Therapy Website: http://tactustherapy. com/ Dysphagia Therapy App: http://tactustherapy.com/ app/dysphagia/ Tactus Therapy How-To Guides for Clinicians: http://tactusthera py.com/category/how-to/ Scientific Evidence Supporting use of iPad Apps in Aphasia Therapy: http://www. tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. 1080/09602011.2016.1146150 Aphasia Recovery Connection: http://www.aphasia rc.org/ Megan’s Upcoming Book: https://www.amazon.com/H ealing-Broken-Brain-Questions- Recovery/dp/1401952658 Nancy Helm-Estabrooks’ Aphasia Therapy Manual: https://www.amazon. com/Manual-Aphasia-Therapy- DVD-ROM/dp/1416405496/


20 Apr 2017

Rank #13

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CSP 042: /skr/ape it to me!

I met Kelly Vess at the 2016 ASHA convention. She was presenting a poster session on using evidence based practice to help 31 preschoolers with speech sound disorders (SSD). Kelly and her colleagues ran a study using a number of elements from recent literature on SSD’s. What she achieved was impressive. In a five week period, nearly all of her students achieved significant levels of improvement. Today Kelly discusses her study as well as the key elements that we can all use to replicate her outcomes (including the use of multisensory cues). To check out the actual poster presentation, head over to my website if you don’t see it in your podcast player. Here it is: ASHA2015POSTERpdf ASHA2016POSTERFINALpdf You might also want to check out this summary page from ASHA. It provides brief descriptions of current interventions including the complexity approach. As an aside, I want to point out that not everyone supports the complexity approach from which Kelly’s study is in part derived. To see another perspective, you might want to check out this blog post. I hope to explore these differences of opinions in future episodes. Can we agree there is still so much to learn and sort out? Thanks to Kelly for taking part in this episode! And thank you for listening! -Jeff 11/24/2017 Update: Here is a .pdf of Kelly’s most recent ASHA poster session! Vess Poster Targeting R Session ID 9284


29 Jul 2017

Rank #14

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Is there more to the oral motor debate than meets the eye? Today’s guest thinks so! In this episode, I’m joined by speech-language pathologist Robyn Merkel Walsh of Talk Tools. She explains what she believes are common misconceptions regarding oral placement therapy (OPT) (previously known by its more generic term “oral motor exercises”). Links to today’s episode: www.oralmotorinstitute.org www.robynmerkelwalsh.com http://www.ridgefieldschools.com/Page/2902 (Robyn’s school page) www.talktools.com The music track Acoustic Breeze was provided courtesy of Bensound.com

1hr 7mins

19 Jul 2015

Rank #15

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CSP 039: Yvette McCoy’s Most Interesting Case…GSW & Swallowing Recovery

Today I’m debuting the first in what I hope will become an ongoing series. I like to call it: My Most Interesting Case. Yvette McCoy is back on this inaugural episode to talk about a gentleman who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His road back to swallowing was certainly not easy, but this story does have a pretty good ending. Warning: This episode may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive listeners. If you have a compelling clinical story to share, please contact me: jeff@converssationsinspeech.com Cheers!


21 Mar 2017

Rank #16

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CSP 008: The Tongue Wagging the SLP

In this episode, I talk to ASHA Fellow Dr. Gregory Lof of the MGH Institute of Health Professions about nonspeech oral motor exercises. My hope is that this episode addresses some of the concerns or questions you might have about this timely topic.


8 Jul 2014

Rank #17

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CSP 032: Slicing & Dicing Language with Russell Cross

Greetings podcast listener! I’m happy to welcome back Mr. Russell Cross of the Prentke Romich Company (PRC) to talk about keyword vocabulary, phrasal verbs, and of course…core vocabulary. Russell is the resident speech-language pathologist for PRC (Director of Clinical Applications). He was one of the original authors of Unity language found on all PRC devices and most recently worked with Paul Andres to bring us Realize Language (if you haven’t already, please check out my previous conversation with Russell and Paul here). Enjoy the show! Links: Here is the blog post on Keywords courtesy of The Speech Dudes Davies, M. (2008-). The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 425 million words, 1990-present. Available from Brigham Young University The Corpus of Contemporary America English, from Brigham Young University http://corpus.byu.edu/coca Gardner, D., & Davies, M. (2007). Pointing Out Frequent Phrasal Verbs: A Corpus-Based Analysis. TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 339-359. Garnier, M., & Schmitt, N. (2014). The PHaVE List: A pedagogical list of phrasal verbs and their most frequent meaning senses. Language Teaching Research, 1-22. Schmitt, N. (2010). Researching vocabulary : a vocabulary research manual. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. The software program Wordsmith


11 Sep 2016

Rank #18

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CSP 023: Rinki Varindani’s Passion

Rinki Varindani is an adult medical SLP working in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Many of you will know Rinki from her Facebook group Medical SLP Forum, which just passed 8,000 members worldwide! In today’s episode, Rinki talks about what her undergraduate training was like in India, how she became interested in medical speech pathology, and where she hopes her career will eventually take her. Links: 1. Rinki’s home page can be found here. 2. Her Facebook group Medical SLP Forum. 3. You can follow Rinki on Twitter: @Rinkislp. 4. That article First Person on the Last Page: East Meets West can be found here. 5. For more information about board certification in swallowing (for ASHA members), you can click here. Did I forget anything? Want to get in touch? Please contact me: jeff@conversationsinspeech.com If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider providing a review at iTunes here. Thanks for listening!


3 Aug 2015

Rank #19

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CSP 043: The Traveling Traveler

Julia Kuhn was born with the travel gene. Luckily, she gets to be in a profession that makes it easy to work on a temporary basis in a variety of locales. (Hawaii anyone?) Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a series of temporary assignments? What about housing, medical insurance, and potential odd problems looming out there? Julia addresses it all! In fact, you can get much more in-depth on the matter by checking out her blog at thetravelingtraveler.com. Credit: “Cute” by Bensound


2 Sep 2017

Rank #20