Hello Live: Help! I Have to Write a Feeding Protocol! with Wendy Gunter

Feeding Protocol Hello Live Wendy Gunter

Does assessing dysphagia in the schools scare you a little bit? Does creating a feeding protocol for a student seem overwhelming and impossible? Join Wendy Gunter as she shares the steps you need to take to assess dysphagia for a student and complete a safe feeding protocol.  She will discuss the history and ethics of managing dysphagia in the schools, and will give you concrete steps for working with your team and developing a plan.

Wendy references the ASHA Code of Ethics, the ASHA Professional Issues Statement on the Roles and Responsibilities of the SLP in Schools, and the ASHA Pediatric Dysphagia Portal. Be sure to listen to our conversation after the show, too, to hear more of Wendy's thoughts on the roles and responsibilities of the school SLP when it comes to managing dysphagia. This is one of her favorite topics, so she encourages you to contact her with any questions and concerns you have!

Research Tuesday: Delivering Stuttering Intervention via Telepractice

Goodness. There is so much interesting research going on out there! I had a hard time picking an article this month, but finally settled on one that looked at the viability of a telehealth model for working with adolescents who stutter. We do a fair amount via telepractice around here (both via our Hello There approach, and our Hello Online private online therapy), and I am thrilled to see that the research community is starting to look at best practices for this new frontier!

Research Tuesday

The Details

Carey, B., O'Brian, S., Lowe, R., & Onslow, M. (n.d.). Webcam Delivery of the Camperdown Program for Adolescents Who Stutter: A Phase II Trial. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Vol. 45(October 2014), 314-324. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from http://lshss.pubs.asha.org/Article.aspx?articleid=1895438

The Question

Phase I of this study established that it was viable to deliver the Camperdown Program via webcam to adolescents who stutter. This study (Phase II) sought to evaluate the efficacy of the Camperdown Program in this same population.

The Method

Researchers engaged 16 adolescent boys who were seeking treatment for stuttering, ages 12-17. All participants had greater than 2% Syllables Stuttered (%SS), were proficient English speakers, and had not received treatment for stuttering in the previous 12 months. Assessment was conducted prior to treatment, upon entry into the maintence phase of treatment, 6 months after entry into maintence, and 12 months after entry into maintence. Participants recieved the Camperdown Program via webcam in their own homes for a mean of 15.5 hours.

The Results

The mean %SS at the start of the study was 6.1%, and was reduced to 2.8% 12 months after entry into maintence. Participants "significantly reduced their stuttering in terms of frequency and severity," although the authors note that there was variation in the degree of improvement between individual participants. The adolescents also reported that they enjoyed receiving the treatment via webcam, and fewer than half stated that they would have liked to have visited the SLP in person "a few" times in order to get to know the SLP better. In addition, they expressed that they would prefer to receive their services online in the future.

Researchers note that only around half of the participants maintained their original reduction in %SS at the 12-month mark. Interestingly, this regression was not reflected in the participants' self-report measures, which remained positive at the 12-month assessment. This level of regression/relapse is typical of other, traditionally-delivered intervention programs that have been studied with this popultion.

The Take-Away

It's no shock that adolescents really liked receiving services via webcam, but it is always nice to have a gut-instinct reinforced by research. While it only demonstrated true success for half of the participants, it seems to me that this has more to do with treating stuttering in general than by the delivery medium. Also, stuttering is a disorder in which self-perception matters at least as much, if not more, than the quantative measures of severity. That the participants rated themselves highly after 12 months is very encouraging to me. I was also excited to learn about the Camperdown Program, which can be downloaded for free. All in all, this study suggests that, at least with this population, telepractice is an excellent option.

The Talk Shop: A New Social Network, Just for You

We're Big Idea folks around here. The bigger, the better. In fact, Hello was started with the Big Idea that a staffing company can offer the highest caliber service to it's clients while simultaneously offering it's clinicians a workplace that values and empowers them both professionally and personally. Now, we have a new Big Idea, and that idea's name is The Talk Shop.

The Talk Shop is a bran' spankin' new social network that was created to help bring our internal company culture of open and safe communication to a wider audience. It's a place where professionals around the world can gather together for a new level of digital collaboration. Delivering Quality, Putting Kids First, and Practicing Work-Life Balance are Big Ideas. They're also 3 of our 4 core company values, and we know they don't happen in a vaccum. It is our hope that The Talk Shop becomes an incubator for those and thousands of other Big Ideas that are just looking for a place to grow.

It's free to join and participate, and always will be. We'd love to see you there and, to entice you a bit more, we're employing our 4th core value, Give. If you register as a new user before October 21, 2014, you'll be entered to win a $250 Visa Gift Card that you can spend on whatever your little heart desires.

So, welcome to our new Big Idea. Like all new ideas, it's probably a little rough around the edges. It needs the help of our community to test it out, poke holes in it, challenge it, push it to it's limits, and help make it stronger. So please, go give it a whirl. If you hit a bump in the road, click on that little envelope in the lower right-hand corner and let us know. We're eager for your feedback and to create a space that works for the community we feel so grateful to be a part of.

See you at The Talk Shop!

October 2014 Clinician of the Month

Our October 2014 Clinician of the Month, Helen!

We have a tradition of honoring a clinician each month who exemplifies one of the core values of our organization. This month we have chosen to recognize Helen, for the way she models our value of “Put Kids First!".

Helen took a leap into the Hello There service model this fall! She is serving middle school students at 2 schools in Corvallis, OR. District administrators approached Hello with big needs and a complex set of limitations. Facing a new service model, an unfamiliar caseload, and no available assistant time, she impressed staff with her “can-do” attitude. Not having an assistant has been a bit of a hurdle, but she has managed her own anxieties, put kids first, and has been able to assure staff “we can make it work!”

After her first month on the job, she reports, "I am hoping to help some of the hesitant sped teachers next week with FaceTime or Skype in order for me to [be on video] during meetings instead of just ... speaker phone. I find that I do a lot of PR and reassuring folks that using technology is just fine and will work well."

Thank you, Helen, for truly putting kids first - even when it means taking some risks! Congratulations on being our October 2014 THF Clinician of the Month!

Census! Test Your CQ

Are you a Special Ed Census Genius?

Are you a Special Ed Census Genius?

Ah, fall is upon us.  The evenings are getting crisper, pots of soup are simmering on the stove, and one word is ringing in special education administrators' brains.  At first, the word is just thrown around in casual conversation, and then, as the magical date approaches, it becomes somewhat of a mantra. 

Census.   Census.  Census.            

As important as December 1st is for federal funding for special education services, it is surprising how little information there is on the topic online.   Perhaps because it is not new and exciting, or, for most people, it is just simply a deadline.  

But without census, districts wouldn't have the resources they needs to serve kids.  So we thought we could have some fun with this annual event that, well, might deserve a little more love than it gets.  Think you're a census expert?  Take this quiz and find out!  Answers below.

1. On average, the percentage of students nationwide participating in an IEP is: 
     a. 10%
     b. 6%
     c. 13%
     c. 20%

2. Which of the following can NOT be counted for census:
     a.  2-year-olds or 22-year-olds
     b. Head Start programs
     c. Private/parochial schools within your district boundaries
     d. School at home (homeschooled) within your district boundaries 

3. Which of the following has the highest percentage of students on IEP's, at a whopping 29%?
     a. Montana
     b. Rhode Island
     c. Ohio
     d. Puerto Rico

4. When comparing students in urban and rural settings, which of the following is true?
     a. Students living in urban areas were more likely than their counterparts in suburban or rural areas to receive special services through an IEP.
     b. Students living in rural areas were more likely than their counterparts in suburban or urban areas to receive special services through an IEP.
     c. There is no difference when comparing regional characteristics and IEP services.

5.  We all know that Specific Learning Disability is the most common disability.  What is the second most common?
     a. Other Health Impairment
     b. Autism
     c. Speech/Language Impairment or Communication Disorder
     d. Intellectual Disability or Mental Retardation

6. Federal funding for IDEA for 2014 covered what percent of the cost of educating children with disabilities, leaving the rest for states to fund on their own?
     a. 50%
     b. 70%
     c. 15%
     d. 100% 

Answer key: 1. c - 13%   2. a - 2 or 22 year olds    3. d - Puerto Rico    4. a - urban are more likely  5. c - SLI/CD   6. c - 15% (sad, but true) 

What's your Census Quotient (CQ)?

6 correct : Your CQ is 135.

Wow! You're a Census Genius!! Way ahead of the curve.

4-5 correct: Your CQ is 110  

Good for you!  You're well within typical limits when compared to your peers. 

2-3 correct: Your CQ is 85

You are in the borderline range for your knowledge of census.  

0-1 correct: Your CQ is 65 

You might need some specially designed instruction in the content area of census 

No matter what your CQ is, we wish you the best of luck in this busy time of year.  We are sending you thoughts of timelines met, completed IEPs, and locked eligibilities!