Conversation is hard. That's normal.

 Communication anxiety prevails. Awkwardness is a fate worse than death. Being silent, isolated, and avoidant is the only path for anyone who is not a naturally gifted communicator. And that last part is the worst...because almost everyone except for you seems to have an easy time with conversation and communication. If you're struggling, well, you're one of the weird outliers.

There is good news, and there is bad news.

The good news is, you are not the only one struggling. Many people-- I believe the majority of people-- struggle with conversation. The bad news is: it's because conversation is actually pretty hard. The struggle is real!

Posted on December 6, 2016 .

Communication culture within SLP

There is an oft-repeated moralism in our field that "SLPs should model good communication," which I generally agree with. The problem is, because the vast majority of us hail from the same communication culture, our interprofessional conception of "good communication" can easily be more culturally-defined than clinically-defined.

Posted on April 30, 2016 .

Stuttering: persistent vs. progressive

"This other mom told me that stuttering is progressive, and it really scared me. That means it's just going to get worse! I don't know what to do."

We had a long talk, but this experience of hers stuck with me. Stuttering is not, in fact, "progressive", but it's a term that is often thrown around and very understandably confused with another technical p-word that the "experts" use: persistent.

What's the difference, and why does it matter so much? Well, read on...

Posted on March 7, 2016 .

Insurance 101 for 2016

With 2016 just a few days away, I have spent my holiday lull preparing our practice and assisting clients with changes to their health insurance, and how this impacts their speech therapy. Health care and insurance offerings have been steadily evolving since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, and more is in store for 2016.

If you're considering speech therapy in 2016, or are currently in therapy and your plan has changed from 2015 to 2016, here are some basics to understand. If your plan doesn't cover therapy, or therapy with the provider that you want, there are also some options. (Skip to the end for the secret stuff.)

Posted on December 28, 2015 .

Enjoy this can of worms

This is a public post of an e-mail written for a colleague. Comments please!

I have been turning over this notion of the relationship between diagnosis and treatment in our field, trying to distill all these myriad thoughts. What I've arrived at is:

Posted on December 10, 2015 .

Pseudostuttering in grad school

For the record: I am not a person who stutters.

This week in particular I've been asked this a lot, which I see as a HUGE compliment...but alas it is not the case. When someone asks me this, it often leads to an interesting discussion about the perspective of non-stuttering people on what it's like to stutter.

These discussions sparked me to dig up my graduate school pseudostuttering reflection paper. For the uninitiated, most speech pathology graduate students who take a course on stuttering are given an assignment to go around their community, stutter on purpose, and write about how it feels and how people react. The idea is that speech-pathologists-to-be should experience what it's really like to have something like a stutter.

Posted on October 6, 2015 .

Worthy words

This is a short self-reflection post.

I've shared with several people recently my belief that people who stutter have greater potential to become excellent overall communicators than most of the general population. Yes, stuttering is often accompanied by many unproductive "side effects" that make communication feel difficult. However, these difficulties can also be the spark for tremendous self-awareness and conscious choice-making during communication moments. 

Posted on September 26, 2015 .

Fluency: A Graduate Course Outline

This course provides advanced theoretical and clinical instruction in the area of communication fluency. This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the historical, scientific, and clinical issues surrounding fluency. In the second half of the course, students will be assigned a fluency client for hands-on experience connecting theory to practice. 

Posted on September 1, 2015 .