January 30, 2020

Introducing the 2020 Winter Interns

It's that time of year again. There are new faces around the office. One of our ongoing goals at speech IRL is training and mentoring opportunities. The two newest interns are joining us for the 2020 spring semester! You'll see them around the office working directly with clients and standing in a supportive role of practice as a whole. We welcome Aubrey Means of Northwestern University and Jordan Jansen of Rush University They have shared a bit about themselves with these mini-interviews.

Meet Audrey!

What non -SLP (speech language pathology) experience do you have? A few years ago I was an intern at an insurance company working in the claims department and the next year I worked at a tree nursery in the greenhouse. I really appreciated both experiences despite not being in my field of interest. I believe that I gained skills from my non-SLP jobs that I can apply to work in speech therapy (e.g., professionalism, interpersonal communication, time management, and work ethic) and having such a varied past work experience makes me a well-rounded person. Also, now I know that I chose the right field!

What excites you about becoming an SLP? There are a lot of things that excite me about becoming an SLP, but there are two things that motivate me the most. One, the fact that I will be able to make a difference in a person’s life and improve their quality of life. Communication is so important in everyday life and the idea that I have the privilege to give that gift to a client gets me through the day. Two, I discovered since beginning school in this area and explaining to everyone what I’m going to school for that I love advocating for speech therapy and educating others on what speech therapists do. I am hoping to continue to educate the general public, other health professionals, and parents/family about what we do.

Which type of clinical work have you found most enjoyable and/or interesting thus far? Why? I’ve enjoyed every clinical experience I’ve had so far, making future career choices a lot more difficult. Most recently, however, I was part of a team that evaluated children with suspected learning disabilities and I really enjoyed becoming a diagnostician. I value the experience I had on this team because I learned not only how to give a variety of standardized tests, but learning how to interpret the results of the test and figuring out what else I needed to know in order to make a diagnosis. I loved that age range of the children I evaluated and seeing how different each individual was from each other despite having similar deficits. 

What type of clinical work are you most looking forward to experiencing during your speech IRL internship? During my internship I’m looking forward to working with a wide variety of clientele, but transgender voice and social communication interest me a lot and those areas are ones with which I haven’t had much experience. Also, I’ve worked a lot with clients on language and cognition, therefore I am looking forward to working with clients on articulation, voice, etc. to improve my perceptual skills. Overall, I’m looking forward to a lot of variety in my caseload in order to gain skills in many different areas that I can take with my in my future career!

As you head into this internship, what scares you the most? With any new experience comes a little bit of fear of the unknown, but I think mostly I am a bit worried about the increase in caseload from my on campus clinic to beginning this internship. I want to ensure that I am providing quality service to each client and that I am dedicating a proper amount of time to preparing for each session. I’m sure with experience and confidence this will not be an issue, but I can’t help but worry a bit!

Clinicians at speech IRL aim to honor our clients' journey by staying accountable to our own growth and living in a place of challenge. Please share one personal goal that you have for yourself during this internship, so that all of us (staff and clients!) can support you and celebrate your growth along the way. With any new experience comes a little bit of fear of the unknown, but I think mostly I am a bit worried about the increase in caseload from my on campus clinic to beginning this internship. I want to ensure that I am providing quality service to each client and that I am dedicating a proper amount of time to preparing for each session. I’m sure with experience and confidence this will not be an issue, but I can’t help but worry a bit!

Meet Jordan!

What non -SLP (speech language pathology) experience do you have?

For the past 8 years I’ve worked on many TV and film productions, like NBC Universal’s Chicago PD and Fox’s American Horror Story, moving from Chicago to Los Angeles and Atlanta. I basically moved wherever the work took me! I was a stand-in and photo double for most of that time but eventually I was hired by an LA based company to start an office for casting and extras coordinating in Chicago. A normal day included working with groups as large as 100 people, so communication was key! I also feel that working in different cities with people from many backgrounds strengthened my awareness of diversity and solidified the importance of qualities like inclusion and equity in my work.

What excites you about becoming an SLP?

What excites me the most about becoming an SLP is being able to give back to my Chicago community. My father and sister have been seeing SLPs long-term and I’ve personally witnessed the difference SLPs can make in an individual and family’s life. Helping people communicate and improve their quality of life through speech-language pathology seems to be the rewarding career I’ve been in search of.

Which type of clinical work have you found most enjoyable and/or interesting thus far? Why?

What excites me the most about becoming an SLP is being able to give back to my Chicago community. My father and sister have been seeing SLPs long-term and I’ve personally witnessed the difference SLPs can make in an individual and family’s life. Helping people communicate and improve their quality of life through speech-language pathology seems to be the rewarding career I’ve been in search of.

What type of clinical work are you most looking forward to experiencing during your speech IRL internship?

I’m most excited to experience working with transgender voice and social communication. I’ve observed a few sessions with transgender individuals and found that to be so inspiring and fun! I’d love to continue to explore voice work like that and help people find their most authentic voice. As well, I am very excited to work with adults on social communication and improving their pragmatic skills.

As you head into this internship, what scares you the most?

I’m only beginning my second semester of graduate school at Rush, so I’m a little intimidated with the responsibilities that I’m about to take on at speech IRL. There’s so much to learn and it’ll happen so fast, but I’m thrilled by the challenge! I know that when the internship is over, I will be so thankful for all the experiences I’ve had and everything I’ve learned in this beautifully unique environment.

Clinicians at speech IRL aim to honor our clients' journey by staying accountable to our own growth and living in a place of challenge. Please share one personal goal that you have for yourself during this internship, so that all of us (staff and clients!) can support you and celebrate your growth along the way.

My goal is to become more confident in my note and goal writing. I want to be able to do the paperwork as efficiently and timely as I’ve seen other experienced SLPs do it. I’ve already had the chance to admire some of the SLPs at speech IRL write their notes and I hope I can become just as skilled by the end of the internship! I welcome any and all critiques because I’m here to become the best SLP I can be.​

December 15, 2019

Stuttering on screen in 2019

So, to get us all up to speed on "stuttering stereotypes for 2019," (hint: there ain't no such thing!) here are three examples of recent nuanced portrayals of stuttering on screen. These characters are not villains, dunces, or terrified of their own shadow. With 70 million PWS around the globe, we finally have a growing collection of on-screen stories with people who stutter as regular people with hopes, dreams and love interests.

Read more

October 7, 2019

Resources for Stuttering

Support groups

National Stuttering Association: Provides support, friendship, and information to the stuttering community. Hosts annual conference bringing together hundreds of people who stutter and their loved ones, and has local chapters throughout the country.

FRIENDS: Provides support, education, and empowerment to children and teens who stutter, their families and clinicians. Hosts annual convention and regional one-day conferences throughout the year. Offers mentor/mentee program - Stepping Up

Shared Voices: Community center in the greater Chicagoland community providing a home for people who stutter, and people impacted by stuttering, by creating a safe space and meaningful opportunities for connection.

SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young: Empowers, educates, and supports young people who stutter and the world that surrounds them. Programs include summer camp, speech therapy, and after-school programs.

Read more

July 11, 2019

What is Cluttering?

what is cluttering

Cluttering is one of the main speech disorders we treat here at Speech IRL. This communication challenge is also one of the most overlooked. Below, we've provided some information and treatment recommendations for those who clutter.

The “other” fluency disorder

One of the most famous fluency disorders is stuttering.  A "fluency disorder" is best described as a disorder which impacts the flow and rate of speech. Cluttering is also a fluency disorder and it affects how a person's speech is perceived by listeners.

What is cluttering?

A 2011 study by St. Louis and Schulte define cluttering as a perceived rapid and/or irregular speech rate, which results in breakdowns in speech clarity and/or fluency.

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May 22, 2019

Rapport: the key to successful stuttering treatment

Stuttering treatment is a mystery. Traditional interventions that prioritize fluency drills and speech strategies often fail to generalize. We are left wondering, why isn’t the client making progress?

Maybe we're looking in all the wrong places.

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April 26, 2019

Doing DEI

When I tell people that speech IRL is a “speech therapy and inclusion consulting firm,” I get a lot of quizzical looks. As we spend more and more time working with companies, HR departments, heads of talent, and D&I (diversity and inclusion)/DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) committees, I’ve struggled to concisely articulate how we got here from speech therapy.

Thankfully, a new large-scale study on the merits of diversity training breaks it down. The name “speech IRL” is based on the principle that learning what to do is easy, but the real measure of change and progress is actually doing something “in real life”-- which is far more challenging.
The research conclusions Chang et al, in partnership with the Wharton School, echo almost word-for-word the founding principles of our practice.

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March 12, 2019

Vocal Hygiene 101

By: Natalie Belling

How would we feel if we didn’t take a shower? Maybe we spent the day running errands, or commuting to and from work, or attending a yoga or spin class. If we didn’t take time to get clean—even if it’s just after a normal day—we would feel pretty disgusting. On many different levels, hygiene is a good thing!

Just as important as day-to-day hygiene is vocal hygiene. Vocal hygiene is something that we don't normally think about, and our voice can suffer because of it. The goal of a vocal hygiene program is to protect our voice so it can complete all of the tasks we want it to do throughout the day.

Vocal hygiene can be broken down into three areas:

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March 5, 2019

Mindful Communication

By: Rachel Muldoon

The concept of "mindfulness" has been buzzing around lately. What does it really mean and what does it have to do with communication?

Let's tackle some FAQ's.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness means being present. That can be, present to your thoughts, present to physical sensations, taste, touch, sight, sound, smell, or present to your feelings. What you can notice in a single moment is boundless, but often our minds draw us in to a limited portion of the experience.

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January 4, 2019

Meet The Interns!

 

What better way to welcome the New Year than with new additions to the team! One of our 2019 goals (you could even call it a resolution) is to expand our clinician training and mentoring opportunities, not only within our practice, but in our larger professional community. We are excited to welcome a number of graduate student interns this calendar year. Each of them will be with us for several months, working directly with clients and supporting practice activities.

This term, we welcome Sarah Klusak of New York University (NYU) and Erin Brophy of Northwestern University (NU). We asked them to share a little bit about themselves as they begin their first week.

Read more

December 24, 2018

Research updates in stuttering: From theory to practice

Part 1: What’s new in stuttering research

Treating young children who stutter: Indirect or direct?

A recent study1 used a randomized control trial (highest level of evidence), to determine the effectiveness of Lidcombe vs. RESTART-DCM for treating preschool children who stutter. The researchers found that at 18 months, clinical outcomes for direct and indirect treatment were comparable. The authors conclude that both treatments are equally effective in treating developmental stuttering in ways that surpass expectations of natural recovery.

Mice that stutter: Genetics and stuttering

Key points:

  • Mice with a GNPTAB mutation (a gene thought to be involved in stuttering) displayed less vocalizations and more frequent longer pauses than mice without the mutation2.
  • The genes identified in stuttering all point to a single process, intracellular trafficking, but only account for at most 20% of persistent stuttering cases3.
  • Bottom line: Stuttering is genetic, but this isn’t the whole picture.

Read more

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73 W. Monroe St, Suite 315,
Chicago, IL 60603
312.870.0352
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73 W. Monroe St, Suite 315,
Chicago, IL 60603
312.870.0352
Or send us a message

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73 W. Monroe St, Suite 315,
Chicago, IL 60603
312.870.0352
Or send us a message

logo

73 W. Monroe St, Suite 315,
Chicago, IL 60603
312.870.0352
Or send us a message
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Looking for employee training? Check out our Business Services
Looking for employee training? Check out our Business Services
Looking for employee training? Check out our Business Services
Looking for employee training? Check out our Business Services