May 25th, 2007 by Janene
Yesterday Joey rode the bus to work and the plan was for him to ride the bus home because I needed the car to go to Bible study and wouldn’t be able to pick him up. Which is not usually a big deal. However, yesterday he missed the last bus by about 15 minutes and just happened to be carrying a desktop computer (just the base not the monitor or keyboard or anything else). At this point he had a couple of options. Which one do you think he chose?
#1 Called someone to pick him up and waited by the bus stop
#2 Called someone to pick him up and waited inside his work
#3 Took the desktop computer back to work and walked home
#4 Walked home with the desktop computer
For some crazy reason he chose #4. Yup, that’s right. He walked ~5 miles home carrying a heavy desktop computer. I still can’t believe he did this and lived to tell about it. Just kidding. Maybe this can become a new Olympic sport OR maybe he should be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for carrying a desktop computer the longest distance. I can’t imagine anybody else has done this!
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May 15th, 2007 by Janene
Did you know May is Better Speech and Hearing Month? I didn’t think so. But, maybe you did. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has sponsored several advertisements on the radio, in doctors’ offices and at schools to raise awareness about communication disorders. They want the public to know that anything that limits a person’s hearing, speech, or language abilities limits their life and a speech-language pathologist or audiologist can help!
Here’s an example of an advertisement you might hear this month on National Public Radio (NPR) regarding communication disorders:
Anything that impairs your ability to communicate limits your life. Yet 14 million Americans have a speech or language problem, and many do not know that they can be helped.
If you stutter, have problems pronouncing certain sounds, or don’t always understand what people say to you, you could have a speech or language problem.
People of all ages have these problems. With proper treatment you can eliminate or minimize their impact. If you need to know more about speech and language problems, call a speech-language pathologist this May, Better Hearing and Speech Month. To find a certified speech-language pathologist, phone 1-800-638-8255.
The author of the For Better or For Worse comic strip is also participating in the Better Speech and Hearing Month. One of her characters, Grandpa Jim, suffered a stroke in 2006 and has difficulty moving and communicating. Lately several of her comic strips have featured Grandpa Jim receiving speech therapy and physical therapy. It is kind of fun to read about speech therapy in the comics (well, for me anyway).
Happy Better Speech and Hearing Month everyone!
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May 11th, 2007 by Janene
Throughout my undergraduate and graduate education I took several audiology courses. I enjoyed most of them but not enough to decide to become an audiologist. Last fall I took a pediatric audiology course and learned a lot about identifying and treating children with hearing loss. It was a very interesting course and has helped me answer questions and educate families when I do newborn hearing screenings.
One of the last days of class the professor invited two moms of children who were deaf to share their stories with us. One mom talked about the family’s decision to use ASL and the other mom talked about the family’s decision to have her child receive bilateral cochlear implants. There is definitely controversy regarding whether parents of a deaf child should teach their child ASL only or have their child use hearing aids/cochlear implants (with or without ASL). It is a big decision families have to make and the sooner they make it the better it will be for their child. It is critical that children receive some type of language input before they are 6 months old or they will be behind their peers in language development.
After a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, an audiologist and/or other professional should continue to follow them until they enter preschool or kindergarten to ensure they don’t fall behind their peers. A newspaper article in the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday stated many babies/children diagnosed with a hearing loss in Utah don’t get the follow-up care they need. The article also stated that some pediatricians use the “let’s wait and see” approach to delayed speech and language development. All I can say is – yikes! There needs to be more public education (pediatrician education) regarding the services available for children developing behind their peers and the importance of early intervention.
Overall, parents need to be aware of speech and language developmental milestones and be persistent with pediatricians who want to “wait and see” if their child catches up. In addition, parents need to be informed that there are many resources available to help their child if they are behind in speech and language development or have a hearing loss.
Okay, I’ll get off my soap box for now.
FYI: I met the boy featured in the article in my class last fall and read his mom’s blog frequently.
Posted in Audiology, Salt Lake Tribune, Speech Therapy | 2 Comments »
May 9th, 2007 by Janene
On May 3, 2007, I graduated from the University of Utah with a Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. It was raining early in the morning and afternoon but stopped shortly before the graduation started. I was very happy that we didn’t have to stand in the rain. We were able to get some good pictures too. If you want to see all the pictures that were taken, visit here or here.
Here is a picture of my graduating class and some of my closest friends. We spent countless hours in class, in clinic and studying together. I really hope we keep in touch! If you look closely you’ll see only 2 guys in the picture. I guess speech-language pathology is not a field many guys pick. However, I think Chris and Matt will be excellent speech therapists (as with all of the girls, of course).
Here is a picture of me and my husband. I think he’s very happy that I am done with school now. He commented that he should have received an honorary speech degree and I agree! I think he knows ALMOST as much as I do in the field.
After graduation my parents took me and my husband to dinner to the Little America Steakhouse. It was a delicious and expensive meal but worth it. All in all, it was a great day.
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