You know you are in SLP graduate school when…

SLP Graduate School

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the funny things my friends and I do now that we are in the thick of graduate school. Our lives have become one twirled & tangled speech language oral mechanism hearing swallowing neuroanatomy mess. So really, take a break from all that stress and insanity and laugh over how strange you are!

You know you are in SLP graduate school when…

*You text your friends in IPA

*You assess every child you see out in public (or do this)

*Eating healthy isn’t even an option. Can Starbucks be a meal replacement?! Oops.

*You realize how little you know

*SOAP is now all capitalized, doesn’t have anything to do with cleaning, and kind of makes you cringe

*The first place you go at Goodwill is the games, books, and toys section

*You get a break and all you do is watch reruns on Netflix

*You are torn between loving your classmates and wanting to be back home

*You’ve seriously considered taking (or are taking) some sort of ADHD medication or anti-anxiety medication

*You get zero male interaction. Okay, well maybe the delivery man or an older male client.

*The more you learn about different disorders, the more you think you might have one.

*Dollar bins are THE BEST.

*You think this is funny

*If you go to a different school than your undergrad, you have ZERO school spirit.

*You spend half of your measly graduate assistant income on lamination and velcro

*You could have an entire conversation with your classmates using abbreviations

*You test if your outfits are clinic appropriate by kung fu fighting and rolling on the floor

*You collect children’s books and board games

*You feel constant pressure to pursue a PhD and do a thesis

Isn’t being in SLP graduate school fun?! Did I miss anything?! Let me know!

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Learning the Cranial Nerves!

Understanding the cranial nerves and their basic innervation is important for all SLPs. But if you’re like me, this type of learning does not come as easily as understanding topics such as child development or the latest trends in AAC.

Here are some GREAT resources for learning the cranial nerves:

Cranial Nerves Clock

1) A cut a glue cranial nerves clock made by yours truly. Download it here.

cranial nerves

2) An excel style chart outlining the nerve, fibers, innvervation, functions, and brainstem nucleus. Great reference! Find the link here.


3) A great memory tool. It turns the numbers of each cranial nerve into the part of the face it innervates. Find the picture here.

4) Pinterest. You can see my ‘References’ board here, which contains many cranial nerve charts & visuals.

Hopefully that helps get you motivated! Good luck!

Information Sheets for SLP Graduate School

I always secretly feel kind of bad for the families at our clinic in the beginning of the semester. They need to adjust each semester to a new graduate clinician and sometimes even a new time, day, or supervisor. In order to help each family I work with, I created THREE handouts perfect for any and all graduate students in an SLP program! They could even be customized for new SLPs in a school or clinical setting as well! I should also mention that all three of these documents are FREE. Enjoy!

1) Given on the first day of clinic!

Clinical Handout 1

I’ve found that this one helps so the family can stick it to the fridge and have a easy visual for phone numbers, contact information, and dates regarding the beginning and of the semester (because we all know it rarely coincides with their children’s school schedules!!). I think it’s also helpful to give them extra copies in case grandma or a neighbor needs to bring the kiddo a day or two! They can easily handout a copy to those people who will then have an address for their GPS, and the times, etc…

The download for this handout can be found at my TPT Store here.

2) Given after your goals have been set!

Graduate School Clinic Handout 2

I’ve found that both client’s and parents are interested to know the specific goals they/their child is working on in speech! But, sometimes our LONG Treatment Plan of Care documents are overwhelming, too clinical, and don’t give succinct information on what they can be doing at home to help with carryover and generalization! This document outlines the goals the client will be working on during the semester, and easy things they can do at home to help with progress!

You can download this file in my TpT Store here.

3) Given at the very end of the semester!

End of the Semester Clinical Handout

Similarly to the second documents, parents are often given paperwork at the end of the semester. Again, this paperwork is long, clinical, and not as helpful as we’d all like to think! This document could be filled in with the goals the client had for the semester, their progress, and what they can do over the break to continue to maintain that progress!

This last document can be found in my TpT Store here.

All of the files are in their original powerpoint format so all boxes can be edited for your personal specifications! Hope you and your clients find these helpful!

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at! Thank you 🙂

My Favorite Online Resources (by diagnosis) Part I

At the beginning of last semester, when I got my first clients, I panicked. I probably spent several hours for each client searching the internet for information on their diagnosis! While there are places online with resources by diagnosis, they were often too general, unrelated to speech & language, or they only took me to other websites. I was looking for articles and resources filled with evidence based practice and specific information regarding the diagnosis, it’s link to speech & language development, and hints/tips on what to actually do! So, I hope this blog post will be helpful for those of you like me.


**Note: Due to the overwhelming amount of information on a vast number of disorders, I limited this post to disorders primarily affecting children. I’ll do a post in the future regarding adults!

General (START HERE!!)

ASHA’s Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Speech-Language Pathology (this resource contains ASHA’s policy’s on assessment, intervention, and screening for a variety of ages and diagnosis’)

Fragile X

A Lesson Planning Guide: 157 pages and super informative on all aspects of working with students with Fragile X

Fragile X Syndrome Speech & Language

Voice Disorders

Voice Disorders Basics

Down Syndrome

Speech & Language Therapy for Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children

Speech & Language Therapy for Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome

Selective Mutism

ASHA Overview on Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism and the SLP in the Schools

Selective Mutism Resources


Benefits of SLP Services for Stuttering

List of Internet Resources for Working with Children Who Stutter

Speech Sound Disorders

ASHA’s Overview on Speech Sound Disorders

Evidence Based Practice in Speech Sound Disorders Powerpoint

Speech Sound Development Chart

The Process of Articulation Therapy

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

ASHA’s Overview on Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Childhood Apraxia of Speech Resource Guide (Basics)

CAS Resource Library

Cerebral Palsy

EBP for Young Children (0-3) with Cerebral Palsy

CDC’s Cerebral Palsy Information & Resources

Hearing Loss

ASHA’s Information On Hearing Loss

Effects of Hearing Loss on Development


ASHA’s Autism Basics

Articles Including Information on Echolalia and Natural Language Acquisition


How The Brain Thinks In Autism

Executive Function Disorder

A page of resources from Cognitive Connections

PediaStaff also has a clickable resource organized by diagnosis and also by therapy type. While this website can be overwhelming, I found some of this information helpful in my quest. The link for that is here.

Hopefully some of these links were helpful! These are my personal favorites 🙂 If you see any missing diagnosis’ that you need information on, or if you know of any other great resources that should be added, let me know!! Thanks for your support and feel free to email me at

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SLP Winter Must Reads

With so many of us approaching some type of winter break or another, I thought it might be fun to give out some homework!! But really, if you’re in need of some good, informative reads, here is an awesome list of books and blog posts that I think all SLPs should read:

1) The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch

The Journal Of Best Practices

The book provides amazing insight into somebody with Asperger’s Syndrome. I read it in one morning and it made me understand so many of my clients better. I would recommend it if you have trouble ‘getting’ why people with Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty in groups or dealing with certain stimuli. The author also discusses his apparent lack of empathy in detail. This book even made me cry a couple of times 🙂

2) Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur Fleischmann and Carly Fleischmann

Carly's Voice

This book is incredible. If you haven’t read this book, please read it.  It will make you second guess the intelligence of so many children that you may have underestimated! Click on the link above to get a better book description than I can provide, and if you have any doubts about my recommendation, read the comments!

3) The Use of “Quiet Hands”

This is a blog post that will make you reconsider saying “quiet hands”. Short, but powerful!

4) “Use Your Words”

This is another blog post, but about AAC and forcing children to “use their words” instead. Again, very short but powerful!

5) No Safe Spaces

A good blog post about the use of the ‘r’ word.

6) My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

My Stroke of Insight

A really great book that provides fascinating insight into strokes. If you don’t have time to read this whole book, or want to spend the money on it, OR want more information on her story, watch the TED Talk here. It’s 19 minutes long and very worth it if you haven’t heard her story before!

I should admit that these posts are biast. I am kind of obsessed with Autism and thus, find articles related to Autism most compelling. But regardless, these books and articles are fascinating and should make you think!

Enjoy! And think… 😉

I see the light!

I’ve officially turned in ALL of my coursework for my first semester. All I have left is a few meetings and clinical paper checkout! Wahooooo! Oh… and some graduate assistant work. The undergraduate exams aren’t going to grade themselves!!

I’ve decided that I’m going to consider doing a thesis… I feel crazy even saying that. So tomorrow I’m meeting with the head honchos of our department to discuss possible topics. If anybody reading this has an opinion on doing a thesis or not, PLEASE email me (

For those of you still in the thick of finals and such, watch this video, memorize it, and find yourself a mirror! “You can do anything good!!!”.

How to Survive SLP Graduate School

My first semester of speech language pathology graduate school is over!! Boy, is that a mouthful or what?! I said goodbye to my clients yesterday, which was so so so sad. I honestly felt so lucky to be allowed into my client’s lives and to be able to spend so much time with them!

I’ve learned a lot, both inside and outside the classroom, and here is my take on surviving SLP graduate school:

1) STAY ORGANIZED. You can read how I kept my millions of articulation cards organized here. But, more importantly, keep your clinical paperwork organized! Each person will eventually find a system that works for them but the sooner the better!

What I do is… take data on the same sheet every session. Unfortunately, I lost the link to where I found my favorite but it’s really basic and could be replicated in Excel. After session, I compute the accuracies in red and three hole punch the data sheet.

The data sheet gets filed in a binder in it’s respective section (one for each client). That way, when I’m trying to analyze long term trends, I can flip through the pages and see all my data over time. I try and track the same goals in the same rows as well so /k/ initial in word accuracy is always first, and medial is always second, etc…. This helps SO much when writing end of the semester reports, or when writing the A section of my SOAP notes.


In my pictures, you’ll see exactly what I do. For my client with aphasia, you can see how many more informal, subjective notes I take vs my articulation client where it is mostly +/- based.

The last thing I do to help stay organized is use one clipboard binder for each client. That way I can keep things I use every week (e.g., visuals) in that client’s binder! As I prepare things throughout the week for a session, I can keep it in a binder so worksheets, papers, and games don’t get lost in piles on my desk! Can you ever imagine how I’d lose anything on this desk?!

Messy Desk

Bottom line: find a system that works for you and stick with it! Taking data on scrap sheets will only make your job harder when it comes time to analyze the semester!

2) Make a friend. While sometimes grad school can feel a bit clicky for my tastes, I’ve made one friend that I know has my back no matter what. I think having somebody to talk things over with and vent to can make all the difference. If you don’t feel like you are fitting in with your class, don’t despair. Make a skype date with one of your friends every Saturday and warn them you might need to vent for 20 minutes. Talk to your mom on the phone. Send emails to your boyfriend. Make an SLP friend over the internet. Whatever you have to do! But don’t try and do this program alone. Knowing somebody has my back has been really important to me.

3) Spend time with your professors. And be really honest with them! Before my first day with my client with aphasia I was reallly nervous. I had no prior adult experience and felt out of my element. I told my supervisor that and she really calmed my nerves. She also told me she appreciated knowing how I felt, so she could provide appropriate feedback to help me! Also, if you have personal circumstances that might delay you turning in a SOAP note or something, I’ve found that it’s always a good idea to talk it over with your supervisor.

Bottom line: If you spend time with your professors, they will understand your needs better. They will be more forgiving of mistakes. They will be able to give you better advice and criticism.

4) Drink wine. Okay you all don’t have to drink wine… but I do think it’s important to take time for yourself and have fun once and a while! My roommate and I are excellent at this and keep a chilled bottle of wine available at all times. I’ve also fallen in love with frozen yogurt because it’s a great way to take a break from school for 20 minutes and eat something delicious!

5) Stay ahead. You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it is CRITICAL to do in graduate school. When you get an assignment, do it right away! The people I know who are the most stressed in school are the ones up really late finishing an assignment due the next day. Which brings me to my next point…

6) Maintain a regular sleeping schedule. And eat well! This one probably doesn’t need to be elaborated on, but I’ve found that I wake up easier, go to bed easier, and don’t need coffee in the morning if I go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

7) Stay inspired. What we do is important and I think sometimes in the stress of school and tests and exams and SOAPs and paperwork and meetings we lose sight of that. I have a binder with clear sheet protectors where I keep notes, drawings, cards, etc… Anything that makes me realize that I’m appreciated and my work is important! When I’m feeling down I look through it and think back to all of the amazing people I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with and the impact I’ve made.

For those of you that haven’t had any life changing experiences, try and get some! Go out there and volunteer for a weekend at a camp for children with special needs! Ask a hospital SLP if you can shadow! Get involved so you can feel inspired when you hit your lows.

8) Keep things in perspective. You may be stressed about a test or a paper, but most of the client’s you are working with really have bigger concerns. They may have just had a stroke, had a child diagnosed with Autism, or they may be teased endlessly at school. Never forget that you are in a human service field. Grad school will end, but your client will need to communicate with others every single day of their lives. You might be the only person in a day who truly listens to them! Take that honor seriously, and don’t let it be overshadowed by a paper or exam.

So the take home lesson is stay positive, word hard, and stay thankful for being in a growing field that makes a positive impact on people’s lives! We are all so lucky 🙂

Thanks for reading and have an amazing weekend all of you fellow speechies! I truly appreciate your support.

Things I Learned From My First Semester of Graduate School

Hey ya’ll,

My first semester in graduate school is winding down and I have some time to reflect and think about the past 4 months. In that time, I relocated across the country, made new friends, started graduate school, and somehow managed a long-distance relationship thrown in there. Here’s some of what I’ve learned:

1) Different parts of the country can be really different. Before this big move, I had only ever moved within a 2 hour radius of my hometown. While I have traveled, I’ve never experienced a different culture within my own country. People now say I’m the one with a dialect! Things are certainly different, but I’ve found them to be okay. Different, but okay.

2) Learning can be fun! It almost hurts me to type that, because I honestly didn’t really enjoy my undergraduate classes at all, but graduate school is totally different. I enjoy (most of) my classes and find my homework and clinical paperwork to be useful and functional. I am constantly learning. Once I feel comfortable, I am aware of even more facets of language I never paid attention to before. 

3) Graduate school isn’t as scary as I once thought. Honestly, before I moved here, I was dreading it. I cried often thinking about moving away from my friends, boyfriend, and family. I had panic attacks just thinking about all of the school work and having no free time! Which leads me to my next thing…

4) Stay organized. I cannot say this enough. Have a place for each type of paper. Take data on organized forms. Line them up. Keep everything! Make things you can use again!

5) There will be someone. And more importantly, when there’s not, you’ll still be okay. I was terrified about being alone, not making friends, and feeling isolated. While I can’t say I’ve never felt that way, the majority of the time, someone has been there for me. And when somebody hasn’t, I’ve been okay. I’ve spent more time alone this semester than ever before, and learned more about myself than ever before as well. Coincidence? I think not! 

6) I’m good at things. This may sound like a silly one, but it’s not. I’ve learned so much about things that I’m good at. I’ve also learned about things I’m not so good at, but it keeps me striving and improving. 

7) Distance doesn’t have to spoil friendship. This one is self explanatory… True friends will be there when you come back. 

8) Sometimes, people spend more time stressing about doing things than actually doing things. Don’t be one of those people.

9) I can advocate for myself. Enough said. 

10) I need to learn to accept compliments! I used to always blow off compliments. “Oh no! I’m not great! I just got it easy”. “This outfit?! It’s nothing!”. NO! Take it, smile, say thanks. Don’t put yourself down! I’ve learned when a supervisor says I’m doing a good job, that I’m probably doing a good job. Just take the compliment.

Overall, this semester of graduate school has been the best I could have ever imagined. I have three amazing clients, and professors and supervisors who truly care about my experience and my learning! So lucky to be where I am!

Hope everybody is having a good week. I’ll be back home in my big, comfy bed in two weeks and I cannot wait 🙂 I promise I’ll be posting more therapy ideas and freebies soon!