ASHAsphere–There’s An App For That

Ok, there’s not really an ASHAsphere app–but here’s how you can create one for your iPhone or Android phone:

iPhone

  • In Safari, go to http://blog.asha.org
  • Tap the “add” icon (see arrow below)
  • Tap “Add to Home Screen”
  • Tap “Add”
  • Voila! You now have an ASHAsphere app! The icon isn’t very pretty, but it gets the job done.

Android

  • In the browser go to http://blog.asha.org
  • Tap “Menu”
  • Tap “Add Bookmark”
  • Tap “Done”
  • Close the browser and go back to home screen
  • Tap the + symbol
  • Tap “Shortcut”
  • Tap “Bookmark”
  • Tap the bookmark for ASHAsphere and drag to the screen

Note: I’m not positive that these Android directions work from any Android phone; I tested them on a Droid HTC. If you have a different Droid that requires different steps, we’d really appreciate it if you’d leave a comment indicating what phone you have and what you have to do differently.

We hope you

In the Beginning

Country road


Photo by Dominic’s Pics

As the year begins drawing to a close I find myself taking trips down memory lane. Not normally given to dwelling on the past, I suppose having to update my vita during the past week has spurred these interludes of recollection. Being in the business of teaching tomorrow’s professionals, my recent thoughts have frequently returned to how it all began for me…my decision to become a speech-language pathologist.

In high school I was not the most studious of individuals…it’s not that I lacked intelligence, I simply lacked “give a damn.” Fortunately my high school was willing to assist its students in charting their course in life, having each of us take an aptitude test designed to help choose a career. I can still remember sitting in Miss Crabbs’s English class during my junior year and looking at the results…the test indicated I was ideally suited to be a speech therapist.

So that afternoon of my junior year I decided I’d become a speech therapist. Never mind that I didn’t know what a speech therapist was or, in fact, had ever heard of such a thing…if that’s what the test said I should be, well that’s what I was going to be. I resolutely stuck with this decision throughout my senior year…though I never actually took the time to figure out what a speech therapist was (I’ve already mentioned my lack of ambition haven’t I). Undeterred, I applied to the Speech Pathology and Audiology program at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and was accepted into the class of 1987.

Despite going to orientation during the summer, I was still unclear what a speech therapist was when the start of classes rolled around that fall of 1983. With all the confidence of a blissfully ignorant 18-year-old I strolled into my first “speech therapy class,” Speech Science I, and was struck dumb by what I saw…every seat was occupied by a girl. Yes…I had won…I had correctly chosen a career (or at least the test had).

Fortunately, during that first semester of college I also came to learn what a speech therapist was and, in the process, realized that this was the truly profession for me. The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve spent the past 20+ years in a career I find endlessly interesting doing a job that I more often than not don’t regard as work.

Now here’s the kicker to this whole story… Remember that aptitude test that set me down the road to becoming a speech-language pathologist? I looked back on it several years later, after I’d earned my graduate degree. Much to my chagrin I found that I’d read it WRONG…I had looked at the “female side” of the test instead of the side that provided the “male interpretation” of results. Though the world missed getting another mason, I like to think it got a fairly decent speech-language pathologist in return.

Kenneth Staub, M.S., CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He will be a regular contributor to ASHAsphere and welcomes questions or suggestions for posts.

Multilingual Typicality vs. Speech-language Disorder

table with coffee mugs and maps


Photo by minka6

Any assessment involves a comparison. For assessment purposes, we use comparison always one way. We compare X to Y, never Y to X, because we have satisfied ourselves of two conditions: first, that Y is a reliable benchmark, which specifies a particular norm of behaviour, including linguistic behaviour; and second, that the behaviour of X can be fairly assessed through the use of that benchmark.

Reliable benchmarks are norm-referenced and standardised for particular populations. Since different populations use different languages and different varieties of the same language, we seek to provide ourselves with developmental and/or clinical assessment instruments which are normed accordingly. We know that it would be as unfair to test, say, users of Korean with instruments normed for Portuguese as to test users of Canadian French with instruments normed for Belgian French. Although we still lack normed instruments for most languages and language varieties, limitations imposed by assessment in these less than ideal conditions are well understood. In monolingual settings, with monolingual clients, clinical practices take them into account.

Concerning multilingual clients, however, the situation is quite distinct. In what follows, I take the words multilingual and multilingualism to refer to users/uses of more than one language, that is, to include bilingual(ism), trilingual(ism), and so on.

One first observation is that multilinguals stand for a disproportionate number of referrals to both special education and speech-language therapy, compared to monolinguals. We may start by asking ourselves why multilinguals are consistently compared to monolinguals, but not the other way around. The reason is that monolingualism has been assumed as a norm of linguistic usage, which has besides become synonymous with cognitive, social and linguistic health. The reason for this, in turn, is that the first researchers who addressed multilingualism were monolingual, or subscribed to monolingual approaches to language, or both. The tradition of thought that they initiated almost one century ago lingers on, and shapes the many misconceptions surrounding multilingualism. A few examples follow, showing how these misconceptions are interrelated and entail one another:

  • “Multilinguals are special.” In monolingual countries and settings, multilingualism is viewed as the special case of language uses. Clients who are multilingual are labelled as such, whereas clients who are monolingual are not labelled as monolinguals. Given that multilinguals outnumber monolinguals worldwide, it cannot be the case that the majority of the world’s population is “special”. The century-old tradition that takes multilingualism as special started by also taking it as the correlate, and sometimes even the cause, of diverse cognitive, social and linguistic shortcomings. The current emerging trend, that lauds multilingualism as unquestionably positive, simply perpetuates the (mis)perception that multilinguals are “special”.
  • “Multilingualism means equivalent proficiency in all languages.” This assumption is better described by a term that I coined, multi-monolingualism, to label the underlying belief that a multilingual equals several monolinguals. This is not what multilingualism is. If multilinguals could (or should) use all their languages in exactly the same way, they would not need several languages: one all-purpose language would be enough. “One all-purpose language” defines a monolingual, not a multilingual. Multilinguals use their languages in different ways, with different people, in different situations, for different purposes. This is why their languages develop differently and cannot therefore be made equivalent.
  • “Ability in one language reflects language ability.” Clinical findings about one of the languages of a multilingual client are often taken as a reliable reflection of the client’s overall language ability. “Language ability” concerns the whole of an individual’s linguistic repertoire, not ability in a particular language. Taking the one for the other means taking a multilingual for a monolingual. The full linguistic repertoire of a monolingual does consist of a single language, but the full linguistic repertoire of a multilingual does not.
  • “Multilinguals can be fairly assessed through monolingual instruments .” The assessment instruments that are  available to us so far are monolingual, and naturally reflect monolingual norms. In addition, multilinguals tend to be assessed either in mainstream languages, or in languages for which assessment instruments have been standardised, neither of which may accurately portray the clients’ linguistic ability. In the absence of normative guidance about multilingualism, skewed findings about multilingual behaviour are to be expected. False positives, where typical multilingual behaviour is mistaken for disorder, account for the disproportion of referrals mentioned above. But, equally seriously, false negatives mistake disorder for typical multilingual behaviour, and so fail to identify disordered multilingualism.

Ideally, then, we should provide ourselves with standardised instruments devised for multilingual uses of language, based on multilingual norms of usage. These norms are not, as I hope to have made clear above, “multi-monolingual”: there are typical behaviours among multilinguals, just like there are typical behaviours among monolinguals. The difference is that we have failed to pay attention to the former, because we have taken the latter as the benchmark of linguistic behaviour across the board. The issue here, as always, is that without knowing what is typical, we cannot tell what is deviant.

Current developments, which take a fresh look at multilingualism, from a multilingual perspective, already show promising results. One example concerns mixes, the use of features of several languages in the same utterance or exchange. Mixes have been stigmatised as instances of “semilingualism”, whereas they are a multilingual norm of usage. The regularity of mixed patterns in typical multilingual speech has been found to aid in the diagnosis of SLI (specific language impairment), in multilingual children whose mixing patterns deviate from the norm. Another development concerns the use of what is known as dynamic assessment, in clinic. Dynamic assessment methods involve teaching and testing linguistic items and structures that are independent of particular languages, and that therefore probe for language ability, not ability in particular languages.

Growing awareness about the lack of multilingual norms also impacts the clinicians themselves. To the best of my knowledge, professional training of SLPs does not include information about languages other than the language of intervention, or about multilingualism itself. This is so even for multilingual SLPs, or for those who plan to practise in multilingual settings. Many SLPs thus encounter multilingualism for the first time in clinic, where the “special” status accorded to multilinguals may well shape expectations about multilingual clients. There is of course no requirement that SLPs become multilingual. Being multilingual does not mean understanding what multilingualism is: misconceptions about multilingualism are shared by monolinguals and multilinguals alike. The requirement is that SLPs, and the rest of us, become familiar with what multilingualism is, so we satisfy ourselves that, while we wait for the standardisation of multilingual norms, we are giving multilinguals a fair assessment chance.

Multilingualism is not about what several languages can do to people, it is about what people can do with several languages. The same can be said about monolingualism and a single language: the number of languages that people happen to need to use in order to function appropriately in their everyday environments has little to do with their language ability, just like the number of musical instruments that one plays has little to do with one’s musical ability.

One final note: I have discussed multilingual assessment in my blog, which is geared to a general audience, in a post titled The fight for a fair deal. For more specialised research and findings on multilingual typicality, my book Multilingual Norms may be of relevance.

Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, PhD in Linguistics and Phonetics (University of Manchester, UK), researches multilingualism and child language. One section of her book Multilingual Norms addresses multilingual clinical assessment. Her blog Being Multilingual deals with the use of several languages at home, in school and in clinic.

Spasmodic Dysphonia or “Stuttering of the Vocal Cords”

What is Spasmodic Dysphonia?

Laryngeal Dystonia–also called Spasmodic Dysphonia– is an organic voice disorder caused by dysfunction of center neurological integration that produces spasm of the vocal cords. Spasmodic dysphonia causes the voice to break or to have a tight, strained or strangled quality. There are three different types of spasmodic dysphonia: adductor spasmodic dysphonia (closed glottis), abductor spasmodic dysphonia (open glottis) and mixed spasmodic dysphonia.

In adductor spasmodic dysphonia, sudden involuntary muscle movements or spasms cause the vocal cords to slam together and stiffen, which makes it difficult for the them to vibrate and produce voice. Words are often cut off or difficult to start and speech may be choppy and sound similar to stuttering. The voice is commonly described as strained or strangled and full of effort.

In abductor spasmodic dysphonia, the sudden involuntary muscle movements or spasms cause the vocal folds to open and stay opened. Thus, vocal cords can not be closed for phonation (to produce the speech sounds). As a result, the voice of these individuals often sounds weak, quiet and breathy or whispery.

Mixed spasmodic dysphonia involves muscles that open the vocal folds as well as muscles that close the vocal folds and therefore has mixed features of both above–mentioned syndromes.

Surprisingly, all three conditions are usually absent while doing vegetative phonation, whispering, crying, laughing, singing, speaking at a high pitch, speaking when just woken up from a sound sleep or after drinking alcoholic beverages ( spasmodic dysphonia is the only voice disorder for which I am allowing my patients to drink some alcohol!) As in many other voice disorders, stress and nervousness will make the muscle spasms even more severe.

Spasmodic dysphonia is a mysterious voice disorder; the cause is yet unknown. Because the voice can sound normal at times, spasmodic dysphonia was once thought to be psychogenic, but as reported by the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), research has revealed increasing evidence that most cases of spasmodic dysphonia are in fact neurogenic and may co-occur with other movement disorders such as blepharospasm (excessive eye blinking and involuntary forced eye closure), tardive dyskinesia (involuntary and repetitious movement of muscles of the face, body, arms and legs), oromandibular dystonia (involuntary movements of the jaw muscles, lips and tongue), torticollis (involuntary movements of the neck muscles), or tremor (rhythmic, quivering muscle movements).

NIDCD also reports that spasmodic dysphonia may run in families and is thought to be inherited. Research has identified a possible gene on chromosome 9 that may contribute to the spasmodic dysphonia that is common to certain families. Spasmodic dysphonia can affect anyone between 30 and 50 years of age. More women appear to be affected by spasmodic dysphonia than are men.

Treatment for spasmodic dysphonia?

The “triangle” ENT–Neurologist–SLP is usually on the front line in diagnosing and treating the symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia. There is presently no known cure for spasmodic dysphonia. Current treatments only help reduce the symptoms.

SLP- Voice therapy may reduce some symptoms, especially in mild cases. Voice therapy and vocal cords special physiotherapy may also support a better voice while undergoing the post effects of treatment of choice – see below.

ENT- has two common options:

  1. an operation that cuts one of the nerves of the vocal folds (the recurrent laryngeal nerve) thus improving the voice for several months to several years.
  2. injections of very small amounts of botulinum toxin (botox) directly into the affected muscles of the larynx. Botulinum toxin is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The toxin weakens muscles by blocking the nerve impulse to the muscle. Botox injections generally improve the voice for a period of three to four months after which the voice symptoms gradually return. Reinjections are necessary to maintain a good speaking voice. Initial side effects that usually subside after a few days to a few weeks may include a temporary weak, breathy voice or occasional swallowing difficulties – this will be the best time to refer the patient to speech therapy , as was mentioned above. Botox may relieve the symptoms of both adductor and abductor spasmodic dysphonia, and is considered to be the main line of defense against spasmodic dysphonia.

Gal Levy M.Sc. CCC-SLP, has more than 21 years of experience in clinical treatments of Voice, Fluency, Articulation and Language. Gal is working as a school based SLP, Home health SLP and in his private practice at Frisco, TX. He also writes professional articles on various speech disorders and state of the art treatments on Google’s new Encyclopedia, Helium and AC writers websites. Gal participated on Community Focus radio monthly shows with Dr. Griffin advising KEOM 88.5 FM listeners on voice, fluency and tongue thrust clinical issues.

SLPs Make A Great Showing for 2010 Edublog Awards

2010 Edublogs Logo

Thanks to Sean Sweeney for tipping me off to the fact that quite a few SLPs have been nominated for the 2010 Edublog Awards. According to The Edublog Awards website, the awards are “a community based incentive started in 2005 in response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes. The purpose of the Edublog awards is promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.”

This year’s nominations include SLPs in several categories:

You can click through these links (the category links take you to the voting pages for those categories) and cast your votes through 12 pm Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, December 14th. ASHAsphere will report on the winners once they’re announced.

* Clarification: these two nominees are actually not SLPs but still provide good resources for SLPs

Starting My Private Practice

It was 2003, I had a one year old son and I was working part time as a Speech Language Pathologist in Early Intervention.  I was suffering from what I like to refer to as “Mom guilt.”  I loved my job, I loved my son but I hated dropping him off at daycare.  My husband and I decided it was time for a change.  We determined private practice was the answer.  I could work from home in the evening while my husband watched our son.  I put in my notice at work and immediately went about setting up my own private practice.  I’m not going to deny that I was a little nervous.  How was I going to get clients?  How was I going to pay for all the materials I needed to provide adequate services?  How would I set up my home environment in a way to allow me to provide therapy for my clients without interrupting my family’s life?  How would I handle billing?  What about liability?

Over the last few years several SLP’s interested in setting up their own private practices have asked me similar questions.  While I am no expert, I am happy to share what has worked for me.  Hopefully, those of you interested in working for yourselves will gain some insight as to how you might make it a reality.

My first concern of course was clients.  How would I get them?  Having worked in early intervention I was fortunate enough to know some people looking for private therapy now that their children were over the age of three.  I started with those clients and went from there.  Next I made sure my name was on the ASHA web site as a private SLP in my area.  After that I contacted the local hospitals and Universities and got my name on the referral list for private speech therapists.  I also contacted other private therapists in the area and let them know that I would appreciate any referrals they might have in the event that their caseloads were full.  I have also found it useful to share my business cards with local pediatricians and school teachers.  Between my efforts to get my name out there, and word of mouth I have always had all the clients I have time to see.

With a handful of clients interested in beginning therapy my next question was how would I afford the materials I needed to get started.  After consulting with my husband we decided we’d make the investment in a few key things, my own personal computer, Boardmaker, a copier and a laminator.  With those tools we figured I could make what I needed to get started and continue to acquire what I needed as I went.  I was armed and prepared (at least I felt like was making progress).  Even still the task of making all the materials I needed was daunting so I just took it a week at a time.  I prepared what materials I needed in therapy for the upcoming week.  As the weeks went on I appreciated how quickly I was able to acquire the materials I needed.  Over time, I have been able to acquire some basic assessments for the school age population I work mainly with, as well as other therapy tools and treatment programs.  The trick was to not expect to have everything right away, just start with your clients immediate needs and build from there.

Now that I had clients coming, and the therapy materials I needed, my next question was how would I set up my home environment in a way to allow me to provide therapy for my clients without interrupting my family’s life?  Well to be honest, when I first started my therapy setup wasn’t ideal but we figured a way to make it work.  I tell you this because if you are determined you can find a way no matter what your circumstances may be.  At the time I started my husband and I lived in a three bedroom, two bathroom condo on the second floor.  We decided to turn the first bedroom into my therapy room.  The second bedroom remained my son’s room and the third bedroom was ours.  I organized all my son’s toys on shelves in my therapy room.  I used the closet for all my therapy materials I didn’t want my son to get into during the week and I put a small table with two chairs in the middle of the room.  When I opened my closet doors on therapy day my room was immediately transformed from my sons play room to my therapy room.  I had easy access to all my therapy materials.

With my therapy room all setup I had to determine where I would have the parents wait while I did therapy with their children.  So I put a video camera in my therapy room that would always be on my client and I.  Then my husband connected the video camera to the television in my family room so the parents of my clients could wait on the couch in the other room while they watched what we were doing in therapy.  It has turned out to be a great system.  The parents love that they can see everything that is going on, and I love that having the parents in the other room reduces client distractions.

Another way I have tried to reduce distractions for my clients during therapy is to put a sign on my front door, like the one pictured above, with my clinic name on it that invites clients to just walk in instead of ringing the doorbell.  When the next client arrives they simply wait in the family room until the previous session has ended.  This makes for a smooth transition between clients.

When my second child was on the way my husband and I looked for a larger home.  While we made therapy work in the condo, meaning my husband and son pretty much hibernated in the back bedrooms while I did therapy, we decided it was time to look for a home that would work a little better. Our goal was to find a home that could have a separate entrance for my clients and a space we could divide from the rest of the house that included a therapy room, a family room/waiting room and a bathroom.  With a little patience we were able to find what we were looking for within our budget.  And the best part is I can do therapy without it affecting the lives of my family quite as much.

With clients coming, materials ready and a place to provide therapy I knew it was time to tackle the uncomfortable subject of billing.  To start with I had to determine how much I would charge for my services.  I did this by comparing how much other private therapists in the area were charging before I determined my rate.  Then I decided that I would offer therapy sessions in 30 minute or 1 hour increments only.  From there I was able to prepare my invoices.  I was sure to include my clinic logo and information, the client name, the billing month, the dates of service, the hourly rate for service and the total due.  I also include at the bottom of every bill an outline of the payment agreement.

The payment agreement states that the client will pay for services one month in advance, if a client is more than two weeks late in paying their bill a late fee of $10 will be applied to their bill.  The client is allowed two free cancellations a year and after that they are charged 50% for every additional cancellation.  It also states that if a client misses therapy with no notice that they will be charged the full amount for services.  In addition if a client check bounces a $25.00 fee will be applied to their bill.

This type of stuff can be difficult to talk to clients about, but it’s certainly necessary to let them know up front what your expectations are. I simply put it in the parent contract I have the parents sign at my first parent meeting before I begin therapy, then follow up and ask if they have any questions.  I have found that having it all outlined for the parents makes it easier on them and me.  It helps them realize that my time is important and they seem to be more committed to therapy as a result.

With committed clients, therapy materials, a place to practice and invoices ready I only had one more concern.  What about liability?  That can be kind of scary for an independent private therapist.  First I made sure I got a business license through the city in which I reside.  Then I decided to handle this the same way most health care providers handle it.  I have my clients sign a contract before therapy begins that essentially releases me from any liability.

In my contract I state that I am an SLP with my certificate of clinical competence through ASHA.  I state that I am licensed through my state as well as have a business license with my city.  I state that I will provide services that both parties agree on but that ultimately it is the parents’ responsibility for bringing the goals to therapy.  It is stated that the parent will not hold me responsible for any claims or damages of any kind, for injury to any person or persons and/or for any damages due to loss of property arising directly or indirectly out of participation in these therapy sessions.

Then I review the payment agreement, which I outlined above.  Finally I have the parents sign their name and the date.  I’m sure my contract may not be legally air tight, but it gives me a little more peace of mind as I try to do what I love to do.  Be a mom and a speech language pathologist out of my home.

With clients, materials, a place to do therapy, invoices handled and less concern about liability the only thing left to do is just do it!  I know that everyone’s situation is different and what has worked for me, may not entirely work for you. I hope that sharing this information will at least give you a place to begin when starting your home-based speech therapy business.

Running my own private practice has truly been a joy of mine, and the best part is that I feel like I’m still home with my kiddos.  I get to do it all, stay connected to the world of speech language pathology on my own time and never miss putting my kids down for nap or greeting them when they get off the bus.  I love it!  I hope you will too.

Heidi Hanks, MS, CCC-SLP, lives in Utah with her husband and (soon to be) 4 children.  She graduated from Utah State University in 2000 with her Master’s degree in Communicative Disorders. She worked in early intervention for 3 years and has been doing private therapy from her home for the last 7 years. She also writes the blog Mommy Speech Therapy, which is aimed at helping parents take a more active role in helping their children with speech and communication development. Heidi can also be found on Twitter @mommy_slp.

ASHA Philly Wrap Up

(This post originally appeared on SpeechTechie)

This was my fifth ASHA experience- I have been fortunate enough to make it to Miami, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans and Philly. I know that it can be overwhelming at first, and I usually get so discombobulated that I commit some kind of major faux pas. I recall back in Chicago, I saw a gentleman walking toward the escalator, spied his last name on his badge, and thought I knew him from Boston University. As I got on the escalator behind him, I said, “Hey, Jerry!” and flummoxed him (he was not Jerry) so much that he actually TIPPED OVER. Ohhhhhhh, Sorry. Tipping over was also involved in the Philly convention. After Laura and I hastily pinned up our poster Thursday morning for our session that afternoon, we rushed to get to the first talk we wanted to see (two SLPs, and neither of us could figure out that Marr Salon G meant the session was in the Marriott, and we had to ask for assistance). Coffee/breakfast lines are always an ordeal at the convention, and I still hadn’t eaten my bagel or finished my iced coffee. As we navigated the packed conference room and into some seats, late, I did this whole lose-my-balance/fall kind of thing when I was unhinged by the heaviness of my laptop bag and the narrowness of the row. Luckily the two SLPs I almost fell onto were totally cool and had a good laugh. Also, luckily I had not stuck the “presenter” tag on my badge yet, though the fact that I was one of perhaps three men in the room might have made me stand out a little. I did decide NOT to eat my bagel at that point, as I had already broken like three unwritten rules: coming in late, with a big drink, and falling.

Things got much better after that. ASHA is always a great time to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, and this time I “knew” (virtually at least) a lot more people, and they knew SpeechTechie! Maggie McGarry, ASHA’s social media director, held a “tweet-up” and I got to meet her (@maggielmcg) as well as a bunch of Twitter #slpeeps @palspeech, @geekslp, @speechalicia, and @pediastaff. Follow these guys on twitter! Maggie also had set up a twitter hashtag (a phrase starting with “#” that helps you find all tweets on a particular topic), and that was very helpful! I also finally got to meet Alyssa Banoti, my editor for my posts on the ADVANCE blog, and it was great to put a face to all the virtual communication.

Thanks, Maggie, also, for the special tweeting tag!

We actually had a terrific timeslot for our poster, so this experience was much better than my last (when no one showed up for it). The feedback was great and everyone was interested in getting our handouts. Thanks, Laura (and Katy and Christine) for all the hard work!

Then, Friday at 11 was my timeslot for my seminar. I was only vaguely nervous all morning and made it to a few good sessions. Imagine my surprise, though, when I got to my conference room and saw this:

All those people were waiting (30 min prior) to get into my session! It was wonderful to see that so many SLPs are interested in using technology in their work, and the response to my talk was really overwhelming, in a good way. Thanks so much to everyone who came.

Sean J. Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and instructional technology specialist working in the public school and in private practice at The Ely Center in Newton, Massachusetts. He has presented on the topic of technology integration in speech and language at the ASHA convention and is the author of the blog SpeechTechie: Looking at Technology Through a Language Lens.