Spring Break

Cherry blossoms

Photo by morning_rumtea

Just a quick housekeeping post to let everyone know that ASHAsphere is going to take a brief “Spring Break.” We’d love it if you’d take a minute to leave a comment to let us know how you’re enjoying ASHAsphere so far, leave any suggestions you may have on the types of posts you’d like to see, or just say hi and let us know you’re reading!

If you’re interested in contributing to ASHAsphere, please fill out and submit the blogger application.

Thanks so much for following and we’ll be back in a week or so!

Calling all SLPs and teachers to update the iOS system on their iPads & iPods

(This post originally appeared on GeekSLP)

The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch run an operational system called the iOS system. This is the system that allows you to run apps and perform all functions on your device. It comes pre-installed on your devices when you purchase it from the Apple store.

It is very important that you keep your iOS system up to date in order to have apps run smoothly and also take advantage of the enhancements  and the possible bug fixes provided by Apple.

Updating your iOS system is FREE

While most apps will work on older versions of the iOS system, keeping an up-to date update will guarantee you best performances.

In fact, some apps also do not work on older iOS versions (e.g 3.1); therefore you will not be allowed to purchase the app from the app store. First let’s learn how to identify which version of the iOS system you are running on your device.

1. Identifying the iOS system on your device:

1st. Go to the setting area on your device and click on “General”:

2nd. Under the “General” menu, click on ” About”:

3rd. Under the “About” menu you will see the information you are looking for under the “Version“.

On this example you can see I have the Version 4.3.2 of the iOS system; which is the most most up to date version as of 4/23/2011.

2. Understand app’s iOS requirements

Now that you know how to identify which version you have, now let’s learn about the fact that some apps do not support older version of the iOS system.

When you are purchasing an app from the app store you will notice that the app has several requirements, one of them is compatibility with iOS systems. Take fore example the number one, best selling educational application: Star Walk for iPad ; it requires that you have the iOS 3.2 in order to run this app. See image below:

Notice that the app requires that you have iOS 3.2 or later; if you have anything older the app will not install. Another example is an AAC app called Expressive:

As you can see, Expressive requires that users have the version 3.1.4 or older in order to run the app on the devices.

Now that you know how to identify your iOS system, and understand that some apps will not run on older versions of the iOS system; you will need to know how to update it. This is the easy part of the whole story.

3. Updating your iOS system

You will need to connect your device ( iPhone, iPod or iPad) to your computer to update it.

1. Plug your device

2. Open iTunes

3. Select your device and make sure you are under the ” Summary” section.

4. Click on “Check for Update”.

You are all done!

I hope it helps… Now go update your device

Barbara Fernandes is a trilingual Speech- Language pathologist, a geek  and an app developer. She is the founder and CEO of Smarty Ears Apps , a company that creates apps for speech therapy. Barbara is also the face behind GeekSLP TV, a blog and video podcast focusing on the use of technology in speech therapy. Barbara has also been a practicing speech therapist both in Brazil and in the United States. Barbara has created over 21 applications for the mobile devices for speech therapists.

I Guess I’ll Need a Job

(This post originally appeared on the NSSLHA blog)

I’ve welcomed 2011 with open arms.  It seems, as a fourth year audiology student, that this year has been a distant mirage.  Here we are though — in just a few short months, many of us will be crossing stages, shaking hands, and even receiving hoods.   We’re prepared for the world ahead right?  Well, I guess our first stop is actually finding a job!

If you are anything like me, the thought of job searching seems daunting.  Where do you even start?  I’ve luckily had to go through the search for an externship that taught me some valuable lessons.  Others I have learned from those who have gone before me.  I’m going to share some of these with you in hopes that we will all enter our job search with a somewhat peaceful mind.

First, where do we even LOOK for jobs?  There are many websites, such as ASHA’s or AAA’S, that have sections dedicated to job postings.  Also, if you know of a particular state you are looking in, it may be wise to visit State Association websites.  You can also look in publications, like the ASHA Leader, where many employers advertise.  For audiology students, Audiology Online has a large job posting area.  Perhaps more importantly, ask your professors, friends, or former students.  Often word of mouth may be the ticket to your next job.  Just today, as I sat in a conference meeting, someone overheard me talking about my upcoming job search.  He was nice enough to lean over and tell me about a job opening he knew was about to be posted.  How do you narrow it down?  By this point, you hopefully have a good idea of what kind of job you want.  Take time to evaluate what you are seeking:  pediatrics? adults?  school setting?  hospital? cochlear implants?  autism?  Are you willing to go anywhere or are you looking in a particular geographical area?  These are all important things to think about — and are likely sometimes what causes a job search to be stressful.

Preparation is key.  Make sure you have a resume prepared as well as cover letters stating your intentions to supply to potential employers.  It’s crucial to have these reviewed by others.  I suggest at least 3 people.  It is wise to include professors and clinical supervisors in your reviewers.  They will be able to help you decide what to include and make sure it is prepared appropriately.  Your paperwork is not the only preparation key.  Ask professors, supervisors, and coworkers if they are willing to provide support for you as a reference.  You will want to include this information on your resume.  If you have not yet been through an interview experience, it will be a good idea to set up a mock interview.  Many academic programs will designate time for this; however, if your school does not, ask a supervisor or professor (or both as it would likely provide different interview styles) if they would help you by setting up a mock interview.  It’s also a great idea to do a mock phone interview, as many times, this may be the first step in the interview process.

Speaking of the interview process, lets discuss for that for a moment.  In today’s world, it is not uncommon for an interview to be in person, over the phone, or now, even over video conference (like Skype).  Be prepared for any of them.  You’ll also want to be sure that you have appropriate interview apparel and extra resumes/information on hand during the interview.   Research where you are applying — you wouldn’t want to show up somewhere and not know anything about the job/employer and their business.  Prepare questions to ask during your interview (easy to do if you research the business and cannot answer a question on your own from that research).   You can expect any type of question — it could be knowledge based or a question about how you work with others.  No matter what the question is, take a moment to answer thoughtfully.  Most importantly, be yourself and be honest during your interview.

Perhaps most of this you already knew, but if not,  I hope it helps.  Try to remember to remain positive.  Always look at any interview as good experience, even if the job doesn’t come through.

I wish you the best in your upcoming job search. Feel free to leave comments/questions/words of advice.  I will be walking the same road as you!  And because we can all use a little humor in our life…

Happy Hunting!

Sara Davis is NSSLHA’s is Region 3 Regional Councilor. She is a fourth year Doctoral Student in Audiology at the University of Memphis.

New App Review Blog For and by SLPs (and Other Therapists)!

Sometimes big things can start with 140 (or fewer) characters:

Twitter message "#SLPeeps, app reviews. Do we want to make a new blog? We can create new app reviews and also post anytime one SLPeep has a review:

At least we hope it’s going to be big! This tweet from Deb, an SLP pal practicing in Pennsylvania, started a conversation between four bloggers that over the period of one weekend resulted in a new blog, TherapyApp411, which we are happy to announce has launched this week!


We jokingly called the blog a spin-off (hopefully more in the vein of successful spin-offs such as Laverne & Shirley rather than the short-lived, unfunny The Ropers) because we will be cross-posting reviews from our own blogs: The Speech Guy, TiPS: Technology in Practice for SLPs, Speech Gadget, and SpeechTechie. The main goal is to provide a centralized location for information on the very hot topic of mobile devices and their uses in therapy. Our mission is to provide reviews and other content regarding apps and devices from a therapists’ perspective. In addition to our own $.02 on various apps and news items regarding mobile technologies, this blog is open to contributions from other writer-therapists: SLPs, OTs, PTs or other disciplines who would like to contribute! We are looking for contributions that reflect therapists’ personal experience with apps and place them in the context of therapy sessions. We have posted a template for reviews so that uniform information will be contained in each post, but also allow for individual writing style. The blog currently has reviews of the interactive book A Present for Milo, the sticker-scene-creator ClickySticky, and my take on how to re-purpose (through a language lens, as I am known to say) GarageBand for iPad as a therapy tool.  We offer an email form for subscription (free, of course) and directions for subscribing through Google Reader as part of the SLP Blogs Bundle.  You can also keep up with us by “likingour page on Facebook!  I hope you’ll check the blog out and, if you have an app you’d like to share, consider submitting a review.  Thanks!

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.

The Rest of The Story: The Changing Face of Early Intervention

About one year ago now, I started hearing some new buzz words swirling around the Early Intervention Program in my home state of Wisconsin–words like evidence-based practices and coaching, natural learning environments and primary provider. As a pediatric speech-language pathologist, I was a bit intrigued. Mostly though, I was rather annoyed and quite a bit skeptical. After all, I had been trained to look analytically at a child’s speech or language, come up with a plan to fix it, and implement that plan systematically and objectively. Suddenly, it seemed, I was being asked to take a step way back. To work through parents rather than through the child, and to train parents to be speech therapists. And I found it absurd to expect parents to learn in a few short months what I had learned in six years of higher education.

Because I’m the curious type, though, I started asking lots of questions and doing lots of research. I’ll be honest and say that my primary motivation was to prove that this approach was wrong. I dug through the research on speech and language outcomes for early intervention, looking for the “evidence” that was being touted about so loudly. I found research to support the clinician-directed ABA intervention and language facilitation in play with which I was very familiar and some research to show that parent-led intervention could improve child language and phonology as well. Yet I found not one large, well-controlled study that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this “new” approach—the one that called for coaching parents to responsively engage their children in the context of natural learning opportunities–was any better than what we were already doing.

A funny thing happened along the way, though. The more I read, the more I began to realize something else. In focusing so narrowly on speech sounds, vocabulary development, and two-word phrases, I was omitting a huge body of research about child development. I started to see that so much of what was being asked of us as early intervention professionals had less to do with speech and language outcomes per se, and more to do with infant and toddler mental health. I began reading research that suggested that most significant factor in a young child’s development was not the amount of time that child spent in therapy, but rather the degree to which that child’s parent was responsive and engaged. And I began to understand that my single biggest source of power as an early interventionist was not to be found in playing on the floor with the child myself, but in helping that child’s parents become more responsive and engaged with him.

This isn’t to say, of course, that I suddenly began to think that there was no value in interacting directly with a child. This is far from true. Interacting directly with children helps us to discover what does and does not work with that child and allows us to model strategies for parents. There is every place for this in our early intervention practices. But this past year, I began to understand that I needed to be much more intentional about when and how I interacted with children. I also needed to be much more careful about building up parent competence in enhancing their own child’s development, rather than giving the appearance that a child’s development was dependent on me. After all, as a weekly early intervention visitor, I was with that child less than 2% of all his waking hours. It seems so silly that I ever assumed that I was the agent of change in a young child’s life, but I did. This past year, it finally dawned on me that early intervention wasn’t about me and what I did with the child…it was about that child’s parents and what they did with him. And if I couldn’t effect change in that, I simply wasn’t doing my job.

One year later, I’ve realized that these evidence-based practices aren’t about me training parents to be speech-language therapists at all. Children under the age of three don’t need their parents to be speech therapists. They need them to be parents. I’m not being asked to give up my role. I’m being asked to take all the information I have about child development, mesh it with what I’ve learned about infant and toddler mental health, and find ways to intricately weave those practices into the fabric of that child’s relationship with his parents. I’m being asked to get into that child’s life, to know his daily routines—no matter what they are–and to work within those. I’m being asked to start where the parents are, not where the child is. It’s complicated, it’s complex, and it’s messy. And it’s my job.

Becca Jarzynski, M.S., CCC-SLP
is a pediatric speech-language pathologist in Wisconsin. Her blog, Child Talk, can be found at www.talkingkids.org and on facebook at facebook.com/ChildTalk.