Is Tying Your Shoes Tripping You Up?

Hey athletes and other shoe wearers,

If you need to double knot your shoes to keep them from coming untied, you are tying your shoes incorrectly.  Watch this Ted Talk and learn the correct way.   Sometimes the little changes make a big difference.


Finding the right path

Happy Memorial Day. Have a safe and fun holiday!

For May is Better Speech and Hearing Month we have more speech, language, and voice trivia questions.

1. Speech-language pathologists can work in which of the following settings:

A. Schools
B. Armed Forces
C. Hospitals
D. Rehabilitation Facilities
E. All of the above

2. Colin Firth starred in this movie about King George VI, who famously stuttered throughout his life….

_________ _______________ ________________

3. This famous actress/singer suffered an “ill-fated” vocal cord operation and as a result her vocal range is “a fragile alto” now.
(Hint: She starred in “The Sound of Music”)

________________ ________________________

4. Which famous late night talk show host has Bachelor of Arts in speech-language pathology?

A. Jay Leno
B. Jimmy Kimmel
C. Jimmy Fallon
D. David Letterman

5. Boys are 5 times more likely than girls to have autism.
True False

6. About how many children with autism do not speak?

A. 10%
B. 20%
C. 30%
D. 40%

7. Children on the autism spectrum have a marked impairment in the use of nonverbal cues such as eye to eye gaze, facial expression, body posture and gestures to regulate social interaction.
True False

8. How many people have communication disorders in the United States today?

A. 100, 000
B. 10 million
C. 40 million
D. 20 million

8. How many Americans have some degree of hearing loss?

A. 1 million
B. 10 million
C. 20 million
D. 36 million\

10. About how many children have noticeable speech disorders by 1st grade?

A. 1%
B. 2%
C. 5%
D. 4%

11. Poor communication skills can lead to problems in…

A. Participating in classroom instruction
B. Developing and maintaining relationships
C. Understanding classroom instruction
D. All of the above

5/7/15 Voice Trivia Question for BSHM

BSHM 2015 a logo

Which one of the major systems in the body supports voice production?

A. Digestive system

B. Respiratory system

C. Skeletal system

D. Nervous system

Here is today’s trivia question. Good luck!

What does the acronym “AAC” stand for?

A. Alternative communication for people who cannot speak through verbal output

B. A television network

C. A language treatment program for children who have difficulty understanding language

D. A cable company

May Is Better Speech and Hearing Month Trivia Questions

BSHM 2015 b logo

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month. So we are going to post speech and language related trivia questions throughout the month. Here are 4 questions to start things off.

1. Dysphagia is a disorder of…

A. Word finding difficulty
B. Developmental language difficulty
C. Swallowing Difficulty
D. Intelligence

2. The Tympanic Membrane is also known as…

A. Cochlea
B. Ear Drum
C. Inner Ear

3. Which fact about fluency disorders (or stuttering) is not true?

A. Boys are three times more likely than girls to stutter
B. Stuttering affects roughly 3 million Americans
C. Bruce Willis stuttered as a child.
D. Stuttering only happens when a person is nervous.

4. What does the acronym ASHA stand for?

Patient #1000

In 2008, our company switched over to electronic record keeping. We started the database with client #0001. Today we entered into our database a new client, client #1000. Those of us who have been with the company since 2008 took a moment to reflect on that milestone. What a good feeling it is to know how many people we have helped communicate and, and in turn, how humbled we feel to have so many clients entrusting us to help impact their lives in a positive way. We are very grateful! And we look forward to helping the next 1,000 people!

I Scream, You Scream

I Scream, You Scream

By Maxine E. Van Doren, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech and Voice Therapy Center, LLC

If you’re heading to a fright fest this Halloween, make sure you don’t bring the spooky home with you! Vocal cord injuries (such as nodules or hemorrhaging) can occur in as little as one evening of vocal misuse, resulting in hoarseness or vocal fatigue. Here are 4 tips to care for your voice this Halloween, so what happens at fright fest stays at fright fest:

  1. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Vocal cords are very susceptible to dehydration, and nodules love a dry larynx.
  2. Consider using a “silent scream” face or an alternative that is easier on the voice such as a gasping or “screaming” quietly.
  3. Use diaphragmatic breathing when screaming to provide appropriate power and support for your voice. This can help prevent extra muscle tension in the throat.
  4. If you feel like you’re straining your voice, then trust your feelings and give your voice a rest. While you’re at it, have a sip of water.

If your voice sounds hoarse for more than 2 weeks following your outing, don’t wait for the problem to go away on its own. Make an appointment to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician to have your throat evaluated for possible injuries. Early treatment can improve your symptoms, and provide you with techniques for healthy voice use in your everyday life.

Click here for more information on Adult Voice Disorders or Pediatric Voice Disorders

BCBSMA HMO/POS Patients No Longer Need Authorization For Speech Therapy

We received a bulletin from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA)  stating, effective October 1, 2014, providers will no longer need to request prior authorization for speech therapy for our HMO/POS members.   BCBSMA went on to state, “We regularly track and trend efficiencies for providers.  Since we have seen proper adherence to the guidelines for these services, we have decided to remove the administrative burden of completing SmartSheets and/or requesting authorizations.”

This is a win-win-win situation for Primary Care Physicians, patients, and Speech-Language Providers.

Using Wordless Picture Books at Home

By Maxine E. Van Doren, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist


Wordless picture books offer a fun, low-demand reading activity with endless possibilities for learning.

While, many clinicians use wordless picture books for treatment and assessment of pediatric speech-language disorders, at home they offer opportunities to create a language rich reading experience and carry-over therapy goals. Despite being wordless, these picture books help develop early literacy and language skills when they are used well.

For example, while telling the story, you can ask your child questions about how characters are feeling, what they think might happen next, or have them tell parts of the story to carry-over language goals; you can also use the books to relate the story to your child’s personal experiences to help them develop personal narrative skills.

Wordless pictures books can also be used to carry-over articulation therapy by having your child tell the story or describe pictures using his or her target sound.

Some of our favorite wordless picture books include the Mercer Mayer’s Frog series (A boy, a dog, and frog; Frog, where are you?; One frog too many, etc), Chalk by Bill Thompson, and Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day.

Teaching Got Your Voice?

By Maxine E. Van Doren, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist


Teachers, do you find that your voice wears out during the first weeks of the school year?

Many teachers say they have hoarseness, vocal fatigue, or even complete voice loss at the beginning of the school year that often goes away after a few weeks.

Though many feel this is normal, consistent hoarseness at the beginning of each year should be evaluated by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician (ENT) as it may be the beginning of a persistent voice problem.

It is not uncommon for teachers to say they had hoarseness at the start of each year until one year their voice “just didn’t come back,” or “felt strained” throughout the school year.

Treating the problem early can prevent it from interfering with your professional and personal responsibilities later on.

See more information on Adult Voice Disorders to find out how this can be treated.


By Maxine E. Van Doren, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist


Executive Function refers to a set of self-management skills including goal creating, planning, prioritizing, problem solving, and self-monitoring.

Problems with executive function may impact your child’s language skills, academics, and/or social skills. With treatment, your child can acquire the tools to meet life’s varying demands.  Following through with treatment recommendations at home helps your child learn to apply these skills in different environments.

One way to address basic executive function skills in the home is to begin with goal creation and planning in fun, motivating activities.  For young children, try asking them what they are going to make before playing with playdoh or the toy kitchen; this encourages goal creation and early planning.  School-age children would benefit from activities that require multi-step planning such as cooking simple recipes (with adult help) or making crafts.  Once your child has decided what to make (goal creation), guide them through each step of planning including collecting materials, identifying the steps necessary to complete the task, and estimating the amount of time needed.

Remember to have fun!  Watching a goal (no matter how small) come to fruition may be a great source of pride and encouragement for a child who has difficulty completing tasks.