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Conversations in Speech Pathology

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Join speech-language pathologist Jeff Stepen as he interviews a variety of professionals, parents, and other assorted characters about topics related to the practice of speech pathology/therapy.

Join speech-language pathologist Jeff Stepen as he interviews a variety of professionals, parents, and other assorted characters about topics related to the practice of speech pathology/therapy.
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Join speech-language pathologist Jeff Stepen as he interviews a variety of professionals, parents, and other assorted characters about topics related to the practice of speech pathology/therapy.




CSP 047: APD or Pickles?

I don't know about you, but auditory processing disorders have always confused me. I'm sure I've worked with any number of children who likely had a co-morbid diagnosis of APD without me ever being aware of it. Then again, the diagnosis itself (like many areas in our field) is the subject of ongoing debate. Today I'm happy to welcome Dr. Donna Turetgen, an audiologist in private practice, who helped shed some light on the subject. Some of the areas this episode covers includes: What an...


CSP 046: Innervoice

My guest today is Lois Brady, a speech pathologist who is one of the developers behind the Innervoice App. For those of you not familiar, Innervoice allows one to upload a photo of any person (real or pretend) and have them "speak". It's a pretty easy and straightforward app to use. And the kids I have used it with so far really seem to like it! Note to listeners: By the time this is released, Innervoice will have released its 3.0 update which will include a new backup/restore function as...


CSP 045: Milton The Mealtime Companion

Dan Rennecker and Justin Peart are two dads who created a tool to help teach good eating habits to children. (With so many picky eaters these days, we really need all the help we can get!) Their product, Milton, The Mealtime Companion is an adorable table top character made of food grade silicone. The basic premise is simple: Milton takes a bite, your son/daughter/client takes a bite. Listen in as Dan and Justin explain in detail how they conceived of Milton, experimented with prototypes,...


CSP 044: Rinki's in the SNF

It's my pleasure to welcome back Rinki Varindani to the show! I first interviewed Rinki more than 2 years ago when she was working acute care in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Rinki has now relocated to upstate New York and working guessed it- a SNF. What brought her to her present position, the adjustments she's had to make, and the initiatives she's since spearheaded are the subject of today's episode. We also talk a bit about cognitive-linguistic disorders, resources for treatment,...


CSP 043: The Traveling Traveler

Julia Kuhn was born with the travel gene. Luckily, she gets to be in a profession that makes it easy to work on a temporary basis in a variety of locales. (Hawaii anyone?) Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a series of temporary assignments? What about housing, medical insurance, and potential odd problems looming out there? Julia addresses it all! In fact, you can get much more in-depth on the matter by checking out her blog at Credit: "Cute"...


CSP 042: /skr/ape it to me!

I met Kelly Vess at the 2016 ASHA convention. She was presenting a poster session on using evidence based practice to help 31 preschoolers with speech sound disorders (SSD). Kelly and her colleagues ran a study using a number of elements from recent literature on SSD’s. What she achieved was impressive. In a five week period, nearly all of her students achieved significant levels of improvement. Today Kelly discusses her study as well as the key elements that we can all use to replicate...


Nancy Inman's WordPower

Do you ever wonder how the AAC “sausage” gets made? What in particular goes into the process of creating an AAC vocabulary set? Today we’re going to explore how one sausage in particular got made. It’s the story of WordPower, the popular AAC set created by my guest, Nancy Inman of Inman Innovations. Nancy was previoulsy the program manager for the Department of Assistive Technology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. She’s worked in the area of AAC for years and here’s...


CSP 040: Aphasia App-titude with Megan Sutton

This episode is going to be a departure for me because I'm handing over the mic to none other than Rinki Varindani Desai to guest host! You might remember Rinki from a previous CSP episode. I was very impressed with Rinki's passion for the field and her eagerness to take on so many extra-curricular projects. It was only natural I suppose, that I would eventually ask her to guest host on a topic that she has much more familiarity than I do. Rinki's guest today is Megan Sutton of Tactus...


CSP 039: Yvette McCoy’s Most Interesting Case…GSW & Swallowing Recovery

Today I'm debuting the first in what I hope will become an ongoing series. I like to call it: My Most Interesting Case. Yvette McCoy is back on this inaugural episode to talk about a gentleman who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His road back to swallowing was certainly not easy, but this story does have a pretty good ending. Warning: This episode may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive listeners. If you have a compelling clinical story to share, please...


Jennifer Schultz on SLPA's

On today's show I'm talking with Jennifer Schultz, a speech pathologist and instructor at the Mitchell Technical Institute, about Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPA). Jennifer is well versed on the topic of assistants in our profession and we cover a number of areas including: The roles of an SLPA Reasons for becoming an assistant. Requirements for licensure. There are a lot of resources Jennifer provided me on SLPA's (and related info). Here are some of them: General Resources:...


CSP 037: How We Approach Bilinguals (And What is a Bilingual Anyway?)

Happy New Year everyone! Today, on this first podcast of the new year, I welcome noted ASHA fellow Dr. Brian Goldstein to talk about bilingualism. Brian is well known in our field for his work on bilingualism and in particular Spanish phonological development. He is the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs at La Salle University and I'm told from first hand experience that he is an awesome teacher! Here are just a few of the things we cover: When bilingualism became a focus of...


CSP 034: The Informed SLP

We all strive to be better clinicians and adhere to using best practices whenever possible. This process requires us to keep up on the literature. But keeping up isn't easy. For one thing, there are too many journals and papers to sift through. What's more, consuming research can be expensive if you don't work at a university (or aren't a student at one). Meredith Harold can't allay all of our research anxieties, but she's here to help! The Informed SLP is a monthly newsletter that...


CSP 035: Is Private Practice in Your Future?

Have you ever thought about starting your own private practice? Is now the time? If so, Scott Harmon can help. Scott is a successful occupational therapist running a brick and mortar practice in Arkansas. With over 10 years experience in private practice, he knows what works and what doesn't. This guy is very good at keeping his eye on the bottom line and understands which metrics matter. On today's show Scott talks about his work history leading up to the opening of his own practice. We...

CSP 34: Benjamin's RPM Journey

In this episode I’m asking an important question: Is it possible for a treatment methodology to be considered pseudoscience (at least today) and yet actually work for some individuals? Yes, I’m delving into the world of RPM (Rapid Prompting Method), a controversial approach to educating and opening up the possibility of authentic communication among individuals with autism. We’re talking letter boards, torn paper, the whole works! The centerpiece of my story is Benjamin, a teenager whose...


CSP 033: The Road to Graduate School

I'm not sure what the profession looks like in the rest of the world, but here in the U.S. the field of speech pathology is getting harder to get into. There are currently more applicants than available spots in graduate school. What exactly are graduate programs looking for in candidates these days? Do grades and test scores still matter as much as other factors? Today's episode can't begin to answer these questions definitively (I'm sure there are a wide range of requirements depending...


CSP 032: Slicing & Dicing Language with Russell Cross

Greetings podcast listener! I'm happy to welcome back Mr. Russell Cross of the Prentke Romich Company (PRC) to talk about keyword vocabulary, phrasal verbs, and of course...core vocabulary. Russell is the resident speech-language pathologist for PRC (Director of Clinical Applications). He was one of the original authors of Unity language found on all PRC devices and most recently worked with Paul Andres to bring us Realize Language (if you haven't already, please check out my previous...


A Sound Practice For Accent Modification

If you've ever been interested in working in the area of accent modification, have I got an episode for you! Tom Shull (@MrShullsClass) is back to talk about this very topic. What makes Tom so impressive is that his accent modification business is a part-time one. Like myself, Tom's full-time gig is in the public school system (please listen to our last talk about Donor's Choose if you haven't already). In today's episode we cover: What sparked Tom's interest in accent modification. The...


CSP 30: Smita Joshi is Thankful for Shoes (and more)

Smita Joshi is a speech pathologist, colleague, and friend whom I've had the pleasure of knowing for about 15 years. She was also one of the first persons I asked to be on this show! Though I was politely declined at the time (for very valid reasons), she finally agreed to come on the show when I heard her tell me (for the first time) the full story of how she both decided to be an SLP and move the the U.S. from India. It's definitely a story worth hearing! Smita indeed picked up and left...



Camp ALEC (AAC, Literacy, Education, Communication) is a weeklong summer camp designed for students with physical disabilities whose primary means of communication is through AAC. The camp is now in its third year under the direction of Drs. Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver. As the name implies, literacy is a big part of this camp. But there’s also plenty of time for swimming, toasted marshmallows, and even a prank or two! Tina Moreno is one of the organizers of the camp, a...


CSP 028: Product Spotlight- Forbrain

Forbrain is an auditory processing product designed to "use your voice to boost your brain". The combination of bone conduction for sound transmission and a dynamic filter (audio processing) make for an interesting auditory feedback loop. In this short episode, I'll talk a little about how I came across this device as well as my overall impressions using it over the past few months*. Do you own the Forbrain device? If so, what has your experience been like with it so far? I'd love to hear......