Let's Talk Speech Therapy
  • The Big Pivot

    First, and most importantly, I hope this blog post finds you all healthy and safe! That's really all that matters!These strange and unprecedented times have thrown us all for the proverbial loop and presented the biggest challenge many of us will ever have to face. Never before have we, as a country, had to deal with a scourge as widespread and insidious as Covid-19. But I suspect (and hope) that if we, as a nation, play it smart and listen to the advice of the world's medical professionals, ...
  • SIZE DOES MATTER!

    SIZE DOES MATTER! Sometimes Necessity actually is the Mother of Invention. I know it certainly was the mother of my invention.For 20 years as an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), I lugged a therapy bag around from home to home, school to school and clinic to clinic. That trusty bag o' mine would be stuffed to the gills with a variety of tools and toys. Because every kid's needs are different; every session required different go-to resources; games, flash cards, felt boards, tactile toys, mem...
  • IT TAKES A VILLAGE!

    Sometimes, the greatest resource that a speech language pathologist can possibly have is...fellow therapists.

    Experience is wonderful. Support from the school system is fantastic, and parents who are on board with the plan is a bonus.

    But while most language and speech issues can be improved - if not cured - through one-on-one therapy, occasionally a case comes along that's just too tricky, too unusual, too complicated, or too high above an SLP's pay grade to be solved by a solo speech pathologist.

    Sometimes, you've got to call for reinforcements.
  • I MARRIED AN SLP!

    I'm a slip-h. An SLPH. I'm neither an SLP (Speech Language Pathologist)  nor an SLPA (Speech Language Pathology Assistant.) I'm an S-L-P-H: A Speech Language Pathologist's husband. I'm married to a Speech/Language Pathologist.  And constantly in awe of her. Why? Because she, like most of the SLPs I've had the pleasure of meeting over the years, is imbued with traits that most of us mere mortals are not. SLPs are caring, empathetic souls,  driven by a desire to not only do good, but make a dif...
  • SHAME ON THE SHAMERS

    SHAME ON THE SHAMERS

    Nobody likes a bully. Nobody.

    And that includes the bully himself.

    It's the reason bullies bully in the first place.

    Bullies hate themselves and project that hate on others, usually they ones they perceive as inferior to themselves.

    Of course, bullying comes in many forms: physical, emotional, mental, positional.

    Kids bully kids, adults bully kids and adults bully adults.

    Bullying is never okay,  but there's something exceptionally unseemly about the recent potshots at Joe Biden's well documented lifelong struggle with stuttering.

    #stuttering #speechpathology #learningdisabilities #bullying #autism

  • AUTISM AND THE TIME MACHINE


    If memory serves, and more often than not these days it doesn't, I was seeing around six students a day.

    So this bright eyed neophyte with what felt like a 3-ton therapy bag, was servicing approximately thirty 0-3 year-olds a week.  Yikes!

    To be honest, I can't recall any of their names.

    Except for one. 

    Luke.

    Luke was my first autistic client.
  • Speech Therapy in the Movies

    After finishing up a lesson plan the other night, I collapsed in front of the television and switched on the guide. HBO was showing a great little film, The King's Speech. It had been awhile since I saw it last, so I grabbed some popcorn and got comfy. Okay it was a glass of wine, not popcorn. Don't judge me! Starring Colin Firth, The King's Speech was one of the most talked about films of 2011. This small British film about the real life relationship between an unorthodox speech therapist an...
  • Sensory Toys: Put the Batteries Away

    Hey there Parents, SLPs and educators - The other day, a good friend of mine (and fellow therapist) and I were talking about great toys that promote early language for her grand daughter. We talked about the onslaught of electronic toys taking over the aisles of toy stores and websites. We remarked that nowadays most toys either speak, sing, belch, squawk, whistle, shriek, move, light up or some combination of all of them. What happened to good old-fashioned sensory toys? Yikes! While toys wi...
  • Welcome to SmartFelt Toys!

    Welcome to SmartFelt Toys!  I'm excited by the notion of using this space to share with you my ideas, years of experience and inspirations. It seems appropriate that my first post should be one where I tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Yvonne Johansen. I'm a Speech Pathologist, wife, mother, language-building toy inventor and the owner and founder of SmartFelt Toys. After graduating from Teachers College, at Columbia University, I began working with 0-3 year olds back in New York...