Book Review: There Was A Speech Teacher Who Swallowed Some Dice

Book Review by Stepanie Long, MCD, CCC-SLP


Pat Mervine has written another great book for SLPs that can be used for therapy, loaned to parents as a fun resource for parents to read to their children, or as an icebreaker activity for an SLP to read with a new student starting speech therapy.  The book is a whimsical take on “There Was An Old Lady” series, and features an SLP  who first swallows dice, and then swallows various other materials commonly found in speech rooms such as sound card decks, tongue depressors, games, and more.  The colorful pictures help complement the fun, light tone of the book.  But, oh, there is so much more wonderful things in this book that should be mentioned!

First, this book would be great for doing a sequencing activity-  what did the SLP swallow first, second, and so on?  Second, there are a plethora of language goals that can be met with this book-   metaphors (“dark as midnight”), multiple meaning words (“Inside her insides”), and acquisition of new vocabulary words (uneasy, queasy, data, glistening, misery, doom).   The biggest benefit of this book is that it highlights how speech therapy can be fun, and through this fun atmosphere using the materials listed in the story, students can improve their communication (even the dedication is fun-  make sure to check it out.  Every SLP can relate to the quote from Johnny that is in the dedication).  I loved the ending and the final advice to not swallow the dice!

The book also has a few additional features including an index of some of the materials and items in an SLPs office/therapy room and a speech room scavenger hunt which is a great follow-up activity to the book.   This book is another wonderful addition to every SLPs toolbox!  Check it out at Amazon or in Pat’s on-line store today!

About the Reviewer:  Stephanie Long, MCD, CCC-SLP is a school-based speech-language pathologist and creator of the blog Cheerful Speech Chatter.  She received her B.A. and a M.A. in Counseling from UNC-Charlotte, and was awarded a MCD in Communication Disorders from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. 

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Hot Job of the Week: Special Education Teacher – San Jose, CA


PediaStaff is seeking TWO experienced Special Education teachers for full time contracts in School Year 2014/15.  Location is in the San Jose, California area. 

Job 1:  Middle, Special Day Mild/Moderate
Job 2:  Middle, Special Day Moderate/Severe

Excellent pay based on experience plus benefits. 

California Education Specialist Instruction Credential, Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Disabilities
- NCLB Compliant/Certificate
- English Language Learner Authorization

School based professionals are our specialty – and our expertise is backed by excellent hourly rates and per diem offered based on IRS eligibility. Additional benefits include: nationally recognized medical insurance, 401K, generous relocation and continuing education assistance, optional summer pay program, and reimbursement for state license and/or teacher certification.

Apply for this Job Today!

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PediaStaff Interview Tip of the Week: Phone Interviews

phone Many times a telephone interview is conducted for contract or temporary positions, in lieu of a face-to-face meeting.  Although a contract job is not a “commitment for life,” the employer holding the phone will be looking for a strong indication that you are committed to the position you are being considered for and that you are truly interested in their district or company.

Interviewees often make the mistake of perceiving a phone interview as less important than one that takes place face-to-face.  In fact, the opposite is actually true. A telephone interview may be your only chance to make your best impression. It is much more difficult to get the “real you” across by phone, so you need to make the most of every minute by preparing ahead of time.

  • Schedule a time where you can give the interviewer your undivided attention.
  • Keep the interview “clinical” and focused on the job duties. Other, more general questions can be answered by your recruiter (if you have one) or through your research.
  • Don’t talk about money. If you are interviewing through a staffing company or recruiter like PediaStaff,  they will have that information for you.   If you are self-represented, you should obtain that information through Human Resources, not during the clinical phone interview with the hiring authority.
  • Let the interviewer ask his or her questions first to ensure that the interviewer covers all that they want to learn about you.  If there is time, feel free to ask job related questions.

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Postural Stability and Cerebral Palsy

[Source:  Pediatric Physical Therapy via Your Therapy Source]

postural stabilityPediatric Physical Therapy published research comparing postural stability during static upright standing between 45 children with cerebral palsy (CP) and 45 age-matched peers with typical development (TD) ages 5-12 years old. A posturography device was used for assessment. Postural stability was evaluated under 4 sensory conditions: eyes open and eyes closed on a firm surface; eyes open and eyes closed on a foam surface.

The results indicated the following:
1. Statistically significant differences were obtained between children with spastic diplegic CP and children with TD under all conditions involving visual and somatosensory conflicts

2. no significant differences were found between children with hemiplegic CP and children with TD.

The researchers concluded that children with spastic diplegic CP have increased postural instability under sensory conditions with both visual and somatosensory conflicts.

Reference:  Saxena, Shikha MPT; Rao, Bhamini K. MPT, PhD; Kumaran, Senthil MPT.  Analysis of Postural Stability in Children With Cerebral Palsy and Children With Typical Development: An Observational Study. Pediatric Physical Therapy Fall 2014 Vol. 26 – Issue 3: p 325-330

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PediaStaff Placement of the Week!

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Congratulations to Robin P., CCC-SLP on her rehire at one of PediaStaff’s School Based clients in Oregon. Wow Robin, how many consecutive years have you been working for us now??   I think its your seventh year with your fourth client and your third that your husband has been working for us as well??  So great!

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