Luke Watts - SLP in Lexington Kentucky

Sentiments of an SLP: SLP Tools

I spend my days serving my clients and students, writing, and traveling to do presentations to support my fellow SLPs.  I love my job, and I’ll be honest.  It’s hard to manage my three young children, be a good partner to my husband, be a full-time employee and find an occasional reprieve.  At times, I wonder if my efforts are worthwhile.  Recently, an SLP from Lexinton, Luke Watts, reached out to me.  He kindly reminded me of why I became an SLP.  So, this week, our post is written by him.  With permission, I am gratefully sharing his sentiments and some of our favorite SLP tools.

A Message from an SLP

December 14, 2017

Hi, Phuong!

I thought I would take a few minutes to update you on how your presentation continues to impact my clinical practice.

This is my sixth year as an SLP, and my second year working in the same school district in Lexington. This school year is my first year being at one school (after being itinerant, mostly at the middle school level). I’m at an elementary school that draws from a very diverse section of our city. Many, many students at our school are learning English as a second language (mostly Arabic or Nepali as their first language). The information you shared this summer couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I use the “Difference or Disorder” book frequently, and I’ve turned to the Bilinguistics website numerous times.

I feel so much more confident in making clinical decisions than I would have had I not attended your session this summer!

At the beginning of this school year, I made a plan for incorporating more literacy into my therapy sessions. In graduate school, I was fortunate to be part of a training grant with a focus on Language and Literacy. So naturally, your ideas fit so well with my framework and philosophy for speech/language intervention. My principal graciously gave me a purchase order for your “Literacy-Based Speech and Language Activities” book. I’ve loved the ideas and resources you and Scott share in the book! Your session this summer and the book inspired me to write a grant proposal (a local grant) for building a collection of storybooks to use in therapy. I get so frustrated by commercially available SLP resources that don’t reflect the diversity of my students. I think literature is such a great way to honor the experiences our students bring. I found out a couple weeks ago that my proposal is going to be funded, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the books! (I can also stop renewing my favorites from the public library!)

I’ve also incorporated your “I work!” chant at the beginning of my sessions; such a great, age-appropriate way of students taking ownership over what they’re working on. I also love using the “I’m smart…” affirmation at the end of sessions! I have both of these posted by the door, and I love when students remind me if I’ve forgotten. 🙂 And how did I ever teach story grammar without your clever story grammar rap?! Okay, I feel like I could go on and on about how much your session and method of therapy has impacted my practice, but I feel like I’m becoming redundant.

…but one more quick story: The clicker counters idea you shared! I had never thought of using the clicker counters before for tallying data, but it might be one of my favorite time savers ever. I ordered a set from Amazon, and my data collection will never be the same again! There are a couple students in particular who have become so motivated when I hand them the clickers to count their own accuracy rates…I’ve never seen faster progress with artic! I also had my principal come in to do an unannounced observation; she was impressed by the clickers and took the idea of using them to other teachers for tallying behaviors in the classroom, etc. It’s funny how something so low-tech can be so powerful, when we’re all consumed by what technology is supposed to be able to do for us!

THANK YOU so much for sharing your wisdom and talents!

Take care,


Better Together, SLPs

So, dear Luke, I want to say thank you for this kind message.  I often think of my fellow SLPs, and I appreciate your words.  I will use your positive energy to keep doing our meaningful work.  Luckily, as SLPs, we have an entire village of peers understanding our efforts, acknowledging our hardships and offering us moments of speechy joy.  We are surely better together, SLP.

Take care,


Written by: phuonglienpalafox

2 Comments on “Sentiments of an SLP: SLP Tools”

  1. February 2, 2018 at 10:41 am #

    Loved this! I’m in my CF and sometimes feel like I’m drowning, but I’m so inspired by SLPs like you, Phuong, and Luke! Thank you for all the amazing work you do for our SLP community!

    • February 2, 2018 at 11:12 am #

      Hi Claudia,

      You are surely in the midst of a tough, tough year. It’s hard time, and I promise it will be well worth the effort and time. We have written a lot about how to support SLPs during this time. Here are a few of our blog posts that may resonate with your intern-SLP-heart: I’m sending you positive vibes as you tackle (and OWN!) this first year, Claudia. And, here’s to Friday, dear! – Phuong

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