Iteach2talk's Blog

So…you are thinking about going to, or are already enrolled in, college for a degree in speech-language pathology. You have a long road ahead of you! It can be arduous and very frustrating at times, but I have gathered a few ideas to hopefully help you locate and collect industry-specific information as you progress through your college career and beyond. Let’s get going!

Research current information and practitioner sites.
I am an information junkie AND hoarder. I love to look for and save information about the field of SLP. Are you a social networker? Who are you ‘friends’ with, which pages do you ‘like’, and who do you ‘follow’? Search for terms and people related to the field on the networking sites and get connected! Bookmark websites into a folder for future reference! Always be in a learning mode…even if you have to save it to read up on later. At least you will have it to refer to.

Save your textbooks.
Are you one to usually sell your textbooks as soon as you can? If so, you might want to re-think this. They are valuable resources for reference. I have also purchased other books from eBay and Amazon to have on hand…and I have used them! Start your reference library now. It will be invaluable in your future studies and practice.

Associations.
Become a member of your national and state speech-language and hearing associations. You will gain important information that will help you navigate your schooling and career. ASHA offers a student association called NSSLHA (National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association). Your state will offer membership into their organization (I am a member of OSHLA here in Ohio). The fees to join are usually discounted for students and there are opportunities to get discounted or free admission to annual conferences, as well.

Conferences.
Speaking of conferences, if you have the opportunity to attend one (or more), GO! These are excellent networking opportunities and many have presentations which are geared toward students. The associations also usually provide the handouts received during the conferences on their website to save or print out. Another GREAT source of information for your files.

Publications.
As I said earlier, I am an information J-U-N-K-I-E. I subscribe to anything and everything that I can, print or online. You will receive The ASHA Leader, the national jam-packed-with-information publication for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, free when you join NSSLHA. Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists offers a FREE print/electronic magazine that is full of articles, products, continuing education opportunities (some free!), and job opportunities. You can subscribe up at http://www.advanceweb.com/speech.

This is a very small sampling of what you can do to help yourself in preparation of becoming an ‘information hoarder’ in preparation for completing your coursework and providing treatment to your clients. Here’s to your future research and practice efforts!

Hi all! Just wanted to check in and let you know that I am still around! I am in my last year of courses for my BS and these next few months will be filled with 18 credit hours of school, volunteering, applying to grad schools, taking care of my family…..you get the picture!

I am currently working on another article that I will post here when finished. I hope that it is helpful to you, especially if you are a student or thinking about going into the SLP field!

Hope that you enjoyed your summer….fall is around the corner!

Heather

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As any speech-language pathologist and SLP student knows, materials that we use for therapy can be quite costly. During my online adventures traveling through the world of speech therapy resources, I have gathered a collection of ideas to share with you to help you in acquiring free and low-cost materials for your existing , or future, materials library.

Many free or low-cost communication and literacy apps and podcasts are available for download from iTunes© – which is also a free download in itself. Hooked on Phonics® and Sesame Street® video podcasts are of extremely high quality and are all completely free. The beauty of video podcasts is that you do not need a separate device such as an iPad® or iPod Touch® to view them. They are fully viewable through the iTunes program on any computer with a high-speed internet connection.

Dollar Tree® stores have a book section that carries quality phonics and reading books and flash cards with popular characters such as Barbie©, Disney®, Spider Man®, and Sesame Street®. They also offer products including award certificates, motivational stickers, ribbons, die cuts, and designer computer paper…and absolutely EVERYTHING in the store is only $1.00. Grab a cart when you go!

eBay© sellers offer new and used therapy materials at a discount from well-known companies such as Linguisystems©, Super Duper®/Webber®, and the like. There are a great many deals to be found here. Some of the sellers are SLPs like yourselves who have cleaned out their therapy closet and some are simply people who have come across the items and are trying to unload them. Either reason equals a deal for you.

Google© Images can be used to locate particular images that you have in mind by performing a simple search. Most of the images are actual photos and you can print and laminate them singly or as social/sequencing story boards. Also, simply do a web search on Google© for “free speech therapy materials” and then buckle your seatbelt for the results!

Favorite standby (and newly arrived!) resources for SLPs and students such as Handy Handouts®, Super Duper®, Home Speech Home©, Linguisystems©, and Speech Therapy Ideas© offer free printables, activities, and samples on their web pages.

Social networking is so much more than keeping in touch with friends and long-lost classmates. I have learned so much by following those currently involved in the SLP field. Follow or friend app developers such as Smarty Ears© and Moms With Apps in order to gain access to promotions for free or discounted apps. You will sometimes need to provide a review for the app on iTunes, but it is more than a fair trade. Companies such as Pearson©, Super Duper®, and Handy Handouts® offer free downloads via social networks, also. When you read an article of interest to you, search for the author’s or subject’s name or company and connect with them. Check your networks daily, or you may miss out on a really great deal! It doesn’t take long and the rewards are worth the little amount of time you will spend.

Buy yourself a large-capacity external memory hard drive to keep your therapy files on for easy access and transport. Your computer’s memory will thank you for not bogging it down with the enormous amount of information that you will collect.

Goodwill© retail stores, yard sales, flea markets, family members, friends, and yourself are great resource for toys and games. My daughter is four years old and I look through the toys and games that she has outgrown to see if they can be used for therapy before giving them away.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I hope that reading through it has started your creative juices flowing. I am CONSTANTLY thinking of different ways to obtain and use materials. It was difficult at first to train my mind to see potential in some of the items I came across, but now it is second nature. No matter where I go, I am always scouting for them. I will be well-stocked by the time I become a bona-fide practicing speech-language pathologist!

In creating Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace accounts as a speech-language pathology student, my goal was to create a network of speech therapists and teachers to whom I could occasionally ask questions and bounce ideas off of. It has become so much more, though!

I have learned about so many real-life situations and programs that I may encounter when I become a speech-language pathologist. I log in to my networking sites almost every day because I don’t want to miss anything!

I really didn’t think that these online social media outlets would turn into much at all, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I cannot recommend highly enough the power of these tools for educational and networking purposes. Get out there TODAY and create for yourselves your very own PLN – Personal Learning Network.

From the PR Newswire

App Helps Kids Improve Vocabulary As Much As 31 Percent

ARLINGTON, Va., May 25 /PRNewswire/ — As parents search for ways to make the most of the travel time during family road trips this summer, the answer might be as close as their pocket. A new study from PBS KIDS finds that mobile apps can provide an engaging, educational experience for kids. PBS KIDS today announced initial results of a study on the educational benefits of mobile gaming apps in conjunction with the 7th Annual Games for Change Festival in New York. A Rockman et al study found that vocabulary improved as much as 31 percent in children ages three to seven who played with the popular MARTHA SPEAKS app, which was created by series producer WGBH.

The study findings are particularly relevant as smart phones and mobile devices have become increasingly popular among families and parents are faced with a proliferation of mobile apps designed for kids. According to a recent Nielsen study, smart phone usage is 12% higher in households with children than other households.

“Mobile apps can be a great learning tool in the hands of children,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP, Children’s Media, PBS. “This research is important in helping to better understand and guide the development of new apps that improve the value of children’s screen time with significant educational outcomes.”

Parents echo this desire for fun, yet educational, screen time, with more than half of those participating in the study saying that it is “very important” for their child to learn from media they use. “These initial study results, and the incredible interest in our apps from parents and kids, indicate that mobile learning is a new and crucial educational frontier,” said Jason Seiken, SVP Interactive, Product Development, and Innovation, PBS. “We will continue to lead the charge in delivering innovative educational tools that parents have come to expect from PBS.”

“The MARTHA SPEAKS Dog Party app successfully extends our efforts to build oral vocabulary for four- to seven-year-olds, a core goal of MARTHA SPEAKS,” said WGBH Vice President of Children’s Media and Educational Programming Brigid Sullivan.

About the MARTHA SPEAKS Dog Party App

MARTHA SPEAKS Dog Party features four different games. In the “Chow Time” game, kids build vocabulary by helping dogs clean their plates, identifying different shapes (“rectangular,” “triangular”), patterns and colors, and objects (from “astronauts” to “instruments” and “vehicles”). Martha, the world’s only talking dog, explains what each word means. The app is based on the popular PBS KIDS series featuring Martha, a beloved family dog who eats a bowl of alphabet soup and gains the power of human speech. For more information about PBS KIDS apps, please visit PBSKIDS.org/mobile.

Study Methodology

The study focused on a group of 90 Title One children ages three to seven. Each child played approximately 2.5 hours on the MARTHA SPEAKS app across the two week study period (approximately 5 hours total time spent on the iPod in this two week period), playing with the app 11 times. This was self initiated time, not prescribed.

About PBS KIDS

PBS KIDS offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s nearly 360 public television stations, serving more than 124 million people on-air and online each month.

SOURCE PBS KIDS

RELATED LINKS

http://www.pbskids.org

Following is an update from the website http://www.speakupforsay.com , where you can find information abour this case and how to contact Mattel and tell them how GREEDY they are for picking on a little company that produces products for children with speech disorders.  How do you NOT use the “say” when you are talking about communication?

What Mattel Says and Super Duper’s Response

Mattel is sending misinformation to people who are writing them in response to this website.

Here is the Mattel statement and Super Duper’s response.

Mattel: We’d like to clarify a few important points with you to help you better understand the situation.

1. Mattel: First, we want to clarify that Mattel did not sue Super Duper Publications.

Super Duper Answer: This is FALSE. Super Duper filed suit against Mattel to protect its right to use the words SAY and AND SAY in its product title trademarks. Super Duper asked the court to rule that it could use its marks without interference from the toy company. Super Duper did not seek any money from Mattel or ask that Mattel stop using any of its trademarks.

Mattel then sued Super Duper for $10 million and asked the court to permanently prevent Super Duper from publishing any of its special needs products that had its 15 SAY marks in the product titles.

It is an absolute lie for Mattel to claim it did not sue Super Duper.

2. Mattel: The case began when Super Duper Publications tried to register trademarks in the toy category.  These trademarks are very similar to the famous Mattel SEE ‘N SAY and THE FARMER SAYS registered trademarks that Mattel has used for over 40 years.

SD Answer: Super Duper makes educational special needs materials for children with autism and other communication disorders. Mattel makes toys.

Until 2004, Mattel had never even heard of Super Duper. By that time, Super Duper had a number of registered products with SAY trade names which had been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mattel had a full and fair opportunity to object to ANY of Super Duper’s trademark applications prior to 2004.

As Mattel is well aware, ALL games that are registered with the Trademark Office, including special needs educational games, MUST be filed in trademark Category 28, the games and toys category. Super Duper had no choice but to file in this category. It is grossly misleading for Mattel to suggest otherwise.

Further, there is nothing similar between the therapy books, games, and card decks made by Super Duper for trained professionals and parents of children with autism and other communication disorders, and Mattel’s pull toy made for children to play with.

 3. Mattel: As just mentioned, Mattel did not sue Super Duper Publications. Super Duper filed suit against Mattel in South Carolina and requested a jury trial to resolve the issue.  We had no choice but to protect the continued use of our famous trademarks.

SD Answer: Mattel DID SUE Super Duper. See SD Answer #1 above.  

As for Mattel having no choice but to protect its trademarks, at the time Super Duper filed and received its first trademark registration on a SAY product, there were over 200 other registered SAY marks from companies all over America. None of these other companies have ever had a problem with Super Duper using the word SAY, and we have not had any problem with them using the word SAY.

Mattel did NOT have to try and take the word SAY away from Super Duper:

  • Mattel did NOT have to claim without any basis that Super Duper SAY marks would likely cause confusion among consumers between Super Duper special needs products and Mattel toys.
  • Mattel did NOT have to accuse Super Duper of intentionally “riding on the coattails” of the Mattel toy by using SAY in its educational products.
  • Mattel did NOT have to seek to have Super Duper pay $10 million of its profits to Mattel.
  • Mattel did NOT have to ask the court to have Super Duper stop selling products that had 15 SAY names on them.
  • Mattel did NOT have to ask the court to make Super Duper pay $2.6 million of its attorney’s fees.

Mattel could have, and should have, done nothing when Super Duper applied to register its SORT AND SAY educational magnetic games with the Trademark Office because there is no basis to claim that any Super Duper SAY product infringes on the trademark of any Mattel toy or dilutes that toy’s mark.

Mattel, the $5.4 billion toy company which was recently given the largest fine in U.S. history for intentionally importing toys tainted with toxic lead, did NOT have to sue Super Duper for $10 million just because Super Duper had some special needs products with SAY in the titles. Mattel is NOT the victim in this case.

4.  Mattel: During the course of the trial, Mattel offered resolution options outside of the courtroom to Super Duper for consideration, including the opportunity for Super Duper to continue using all of their marks without registering them.  Super Duper did not accept any of the options presented to them and chose to proceed with the trial.

SD Answer: Correct, Mattel made this offer. Super Duper did not accept it because Super Duper already had registered trademarks for many of its SAY products. None of these products had ever been confused with any other SAY products, including Mattel’s toy. Why should Mattel own the word SAY? Mattel had no basis to ask Super Duper to change the names of its products, so Super Duper rejected the Mattel settlement offer. Super Duper also made settlement offers to Mattel, which Mattel rejected.

5.  Mattel: The jury in South Carolina found that several of Super Duper’s trademarks did, in fact, infringe and dilute Mattel’s trademarks.  While the jury’s verdict protects Mattel’s long-standing rights with its famous See ‘N Say trademark, it does not jeopardize Super Duper’s business in any way.

SD Answer: Mattel’s actions have absolutely hurt Super Duper’s business.  

Super Duper:

  • has spent thousands of hours over seven years fighting Mattel—this time should have gone into developing special needs materials.
  • had to throw out $280,000 worth of catalogs in order to stop advertising seven SAY products.
  • had to re-label and reprint thousands of SAY educational books and games, some of which had already been registered and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • had to throw out inventory that had these seven SAY names on them which could not be re-labeled. 
  • had to pay its own attorneys to fight Mattel’s Trademark Office actions and this lawsuit.
  • is under an order to pay $1 million of our profits, plus interest.
  • is under an order to pay $2.6 million in attorney’s fees, plus interest.
  • had to pledge $4 million of its assets (including the personal assets of Super Duper’s owners Thomas and Sharon Webber) in order to get the appeal bond in this case.

In our opinion, trial Judge Henry Floyd issued jury charges which were in error. The Fourth Circuit agreed with us. We also believe he let this case go to the jury without having sufficient evidence to do so. We believe the jury did the best it could, but in our opinion the jury members were confused by the incorrect jury instructions. (See 7 below).

 6.  Mattel: Following the jury trial, the United States District Court entered a permanent injunction to stop Super Duper’s use of several names that infringed upon Mattel’s See ‘N Say trademark and ordered the United States Patent and Trademark Office to cancel certain marks that Super Duper had registered or had filed to register.

SD Answer: That is correct. See SD Answer to #5 above.

7.   Mattel: Super Duper appealed the rulings of the District Court to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.  On June 10, 2010, the Fourth Circuit Court affirmed the District Court’s judgment in its entirety.

SD Answer: That is correct. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Dennis Shedd, G. Stephen Agee, and Clyde Hamilton issued an unpublished opinion which allowed them to summarily approve Judge Floyd’s order with applying traditional trademark law. We disagree with this decision. We believe if the court had issued a published opinion, it would have had to properly apply trademark law to the facts of this case.

We are not alone in our views. Here is what the independent legal review service LexisNexis Mealey’sTM Legal News and Litigation Report had to say about the Super Duper appeal in 2009, prior to the Fourth Circuit opinion.

Arguments: Mattel cannot reconcile its speculation that confusion is “likely” to occur in the future with the fact that no one has been confused in the past by any of the marks, despite millions of dollars of sales since 1987. Mattel ignores the many reasons why confusion has not occurred, including fundamental differences in the ways the marks appear in the market, the products the marks identify and the parties’ distribution channels. Mattel overlooks the sophistication of Super Duper’s target speech therapists, who have never been confused, nor would be merely because the marks contain the word “say.” Faced with this lack of evidence, Mattel relies on misstatements of the record and law and irrelevant material that does not concern the products or marks at issue, much of which never even came into evidence.

The jury charges were incorrect, prejudicial and improperly relaxed Mattel’s burden of proof. The circumstances of this case compelled the charge that “the absence of any evidence of actual confusion over a substantial period of time” creates “a strong inference that there is no likelihood of confusion” and “weigh[s] heavily” against a finding of trademark infringement, according to CareFirst of Maryland, Inc. v. First Care, P.C. (434 F.3d 263 [4th Cir. 2006]; See 1/23/06, Page 21). Further, the charge that similarity of marks alone was “sufficient” to establish likely confusion was prejudicial. Mattel inverts the charge and claims that it means that “the parties’ marks need not be identical in order to find a likelihood of confusion.” But the actual charge states, incorrectly, that a “finding of similarity in the marks’ appearance, sound, or meaning is sufficient to support a finding of likelihood of confusion.”

Mattel presented insufficient evidence on the dilution claim. Mattel’s brief fails to discuss the elements required to prove a claim of dilution by blurring, and, therefore, how the “evidence” supports them. The definition of “dilution by blurring” and its required elements are nowhere in Mattel’s brief. As a result, Mattel does not identify any evidence on the element of “‘similarity between the defendant’s mark and the famous mark giv[ing] rise to an association between the marks’” or on the separate element of whether such association, if shown, is “‘likely to impair the distinctiveness’” of the mark. Mattel only discusses nonexclusive factors courts “may consider,” which, by definition, are not elements. If an element is not proven, the claim fails as a matter of law.

Mattel fails to persuasively respond to Super Duper’s arguments that the award of profits was inequitable, unreasonably limited in time and barred by the Trademark Dilution Revision Act, nor does it explain how the award is “compensation” to Mattel, as opposed to a “penalty” for speculative conduct toward “others” not involved in the litigation. Under 15 U.S. Code Section 1117(a), awards should be “compensation and not a penalty.” Also, Mattel’s response cannot explain how Super Duper’s conduct as to Mattel is “exceptional” under Section 1117(a). If the award stands, businesses will be unable to predict with any level of certainty how to select marks without risking millions of dollars in attorney fees, invariably chilling efforts to seek assistance of counsel, the PTO and the courts to determine whether product names will avoid consumer confusion. Further, awarding fees to Mattel contradicts the goals of the Lanham Act. (Emphasis added)

 8.  Mattel: Shortly thereafter, Super Duper filed a petition requesting that all of the judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals review the Court’s earlier decision.  The Court of Appeals denied this request on July 7, 2010.

SD Answer: That is correct. Once again, for reasons unknown to Super Duper, the judges refused to apply basic and long-standing standard trademark law to this case. We hope the U.S. Supreme Court will do so.

Mattel: We want to again emphasize that Mattel neither wanted nor sought a trial against Super Duper.  Super Duper can continue to sell products using names that do not infringe or dilute Mattel’s trademarks

SD Answer: Super Duper has never done ANYTHING to infringe on ANY Mattel SAY trademarks or to dilute them.

Here is a listing of all of my favorite apps, in no particular order.  They are a treasury of therapy tools!!

ANY app from Smarty-Ears
ANY app from Grembe
ANY app from Kindergarten.com
ANY app from SmallTalk
SpeakIt
Look in my Eyes 1 and 2
Martha Speaks Dog Party
Super Why!
Sensory Play
SpellnSay
Sentence Builder
Question Builder
ProLoQuo2Go

There are MANY more on my iPod, but these are some of my faves.  ENJOY!!!!

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