My name is Cindy Montalbano. I’ve worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist for 20+ years in a variety of public school systems. I have some splintered years so it is hard for me to count exactly. I received a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology from the University of WA in Seattle, WA and my Certificate of Clinical Competence or CCCs from The American Speech and Hearing Association or ASHA in 1992 . When I started in this field it was possible to work in the schools with an undergraduate degree. I did this a few years before going on to a graduate school program.
I’ve had a number of job experiences in a variety of locations across the United States and even in Europe. I followed a military spouse until his retirement and had a new job setting every 3 to 4 years. My job experiences include working in an Indian Tribal School, The Dept. of Defense American Schools, An Early Childhood Program funded by United Way, a county speech therapy service for special education classrooms in CA, an augmentative communication consultant, feeding team, and district public schools from preschoolers through 12th grade.
I am currently working in an elementary school with K through 5th graders.
The profession has seen a number of changes over the years. When I first started in the 1980s, a speech therapist was typically assigned to several different schools. They worked mainly in isolation in any space that was available in a building. Some of those spots were less than ideal. I’ve worked behind stages, in the art supply closet and the ends of hallways.
Some school districts now see speech therapists as an intergral part of the building staff. They are part of the special education services, provide consultation to teachers who need guidance when working with children that have disabilities, and provide case management. They are assigned to one or two schools and actually have an assigned room.
I have started this blog for speech and language pathologist, speech graduate students, teachers, and parents. I’m hoping it can be a source of ideas and materials to get kids talking.
There are many kids receiving speech therapy services in a variety of settings for a variety of reasons. Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) are the people who conduct an evaluation and actually determine if a child has a speech delay. They are the best professional to determine the specific speech and language needs of individual children and a plan for therapy. Once correct responses are established during therapy, it takes practice to get children to use them in everyday life. In many cases the final goal is reached when a child can produce corrected clear “spontaneous speech”.
In order to give a child practice with specific grammatical structures, pragmatic skills, vocabulary, or speech sounds, materials are needed to elicit and practice specific responses. There is a need to practice in a variety of settings with a variety of people. I think most therapists can agree that getting good speech habits out of the therapy room can sometimes be the biggest challenge. Over the years I’ve acquired a collection of materials and ideas. I thought it would be helpful to organize it and make them available to others who find the need to get a child to practice his or her speech in spontaneous utterances. This site also serves as a tool box and record for me. I can look back and see some of the options I have explored the last couple of years.
As you travel through the pages, you will find activities and downloads you can use to elicit specific responses. Many of the activities are meant to be printed onto card stock and cut into cards. They should turn out to be the size of business cards. You may feel free to use any of the activities for children on your caseload, in your classrooms, or your individual child. Do not copy them for commercial purposes or place them on another site without permission. It is OK if you place a link back to this site. I’m trying to respect trademarks and copy-write agreements, so please let me know if I have inadvertently infringed on any. Your responses are my motivation so please give me feedback on how activities work for you. Tell me any difficulties you encounter. I may be able to make improvements to the original.
All these materials are best used under the direction of a speech pathologist and I can not guarantee results.
© Cynthia Montalbano and In Spontaneous Speech, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material for commercial purposes without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cynthia Montalbano and In Spontaneous Speech with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.