No School… What to do??

If not now, we have all at some point been in graduate school with endless amounts of projects, papers, assignments, SOAP notes and lesson plans on our agenda. Now that I have graduated, I am just getting used to this reality of “spare time.” I finally get to enjoy this spare time and not dedicate it all to the books!

My main goal was to get back to the gym! I used to be an athlete and work out a lot! I loved to be outdoors and a friend in my Master’s program at Chico State introduced me to a CrossFit® gym in town called NorCal Strength & Conditioning! She absolutely loved the people, coaches, workouts, and the way she felt! I figured it couldn’t hurt and to try it out! I LOVE it now! My OnRamp Coaches have been amazing these last 3 weeks! They make sure we are all educated with the proper techniques while still having fun!


In addition, a dear friend of mine, like a sister, Kelley Urbani was the first person that had ever mentioned the word “CrossFit®” to me a few years back. She was living in Southern California and decided to get involved and began training full-time under John Wellbourn of CrossFit® Football. Three years later, she had developed into quite an athlete placing 17th in the 2011 SoCal CrossFit® Regional, 1st place in the 2011 OC Throwdown, and began working as a Personal Trainer/Coach at CrossFit® Balboa in Newport Beach, CA.

I remember that my biggest inspiration of Kelley was when I looked at pictures of all her accomplishments and how great Kelley looked, I soon became interested!

Kelley soon decided to reinvent one of the main essentials to her training regimen, the wrist wrap, and created the ORIGINAL wrist wrap for CrossFit®. Kelley’s flair and attitude is well known in the industry.  Her dedication to excellence and commitment to producing a product for the people, by the people, shows in her product.


Strength Wraps has since grown into a successful small business with multiple employees and distributors with an international reach (e.g., Rogue Fitness, The Brave Project). Kelley has made sure to stay true to the original concept of the wrist wrap – full range of motion, joint stability, and functionality at a cost efficient price.  Offering a product with a full money back guarantee, athletes stay true to Strength Wraps and are a vital part of its success.

In a nutshell, this is what I have decided to do with my “free time” and I couldn’t have decided on anything better!

Speech and Hearing Fair 2013

Another successful Speech and Hearing Fair this year!

I must say, this year our first year graduate students, and undergraduate students when COMPLETELY above and beyond amazing! While people from the community came out to get their free speech and hearing assessments, our NSSLHA crew were dressed as pirates and princesses! They entertained our awaiting guests with games, a giant castle, face painting, treasure hunts and food/drinks.

The first and second year graduate students were in charge of performing screeners for speech and hearing. We also performed full threshold hearing screenings. We had over 150 people come to our Speech and Hearing Fair! It was a major success! Thanks again to everyone who was involved with the Speech and Hearing Fair at California State University, Chico! IMG_6576 IMG_6577 IMG_6578 IMG_6580 IMG_6581 IMG_6582 IMG_6583 IMG_6585 IMG_6588 IMG_6575

Private Practice Internship – Advantages

In Fall 2012, I interned at Chico Speech and Language Center, which is a private practice setting for Paula Kokal. I absorbed a wide range of knowledge through my experiences. There are advantages and disadvantages; however it is encouraging to learn from both ends of the spectrum in order to challenge myself daily.

Interning at a private practice has many advantages. The clinician will experience a wide variety of individuals (children and adults) who benefit from therapy. Each client is unique, with so much potential to learn from. I had approximately 15-20 clients on my caseload and interned for 2 days out of the week. They came to Chico Speech and Language Center for various reasons in regards to speech and language such as; articulation, cognition, fluency, voice, aphasia, language and phonology. A personal goal of mine was to appreciate the differences and variety I had been provided, and apply my knowledge and expertise to the best of my ability in order to benefit each client.

Another advantage of interning Chico Speech and Language Center was the cleanliness and large environments available for the clinician and clients to work in. The setting was relaxing and quiet which allowed the clients to feel more comfortable when testing or in therapy. In comparison to my previous home health settings, traveling to the client’s homes and working in rooms that were available at the time, it was wonderful to be able to provide an environment that is clean and large enough to play for the children. The private practice setting I interned at contains a “materials room” that is organized, clean and has resources for every area of speech and language. It was convenient, beneficial and a positive environment for the clinician and client when engaging in therapy.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in a private practice setting at Chico Speech and Language Center. Working with fewer clients on my caseload (compared to hospitals and schools), gave me an opportunity to provide my soul attention, optimal planning and research for therapy. Better interaction with parents and one-on-one time with children suggests more progress in a shorter amount of time.

In conclusion, interning at a private practice was very beneficial and rewarding.



PROMPT Therapy

I recently gave a presentation on a therapy of my choice to my cohorts. I chose PROMPT therapy which I had the opportunity to see at my current internship, as my supervisor has been properly trained.

What is PROMPT Therapy you may ask?

PROMPT: Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets was developed by Deborah Hayden. She began manipulating the oro-motor structures to help adults and children with varying speech disorders to produce sounds that could be shaped for verbal interaction with others. Hayden, along with multiple neuromotor theorists was interested in how normal systems developed from birth. She explored how the dynamic interaction and equilibrium among all motor systems directly affected speech-motor systems. PROMPT was first published in 1984. PROMPT therapy is a physical-sensory approach that integrates all domains and systems toward positive communication outcome. Children or adults with various disabilities such as: developmental delays, phonological impairments, dysarthria, apraxia of speech, speech disorders,Broca’s aphasia, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), hearing impairment, dysfluencies, and accent reduction can benefit from PROMPT therapy. PROMPT may be used on all speech production disorders from approximately 6 months of age and onward. Intensity and focus will vary depending on the client’s age and severity. It should not be used mainly to produce individual sounds/phonemes, to facilitate oral-motor skills, or as an articulation program, but instead as a program to develop motor skills in development of language for interaction. It has an emphasis on vowels, consonants and diphthongs through tactile cueing.

PROMPT may be used to assist the progress of production, revise or change the production, or to integrate motor production with cognitive-linguistic function. Clinicians will receive a more organized way to assess all domains for the most effective and functional treatment program.

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) needs to be fully trained in order to provide PROMPT therapy. PROMPT training consists of four steps and the SLP must complete each step in order to fully comprehend the therapy and apply it appropriately to clients. The four steps are as followed: 1. Introduction to PROMPT: Technique, 2. Bridging PROMPT Technique to Intervention, 3. The PROMPT Technique Self Study Project, 4.PROMPT Certification: A Self Study Project. Training is primarily a “hands on” approach.

Step 1 consists of a 3-day workshop that concentrates on teaching the technique of PROMPT. It is a hands-on training workshop emphasizing the need to integrate into a holistic therapy approach. It should be noted the SLPs do not have long fingernails when training or applying therapy. Step 2 focuses on setting goals and objectives that are appropriate for the client within the PROMPT framework. SLP’s are trained to enable therapy to be incorporated across a range of setting including the home, while maintaining a focus on the key needs. Step 3 supports the SLP’s learning of PROMPT and provides direct suggestions about assessing; selecting targets and executing a PROMPT treatment plan with a particular client. This project can be completed any time up to certification. In step 4, the SLP is asked to provide a detailed assessment of the client’s abilities across all domains and develop a holistic therapy plan. It needs to include the selection of priorities on the Motor Speech Hierarchy to develop motor-phonemes and words for use within functional, interactive contexts. The SLP is also expected tocreate parent/caregiver goals and strategies.

The basic principles of PROMPT focus on head/hand positions, mandibular positions and finger placement positions. Prompts for finger placement positions will either be on the mylohyoid(all should be placed mid-line along the mylohyoid), or facial prompts which should be placed equal distant, and symmetrical from the midline. Only finger pads should be used with facial prompts. Pressure is always lighter on the face where skin connects directly to muscle, than on mylohyoid where several layers of muscle lay between the skin and tongue.

There are many advantages to use PROMPT therapy. PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide variety of individuals with speech disorders such as autism, apraxia, aphasia, phonological disorders, childhood motor speech disorders, childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), and so forth. PROMPT therapy isindividualized and considerate for each client. The clinician does not need additional materials for the PROMPT, just herself and adequate training. PROMPT is different from traditional treatment approaches in that it does not rely predominantly on auditory and visual input. It is a multidimensional approach and relies on the motor performance. PROMPT also contains a System Analysis Observation checklist which is used as an assessment tool for the neuromotor speech system and turned into a hierarchy for therapy. The checklist helps the SLP tosystematically evaluate a child’s motor speech system as well as helps the SLP identify the level or stage where problems occur.There are numerous ongoing efficacy studies in terms of research for PROMPT therapy. There is a high degree of satisfaction from the clients who have used PROMPT. Clients learn to self-monitor and self-correct for generalization. Co-articulation is always considered, and PROMPT can be used with clients with cognitive impairments.

A disadvantage for PROMPT is that it requires trained professionals to implement the interventions in order for them to be effective. PROMPT requires the SLP to touch the client’s face, neck, lips, head and sometimes shoulders. If the SLP is not comfortable, the client will not be comfortable and there will be no trust. PROMPT is a motor skill, and the clinician requires extensive practice and training.

To become certified, workshops for PROMPT therapy can be purchased and scheduled online at,and varies in price from $650 to $700 depending on your location.


Hayden, D.A. (1994).Differential diagnosis of motor speech dysfunction in children.

Developmental apraxia of speech: Assessment. Clinics in Communication Disorders, 4(2), 118–147, 162–174.

Hayden, D.A. (2004).PROMPT: A tactually grounded treatment approach to speech production

disorders. In I. Stockman (Ed.), Movement and action in learning and development: Clinical implications forpervasive developmental disorders (pp. 255–297). San Diego, CA: Elsevier–Academic Press.

Hayden, D. A. (2006).The PROMPT model: Use and application for children with mixed

phonological-motor impairment. Advances in Speech-Language Pathology, 8(3), 265–281.

Hayden, D., Eigen, J., Walker, A., Olsen, L. (2010).PROMPT:A tactually grounded model. In

Williams, L, McLeod, S. & McCauley, R.(Eds.)Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children. Baltimore,

Maryland; Brookes Publishing. Square-Storer, P., & Hayden, D. A. (1989). PROMPT treatment.


Check out the Pocket SLP app if you have a smart phone! It is so awesome! It has a blog tab, app tab and a postcard tab! The Postcard is my favorite because it has adorable and humorous SLP postcards that all of us speechies can laugh about! Often times I download a postcard and send them to my cohorts when we are stressed for a good laugh!