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Author: Janine Shapiro, Co-Clinical Director of Access Behavior Analysis

New Access Clinic Opening in Fishers

We are thrilled to announce that a new Access clinic will be opening at the beginning of May in downtown Fishers, conveniently located just a couple minutes drive west of I-69.  This new location will exclusively serve children between the ages of eighteen months and eight years.  We admittedly pondered long and hard whether to … more »

The Luxury of Pairing

Working in the ABA world as a speech-language pathologist, I realize I’m lucky.  I’ll go further:  I’m spoiled.  I used to rejoice when a third party payor authorized sixty half-hour sessions of speech-language therapy across a one year period.  Today, I’m accustomed to designing programs for clients that target speech and language for between twenty-five … more »

Quick Tip: Avoid Repeating a Child’s Errors

Most people would agree that it’s important to model the speech forms we want a child to produce and to expose a child to correct speech forms as much as possible.  That said, there’s a tendency when correcting a child’s speech error to repeat the error.  For example: Child: Look, mom, it’s a doddie. Parent: … more »

The Myth of Lazy Speech

So often, a parent or a behavior therapist will comment to me that their child or patient is perfectly capable of producing correct speech, but the child is simply “being lazy.”  Every time I hear that excuse, I cringe.  In an effort to be likable, I avoid correcting people whenever possible, but I always rally … more »

Finding Reinforcers

The Definition of a Reinforcer There is perhaps no term used in behavior analysis that is tossed around as casually in the general lexicon as the word “reinforcer.”  Most people familiar with applied behavior analysis (ABA) recognize that the science of ABA is based on the principle of reinforcement.  Unfortunately, the scientific definition of a … more »

The Differences Between Speech and Language

The technical term for my job title is “speech-language pathologist,” which sometimes is shortened to the acronym “SLP.”  More often though, I’m known to the public as a “speech therapist.”  In fact, when introducing myself, I’ve often found it easier to simply refer to myself as a speech therapist, as the technical term is a … more »

Sparking Speech

As a novice speech-language pathologist, I used to think there was really nothing I could do to spark speech in a non-verbal child.  I was wrong.  Research shows that alternative augmentative communication, such as sign language, promotes VOCAL language.   In addition, a procedure known as stimulus-stimulus pairing may also prompt talking. Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Stimulus-stimulus … more »

Teaching Repetition to Unlock Language

Several years ago I had the privilege of writing part of a chapter in a communication, behavior, and functional skills assessment and curriculum tool titled Essential for Living.  My goal when developing my contribution was to figure out how practitioners and parents, with little to no knowledge about speech and language development or therapy, could … more »

Language Therapy: The Case Against Carrier Phrases

I’ve recently written about the importance of teaching children requests as “first words” rather than animals, letters, numbers, or colors.  I’ve also been discussing the importance of avoiding general requests and social niceties.  For example, don’t teach the word “more” and refrain from prompting children to say “please” too early.  The list of “don’ts” continues … more »

Language Therapy: The Case Against the Word “Please”

In my last blog post, I discussed the reasons why it’s best to avoid teaching the word “more” as a first word.  Now, I’d like to make a case against the word “please.”  I’ve seen some practitioners teach “please” as a first word, and when this occurs, the pitfalls are largely the same as teaching … more »
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