Most people have heard about lasting symptoms of COVID-19 months after the initial symptoms have subsided. Very few of us have heard about the impact of COVID-19 on swallowing. In this episode, I interview Avital Winer, speech and language pathologist and acting profession leader of speech-language pathology and audiology at the Ottawa Hospital, who explains to us how COVID-19 can impact one's swallowing ability and the many challenges that speech-language pathologists must face when caring for their patients. During the episode, we talk about a recent news article that was published, featuring the role of speech-language pathologists in the hospital setting as it pertains to COVID-19: "The speech pathologists helping COVID-19 patients learn how to swallow and speak again". Although speech-language pathologists have always been involved in the care of patients with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), their role has not always been well understood by other healthcare professionals and the public. The pandemic has shed some light on the importance of the speech-language pathologists as frontline workers who have the training, the knowledge and the expertise to assess and treat patients who may be at risk of developing or who have swallowing difficulties.
The Langmore et al. (2002) study: Predictors of Aspiration Pneumonia in Nursing Home Residents is mentioned during this episode. The abstract can be found here.
If you aren't familiar with the Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, you can find more information about it here.
S3 Ep.4 The French Studies Department at Laurentian University and the vitality of the French language in our community: an overview
In this short episode, I comment on the situation at Laurentian University in the context of the restructuring process under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The French Studies Department has been abolished. This has a direct impact on the communication of francophone speakers in the region. The impact on our minority language community is significant. The vitality of languages relies on post-secondary institutions, among other things. Please share widely. As a minority, we need help from our majority language speaker counterparts to make a difference.
Laura Wolford, PhD is a speech and language pathologist, an education researcher, a professor and the founder of The Language for Sex. I love, love, love this episode. We talk about how uncomfortable so many of us are when it comes to talking about sex and intimacy. Society has molded us into believing that sex is a topic that should be avoided, yet we expect teenagers and young adults to know how to give consent and how to obtain it. Children typically learn to say no or that sex is bad. However, they don't always learn how to communicate about sex, consent and intimacy. What about adults who have suffered a brain injury or a stroke that has left them with a communication disorder? How has this impacted their sex life. Sexual rights are human rights, yet we don't often talk about them. Join Laura and I in a very interesting conversation about intimacy and communication across the lifespan.
During the podcast, I make reference to the tea analogy to getting consent video. You can find it here.
Laura has a wonderful book list on her website available here.
I'm thrilled to release this episode on Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, "a free book gifting program devoted to inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children everywhere. Each month, enrolled children receive a high quality, age appropriate book in the mail, free of charge. Children receive books from birth to age five."
Join me as I interview three guests on the topic: Jeanne Smitiuch, Regional Director for the Dollywood Foundation of Canada; Chaya Kulkarni, BAA, M.Ed. Ed D, Director of Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Angela M. Neglia, Speech-Language pathologist for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and in private practice.
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has mailed over 48 million books worldwide and 1.5 million in Canada alone.
Here are some of my guests' favorite resources:
S2 Ep. 14 Neurogenic Communication Disorders: What Are They and What Can We Do About Them? With Dr. Laura Murray
In this episode, I interview Dr. Laura Murray, director of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western University, where she also serves as a professor and researcher, to talk about neurogenic communication disorders. Many people suffer from a stroke, a brain injury or other acquired neurological disorders, yet very few people know about the impact of these traumas on communication. We talk about the importance of communication and how speech and language pathologists can help. We also talk about recovery several years post injury and how it's important to have hope! Laura also shares some of her favorite resources:
The Aphasia Institute: www.aphasia.ca
The Evidence-Based Review of Moderate-to-Severe Acquired Brain Injury - ERABI
The National Aphasia Association
The Centre of Research Excellence in Brain Recovery
PsycBite - evidence-based practice resource for cognitive disorders treatments
SpeechBite - evidence-based practice resource for communication and/or swallowing disorders treatments
Laura is co-author, along with Heather Clark, of the book: Neurogenic Disorders of Language and Cognition: Evidence-based Clinical Practice. They are currently working on the third edition of this book so stay tuned!
It took a bit longer for me to get this Happy Stories episode out but I managed to piece it all together before May – “Better Speech and Hearing Month” or “Communication month” was over! You will hear the sound of my vehicle running in the background whenever I speak. That’s because my family and I were on our way to pick up our new Australian Shepherd puppy named Finley while I was working on the episode. We had a four-hour drive so I jumped on that opportunity to finalize this episode. Here’s a picture of Finley! What a cutie. I’m in love already.
I’m very pleased with how this episode turned out. I wasn’t sure what I would get and was very pumped when I heard each and every one of the stories. They sure put a smile on my face, which was the purpose of the episode. COVID-19 has brought on a lot of uncertainty and hardship for many. I hope that you can find a bit of positivity in this episode and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this Happy Story. Let's celebrate the work of speech-language pathologists together by sharing this episode!
Here are the names of all those who contributed and some of their websites and Instagram handles:
Korynn Agnew @korynn_aslp
Becky McArthur at We Communicate www.wecommunicateslp.com @we_communicate
Desiree Rusch www.slptalkwithdesiree.com or www.shopslptalk.com @slptalk
Alyssa Gibson @alyssagib_ @special_needs_siblings
Kassy at @slp4lyfe
Stephen Kneece @speechandlanguagesongs www.speechandlanguagesongs.com
Carol Baingana @communicaide
Sara Dubreuil-Piché @Sararosepiche
Speech Simplified @speech.simplified
Here is the link to Dylan’s full speech using his communication device:
Also, here is the link to the phonics song I shared during the episode:
S2 Ep.10 Robust Vocabulary Instruction in French for Anglophone Parents: Chin faces with Sarah and Julianne
In this episode, Sarah, Julianne and I put our creativity to the test and had a lot of fun! To get the most out of this episode, you must first listen to Episode 5 of Season 2 in which I explain the importance of teaching children a rich vocabulary to help them better understand the subjects taught in school, especially at the junior and secondary levels, and to better understand the literary vocabulary found in books.
The goal of this episode was really to demonstrate that it is possible to teach a rich, level 2 vocabulary, even when fun and silly activities are chosen. The chin-face is an activity that will surely make the whole family laugh. Even during difficult times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that we are currently experiencing, it is important for children to have fun and have a few laughs. The vocabulary selected for this activity is as follows:
Créatif ou créative: Creative
S'allonger : to lie down
Suspendre : Suspend
À l'envers : Upside down
Peindre : Paint
Rigoler : giggle
Divertir : Entertain
Vêtir : Clothe
Trait facial : Facial trait or feature
(Remember that the direct translation does not always give a level 2 word in English, but trust that it is a level 2 word in French).
Items required for the activity :
Black eyeliner or costume make-up (e.g. Halloween make-up)
White page to draw the face
A phone or a smart tablet to record the face chin (N.B. it is important to film with the device upside down for it to work).
A good imagination
A good sense of humour
You can search Google engines to find ideas for chin-faces:
Here are the steps for this activity:
During the episode, Sarah mimics the voice of Miranda Sings, a fictional character you can find on YouTube. Here is the link for those who are curious. Here are also some videos of our chin faces:
S2 Ep. 8 Robust Vocabulary Instruction in French for Anglophone Parents: Raft challenge with Sarah & Julianne
S2 Ep.6 Robust Vocabulary Instruction for Anglophone Parents: Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins with Sarah and Julianne
During this episode, I invite you into my kitchen to show you how to teach your child robust vocabulary words in French while following a delicious banana and chocolate chip muffin recipe. You can find the link to the French recipe here and the English recipe here.
Nine words from Level 2 (see S2 Ep.5 for more details) were targeted during this activity:
Moelleux: soft or chewy
However, I do mention other level 2 words that can be selected during the episode.
Have fun during this activity! Sarah and Julianne had a lot of fun and they sure enjoyed the treats!
This and future episodes have been recorded during these moments of social distancing due to COVID-19, to help you enrich your children's vocabulary while they are at home. It's not rocket science! You can do it and have fun doing it! This first episode is for you, the parents, to explain the different levels of vocabulary and how you can easily enrich your children's vocabulary during daily activities. Future episodes can be listened to WITH your children to introduce them to the new French vocabulary words targeted during the episodes. My two daughters, Sarah and Julianne, accompany me during the episodes to demonstrate how this teaching can be done. I hope you will enjoy these activities which vary: recipes, hiking, crafts, board games and others.
I am referring to the book by Beck et al. (2013). Here is a link to this book if you are interested.
I also mention other episodes which explains more about Developmental Language Disorder. Episodes 2 and 10 touch on this topic. You can also find more information here.
Chantal Mayer-Crittenden, Speech-Language Pathologist and researcher, hosts a bevy of guests on the topic of communication at large.