Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist


Pint-Sized Victories (plus a giveaway)

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on August 1, 2013
Tags: , ,

When my three boys were growing up we went through many gallon buckets of ice cream. I enjoyed all the flavors they picked but looked longingly at the small colorful pint-sized containers with all the yummy sounding names. Now that the boys are grown and out of the house the gallon pails of ice cream have vanished from my freezer. I replaced them with the boxed half gallons but still lusted for the small colorful containers.  One day just this summer I finally realized I am worth it. I can afford it and I do not need to feel guilty about pricing out the cost per spoonful of ice cream!  So into my cart into my freezer and onto my spoon went several wonderful small colorful containers of pint-sized ice cream!  I feel worthy and guilt free and content.

IMG_1759

Don’t you just love the one named Chocolate Therapy. It was meant to be mine!

So here is the therapy twist

How many times as SLPs have I felt guilty that I was not making gallon sized progress? Well stop it right now! We need to remember those pint-sized steps that occur when a child turns to their name for one of the first times even though we were working on two word phrases. We need to remember when a child looked up at us and showed they were enjoying an activity WITH us and not that we were trying to get a correct B in the final position of words.  These are the pint-sized victories we need to celebrate.

I often think of  how much really happens when working with a child in therapy.

  • Someone looking in may see a child practicing words and getting sounds correct or not.  As an SLP I see that the child has sat for 5 minutes and worked without being distracted.
  • Someone looking in may see a child whining and pulling on a toy.  As an SLP I see a child who is starting to show protesting and is moving into ways on how to make requests.
  • Someone looking in may see silence.  As an SLP I see a child learning to do something independently or learning how to ask for help.
  • Someone looking in may see me searching and saying where is that ___? They may be thinking boy she is unorganized. As an SLP I see a child learning problem solving skills.
  • Someone looking in may see coloring or throwing balls. As an SLP I see ways to get a reluctant learner to engage.

These pint-sized gains are important and we need to remember to give our selves credit. Remember it takes 8 pints to fill 1 gallon.

Now put your own pint-sized twist on this!  Leave a comment about your own pint-sized victories and you will be entered into the drawing for a iPad case (see below)

Cindy

GIVEAWAY

I have a pink CEO Hybrid case from Marware for an iPad for 3rd or 4th generation. I won one but they sent me two. So I would like to celebrate you by giving it away.   I will draw a winner on Friday 8/9/13 at noon (CST). I will reach you via e-mail to get your mailing address.

case

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49 Responses to 'Pint-Sized Victories (plus a giveaway)'

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  1. Gabby said,

    This is SUCH a great post, and so well said. As a school based SLP, working with middle school kids with learning disabilities and EI on the side, I need to remind myself how important those “small” gains are!! Thanks :)

    • Cindy said,

      So true! That age can appear to be so defeating even to themselves.
      Cindy

  2. Penny Benson said,

    The first time a mouth opens and takes in a tiny bite of food without gagging…….

    • Cindy said,

      Perfect time to celebrate!
      Cindy

  3. jennifer said,

    I work in a lifeskills program and have used sign with a student with Down Syndrome. He had imitated for months, but rarely used sign spontaneously. During ESY, I had a chance to see more of his daily routine and while supervising him during a bathroom break, he signed “more fish.” No, I didn’t give him goldfish crackers while he sat in the toilet, but boy did he get a mess of them after he washed his hands. I love moments like that!

    • Cindy said,

      Yep- they will use it when they need to but not maybe when we want them too!
      Cindy

  4. Rose said,

    I have a middle-schooler who was very resistant to tx all year. Our main focus was working on social skills, thought bubble vs speech bubble and appropriate responses/self-regulation. At the end of the year I brought in some flowers from my garden…he said, Mrs. K if I had a flower garden, I’d bring them in for you! I thought I was going to cry! Baby steps! Great ice cream analogy and great giveaway! (that cover would match my purse perfectly!)

    • Cindy said,

      Love that!!! That age seems to need to keep up a hard shell but inside they can be all gooey.
      Cindy

  5. cjmonty said,

    A great post! That was one of the most important things I learned in my early days of working with populations that had severe disabilities. If it appeared a student was not making progress I was just not looking at the right thing. I think this is a common mistake. Thanks for articulating it so well.

    • Cindy said,

      I like your comment about just not looking at the right thing. So true!!
      Cindy

  6. Sherry Biddle said,

    Someone may see a child responding to a “Good Morning” in the hallway and not think much about it. As an SLP, I see this student with autism being socially engaged with another person, working on improving eye contact or using appropriate body language and perspective taking. So much in a simple greeting.

    BTW, Love your blog and all of your ideas.

    • Cindy said,

      Yes! So much therapy is done in the hallways with out kids.
      Cindy

  7. Casey said,

    Cindy, I NEEDED this post! I am anxious about starting up again this fall with a now 3rd grader with a phonological disorder. We have been working on s blends for a couple YEARS! Although no significant carryover, and lots of parental (and therapist) frustration, she did use a few spontaneous /s/ sounds at the end of the school year in conversation. This was HUGE, so I need to remember that! Thanks!

    • Cindy said,

      Yes celebrate the pint-sized rewards!
      Cindy

  8. Kim said,

    Cindy, I truly love this post! What a great reminder, especially as the first day draws near (and some kids are coming back AGAIN for speech). I adore my iPad cover, so please remove me from this giveaway, but just had to say thanks for your insight. Kim

    • Cindy said,

      Thanks Kim! Love your posts too. I realized after I posted this that Ben and Jerry are talking at ASHA this year. I can’t wait to hear them. Let’s hope they bring samples too.
      Cindy


  9. Kids who like coming to speech are my pint sized victories. I try hard to make therapy fun and engaging (while still slipping in those skills of course). It warms my heart when a parent tells me “he really loves coming to see you” or a student is particularly excited when I appear in the doorway. Kids who like being there make gallon sized progress that much faster!

    • Cindy said,

      Love how you worded your connections to pint-sized and gallons!
      Cindy

    • Cindy said,

      You are the lucky winner of the iPad case. E-mail your address and I’ll send it on it’s way.
      Congratulations and thanks for following.
      Cindy

      • Penny Benson said,

        I am confused….am I the winner of the iPad case or is Teach Speech 365 the winner? Penny Benson

        Sent from my iPad

      • Cindy said,

        Sorry if I posted under the wrong comment! Teach Speech 365 is the winner.
        Cindy

      • Penny Benson said,

        I don’t think you did….I just was confused because of how it showed up in my email :)

        Sent from my iPad

      • Cindy said,

        Did just my comment show up or the blog posting with the winner listed? If you signed up to follow my blog then you will get all blog postings but should not get comments I post on a comment unles you chose to see all comment replies.
        Cindy

  10. Debra said,

    Such a wonderful analogy!! To the parents of significant needs, those pint size containers are gallons to them…whenever a child makes any modicum of success, that is a humongous step for them and all parties involve need to celebrate! Those pint-size containers to those parents may have the treasures we look for in those gallon treasures. It’s all about perceptions.

    • Cindy said,

      Yes! I remember a parent asking if we could call or write when something small but positive had happened. They already knew about all the negative behaviors etc. but did want to share in those pint-sized joys.
      Cindy


  11. Love this post!! You are such an amazing writer. The ice cream analogy is great! I love what Teach Speech 365 said…. I think my pint size victories are when kids love coming to speech without needing to be rewarded with prizes and such! I love natural determination and motivation! Those are little moments I’m proud of :)

    • Cindy said,

      Thank you! I stopped using sticker charts and rewards quite by accident a few years ago. I was amazed that not one kid mentioned it! The little victories and joint enjoyment was enough for most of them.
      Cindy

  12. Laura said,

    That is such a great reminder. We all have those kids who are “so far behind.” I often find muself talking with certain parents who become so discouraged, especially when the baby sibling surpasses the older sibling who is 3 years older. And it can be discouraging sometimes even for me. But then when I look back at my notes from the beginning of the last school year and realize that the kiddo was not walking, was not imitating but by the end of the school year was making requests from a picture board, imitating signs and even sown some independent use of signs, walking and riding a bike! For this child, that was gallon sized progress. Those little pints all year long really did add up. Thank you thank you for this post. :)

    • Cindy said,

      So true! Sometimes we are so close and seeing someone everyday can skew our perspective.
      Cindy

  13. Blair Hoffman said,

    Great post….Our minds are so busy while working with kids…no one can quite see that.

    • Cindy said,

      When I do lessons with another teacher I find it beneficial to be quiet and observe. It helps in so many ways.
      Cindy

  14. Nata said,

    thank you for your sharing! it is great to read it and being able to apply it in what we do every day, one step at a time! : )

    • Cindy said,

      Agreed!
      Thanks, Cindy

  15. Anne-Marie Kidd said,

    I thank you for this post. I’m a student still and I think that it’s really important for me to remember the small steps are part of a bigger picture. One thing I remember was trying to work with this one little girl that was just so determined to do something other than what we were doing. One day I brought a puppet that I had just purchased from the dollarstore. Well her eyes lit up! I’ve never seen her so engaged. I really love it when I hit the nail on the head and find an activity or a theme that a child really enjoys. This is especially true right now when I am just seeing a child for a few weeks and don’t get to really know them because it’s a practicum. Sometimes it feels like a shot in the dark but other times their are rainbows!!!!

    • Cindy said,

      Love the dollar store! The one thing I wish someone had told me when I was just starting- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to seek out support from other SLPS. Now with social media it is so much easier!
      Cindy

  16. Carly said,

    Thank you for this post! It is very important to remember. My pint size gain this year was watching a preschool boy with apraxia refuse his aac to speak on his own. Perhaps that is more of a gallon size gain. I was so proud of him! He is still very hard to understand (he also has a mucus cleft that affects his intelligibility) but he is beginning to find his voice.

    • Cindy said,

      Hooray for him and his new beginnings!
      Cindy

  17. Chrissy said,

    What a great idea. I am a Special Needs teacher and love the colorful packaging. I would use the words from the packaging on my interactive word wall. It starts with their motor skills by cutting out the words, moving on to letter recognition, color identification…so many possibilities. Thank you Ben and Jerry’s!

    • Cindy said,

      I love that idea! I think I will need to eat some more ice cream!
      Cindy

  18. Sandy Shores said,

    You’re correct on two counts: (1) appreciating little gains/steps, and (2) replacing what others may see with what we know to be true. Thank you very much.

    • Cindy said,

      It is the little things that count!
      Cindy

  19. Alison said,

    I’m so happy to have found this feel-good post!! So true and such an important thing to remember. There’s so much that happens in a session – lots of things don’t even necessarily fit a current goal of the IEP but so important all the same! Thank you! I’ve happily shared on my FB for fellow SLPs to enjoy :)

    • Cindy said,

      I’m glad you found and enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing it- that’s one of my mottos!
      Cindy

  20. Tracey F. said,

    I worked with preschoolers this year during ESY (not my usual caseload) and I learned very quickly to celebrate pint-sized successes!

    • Cindy said,

      Fun age group.
      Cindy

  21. Judy Hale said,

    As I work on progress reports this year, I need to stop and remember this post, as sometimes it is easy to get discouraged if students did not meet a goal. We need to look and see what else is going on that is positive and celebrate those things, too. Was just thinking about a student I had this past year–he made very limited eye contact and has quite significant autism, so I was not sure how well he liked working with me. Well, during ESY in July, he asked me for a hug!!!! Made my day

    Would love to win the iPad case, as it seems to be hot pink, ,my favorite color, and would go so well with my flamingo collection!
    Judy

    • Cindy said,

      Ahhh! Yes celebrate those moments.
      Cindy


  22. […] ORIGINAL POST HERE […]

  23. SLPGab said,

    Hi Cindy! I am a Filipino newbie SLP. I love your post. I see that you have encouraged a lot of SLPs and parents with your good perspective. That I can say is a gallon-sized victory! :) Thank you for reminding me :)


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