Entries by Stephen Szak


Finding the Right Words

I recently had a conversation with a man who had a stroke about two years ago.  He is able to use his speech to communicate but does experience some difficulty with memory and word finding.  He has always been an independent person and one of the ways he has maintained his independence since his stroke […]


Images of Childhood

  The town where I live has a number of statues in front of and around public buildings.  They depict people mostly but one of them is a statue of a bear lying on its back.  It stands (or lies, more accurately) in front of our park district’s main building.  This particular statue sparked my […]


AAC in the Classroom: Do we know what we’re doing?

  The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) has just released the results of a 2011 survey of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) that was conducted to explore attitudes and use of assistive technology (AT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).  549 SLPs participated in the survey, all of whom were part of either the Schools special interest […]


Speaking of the Olympics

I initially wrote this blog post during the last winter Olympic games.  But I thought that I’d present it here because it still provides valuable advice on how to increase communication and communication opportunities using something unifying – like the 2012 Olympic games! So many of us were riveted by the inspiring performances and dramatic […]

Something to Laugh About

I love to hear people laugh.  My extended family and friends include some people with BIG laughs.  You know the kind I mean.  It comes from their very toes and sort of bursts out.  Laughter, for my family and friends, is usually a result of some unexpected situation, a wry comment or a crazy story.  […]

Supporting Social Participation and Friendships

Article by Stephanie Ekis, MS, CCC-SLP Supporting social skills development for individuals with autism can be a challenging task for service providers and caregivers.  Children and adults with autism (depending on severity) may have difficulty communicating with others and may have very few friends and shy away from the conversation or interaction.  Children with autism […]

About portability

I broke my ankle this week.  Just a slip on the ice and gravity did the rest.  I am using crutches to get around, and am doing pretty well, but what annoys me is this:  while I am up on my crutches, I can’t use my hands, and so can’t carry anything.  I never noticed […]

ALS Awareness Month

May is ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) awareness month.  ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive, degenerative motor neuron disease.  More than 5,600 Americans are diagnosed with ALS each year.  ALS progression is different for everyone.  Patients with ALS experience gradual decline in the ability to use their muscles throughout their body often ending […]