Happy New Year and a New Direction

In 2014 Gray Matter Therapy is taking a new turn. We are blending the content of Talks Just Fine blog (for SLPs treating adults), Gray Matter Therapy blog (information about dementia for families and SLPs), and the SLPs for Change blog (advocating for more ethical workplaces to improve outcomes for patients and quality of life for therapists). The goal is to develop a blog that is a collaborative playground of information on adult speech therapy services. The focus will remain in the geriatric population (as that is where I am currently working) but we will not limit ourselves to speech therapy practice only. I will include information helpful for occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals serving this population. I’m passionate about interdisciplinary care, so I want to pull this information together to help you provide the best care. 

Here are examples of coverage that you can expect from Gray Matter Therapy:

  • Reviews of research from within the SLP community and outside of the SLP community
  • PDF documents to help you provide inservices or share information with your colleagues
  • Practical treatment ideas
  • PDF documents to help you provide education to patients and families
  • Insight from families – What are they afraid to ask? What do they really want to know?
  • Interviews with various healthcare professionals to inspire ideas for collaboration and interdisciplinary care
  • Updates on Medicare billing and regulation changes
  • App reviews and product reviews
  • Inspiring ethical change in your workplace to improve patient care

All of this is happening at Gray Matter Therapy. Be sure to check it out and sign up for updates to our blog via email or other subscription services. If you are following Talks Just Fine or SLPs for Change please note that blog posts will END at these blogs. They will be DELETED at the end on January 2014.

Suggestions for things to cover? Want to be a collaborator? Other questions or comments? Contact Gray Matter Therapy today.

The Last Post…

I’ve been going back and forth about whether to keep this blog going. I like it, but I’m trying to build up my business blog and writing for 2 blogs at this time isn’t letting me do both well. So I won’t be deleting this blog, but you won’t see updates very often if at all.

So what can you do to get most of the same information that I’ve been posting here?

  • Follow my Gray Matter Therapy blog for all things therapy with adults and geriatrics and helping caregivers. The blogging about research every Tuesday will move to Gray Matter Therapy.
  • Follow Gray Matter Therapy on Facebook for quick links about dementia and caregiving.
  • Follow Rachel Wynn MS CCC-SLP on Facebook for all things SLP and a little fun and games.
  • Follow Gray Matter Therapy on Google+ (mostly updates about Gray Matter Therapy blog posts)
  • Follow Rachel Wynn MS CCC-SLP on Twitter for SLP fun @slpneurorehab
  • Follow Gray Matter Therapy on Twitter for information about adult speech therapy, Boulder Colorado, and caregiver support @graymattertx

I feel really sad about not blogging here, but I’m really excited that I will be able to put more energy into my Gray Matter Therapy business.

And if I start blogging on two blogs again the second will probably be a food blog. I have some many people praising my healthy cooking and asking me how I do it or asking for lessons. On to the next adventure.

ASHA Convention Preparation

I’ve got my hotel room and roommate, flight, and convention registration. I’ve started thinking about what I’ll pack. I know I need to buy an external power source for my iPad and phone for use during the convention. Recommendations welcome. I also need to make a plan for eating at the convention (since I’m gluten, dairy, and soy free).

I used the convention planner to put together a schedule of sessions I’d like to go to. At previous conventions I’ve raced from one session to another session and didn’t leave time for conversations to develop or my own processing of what I’m learning at sessions. I tried to put a little more of that time into my schedule which resulted in attending 3 sessions per day. Are we going to any of the same sessions?

There is a brain fitness session late Saturday afternoon I’d love to go to, but I’m saving about $200 by flying out Saturday night rather than Sunday.

My Convention Schedule

Thursday 10:30-12:30

Multidisciplinary Management in Dysphagic Patients (Jerilyn Logemann)

Thursday 3:00-4:00

What’s wrong with my patient? 2013 Update: Aging & Pulmonary, Cardiovascular, & Digestive Systems (James Coyle)

Thursday 4:30-5:30

Making Evidence-Based Practice a Reality in Adult Neurologic Rehabilitation (Gail Ramsberger)


Friday 8:00-10:00

State of the Science Update: Cognitive-Communication Interventions for People With Dementia (Michelle Bourgeois)

Friday 10:30-11:30

What Clinicians Want to Know About Communication Partner Training (Natalie Douglas)

Friday 1:00-3:00

“Working Out” Dysphagia With Exercise-Based Treatments (Lori Burkhead Morgan)


Saturday 8:00-10:00

Providing Quality Speech Pathology Services Using a Pay It Forward Model: No Insurance or Billing (Samantha Elandary)

Saturday 10:30-11:30

Identifying Dysphagia in Persons With Dementia: Cognition vs. Physiology (Luis Riquelme)

Saturday 1:00-2:00

Time to Join the Gym: Partnering With PT & OT for Patients With Cognitive Issues (Jennifer Brown)

Boulder Flood

What a whirlwind! As many of you know I live in Boulder, Colorado and we’ve been having some weather issues… President Obama issued a Major Disaster Declaration for Boulder County. 

I am very thankful that my condo is without water damage. No leaks, no flooding. We have had our share of trudging around in the rain and through incredibly large puddles/fast flowing spontaneous streams to take the dog out and check in on the neighbors.

There are over 4000 residents in Boulder County with no power. I am one of them. We haven’t had power for over 36 hours. Thankfully we are able to stay with a friend who lives nearby who had power.

I work PRN as an SLP in several skilled nursing facilities in Boulder County. One of which sustained a massive amount of damage. About half of the residents had to be evacuated to other buildings. I helped with evacuation by packing up resident’s belongings (enough clothing for a few days and some precious items such as pictures, etc.). The flood water lines on some of the walls were as high as 3.5 feet.

I was very thankful to be available to help pack up personal items so residents would have some familiarity when they got to their new facility. I was also pleased to be there to share calm energy with families and residents. A very troubling situation, but everyone handled it like a champ.

It’s still raining. That’s the update from Boulder.

Research Tuesday – September Roundup


Research Tuesday: NMES vs Traditional Dysphagia Therapy in PD

Cynthia Williams Bowen, MS, CCC-SLP owns Bowen Speech-Language Therapy, LLC in Clearwater, FL.  Cyndee provides quality, creative, collaborative treatment to adults and adolescents with communication, swallowing, Parkinson’s, and related disorders.

Outcome Measures in Speech Therapy

Katie Millican, BS Ed. SLP-CF works in Alaska for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. Her blog focuses on helping SLP graduate students and iPad apps for use in therapy.

Blogging about research: Confidence of speech-language pathology students regarding communicating with people with aphasia

Chris Plant, PhD in Speech and Language Sciences, is a lecturer in acquired communication disorders at James Cook University, Australia. He trained and worked as a speech therapist in the UK at Newcastle University where he also completed his PhD.

Research Tuesday: Plain Language and Clear Communication

Harmony Turnbull works in the disability sector in Australia and is passionate about providing quality, evidence based person centered speech therapy services to people of all ages. Harmony is new to the world of blogging and aims to contribute to the quality of professional practice.

Best Cognitive Interventions for Dementia

Rachel Wynn, MS CCC-SLP specializes in adult speech therapy services and owns Gray Matter Therapy, which provides caregiver support and cognitive impairment consulting to the Boulder, Colorado area. She also works as a PRN SLP with adults and geriatrics in the skilled nursing facility setting.

Swallowing and Dysphagia Rehabilitation: Translating Principles of Neural Plasticity into Clinically Oriented Evidence

Tiffani Wallace, MS CCC-SLP, BRS-S has specialized in dysphagia for over 11 years. Tiffani is the co-author of the Dysphagia2Go app and a member of the Smarty Ears advisory board.  Tiffani writes the blog Dysphagia Ramblings.  She created 3 dysphagia Facebook groups and speaks nationally on dysphagia.

Adventures in Article Reviews – 4

Mary Huston, MS, CCC-SLP is a school based SLP. Mary has authored iPad apps, presented on using iPads in therapy, and is a member of the Smarty Ears Advisory Board. Mary collaborates with SLPs internationally via Twitter, Facebook, and her blog at http://www.speechadventures.com.

SLPs Blogging about Research – September

Abby Goldenstein, MA, CCC-SLP currently provides speech and language services in the public school setting, working with children ages birth through Kindergarten. Abby is the author of the speech and language blog Schoolhouse Talk, and is also on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. You can find her doing DIY projects, baking goodies (and sharing them), watching movies, reading, and finding inspiration in everyday things.

Cognitive Dysfunction in ICU Patients

Phillip Guillory, MS, CCC-SLP, NIC is a speech pathologist and sign language interpreter. Phil specializes in acute care and is passionate about critical care issues. He writes from time to time on his website, Project SLP, and you can also find him on twitter @ProjectSLP.