Boycott the Squirrel

I’ve known for a long time that squirrels are evil and attempting to take over the world.  They eat our gardens, infiltrate our basements and attics, devour our birdfeeders, and cause countless power outages and automobile accidents.  They have even crept their way into just about every speech articulation drill book and card set created thus crushing the articulatory confidence of /r/, /l/, and /s/ speech kids for years.

Every time I come to that picture card depicting that deceptively cute squirrel, I have to control the urge to sigh and roll my eyes.  Unfortunately, my inner voice always says “you can try it if you want kid, but you won’t get it”. Of course, he doesn’t get it, because it’s one of the most difficult English words to pronounce– just ask anyone who has learned English as a second language. Don’t believe me? Search “can’t say squirrel” on You Tube and have a good laugh.

Sometimes I try to skip over and ignore the bushy-tailed rodent but kids always want to try. “I know what it is, I know what it is, I know that one, I can say it!!!”  Every so often you catch a break and the kid calls it a chipmunk. “That was so close Bobby, it’s actually a squirrel, let’s move to the next one.”  So why do we expect a child who is struggling with even the most basic sounds produce the /skw/ blend followed by /erl/. Surely it can’t be a speech therapist who decided this was a good idea. This brings me to my point. Practicing speech therapists—I mean those therapists working “in the trenches,” know how to make the best treatment materials.

Help us put an end to the frustrations of our speech kids.  If you make your own materials please share by posting it on our new website   Help us BOYCOTT THE SQUIRREL!!

Speech Thoughts by Speech Trader, LCC

Collaborate, Educate, Innovate








Welcome to SpeechTrader

The idea for came shortly after working with a brain injury patient I had been seeing for some time. I had quickly run out of relevant material for this guy and pulled a very popular and well-known cognitive rehab book from my shelf. I decided to challenge him with identifying inconsistencies in sentences and presented him with this: “I paid 86.27$ to fill my gas tank yesterday.” My patient gave me a long vacant look. I quickly realized that his lack of expression was not due to his brain injury. It was because the year is 2014 and there is absolutely nothing absurd about this sentence. It was only absurd back in 1990 when I first began practicing.

With no budget or funds from my employer, I set out to find more current materials at a low price. I found several really cool websites that offered creative materials made by practicing speech pathologists. I was blown away by the ingenuity and creativity of my colleagues. However, I was disappointed that all the materials catered to school age kids and the websites seemed to accommodate teachers. I work in a small hospital and need materials for inpatients and outpatients of all ages and diagnoses. I decided that it was time for speech therapists to have their own website to collaborate and share materials.

I presented the idea to my colleague, Michelle Morgan, and she was also able to see the potential in developing a marketplace website dedicated to speech pathologists. Thus, SpeechTrader, LLC was created.

. . . When Molly presented the idea, I immediately knew there was a great need for this service. I have practiced in a variety of settings and in some facilities there is a lack of functional and relevant material but in other settings there was an abundance of fabulous material that had been created by the therapist! This site is beneficial in both scenarios.

For the therapist that does not have access to relevant and functional material, Speech Trader, LLC provides quick, easy, and inexpensive access to a variety of material for all settings. For the therapist who has put time and energy into creating effective treatment or administrative material, Speech Trader provides a means of extra income and the satisfaction that he/she has facilitated improved outcomes for individuals even outside of the their personal treatment room.