What is the Speech Retreat, Anyway?

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!

If you have been following me on social media, you know that I am part of the quartet of SLP bloggers responsible for the Speech Retreat.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions about it, so I wanted to share what exactly it is!  

The Speech Retreat is a new kind of professional development for school based speech-language pathologists - it is an entire day of practical, hands-on ideas and advice that you can immediately implement to make your life as a busy school SLP easier and more efficient!  Our goal is for therapists to leave refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle the new school year with increased confidence and ideas.  It started in 2017 with events in Anaheim and Chicago, and our next stop in NYC in August of 2018.

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!

The Speech Retreat is a collaborative effort between myself, Hallie Sherman from Speech Time Fun, Felice Clark from The Dabbling Speechie, and Maureen Wilson from The Speech Bubble SLP.  We’ve been planning the first Retreat for the past six months, and had such an amazing inaugural event!  Today, I wanted to take you a bit behind the scenes if you weren’t able to make it.

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!

One of our guiding principles behind planning the Speech Retreat was to be transparent and honest about what it is like to live the #speechlife, and for our attendees to know they aren’t alone in their challenges, and offer them solutions.  The real #speechlife is not always beautifully organized, or with thoroughly planned therapy sessions, or stress-free.  But it is, as I think most SLPs would agree, one of the best jobs in the world!

We had 125 amazing SLPs, SLP-As, and graduate students give up a day of their summer to spend with us, learning all things speechie!  They came from near and far, including ones who flew from Minnesota and Tennessee(!).  

Our day included sessions on:
  • Power Hour: Organization, Data Collection, & more
  • 30 Ideas for Therapy That Take 30 Seconds - or Less - to Prep
  • Make and Takes - practical ideas that our attendees were able to leave the retreat with an implement the next day
  • Adapting Materials for Different Ages & Disorders
  • Tricky SLP Situations (including tips on push-in therapy, how and when to say “no,” how to manage as a traveling therapist, ideas for working with older students, and AAC)
We also had a tremendous amount of giveaways from some generous sponsors, including:
  • For all attendees:
    • 3 month memberships to The Informed SLP
    • Coffee & bagels provided by Therapy Travelers
    • App codes from Erik X. Raj
    • Lanyards from Smarty Ears Apps
    • Stickers from Peaceable Kingdom
    • AAC Placemats from iTherapy
    • Erasers from Ooly Ooly
    • Speech Retreat sunglasses, beach ball, & tote bag 
    • our own swag (see below)

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!

  • For select lucky winners:
    • Gift certificates from TeachersPayTeachers
    • Memberships to SLP Toolkit & SLP Now
    • SLP Tumblers from Cupcakezie on Etsy
    • Jewelry from Charmingly SLP on Etsy
    • Games from Eeboo, Peaceable Kingdom, & Think Fun
    • Miniature items from sensory bins from Dinky Doo Dads on Etsy
    • Amazon gift cards from Speech Pathology Group
    • Throat Scopes
    • Planner stickers from Kiwi Speech on Etsy
    • ABC See, Hear, & Do Book by Stefanie Hohl

I must admit, I’m much more comfortable behind a computer screen than I am up on stage in front of a crowd, but presenting with some of my best friends and in front of such an amazing audience made it such a wonderful experience!

Speech Retreat - A New Kind of Professional Development for School Based SLPs!

Because we had such a tremendous response for the first Speech Retreat, we have already planned our second one!

We’ll be in Chicago on Saturday, October 14 - you can find out more information and sign up at www.speechretreat.com.  Our tickets are about 75% sold out right now, so I would encourage you to grab your seat this week before they are all gone!  

What do you think?  Would you come to the Speech Retreat if we came to your area?  We'll be making plans for Summer 2018 soon!

PS: Interested in becoming a sponsor?  Send me an email at natalie@slpnataliesnyders.com!


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