News Coverage about Speech Class rules

Hunterdon County Democrat Article

Hunterdon County Democrat Article

 

Asbury Park Press Article

Asbury Park Press Article

Lancaster New Era

Published: Aug 07, 2007 10:55 AM EST

LANCASTER, Pa. - Elementary-school students often called her the "speech lady."

But did they really understand what she did?

Ronda M. Wojcicki, a former Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center speech language pathologist, wanted to help children understand what a "speech lady" actually did.

So she wrote a book for them — and for parents and teachers, too.

She is also donating $5 from the sale of each $19.95 book to the Schreiber Center.

"When I first started practicing in public schools, it really struck me that people outside of speech language pathology had no idea what speech therapy was all about, who went and why they went," says Wojcicki.

Wojcicki's book, "Speech Class Rules," which is self-published by The Speech Place Publishing, explains the role of a speech therapist through a fictional child's eyes — and ears.

***

Her name is Laney Lynn.

As part of her graduation ceremony from speech class, Laney Lynn, who has had trouble mixing up words, has to speak in front of a group. She is scared, sort of like when she started therapy.

But in the book, Laney Lynn's graduation becomes a celebration.

Through "Speech Class Rules," Wojcicki hopes to put children at ease with starting speech therapy.

"For kids, there can be anxiety with anything new," she says. "They could think speech therapy was like going to a dentist or doctor."

Wojcicki's main character shows kids there's no reason to be scared.

And they are not alone.

"There's an instant bond for kids (in speech therapy), who may feel alone in a sea of elementary, middle or high school," Wojcicki says. "To have an ally with your same impairment is huge."

For Schreiber speech language department head Dorlas Riley, the book has certainly been an ally when she introduces it in speech-therapy sessions.

"Kids say, 'I do that,' or recognize what other kids are working on," she says. "The book, the topic, the illustrations are great."

***

In 1998, when Wojcicki was working as a school speech therapist, she had her first brainstorm.

How could she help people, especially kids, understand her role?

"I would come to get a child out of class, and the other kids would say to each other, 'Where's he going?' "

She started searching for kid-oriented books on the subject.

"I exhausted every search, so I told my husband, 'If nobody else writes it, I'm going to write it,' " she says.

Wojcicki earned her bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va., and her master's degree in speech pathology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

She worked in Virginia and New Jersey public schools before coming to the Schreiber Center in 2005.

After joining Schreiber — where her older son also attended the integrated preschool — Wojcicki decided it was time to start writing.

She researched the book for a year. After writing it, she found an illustrator, designer and printer.

The book, which Wojcicki dedicated to her husband, sons and father, is geared toward children ages kindergarten and up.

In telling the story of Laney Lynn and her fellow speech-therapy class members, Wojcicki explains some of the common speech disorders from Laney Lynn's perspective.

Each character's first initial correlates with the name of his or her speech problem.

By centering the story around the class graduation, Wojcicki hopes to demonstrate that kids who complete speech therapy should be recognized.

"Other children have ceremonies for accomplishments," she says.

Also included in the book are discussion questions for both parents and teachers.

"As soon as I knew Ronda was writing the book, I said I'd buy one," says Jeannie Eichelberger, a Schreiber receptionist whose grandson, Cole Hadley, 6, receives speech therapy. "I just gave it to him for his birthday. He loved looking at all the pictures.

"I think the book is wonderful and so well illustrated."

Wojcicki recently unveiled the book at the American Speech Language Hearing Association schools convention in Pittsburgh, and many parents purchased the book to help educate teachers, she says.

She also returned to Schreiber to read the book, and plans to read it at libraries in Mercer County, N.J.

Children especially seem to relate to the illustrations, she says.

In fact, kids pick out characters they think resemble them.

"Children like to talk about their own experience, and when they can relate to something, it's the crux of the discussion.

"This gives them the chance to shine." FOR YOUR INFORMATION To order "Speech Class Rules" by Ronda Wojcicki, go to www.TheSpeechPlace.com, e-mail cs@thespeechplace.com or visit the Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center, 625 Community Way, Lancaster.

Cost is $19.95.

 

SANE-PR

Speech-Language Pathologist writes Children’s book to educate Parents, Teachers, and Children about Speech and Language Disorders

Mercer County, New Jersey, USA. (SANEPR.com) September 12, 2007

Did you know that the most recent U.S. Department of Education statistics report that more than 4.5 million children between the ages of 3-21 receive special education services for speech and language disorders in the public schools? You would think that with those numbers, the general population would be quite familiar with speech therapy! However, this is not the case.

ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Certified Speech-Language Pathologist Ronda M. Wojcicki has recognized the current lack of understanding and information regarding speech therapy and has created a children’s book to address the problem head on – Speech Class Rules….An Introduction to Speech Therapy for Children. This fully illustrated children’s book serves as a tool for parents, educators, and Speech-Language Pathologists to introduce and explain the concept of speech therapy. The book introduces the concept to children who are unfamiliar with speech therapy, provides characters that those in speech can relate to, and helps children recently diagnosed with speech-language impairments to feel more comfortable about beginning therapy.

Wojcicki is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist who has practiced in both the public school and outpatient pediatric rehabilitation settings. In the book, she provides an entertaining and informative story in addition to a set of questions for home and school that provoke further discussion.

The book is being featured on the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s website link for “Books About Communication”. It has been endorsed by the Schreiber Pediatric Rehabilitation Center of PA who service over 4000 children with special needs. It has been featured on Lancaster County, PA’s channel 11 news as well as the Lancaster New Era newspaper and the Hunterdon County Democrat in NJ. It will be available at the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s National Convention in Boston in November 2007.

The book can be purchased directly through the Speech Place Publishing’s website at www.TheSpeechPlace.com for $19.95. Volume discounts are available for orders of 3 or more. Mrs. Wojcicki is available for readings to schools in New Jersey and surrounding areas.

Visit www.TheSpeechPlace.com for more information.

 

Alpha Phi

Sister Writes First Book of its Kind...

Alpha Phi Fraternity for Women

Ronda Erdman Wojcicki (Theta Iota-James Madison) is author of Speech Class Rules – An Introduction to Speech Therapy for Children (The Speech Place Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-9794102-0-8). Ronda wrote the book because she was frustrated that there were no children’s books about speech therapy. She wants to spread awareness about speech and language disorders and the availability of this new tool for parents, educators and therapists. Ronda has worked as a speech-language pathologist for nine years.