SATPAC for $20 (Annual Subscription Price)

May 17, 2021 12:00 am Published by

Here is my story:

In the mid-1990s, I was sitting in my speech room after a day of therapy. I thought to myself that as a profession, we are really missing great opportunities in terms of remediating speech sound disorders. I realized as the Articulation Mentor for my district, that our ultimate goal for our students is conversational competence. But most of what I was seeing was SLPs using single word picture cards with target sounds on them with no apparent rhyme or reason in their presentation to the students. I also noticed that in almost every case, the practice was much slower than normal conversation. After that day, I vowed that I would try to improve the way we, as a profession, remediate speech sound disorders by developing a very systematic program that incorporated the elements of conversational speech (i.e., coarticulation, normal rate and natural prosody) along with some best practices (facilitating contexts, nonwords, and lots and lots of repetitions to develop correct motor patterns).

Shortly thereafter, I developed the SATPAC Program and spent close to 7 years refining it to ensure its viability for use by SLPs. After commercially releasing SATPAC, I took to the road and presented workshops and spoke at various conferences and conventions, a practice I continue to this day.

Since 2013, my colleague Peter Flipsen, Jr. and I have 5 peer-reviewed studies showing that in many cases (particularly with the /r/ and /s/ sounds), remediation can occur in around 5 hours of therapy using this very systematic approach.

Despite the success of the program with students, I haven’t achieved my ultimate goal. In a profession with over 150,000 SLPs, only a few thousand are SATPAC users. However, the overwhelmingly positive response from SATPAC owners and unsolicited emails about what a terrific program SATPAC is has strengthened my resolve.

I now realize that the price of the program has been an obstacle at $199, and even currently at $100—which was my response to the pandemic—it is still too expensive for many SLPs.

In response to this realization, I decided that SATPAC will now be available for the subscription price of $20 annually. Since my goal is to change the way we as a profession remediate speech sound disorders, I am optimistic that this will get the program into widespread use. I’m confident SLPs will experience the beauty and power of the program, as well as the success that I have had these past 26 years. And I need your help! Please share this information with your colleagues and SLP Coordinators.

If you already own the program, nothing has changed. This subscription price is for new SATPAC users. And I will continue to sell the program for $100 permanently for those who want to purchase. Either way, you will receive a free 6-hour ASHA CEU webinar that includes the SATPAC approach, rationale for using it and how to navigate through the program so you understand how to use this powerful tool.

For more information, check out the SATPAC website https://app.satpac.com/#/register or contact me steve@satpac.com if you have any questions.
Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Contact steve@satpac.com or (559)438-4426 if you are interested in me presenting to your school district or organization.

Recently, I’ve had a number of referrals from SLPs with difficult cases that they have not been able to remediate which I’ve handled over ZOOM. Contact me if you are interested.

If you are wondering about the photo, that is my granddaughter Abby who just turned 2 years old!

Ideas for Generalization/Transfer

January 11, 2021 12:00 am Published by

Welcome to 2021! I hope you stay healthy and we will be able to start resuming more of a normal life in the near future. (Here is my granddaughter Abby at 20 months).

One of the first major workshops I presented well over 10 years ago was in South Dakota. One of the participants has kept in touch over the years and recently showed me a system that she had developed. It is called ArticClick and is on the Teachers pay Teachers website: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:ArticClick

Over the years as I’ve done workshops on my SATPAC Program and approach, I’ve gotten feedback after the workshops how attendees have creatively customized the program to be more effective with their students. One email I will never forget was from a very creative SLP who was involved in drama. He took the nonwords from the SATPAC Practice Phase lists and created a Stars Wars type play with planets, universes, starships, names, etc. all utilizing words like BEETSEET, MITSEET and BEETSID. I could imagine the students saying things like “Captain BEETSEET, the CHATSEETS from planet BEETSAICH are attacking!

I have always said in my workshops that the SATPAC program is just another tool in your toolkit (although a very powerful one!) and to make it your own. So getting back to ArticClick, I can see the beauty of this program to improve self-monitoring which leads to faster and more consistent generalization to conversational speech. I was also stunned by how inexpensive it is. Here is a visual and description from the creator Kandice Hoffman:

Artic Click Bundle Advertizement

Are you striving to get your speech students to transfer correct production into conversational speech? Carry-over takes time and training. ArticClick helps you teach the skill of self-monitoring, an essential step in carryover.

ArticClick was designed to work one on one, in small groups or as homework. We talk about the importance of speech homework; this was to help fill the gap!

ArticClick targets the sounds /k, g, f, v, dz, ch, sh, l, r, s, z/ and /l, r, s blends/; these can be purchased in packs (like /k, g/) or all the sounds in one bundle.

A progress tracker is also included for those students motivated by a visual progression through each level.

Anyway, check it out and let me know if you find this helpful because I’m certain it is!

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Contact steve@satpac.com or (559)438-4426 if you are interested in me presenting webinars for your school district or organization.

The SATPAC Program (which includes a 6 hour webinar for ASHA CEUs) is still half price ($100). Here is the link: https://satpac.com/purchase/ Use the coupon code: SATPAC Half Price

R Therapy with a College Student

September 12, 2020 12:00 am Published by

About a year and a half ago, I got a call on my answering machine from a mom in Colorado. We corresponded by email and it turned out she had a 20 year old son in college who had significant problems with the /r/ sound despite years of speech therapy. Another SLP who had worked with him suggested she contact me.

I thought that this would be interesting for a couple of reasons. First it would be a real challenge based upon his age and the fact that it was teletherapy which I had never done.

When the student, who I will call “Z” and I first talked, he was about 25% accurate in conversation with most errors postvocalic. We began using the SATPAC Program and Approach. We discussed in length what is needed to make a correct, consistent /r/ sound. We started with the SATPAC facilitating context word, EERGA because the EE keeps the tongue wide and stabilized on the back molars and the /g/ sound after the /r/ moves the tongue (dorsum) up and back which due to coarticulation, facilitates correct /r/ production.

Z had a lot of difficulty being consistent at first with jaw position, so he used 3 infant tongue depressors taped together as bite blocks to keep the jaw stable and the mouth slightly open. Eventually, he did stabilize the jaw and we slowly went through the lists. He got stuck on List 4 which is the first list that transitions from the EER to all the various R-vowel sounds. Like many /r/ students, he had particular difficulty with the OR and OOR sounds. I had to stress over and over that all vocalic /r/ sounds are diphthongs of ER. So, OR is really O (with the lips rounded) and then back into a big smile for the ER. It should be noted that that is not the normal position for the correct ER. That is, a normal ER keeps the lips slightly rounded. However, my experience is that at this stage of therapy, if the student does not keep the big smile/wide tongue, then they lose contact with the lateral margins of the tongue against the back molars and lose the palatal constriction necessary to make a correct /r/ sound.

It was really slow going for a couple of months, but Z practiced diligently and eventually got it. We continued with Lists 5 and 6, then with transfer/generalization beginning with phrases and sentences where he used a tally counter whenever he said the /r/ sound. This was particularly difficult as he often was not aware when he said the /r/ sound. With practice he improved and became accurate identifying when he said /r/. Finally, he used the tally counter in conversation and then we moved to normal conversation without it.

His homework at this point was to read using the tally counter or to have real or imagined conversation with someone again using the tally counter. He was asked to record his practice and listen to make sure he was getting all his /r/ sounds. I asked him to do 100 /r/ sounds a day, but he often did not do homework daily but more typically 3-5 times a week.

After about a year, we basically stopped the therapy as he was around 80% accurate in conversations with me. I checked in with him at first every 2 weeks for 2-3 months, then a month, then two months. His conversation ranged from a low of 67% accurate to the last two times when he was at 92% accurate. I dismissed him after not seeing him for two months and seeing that he was able to maintain his accuracy at 92%.

So here are a few of my thoughts. First is that due to brain plasticity, it becomes more difficult after the age of around 8 1/2 to remediate speech sounds. This was one of the most difficult cases I ever worked on. I know that when you have had millions of incorrect productions, correcting that becomes a real challenge and that it takes thousands of correct productions to make that change. The fact that the SATPAC Program is so systematic and encourages lots and lots of repetitions, made this change possible.

Also, motivation is huge, and Z was motivated. Although he never did as much homework as I asked him to do, he did stick with it and did not give up, even thought there was real slow going on List 4 for a couple of months when he did not make hardly any progress.

Third, buy-in in therapy is really important. I’m often asked if kids will stick with SATPAC because the truth is, it is probably the most boring program in our profession. However, in the 25 years I’ve been using the program, I’ve only had a few kids object to doing the program. The reason is that kids who have struggled with their speech realize that what they are doing is working which is exciting and motivating and leads to success as was the case with Z.

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Contact steve@satpac.com if you are interested in me presenting webinars for your school district or organization.

The SATPAC Program (which includes a 6 hour webinar for ASHA CEUs) is still half price ($100). Here is the link: https://satpac.com/purchase/

Digital Divide

June 12, 2020 12:00 am Published by

At the end of last year, I wrote my reflections on the year. I finished it with:

So, I still like what I’m doing and will be going for 40 years beginning in August!

Needless to say, this year has been like no other in the last 40 years. When schools shut down in California in March, it became very clear that my school district had a big problem. I work for a district that has one Preschool through 8th grade school in a low SES primarily farm worker town about 30 minutes from my city.

What happened with my district is particularly relevant to the Black Lives Matter movement happening in our country. According to the Pew Research Center in a survey conducted last year, Black and Hispanic adults are significantly less likely to own a computer or have high speed internet in their homes.

In my district, the plan was to switch to online learning or sending packets of work home on a weekly basis. It turns out that virtually none of my families had the internet so until 3 or 4 weeks ago, my therapy involved sending papers home to practice and calling and/or texting parents to check in with them. It turned out that some parents didn’t take calls and didn’t have their phones set up for messages. Others didn’t respond. It was difficult to know if my students were doing anything speech or language related.

Then about 3-4 weeks ago, some hot spots were set up so students would have internet access and Chromebooks and tablets were sent home. At this point, other problems surfaced. Many students were incapable of checking their emails and clicking on the link for our meetings. Many parents had no clue how to do anything on the computer. Parents were told they could get set up by going to the school and getting help but not all of them did that.

For the students I could work with, the internet that we used was adequate but not the best. A big problem was that many of these kids come from large families and the students did not have a quiet place to work with me. It was not uncommon to have younger siblings making lots of noise, parents cooking and talking, radios going in the background, etc.

On the plus side, it was nice to reconnect with my students and give them some feedback about their speech/language issues. By our last session, I felt like with consistent sessions, my students would make progress.

I couldn’t help but contrast my experience with higher SES families where students have their own rooms, a quiet place to work as well as their own computers and excellent internet connectivity.

So while many problems exist related to the digital divide, I believe an important step that we as a nation should take for our students since we don’t know how long Covid-19 is going to be around, would be to have universal high speed internet available for all families in our country as part of public education. As education moves more and more online, all students need to have equal access to education.

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

Contact steve@satpac.com if you are interested in me presenting webinars for your school district or organization.

Free Live Webinar

April 4, 2020 12:00 am Published by

Now seemed like the perfect time to do a live webinar. Here are the details:

The SATPAC Approach: An Effective and Efficient Way to Remediate Speech Sound Disorders

A Free Live Webinar (limited to the first 1000 registrations) .6 ASHA CEUs

A recording of the free webinar will follow (also for .6 ASHA CEUs)

April 22 and 23 (4 PM – 7 PM Pacific each night, 5 PM – 8 PM Mountain, 6 PM – 9 PM Central and 7 PM -10 PM Eastern)

Presented by: 2011 ASHF Award Winner – Stephen Sacks, M.A., CCC-SLP

Description: As SLPs and SLPAs, we spend a lot of time remediating speech sound disorders and particularly the /r/ and /s/ sounds. Come learn how to use the SATPAC Approach to systematically remediate the 7 most common errors (/r/, /s,z/, /l/, /k,g/, /sh/, /ch,j/ and /th,TH/).

The SATPAC Approach incorporates conversation-like activities into the earliest phases of therapy (normal rate, natural prosody and coarticulation) along with other best practices (facilitating contexts, the use of nonwords and many repetitions) to quickly, efficiently and systematically remediate speech sound disorders.

Four recent peer-reviewed studies using these techniques with the /s/ and /r/ sounds showed that most students were remediated in 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours of therapy time for /s/ and 7 1/2 hours for /r/ (compared to ASHA NOMS data of 18-20 hours to move 1 step on their scale). Remediation of phonological processes, case studies and research will be included with hands-on opportunities to try out these new techniques.

Registration and/or Information for the workshops:
https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/free-webinar/

Email: steve@satpac.com
Website: www.satpac.com

And one of the most powerful statements about SATPAC comes from SATPAC users who have reviewed the program on the ASHA Online Buyers Guide: http://buyersguide.asha.org/Listing/Company/SLP_-_School_Related_Products/Articulation__Phonology/462024

And finally, comments made by participants in recent workshops:

– Great workshop!

– This workshop is awesome and came highly recommended by a colleague.

– This is super useful and all SLPs/SLPAs should know these effective strategies.

– Great workshop and I can’t wait to see my /r/ and /s/ kids.

– This program (SATPAC) has the potential to change how I remediate sound disorders.

– Loved this course! You are a very dynamic speaker with clear instructions.

– I feel like I can go back to school on Monday and start using these techniques and start making some progress. Yay!

– Excellent presentation.

– It was a great conference! Thank you.

– Excellent information! I feel that I can apply this information and these techniques to my caseload next week. You have given me a new outlook on articulation-and I’m excited to work on /r/ now.

– Great day of learning!

– One of the best courses I have taken in a long time.

– Thank you for your contributions to our field. So many of our students spend way too long in Speech Therapy for artic. errors.

– The information will be so useful to me with my clients. I can’t wait to try and use the program on my artic. kids. Info was very clear and practical.

– I enjoyed the whole thing-I was engaged from beginning to end. Thanks so much!

– Great conference! I can’t wait to use the SATPAC Program with my students.

– You are a great presenter!!

– Thank you for a great day of learning!

– This course was truly amazing. After twenty years in the field, I found that Steve presents information in a clear, concise way but it’s all game changing for my current skill set. He encourages a consistent analysis that probes errors more accurately, providing a process of therapy that clear surpasses many methods I’ve learned to date. He provides insight into methods that work across all settings: including the group and time constraints found in the school-based practice.

– In school, we learn all about speech disorders, delays, etc. We learn of course, developmental milestones, and a lot of anatomy, but nothing is mentioned about how to treat kids with speech/language issues. I basically graduated with no experience in providing therapy. The kids don’t want to know the extreme details about why they have a hard time-they want you to help them. Now I have some amazing tools under my belt to do that. I had speech in elementary school for a frontal lisp and the only thing I remember about it was my sticker book. I loved everything you had to say, teach and share. I also love your outlook on working with the kids-keeping a positive attitude and building a good rapport. I feel like they get overlooked so often, but it’s so important. Thank you so much!

Uncertainty

March 21, 2020 12:00 am Published by

Like so many of you, my life has changed dramatically the past couple of weeks. I’m basically not working and not going out. I tend to do well with routine, and it has been disrupted. A large part of my purpose in life for the last 40 years has been helping children with their speech and language problems and this has stopped. From the reading I’m doing, it doesn’t sound like COVID-19 at is going to end quickly in the U.S.

So, what to do? I’ve found a couple of things helpful. First, if you have the means, donate to your local Food Bank and/or other local organizations that are dealing with this crisis. While I have been inconvenienced, many people’s lives have been devastated and they need immediate help. Second, I’ve been sharing information that I think is helpful with family and friends which also keeps me connected with people in my life. My religious community is still working to make the world a better place.

Professionally, I’m thinking about what would be helpful with SATPAC. Even though most of us are not actively working with others, I decided to sell the program for half price ($100) for the immediate future. If you have been thinking about getting the program, now would be a good opportunity to play around with it so when therapy does resume, you could hit the ground running. For those of you who don’t know, I answer all SATPAC and articulation remediation questions typically within a day so you can email me if you have any questions. To purchase the program, go to this link: (https://satpac.com/purchase/) and use the coupon code SATPAC Half Price

I’m also thinking about doing a low-cost 6-hour webinar over 2 days talking about the SATPAC Program and Approach that I’ve found so successful over the last 25 years. This will probably be near the end of April as I’m assuming, we will not be going back to work after Spring break.

Wishing you all the best and, most of all, take care!

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

I’m doing less private workshops recently and more professional development presentations to school districts. If your district is interested, contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Are Transfer and Generalization the Responsibility of SLPs?

February 16, 2020 12:00 am Published by

A School Psychologist recently shared with me an interaction he had with his school SLP. She was dismissing a student who had the /r/ sound in therapy but wasn’t using it in conversation. Her rationale was that he knows how to make the sound and it’s his responsibility to use it.

This always gets me agitated when I hear this as I think it is lazy and irresponsible on the part of the SLP. Thinking more kindly, it probably wasn’t taught in their professional training and it should have been. Transferring and generalizing speech sounds takes work, skill and knowledge and is part of the therapy process.

Using the SATPAC Approach, I begin transfer with phrases that are part of the SATPAC Program and have a prevocalic and postvocalic target sound in each phrase abutting all the various possible consonant combinations. The student is given a tally counter and has to push the button whenever he says the target sound. When I first began doing this, I was shocked by how often my students did not know when they were saying their target sound. Using this technique gets them to consistently self-monitor which is necessary at first for transfer. As they get the hang of it, the rate speeds up to a normal conversational rate which should be your goal. Often the student who has learned a speech sound, does not have the motor skill to be using that sound in conversation at a normal rate. This takes time and practice. The student is given a tally counter to take home and to use with homework.

From there we go to short sentences again monitoring with the tally counter. We do longer sentences then short stories. I use the S-CAT stories by Secord and Shine which have entertaining drawings to go along with the stories. Finally, if necessary, we work on conversation. At all of these levels, the student is using a tally counter to monitor their speech and is using the tally counter at home as part of their weekly homework.

If the student is not remediated, we continue by using their classroom reading texts and discussing their stories with the student continuing to self-monitor with the tally counter and then self-monitor without it.

When they are dismissed, I will do stability checks usually after 1 month and 3 months to make sure that they have not slipped back. If they have not, they have finished therapy.

All those steps might be necessary to get to conversational competence and are part of our responsibility as SLPs!

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

P.S. In case you didn’t read January’s newsletter, that’s my granddaughter Abby in the picture.

I’m doing less private workshops recently and more professional development presentations to school districts. If your district is interested, contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Repetitions

January 25, 2020 12:00 am Published by

One of the critical elements in the SATPAC Program is having lots and lots of repetitions. While this may seem tedious, it is so important for changing the incorrect motor pattern of our students’ speech to a correct one. Think of how many times they have said their error sound incorrectly in their lives and we have to change all of that.

What made me think of this is a significant event that is happening in my life. My wife and I are watching our 9-month old granddaughter Abby during the workday Monday through Friday. (And my wife does it all on Tuesday and Wednesday when I’m at work). Watching Abby develop is really fascinating and it makes me wonder why I wasn’t paying attention to this when my infant kids were growing up (perhaps fatigue?). Anyway, as she is learning to crawl, walk, eat with a spoon, speak, etc., I see her doing the same movements over and over. Many things she figures out by herself like crawling but other things we reinforce. Using a spoon, for example, I will guide her hand into her mouth holding the spoon in a horizontal position. When she says “Da”, we repeat it and show her by our enthusiasm that what she said was a good thing. And we do that over and over as she does it over and over.

I’m not asking her to say “Da” 100 times counting on a tally counter like I do with my students (more typically BEETSEET or EERGA) but it is kind of the same idea!

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

I’m doing less private workshops recently and more professional development presentations to school districts. If your district is interested, contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

However, I will be doing an advanced SATPAC workshop in Phoenix Feb. 6 (https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/advanced-workshop/) and a regular workshop there Feb. 7 ( https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/).

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

A Lesson Learned

December 6, 2019 12:00 am Published by

I had an experience last year that I’m not proud of but turned out to be a good lesson for me. I was working with a preschooler that the mom brought in after school. One day she did not have her babysitter, so she brought his younger 3-year-old brother. If you’ve ever seen the movie based on the life of Helen Keller (The Miracle Worker), his behavior reminded me of her before she understood about communication. The mom had to hold him restrained and he grunted and cried the whole time.

The following week, I talked to the mom about getting him into a program at the county for kids with severe issues. She agreed and I made the referral. In the meantime, it turned out he had an IEP for autism, a cognitive deficit and other issues and was supposed to receive speech/language services and attend the regular preschool on our campus which did not seem appropriate. I waited for him to get into the county program because I wanted no part of this kid and I thought it would happen quickly. When it became apparent that there was no timetable for a kid to get into the county program, I started working with him thinking it was going to be a disaster.

In our first session, I found a couple of toys that he was interested in and did some behavior modification using the toys as a reward. Meanwhile, he had an excellent behavior specialist working with him at home and we collaborated with some speech/language activities. His language skills developed to the point where he could communicate and as a result was nothing like the kid I saw initially. After a short time, he was able to do a 20-25-minute session and stay on task!

He got into the county program and after a few months was reassessed. He did not have autism and his cognitive skills were much higher than previously thought so he was returned to my school.

Next week I start to work with him again and I have a new, improved attitude! The lesson for me was to keep an open mind and give kids a chance-particularly when they are preschoolers as testing and first impressions at that age might not be quite accurate to what their true potential is.

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

I’m doing less private workshops recently and more professional development presentations to school districts. If your district is interested, contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

However, I will be doing an advanced SATPAC workshop in Phoenix Feb. 6 (https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/advanced-workshop/) and a regular workshop there Feb. 7 (https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/).

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar

Update

October 11, 2019 12:00 am Published by

The reason I haven’t written a newsletter in a while is that I haven’t had much to share.

Here are some recent happenings:

    • I’m back at my preschool – 8th grade school for my 40th year as an SLP. I completed a 2-year RtI study with articulation students seeing them all individually for 15 minutes once a week. The preliminary look at the results show excellent progress with almost all the kids. I hope to have this as a journal article sometime in the future.
    • I did my first podcast for the Speech Link with Char Boshart.
    • I did an Advanced SATPAC 6-hour webinar for SATPAC users that took place on 3 afternoon/evenings in July. It is now up on the SATPAC website as a recorded webinar: https://satpac.com/sacks-workshops/advanced-webinar-2-2/

Pam Marshalla passed away in 2015 while working on her most important and biggest project. Her daughter Shanti has spent the last 4 years finishing it up and is soon to be released. It is The Marshalla Guide-A Topical Anthology of Speech Movement Techniques for Motor Speech Disorders & Articulation Deficits. I’ve been fortunate to get a pre-released version and have learned a lot. At almost 500 pages, it is a remarkable book.

Hope you are having a good year whatever your work setting is!

Stephen Sacks
SATPAC Speech

I’m doing less private workshops recently and more professional development presentations to school districts. If your district is interested, contact me steve@satpac.com for details.

Because I want SLPs from all over to use and understand my program, I have a .6 CEU ASHA webinar that is basically the same as my live presentations. Go to the SATPAC website for details. Here is the link: https://satpac.com/workshops/webinar