Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ciao 2008 - It's Been Great!

There are many traditions that we have become accustomed to in ringing in the New Year – the ball dropping, party hats, champagne toasts, noisemakers and of course, nostalgia. Every magazine, newspaper or website you read features a nostalgic look at the year past - from fashion do’s and don’ts and Hollywood blockbusters and busts, to top news stories and famous faces that have passed on. Lists commemorating a year that will be no longer have become a part of welcoming a new year, filled with hope and promise.

In this grand tradition of list making, we are taking a swing at it – highlighting the things that we were most grateful for in 2008.

10. A Historical Year – From the presidential election to the Olympics to the Tampa Bay Rays not only winning more than they lost but making the World Series, 2008 was by all accounts one that will make the history books. We were simply grateful to be a part of it!

9. Bruce Springsteen – He is THE BOSS after all and he is actually a pretty big part of the Progressus Experience. Our esteemed colleague, and Progressus President Don Scheeler is an Über-fan and it runs much deeper than Born in the USA or the Jerry Maguire track. Bruce and his musical wisdom have become a fun part of what we do and how we do it. He’s become a motivator, a messenger, a welcome part of the Progressus Team and the half-time act at this year’s Super Bowl, which will be held in Tampa, home of our corporate offices.

8. Growth – 2008 represented a significant growth spurt for Progressus – in the number of clinicians on our team, in the number of districts we partnered with, in the number of children we serve. We’re no psychics, but if we had to make a prediction, 2009 will bring more growth, allowing us to make an even greater impact on the lives of children around the country.

7. Connecting – With each passing year, we wonder how we ever lived without the technology that has become part of our everyday lives. As miles often separate colleagues, friends and family, technology has helped keep communication frequent and consistent. This year, Progressus was excited to introduce social networking as a new part of our culture. ProgressusConnect helps us do just that – connect anytime, anywhere. Clinicians that live in Los Angeles can connect to folks in Baltimore with a simple click.

6. Face-Time – 2008 was a year filled with events around the country. Conferences are especially fun because they give us the opportunity to meet new and experienced SLPs, OTs and PTs. As much as we appreciate technology and all that it does to make life easier, there is nothing that replaces meeting someone face to face and having a real, live conversation. It is priceless!

5. Amelia – Our Soaring Star – 2008 brought a lot of changes – one very important one was our new logo and tagline. In July we proudly introduced Amelia – who graces our logo and shows up where good things are happening. She illustrates the notion of leaping free of bounds – of soaring – and is accompanied by our new tagline, The Power of What’s Possible. We know that every dream, every goal is possible and that is truly powerful.

4. Investing in Students – We feel privileged to have the opportunity to invest in students that are entering the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy by funding scholarship and grant opportunities. We are inspired by the brilliant students that are getting ready to launch their careers. It is an honor to help them on their journey and celebrate their success!

3. Powerful Partnerships – One of the greatest gifts we celebrated this past year were the partnerships we were able to build. With our school-districts around the country, creating customized services to meet their needs. With professional organizations such as the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association. We were also proud to partner with companies like TheraSimplicity, and Advance – each of which has helped us achieve our goals for the year.

2. 25,000 – that is the number of students our clinicians are currently serving in school-districts around the country. We are awestruck by the number of lives we are able to touch – to change - through the work of the country’s best SLPs, OTs and PTs.

1. The Progressus Team – We aren’t afraid to say it – even brag on it a little bit. Progressus Therapy has the best Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in the country. And it’s not just our humble opinions that we base this on. It’s what we hear from our partnering school districts, parents of the children our clinicians work with – sometimes even from other companies in the arena. We’re extremely proud of our team and, gosh-darn-it, it has truly been the best part of 2008!

As we say goodbye to 2008 and warmly (at least in Tampa!) welcome 2009, we wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Make Your Resume A Star!

I remember clearly writing my first resume –fingers poised and ready at the key board – the makings of the most successful candidate an employer has ever seen ready to pour out of my anxious fingers onto the marbleized, specialty resume paper. I typed my first words – first and last name. Ooh – they looked good! My addresses (home and email) followed immediately. It was really shaping up.

And then I sat there – fingertips firmly set upon ASDF JKL; - for what seemed like an eternity. What exactly do I write?

A bead of sweat formed on my brow when I realized that in terms of experience, mine was moderately anorexic. I had just graduated and this resume was to be my entry into the professional world. Do I include my exciting stint with Old Town Trolley tours in Boston? Do I add some creating musings to add some flesh to the frail bones of my experience?

This year at the ASHA Convention in Chicago, the organization added Resume Star to their list of offerings. Attendees had the opportunity to have their resumes reviewed by participating companies. Progressus was one of the companies that signed up to help students and experienced clinicians. From that experience, here are a few resume tips.

Choose a standard font. Yes, Comic Sans is fun, but it does have the word comic in it and that should tell you a lot. Also – keep your font size between 11 and 12. Even on a seriously malnourished experience section, you don’t want to beef your resume up by using an 18 point font. On the verse - you don’t want an employer to need a magnifying to read a teeny tiny font that you used to cram all of your information onto one page. Which brings me to the next point…

There is an age-old urban legend that resumes MUST be one page. No more. I really wish would bust this myth. As long as your multiple pages are ripe with relevant and persuasive information, going to page two is not going to cause seven years of bad career luck. Because there is a double edge to every sword, your resume should fall quite short of a novella. If it’s looking like the latest Harry Potter book, you have gone too far.

Chronology counts, so count backwards. Employers want to know what you have done most recently. Start there and work backwards.

Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal. Seems basic enough, but temptation can be overwhelming when you are really trying to make a good first impression. Lying about experience on ability on a resume will be found – I promise you. I know this from shameful personal experience. I thought – I’ll just beef up my experience with using a particular software. Graphic design software. It’s not like they are not going to test me, right? Right? Wrong. Failed test. Failed interview. Lesson learned – DO NOT LIE! Figure out ways to highlight the experience you do have – highlight experiences, achievements. We all have them – we just need to hone in on them. As for cheating and stealing – don’t do it. Copying your friends resume or an online sample word for word, replacing only your name is never a good idea. You never know when your friend will apply for the same job that you are apply for.

Use a professional email address. may have been a great email address for your college days, but this is not the address you want an employer to reach you through. For the serious job hunter, I recommend setting up a separate email account exclusively for your search.

Keep your resume up to date.
As you gain new experience or reach a new goal, dust off the last version and update it. Even if you are not actively seeking a new opportunity. It will make the process much easier when you are ready to find a new position.

After participating in Resume Stars at ASHA ’08, I have to say that the majority of the resumes we saw were quite impressive, which was very exciting. The best piece of advice I can give is to be confident in your experience – don’t be afraid to celebrate your achievements or to be aware and honest about areas that you are looking to grow. Your resume is almost always your first impression with an employer, so make sure it’s a good one!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The AOTA Recommends Making a New Year's Resolution You Can Keep

Sure we all make New Year's resolutions, but how many of us actually keep them? 
Research suggests that only 1/4 of all resolutions are kept past June. 

The American Occupational Therapy Association says resolutions rooted in research-based occupational therapy practices are the most likely to be successful. 
These resolutions are strategies for daily living which prevent injury, illness and disability. 

The AOTA has identified acheivable New Year's Resolutions by age range:
  • Under 20: Get more sleep. Getting enough sleep not only increases alertness but it can also decrease behavioral problems.
  • Age 20-40: Organize living spaces. Eliminating clutter reduces dust and mold and lowers the risk of slip and fall injuries.
  • Age 40-60: Increase physical activity. 65% of Americans are overweight, increasing physical activity can decrease your risk of obesity related illnesses.
  • Age 60-80: Take up gardening. Gardening is America's #1 outdoor leisure activity and can help aging Americans remain active. 
  • Over 80: Check your driving. Safe driving over 80 is possible. Limit your trips to daylight hours or residential areas, take a safe driving class or consider public transportation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Toni Braxton's New Autism PSA

Toni Braxton participated in the most recent autism awareness PSA for She urges people tp become familiar with the red flags for autism and to realize that early intervention is key.

Braxton speaks from experience. Her five year old son, Diezel, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Diezel also appears in the ad along with his mother.

Networking + Fun = ASHA '08

As a first-timer as ASHA, the conference was a whirlwind of excitement! The chilly Chicago air only seemed to add to the great hustle and bustle of activity. Opportunities abound at the conference, but the greatest of them is the opportunity to interact face-to-face with so many professionals in the field of speech-language pathology. To meet students that are just entering the field, readying themselves for their clinical fellowships as well as clinicians that boast 20+ years of experience was incredible!

Progressus sponsored two booths at ASHA – one in the main exhibit hall and the other within the Career Fair. Between both locations we were able to literally meet and chat with thousands of clinicians that were attending the conference. Networking is a significant part of an event like this. To have the chance to share ideas, make new friends and to sharpen our professional tools is priceless. With so much communication happening electronically these days, it is always refreshing to have a real-live conversation and put a face immediately to a name.

SLPs in the Windy City
Fun was undeniably a huge part of the weekend! Friday night at the conference we hosted a networking soiree for some of our new friends. SLPs in the Windy City was the theme – and to make sure we stayed true to our theme, we introduced two signature martinis – the Progressus-tini and the Amelia-politan (named, of course, in honor of our logo). There were tattoos (fake of course), drinks and even a presentation of one of our Career Vision Scholarships! We were lucky enough to catch up with our winning SLP Felicia at the reception!

So, was the party fun? Let one of our attendees tell you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Great Careers Begin With Great Clinical Fellowships – Get the DVD – Our Compliments

Hundreds of future clinicians and new graduates were able to receive a complimentary gift that may turn out, in the long run, to be the best gift they received at ASHA 2008 Chicago – the DVD Stepping Stones to Success: The Clinical Fellowship. The DVD is intended to help guide current and future Clinical Fellows through their CF Experience and empower them to maximize this critical step in their career.

Although this video is sponsored by Progressus Therapy (and produced by National CEU), it contains insights from SLP professionals from several organizations. If you are now or will be going through your CF experience, this is a must-have DVD. You can order it at . Send this link to your SLP friends and colleagues.

Progressus Therapy has nurtured the careers of literally thousands of clinicians. One leader at Progressus, Laurie McCloskey, was a key contributor to the Stepping Stones DVD. Here we have an interview with Laurie, where she discusses her own CF experiences and explains her motivation for participating in the video.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Winning New Logo

A new name for the professional logo was unveiled last month for the Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapist Job Provider. 'Amelia' was the creation of Clinical Coordinator Katie Staniszewski's meaning industrious, striving and hard working. With over 100 entries, this was selected to remind people of Amelia Earhart and the symbol of the adventurous spirit.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Returning From ASHA 2008 Chicago With the Winds of Change at Our Backs

After a week and a Thanksgiving break to absorb it all, there’s no doubt about it: ASHA 2008 in Chicago was memorable. Not only were many sessions more interactive and thought-provoking, as shown by the solid attendance at sessions, but we witnessed an inspirational talk from famed actress Julie Andrews, who received the “Annie” award for her work to advance speech-language therapy while surmounting her own personal voice health misfortune. The award was personally presented by Senator John Glenn and his wife Annie, the award’s namesake and courageous advocate for people with communication disorders after overcoming severe stuttering. Easily enough inspiration to last us to the next ASHA Convention in New Orleans…!

Many had a chance to find out more about ASHA’s new, green facility in Rockville, MD, and their new governance structure, mission, and vision. Estimates are that Chicago saw over 12,500 attendees -- impressive in light of the shaky economy. That also means that many of our SLP friends and colleagues did not have the opportunity to attend and take advantage of the resources there, including what we believe are the most exciting offerings from Progressus Therapy ever.

Over the next several days and weeks we’ll share with our online community information and resources that we brought to our fellow ASHA convention goers. We’ll tell you more about the sessions lead by Progressus Clinicians, which were especially focused on how SLPs achieve success in their careers. We’ll also share the insights and impressions of many of our colleagues. Find out more about our Clinical Fellowship DVD, Stepping Stones to Success, which received great attention from students, clinical fellows, and other practitioners who seek a better CF Experience for themselves or others they care about. And we won’t leave out a few snapshots of the fun our fellow ASHA attendees had at our various Progressus parties and get togethers!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bronx Therapy Center for Special Needs Children Opens

Three years ago, special needs children at Intermediate School 180 in the Bronx just had a single room and an old mat for their physical therapy.

School officials last Friday debuted a new, five-room therapy complex featuring a Pilates room, wheelchair-compatible treadmills, interactive computer programs and more high-quality equipment.

The Larry B. Seabrook Occupational and Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center -  will serve 60 middle school students with disabilities, including cerebral palsy, neurological disorders and Down Syndrome.

The former classrooms now feature colorful mats, exercise balls, treatment tables, small weights, trampolines, and other equipment.

Students come to the ground floor facilities once or twice a week for 30-minute sessions to work with a therapist on mobility or sensory issues that can help with everything from sitting in a chair to copying work from the blackboard.

"For the kids, it's motivating," said physical therapist Kam Johal. "It's not like going to the gym; it's fun therapy, and it will help them in school."

Read More 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GMU's Speech Accent Archive

George Mason University's Speech Accent Archive allows you to listen to people from all over the world read the following paragraph: 

"Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store:
Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and
maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake
and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red
bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station."

The paragraph is designed to make a speaker's accent stand out and can be useful in areas of speech therapy and linguistics.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Musical Injuries and Occupational Therapy

A violinist, an obo player and a pianist...not your usual occupational therapy patients?

For Christine Guptill, an Occupational Therapist, musical injuries are a very real thing and can possibly be treated with OT.

Christine developed carpel tunnel syndrome from playing the obo. This injury inspired her to pursue a PHD in OT, specializing in musical injury treatment.

She has identified four determining factors which contribute to musical injuries:
  1. Musical Instrument Played
  2. Age of the Musician
  3. How Often the Instrument is Played
  4. The Style in Which the Instrument is Played

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Name for Professional Logo

Progressus Therapy has unveiled their new professional logo, naming it ‘Amelia.’ This new logo stands for the notion of flying free of bounds. In July team members submitted suggestions for a name and after 100 entries, Clinical Coordinator Katie Staniszewski’s ‘Amelia’ was selected.

“Amelia Earhart is such an iconic name and it gave me the feeling of flying or moving forward. After doing some research on her I found that she had a remarkable life. She had to overcome barriers to reach her goals and so do the districts and students we work with. Progressus helps find solutions so that the job speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists do can be successful," said Katie.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The Nintendo Wii has opened up a new realm of virtual reality physical therapy. Wii Sports and the new Wii Fit games have given physical and occupational therapists a chance to improve people's balance, coordination and vision just by playing a video game.

Check it out:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October is National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month and it's all about movement! National Physical Therapy Month celebrates the amazing work of Physical Therapists. PTs who work in the school-setting play a very special role in the lives of children. They help empower them, working with them to gain the skills and strength they need to move forward.

We often take movement for granted. When you are without physical limitations, movement comes quite easily. But for those that face physical challenges, movement requires work. Physical Therapists work with their patients to establish goal oriented treatment plans to help ease movement and drive progress.

Progressus Therapy is proud to support the American Physical Therapy Association in celebrating National Physical Therapy Month. We have the privilege of working with physical therapists around the country and have seen first hand the impact that they have on the lives of the children they work with.

Celebrate National Physical Therapy Month with us! Celebrate Movement!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Promoting National Backpack Awareness Day

With school starting again, almost every child will be using a backpack to carry books and other school material. With this can come injuries from kid's wearing them improperly, causing pain and potential long-term damage.

Tips From the American Occupational Therapy Association On Children's Backpacks:

· Choose a pack that’s appropriate to the child’s size

· Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps

· Choose a pack with a waist belt to be fastened for extra support

· Consider a pack with reflective trim to increase visibility

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Occupational Therapists & National School Backpack Awareness Day

National School Backpack Awareness day is September 17th. This day was created to increase awareness among parents, teachers and children to properly use a backpack.

The AOTA offers a few tips for finding the right backpack:
  1. Never let a child carry more than 15% of his or her body weight. This means a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldn't wear a backpack heavier than 15 pounds.
  2. Load heaviest items closest to the child's back and arrange books and materials to prevent them from sliding.
  3. Always wear both shoulder straps. Wearing only one strap can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.
  4. Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Too much pressure on shoulders and necks can cause pain and tingling.
  5. Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly to the child's back. The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back, never more than four inches below the child's waistline.
There are five more tips available at the link above. Progressus Therapy supports Occupational Therapists, teachers, parents and students in ensuring their school experience is as safe and effective as possible.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Enhancing The Progressus Experience™

Progressus Therapy unveiled its new brand, including a new logo and tagline, and announced the launch of ProgressusConnect. This is a new online community and employment portal for Speech-language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists.

Progressus Therapy has become the leading educational solutions provider of speech-language, occupational and physical therapy solutions focusing exclusively on the school-based setting.