Today we sat down with Cheri Dodge Chin, ClinScD, a speech-language pathologist and founder of Super Power Speech. Cheri was one of the first SLP bloggers and has been developing content and resources for SLPs and their clients for 13+ years.
Can you tell us a bit about your background as an SLP?
This is my 20th year as a speech-language pathologist (SLP). During my career, I have dabbled in private practice, clinic work, and in-patient rehabilitation. Most of my work, however, has been in public education. I love working on communication solutions for children who experience complex communication disorders. My current elementary school has three self-contained classrooms of children with multiple special needs.
Several years ago I decided to challenge myself professionally. While working full time, I completed my clinical doctorate degree. My research focused on coaching communication partners during storybook reading activities. Now that I have finished my degree, I hope to publish in a peer-reviewed journal, become an ad-hoc instructor, and present more often around the country.
Why did you decide to become a content creator and launch your blog/website?
I began blogging in 2008, when there were essentially no other SLP bloggers out there. My blog began as an eclectic mix of mommy blogging, recipes, and speech therapy. As more SLPs entered the world of social media, my blog transformed along with theirs. During that time, I would create low-quality resources for myself and share them online. When introduced to Teachers Pay Teachers in the early 2010s, however, I joined a pioneering group of amazing women who wanted to create high-quality materials for all SLPs. I spent hundreds of hours learning copyright, clipart, and layout to create products that I was proud to share with others.
What type of speech therapy materials do you create - and why?
I create materials for school-based SLPs and educators. My resources are primarily PDFs that can be downloaded and used on a tablet or printed out for activities. In the last few months, I have added some Google Slides and Boom Cards to my store to use during distance learning.
Who are your materials most relevant for? Do they span across diagnoses, ages, and severities, or are they more tailored?
When I began making resources, there were essentially no affordable materials for AAC or social skills. I have spent considerable time making items that I did not have access to, including those for children with limited verbal and social language skills. All my creations get used in my therapy sessions. For this reason, I do not create materials for middle/high school age-ranges. If one day my job transitions to a new age-range, I will be busy making materials to meet their needs too!
Can you share some of your most popular resources?
Super Social Skills was my best seller for nearly a decade. More recently, however, people have been very excited about my Language Informal Assessment and Social Language Informal Assessment. My favorite and most used product of all time is my AAC Core Vocabulary Boards. I created handouts, complied research, and even made the words and pictures editable (as much as Adobe will allow). This was and continues to be my baby.
Do you have any success stories that SLPs, parents, or individuals have shared after using your materials?
I get many comments about how helpful my resources are and their high quality. The most meaningful story, however, was from many years ago. A special education teacher contacted me and said that they based the entire theme of their classroom on my Super Social Skills product. As a fundraiser, they were even creating student-drawn images on shirts with custom labels. Of course, I had to buy one of these shirts and it remains my favorite tee. Every time I wear my superhero shirt I think of how something I created made a difference to this class.
Are your materials being adopted to a virtual care setting because of the pandemic? And if so, how are they being used?
Like everyone, the pandemic made me learn many things very quickly. Immediately after school closures in March of 2020, I created the lifesaving materials that got me through the remainder of the school year, Distance Learning Made Easy for SLPs. When I made these materials, I had to think long and hard about what one thing could help a school SLP with 90% of their caseload. Since that time, I have taken on the challenges of learning how to create interactive PDF notebooks, Google products, and Boom cards. During my time in distance learning, I used these resources daily with multiple groups. I am currently trying to figure out how to use online resources during in-person instruction!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
My blog and brand were more products of circumstance than anything else. I was in the right mindset at the right time to become one of the world’s first SLP bloggers. Creating my own materials has allowed me to meet all my clients’ needs. The extra income that my store generates allowed me to finish a doctorate degree. I am so blessed to be doing what I do!