Today we sat down with Maureen Wilson, M.S., CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist and founder of The Speech Bubble SLP. While Maureen started creating custom materials for herself, they quickly became a big hit among her colleagues and the broader SLP community. Today, The Speech Bubble SLP is one of the most popular online destinations for speech therapy materials.
Can you tell us a bit about your background as an SLP?
I am in my 11th year of being a school-based speech-language pathologist (SLP). I have actually been in the same building my entire career! Being in one place has allowed me to work with various programs in our district, from severe learning disabilities, emotional/behavior disabilities, and our Autism program. This program inspired me to become a Certified Autism Specialist.
Why did you decide to become a content creator and launch your blog/website?
I always liked the idea of having a business, but being a ‘business person’ was never my style. To find myself in this position today is definitely entertaining. I always tended to think a bit differently when it came to using resources. I began creating resources the way I think many creators do - out of necessity. When I started working, I found the materials I had were too general for what my kids needed to work on, and took more time for me to adapt the existing materials versus creating something new and perfectly tailored for my needs. After creating a few resources I noticed other SLPs in my district were looking for similar things for their students too. This was about the time Teachers pay Teachers came about so I thought, "Why not give it a try," and eight year later here I am. Once my store was set up, I started to get questions from SLPs about students and therapy strategies, so creating a place where I could share my methods and perspectives was the perfect next step.
What type of speech therapy materials do you create - and why?
While I do have a variety of resources in my store, the majority are materials that focus on literacy-based therapy, data, and using structured systems to help students grow their language skills. While these may not sound glamorous, they have truly become passions of mine, so making resources around these topics exciting and engaging for the SLP is an aspect that I really enjoy.
Who are your materials most relevant for? Do they span across diagnoses, ages, and severities, or are they more tailored?
My resources fit best with a K-5, elementary population. I include adaptation strategies in many of my resources so that an SLP can easily use them for their entire caseload age range without having to scour for multiple resources in their day. Also, since many of these materials are systematically structured, they can be a great fit for students with learning disabilities and autism.
Can you share some of your most popular resources?
So, while I’m a bit biased and think all of my resources are amazing, there are definitely some fan favorites.
My Rubrics have become a BFF to many SLPs over the years with over 950 five star reviews. The rubrics are pre-made and break down a majority of pragmatic and language goal areas from their most basic skill set all the way up to the developmental expectation. There is an e-book to teach users how to write goals for rubrics and make their own too. Another must-have that people love is the WH-Curriculum. This is an entire curriculum, with a set for each WH-Question type, all designed to guide the SLP through teaching the meaning behind the question and systematically increasing their students level of difficulty as they learn to apply their newfound understanding. It is packed with all the materials needed and every step is laid out. The digital version has also been a hit.
A new resource, Story Sidekick, has also become a fast favorite. It breaks down literacy-based therapy for the SLP by using narrative language dialogic reading. It is packed full of research and materials so the SLP can hit the ground running with confidence. Some other honorable mentions would be: The SLP Sanity Planner, Trifecta resources bundle, and The Category Kit.
Do you have any success stories that SLPs, parents, or individuals have shared after using your materials?
Oh my, the emails I get from other SLPs have brought me to tears more than once. I have gotten emails saying that because of my resources kids have finally found success with WH-Questions and gained the confidence to even participate in the classroom.
A favorite of mine is a message I received from an SLP saying how using my rubrics helped her school avoid legal matters. The family was concerned about data with their student and seeing the skills broken down on the rubrics gave them a clearer picture about the growth happening at school. The entire team ended up using rubrics moving forward!
The best messages are the ones from SLPs who share that they finally feel confident and effective with what they are doing instead of grabbing a resource and hoping it works for their kids.
Are your materials being adopted to a virtual care setting because of the pandemic? And if so, how are they being used?
Due to COIVD, everyone had to make a virtual shift. Many of my resources have been used with programs like Kami, that allow you to write on PDFs. I have also digitized many resources into BOOM Card decks to make virtual therapy easier for those SLPs.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Being a school-based SLP has been such a rewarding experience. Being able to impact a child’s life and their family in such a positive way gives you a feeling like no other. I’m truly grateful to be able to share my ideas and materials with such an extraordinary community.