Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Speech Therapy + Pinterest= Great Things

All Great Things Come From Pinterest!

One morning, while chatting in the driveway, my neighbor, Kristen, told me about Pinterest. I was intrigued, and I had a few minutes before I had to leave for work, so I thought I would check it out. 

Talk about mind blowing!  I was an hour late for work that day. My life will never be the same.

Ever since then, I use Pinterest browsing as a source of entertainment. I can position myself on the sofa and appear to be watching Monday Night Football with the guys, but really I'm searching for recipes, thinking about wardrobe ideas, and learning new techniques for makeup application. I thought they had no idea I wasn't paying attention, but eventually, my husband caught on.

At first, he complained about the time I was spending on Pinterest. He thought of this type of browsing as a "waste of time,"  but it wasn't long before he began to enjoy the results of my searches: a pretty wreath for the front door, a delicious recipe, a yummy dessert, a home improvement project, a cute haircut and well styled outfits...just to name a few.

Before long, he was telling his friends, "Make sure your wife is on Pinterest!" 

With his nod of approval, I continued to search Pinterest for new pins. It's been about four years (I think) since I first discovered this amazing thing, and, at last count, my personal Pinterest account had 25 different boards with 3.9K pins. 

When my friends and family ask, "Where did you get this recipe/idea/hairdo/etc.?", it's almost certain you'll hear me say, "Everything good comes from Pinterest!"

Flash forward to this spring...I realized Pintest is a great source of inspiration for SLPs! Let me tell you about it.

For years, I've used a two page printed information sheet when discussing diet textures with patients and their families, but one day, I found myself without it. I reached for my iPad and tapped to open the Pinterest app. I wanted to show this granddaughter that there were many more options for a mechanical soft breakfast than oatmeal. I remembered seeing a pin that featured a recipe for bacon covered in pancake batter. I encouraged her to get creative, and she was interested in hearing more.

Remembering my written list of foods, I did one search after the other and was able to show a wonderful variety of colorful photos depicting soft, easy to chew food options. The granddaughter loved it! I promised I would look for more pins and assured her I would keep her up to date on my latest finds.

That night, I opened a new Pinterest account for the professional me and added new boards:  soft mech breakfast, soft mech lunch and dinner, soft mech snacks and, since grandma was having trouble manipulating utensils, I added a board for finger foods.  I realized, I'm really on to something here!  Before long, I was suggesting patients and families follow me on Pinterest, letting them know that I had many pertinent and informative boards available for viewing. 

Over the summer, I ran into a little snafu with my professional account when it was renamed...all my pins were left behind. Ugh! Very slowly, I have begun to create similar boards with new pins, and all is good again.

Just a few weeks ago, I got a wild hair and decided to taking pinning to the next level:  I added the Pinterest browser button to my desktop computer. Whoa!  Following just a few simple steps, I'm not just re pinning, I am able to make my own pins!

I've included the link to the directions for adding the browser button if you're interested...just click here.

These days, when I'm doing research on a topic or looking for suggestions for family members on how to solve a particular problem, I can pin an article to one of my boards. This allows me to save the information for my future reference. Then, during a session, we can discuss the main points, and patients and caregivers are able to dig deeper by reading the article in entirety from my Pinterest board: Articles of Interest.

Here is a link to my Spontaneous Speech Pinterest account. Feel free to follow along as I add interesting new tid bits, and as always...happy pinning!

Pinterest...because I would rather learn how to crochet a flower than spy on somebody I barely know.