Welcome and About Me

Hi, I'm Kristen Morita, the speech-language pathologist serving Endeavour Elementary School. On this page you can find helpful speech and language tips for home, general information about speech-language pathologists, ways to get in contact with me, and more!

A little about me: I am originally from California, and I received my master's degree from San Diego State University. I have a strong background in working with children who speak multiple languages, speech disorders (e.g. articulation disorders, dysarthria), and in implementing treatment through play and natural contexts. This is my first year serving Endeavour Elementary! I am excited to get to know you all!

Supporting Speech and Language at Home

Hi Parents! During our school closure I will be posting weekly resources to help support speech and language learning at home. Of course, each child has unique needs, so please feel free to email me with specific questions about how to support your child's speech and language development during this time.  

Language:


Articulation:

Social Skills:

Stuttering:

Class Work and Home Assignments

  • March 10 - I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! Are you working on spatial awareness or body orientation with your child? Instead of verbally reminding your child how to orient their body or where to place their things, consider using washi tape as outlines for where they should be placed. For example, you can tape an X on the ground where they should be sitting or where to place their items when they come home from school.
  • February 25 - Are you a parent of a child who stutters? Check out Washington's National Stuttering Association chapters for resources on groups that meet as well as valuable information about stuttering and speech therapy. https://westutter.org/find-nsa-meeting-near/washington/
  • February 4 - Happy February! This is a great month to be talking about feelings. do2learn.com has AMAZING free resources, including emotions flashcards and a feelings color wheel plus dictionary. This is a great opportunity to work on social skills and vocabulary building, by highlighting names of emotions beyond just "happy," "sad," or "mad."
  • January 16 - Holy snow! Changes in scenery are a great time to practice new vocabulary (snow, snowman, icicles, snowballs, freezing, chilly, frosty, etc.). If you're trying to introduce a new vocabulary word, it's helpful to repeat it several times and use it in sentences as examples.
  • January 7 - Happy New Year! After a break, it can be a good idea to review social expectations for school. Practice having your child ask and answer questions about what they did during their winter break. You can also work on identifying feelings regarding coming back to school; try to use vocabulary other than "sad" or "happy" (e.g. excited, frustrated, disappointed, enthusiastic, anxious, optimistic, etc.)
  • December 17 - Social Skills: Holidays can be an overwhelming time! You may want to have "practice gifts" to open where you have your child practice having appropriate expectations for gifts, looking at the gift giver, and saying "thank you." Talk about how it feels to give and receive gifts.
  • December 3 - Articulation game: Write out six words and assign each word a number 1-6. Roll two dice. The first dice tells you what word to say and the second dice tells you how many times to say it!
  • November 7 - Language tip: Children learn grammar best when it's in a natural context. Instead of using flashcards and drills, try to practice while reading a book. Ask your child to read a story to you. If you notice they use incorrect grammar in their sentences, repeat the sentence back to them correctly as a model.
  • October 10 - Language game: Play "I spy" while looking at picture books to work on word finding. Give clues to an object's function or appearance and have your child guess the word. Try to use less common words and objects to build vocabulary. Example:  "I spy something heavy that you find on a boat" - Answer: "Anchor"
  • October 8 - Social skills tip: Read stories with your child and pause on each page to identify what each character is thinking or feeling. Talk about times in real life that you have felt that way. We will be reading Howard B. Wigglebottom Learn to Listen to talk about expected behaviors in listening week.
  • September 19 - If your child is working on articulation, your child should have received a folder for speech homework. SPEECH TIP: Practice sounds at home but ONLY practice what they are successful at. In other words, if your child has a hard time saying "rabbit," don't ask them to say rabbit over and over again, as it will reinforce the wrong way of saying it. However, if they can say the "r" sound, you can ask them to repeat and practice just that sound.
Concerned about Communication?

Getting Started: If you have concerns about your child's speech and language development you can start by discussing your concerns with your child's teacher. Regardless of special education status, I am still available to answer your questions by email or phone. 

Guidance Team and Teacher Support Team (TST):  Students are brought to the school TST when a teacher or a parent has a concern about a student.  Concerns can be in the areas of academics, behavior, social development, motor skill development, and/or communication.  Team members generally include parents/guardians, teachers,  and other school staff such as the principal, special education teacher, school psychologist, speech/language pathologist, and school counselor.  If needed, the school nurse and/or occupational therapist also attend.  The purpose of the TST meeting is to brainstorm ways to support the student.  The Guidance Team gathers when the decision of initiating a special education evaluation is an option for the student.

Evaluation Group:   Members of the Evaluation Group work with students who are enrolled in Special Education.  In addition, students who have been brought to Guidance Team may be referred to the Evaluation Group to consider testing for possible Special Education eligibility.  Team members generally include parents/guardians, and school staff such as the school psychologist, special education teacher, and/or the speech/language pathologist.   Other specialists are included as needed.

 

SLP Credentials

Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) are required to have a Master's Degree and an Educational Staff Associate (ESA) state certificate. Most of the SLPs in the ISD also hold their Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from their national professional organization, the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Certification through ASHA requires an additional year of supervised clinical practice beyond the Master's degree. Many SLPs in the ISD also have state licensure through the Department of Health. To maintain credentials, SLPs routinely take continuing education classes.