Category: News

Time for a pep talk

We have spirit, Yes we do!! We have spirit, how ‘bout you?

By Rachel Betzen, M.S., CCC/SLP
Reflection written for weekly staff meeting and “rounds” Based on Kid President’s “Pep Talk”

It’s time for a pep talk.  Sometimes we all need a little motivation.  Sometimes we all need to rally our cheerleaders, huddle up with our team, make a game plan, lay out our moves, and just go for it.  Fall brings lots of changes and is a time of transition.  This change in seasons with the beautiful falling leaves brings other changes and challenges that happen internally.

Kids that struggle in school are finding out that it’s not getting any easier, and many of them feel like they are getting further behind.  Kids that struggle socially have their potential peers getting busier with sports, clubs, homework, and other demands on their time.  Parents that struggle to support these kids are becoming more stressed out about unfinished homework, challenging school projects, and worries over whether their child will be able to make it this year.  Fall can be a stressful time for kids that struggle.

In times of great need, there will be those who step up to the challenge, to see what they are really made of and really capable of.  We can’t expect these to be our children, not yet.  However, I believe that it is tremendously powerful for our kids to understand that they have the potential to become that kind of person.  They have the potential to become an inspiration for other kids who have the same challenges.  They won’t see it yet, and they may not even believe us, but we have to help them step back and look at the big picture.  They have the potential to be the one who will someday give this pep talk to others. They can be a hero, a leader, a friend.

In order for our kids to achieve this, they have to work through their challenges.  Kids with speech-language delays and learning differences have more than their fair share of challenges, that is for sure.  The increasing demands and expectations of schoolwork can easily overwhelm them, and they can get stuck in this feeling of overwhelm.  This is when they need a pep talk.  This is when they need to rally their cheerleaders and gather their team support. This is when they need to realize that this isn’t about a game or a competition, we really are all in this together, or at least we should be.  We can be amazing cheerleaders and inspire our children and their parents to be on the same team and rally for the same goal.  We all need a pep talk sometimes.  The most powerful pep talks of all, are the ones that inspire our kids to become an inspiration themselves.

Go team Go!!!

When Children Plant the Seeds

When Children Plant the Seeds

By Rachel Betzen, M.S., CCC/SLP

What if every child felt that he or she was:

  • Valued and Important
  • Supported as a student and teacher, able to learn and able to teach
  • Unique, a collaboration of culture, community and individual talents, strengths, and interests
  • Connected in overlapping circles of family and communities
  • Empowered to Plan and Write the next Chapter of their lives

AchievementThe School Archive Project was founded by Bill Betzen (my father in law)at Quintanilla Middle School in 2005 as a dropout prevention plan, and has grown significantly to include more students in both junior high and high school throughout the Dallas area.  The foundation for this growth sprouted from a simple, yet powerful truth: “A real focus on the future helps students understand why they should stay in school”.  Beyond this, future-focused children are more likely to develop skills which will serve them well throughout their lives, in spite of major obstacles such as poverty.  Planting seeds builds the patience and foresight required to plan for their futures.

What is this program “tapping into” for these children, and how can we take these lessons and apply them as part of “whole child intervention speech-language therapy”?  When longer-term thinking becomes connected to shorter-term behaviors, our students become aware of how their behavior affects their future development of skills needed to meet long term goals.  They can more clearly delineate how their day-to-day work brings them closer to, or farther away from, the path they want, and the future that they and their families wish for them.

Beyond the affirmations of value given from their families and teachers, these students are building Executive Function skills important for higher level education and personal development.  Goal directed persistence is both a product of, and an outcome of, grit.  This encourages a lot of Planning and Prioritization of what is really needed to get the job done.  Students have to contend with Emotional Control when things get tough, and develop enough self-awareness for Response Inhibition when things really get out of control.  Revisiting progress often will help children begin to self-evaluate and build their Metacognition skills as they learn to check-in with all the little steps along the way.

When children plant the seeds we give them permission to both flourish and fail.  It’s not all about grades when failure is an accepted part of the learning process, within and beyond school.  The main risks of failure at school are with Timing and Dosage- as kids have to be able to work through the process quickly enough to keep up with their grades, and overdoses of failure really put kids at risk for getting far behind and getting into trouble.

Planting seeds is both personal and for the greater good.  It requires planning and laying out our intentions, but also encourages experimentation, collaboration, and building on hopes and dreams, for today and tomorrow.  When children plant the seeds, they are empowered to create their own destiny, as they Plan and Write the next Chapter of their lives.

Promise House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2015

Editorial Contacts:
Stephen Betzen, Office Manager, (214) 646-1570, sbetzen@dallasreading.com
Cliff Pearson, Communications Coordinator, (214) 646-1570, cpearson@dallasreading.com

Giving Tree Raises $1,300 for Promise House

Speech therapy clinic raises funds for at-risk and homeless youth


(DALLAS, Dec. 18, 2015)
–With Christmas almost here, Dallas Reading and Language Services concludes their Giving Tree fundraising drive with $1,300 having been raised for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth in Dallas. All the cash and credit card donations received will be sent to Promise House.

From Dec. 1, 2015 until Dec. 19, 2015, visitors to the clinic had an opportunity to take a paper ornament from the Giving Tree marked with $2, $5, $10, $20, $25, $50, $75, or $100. By making a cash or credit card donation in the amount listed on the ornament, the donor then received a wooden ornament to decorate and to replace the paper ornaments.

“It has really been a joy for our team to assist Promise House with their efforts to help young people” said Stephen Betzen, office manager of Dallas Reading and Language Services. “The holiday season really is about giving and Promise House provides such a wonderful service to our community.”

Dallas Reading and Language Services has been a private practice clinic providing speech-language therapy and reading programs to children aged 3-18 years in North Texas since their founding in 2005. They are unique among North Texas speech therapy and language service providers for their focus on working with lower socio-economic families, as well as middle class and higher income families.

About Promise House

Promise House embraces homeless, runaway and at-risk youth, giving them needed support, encouragement and hope to live a better life. Their programs cover the vital needs of youth, including emergency shelter, transitional living, pregnant and parenting teen services, individual, group and family counseling, street outreach and educational intervention. Promise House is dedicated to providing the strength, stability and hope that youth need today to fulfill their promise for a healthy, productive and self-sufficient tomorrow. Since 1984, Promise House has had an open door 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to children, teens and families in crisis serving over 70,000 youth and families in North Texas.

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Dallas Reading and Language Services is a provider of speech-language therapy and reading services to the Dallas community, employing licensed Speech-Language Pathologists and SLP Assistants.

In the News

December 2, 2015

“Health Media Now” – Rachel Betzen Radio Talk Show Interview

Our very own Rachel Betzen was the expert guest on the Internet Radio Talk Show “Health Media Now” hosted by award-winning author Denise Messenger.

Rachel discussed how reading and language relate to each other and what parents need to know about their child’s reading and language development.

To listen to the archived radio interview, click the link above.

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