The posts you read here are designed to highlight and substantiate the issues presented. Under Links you can find connections to relevant material. You can go through the archives for recent and past posts. Expect to see minor changes in old posts to improve flow and accuracy. Corrections of content and form are welcomed. Views expressed are only my own.


If you are coming by Google and read only one page, you will miss the themes that naturally develop from extended inquiry. Look around and feel free to comment. Try to SEARCH by key word for topics of interest.


We support fair use doctrine.  The rule of thumb is for opinions to be connected to my personal experiences, including direct observation, the sense of the literature on any given topic, and one or more supporting sources where possible.

“cf.” is used for internal reference to other posts that follow or support a particular theme. The posts marked “solutions” provide assorted ideas about reducing misidentification. Entries in a series are numbered.  We use the numbering to track related posts.


From time to time links must be repaired. Most posts cover narrow topics so open searches will also turn up mentioned materials.  Some sites purge their posts, retitle, or relocate. In many cases we give the URL in the post for a permanent record, and sometimes work in active links.

“Speech pathology,” “speech-language pathology,” and “speech therapy” are used interchangeably because of how people search on the internet.  “Communication disorders” is preferred scientifically but it is not something typically used on the internet.  We use “overidentification” as one word, recognizing “over-identification” can discover a different sort of website material.


We continue to explore different WordPress “themes” for style, ease of navigation and attractiveness. We want bold type (font style), a fast-loading design and good pieces of content. Important is an archival listing on the front page so visitors can research past posts easily.  Many good posts without catchy descriptions can get buried.  Sometimes we repost these items for improved attention.

WordPress continues to add features adding more flexibility: “We’re always thinking about ways to help you better promote and share your blog content with the world, and the new sharing buttons we’ve just released are great tools to help you get the word out. The buttons—which support sharing via email, Blogger, Google Buzz, Twitter, and Facebook—can be placed under each blog post where your readers will easily see them.”  However, we do not employ whistles and bells unless they improve content and readability.


There is an ethnographic or qualitative research viewpoint brought to bear on widely scattered and disconnected internet material.  Some of the material is academic and represented in journal articles.  Unfortunately, there is a great deal of proprietary material on the internet, limiting access.

Hence topics evolve across posts where there are “gaps” of knowledge, and these topics surface on their own.  For example, the history of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is sketchy at best.  For school SLPs to understand their profession, they need to know how their association came into being and how it formulated public policy definitions of the profession.  One must infer first and evolved tenets giving us what we have today.  In the middle of the 20th Century experts often said, “We are a very young profession.”  But can one say now we are an “old” or mature professional now?  How did we get here?

Thus navigation is partly heuristic as linguists say about language discoveries where nothing much is known.  “Over-identification” is one topic where there are surprisingly few articles.  Yet “disproportionality” is more widely discussed.  There is a subtle parsing of two related concepts.


We continue to review posts and statements made therein.  The general rule is statement accuracy should depend on direct personal experience plus one or more confirming sources.  When new source material is  found, qualifications are added accordingly.  Overriding is the thematic structure of all posts.  For example, when one finds statements about the misidentification of American black school children there are data plus historical facts forming a pattern within the culture.  When one points out shifting special education category frequencies it is against the historical facts of efforts by Congress to rework the category system to reduce stigmatization, such as when poor children were being misplaced in the mental retardation category.

We do not take the journalist point of view which is to balance opinions.  Our policy direction favors reducing the overidentification of non-disabled school children through well-formed regulations and accurate assessment.

NPR recently carried a story indicating internet surveys can uncover public information not otherwise available.  The number of visits to medical websites can be taken as an indication a developing epidemic before health departments can detect them and report.

We must all be the keepers of the light: “Don’t needlessly place children in special education!”

Questions and Colleagues

A colleague asks how one can embrace such a wide range of topics.  One starts where one can, and so, develops a theme.  When the opportunity arises, side points can be recorded and later developed for connections of various kinds.  It takes time to integrate thoughts and information, but it happens as you go along.

September, 2014

In 2008, I experimented with other styles of writing, less linear, because the style of thinking for qualitative research requires something different. I submitted a paper to a journal. One reviewer said I should seek help with my writing (and you may agree), and I should buy a APA style book. It was good feedback. I concluded I needed to switch to blog writing and let it all be whatever it is. There is a lot of social control in academic research which has little to do with knowledge development.

I see as I look back at posts some excellent,some are wondering and self-ending. I have stayed with the method for discipline. Now it is more rewarding to finally answer questions about my profession and how public relations holds back progress. PC speech.

I give myself credit for persistence under all conditions…… writing in hotel rooms, coffee places, airports and guest rooms. No romance in all of this. Just an interest in answering a question about the failure of my professional organization to serve school SLPs. But in the process I have learned a great deal about public policy and politics.

My days in Paris were a mix of walking the city and resting on my bed to write a post. There were good times in Paris and sad times in Paris. It did help me understand the layers.

In 1994 we started an ethnography group meeting at ASHA. There was interest and some research promoted. I wrote in this period a book chapter on speech therapy discourse. There was no interest in it in my profession but it did receive attention in other fields. However, it was an excellent directional study even though I seem to be the only one who knows it.

Ego comes in. I would like to be remembered as a nice man who explored interesting ideas. But a part of me wants to say things candidly. So the “wonderful awards” do not roll in. Good original work in my field tends to get you in trouble saving the interests of a few at the margins.

Now I see everything. I see how ASHA is.

Here is a picture of my friend from Lakeside, Arizona where I enjoyed learning about school practice.

Mr. Chang, swan-goose and friend, Lakeside, Arizona

Mr. Chang, swan-goose and friend, Lakeside, Arizona

June, 2015

We now do declare the national curriculum for speech-language pathology is a mess. We do so with a better understanding of how this situation evolved. The details need to be worked out. Right now two points are evident:

1. The Board of Directors is responsible, fully.

2. The prevailing curriculum model is wrong.

Finally seeing a simple answer — no matter what the issue the BOD must address it — is helpful. As to the national curriculum, that matter is more complicated. However, we have the solution at hand.

The Logic of F. de Saussure’s Theory of Language
Panagos, John M.
Acta Symbolica, 3, 1, 50-52, Spr 72


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