Hi, I'm Chris Wenger
High School SLP | National Speaker | Author
I WAS STRUGGLING TO CONSISTENTLY FIND ENGAGING MATERIALS
THERE WERE DECENT MATERIALS,
BUT I NEVER ACTUALLY LOVED ANY OF IT
Truth: I have spent tons of money on materials, only to find that my high school students still had difficulties staying engaged. My students that required more supports were lost, and my students in honors classes would say "I already know this stuff" or would straight up find it boring.
Taking the evidence-based practice and research, I decided to create my own activities and materials that were engaging, appropriate for older students, and something that I loved doing during speech as well. If I didn’t love it, why would my students?
THE SPARK OF CREATIVITY ALL STARTED WHEN I WAS A KID
LET'S BACK UP A LITTLE,
TO WHEN I WAS A KID
Growing up, I was surrounded by educators. Both of my parents were in education, which gave me many examples of how to learn through multiple approaches. My mom is an artist and a musician, and my dad played sports his entire life. I picked up on those skills early in life and it would later prove itself to be extremely beneficial to me as a speech pathologist.
MY GLORY DAYS OF HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE
In high school, I played soccer and baseball. My junior year I started a band and went on tour as a singer/guitarist. Following high school, I realized that the path of being a successful rockstar was more difficult than I had anticipated, so at that point I pursued education. During that time, I would substitute my dad’s PE class and fall in love with helping others. He had a combination class or students with special needs and that was what sparked the fuel.
THE FUEL FOR BECOMING A SPEECH PATHOLGOIST
My initial career was teaching high school students with mild/moderate disabilities. In year 3, I decided I wanted to work with smaller groups of students who had difficulties making friends. This was definitely my area or expertise and passion. My ability to understand the minds of those on the spectrum, to help students interact with their classmates, to support their social needs in speech, has been the fuel for the creation of Speech Dude.
EVOLUTION OF SPEECH DUDE
I want each therapy session to always have a spark to it. My goal is not to crank out a million Teachers Pay Teachers activities. Quality of the activities and the engagement of the students will always be my #1 priority!!!!