SLPs Wine and Cheese's Podcast

By Deborah Brooks and Maria Kotsonis

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Meet Deb and Maria. Two NYC Speech Pathologists giving practical speech therapy tips and tricks while enjoying wine and cheese.

Episode Date
Ep 16: #goals Part 1.

Deb and Maria drank a white sparkling wine by Andre Cellars Brut California. They paired the fizzy wine with a smooth Brie cheese. They came to the realization that wine and cheese pairings should be perfect opposites and bring out the best in each other. Maria and Deb assessed and created #goals for their podcast, themselves and each other. Maria has a #goal for more wine and cheese and Deb enthusiastically told listeners their coming plans for T-shirts, a booth and a banner for the ASHA Convention 2018.

Maria and Deb agreed that goal writing should be individualized and encompass the whole client. The overall goal of goal writing is to promote independence, improve quality of life and give clients skills to problem-solve and self-advocate. Goals should also be written as SMART goals and derived from an assessment. Deb and Maria then played "I have a goal for that" game where one provided a brief case study and the other gave a sample goal. Unfortunately, they didn't always remember to use the bell provided.

Deb and Maria described case studies based on a given disorder. They went into detail about different ways of writing and implementing the goals, taking data and breaking down the goals into short term objectives. Maria and Deb discussed goals for: phonology, AAC, articulation, hearing impairment, dysfluency and more.

As per the usual, Deb and Maria stated their quote and then unconventionally ended with their Tip and Trick segment. Since Deb changed the outline of the podcast, they ran out of time which is perfectly fine because...stay tuned for part 2 of our #goals episode series!

Aug 14, 2018
15 From Grad student to CF SLP

Here is our Season 2 debut! Deb and Maria welcomed their guest, Christina to the show. The trio drank a 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau Red Beaujolais wine. They paired it with a smooth and nutty Gruyére cheese. They also snacked on some cherries and fresh watermelon to stay cool in the summer heat. This was the first wine Deb didn't really like she voted "sink it", after drinking it of course. Maria truly enjoyed the wine and even believed it made her smarter, our guest Christina also voted "drink it". As an icebreaker they played Two Truths and Lie. Turns out Maria has danced on a Broadway stage, Deb did not play basketball and Christina's birthday is on the 4th of July. Deb, Maria and Christina realized they are the same horoscope sign...cheers to being a Cancer. 

They played the 20 Questions game where Deb and Maria asked Christina questions related to her childhood, undergrad and graduate career and being a clinical fellow (CF). Christina shared her experiences about applying to graduate school, taking the GRE, her research study and some insight about being a CF. Maria and Deb reminisced about their graduate school days and agreed with Christina's advice of being confident and having faith in yourself. 

At the halfway point, Deb and Maria answered a listener question and reminded listeners to follow the podcast on Instagram @slps_wine_and_cheese_pod or email us at: for further questions. 

Christina answered the remaining questions while Deb's voice grew more hoarse by the minute. Christina shared how Deb was her CF supervisor and reflected on their CF/supervisor relationship. This included monthly pizza meetings and a Glow and Grow running Google document. As per the usual, for their Tips and Tricks segment Deb, Maria and Christina gave helpful advice for therapy and paperwork management. Although the 3 SLPs have different backgrounds, experiences and personalities one theme was agreed upon: Believe in yourself and be confident. Most individuals don't know that you're new to the field, so be like a duck; stay calm on the surface even though underneath you are paddling fiercely to stay afloat. 

Aug 08, 2018
Ep 14: Back to Reality

Deb and Maria embraced the summer season by drinking a sweet Argentinian Rose Sol fa Soul 2016 and paired it with a salty feta & kalamata olives. Maria and Deb reminisced about their turning 30 festivities and agreed 'twas a time to be celebrated. Maria shared her experience in Greece and explained some similarities and differences within the field of speech pathology. Deb reflected on how her summer therapy sessions are going well.

Deb and Maria followed a "See-Do-Write" format for resuming work after the summer. Maria discussed how she organizes her caseload and interviews parents and related professionals. Deb gave Google docs major recognition and discussed how her lessons are based off a concept that she divides and subdivides. As per the usual, Deb and Maria shared their Tips and Tricks related to how they plan and organize their therapy sessions. After all it's back to life... back to reality. 

Aug 01, 2018
Ep 13 Our Favorite Things

In this bonus episode you get to know Maria and Deb much better because we discuss all of our favorite things. We also play a singing game because OBVI we love singing.

Jul 23, 2018
Ep 12: Dating Ft. Mike Recine

In this episode we are drinking Prosecco an Italian sparkling white wine paired with Brie cheese. Brie is a soft cow's-milk cheese named after Brie, the French region from which it originated. It is pale in color with a slight grayish tinge under a rind of white mould.

Everyone thought that the two paired fine. Deb thought it was good. Mike preferred to talk about other cheeses that weren't on the table. Maria liked the bubbliness of the wine and the smoothness of the cheese was a nice combo.

Mike votes SINK it. Maria and Deb vote DRINK it.

We concluded that Mike and Maria are passionate about food and Deb is passionate about speech therapy.

Then we decided to take a bit of a break from speech pathology and instead we decided to talk about dating.


Jul 16, 2018
Ep 11: Cognitive Flexibility

This is a special addition of SLPs More Water Please!

We are being cognitively flexible and not obsessing over adhering to an established routine!

What is cognitive flexibility?

Cognitive flexibility has been described as the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously.

Cognitive flexibility refers to the brain’s ability to transition from thinking about one concept to another. The quicker you are able to switch or “shift” your thinking from one dimension (e.g. color of an object) to another (e.g. shape of an object), the greater your level of cognitive flexibility.  

Shifting, or cognitive flexibility, is described as the ability to refocus attention to relevant stimuli (Diamond, 2006) and also simultaneously consider conflicting representations of information in order to execute goal-directed behavior (Jacques & Zelazo, 2005). Cognitive inflexibility is thought to manifest as perseveration on a prepotent response, which demonstrates an individual's difficulty or inability to shift to new representations (Zelazo et al., 2003). Young children show perseveration on shifting tasks by making consistent errors and showing difficulty in inhibiting a prepotent response (Zelazo et al., 2003). Inflexibility is most consistently observed in TD children under 3, with increases in shifting abilities occurring between 3 and 5 years. Perseveration is observed in individuals with a variety of disorders associated with deficits in frontal lobe functioning, such as traumatic brain injury and autism (Zelazo et al., 2003). 

Tell us what you think! Email us at and follow us on instagram @slps_wine_and_cheese_pod

Jul 09, 2018
Ep 10: Freedom of Speech

Happy 4th of July! Here is our Independence Day special where we drink Angry Orchard Hard Cider Rosé. No cheese was consumed at this time due to it being bikini season. However, we did describe different types of beer, SLPs beer and cheese?

Deb discussed her difficult experience with a coworker and her decision to work weekends over the summer. Maria checked in on her acceptance of her turning/being 30 years old. Together they discussed their pursuit of happiness and the benefits of solitude.

"It could all be gone tomorrow" so express gratitude, appreciation and live in the moment. Nothing is permanent, so being present, and accepting change, is the key to living your best life.


Jul 03, 2018
Ep 9: Theory of Mind

In this episode Deb and Maria discuss Theory of Mind and it's involvement in Speech Pathology.

1:27 Maria is feeling toasty.

We sipped on Colosi Nero D'avola 2016. Maria loved it! Both Deb and Maria voted drink it. It's from Sicily, Italy.

Nero d’Avola is one of the full-bodied wines of the world in the same boldness as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, and Syrah.

Primary flavors come from the grape variety itself

Secondary flavors come from winemaking and fermentation

Tertiary flavors come from aging (most typically from oak barrels or oxidation)

This wine pairs well with meat, shellfish, and aged cheese.

We ate manchego cheese and Deb also made some shrimp fra diavolo with Mike's famous Recine Brother's Tomato Sauce! YUM

We chatted about Schrödinger's cat:

Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects.

Here's the story: A cat is locked up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.

Finally we get to Theory of Mind: The theory that people have ideas, desires, and motivations that are diverging. Many people on the Autism spectrum often struggle to understand that other people have their own plans, thoughts, and points of view. This causes them to have difficulty understanding other people's beliefs, attitudes, and emotions. This impacts their ability to relate and communicate.

We also get into anxiety and neurotransmitters for some reason.

Then we get back on track with theory of mind and talk about false truth tests!

Listen in to find out how theory of mind can impact kids on your caseload in the classroom setting.


Jun 25, 2018
Ep 8: Autism Part III Ft. Mike Recine

Deb and Maria chat with comedian Mike Recine.

We drink Proseco paired with Brie Cheese and discuss what its like to have a sibling with Autism.

Please enjoy.

Jun 18, 2018
Ep 7: Autism Part II

Deb and Maria mixed it up and drank coffee and ate bacon egg and cheese while chatting about Autism! It's important to sometimes deviate from the norm and mix up the repetitiveness. Also, it was 10am.

Deb and Maria discussed Autism Spectrum Disorders in the school aged population and highlighted the importance of intrinsic motivation!

We explain what you'll SEE what you should DO and what you should WRITE #goals when working with these peeps.

Thank you to our listeners who helped us reach over 3,000 downloads in a month! Email us at we would like to hear your feedback. Follow us on Instagram at: @slps_wine_and_cheese_pod @deborahbrookscccslp @maria_kotsonisslp @colorinspeech

After the halfway point, Maria and Deb talked about the value of visuals!

We concluded the episode with sample goals for children with Autism in the school setting: asking and answering social questions, answering personal information questions, understanding other's belief's and emotions, and providing 3 salient attributes to describe pictured common objects.

Jun 11, 2018
Ep 6: Autism Part I

Deb and Maria drank Redwood Creek California Merlot from Frei Brothers Vineyard a Vintage 2008 (wow was it strong and made Deborah burp). We paired the merlot with white cheddar. The cheese helped soak up the strong alcoholic and intense taste. Maria voted "sink it" where Deb of course said "drink it."

Thank you to Pre-Care SLP for donating acoustic panels visit their website at

Deb and Maria discussed the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorders. We went over important questions to ask parents/caregivers, "red flags" and signs and symptoms of Autism. Deb talked about how she uses a box full of brushes to engage her client while Maria uses simple ol' bubbles.

Thank you to our listeners who helped us reach over 2,000 downloads in less than a month! Email us at we would like to hear your feedback. Follow us on Instagram at: @slps_wine_and_cheese_pod @deborahbrookscccslp @maria_kotsonisslp @colorinspeech

After the halfway point, Maria and Deb talked about their different perspectives about meditation, getting along with other individuals and both agreed they don't need other people's validation.

We concluded the episode with sample goals for children with Autism: using functional language, identifying family members, following directions and more! As usual we ended our show with our tips and tricks segment and our quote was "it's not a disability, it's a different ability".

Jun 06, 2018
Ep 5: Bilingualism Mom-isms

Deb and Maria welcomed their fellow grad pal, Megan Morales. The SJU (or STJU) alums drank Yellow Tail Red Sangria & paired it with Monterey Jack cheese. Monterey Jack cheese has Spanish roots, since we're going along with the Spanish theme, it's a fiesta!

Deb, Maria and Megan discussed grad school life and what they remembered about each other. They dove into their different perspectives of each other, grad school, and their CF positions. Megan discussed what it's like being of Puerto Rican descent and having a sibling with Autism.

Megan further discussed motherhood and having a husband (ok ok keep rubbing it in!) who is currently serving our country. She walked us through her very busy day of being a "single parent", part-time bilingual SLP evaluator and workout junkie. Megan gave us helpful insight about being a bilingual evaluator for early intervention and preschool aged children.

Follow our Instagrams @slps_wine_and_cheese_pod @maria_kotsonisslp @deborahbrookscccslp @mnmramos to stay connected! Also, don't forget to check out our Twitter @SLPswineandcheese or email us at:

Subscribe, comment and rate us on iTunes! We'd love to hear from our listeners. Thank you for helping us reach 1,000 downloads. Our winner of #SLPswineandcheese was announced and thank you to all who participated.

Last but not least, we shared our "tips and tricks" and ended with a quote from Philippians 4:6

Thanks for listening, Adios!

May 30, 2018
Ep 4: Assess the situation

Maria and Deb drank Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir California 2015 from the Private Selection. The even-bodied Pinot Noir had the perfect amount of fruitiness and acidity. We paired the wine with feta cheese. The saltiness of the feta enhanced the sweetness in the wine. Each brought out the best in each other.

Deborah and Maria went on to disucss the different types of assessments and further broke it down by client's age. Deborah discussed strategies to elicit a spontaneous sample. Maria explained some pros and cons of formal assessments across ages.  

#SLPSwineandcheese "Fun Friday on 5/25". Post your favorite picture of cheese (any kind of cheese) and use our hashtag. Follow @Maria_kotsonisslp and @deborahbrookscccslp on Instagram. Also, feel free to email us with any questions, recommendations, etc. at

Assess yourself before you wreck yourself. Take a look at "It didn't start with you" by Mark Wolymn. Let us know what you think about his take on "core language". Look inward and figure out your own feelings. As per the usual, we ended with our practical tips and tricks. 

*Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast: like, share and review

May 23, 2018
Ep 3: Perception and Phonology

Deb and Maria discuss the "Yanny vs. Laurel" debate and it's relation to speech science and perception. 

We drank Chateau Canteloup 2001 a Red Bordeaux and ate goat cheese (we get very French in this episode). Deborah didn't taste the acidity in the wine because of her lack of perception of tastes. 

"View every session like goat cheese", Deborah and Maria discussed evidence based therapy approaches targetting phonology, articulation and literacy. They explained the importance of a multi-modality approach in teaching clients phonology, articulation and appropriate motor speech patterns.

Also, Maria needs to stop perceiving the need to be right all the time.



May 18, 2018
Ep 2: Chat and Sip with SLP Toolkit

We had a great time hanging out with Sara and Lisa from SLP Toolkit!

We drank Wolffer Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from Long Island, NY and we ate Le Gruyere cheese from Switzerland. This was a delicious pairing!

We chat about SLP Toolkit, being an SLP in the school setting, life in Arizona vs New York, our lives in college and Grad school, cactuses/cacti, and much much more. 

Our ending quote was "Your mind will believe everything you tell it" so think postive thoughts! 

This episode is an informal info session where we learn about SLP issues and data tracking. We also have fun learning about eachother!

Also, Deb is going to work on not laughing into the mic. (sorry)

We hope you enjoy the show!! 

email us at

May 16, 2018
Ep 1: Introduction
Meet Deb and Maria. Two NYC SLPs give practical Speech Therapy tips and tricks while enjoying wine and cheese. 
May 09, 2018