The Great "Freebie" Dilemma

I'm at a crossroads.

First of all, I'm not here to sell anything. I think it's fantastic that so many SLPs have found a great resource in sites such as Teachers Pay Teachers. The truth is, I don't use it. It's not that I don't like it (so many cute activities! so visually appealing!) I just haven't found it to be very applicable to my practice. For a long time, I was in early childhood, all of my therapy was push-in, and I was rarely one-on-one for longer than five minutes. Now, my setting and population are just very different from the typical TPT crowd.

Plus, I love making my own stuff.

When I initially started this blog, I thought, "I'm making all of these materials for my students and my coworkers ask me all the time if they can use them too. Why not share the things I make with everyone and maybe I can make someone else's life a little easier? Maybe I can help more kids." After all, there's nothing efficient about always reinventing the wheel. Unfortunately, it's not always that simple.

I make things that are practical and useful to me in my practice. I do it because I'm a perfectionist and I need things to be a certain way and I do it because it feeds my passion for being artistic. My brain just works that way and I realize that not everyone is so inclined. I do it because I can customize things for each of my students and I do it because they enjoy it. However, I am incredibly overwhelmed by all of the legal issues associated with sharing content, namely images. For me, purchasing clipart is just not practical. I already own Boardmaker, I'm not interested in selling my materials for profit, and eventually the cost and time adds up. My students now are mostly over thirteen, male, and on the autism spectrum. Let's be real: they're not interested in cute clipart, and it's not appropriate.

Do you see my dilemma?

This, coupled with some personal change (head back one post), is the reason that I stepped away from blogging for several months. I have so much respect for all of the SLP bloggers out there doing the TPT thing (I may not purchase, but I read regularly!) and I think I have unique ideas and knowledge to contribute. I want to keep blogging. I'm just not sure at this point whether/how I can share the materials that I make to support those ideas.

I would love to hear your thoughts. How can we help each other to help kids?


  1. This makes me so sad! I have contemplated posting a comment on a your blog for a while not but did not think that it was active any longer. Your blog has been one of my favorite blogs for speech therapy. I check your blog weekly to see if you ever post new ideas because they are so beneficial to my kiddos. I work in the preschool setting and I felt totally connected to you and your activities and posts! Everything that you posted applied to my caseload and I felt a new spark of creativity when I really felt like I was in a funk! I truly feel our field needs those creative juices to help impact our students. I understand that your caseload has changed and that you are no longer working with preschoolers, but I really do love your work! I have printed all of your free activities and use them on a weekly basis. My kids love them and ask for them each time I see them. Sad to see you stop posting, but understand where you are coming from. Best of luck!

    1. Thank you so much! I love to hear that I've helped someone - keep stopping by. I think I'll be back :)

  2. Even if you don't/can't share materials, I think a lot of people would still love reading about your ideas! Heck, a lot of times when I read a blog post, the materials specifically may not be of use with my caseload, but I can tweak the ideas to fit! I also really like just getting ideas that may not necessarily mean printing things out. I don't think you should stop blogging just because you may not be able to share materials! If you have great ideas, put them out there! People will still read! I think lots of people would LOVE ideas for your new population! Best of luck to you in your new adventure!

  3. I understand your reservations. Personally what I love the most (but don't see enough, in real life & online), is just talking about the kids we see & the stuff we do. Everyone does things slightly differently & I think we sometimes get a bit nervous that someone will say we should have done it a different/"better" way... But since we love the kids we see & the things we do, why not just say "hey today I saw an 11 year old who needs help initiating and ending interactions, this is how we worked on it... Sometimes other things have worked eg one time I tried X, what did you think of Y". Does that sound like something you are interested in too?

  4. I just found your blog and really appreciate your free content. I'm just returning to pediatrics after a long stint working with adults and I don't have the $ or the time to create everything from scratch. Free content is so amazing and it helps other speechies from having to reinvent the wheel, but I totally understand where you are coming from. I don't know all of the legal ramifications of sharing things using clipart that wasn't purchased for re-sale, but I do know that most of us have had to use clipart at one time or another to create cards for our kids. We don't make much, and we have to individually tailor each session for each child - so free material and shared material are always so appreciated!!! Thanks for what you were able to provide and I hope you are able to continue!

  5. Nice article, thanks for the information. You give me some idea's. I will bookmark for next reference.

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic.

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  7. Wow interesting! !!first i was read this article i was amaze,hope many readers you may help.. Goodluck!!

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  8. Very interesting blog post, Thanks for the informative post provided.

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