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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Speech Therapy Oops!

Today, Tracy from Gold Country SLP is going to share her Speech Therapy Oops with you!


Thank you to my friend Karen, The Pedi Speechie for suggesting this topic and hosting those of us who are brave enough to talk about mistakes made during speech therapy sessions. No one is perfect--we all make mistakes! 



Who has heard of the game Apples to Apples? It's a lot of fun right? Great for communication, right? Yes. Well, maybe. There is a version of the game called Apples to Apples, Big Picture. It is a wordless, picture version of the game. Sounded great to me. I ordered it and decided to try it out with my sixth grade fluency student. We needed something new for therapy.

My student was very excited to try the new game. I dealt the cards. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, each player has a "hand" of picture cards and there is a separate deck of word definition cards. One player flips over a definition card and each player tries to find the picture card in their hand that most closely matches the definition. The person whose card most closely matches the word given, wins the round.





We played a couple of rounds, then a new round was dealt. My student had an odd look on his face when he picked up his cards. I asked him, "What is wrong?" He showed me one of his cards. It was an odd picture and I wondered what else was in this deck of cards! I stopped the game and set it aside. 

After he left, I went through every single one of the 463 cards and found several that I thought were inappropriate for kids. Keep in mind that this game is advertised for families and kids as young as seven! Here are some more examples of what I found. 

A broken mannequin in a garbage can? How is that appropriate for young kids? A vulture flying with a skull in its talons? Disturbing. A face wrapped completely in gauze with a hat and coat? Unsettling.



I pulled out about 35-40 cards that, in my opinion, were not appropriate for children. Having said that, there IS a silver lining. While some of the pictures were best removed, what was left were over 400 photos that are GREAT for therapy with kids! The remaining photos are multi-cultural, show occupations, actions, animals, geographical landmarks from all over the world as well as cultural items. 





Additionally, there are photos depicting problem solving situations as well as determining what another person might be thinking. Perfect for use with students who need practice with those skills.



Finally, there are many pictures showing a variety of expressions. These are GREAT for identifying and describing emotions. 




Taking an "oops" and turning it into a "win" is always a great thing! 







Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Speech Therapy OOPS!

We've all been there.

Maybe you spent hours planning the "perfect" therapy idea, and it just blew up in your face.

Maybe one your students reminded you, in case you forgot, that you always need to stay on your toes.

Even the most experienced SLP has an "oops" moment from time to time. I'll start by sharing one of mine.

I was a new graduate and working my CFY position. I was working in an outpatient setting, and had a patient scheduled who had already had an eval completed. As is usually the case, instead of the evaluation being mailed in beforehand, I had a whole 30 seconds to read up on the patient while also doing a meet and greet.
I saw he had a target to produce /s/ words, so I thought, "Great! I actually have materials for this!" (This was in my pre-TPT days, when I barely knew how to do anything on my computer beyond online shopping.)
We sat down, I let him pick out a game, and I explained to him that he was to say three words before each turn. My plan was really to do my own informal assessment of his speech while we played and talked. His mom smiled.
The first target word I chose for him to repeat? Sit.
Never, never, never choose this word, with your child who has a lateral lisp.
That is the lesson I learned that day. Mom and I both turned beet red. I said, "Oh... here, let's try the next one!" He continued to lateralize each phoneme until it was game time.
Looking back, this incident may have been what prompted me to take continuing education in Orofacial Myology. But that's a whole different blog post.
Be sure to check back next week, because Tracy from Gold Country SLP is going to share her #SpeechTherapyOops with you.
If you are an SLP blogger/ TPT seller and you'd like to guest blog and share your "Speech Therapy Oops" story, please contact me!

Monday, September 21, 2015

AAC & Core Vocabulary {Playing with a Toy Toaster}

Using core vocabulary with AAC users during your speech therapy session is an efficient and simple way to help build language in emergent communicators.

Since core vocabulary is the most frequently used vocabulary in our language, it is wonderful because it can be used during ANY activity throughout the day.

I have a number of students on my caseload who rely on AAC to communicate.
I'd love to share a few simple ways that I use AAC during my therapy sessions.

In case you are wondering, I do have some students using the LAMP app, and it was therefore simple to show you pictures with this communication system paired with an activity as an example. Please note, I am not an employee of Prentke-Romich Company (PRC) and am not receiving financial reward for writing about them or their products/ training in my post. It is a wonderful app and in my opinion, very much worth checking out- but again, this post is not meant to promote any single communication system. So, not matter what aided (i.e. picture visuals, communication board, or communication device) or unaided (i.e. signing) method your student or child is using, this article will hopefully offer some insight into how I would use core vocabulary with a specific activity.

One of my favorite toys that I've picked up- and I mean, EVER- for use in speech therapy is my toy toaster.

I snagged this one at Wal-mart for about $5. I had no idea at this time what a hit this would be!
I soon learned that this toaster is the PERFECT way to both model and help my students learn to use core vocabulary.

I usually start off by offering my student two choices between activities. Most of my kids indicate which motivating activity they would prefer via pointing or eye gaze.

Once they have indicated they would like to play with the toaster, I say something like, "Oh, you want to PLAY with the toaster. Let's PLAY." I then model the word "play" on the device, and show the child how to access the vocabulary as well.



Next, I explain to the child how we "WANT" to put bread in the toaster...



I then say, "Now it's time to put the bread IN. Look! Bread in! In the toaster!" I place the bread in the toaster to demonstrate. I then take it out, and let the child place the bread in the toaster, and help them to say the target vocabulary as well.



Next, the child can request "more" bread to put "in" the toaster...


I then physically show them how I am going to push the lever on the toaster "down". I say something like, "DOWN. We need to put bread DOWN." I both model and show them the use of the word. I then help the child say the word "down" using their communication system, and they can immediately see the meaning of the word as we push the bread or lever "down" together.



We of course discuss it while we "turn" the dial on the toaster...



...and when the bread comes up, I immediately show the child how to say "up". (Oh, and for double the fun- I also have them say "up" one more time, and I jump UP in the air. This might depend on how much caffeine you've had that day, but the kids usually enjoy it! Sorry, no pictures of this.)

One of my kiddos shocked me the other day by spontaneously selecting "OUT" after she pulled the bread back out of the toaster. YES!!!



Once we've finished, I both model and help the child say "finished"- or "more", if they'd like to start this super-fun activity again.
Hopefully this post provided you with a few quick and simple ideas on how to model core vocabulary and use AAC during play! You of course might need to modify- perhaps you might want to teach only "more" or "finished", or "in" or "out". Just remember, AAC should provide your student with a simple, efficient way to communicate!

Please be sure to check back soon for some more "Oh-so-simple" AAC ideas!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Talk Like Pirate Day Linky

Talk Like a Pirate Week is quickly approaching, and many SLPs ARRRRRR going to want to utilize this amazing theme in their speech therapy sessions.
Thankfully, my friend Tracy over at Gold Country SLP is hosting this amazing linky party. I'm pretty pumped to join in!

Lots of SLP TPT sellers and bloggers are walking the plank participating in this linky! Be sure to stop back and check out some more great pirate-themed products!
First off, I need to tell you about my Ahoy! Following Directions with Embedded Concepts packet.
It's packed with pirates and adventure. Oh, and it also provides you with ways to target following directions with concepts such as inclusion (all, and, all but one), sequence (first, second, middle, last), location (top, bottom, between, next to) & temporal (before, after, then, at the same time), and you can do it all while talking in a pirate voice, and, if you so desire, while wearing an eye patch. But no big deal.

One buyer left this review: "Perfect for talk like a pirate day and to use during preschool pirate week."
Another buyer said: "Great product! It's a little thing, but I love the bright gold border...so eye catching and great for the pirate themed product. The activities are wonderful too!"
Many SLPs have left feedback telling me that they were able to make this packet "no prep" by simply using it on their iPads.
It's my best-selling product in my TPT store. Shiver me timbers! I know you'll love it. You can buy it here, no quarter given.

Next, I need to tell you about Tracy's Pirate Talk Awesome Articulation. Yarr, you'll love this! It looks so fun. I have some of her other "awesome articulation" packets. They. are. the. best.

You'll also want to check out my friend Lyndsey's An Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish! Book Companion. Lyndsey's TPT and blog is Speech to the Core.
Her products are so thorough, I know this one would be a hit in your therapy room!

Panda Speech has this Parrot/ Pirate Positional Resource
that looks fantastic!
From Peachie Speechie, you can snag Pirate Wh- Questions! My kids love dot markers!

Last but not least... although we speechies be language specialists, you might want to check out www.speakpirate.com to transform all of your grammatically-correct selves in true pirates.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Speech Therapy Room Decor

Alright, I am finally ready to show you all what my Speech Room looks like!
Step right on in for the grand tour of speech:

This school year, I decided to go with a green, silver and black color theme. Okay, fine... a green, silver, black and SPARKLE color theme. By the time I had finished hanging up all of my glitter ribbon and my glitter name desk magnets, there was pretty much glitter everywhere.
I made the "Speech Therapy" banner hanging down over my board (okay... I bought a do-it-yourself kit at Pat Catan's, and used my mother-in-law's white sticker letters).
The awesome"I Can" bulletin board I purchased from Natalie Snyders on TPT here. I surrounded it with sparkling (duh) silver ribbon and green and white chevron ribbon.
Here is another view of the "I Can" Bulletin Board and my "Speech Therapy" banner...


Here is a picture of my other bulletin board. I like to think that I have a special talent for choosing the nerdiest word puns possible...

And last, here is the picture of the "Everything Tub" that you NEED at your work station. This tub is for you, SLPs. I keep everything in it that I use while working with students, such as: a visual timer, a dry erase board, dry erase markers, pens, dice, highlighters, sticky notes... you name it, it's probably in there!

Hopefully you've enjoyed this stunning visual tour of my Speech Therapy Room ;-)!
Thank you for stopping by! Please make sure to follow my blog with Bloglovin, and if you haven't already, make sure to follow me on TPT!