Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Making Therapy Meaningful to the Child

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about communicating with parents and how important it is. In that post I mainly focused on communication about therapy times, dates, progress, and behavior. But there is something even more important that we need to discuss with our students' caregivers. Their interests. Their family members' names. Their best friends. Their pets. Favorite TV shows. Find out everything you can about that child and what he/she sees and talks about on a daily basis. All too often I find myself grabbing the iPad to work on target articulation words and thinking to myself, how many times will this child use the word "canary" outside of this room? Not to knock the iPad apps, I love them as practice tools, but probably half of the words provided, your student won't use outside of the speech room. It's time to roll up your sleeves and do a little interviewing!
This takes me back to a situation that happened to me a few years ago.  I was talking with a parent about her child and her child's progress in speech over the year. Let's call her, "Miranda." Miranda had been in speech for about a year. We were working on the same sounds for the entire year and she had made very little progress during this time. I knew she had made little progress, but when you hear those words come out of a parent's mouth, it stings a little. Miranda had goals for the "sh" "ch" and "dz" sounds. In all honesty, I had given up on the "dz" sound for the time being because I could barely get Miranda to even imitate the sound. That was until speaking with Miranda's mother! When speaking with the parent, I learned that Miranda's family included: Jay, Javarian, Janiya, RJ, and Jackie. Oh boy! I had no idea how important working on those "dz" sounds were. No wonder her mother saw no progress when she is hearing these names produced wrong all day, everyday!
Now I frequently ask parents for an updated list of words the child says at home but has a had time pronouncing. If you can't get in touch with the parent, that's ok! Talk to the child. Working on the names of PJ Masks characters is so much more meaningful in therapy when your student pretends to be Owlette at home with her brothers! Progress will seem to happen quicker because this kids are working on words they use frequently. Not to mention, therapy will be much more fun when we are working on the names of classmates and favorite restaurants! So take the time and dig a little deeper. I promise it will be worth it!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Craftivities!

Today is the day, it is officially summer! It has felt hot enough to be summer for weeks now so the beach and popsicle themed activities have already been in heavy rotation. I love letting my students get hands on with activities while we work on their goals, so I created some open-ended printables with a summer theme that everyone can use!
Last week I used these sheets to target articulation goals. I printed off a few sound worksheets from Mommy Speech Therapy and let my students cut and glue target words on the page as they worked on their individual goals. Some simply said the word and others made up sentences. 
 Since the pages aren't labeled, you can use them to target almost any goal. And each child in a group can use the same sheet even if they are working on different goals. This would be a great activity for speech centers!
 I have also used this sheet to target synonyms, antonyms, verbs, descriptive words, and following directions. After my students completed them, I sent the sheets home for homework!
 You can download a copy of these  
Open Ended Summer Craftivities in my TpT store, here!