Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Multiple Meaning Words

Hello!  Multiple meaning words can be so confusing for kids with a language impairment.  They finally figure out the meaning of a word and then they  hear it used another way.  "What?!? How can you paint another coat on the wall?  I don't see any coats!"  Here are my favorite activities to help kids understand that one word may have two (or even more!) meanings: 

1. Read The King Who Rained by Fred Gwynne.  Discuss the multiple meaning words used in this book.  This also elicits a great conversation about the difference between multiple meaning words and idioms since both are used. 

2. Multiple Meaning Word Match-up- This is the easiest lesson to prepare and the one the kids seem to enjoy the most.  All you have to do is choose multiple meaning words based on your student's ability level.   Cut out the words and definitions.  The kids have to match 2 definitions to 1 word.  To make this "game" easier, put out less choices.  I used this website to find my ability level words. 

3. TV411 Have you all discovered TV411?  It has excellent lessons that are intended for an older audience.  It works perfect for middle school kids.  The lesson I have linked includes 3 activities dealing with words that have multiple meanings.  Excellent feedback is also provided. 

4. Multiple Meaning Word Riddle Book- Have each student create one page for this riddle book.  Provide a list of appropriate words for them to choose from.  They draw two pictures and write two definitions for the same word.  Write the multiple meaning word on the back of the page.  Bonus:  Share the finished book with all of your students for even more practice! 

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sounds in Syllables

Hello!  The next step in artic therapy is to work on the sound in syllables.  I base this portion of therapy on the vowel quadrilateral. 

I made up this little cheat sheet to help during syllable practice.  We can put the target sound at the beginning to form ree, rih, ray, reh, row, roo, raw, etc.  We can put the target sound in the middle to form ee-r-ee, eye-r-uh, ah-r-oo, ow-r-oy, etc.  We can put the target sound at the end to form ear, are, or, our, er, etc.  I wanted to make a sheet that didn't use phoetics so I can send it with the child for homework. 
ee (beed)

oo (boo)
ih (bid)

ou (book)
ay (made)
oh (bow)
eh (bed)

aw (ball)

ah (bottle)
ow (how)
oy (boy)
eye (buy)

Usually, during this stage of therapy, I drill-teach-drill-teach-drill-teach then have a fun activity at the end of therapy.  Flippin Frogs is a fave because one game only lasts a couple of minutes and the kids LOVE it. I work on sounds in syllables until the child reaches 80% accuracy for three sessions.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From "Wabbit" to "Rabbit"

Hello!  Teaching /r/ can be tricky indeed.  How come some kids go months without a successful /r/ production and some have perfect /r/ productions on day #1???  So frustrating (for the Speech-Language Pathologist and for the kid who still says "wabbit"  after months of speech therapy).  Since every kid is different, I alter my teaching technique case-by-case.  For /r/, I make sure to use Mr. Mouth  (get your own here) since the inside of my actual mouth isn't easily visible for modeling.  I usually emphasize that "your tongue makes the /r/ sound, not your lips."  Then, I shape /r/ from /i/ ("eee").  So, /ri/ (ree), /iri/ (eerie), and /ir/ (ear) are the syllables I start with.  During these first few elicitations, I really look at HOW the client is producing /r/ (or /w/).  I alter my teaching based on where the breakdown is occurring.  Maybe their tongue is being "lazy" or maybe they are making "kissy lips". So I will instruct them to "get their tongue up in the back" or "keep their lips in neutral position."  Neutral position is obtained by biting down on your back teeth and then slightly opening your mouth.  Have a look at Grace learning the /r/ sound:

Fortunately for me, Grace picked up on /r/ immediately!  FYI:  This does not happen often!!  But when it does, pat yourself on the back for being such an amazing SLP. 

I used to teach /r/ as the "smiling sound"  but have since found that technique to do more harm than good.  The kids were making really tensed-lip /r/ sounds that sounded extremely unnatural.  What are some of your tricks? 

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Old Sound/ New Sound

Auditory discrimination refers to teaching students to distinguish between correct and incorrect productions of speech sounds.  I like to refer to the sounds as the "old sound" (incorrect production) and the "new sound" (correct production).  Old sound/ new sound is easy for young clients to understand and doesn't have the negative implications of saying, "That was wrong."  Take a look at my favorite way to provide auditory discrimination training.

In this session, I let the client be the teacher.  They use the free iPad app, Glow Draw, to grade my speech.  The "old sound" gets a minus and the "new sound" gets a plus.  Additionally, this is the perfect time to introduce old sound/ new sound to the client.  I think Grace is getting the hang of the new speech lingo!  If the client is having a hard time discriminating between the sounds, I use the iPad app, Artikpix, for auditory discrimination training.  I say the word, record myself, and then play it back several times (sometimes more like 20 times) until the client is able to make a decision.  They love the grading my productions with Artikpix.  Press the smiley face to hear, "Yay" or the frown face to hear, "Awww."

iPhone Screenshot 4
Glow Draw
iPhone Screenshot 3

I don't spend tons of time on auditory discrimination training.  Usually, about 5 minutes a session for the first couple weeks of therapy.   What works for you?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stimulability Testing

Stimulability refers to a child's ability to imitate the clinician's model.  During speech evaluations, I like to determine stimulability of all misarticulated sounds.  This is helpful for picking out which sounds to target first.  I have found that the stimulable sounds are easier to train, and are generally my first choices for therapy targets.  Have a look to see if Grace is stimulable for /r/:

Wow!  I love getting easy clients like this! We can tell that Grace is stimulable for /r/ because she was able to imitate my models. Picking out therapy targets for Grace is easy peasy.  The letter /r/!  I base my articulation therapy on a combination of motor-based approaches.  Here's a quick outline:  discrimination, isolation, syllables, words, phrases, sentences, reading, and then conversation. The idea being that practice should occur at increasing levels of complexity until a sound is generalized into conversation.  Come back to follow me through these steps and gain ideas for each level.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Back to the Basics

Hello!  I decided to go back to the basics this week and take a look at traditional articulation therapy.  To begin, I have collected a speech sample from a 7 year old female with an articulation disorder.  She misarticulates /r/ in all word positions and in blends. Have a look for yourself:

Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words.  A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age.  Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly.  Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).  I am going to focus on articulation for the current case study.  
An articulation disorder involves problems making sounds.  The sounds can be substituted, left out, added or distorted.   Grace distorts the /r/ sound.  In the state of Missouri, guidelines state that  /r/ should be developed by age 8.  However, parents can request private speech therapy to address this issue sooner.   After a sample is taken and deviant sounds are identified, the child should be tested for stimulability.  Check back soon to see if Grace is stimulable for /r/. 

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(Information was used from ASHA.  Check out their website here.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tracking (The Old School Way)

I still use paper and pencil for tracking speech/language therapy data.  I guess you could say I'm old-fashioned. I've tried some of the new tracking apps on the iPad, but I just can't get into them. I use a comprehensive data collection sheet that is kept in a separate file folder for each student.   The speech and/or language goals are listed at the top of the sheet. I track  accurate (+) and inaccurate (-) responses and then calculate the percent correct on this sheet.   Next, I move the articulation percentages to an easy-to-read data collection sheet.  This sheet is arranged according to the hierarchy of traditional articulation therapy.  Once the student attains percentages above the criterion level for 3 sessions, he moves to the next level.  This system makes quarterly data collection a breeze!

Articulation Data Collection is linked here
Comprehensive Data Collection is linked here

When there are 3+ students in a group, and multiple tracking sheets for each student, it can easily get cluttered.  I keep my clipboard glued to my hand to help keep things orderly.  I jazzed up my old clipboard with some scrap book paper and mod podge.  Very easy, very cheap, and very cute.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snowy Day App Exploration

I got the BEST phone call this AM! "We will have no school today due to inclement weather."  YAY!  I decided to spend my day exploring new iPad apps to use for speech/language therapy.

Children with language impairment and children with autism  often times display weak temporal concepts which can cause confusion over the school routine and chronological events. This app will allow the children to explore temporal concepts using the swipe of a finger.  There are 14 time sequences available that explore concepts such as seasons and months.  I haven't even mentioned the best part yet.  This app is FREE. My favorite kind of app : )

iPad Screenshot 1
Change from winter to spring with the swipe of a finger.

I have several Toca Boca apps and they're all great, so it comes as no surprise that the newest game in the Toca collection is a success.  This app will be good for the smallest kids on my caseload.  The free play structure will allow the app to be used for a variety of speech and language goals.  I will use it for vocabulary enrichment, help with categories (fruits, veggies, meats, etc.), and any articulation goal.  The game allows you to choose from four hungry characters and prepare food for them in a variety of ways.  The characters interact by making noises indicating how they like the food you prepared for them.   They will reject uncooked meet or any un-food item.  This app is sure to elicit lots of conversation!

Toca Kitchen
$1.99 in the app store!

iPhone Screenshot 4Following directions can be SO boring.  Point to the first big dog and the second big dog unless I point to the sixth little goose.  blah blah blah.   I was looking for a more entertaining way to work on following directions when I came across Cake Doodle.  You have to follow a recipe, and work on action words at the same time, to make a cake.  Sift, cut, pour, crack, pinch, twist, stir, bake, frost, decorate, eat.  I plan on having the kids write a story about the cake they made to target past tense verbs (which tend to be oh-so-confusing for the language impaired child).  This app is well worth $0.99!    
iPhone Screenshot 2

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Idiom Pictionary

Note to reader:  I had to try really hard not to include any cheesy idiom references in this post.

This week, my middle school students had a ball learned about idioms.  The kids especially loved "Idiom Pictionary."  I printed some idioms on individual slips of paper.  Each student had to pick an idiom and draw the literal representation of it on the board.  The other students were the guessers.  Once they hit the nail on the head with their guesses guessed correctly, we discussed the figurative meaning of the idiom and used it in a sentence.  I let them work in groups because two head are better than one groups are more fun!

Can you guess this idiom?

Click here for the idioms I used.

Some borrowed items I used this week included an idiom story and quiz you can find here and Lady Gaga idioms you can find here. "Can't read my. Can't read my. No he can't read my poker face."  See, Gaga likes idioms, too : )

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SLP Gold Mine

On a recent trip to Chicago, I discovered Marbles- The Brain Store.  SLP GOLD MINE!  The store was divided into sections based on which skill each game targets.  I spent my time in the sections labeled Critical Thinking, Memory, and Word Skills.  I could have easily spent one year's salary in this store.  Instead, I only spent one paycheck ; )  Here's some of what I walked away with:

Perfect game for those therapy sessions when you are wondering what the heck to grab for the last 5 minutes that you hadn't anticipated having!    The directions are simple:  Listen to a statement, be the first to slap the trigger with the correct hand (right for true, left for false), you keep the card if you win. The goals I use it for are: following directions, memory, right/left discrimination, and social interactions. 

Sample Trigger Card

Rory's Story Cubes
I have used these dice for every kid on my caseload.  Buy them.  You won't be sorry.

The new version is at the top of my want list.  I will have them soon.

This game is great for older students who need help with word finding.  It does require some pre-sorting.  What the heck is a famous address??? 

If you are lucky enough to live near a marbles store, go in and try every game.  You will love it.  If not, be thankful for online shopping. 

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Monday, January 9, 2012

"X" Marks the Spot

Hello blog world!  My name is Ashley and I am a second year Speech-Language Pathologist for kids of all ages.  I feel as if I have some creative ideas to share with parents and fellow SLPs.  That's what has sparked this little blog!  I have a greater respect for all of you veteran bloggers because the design aspect is difficult!  Be patient with my ever-changing blog design because it is far from complete : )

For Post #1, I would like to share my new reward system that the kids are LOVING.  One recent quote, "I never want to graduate speech with prizes like this!"  lol  When the kids do something great, such as show up on time or have a super productive session, they get to roll the dice and color in that number of coins on the Treasure Map (linked here).  The treasure map is taped to the front of each student's file.  When they reach the "X" on the map, they get to pick some "loot" from the treasure chest ($15 from Michaels).  The "loot" consists of bouncy balls, sticky hands, etc. from Oriental Trading Company and some prizes from Target dollar spot.  I also made a coordinating bulletin board which turned out super cute!

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