Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Test of Articulation and Phonology {app review}

As a speech pathologist in a school setting, I used the Goldman-Fristoe all the time to test for articulation.  It was standardized, which meant our state would accept it.  Well now that I have transitioned to an outpatient clinic, it's a little bit of a different world.  Generally speaking, I still use the Goldman-Fristoe.  But what happens when the child has already been given that at the school recently, and you need something else so you don't invalidate the test results?  That's when I look to other tests.

In the clinic setting, it doesn't necessarily have to be a formal or standardized assessment.  So I usually look to some of the awesome iPad apps that test for articulation. My clients are generally fairly motivated by the iPad as well, so it's a quick and easy way to get data.

All that being said, I was so excited to hear that Smarty Ears just released another new testing app called the Test of Articulation and Phonology!  Let's check it out:

Test of Articulation and Phonology (iTap) is administered very similarly to most articulation tests.  A picture is presented, the child states the object pictured, and errors are recorded.  Instead of writing down each of the errors, you can record them on the iPad.  Simply touch the phoneme produced in error, select the type of error (deletion, distortion, backing, devoicing, substitution, and assimilation).  If it is a substitution error, you can select which phoneme was substituted for the other.

Here's the video tutorial for you to watch for more information:

One of my favorite things about this app is the comprehensive evaluation report that is generated.  It provides the accuracy of phonemes by manner and location in word (initial, medial, final).  It also includes a list of all of the words administered and the transcription of each with any comments you may have added.  Finally, it also lists the percentage of the types of errors (e.g. 50% of errors were substitution).

What I love about this app:
-It's very easy to use.
-It's portable because it's on an iPad.
-It generates a very comprehensive report!
-It is great for the private practice/outpatient clinic setting where you don't need a formal test.
-It is great for progress monitoring in the school setting.
-It has norms based in Central Texas, so if you are from that region, you can use it as standardized!
-There is a helpful manual included under "info."
-It's super easy to request support if you need help.
-It stores all of the previous assessments administered, so you can look back to see if any progress has been made.
-It gives you information on both articulation AND phonology in one test!

What I would love to see in the next update:
-A way to mark multiple errors on any word, especially on blends.  Both consonants of the blend are scored together, so there is no way to mark cluster reduction and gliding for an l-blend, for example.  The only way would be to make a comment on that word.
-This would take a lot of work, I know, but I would love to see it normed on more children across the nation, so that we could use it as a full-blown standardized test!
-I would love to see the normative data published/ accessible through the app.

Overall it's a great app. I would recommend it to school-based SLPs to use for progress monitoring or private practice SLPs for an informal test. If you're in Central Texas, it's a great option for a standardized test.  It's comprehensive report is a time-saver for busy SLPs, and it gives great information about articulation and phonology.

If you are interested in this app, you can find it on the iTunes store here:

What are your favorite tests for articulation and phonology?

Note: A code was provided for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Monday, May 16, 2016

On to New Adventures

If you follow my Instagram, you've seen posts about me saying goodbye to my students and moving on to a new job.  I wanted to share the full story and my heart with you.

Back in August, I started working two evenings a week at an outpatient clinic.  Mid fall, I began working Saturday mornings as well.  I fell in love with the one-on-one for an hour sessions.  I felt like I could make progress with every child, especially the more severe ones. 

In the meantime, I was going to my school-based position and sitting through eligibility after eligibility where students desperately needed help but were not qualifying.  What made matters worse for me was knowing that I COULD help them if they came to the clinic, but according to state standards, I couldn't help them in the school.  You see, my state uses the discrepancy model where a child's language score must be 22 points below their IQ to qualify under language impairment.  True story:  I had a child who scored a 55 on his language tests but did not qualify because his IQ was 73.  So the language tests say he has a language impairment.  My clinical judgment says he has a language impairment.  But the state says no... (By the way, I fought for qualifying him using professional judgement, but it did not happen).  As those kids weren't qualifying, my numbers were still high enough for my groups to be 3, 4, 5, or more kids.  I was missing kids' minutes right and left because of this IEP meeting or that committee meeting.  I didn't see them making as much progress as I knew they could.  I tried my best to make up minutes, but it was impossible to make them all up.

So as you can see, my frustration was growing.  On top of that, I fell in love with the field at an outpatient clinic in the first place.  I knew God was leading my heart in that direction.  So I had an honest conversation with the owner of the clinic about me transitioning to them full time after my school-year ended.  She happened to love the idea, so a plan was put into motion.

So Friday, I said goodbye to my students, and today, I said goodbye to my co-workers and the building that has been my second home for two years.  My tears are both happy and sad tears.  Sad tears because I will miss coming to work and seeing these people.  Happy because I have an awesome set of co-workers and clients ahead of me. 

Today, I'm opening the door to new adventures.  I'm excited to share it with you as I step into this new role.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Better Hearing and Speech Month!

Happy Better Hearing and Speech Month!  

There are a lot of awesome things going on this month, and I cannot wait to share them with you.  Be on the look out for Instagram posts, app giveaways, reviews, and more! 

This year, I'm teaming up with my friends at Consonantly Speaking and Simply Speech to bring you a fun Instagram contest for BHSM!  Please read the rules below and have so much fun!

In order to participate in the Photo-A-Day Challenge for Better Hearing and Speech Month, you must first have an Instagram account. You can sign up for free at or on the app on your device. You cannot upload images from the web (Instagram won't let you for some reason), just from a phone or tablet. Then, make sure that your profile is not set to private or that Kristin, Jessica, or myself can follow you to see your images. If it is private, we will not be able to see your entries. Next, look at the image above and post an image for each day throughout the month of May 2016 within the theme of that particular day. Make sure in the description that you use #instaBHSM in order for it to count for our giveaway. If you want points towards ASHA's "Communicating Takes Care" social media Contest, that is a completely different contest (and you have to sign up separately for that one on ASHA's website). However, you can also use the hashtag of #BHSMContest for your image to count for that one as well. Make sure to use both so you get points for each contest!
Be sure to follow [simply speech]Consonantly Speaking, and Home Sweet Speech Room on Instagram so that you don't miss the winner being announced!
The person who most consistently posts images throughout May corresponding to the themes will win a prize basket! In the case of a tie, will be used to randomly select a winner!
This challenge will run from 12:00 am May 1st, 2016 to 11:59 pm May 31st, 2016 in Eastern Standard Time. It is an Instagram-only challenge, so posts on other social media will not be counted (that doesn't mean that you can't share them elsewhere, we just won't double-count or count posts from other social media).

There will be some pretty awesome prizes, including your chance to win a TpT gift card! 
We can't wait to see your photos, so please share and hashtag them!  Enjoy! :) 

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

More Than Words and The Hanen Centre E-Seminars {giveway}

It's been a long time, friends! I hope all is well with all of you.  I have to apologize. The last couple of months, I have been busy trying to somehow stay balanced with two jobs and time with family and friends.   During my time away, I've been doing some research, discovering new/ new to me products, and have begun some awesome new packets for my students.

With my clinic job, I see a wide range of kids.  They range in age (birth to 21) and range in abilities.  I realized pretty quickly that there were some gaps in my knowledge.  I have spent hours researching for each individual client I see because I want to be the SLP for them that I can be. One of the areas I realized I wanted more information on was helping parents with young children who have a significant language delay.  I had some ideas, but I wanted more.

I remembered back to grad school and my preschool placement. My clinical supervisor kept talking about The Hanen Centre and was raving about their books.  We even had a speaker come in and talk to my class.  So one of the resources that I recently was reminded of is their book/DVD called More Than Words.

 It arrived just in time for me to sit outside in the beautiful weather and read it.

More Than Words is a book geared towards parents with children with autism, which is perfect for this month (Autism Awareness Month). According to the Hanen Centre, it's a book that address very specific challenges that children with ASD face and strategies to help with those challenges. It is designed to improve the understanding of language and the ability to have back-and-forth interactions.

What I love about it is that it's written for parents. I can recommend these strategies and parents will understand them.  I also love that they are research based.  You can read more about their research here. I love that they address every day situations that parents will encounter.  The DVD is a great companion resource to give parents real-life examples of each situation discussed.

If you want to learn more about More Than Words, check out The Hanen Centre's website here.  You can view sample pages, see the outline of the chapters, and read about the research behind the book.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, The Hanen Centre has also graciously offered to provide one of YOU with a code for a FREE e-seminar. They are 2 hours long, and I bet you can count them towards your certification maintenance hours for ASHA ;)   Enter below if you're interested.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great rest of your week!

Note: I was contacted by The Hanen Centre and a copy of More Than Words was provided for my review.  No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine.  

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Create Your Own Testing Vocabulary Board Game

My students struggle a lot with testing vocabulary.  Every year in the spring semester, we start hitting that vocabulary hard with the hopes of bringing up the students' test scores.  If they can understand the vocabulary words in the word problems or questions about their reading passages. 

It's a well known fact that students learn better when students are motivated. I wanted to come up with a way for students to learn these words in a way that was more fun than simply flashcards.  My students love games, so why not have them make a board game to help them learn these words? 

My students have been loving this activity.  They are staying engaged while learning these words in a way that works for them.  While making the game, they are learning the words and the definitions.  When the play the game, they are reinforcing what they have already learned. 

We have been targeting the following words:
analyze, classify, compare, conclude, consider, contrast, defend, demonstrate, describe, determine, distinguish, eliminate, evaluate, evidence, example, explain, generalization, indicate, infer, judge, justify, label, narrate, persuade, predict, relate, represent, show, specify, summarize, support, tell, and verify. 

I put together a packet for you in case you want to do the same activity with your students! 



Included in this packet are:
-instructions for the students
-game board templates
-spinner templates
-cards for the game
-rules to play page for students to fill in

I hope this helps your students learn the vocabulary words and that they enjoy it!  You can find it in my TpT store now!

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Speech Farkle

Happy February, friends!  I have been super busy with a new house, two jobs, and trying to balance a social life on top of it all.   In the meantime, I have had a chance to make some new products, so be on the lookout for those!  

Today, I want to share with you one that I created and my students absolutely love.  In fact, they've requested it 3-4 times already!  I call it Speech Farkle! 


To take a turn, roll all 6 dice at once. Choose one or more scoring dice to keep (a 1, a 5, or another score as indicated on the scoring guide).  Re-roll all other dice.  If you do not score on a roll, you “FARKLED” and your turn is over. 

If all 6 dice score, you must roll all of the dice again.  You must score 500 points on a given turn in order to enter the game.  After that initial 500 points, there is no set amount you must score each round. The first one to 10,000 wins!

Included are directions to play, a score card, and scoring cards for the following sounds:
K, G, P, B, T, D, S, Z, S-blends, F, V, M, N, H, DG, L, L-blends, R, R-blends, CH, SH, J. 

Speech Farkle is available now in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store if you are interested in purchasing it!   

I have some great news for you--today (Sunday, February 7) only, this product will be on sale for HALF off!! Get it now here


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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cyber Monday Sale: What's in Your Cart {linky}

Cyber Monday is tomorrow!  Hopefully you didn't spend all of your money on Black Friday and saved up for tomorrow! ;)  Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a big site-wide sale in honor of Cyber Monday for November 30 and December 1 (this Monday and Tuesday).  Now is the perfect time to stock up on all of your speech therapy material needs!  Thanks to Jenna for hosting this linky party!

Here's a few things to pick up from my shop:

 Polar Express Expressive Language

Speech Sounds by Letter: Posters

Football Game Day Grammar

 You'll find these in my cart:

 Figurative Language

Common Core Aligned: Making Inferences Task Cards

Interactive Articulation Binder for Speech Therapy

What's in your cart?  Any great recommendations? 

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