Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CEU Course from Hanen Centre: Boosting Bilingual Environments for Young Children

I don't work with very many bilingual children, but recently I did get a referral for one.  Fortunately for me, he was bilingual in Spanish, which was my second major in college.  My graduate program also offered a multicultural course, but I felt like I was just getting the basics.  So as soon as I got the bilingual client, I started looking around for resources.  Thankfully, The Hanen Centre just released a brand new e-course called Boosting Bilingual Environments for Young Children!

I have loved listening to the latest research on the topic. The strategies presented are extremely practical, and I can put them into practice tomorrow.  Another thing I love about the course is the number of case studies presented and talking through how to approach it.  The speaker was very easy to listen to and was knowledgeable about the topic.

Another thing I love about The Hanen Centre e-courses is that they're easy to fit into a busy schedule.  The course was 2 hours long, so it was super easy to complete from my couch or kitchen table.  I spend a decent amount of time at both ;)

Boosting Bilingual Environments for Young Children is a great introductory course that discusses the latest research with bilingual children, provides strategies for SLPs and to give to parents, and how to support parent questions with the latest research.  It is a great place to start for SLPs beginning to work with bilingual children.

The Hanen Centre has generously given Home Sweet Speech Room readers 40% off of this course, if you're interested!  Enter the code SWEETSPEECH40 at checkout!

Note: A code to view the course was provided in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project

My husband has food allergies, and Halloween was always a hard holiday for him as a child.  He couldn't eat most of the candy that people would give out.  Some of them contained peanuts or peanut butter.  Others were "made on equipped that processed peanuts" or "may contain peanuts."  Back when we were children, there wasn't as much awareness, and there weren't as many kids with allergies.  People are becoming more and more aware of allergies and are starting to do something about it.  One of those ideas is the Teal Pumpkin Project.

The mission is simple: offer non-food treats as an alternative this Halloween for those kids who have allergies.  Common food allergies include wheat, nuts, food dyes, chocolate, and dairy among others.

Why is this important to speech-language pathologists?  Well, a lot of the students/clients that we work with have food allergies or sensitivities.  Even if they don't have true allergies, some parents choose to limit the amount of sugar, gluten, food dyes, etc. that these children have.  I believe this is one way we can advocate for them!

Here are some ideas for non-food items:
-glow sticks
-small bouncy balls
-kazoos or other whistles
-mini notebooks

The Teal Pumpkin Project asks that you be careful with some non-food items due to other allergies. For example, some play-doh or molding clay could have wheat. Other toys might have latex.

To find out more information, print off flyers, and/or register your house, you can go to The Teal Pumpkin Project's website.

This Halloween, my husband and I will have two separate bowls-one with non-food treats and one with candy. Will you join us? 

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Using Play-Doh in Speech Therapy

I remember play with Play-Doh all the time when I was younger. It is still one of my most requested items with my younger clients. Here are some ideas on how we use it in therapy.

1. Build the tongue and model what it does for each speech sound. Peachie Speechie has this freebie in her TpT store.
Tongue Placement Freebie

2. Make something that starts with their sound.  For example, make items that start with /s/-blends: snake, stop sign, star, school, spot, etc.

3. Articulation Smash Mats- Many different sellers have smash mats in their stores. Here are some of my favorites:

Apraxia Smash Mats from Simply Speech

Play Dough Pizza Smash from Courtney Gragg
Spider Smush from Peachie Speechie

1. Simple following directions games.  It can be something as simple as the SLP giving the directions to make a pizza or cookies.  There are also ideas on TpT such as:

Play Doh Pizzeria from Stars on the Spectrum

2. "Pictionary" but they sculpt it instead of draw it.

3. Barrier games.  Put up a barrier in between the two kids and have them describe what's on their side so that the other can make it exactly the same way.

4. Themed cookie cutters for vocabulary. Grab some at the dollar store with the current season. As the students/clients cut out these shapes in the play doh, discuss the different vocabulary words, definitions, etc. Have them come up with sentences about them.

5. Building items in categories.  Make different kinds of fruits. Build different types of vehicles.

6. Describing.  Have the students/clients make an item and then use specific, descriptive language.  Is it long or short? Is it blue or red? What is it used for?

7. Create the letters of their name or trace them in the doh.  Preschool and kindergarten teachers will love this!

8. Basic Concepts--Target prepositions with the play doh.  I love this packet from Live Love Speech to do just that!

9. Nursery Rhymes--Nursery Rhymes are especially great for phonological awareness and sequencing. Here are smash mats from some TpT sellers:

Nursery Rhyme Play Dough Mats

No Print Nursery Rhyme with Smash Mats
10. Story Retell--Have your client/student retell a story by making the various parts of the story out of play doh. You can also use smash mats such as these to help them retell the story.

Old Lady Smash Mats from Simply Speech

11. Smash mats to cover those topics and more!  Check out TpT, as many sellers have smash mats that cover more than I listed above. For example, Simply Speech has these that cover WH questions, prepositions, and pronouns!

Language Smash Mat Bundle

1. Play restaurant.  Have the kids take turns order and serving "food" that they make with the play doh.

2. Have the students/clients share the play doh containers and utensils. Have them ask politely to pass them. Work on sharing. Also tie in some Social Thinking concepts such as Expected/Unexpected.

3.  Smash Mats--There are some smash mats on TpT that are specifically for pragmatics. I love this one from SmartmouthSLP!

Social Skills Squish Bundle

How do you use play doh in speech therapy? 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

10 Ways-A Social Skills Game {app review}

Everyday Speech just released a brand new app called 10 Ways-A Social Skills Game!  It is a free app that targets a lot of different social skills! Check out the app below.

There are 9 categories or "games" in this app:

Select the number of players and enter their names.

The app is played like Jeopardy. Simply select the point value, and a question pops up.

Conversational Skills categories include:
-Taking Turns
-Starting and Ending Convos
-Maintain a Conversation

Nonverbal Communication categories include:
-Tone of Voice
-Body Language
-Personal Space
-Facial Expressions
-Eye Contact

What Do You Mean? categories include:
-Taking Things Literally
-Indirect Messages

Problem Solving categories include:
-Big or Small Problem
-Ways to Solve Problems
-Seeing the Other Side

All About Friends categories include:
-Acting Like a Friend
-Talking to Friends
-Perspective Taking

My School Day categories include:
-Out of the Classroom
-Before School
-Lunch Time
-In the Classroom
-Interacting with your Teacher

Going to a Birthday Party categories include:
-Party Manners
-Party Games
-Before the Party
-Hidden Party Rules
-Interacting with Friends

In the Community categories include:
-People We See
-Places We Go
-Public versus Private
-Going to a Restaurant
-At the Park

Family Time categories include:
-Having Fun
-Going to Someone Else's Home
-Family Dinners

At the end of each game, you will go to "Social Showdown." This promotes further discussion about one of the topics.

Here's what I love about the app:
-It's FREE.
-It addresses a lot of different types of social skills.
-There are 10 different ways to practice those social skills.
-It is designed for group play, up to 5 children.
-It's Jeopardy-style, so it's a fun, familiar set up.
-There are over 400 questions in the app, so the kids get a lot of practice.

What I would love to see in an update:
-A way to take data that saves it under each child's name and by category

What my clients said:
-"This game is fun!"
-"I like competing against my friends and trying to get more points than them."

10 Ways-A Social Skills Game is a fantastic free, Jeopardy-style app that addresses conversational skills, nonverbal communication, figurative language, problem solving, friendships, and asking/answering questions.  It is designed for groups of 2-5 children, which makes it perfect for SLPs who run social skills groups.

If you're interested, you can find this app for FREE in the App Store.

Note: I was contacted by Everyday Speech to review this app. No compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Speech Therapy Related Reading List

I love to read, and I love when books relate to our field in some way.  I've been compiling a list over time of books that are somehow related to speech therapy, fictional or non-fiction.  Here's the list I have so far.

  •  More Love, Less Fear: A Memoir by Robert and Theresa Lee
  • On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's by Greg O'Brien 
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Auditory Processing
  • Like Sound Through Water by Karen Foli
Augmentative/Alternative Communication:
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
  • Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
  • Schuyler's Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson
  • Typed Words, Loud Voices by Amy Sequenzia and Elizabeth Grace
  • A Friend Like Ben by Julia Romp
  • Carly's Voice by Arthur Fleischmann
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult
  • How Can I Talk if My Lips Don't Move? by Tito Mukhopadhyay
  • Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison
  • Love Anthony by Lisa Genova 
  • Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
  • NeuroTribes by Steve Silerman 
  • Nobody Nowhere by Donna Williams
  • Somebody Somewhere by Donna Williams
  • The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin 
  • The Boy Who Loved Windows by Patricia Stacey
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
  • The Rosie Effect  by Graeme Simsion
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  • Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed by Jeannie Davide-Rivera
  • Uniquely Human by Barry Prizant
Down syndrome:
  • An Uncomplicated Life by Paul Daugherty
  • Jewel by Bret Lott
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
  • Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
  • Out with It by Katherine Preston
  • Paperboy by Vince Vawter
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd 
  • The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
Hearing Loss:
  • A Man Without Words by Susan Schaller
  • Deaf Sentence by David Lodge
  • Seeing Voices by Oliver Sacks
  • Train Go Sorry by Leah Cohen
Huntington's Disease:
  • Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova
  • Life Interrupted by Katie Jackson
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
SLPs as Main Characters:
  • Deadly Communications by Lillian Duncan
  • Speak of the Devil by Karla Jay
  • Speaking in Tungs by Karla Jay
  • Don't Leave Me This Way: Or When I Get Back On My Feet You'll Be Sorry by Julia Fox Garrison 
  • One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman
  • Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
  • The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas
  • He Never Liked Cake by Janna Leyde
  • Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
  • Over My Head: A Doctor's Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out by Claudia L. Osborn
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
  • The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean
  • The Vow by Kim Carpenter and Krickitt Carpenter
  • Where is the Mango Princess? A Journey Back from Brain Injury by Cathy Crimmins
  • Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan 
  • Far From the Tree:Parents, Children, and the Search from Identity by Andrew Solomon
  • Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius 
  • Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
  • Two Small Footprints in Wet Sand by Anne-Dauphine Julliand
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
What are your favorites?

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

So You're Starting SLP Grad School

It's that time of year when new SLP grad students have begun their graduate careers. I remember being extremely nervous at the same time as being excited.  Here are some of my best pieces of advice for those new SLP grad students, in no particular order. 

1. Take really good notes.  I have referred back to my notes multiple times, especially for tricky cases.

2. Start a notebook or Google Doc of activities that you do, a classmate does, or a professor suggests.  This will be an awesome resource for those times when you need a new idea or need a place to start!

3. Don't be afraid to request a specific setting if you know you want that experience. I knew I wanted to be placed in a children's hospital or a pediatric medical setting. I started requesting my first semester and did end up getting placed there, even though they claimed it was unlikely.

4. Remember that you don't have to have the "A" grade. We just needed a 3.0 to graduate. I still tried my best, but I learned that I had to be ok with a "B" if it meant having a good "work"-life balance (See #10).

5. Ask questions. This is your time to ask as many questions as you want. You are learning and have full permission to ask questions!

6. Go to conferences. Whether it is your state conference or ASHA, students usually get a significant discount. It is a great opportunity to learn and meet a lot of professionals.

7. Don't stress out about the Praxis. Yes, it's important, but you know the information. If you passed your classes, you know the information. I promise. Study some, but don't lose too much sleep over it.

8.  Don't focus on just one area. You might think you know what you want to focus on or specialize in, but it will probably change. It did for me!

9. Become friends with the girls and guys in your program. They will become your project and clinic partners while in grad school. They will also serve as a professional resource later. I still text my former classmates for advice!

10. And last but definitely not least, maintain a healthy balance of school and life. Go out and have fun. Take time for yourself. Grad school is hard work. It's ok to give yourself a break every now and then.

What is some of your advice? What do you wish someone had said to you when you were starting SLP grad school?

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day in the Speech Room

September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day!  My clients love imitating pirates, having "sword" fights, reading Pirate-themed books, play pirate-themed apps, and making pirate crafts.  It might be their favorite week, and it makes for some fun and easy planning.

I love incorporating books into my therapy sessions.  You can target so much with them--articulation, WH questions, retell, sequencing, fluency, vocabulary, and more. One of my favorites is The Pirate Who Couldn't Say Arrrr by Angie Neal.  It's written by a speech-language pathologist! One pirate cannot say /r/, and this books helps kids discover how he learned how to say it.

Another client favorite is Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman. The pirates who love underwear go on a search for the coveted Pants of Gold. This book always makes kids laugh.

We also really like How I Became a Pirate by Miranda Long. A boy is creating a sand castle and starts dreaming about becoming a pirate. This is a fun one to learn how to act, walk, talk, etc. like a pirate.

One of my favorite activities to get kids up and moving is making "swords" out of pool noodles.  Just go to the dollar store and find some (if they still have any). Here's a tutorial from Kitchen Floor Crafts:

Photo from Kitchen Floor Crafts

One craft we always do is make pirate hats!  I love crafts that target speech/language.  We use this one from my friend Courtney at Psst Let's Talk.

We also like to make crafts to decorate the hallways.  I love to use this one from Crazy Speech World. It targets so much and can show off the kids' hard work!

I use apps a decent amount as reinforcers.  There are some fun pirate ones out there right now! I've listed some affiliate links for your convenience.

For a specific SLP app, I like to use Articulation Vacation. It is from Virtual Speech Center and is a fun way to target drill while playing games.
Articulation Vacation
1000 Pirates is one of our favorites.  It is a FREE app for kids to create their own pirates!
1000 Pirates

My younger kids love Kids Drawing: Pirates. It's a FREE app that is like a coloring book.

Kids Drawing: Pirates

My preschoolers also like Pirates! It has mini games and puzzles for them to complete. Our OT buddies might like this one for fine motor as well.  There is a FREE version and a paid version.!!-pirate-kids-game/id612263349?mt=8&at=1001ln9J
Pirates!!-Pirate Kids Game w/ Challenging Preschool Mini Games & Puzzles

If your students are a fan of the MyPlayHome apps, they might like Tiny Pirates-Kids' Activity App.  Kids get to explore the life of the pirates aboard a pirate ship!

Tiny Pirates-Kids' Activity App
If you do a search in the App Store for "Pirates," you will find a ton of different apps.  You can narrow your search by age-range as well.

When we're not doing one of the fun things listed above, we are using this packet to target more specific goals such as problem/solution, cause/effect, describing, Wh questions, synonyms/antonyms, sequencing, written language, and more. You can find it in my TpT store if you are interested!

Enjoy celebrating with your little pirates this week! What are your favorite activities for Talk Like a Pirate Day?

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