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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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What's the Pic? Artic {app review}

Home Speech Home has released a new app called What's the Pic? Artic!  It is an articulation app that uses the hidden picture format to help children drill their target sound(s).

App Preview:
Set up a profile for each child, using a picture or a fun emoji. Select the sounds for each child.

On his/her turn, the child will say the target word the number of times indicated by the stars.  The child will say the word slowly and pause in between. The stars will turn yellow for each repetition. Once he/she says the word the given number of times, one of the objects hiding the picture will be removed.  Before you move on to the next word, you must track data using the X and the checkmark. 

On each turn, the child has the opportunity to guess what the hidden picture is.  Type it in and hit "Done" to guess. If you select "Hint," it will give you a little more information about the word each turn. Some of the pictures are difficult to guess, so your clients/students might need moderate to maximum cueing from you.

When you guess the picture correctly or you have removed all of the objects hiding the picture, you will see this screen to celebrate.

Watch this video to see the app in action:

What I Like About This App:

  • The app tracks data. It also tracks it visually on the screen to give immediate feedback to the children.
  • There is a hint button to help figure out what the hidden picture is. 
  • The hidden photos are real photographs instead of cartoons/drawings. 
  • The target words are accompanied by a real photograph as well. 
  • This app allows for a lot of repetitions. My clients have been getting 200-300 repetitions per session easily. 
  • This app can be used in groups of up to 6 children. 
  • My clients love the hidden picture format. It's an engaging way to drill and practice their target sounds. 
  • The app uses voice recognition software, which is different than any other app I've seen. 
What Some of My Clients Said:

  • "This is awesome."
  • "It is fun. I can't believe I practiced that many words."
  • "Can we play that again?"
I think they really enjoyed it! I am always looking for engaging activities to drill our speech words.

Overall, What's the Pic? Artic is a fun, engaging app to help children practice their target sounds.  It utilizes voice recognition software to track when a child says each word.  Children enjoy trying to guess the hidden picture while drilling their speech words. The app can be used in a group or individual format.  Real photographs are utilized, and feedback on correct productions is provided visually and immediately with SLP input.

If you are interested in purchasing this app, you can find it in the App Store for $4.99. Here's an affiliate link for your convenience:

What's The Pic? Artic

Luke at Home Speech Home has provided me with TWO extra codes to giveaway to lucky readers!  Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Toys for Targeting Language with "Late Talkers"

I have multiple 2-3 year olds on my caseload right now that are "late talkers."  These sessions have challenged me to think about the toys I'm using and what my goals with those toys are.

One of my all time favorites is bubbles. Children are amazed with bubbles and love to run around and pop them. I'll blow the bubbles and use words such as, "Oh wow!" or "Look!"  This allows me to target joint attention. While they're popping, I try to incorporate language such as pop, blow, bubbles, and more. I wait for them to initiate in some way or tell me more. If they want to take a turn blowing, I incorporate the language for "my turn."

Balls are another hit with my clients. Our clinic has balls of all sizes around--big exercise balls down to tennis balls.  We play catch, fetch, bowling, baseball, and hockey. With these activities, I target up, down, go, more, my turn, hit, get, pick up, there, and your turn, among others.  We do similar activities with balloons as well.

In my speech room, we also have a rug with roads and train tracks where my clients for use with cars and trains.  For trains, I tend to use "woo woo" instead of "choo choo" because /w/ is easier and an earlier developing sound than CH. We target go, more, want, stop, bump, car, and train, among others.

When it's nice outside, my clients love to use chalk to draw on the sidewalk. When it's not nice outside, we draw on the trampoline instead. We target more, my turn, line, names of shapes, colors, do, and draw, among others.  The same concepts are targeted with crayons or markers.

My clients always love blocks, either wooden or Duplo.  We especially like to build up big towers and then knock them over. We target up, down, big, tall, more, block, my turn, your turn, and go, among others. We also target colors, if the blocks are colored.

Mr. Potato Heads are also a big hit with my clients.  They love making silly faces and then changing them to something else!  We even have princess and puppy ones now!  I like to target vocabulary as well as following directions. We talk about body parts, my turn, your turn, on, off, top, side, build, more, and please, among others.

One of my clients' favorites recently has been the kitchen set.  They love to play with the food, feed me, feed the baby doll, and create different recipes.  Vocabulary targeted includes eat, cook, in, on, put in, make, more, please, and food, among others.

We have a bin full of animals in my speech room as well. This bin houses zoo, farm, and ocean animals. We have fun labeling the animals and making their sounds.

We have been loving PlayDoh recently as well.  We make a lot of our own PlayDoh at the clinic, but we also buy the cans.  We make various items out of the PlayDoh. One of our favorite activities is making cookie, putting them on a cookie sheet, and then delivering them to peers, other therapists, and office staff members.

I am very big into literature-based intervention and love all sorts of children's books.  I love Brown Bear Brown Bear and other books by Eric Carle. I also love The Big Book of Exclamations, My Truck is Stuck, and so many more!

What are your favorite toys to target language in "late talkers?"

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September Must Have Sale: Arrrr Pirates!

Happy must-have sale day!

For today only, you will find my Arrrr Pirates! unit for half off!  If you are celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) or costumes, or are simply just having a Pirate theme in your room, this packet is perfect for you! It is designed to meet the needs of all of your students in just one packet. This includes various speech/ articulation and expressive/ receptive language goals.

Here's what people are saying about it:
"I loved all the worksheets and questions in this packet. I was able to use this packet with several pirate themed books. I really like the cause/effect and problem/solution pages. Thanks!"-Rachel S.

"My kids are LOVING this so far! Thank you for a great activity during my pirate-themed therapy week!"-Erin

"So many different skills covered here--this can cover all or most of your caseload. Love the cause/effect and problem solving activities, which are especially hard to come by and keep those older students interested."-Judith H. 

Get your copy here and enjoy talking like a pirate this month!

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