Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Defining Words: Part 4

More fun ways to teach adjectives!

1) Darling activity from "Crazy for First Grade".  Check out her post!

2) Or this is a fun idea from "The Inspired Apple"

3) Here's a list of books that lend themselves to teaching adjectives.

4) And here's a quick list I made of adjectives categorized by size, appearance, shape, what it's made of, and how it feels.  A fun way to use it is to put it in a page protector and hand the student a dry erase marker.  Then, grab a bunch of objects with very salient characteristics from this list.  Show the student the object and talk about it.  Have them circle the applicable adjectives that describe it.  Erase and start again!  Who doesn't love a little dry erase marker activity?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Defining Words: Part 4

When your child has really mastered categories, it's time to move on to the second half of defining words.  This involves teaching attributes/adjectives and functions.  This is the worksheet I use for this.
However - you're probably going to have to spend a few times teaching these things individually before you expect the child to put it all together in one nice, cohesive definition.  Of course it depends on the child, but teaching adjectives is usually a great way to start.

I saw this on Pinterest which is a great way to get the wheels turning:
Isn't that adorable?  Last year I used a frog theme.  How fun would it be to describe a frog?  Slimy.  Green. Loud.  Slippery.  I think kids would love it!  

"Hairy, Scary, Ordinary": A great way to introduce adjectives to students.  Pictures are a riot and fun to talk about at the same time.  Could easily take a half hour with this book!
Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective? (Words Are Categorical)

Since this is such a fun concept, I'm going to do another post on it tomorrow.  Be excited! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Defining Words: Part 3

Here are some great materials for you to try when you are teaching the concept of categorization:  Click on the image to see purchasing information.  

By the way nobody is paying me to tell you this stuff. :)

Category Cut-ups: Relatively inexpensive.  Great for homework.  Gets the kids involved.

Descripto Bingo:  I copied each category in different colored cardstock and got it laminated.  It's a great way to reinforce what has been learned and it's also fun to play with any client. 

Basic Concept & Vocabulary Round-Up: Not only great for categorization but also basic concepts/prepositions.  Nice!  Also has clearly laid-out teaching plans which I quite like. Why re-invent the wheel, right?

Classifying Cards: Oh the possibilities!  Of course you can have the child sort these into piles.  I liked Jenna's idea of using one of these for sorting purposes.  Which One Doesn't Belong? Matching.  Memory.  Go Fish.  Fishing.  Tape them on the wall and use a flashlight to find all the cards in the right category.  Hide them around the room.  

Can't leave LinguiSystems out!  They always have great stuff too.  The pages can be copied for the child to complete or they can be read outloud by the therapist and done orally.  Both gives good practice.  

I  know there are tons of materials out there but these are some of my favorite.  What are yours?

Next time we'll talk about what to teach after categorization.  I'll have another printable for you too! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Defining Words: Part 2

When I did my student teaching, the speech therapist I worked with was pretty great.  Her name was Jacqueline.  She made sure to pronounce it "Ja-kwa-lynn" with the rounded 'w' in the middle.

Anyway.  She was a smart lady and I learned so much from her.  She made these charts and gave me permission to share, so today I shall do just that!  I like them because they are simple and straightforward, which is what I think these kids with language disorders really need.

I usually start teaching by introducing the concept of categories.  I give them this sheet and we discuss how each category acts as a file of sorts in our brain.  Then most any noun in English can be filed away into a specific file folder.  Imagine how many fun games you can do while teaching this!  The possibilities are quite endless.  I know you guys reading this have a million awesome tricks up your sleeves!
First we practice identifying categories.  I will read a list of 3 or more words and ask the student to tell me the category.  They often need extra help with 'appliances' and 'occupations' and 'vehicles/transportation'.  The app I use for that is "Name that Category" which is from Super Duper for $1.99

Then we practice listing things in categories.  For this I usually use "Let's name things" which is always free from Super Duper.  We also go the other direction and I read them a list of 3 or more objects and they tell me which category it goes to.

I also found this sorting game.  I don't even know who Erin Jackson is but I'll still give her a shout-out.  "Thanks Erin!"

What are your favorite ways to teach this? Next time I'm going to post a bunch of other available materials and apps to use while teaching sorting and categorizing.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Defining Words: Part I

One day I was working with a boy and a girl on describing.  We were describing animals to each other, trying to help the other child guess what animal we were talking about.  This little boy was supposed to be describing a rooster, and....he didn't really know how.  I whispered into his ear, "It says 'cockadoodledoo'".  He turned right around and promptly said, "It says crocodile doo-doo!"  And then I proceeded to laugh.  Really hard.  Couldn't help it.

I love language.  I love teaching language.  I love working with children who struggle with language.  Not only is it highly entertaining, it can also be very rewarding.  I am by no means an expert, but I feel like I have some nifty tricks and materials up my sleeve.  So I thought I would share them with you.

In my experience, when I have a child with language difficulties, they usually also have trouble defining words.  Semantics  in general seem to be a common area of difficulty.  My favorite tests for looking at semantics in detail are the TOSS (There's one for ages 4-8 and one for 9-13) and the LPT-3 (Ages 5-11).  They are both extremely easy to administer, score, and interpret.  They lay it all right out for you very clearly what areas the child particularly struggles with- whether it's labeling/word-finding/vocabulary, giving functions, attributes, or the category.

Join me tomorrow when I share with you how I usually introduce intervention and also a couple of printables. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 10

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part X

Principle X
Promote education in regular classrooms with typical hearing peers and with appropriate support services from early childhood onwards.

We're talking mainstreaming.  Children who are born deaf can definitely be placed in a regular classroom with hearing peers.  This is happening more and more often.  Parents and professionals should plan and prepare for this if they think it is a good fit for the child.  Many children who are born deaf are also born with other challenges such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy and may require a specialized setting.  Work as a team to figure out what is reasonable.  Teamwork will be necessary.  The team should consist of: the parent, speech therapist, audiologist, classroom teacher, principle, resource teacher, and AV therapist.  Am I missing anybody?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 9

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part IX

Principle IX
Administer ongoing formal and informal diagnostic assessments to develop individualized Auditory-Verbal treatment plans, to monitor progress, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans for the child and family.

Every therapy session should be diagnostic in nature.  This means that the therapist should always be alert to the child's progress and performance in listening, language, and speech.  Standardized tests should always be administered every 6 months.  A great standardized test that looks at listening, language, and speech is the Cottage Acquisition Scale for Listening, Language, and Speech (CASLLS).  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 8

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part VIII

Principle VIII
Guide and coach parents to help their child self-monitor spoken language through listening.

Parents are encouraged to imitate any noises the child makes.  This can be a very fun game for mom and baby, and it helps develop the auditory feedback loop.  The child needs to have the skills of listening to what other people say, and repeat it.  This then transfers into the child being able to listen to their own speech and modify it.  This strength is crucial to developing proper speech and language skills.  All this from saying, "Goo goo" and "ba ba ba" and "mee mee mee"?  You betcha!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 7

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part VII

Principle VII
Guide and coach parents to use natural developmental patterns of audition, speech, language, cognition, and communication.

I think the key word here is expectations.  Parents need to understand that children follow a developmental sequence with regards to language, cognition, and speech.  The child needs to continue on that developmental path.  We can't skip steps.  We can certainly move through them more quickly, and we hope to catch them up to their peers, but there are no shortcuts.

 Another key concept is hearing age.  We have to take into account how long the child has been hearing.  AN important thing to understand is that listening and speech develop together - not separately.  This article is my favorite reference for further discussion on these important concepts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 6

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part VI

Principle VI
Guide and coach parents to help their child integrate listening and spoken language into all aspects of the child's life.

Children born with hearing loss, especially if it is amplified late, are not natural listeners.  It needs to become a habit.  And habits can be taught!  Parents need to learn how to take advantage of everyday listening moments and capitalize on them.  For example, the mom and baby are playing with blocks and the doorbell rings. She could just get up and go answer the door, but she would be missing out on a great learning opportunity.  Mom should sit up straight and announce, "I heard something!" and point to her ear.  She is teaching the child to notice sounds as they occur around her.  She is also teaching her that sounds go through the ear/hearing aid/implant thus teaching the child the importance of the device that they wear and its connection with noises. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 5

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part V

Principle V
Guide and coach parents to create environments that support listening for the acquisition of spoken language throughout the child's daily activities.

Dishwashers are loud.  So are air conditioners and fans and fish tanks and lights and washing machines.  A house can be a loud and distracting place, especially for a child with a hearing loss.  They need to hear conversations happening around them in order to learn language, and background noise makes that so much more difficult.  Therefore a big part of AV therapy is educating parents to be more aware of the noises that surround them and convince them how important it is to reduce it as much as possible.  Run the dishwasher at night.  Same with the dryer and washer.  If your lights hum (like the ones in my kitchen - so obnoxious) then just leave them off.  Classrooms are a totally different story but most teachers are open to trying whatever they can to help the classroom be a quieter place.  After all, it improves learning for all children, not just the ones with hearing loss (Nelson, Soli 2000).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 4

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part IV

Principle IV
Guide and coach parents to become the primary facilitators of their child's listening and spoken language development through active, consistent participation in individualized Auditory-Verbal therapy.

Auditory Verbal Therapy is a big commitment for the whole family.  Most therapists I know have a serious discussion with the parents before they start therapy in order to make sure that they know it will require lots of time and effort. Still, most parents I've met are happy to be involved and learn more.  They feel validated to know that lots of the things they are doing at home already (reading books, singing songs, telling stories) are providing necessary foundations for their child's learning.  They just need to be taught some strategies and skills to use along with those activities that can help strengthen specific skills such as: listening, articulation, auditory memory, sequencing, categorizing, and many more.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 3

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part III

Principle III
Guide and coach parents to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality in developing spoken language without the use of sign language or emphasis on lipreading.

This might be a therapist or a mom, but whoever it is they are doing it right!  She knows to talk next to but not in front of the child.  She is optimizing listening and inhibiting visual cues.

Guiding, coaching and teaching parents is a big deal.  In fact, my experience with AVT has really helped me realize the power of empowering parents in any type of therapy. Who knows the child the best?  Who spends the most time with them?  Who wants what is best for them?  Who has hopes and dreams for this child?  The PARENTS.  Therefore they are the center of AVT.  When the parents feel knowledgeable and confident, the child's is more successful and the parents no longer feel like helpless bystanders.  The importance of this is reflected in the fact that principles 4-8 also revolve around coaching the parents.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 2

Principle II
Recommend immediate assessment and use of appropriate, state-of-the-art hearing technology to obtain maximum benefits of auditory stimulation.

A child born with a hearing loss should be fitted for hearing aids as soon as possible to receive auditory stimulation.  The early years are the most crucial.  The first 3 1/2 years of life are when neuroplasticity is at its greatest, meaning the brain is the most adaptable.  The younger the child, the more adaptable the brain and the easier it will be for them to learn to listen and talk.  Therefore, the older the child, the more difficult it is because the auditory centers of the brain have begun to reorganize themselves. (Sharma et al., 2002; 2004; Sharma, Dorman, and Kral, 2005).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy: Part 1

Principle I
Promote early diagnosis of hearing loss in newborns, infants, toddlers, and children, followed by immediate audiologic management and Auditory-Verbal Therapy.

Most states have implemented a newborn hearing screening program in which many types of hearing loss can be detected.  We need to ensure that when a child is identified with a hearing loss, the family is educated regarding all of their options and that appropriate follow-up is established.  A child can be fitted with a hearing aid as early as one month: the time it takes for a complete audiological exam, molds to be made, and the hearing aid to be ready for the child.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Auditory Verbal Therapy Series: Introduction

Fact:  90-95% of children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2004).  This fact means that most parents who have a child with hearing loss don't know any sign language and would like their child to learn to listen and use spoken language.  With today's technology that is possible!  Which means many parents are choosing Auditory Verbal Therapy because the possibilities that it provides most closely match their hopes and dreams for their child.  I've decided to do a series on the principles of Auditory Verbal Therapy because it is still a relatively unknown area.  I studied these principles very closely in college and someday would like to become one of the current 600 Listening and Spoken Language Specialists.  It's quite the process but I'll get there eventually!  
Join me tomorrow as I discuss Principle I of Auditory Verbal Therapy! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fun Fact Friday

Did you know that by the 20th week of gestation a baby's cochlea is fully formed?  That means by the time a child is born they already have 20 (ish) weeks of hearing experience!  That's why they show preference towards their mother's voices at such a young age.  It's also why it's so important to get a child fitted with hearing aids as soon as possible once a hearing loss is detected.  They're already 20 weeks behind so it's important to act quickly if you want your child to develop age-appropriate listening and speaking skills.

Blog Awards are Going 'Round

I feel like this might be some online version of a chain letter.  But I'm still going to do it because I like the idea of networking with other speech bloggers.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't want other people to read my blog!  It's very validating and my main purpose is to educate so I need the word to spread.  Thanks to Amy over at Miss Thrifty SLP who nominated me for these two blogger awards and I'll take 'em!  


For receiving these awards I must...

1. Follow the person who gave me the award
2. Link back 
3. Thank the blogger who nominated me 
4. Include the award image in my post
5. Give 7 random facts about myself
 6. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
7. When nominating, include a link to the blog
8. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated

15 Nominees:

Talk It Up
Apraxia Adventures
The Speech Ladies
If Only I Had Super Powers
Dysphagia Ramblings
Heather Speech Therapy
Heather's Heart
The Dynamic Duo
The Learning Curve
Chapel Hill Snippets
Crazy Speech World
Cochlear Kids
The Teaching Studio
Teaching 2 and 3 year olds
A Year of Reading

7 Random Facts About Me:
1) I want to be a college professor some day
2) My favorite movie is Anne of Green Gables
3) My favorite actor is Kirk Cameron
4) I met my husband when I was 15
5) Then I moved to Massachusetts
6) We emailed each other for 3 years while we were miles apart
7) We now have been married for 6 years and we have 2 boys.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Speech Vs Language: What's the Difference?

Funny story first:  When my husband and I were engaged, his dad asked him what I was studying.  My husband told him "Speech Pathology", and his dad thought he said, "Beach Pathology."  I'm not sure what that would be but it sounds fun.  

Anyway.  In college we had a debate about whether or not we liked the title "Speech Therapist" or "Speech/Language Pathologist" with a dash or "Speech AND Language Pathologist".  Eventually we all agreed that we liked the AND version.  The reason is because the terms 'speech' and 'language' mean totally different things.  The dash indicates that they are interchangeable which they're not.  When we say 'Speech Therapist' it's less of a mouthful but it doesn't quite convey what we do.  I call myself a 'Speech Therapist' all the time but I still want people to understand the difference between the two terms.  I have been in a few meetings where I've said to the parent, "Your child's speech is age-appropriate but they have some weaknesses in their language," to which the parent stares blankly at me.  That's my cue to explain the difference.  So here it is:

Speech refers to the sounds that a child uses while speaking.  It's often also referred to as 'articulation'.  We're talking about the child's /r/ sound, or their lateral lisp, or the fact that they say, "ban" instead of "van."

Language is a much broader term.  We're talking about the child's ability to understand and use language in general.  Stuff like grammar, vocabulary, story-telling, pragmatics (social language), asking questions, etc. etc.  

NOW YOU KNOW. (Bill Nye, anyone??)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Data Sheets

Hey fellow speechies!  This post is for you.  I know, I know, you probably don't want another data sheet in your arsenal.  And that's ok.  Or maybe you are going through an "I hate my data sheets" phase like I did about a billion times.  But I made it through that phase and now I happen to think this data sheet is the best one out there.  It's simple, and I'm a simple gal.  Simple is my middle name.  Actually, it's Christine.  But that doesn't matter.  When it comes to paperwork, my mantra is: "No frills, just function." So I now present you with my Data Sheet:

I print out tons of these before each school year and put a couple of them in each student's tab of my binder.  Then I write in their individual objectives in the top right box.  This is also how I keep track of how many times they have met their objective.  Since I usually write goals with a phrase like, "...over 3 observations" then I can quickly glance to see how many times they have met that goal.  I just write the date in the box.

I like the data boxes because each row has 20 boxes.  Therefore I don't need a calculator because I know each plus is worth 5%.  And I hate math.  The less math the better.  Big factor in my career choice.

The HW column is homework.  I do an "R" if they returned last week's and an "S" if I sent out new homework.  I like the notes section because I can write any sounds or new vocab words we discussed which makes it easy for me to review the following week.

This next chart is my R Progress Chart.  This is what I use to keep track of my R kids' progress.  It goes with "The Entire World of R" very well but I know there are other similar programs that it would work with too.  I like it because I have learned that it is crucial to teach these sounds separate and make sure I don't go too fast in teaching them or in advancing them to the next level.  This helps me keep track and it also helps the student see their progress.  I just write the date they achieved at least 90% or more (or whatever their personal criteria is) in the box.

I hope you find these useful.  If you decide to use them leave me some love in the form of a comment so I can feel good about the time it took me to post this.:)

Good luck as you get ready for another year!