Sunday, April 22, 2012

Same and Different Kits

Speech Kits
I have an obsession with plastic boxes.   A few years ago, I cleaned out my speech cabinet and replaced all of the different boxes and game boxes with the same set of rubbermaid containers.  Then I labeled them all and put them back in.  It was awesome.  Apparently the perfectly stacked boxes made up for all of the progress reports and runny noses that I was dealing with that week.

One of my favorite therapy tools are boxes that I've set up to address different therapy goals.  Most of the boxes contain small manipulatives, dollhouse parts, or Barbie accessories.  I collected these over the years from garage sales, fast food toys, 75% off toy clearances and my biggest score: a 6 pound box of Barbie accessories I found on Ebay.  I have kits for: 
  • Big and Little Concepts-
  • Basic and Advanced Categories
  • Object Functions
  • CVCV and CVCVCV words
  • Same and Different

My favorite kit is the Same and Different Kit.

Teaching Imitation:  This is my favorite way to use the box.  First I let the client choose the toys and play with them.  I imitate what they are doing.  I try to imitate their actions AND their sounds.  Using a mirror makes it even more fun.  Eventually the clients figure out that I am imitating them.   It's fun to see how motivated they are once they "get" what we are doing.

Teaching Imitation of Others:  Once the child is understanding that I am imitating them, then it's time to work on them imitating me using the objects.  I found that simple toys which have 1-2 steps work best.  (Like a car that you pull back and then let go.)  The pom-pom's work well for this.  We make them go uuuuuuuuuuup and doooooooown.  We put them on our head.  We put them in front of our head and play peek a boo.  

Strengthening visual referencing, gaze shifting and joint attention:  For my clients diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we use the kit to work on visual referencing and joint attention.  Do they notice what I'm doing?  Can they match it without verbal cues.   Two sets of building materials tends to work well (blocks, legos, balance stacking toys) or drums (can they match my rhythm?)  

Requesting and understanding Symbolic Language:  Take pictures of all of the items in the kit.  I'd also add line drawings and PCS symbols of the items.  Then you can work on requesting first with actual objects, then photos and then symbols.  If your clients are having a hard time transitioning between photos to PCS/Boardmaker symbols, try using a photo editing program and using the "cartoon/comic" page.  These will create a black and white image with the lines in the photos.   

Other Ideas for this box:  
  • Teaching Plurals:
  • Teaching same/different
  • Teaching Personal pronouns: my/your, my turn/your turn. 

Have you made your own kits?  What types of ones work for you?  

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