Monday, November 26, 2012

Ninja Articulation

My son and I just finished reading a Magic Treehouse book about Ninja's.  Last night he was running around the house with a towel wrapped around his head, "I'm Ninjago."  At first, I thought he was brilliant.  He was making up NEW words.   But it turns out Ninjago is a Lego ninja.

Anyhow, when I saw this Ninja clip art, I knew I had to have it.  Ninja Speech therapy just sounds cool!

Sometimes, when I'm getting tired or haven't really planned any fun activities we do "Speech Yoga."  There are some really great resources and therapists who incorporate yoga into their speech sessions.  For me, it's more like we sit pretzel legged on the floor, while we make loud breathing noises.  Kids seem to like it though.

Ninja articulation is a cross between the card game War and card games such as Yu-gi-oh.  Students battle and the ninja with the highest score wins.  I added a "one breath sheet" to focus on carryover.  This is an idea I got from another blog, but I forgot which one it was.

I'm thinking it might be fun to make Ninja "karate type" moves while we are playing too.

Ninja articulation is available on my TPT store here.  All of my products are 25% off with CMT12 code through Tuesday!

Friday, November 23, 2012


I recently subbed in for a client I had over the summer with difficulty producing /r/.  It took most of the summer to establish the /r/ and we were working on it at the word level.  A few weeks ago, I filled in for her current speech language pathologist.   What a difference a few months can make.  We had established a pretty decent bunched up "r" using some of Pamella Marshalla's techniques.  It seemed like most of her errors came when the client dropped the back of their tongue down instead of keeping up for /r/ production.  "eeeee-ah." 

When I started our session, I was shocked by how good the /r/ was.  The new speech pathologist had taught them the retroflex /r/.  It was like watching a gymnastic gold medalist on the vault at the Olympics.  Everytime that tongue tip went up and "stuck" it's landing creating a beautiful, perfect /r/ sound. 

I started thinking about how sometimes the /r/ phoneme seems like the monster under your bed.  You know it's there, but you just don't want to look under the bed and have to deal with it.  Which led me to another TPT project:  MonsteRenegades.  

Each character has a name with the vocalic /r/ in it.  This download includes a card game, 4 game boards targeting individual /r/ phonemes and 3 dice games.  One of the boards consists primarily of "pop culture" /r/ words such as Justin Bieber or One direction. 

In addition, I included a sheet to practice /r/ in CV and VC shapes once the /r/ sound has been established.  

Originally I was going to write more about how to produce /r/ but there are some great resources out there. 

Here are some of my favorites: 
  • Pamella Marshalla, Successful R Therapy.  She is a really entertaining speaker-I'd recommend attending a workshop if you can.  If not, her book is very thorough. 
  • Entire World of /r/.  I love their Advanced screening for /r/.  Very helpful for determining starting lexicons for /r/.  Also, the R probe lists contain comprehensive word lists for therapy activities. 
  • SatPac: Articulation for the 21rst century.  I've had some success in establishing the /r/ using these techniques.  This is a computer program which generates individualized word lists allowing you to remove sounds the student is unable to produce.  Drill work includes some metronome work to teach the student to produce the phonemes at more of a conversational pace.  The initial word lists generally consist of nonsense words which rely on coarticulation to improve the student's ability to establish the correct phoneme.  
  •  I love the ideas on this blog, plus really fun activities for the child for introducing the /r/ phoneme. 
  • Judith Kuster has a variety of ideas for elicitation of the /r/ phoneme at her website:
I'd love to hear what techniques for /r/ you are using. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Scrambled Egg Sentences

I have several clients who have significant difficulty creating grammatical correct sentences during conversational speech.  Two of them have goals for sequencing a group of words to make a sentence.  We've used some great worksheets from Linguisystem's No Glamour Grammar books.  But after awhile, we were starting to get a little bored.  One thing I noticed was that they didn't seem to have a good understanding of how sentences worked.  For example, when trying to sequence the words in a sentence, they didn't seem to understand that the noun is generally followed by a verb.  If I asked them to define different parts of speech, it seemed very difficult for them.   

I had seen a recipe for Microwave Eggs at that I'd planned to use with an AAC client.  For some reason, I started thinking of scrambled eggs and scrambled sentences which let me to my latest project: A balanced breakfast: Scrambled Sentences.  I started by using a power point presentation to introduce the different parts of speech and demonstrate how they can help you give more information to the listener. 

To introduce this, I usually have the student close their eyes and try to picture the sentence (or draw if we have time.)  It usually goes something like this:

Okay, I want you to picture this:
"cat walks."

Okay now I want you to picture, "Gigantic cat walks." 

Got that?  Now I want you to picture, "Gigantic cat walks quickly." 
We can go on for awhile or I may end it with something silly.  "Gigantic cat walks quickly up to your mom and says hello." 

We talk about how different the first picture we made in our mind is from the last picture. 

Now that they have an idea, we start working on creating our own sentences.  For this activity we used the breakfast vocabulary theme. 

Students get more points depending on the complexity of the sentence as well as the vocabulary.  The TPT download contains 240 cards to create sentences.   We start with simple sentences and then work our way up to more complex sentences.  I like the cards because it allows the child to manipulate the words physically.  I think it's really helpful when you begin to introduce question reversals.  Once they are able to create sentences, then we worked on scrambled sentences using the cards. 

Finally, we made microwave eggs.   I rearranged the word order, so that they had to unscramble the sentences before they could make their scrambled eggs.  Here are the pictures: 

For homework I sent home scrambled sentences plus the directions for egg in a cup. 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gobble gobble pizza turkeys

I like using crafts and recipes in sessions when I can.  It's motivating for the kids and helps us to practice our speech and language targets in more of a carryover type of activity.  This week we made pizza turkeys.

We worked on following 2 step directions containing before, sequencing, paraphrasing directions, vocabulary, and articulation.  Here are some of the targets we worked on:

2 step directions:
  • Before you toast the muffins, break them in half.
  • After you open the refrigerator, find pizza sauce and cheese.  
  • Sit down, before you get your muffin.  
  • Spread pizza sauce on the muffin after it is toasted.
  • Before you put cheese on your muffin, you need to cut out a turkey shape.
  • Go get the muffin after it is done toasting.
  • Before you press down on the cookie cutter, you need to center the cutter on the cheese.  
  • Before you put the pizza in the microwave, you need to out cheese on the muffin.
  • After you put your cheese on, put two slices of pepperoni on the muffin.  
  • After you close the door, turn the microwave on for 30 seconds.
  • Jar, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, English muffin, toaster, microwave
  • Spread, cut, toast, put, turn. Press
  • Hot, spicy, savory, gooey, bumpy, soft hard
  • in, on
I wrote out directions in single sentences, we worked in thinking of synonyms for some of the words to paraphrase.  Example, instead of cut open the muffin, we could say slice the muffin in half.


We started by watching a video I made of the activity on the ipad.  Then we used pictures I'd taken to put them in order.  After the activity, we used the pictures to help us retell the directions.  You can download my pictures:

For my artic clients, I highlighted targets within the directions and sent home for practice.  We also practiced our words between steps and while the bread was toasting and when the microwave was going.

Hope you have fun with this activity!  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hand Turkeys

This week I've been a little obsessed with hand turkeys.  I used to make a fancy one with my preschool clients with feathers and a little Thanksgiving Poem.  This year, I used them for almost everything.  I think I got the original idea from a post on Pinterest about using the hand to cue Main ideas.  We used it for comprehensn activities:

 Describing and defining Vocabulary...

For articulation clients, we started by thinking about five words that started with their target sound.  When we wrote down the word, they had to roll the dice and say the word that number of times.  We put glue on each word as we practiced them at the phrase level: on (target word.). Finally we practiced each word at the sentence level while putting autumn colored glitter on each finger.  

Other ideas:
  • Use it with a story map: character, setting, initial event, climax, conclusion
  • Wh questions with story retell: who, what, where, when and why
  • Emotions: sort five emotions by intensity
  • Generating ideas: tell me 5 things about....
Do you have other ideas?  I love hand turkeys!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Perspective taking FREEBIE

Perspective taking is skill that is difficult for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Jill Kuzma has great information on Perspective taking skills on her blog.  The games Guess who or Guess where can given you insight on a child's perspective taking abilities.  Many of my clients struggle with understanding that I have a a different character than they do.  Instead, they continue to ask me questions about the person that they are looking at. 

Videos are a motivating way to work on this skill with older clients.  Last week we used the Pepsi Uncle Drew Part 2 video to discuss False beliefs, expectations and how thoughts may shift based on what people believe our true. 

We watched the video twice.  I told my client that we were going to watch a video of a basketball pick up game.  We started by discussing what might be expected/unexpected during a basketball game.  After the two old men were introduced as characters we discussed what we might think of older people-what could they do, would we expect them to be good at basketball against younger people.  When they missed the first two shots, we paused on the audience reaction and discussed what they were thinking.  Once they started to make baskets, we discussed the crowd reactions again.  At the end of the video, you see the two basketball players putting on their make up.  If they haven't figured it out, I let them know that these were professional basketball players that were wearing old man costumes. 

Then we watch it again to as a false belief task.  Even though WE know that they are in costume, the spectators do not. 

After that, we talked about how figuring out what people are thinking helps to make conversations a "slam dunk"  I'm posting a link to this FREEBIE here. 

What activities/videos have you found to be helpful to work on perspective taking skills?  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...