Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to trick your clients into correcting their mistakes

Have you ever worked with a client who gets pretty upset when you try to correct them during speech therapy?  (Please don't say you've never had a client or student whose gotten upset during therapy...)  I have had a few clients over the years who have INSISTED that they said their speech sound correctly OR that they gave me the correct answer to the question.

I kind of get it.  Nobody likes to be wrong.  (especially me, I'll admit...)  Many of the clients or students we work with get very little opportunities for success.

Pop Quiz:  You are in the middle of a session working on auxiliaries.  Samantha says the following sentence: He walking to school.  You recast the sentence, "He IS walking to school.  She replies, "Yes that's what I said."  Do you:
A.  Insist that she did not, show her your ASHA CCC's and ask her how she thinks you got her job.
B.  Get into a "did/did not" argument with her.
C.  Avoid all power struggles by just stepping back into a time machine or hitting the rewind button.
D.  Make a mental note to videotape her so that she can start to learn to self monitor her utterances.

Option D is probably the best answer.  It can be really interesting to video a client and have them watch it.  Sometimes this can be really eye opening to them.  A lot of my clients really just don't understand how they are actually speaking.

Today, I went for Option C.  We started by taking a trip in the time machine.  (Pretend to be in a time machine by making some time machine sounds.)  When you get back in time, have the student repeat the target.  Decide together if they completed it correctly.  To get extra repetitions, pretend like you don't believe them.  Take a time machine back 5x.

Or you can work on your retro cred by rewinding the session.  For this activity it is important to make some sort of screechy rewinding noise-and maybe make some slow motion movements that look like you are rewinding yourself.  Feel free to rewind as often as is necessary for both of you to determine if the clients response was correct.

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