You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Articulation’ category.

The word summer written in the sand on a beach

Summer break is getting closer and closer! According to my countdown widget, We have 15 days left until the last day of school.

While I am very excited to have some time this summer for home projects and working with a new puppy, I am also thinking about how to prevent the “summer slide” that is so prevalent every year. When students don’t practice their talking and listening skills all summer, they lose some of the skills they have gained during the year! šŸ˜¦ But when they have short, frequent practice during the summer, they can keep up their skills, or often even gain new ones, by the time school is back in session in September.

To help prevent summer slide I have put together a speech/language home practice calendar for the past few years. Each day has a short activity/conversation starter to do with a parent or caregiver, to give students practice using their speech sounds, or practicing language skills like vocabulary, categories, describing, and asking questions. Students who stutter can do the same activities, and either practice using a speech strategy, or practice using easy stuttering.

Click on the pictures to download the calendar for this summer!

2017 summer practice calendar July-page-001

2017 summer practice calendar August-page-001

Advertisements

It’s here! MyĀ 2016 summer speech/language practice calendar. The calendar is in both Spanish and English, and can be used to practice articulation, language, or stuttering strategies from the end of June to the beginning of September.

2016 summer practice calendar preview

Top reasons to practice over the summer:

  • Summer Slide

The “summer slide” is a term educators use to refer to what happens when students leave school for summer break, and don’t practice any of their academic skills until they come back in the fall. June – September is a long time to not practice! Students who do not practice their skills will actually go backwards in their skills, falling further behind their peers, and begin school in the fall at a disadvantage with their peers who have practiced, even only a little.

summerslidebanner

The good news is that it doesn’t take much practice to prevent the slide. Even 5 minutes a day, a few times per week, can keep students from losing skills over the break.

  • Make faster progress

Students who practice at home, during the year or over the summer, make faster progress on their skills than students who don’t practice. Research on therapy effectiveness has shown that therapy programs that are more “intense” help students to grow more than therapy that is less intense, and one of the key factors in intensity is how often students work on their target skills.Ā Practice at home is a major way to increase intensity, and boost the effectiveness of what is happening in the therapy room.

growth

  • Graduate from speech/language therapy!

Having a large-ish caseload in a public school, I have a variety of homework-completion levels amongst my students. Some students practice and bring their homework back every week, some students do it occasionally, and a few students are not able to do it at all. I work just as hard with the students who bring it back as with those who don’t, but I have noticed a definite trend, where students who practice graduate significantly faster than students who don’t. For speech sounds, learning a new motor pattern takes time and practice, just like learning to play a sport or play the piano. The more you practice, the easier it becomes! For language skills, practice talking and listening is working on the muscle of your brain, which also needs exercise in order to grow. The students who practice the most are the students who graduate from speech/language therapy the soonest, and get back to full-time learning in their classrooms.

graduation

Long-time readers of this blog may remember waaaaaaaay back in 2012 I started a pilot program in my district doing what we called FIT therapy. A group of SLPs in the district wanted to try to implement the new model of short, frequent, intense therapy sessions to see how it would work for our articulation students.

The pilot year went very well, and the following year we kept data on our rate of students graduating from speech therapy. The data was impressive, and I’ve been doing FIT therapy with my articulation students ever since. I have also expanded to use it with students working on vocabulary as well.

5a17b9dd-1a90-4cc0-af77-0d46b7f0c904-large

This past October I presented the method, along with our district’s pilot program and data, at the Washington Speech Language Hearing Association’s annual convention in Tacoma. My presentation was well-received, which was a relief to me because I was very nervous about it! Several other SLPs have since asked for my slides, in order to present the method to their colleagues and spread the information further.

201520wslha20selfie

Me, nervously waiting to present!

I am thrilled that others are interested in implementing FIT therapy (also known as QuickDrill, 5-minute therapy, or 5-minute kids) with their clients. I have put my presentation on Google Slides, which is available for viewing for anyone who is interested. The handout is also on Google Drive, free to download (see below).

I would love to know if anyone else uses this service delivery model, or if you are inspired to try it!

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.Ā ~James Bryce

I posted on this topic a few years ago, way back in 2012. It’s been long enough that it’s time to bring this one back. In short, children cannot read too many books. Books can be used for almost any purpose, and today, our purpose is to support articulation skills.

There are many ways to use a book to practice speech sounds. The first thing for all of them is to pick a book that is easy for your child. The content should be lower than their reading/understanding level, because you will be asking them to pay attention to the sounds in words, in addition to listening for meaning. You can use familiar books from home, or head to the library and get something new and exciting.

Ways to use a book to practice speech sounds:

  • Pick a page, and find all of the words that have your child’s speech sound. Say each word 5 times. If your child has trouble, you say the word 5 times instead. Children learn by listening too! Skip words that are too hard.
  • Look at the pictures, and find objects/actions in the pictures that contain your child’s speech sound. Again, have your child say the word 5 times if she can, or if not, you say it 5 times and have her listen.
  • You read the story slowly out loud, and have your child listen for any words that have his speech sound. He can earn a point for each word he hears, and you earn a point for each one he misses. The person with the most points at the end of the page wins!Ā 
  • Make a list of all of the words in the book beginning with your child’s speech sound. Make a goal to find at least 10 words. If that is easy, try to find 15 or 20 words in the next book! For added writing practice, have your child write the word list.

Have fun reading this summer!

If you’ve been paying attention to the countdown widget on the left side of this blog, you may have noticed that there is only ONE MONTH LEFTĀ of school! Summer break is almost here!

Every year I work to provide my students with summer practice for speech and language skills. This year, like last year, I have a calendar format that has one idea per day, and instructions for how to focus on speech, language, or fluency skills. If you would like to use the calendar with your students, you can download either the Spanish or the EnglishĀ version (FOR FREE) by clicking on the picture.

 

I’ve createdĀ a brochure to share with parents and teachers when a child is first diagnosed with a speech sound disorder, similar to my brochure about fluency disorders. Many parents have questions, and it can be hard to remember all of the things we talk about at an evaluation or IEP meeting. I designed a brochure to summarize current research on what we know about speech sound disorders, and why speech therapy is important.

CLICK HERE to download the brochure from my TPT store.

Here is the text from the brochure:

What is a speech sound disorder?
Speech sound disorder (SSD) is an umbrella term referring to any combination of difficulties with perception, motor production, and/or the phonological representation of speech sounds and speech segments (including phonotactic rules that govern syllable shape, structure, and stress, as well as prosody) that impact speech intelligibility. (ASHA)

What causes SSD?
Speech sound disorders may be motor based (dysarthria, apraxia), structural (cleft palate, short frenum), caused by syndromes (eg: Down Syndrome) or by a hearing impairment, or may have an unknown cause. They tend to run in families, but also appear in families with no history of SSD.

SSDs are NOT caused by learning another language, bad habits, ā€œbaby talkā€, or parenting style.

Is there a cure?
Speech therapy is used to treat SSDs. Most children who receive speech therapy for SSDs will master their goals and eventually be able to speak with clear sounds. Speech therapy can help reduce frustration, and increase your childā€™s ability to be understood.

A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is trained to provide speech therapy for speech sound disorders.

What can I do at home?
There are many things parents and caregivers can do to help children develop clear speech sounds.

  • Practice at home: if your child receives speech therapy, ask your SLP for home practice pages to review at home in between sessions. Short, daily practice is best! Aim for 2-3 minutes per day.
  • Model clear speech: Children learn by listening. Show how to use clear sounds by example!
  • Read books: Reading together helps all areas of speech and language development. Choose high interest books on topics that will interest your child. Point out words that have your childā€™s sounds in them (eg: Find all the L words, or all the S words). Talk about the story, ask questions, and encourage your child to ask questions or retell the story to you.
  • Play with letters: Use sidewalk chalk to draw letters on the ground. Make playdough letters, or have fun with letter magnets on the fridge. Draw letters in the steam on the bathroom mirror. Talk about the sounds each letter makes.

Does my child need speech therapy?
Children develop at different rates, but there is a range for normal development. If your child is significantly below these guidelines (see below), please talk to an SLP about speech therapy.

If your child is frustrated by not being understood, that is also a sign that she/he may need speech therapy. You can talk to your doctor for a referral to a hospital-based or community SLP, or contact your local school district for a free communication evaluation.

  • 2 years old: 50% intelligible
    Many speech sound errors
  • 3 years old: 75% intelligible
    P,B,M,N,H,Y are consistent
    D,T,K,G,F,S,Y are emerging
  • 4 years old: 90% intelligible
    B,D,T,F,K,G,Y are consistent
  • 5 years old: 90-100% intelligible
    May not have TH, R or S/L-blends
  • 6 years old:
    S/L-blends and R start to develop
  • 7 years old:
    TH begins to develop
    R sound and S/L-blends may still be emerging.

What should I expect from speech therapy?
Speech therapy is the treatment for SSDs. An SLP will do some testing with your child to determine exactly where they are in their speech sound development, and then set some goals to work on in therapy.

If you receive speech therapy through public schools, your child will have an Individual Education Program (IEP) developed for him/her, which will include their speech goals, and how much time each week they will work with the SLP.

Your health insurance may also cover speech therapy through hospitals or community providers. Contact your insurance provider for more details.

Resources

American Speech Hearing Association

Mommy Speech Therapy

If you feel your child has a speech sound disorder, you can receive a communication evaluation and, if necessary, speech therapy through your public school.

Contact your local public school for more information about speech therapy for your child.

I have to share a book I just discovered. It is by Hellen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. “Hooway for Wodney Wat” is a book about a rat, named Rodney, who cannot pronounce his R sounds. It bothers him, but he deals with it and in the end his speech difference ends up solving a sticky problem for all the kids in his school!

The book promotes acceptance of differences, and is the only book I’ve found about kids who have trouble with the R sound. R is one of the most common sounds that my students have in error, so I am very excited to find a book about it!

There is a follow-up book, Wodney Wat’s Wobot, which is also fun. Check it out!

SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE!!!

IĀ am excited. I am excited for a more relaxed schedule, for sunshine, for picnics in the park, and for camping. However, I also hope that my students who have language and speech disorders will use the opportunity to practice their skills in different ways. Keep learning, keep practicing, keep growing!

Last week I foundĀ a website with interactive summer practice ideas for speech and language activities every day of the week. There are online computer games, eBooks, and free apps that have all been chosen because they stimulate speech or language practice and learning. It is a great resource to give ideas for ways to fill the summer weeks ahead. Check it out!

Six Weeks of Summer – Interactive Speech and Language Practice Activities

If you can make it to the library,Ā here are links to my previous posts about summer readingĀ ideas:

Another great idea – go to the zoo! CLICK HERE for a language scavenger hunt from Amy Minor to use on a trip to the zoo.

And lastly, theĀ link to the 2014 summer practice calendar (no online activities – just talking, reading, and playing!)

This is my last post of the year. I’m finishing up file reviews, packing away materials, and making sure everything is organized before I leave for a well-earned break. Keep talking, and I’ll see you in the fall!

~ Ms. Petersen, SLP

This is something I’ve actually been using all year, but haven’t put up on my blog yet because… well, let’s just say things get busy over here sometimes. šŸ™‚ It’s been up on TPT for a few months and I keep meaning to write about it, but haven’t gotten to it until now!

I adapted my stuttering homework for the year packet to make it appropriate to use for students working on generalizing speech sounds. I use it with 3rd-6th grade students who have mastered their target sound at the word, sentence, and reading levels, and are needing help with the last step of using a sound in conversation.

There is one “secret mission” per week, focusing on a variety of generalization tasks like asking the teacher a question, talking with a friend, remembering your sound during breakfast or lunch, etc. Some of the missions are themed, but most are open-ended and could be swapped around for any time of year.

There are 3 secret missions per month (28 total) to accommodate a 3:1 service delivery model.

CLICK HERE for Articulation homework for a year!

The countdown is here! We have just over a month of school left. Summer will be here before you know it, so I’m getting ready for the end-of-year scramble.Ā  While my students were busy with SBA testing today :(, I updated another speech/language summer practice calendar I found online to fit our school calendar. This year’s calendar has both Spanish and English, gleaned from the other calendar I was adapting from. I’m so thankful to have a Spanish version to send home with my students who speak Spanish at home. šŸ™‚

This year there is one calendar for articulation, language, or fluency students. The activities are the same for everyone. If your student is working on articulation, remind them to use their target speech sound while doing the activities. If your student is working on language, practice talking and listening while doing the activities. If your student is working on stuttering, practice using speech strategies and being okay with stuttering while doing the activities.

CLICK HERE for the summer practice calendar.