Aug 142014
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Today I am reviewing a cute book for toddlers entitled: Easy-To-Say- First Words: focus on Final Consonants written by a speech language pathologist -Cara Tambellini Danielson MA CCC-SLP.

The book’s intent is to help  young toddlers learn monosyllabic first words with an emphasis on word final sounds. It has super adorable illustrations and easy to say 3-letter (CVC) nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

 Here’s a list of one-syllable VC and CVC words the book targets:

  • up
  • hot
  • mop
  • hop
  • beep
  • cup
  • hat
  • bat
  • sun
  • eat
  • boat
  • book
  • read
  • kick
  • roll
  • ball
  • cake
  • bike
  • red
  • ride
  • duck

Here’s a list of initial and final consonants the book targets in single syllable words:

  • /p/
  • /b/
  • /m/
  • /n/
  • /r/
  • /d/
  • /t/
  • /k/
  • /g/
  • /h/
  • /s/

The book also includes a short guide for parents which explains how to get the most optimal outcome from it’s usage. Suggestions include making sure that the child clearly sees the parent’s face, making pauses while reading, usage of gestures and play, as well as responding with enthusiasm to emphasize correct word productions.

Easy to Say First Words - Inside Page 2

I really like the engaging illustrations and the use of repetitiveness throughout the book to emphasize the words being learned. The words are short, early developing, and easy to pair with gestures. I love the fact that it is appropriate to use with a wide range of young children include those with communication and developmental delays/disorders such as Autism, Down Syndrome, as well as Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

You can find Cara’s book on Amazon for $9.95.

Jun 252014
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peds questionnaireToday I am very excited to introduce my new product “Pediatric Background History Questionnaire”. I’ve been blogging quite a bit lately on the topic of obtaining a thorough developmental client history in order to make an appropriate and accurate diagnosis of the child’s difficulties for relevant classroom placement, appropriate accommodations and modifications as well as targeted and relevant therapeutic services.  
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Jun 202014
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The DSM-5 was released in May 2013 and with it came a revision of criteria for the diagnosis and classification of many psychiatric disorders.  Among them a new proposed criteria was included relevant to alcohol related deficits in children, which is Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated  With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (ND-PAE) (DSM-5, pgs 798-801). This proposed criteria was included in order to better serve the complex mental health needs of individuals diagnosed with alcohol related deficits, which the previous diagnosis of 760.71 - Alcohol affecting fetus or newborn via placenta or breast milk was unable to adequately capture.   Continue reading »

Jun 182014
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Recently, I’ve participated in various on-line and in-person discussions with both school-based speech language pathologists (SLPs) as well as medical health professionals (e.g., neurologists, pediatricians, etc.) regarding their views on the need of formal diagnosis for school aged children with suspected alcohol related deficits. While their responses differed considerably from: “we do not base intervention on diagnosis, but rather on demonstrated student need” to “with a diagnosis of ASD ‘these children’ would get the same level of services“, the message I was receiving loud and clear was: “Why? What would be the point?”  So today I decided to share my views on this matter and explain why I think the diagnosis matters. Continue reading »

Jun 162014
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Today I am reviewing a brand new app by the Virtual Speech Center: Sounds at Home.  Designed to target phonemic awareness skills in young children 2-6 years of age, the app targets the following range of skills: Continue reading »

Jun 112014
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photo 1Today I am reviewing a recent app by the Virtual Speech Center called “Auditory Memory Ride” which is aimed at improving immediate memory and information recall in children with processing disorders. 

App Categories:

  • Digit recall
  • Recall of words and sentences
  • Detail recognition
  • Paragraph recall

Continue reading »

Jun 092014
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I’ve been looking for a new problem solving app for my pediatric clients for a while, so I was excited when a colleague suggested I checkout “Conversation TherAppy” by Tactus Therapy Solutions. I had previously overlooked their apps because I thought that they were primarily designed for adults with aphasia.  However, after I read Conversation TherAppy’s  description I saw that the app can actually be used with both teens and elementary aged children to target a variety of important language related skills. Here’s how it works. Continue reading »

Jun 042014
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Detective BackgroundLately I’ve been seeing quite a few speech language therapy reports with minimal information about the child in the background history section of the report. Similarly, I’ve encountered numerous SLPs seeking advice and guidance relevant to the assessment and treatment of difficult cases who were often at a loss when asked about specific aspects of their client’s background family history in order to assist them better. They’ve never delved into it beyond a few surface details! Continue reading »

May 302014
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A few days ago I received a phone call from a parent who was seeking a language evaluation for her child. As it is my policy with all assessments, I asked her to fill out an intake and a checklist to identify her child’s specific areas of difficulty in order to compile a comprehensive and targeted testing battery.  Her response to me was: “I’ve never heard of this before? Why do I have to tell you what’s wrong with my child? Why can’t you figure it out?” Similarly, last week, another parent has questioned: “So you can’t do the assessment without this form?” Given the above questions, and especially because May is a Better Hearing and Speech Month #BHSM, during which it is important to raise awareness about communication disorders, I want to take this time to explain to parents why performing targeted speech language assessments is SO CRUCIAL. Continue reading »

May 192014
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Those of you who follow my blog know that I absolutely adore the “Between the Lines” app series by Hamaguchi apps, which focuses on targeting aspects of social language including tone of voice and non-verbal body language, perspective taking as well as idiom interpretation. I have already reviewed Levels 2 as well as Advanced, HERE and HERE, previously on my blog, so today I will be reviewing level 1, which is the simplest version in the the series geared towards “social beginners” . Continue reading »

May 162014
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In February 2013 I did a review of the Sunny Articulation Test by Smarty Apps. At that time I really liked the test but felt that a few enhancements could really make it standout from other available articulation tests and test apps on the market. Recently, the developer, Barbara Fernandes, contacted me again and asked me to take a second look at the new and improved Sunny Articulation and Phonology Kit (SAPT-K), which is what I am doing today. Continue reading »

May 132014
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Today I am reviewing “Social Norms” a brand new app developed by the Virtual Speech Center to improve social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders. 

This app can be used by parents, educators, and SLPs. The users can customize it to add their photos, text, and audio to create individualized stories that teach specific skills to children with ASD with significantly impaired language abilities. It includes 53 stories on the following topics: Continue reading »

May 132014
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animal posterToday’s guest post on how to improve verbal imitation abilities of young children with language delay comes from Rachel Arntson, M.S., CCC-SLP of the  Talk It Rock It  Blog.

When you have a young child who does not imitate or does not understand the process of taking turns, what do we do to facilitate this skill?

How do we help a child pay attention to faces and the sounds that we make?

I have been a speech-language pathologist since 1980 and have used many toys, tools, routines, books, and objects over the years to facilitate verbal imitation, engagement, and turn taking. Of all of the tools I have used, however, Animal Face Posters are at the top of the list. Continue reading »

Apr 302014
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May frenzy advert #2There is a fun activity coming your way. Starting this Sunday, May 4th parents and professionals can participate in a two day Frenzy Hop. From 8 AM EST Sunday, May 4th until 10 p.m. EST Monday, May 5 some of your favorite SLP bloggers will be having a Facebook Frenzy.  During the Frenzy, you’ll get the opportunity to download 20 freebies! Each will be different and they will target a variety of different topics!  So get ready for the Frenzy Hop by clicking on the interactive image map below to find out the frenzy participants.
Continue reading »

Apr 282014
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I enjoyed reviewing  Between the Lines Advanced so much that today I am bringing you an intermediate version of this awesome social-pragmatic language app called: Between the Lines Level 2, which also focuses on targeting: Interpretation of vocal tone, Recognition of facial expressions, Interpretation of body language as well as Recognition of idiomatic expressions and slang, just on a less advanced level and in a less challenging format.  The app uses photos and mini videos of people in a variety of real-life dynamic social situations to teach social skills. Continue reading »

Apr 272014
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This month I am joining the Speech Room News’ Love It and List it Linky Party to talk about my favorite Behavior Management techniques tools and strategies.  In fact I’ve actually combined my favorite strategies into my product entitled Behavior Management Strategies for Speech Language Pathologists which you can find HERE. In it I explain what type of common challenging behaviors can manifest in children with genetic, psychiatric, and neurological disorders, describe the role of SLP in the management of challenging behaviors, list behavior management hierarchy from least to most intrusive methods for students with differing levels of cognitive functioning (high-average IQ to varying levels of intellectual disability) as well as describe positive proactive strategies used to prevent inappropriate behaviors from occurring.

Then there is my article which explains how to “Create Successful Team Collaboration: Behavior Management in the Schools” which you can find HERE which explains how SLPs can collaborate with other school based professionals to successfully work with children exhibiting challenging behaviors secondary to psychiatric diagnoses and emotional and behavioral disturbances. 

You can also read my post on how parents can Manage their post-institutionalized child’s behavior during study times which you can access HERE

Finally, you can also read about materials which can hep you figure out whether the child’s behavior manifestations are due to sensory processing issues vs. true social emotional difficulties, HERE.

How do you work on behavior management in your sessions?

Apr 202014
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Today I am reviewing a social skills app from the Speech with Milo app developer, Doonan Speech Therapy. Language Lab: Spin and Speak is a game board-like social skills app which focuses on improving conversational abilities (e.g., answering questions, sentence formulation, basic problem solving, etc) of children with social pragmatic language deficits in group settings. Continue reading »

Apr 192014
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Product ImageRecently I’ve purchased the Executive Functions Test-Elementary (EFT-E) by Linguisystems  and used it with a few clients  in my private practice and outpatient hospital-based school program.  The EFT-E is a test of language skills that affect executive functions of working memory, problem solving, inferring, predicting outcomes, and shifting tasks. For those of you not familiar with executive functions (EFs), they are higher level cognitive processes involved in inhibition of thought, action and emotion, which are located in the prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobe of the brain.  Continue reading »

Apr 132014
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photo 3Today I am reviewing another app from Aptus Therapy called Turtle Talk. The app’s premise is very simple – essentially it acts as an interactive pacing board to decrease the rate of speech in children with fast rate of speech and imprecise speech inteligibility. In contrast to traditional static pacing boards Turtle Talk provides a fun visual cue to help the child pace their speech. Continue reading »

Apr 092014
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Today’s guest post on how to elicit language from children with “shut-down” tendencies secondary to significant expressive language delay comes from Rachel Arntson, M.S., CCC-SLP of the  Talk It Rock It  Blog.

Have you ever worked with a child who would shut down the minute she thought you wanted her to say something? I find this phenomenon a lot with children who display significant motor planning issues and expressive language delay. One morning, I worked with a little two year old who showed exactly that pattern. She appeared to know that imitation of sounds and words is hard. And the more that her parents showed her that they wanted her to imitate, the more she shut down. What a dilemma. Continue reading »

Apr 082014
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When many of us think about the label “language disorder”, very infrequently do adolescents come to mind. Even in this day and age, much of the research in the field of pediatric speech pathology involves preschool and non-adolescent (under 12 years of age) school-aged children.

The prevalence and incidence of language disorders in adolescents is very difficult to estimate due to which some authors even referred to them as a Neglected Group with Significant Problems having an “invisible disability“.       Continue reading »

Apr 082014
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Today I am reviewing an awesome social-pragmatic language app by Hamaguchi Apps called: Between the Lines Advanced, which focuses on targeting the following skills:

  • Interpretation of vocal tone
  • Recognition of facial expressions
  • Interpretation of body language
  • Recognition of idiomatic expressions and slang Continue reading »
Apr 062014
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Today I am a reviewing a new vocabulary app created by the Virtual Speech Center called Real Vocabulary Pro.  Developed to target the core curriculum vocabulary of K-5th grade students, it has tons tons of pictures and pre-recorded audio to target various vocabulary concepts as well as allows users to add their own words, pictures and audio recordings for a more individualized and targeted therapy sessions. Continue reading »

Mar 192014
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In March 2014, ASHA SIG 16 Perspectives on School Based Issues, I’ve written an article on how SLPs can collaborate with other school based professionals to successfully work with children exhibiting challenging behaviors secondary to psychiatric diagnoses and emotional and behavioral disturbances. In this post I would like to summarize the key points of my article as well as offer helpful professional resources on this topic. Continue reading »

Mar 182014
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Today I am reviewing Keyword Understanding, a new app from Aptus Therapy.  The app was created to improve attention skills of children with auditory processing as well as receptive language deficits.

This app is great for children with processing difficulties which need to improve their ability to follow directions with a variety of embedded concepts. When you open the app you get the below screen which contains the following options. Continue reading »

Mar 172014
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Today’s guest post on treating bilingual middle-schoolers who stutter comes from repeat guest poster,  Zoya Tsirulnikov, MS CCC-SLP, TSSLD , an SLP from the NYC’s Department of Education. 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the guest blog authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Smart Speech Therapy LLC’s blog’s author, Tatyana Elleseff, MA CCC-SLP. Continue reading »

Mar 122014
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As an SLP who works with children with social pragmatic language disorders, I can’t but think of what happens after these clients leave school? How will they continue to improve their social cognitive abilities in order to effectively meet social challenges in their workplace? Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke effectively address this issue in their recent book “Social Thinking® At Work: Why Should I Care”.   In it, they offer practical advice to adults with social thinking® challenges regarding how to navigate the intricacies of social interaction in the workplace. Continue reading »

Mar 092014
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Assessing speech-language abilities of children with genetic disorders and developmental disabilities is no easy feat. Although developmental and genetic disorders affecting cognition, communication and functioning are increasingly widespread, speech-language assessment procedures for select populations (e.g., Down Syndrome) remain poorly understood by many speech-language professionals, resulting in ineffective or inappropriate service provision. Continue reading »

Mar 062014
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Today I am reviewing Let’s Be Social is a new app from Everyday Speech, which targets basic social pragmatic language skills through 25 interactive lessons on the topics of recognizing emotions, solving problems, friendships, as well as making predictions. Continue reading »

Mar 052014
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Today I am doing a product swap and giveaway with Whitney Smith, the author of the Let’s Talk blog, who’s created a book companion packet to the popular children’s book: Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson.  Those of you who are familiar with my prior posts know that I am a big fan of Karma Wilson’s Bear Books, which is why I was so excited to review Whitney’s  comprehensive product, which in addition t0 having  story related concepts and vocabulary also contains information on the different food groups, types of food, healthy eating, as well as seasons. Continue reading »

Feb 252014
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Today I am doing a product swap and giveaway with Sharon Schackmann, the author of the Speech with Sharon blog, who’s created a product entitled: Winter Non-Fiction Leveled Reading Passages and Questions with a focus on teaching non-fiction text to older students: elementary through -high school ages.

This mega sized 44 page packet includes 7 passages on a variety of winter related topics including: Continue reading »

Feb 162014
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winter wellness collageToday I am doing a product swap and giveaway with Rose Kesting of Speech Snacks. Rose runs a fun and unique blog. In her posts she combines her interest in nutrition and healthy cooking with her professional knowledge as a speech-language pathologist.  I’ve collaborated with Rose in the past on a variety of projects and have always been impressed with the quality of her speech and language products, which are typically aimed at language remediation of older children (upper-elementary, middle school and high school ages). Continue reading »