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New Product: Speech Language Assessment of Older Internationally Adopted Children

IAToday  I am very excited to introduce to you my brand new product which has been long in the making.  “Speech Language Assessment of Older Internationally Adopted Children”. In the past I have written a number of articles and blog posts as well as done a number of  presentations on related topics. I finally decided that it’s a great time to put it all together and created this 65 slide presentation which succinctly explains how to assess speech language abilities of older Internationally Adopted (IA) Children.

Presentation Summary

—Institutionalization affects every child’s speech-language development. Signs of delay can be obvious or obscure; show immediately or years later. This presentation will review the latest literature regarding the language abilities of post-institutionalized children adopted at older ages. It will discuss language development of older children post-adoption, explain the difference between conversational and cognitive language competencies, offer pre-adoption recommendations, address select pre-assessment preparations as well as to provide recommendations on best assessment practices for these children. Continue reading New Product: Speech Language Assessment of Older Internationally Adopted Children
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Gotta Love the RtI: Teacher Edition

RTI Language, Listening, and SpeakingI have written about Response to Intervention (RTI) to intervention before (HERE),  bemoaning the fact that it’s not currently utilized in my setting (outpatient specialized school in a psychiatric hospital) and how I was hoping to gradually incorporate it at work.

To summarize it briefly RtI is a 3 tiered approach to intervention that identifies children at risk for learning deficits and provides them with high quality instruction in order to separate the ones who just need a little extra help from children with true learning/language deficits. So you can tell that i am always on the looking for more RtI materials which is why I was very excited to come across Ms. Jocelyn’s RTI: Language, Listening & Speaking Packet. Continue reading Gotta Love the RtI: Teacher Edition

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Hurray for Book Companions: What will the pig want next?

Is there anything more fun then literature based speech language intervention?

Rhetorical question of course, but seriously how much fun is it?  Even the simplest books are jam-packed with a variety of language concepts, “wh” questions, target vocabulary, prepositions of location, and much, much more.

Of course, it’s always a bonus when I manage to create or obtain a book companion as a complement to the story, so the clients benefit the most from the activity.  I also find book companions particularly useful when it comes to passing out the homework activities to the parents, many of whom require a little guidance regarding how to work at home with their children in order to increase carryover and ultimately reduce the child’s overall time in therapy. This is why I jumped at the opportunity to review one of Denise’s (Speech Language Pirates Blog) several book companions: “If you give a Pig a Pancake.” Continue reading Hurray for Book Companions: What will the pig want next?

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Being Functional is APP-ealing!

apfun sampleIf you’ve been following my blog for a while ,then you know that I place a lot of emphasis on function. This is reflected in the assessments I select and the materials I choose. I want them to be practical, multifaceted, and useful for a wide variety of clients.  My caseload at the hospital and in private practice is pretty varied with diagnoses ranging from über verbal high functioning Asperger’s to non-verbal autistic clients.

It is for the latter clients that I am always in search of more materials, since it is much easier to find/adapt materials for the high functioning verbal students then for the low-functioning non-verbal ones. Especially because you want to make sure that whichever materials you select are not just educational and functional but also fun and easy to interact with.  That is why I was so excited when I got the opportunity to review Teach Speech 365 APP-ealing Functional Communication Packet. Continue reading Being Functional is APP-ealing!

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SPEECH LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

Today I am excited to tell you about another product in my assessment referral series: SPEECH LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN 

I created this 9 page guide to assist speech language pathologists in the decision making process of how to select assessment instruments and prioritize assessment for preschool children. In doing that you are eliminating the administration of irrelevant tests and focusing on the administration of instruments directly targeting the areas of difficulty that the child presents with. Continue reading SPEECH LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

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In case you missed it: The importance of targeted assessments for school aged children

Last week I did a guest post for The Simply Speech Blog. In case you missed it,  below I offer an explanation why targeted speech language assessments are so important, as well as list helpful resources that will aid you in speech language assessment preparation.

In both my hospital based job and in private practice I do a lot of testing. During staff/caregiver interviews I used to get a laundry list of both specific and non-specific problems by the parents and teachers, which did not always accurately reflect the students true deficits.  Experience quickly taught me that administering general comprehensive language testing to every student simply did not work. Oftentimes the administration of such testing revealed one of two things: Continue reading In case you missed it: The importance of targeted assessments for school aged children

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In case you missed it: Therapy Fun with Ready Made Spring Related Bingo

Back in late February I did a guest post for Teach Speech 365. In case you missed it I am running it again on my blog since spring is now in full bloom!

Spring is here and there are many fun therapy activities you can do with your preschool and school aged clients during this time of year.  Now, while many of my colleagues are great at creating their own therapy materials, I am personally not that handy.  If you are like me, it’s perfectly okay since there are plenty of free materials that you can find online and adopt for your speech language purposes.

Making Friends, an online craft store, and Boggles World, an online ESL teacher resource, are two such websites, which have a number of ready-made materials, crafts, flashcards, and worksheets that can be adapted for speech language therapy purposes.  One of my personal favorites from both sites is bingo. I actually find it to be a pretty versatile activity, which can be used in a number of different ways in the speech room.

Let’s start with “Spring” bingo from the Making Friends Website, since its well suited for preschool aged children.  The game comes with both call-out cards and 12-4×4 card printable boards that can be printed out on card stock or just laminated. Continue reading In case you missed it: Therapy Fun with Ready Made Spring Related Bingo

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New Webinar: Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity in At-Risk Children: Differential Diagnosis of ADHD in Speech Language Pathology

 Inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the most common presenting behavioral problems in at-risk children. This workshop will describe select speech language causes of hyperactivity and inattentiveness in children beyond the ADHD diagnosis, including traumatic brain injury, auditory processing disorders, severe language disorders, as well as social pragmatic language deficits.It will review case examples to illustrate the importance of differential diagnosis. Implications for assessment as well as the need for relevant referrals will be discussed.

When: Thursday, January 17, 2013, 4-5 p.m. ET

Where: Your computer*

Presenter: Tatyana Elleseff, MA, CCC-SLP

Cost: FREE

Who Should Attend: Anyone interested in discussing behavioral problems in at-risk children.

How: Register Here

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Stimulating Language Abilities of Internationally Adopted Children: Fun with Ready-Made Fall and Halloween Bingo

  There are many fun language based activities parents can do at home with their newly (and not so newly) internationally adopted  preschool and school aged children in the fall. One of my personal favorites is bingo. Boggles World, an online ESL teacher resource actually has a number of ready made materials, flashcards, and worksheets which can be adapted for such purposes. For example, their Fall and Halloween Bingo comes with both call out cards and a 3×3 and a 4×4 (as well as 3×3) card generator/boards. Clicking the refresh button will generate as many cards as you need, so the supply is endless! You can copy and paste the entire bingo board into a word document resize it and then print it out on reinforced paper or just laminate it.

Fall vocabulary words includecorn, crops, farmer, scarecrow, apples, acorns, oak leaf, maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, grapes, mushrooms, salmon, geese, squirrel, jacket, turkey, Jack-O’-Lantern, rake, pumpkins, harvest moon, hay, chestnuts, crow, and sparrow

Halloween vocabulary words includewitch, ghost, skeleton, skull, spider, owl, Jack-O’-Lantern, devil, cobweb, graveyard, clown, pirate, robot, superhero, mummy, vampire, bat, black cat, trick or treaters, alien, werewolf

Now the fun begins!

Some suggested activities:

Practice Vocabulary Labeling: Label the words for newly adopted IA children and get them to say the words after you.

Practice Simple Sentences: Make up simple sentences such as A spider lives in a cobweb or  A squirrel is eating an acorn.

Practice Rhyming:  what rhymes with cat/bat/ trick/leaf/ rake/moon?

For those children who are having articulation (speech) difficulties practice saying  words with select sounds (/ch/, /sh/, /l/, etc) to improve their  intelligibility (pronunciation)

Practice Categorization Skills: Name some fall words, Halloween words, name some popular halloween costumes, name some popular fall activities, etc

Practice naming Associations: what goes with a witch (broom), what goes with a squirrel (acorn), etc

Practice expanding vocabulary by providing Attributes (object characteristics):  Take a noun-word (thing) such as “squirrel” and answer some questions about it: what is it? what does it do? where do you find it? what are its parts? What color/shape is it? does it make any sounds? what goes with it.  Here’s one example, (I see a pumpkin. It’s a fruit/vegetable that you can plant, grow and eat. You find it on a farm. It’s round and orange and is the size of a ball. Inside the pumpkin are seeds. You can carve it and make a jack o lantern out of it).

Practice expanding language by providing relevant  Definitions: Tell me what a skeleton is. Tell me what a scarecrow is.

Practice improving their Problem Solving abilities by naming Similarities and Differences among semantically related items: How are pumpkin and apple alike? How are they different?

Help them understand that many words can have more than one meaning and  explain Multiple Meaning words to them:   A bat, witch, clown, can mean _____ and also mean _________

So join in the fun and start playing today! 

Resources:

Bogglesworld Halloween Bingo Board and Cards http://bogglesworldesl.com/halloweenbingo.htm

Bogglesworld Fall Bingo Board and Cards http://bogglesworldesl.com/autumn_bingo.htm

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Fun and Educational Summer Board Games: Recommendations for SLPs and Parents

 

children-playingAccording to the New York Times Article which summarized the results of Johns Hopkins University study: A  TYPICAL STUDENT WILL LOSE ABOUT ONE  MONTH OF LEARNING OVER THE SUMMER  TIME.

More troubling is that it disproportionately affects low-income students: they lose two months of reading skills, while their higher-income peers — whose parents can send them to enriching camps, take them on educational vacations and surround them with books during the summer — make slight gains.”  To continue: “the study of students in Baltimore found that about two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income ninth graders could be explained by summer learning loss during the elementary school years.”

BUMMER!

But then again it is summer and kids do want to have fun!

So with the recent heatwaves across the country, how about combining fun with learning on those sweltering summer days when lazing at the pool or going outside may not be the best option.

Let’s take a look at the few common and readily available  board games, which can be used to improve various language abilities: including vocabulary knowledge, problem solving, questioning, storytelling as well as other language related skills.

 A to Z Jr– a game of early categorizations is recommended for players 5 – 10 years of age, but can be used with older children depending on their knowledge base. The object of the game is to cover all letters on your letter board by calling out words in specific categories before the timer runs out. This game can be used to increase word finding abilities in children with weak language skills as the categories range from simple (e.g., basic concepts) to more complicated (e.,. attributes). This game is great for several players of different age groups, since younger children or children with weaker knowledge and language skills can answer simpler questions and learn the answers to the harder questions as other players get their turn.

 Tribond Jr – is another great game which purpose is to determine how 3 seemingly random items are related to one another. Good for older children 7-12 years of age it’s also great for problem solving and reasoning as some of the answers are not so straight forward (e.g., what do the clock, orange and circle have in common? Psst…they are all round)

 Password Jr-is a great game to develop the skills of description. In the game you guess passwords based on the one word clues. This game is designed to play with children ages 7 years and older as long as you help the non readers with the cards. It’s great for encouraging children to become both better at describing and at listening. You may want to allow the children to select the word they want to describe in order to boost their confidence in own abilities. Provide visual cheat sheets (listing ways we can describe something such as: what does it do, where does it go, how can we use it etc) to the child as they will be much more likely to provide more complete descriptions of the target words given visual cues.

 Blurt – a game for children 10 and up is a game that works on a simple premise. Blurt out as many answers as you can in order to guess what the word is. Blurt provides ready-made definitions that you read off to players so they could start guessing what the word is. Players and teams use squares on the board strategically to advance by competing in various definition challenges that increase language opportunities.

Games the facilitate asking questions: Guess Who (age 6+),  Guess Where (age 6+), and  Mystery Garden (age 4+) are great for encouraging students to ask relevant questions in order to be the first to win the game. They are also terrific for encouraging reasoning skills. Questions have to be thought through carefully in order to be the first one to win the game.

Game that facilitates Story Telling as well as Perspective Taking:   Fib or Not (ages 10+) encourages the players to fool other players by either telling an outlandish true story or a truly believable made up story. For the players who are listening to the story, the objective is to correctly guess if the story teller is fibbing or being truthful. Players advance by fooling the other players or by guessing correctly.

Games that improve verbal reasoning and problem solving abilities: 30 Second Mysteries (ages 8-12) and 20 Questions for Kids (ages 7+).

In 30 Second Mysteries kids need to use critical thinking and deductive reasoning in order to solve mysteriously sounding cases of everyday events. Each clue read aloud reveals more about the mystery and the trick is to solve it given the fewest number of clues in order to gain the most points.

In 20 Questions for Kids, a guessing game of people, places, and things. Children need to generate original questions in order to obtain information. Here again, each clue read aloud reveals more about the secret identity and the trick is to solve it given the fewest number of clues.

Now that you know which games to play and why, how about you give it a try.

Have fun playing!

References:

Smink, J (2011) This is Your Brain on Summer. New York Times: The Opinion Pages. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/opinion/28smink.html?_r=1