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Assessing and Treating Bilinguals Who Stutter: Facts for Bilingual and Monolingual SLPs

Introduction: When it comes to bilingual children who stutter there is still considerable amount of misinformation regarding the best recommendations on assessment and treatment. The aim of this article is to review best practices in assessment and treatment of bilingual children who stutter, to shed some light on this important yet highly misunderstood area in speech-language pathology.

Types of Bilingualism: Young bilingual children can be broadly divided into two categories: those who are learning several languages simultaneously from birth (simultaneous bilingual), and those who begin to learn a second language after two years of age (sequential bilingual) (De Houwer, 2009b). The language milestones for simultaneous bilinguals may be somewhat uneven but they are not that much different from those of monolingual children (De Houwer, 2009a). Namely, first words emerge between 8 and 15 months and early phrase production occurs around +/-20 months of age, with sentence production following thereafter (De Houwer, 2009b). In contrast, sequential bilinguals undergo a number of stages during which they acquire abilities in the second language, which include preproduction, early production, as well as intermediate and advanced proficiency in the second language.

Stuttering and Monolingual Children: With respect to stuttering in the monolingual children we know that there are certain risk factors associated with stuttering. These include family history (family members who stutter), age of onset (children who begin stuttering before the age of three have a greater likelihood of outgrowing stuttering), time since onset (depending on how long the child have been stuttering certain children may outgrow it), gender (research has shown that girls are more likely to outgrow stuttering than boys), presence of other speech/language factors (poor speech intelligibility, advance language skills etc.) (Stuttering Foundation: Risk Factors).  We also know that the symptoms of stuttering manifest via sound, syllable and word repetitions, sound prolongations as well as sound and word blocks. In addition to overt stuttering characteristics there could also be secondary characteristics including gaze avoidance, word substitutions, anxiety about speaking, muscle tension in the face, jaw and neck, as well as fist clenching, just to name a few.

Stuttering and Bilingual Children: So what do we currently know regarding the manifestations of stuttering in bilingual children?  Here is some information based on existing research. While some researchers believe that stuttering is more common in bilingual versus monolingual individuals, currently there is no data which supports such a hypothesis.  The distribution and severity of stuttering tend to differ from language to language and one language is typically affected more than the other (Van Borsel, Maes & Foulon, 2001). Lim and colleagues (2008) found that language dominance influences the severity but not the types of stuttering behaviors.  They also found that bilingual stutterers exhibit different stuttering characteristics in both languages such as displaying stuttering on content words in L1 and function words in L2 (less-developed language system). According to Watson & Kayser (1994) key features of ‘true’ stuttering include the presence of stuttering in both languages with accompanying self-awareness as well as secondary behaviors.   This is important to understand giving the fact that bilingual children in the process of learning another language may present with pseudo-stuttering characteristics related to word retrieval rather than true stuttering.

Assessment of Bilingual Stutterers: Now let’s talk about aspects of the assessment. Typically assessment should begin with the taking of detailed background history regarding stuttering risk factors, the extent of the child’s exposure and proficiency in each language, age of stuttering onset, the extent of stuttering in each language, as well as presence of any other concomitant concerns regarding the child’s speech and language (e.g., suspicion of language/articulation deficits etc.)  Shenker (2013) also recommends the parental use of perceptual rating scales to assess child’s proficiency in each language.

Assessment procedures, especially those for newly referred children (vs. children whose speech and language abilities were previously assessed), should include comprehensive assessments of speech and language in addition to assessment of stuttering in order to rule out any hidden concomitant deficits.  It is also important to obtain conversational and narrative samples in each language as well as reading samples when applicable.   When analyzing the samples it is very important to understand and make allowance for typical disfluencies (especially when it comes to preschool children) as well as understand the difference between true stuttering and word retrieval deficits (which pertain to linguistic difficulties), which can manifest as fillers, word phrase repetitions, as well as conversational pauses (German, 2005).

When analyzing the child’s conversational speech for dysfluencies it may be helpful to gradually increase linguistic complexity in order to determine at which level (e.g., word, phrase, etc.) dysfluencies take place (Schenker, 2013). To calculate frequency and duration of disfluencies, word-based (vs. syllable-based) counts of stuttering frequency will be more accurate across languages (Bernstein Ratner, 2004).

Finally during the assessment it is also very important to determine the family’s cultural beliefs toward stuttering since stuttering perceptions vary greatly amongst different cultures (Tellis & Tellis, 2003) and may not always be positive. For example, Waheed-Kahn (1998) found that Middle Eastern parents attempted to deal with their children’s stuttering in the following ways: prayed for change, asked them to “speak properly”, completed their sentences, changed their setting by sending them to live with a relative as well as asked them not to talk in public.  Gauging familial beliefs toward stuttering will allow clinicians to: understand parental involvement and acceptance of therapy services, select best treatment models for particular clients as well as gain knowledge of how cultural attitudes may impact treatment outcomes (Schenker, 2013).

 Image courtesy of mnsu.edu 

Treatment of Bilingual Stutterers: With respect to stuttering treatment delivery for bilingual children, research has found that treatment in one language results in spontaneous improvement in fluency in the untreated language (Rousseau, Packman, & Onslow, 2005). This is helpful for monolingual SLPs who often do not have the option of treating clients in their birth language.

For young preschool children both direct and indirect therapy approaches may be utilized.

For example, the Palin (PCI) approach for children 2-7 years of age uses play-based sessions, video feedback, and facilitated discussions to help parents support and increase their child’s fluency. Its primary focus is to modify parent–child interactions via a facilitative rather than an instructive approach by developing and reinforcing parents’ expertise via use of video feedback to set own targets and reinforce progress. In contrast, the Lidcombe Program for children 2-7 years of age is a behavioral treatment with a focus on stuttering elimination.  It is administered by the parents under the supervision of an SLP, who teaches the parents how to control the child’s stuttering with verbal response contingent stimulation (Onslow & Millard, 2012).   While the Palin PCI approach still requires further research to determine its use with bilingual children, the Lidcombe Program has been trialed in a number of studies with bilingual children and was found to be effective in both languages (Schenker, 2013).

For bilingual school-age children with persistent stuttering, it is important to focus on stuttering management vs. stuttering elimination (Reardon-Reeves & Yaruss, 2013).  Here we are looking to reduce frequency and severity of disfluencies, teach the children to successfully manage stuttering moments, as well as work on the student’s emotional attitude toward stuttering. Use of support groups for children who stutter (e.g., “FRIENDS”: http://www.friendswhostutter.org/), may also be recommended.

Depending on the student’s preferences, desires, and needs, the approaches may involve a combination of fluency shaping and stuttering modification techniques.  Fluency shaping intervention focuses on increasing fluent speech through teaching methods that reduce speaking rate such as easy onsets, loose contacts, changing breathing, prolonging sounds or words, pausing, etc. The goal of fluency shaping is to “encourage spontaneous fluency where possible and controlled fluency when it is not” (Ramig & Dodge, 2004). In contrast stuttering modification therapy focuses on modifying the severity of stuttering moments as well as on reduction of fear, anxiety and avoidance behaviors associated with stuttering. Stuttering modification techniques are aimed at assisting the client “to confront the stuttering moment through implementation of pre-block, in-block, and/or post-block corrections, as well as through a change in how they perceive the stuttering experience” (Ramig & Dodge, 2004). While studies on these treatment methods are still very limited it is important to note that each technique as well as a combination of both techniques have been trialed and found successful with bilingual and even trilingual speakers (Conture & Curlee, 2007; Howell & Van Borsel, 2011).

Finally, it is very important for clinicians to account for cultural differences during treatment. This can be accomplished by carefully selecting culturally appropriate stimuli, preparing instructions which account for the parents’ language and culture, attempting to provide audio/video examples in the child’s birth language, as well as finding/creating opportunities for practicing fluency in culturally-relevant contexts and activities (Schenker, 2013).

Conclusion:  Presently, no evidence has been found that bilingualism causes stuttering. Furthermore, treatment outcomes for bilingual children appear to be comparable to those of monolingual children. Bilingual SLPs encountering bilingual children who stutter are encouraged to provide stuttering treatment in the language the child is most proficient in. Monolingual SLPs encountering bilingual children are encouraged to provide stuttering treatment in English with the expectation that the treatment will carry over into the child’s birth language. All clinicians are encouraged to involve the children’s families in the stuttering treatment as well as utilize methods and interventions that are in agreement with the family’s cultural beliefs and values, in order to create optimum treatment outcomes for bilingual children who stutter.

References:

  1. Bernstein Ratner, N. (2004). Fluency and stuttering in bilingual children. In B. Goldstein (ed.). Language Development: a focus on the Spanish-English speaker. Baltimore, MD: Brookes. (287-310).
  2. Conture, E. G., & Curlee, R. F. (2007). Stuttering and related disorders of fl uency. New York, NY: Thieme Medical Publishers.
  3. De Houwer, A. (2009a). Bilingual first language acquisition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  4. De Houwer, A. (2009b). Assessing lexical development in bilingual first language acquisition: What can we learn from monolingual norms? In M. Cruz-Ferreira (Ed.), Multilingual norms (pp. 279-322). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
  5. German, D.J. (2005) Word-Finding Intervention Program, Second Edition (WFIP-2)Austin Texas: Pro.Ed
  6. Howell, P & Van Borsel, , (2011). Multicultural Aspects of Fluency Disorders, Multilingual Matters, Bristol, UK.
  7. Lim, V. P. C., Rickard Liow, S. J., Lincoln, M., Chan, Y. H., & Onslow, M. (2008). Determining language dominance in English–Mandarin bilinguals: Development of a selfreport classification tool for clinical use. Applied Psycholinguistics, 29, 389–412.
  8. Onslow M, Millard S. (2012). Palin Parent Child Interaction and the Lidcombe Program: Clarifying some issues. Journal of Fluency Disorders37(1 ):1-8.
  9. Tellis, G. & Tellis, C. (2003). Multicultural issues in school settings. Seminars in Speech and Language, 24, 21-26.
  10. Ramig, P. R., & Dodge, D. (2004, September 08). Fluency shaping intervention: Helpful, but why it is important to know more. Retrieved from http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad7/papers/ramig7.html
  11. Reardon-Reeves, N., & Yaruss, J.S. (2013). School-age Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide. McKinney, TX: Stuttering Therapy Resources, Inc.
  12. Rousseau, I., Packman, A., & Onslow, M. (2005, June). A trial of the Lidcombe Program with school age stuttering children. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology National Conference, Canberra, Australia.
  13. Shenker, R. C. (2013). Bilingual myth-busters series. When young children who stutter are also bilingual: Some thoughts about assessment and treatment. Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, 20(1), 15-23.
  14. Stuttering Foundation website: Stuttering Risk Factors http://www.stutteringhelp.org/risk-factors
  15. Van Borsel, J. Maes, E., & Foulon, S. (2001). Stuttering and bilingualism: A review. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 26, 179-205.
  16. Waheed-Kahn, N. (1998). Fluency therapy with multilingual clients. In Healey, E. C. & Peters, H. F. M. (Eds.),Proceedings of the Second World Congress on Fluency Disorders, San Francisco, August 1822(pp. 195–199). Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Nijmegen University Press.
  17. Watson, J., & Kayser, H. (1994). Assessment of bilingual/bicultural adults who stutter. Seminars in Speech and Language, 15, 149-163.

 

 

 

 

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Word-Finding Remediation: EBP Resources for SLPs

It’s on the tip of my tongue! How many times have you used this expression or heard it from other people. Oftentimes when we think of word-finding deficits we automatically think of it as an adult affliction, however, you would be surprised how many children including even very young children (4+ years of age) are affected by it. Did you know that “up to 7% of children have specific language needs and around 25% of children attending language support services have word-finding difficulties (WFD; Dockrell et al., 1998)?”

If you participate in various speech language and education related forums you may frequently see a variation on this question: “How would you assess and treat a child with word finding difficulties?” Before I provide some recommendations on this matter I’d like to talk a little bit about what word-finding is as well as what impact untreated word finding issues may have in a child.

So how do word-finding deficits manifest in children? In a vast variety of ways actually! For starters they could occur at the word level, conversational level or both. Below are just a few examples of word-level errors from German, 2005:

  • —Error Pattern 1- Lemma Related Semantic Errors
    • “—Slips of the tongue” or semantic word substitutions  such as —fox→ wolf;  clown → gnome
  • —Error Pattern 2 – Form Related Blocked Errors
    • “Tips of the tongue” or responses characterized by word blocks, pauses, fillers (um, ah, etc), repetitions, metalinguistic or metacognitive comments such as “I know”, “I don’t know”, etc.
  • —Error Pattern 3 – Form & Segment Related Phonologic Errors
    • —”Twists of the tongue” which include phoneme omissions, substitutions and additions such as cactus → catus; octopus →opotus, etc.

Further complicating the above may be the speed (some delay or no delay) with which they retrieve words as well as accuracy/inaccuracy of their retrieval once the words are retrieved. Additionally, a number of secondary characteristics may also play a role which include gestures (e.g, miming a word, frustration, etc) as well as extra verbalizations (metalinguistic and metacognitive comments).

At discourse level, students with word-finding deficits typically occupy one of two categories: productive vs. insufficiently productive language users. While their narrative language profile may be marked by frequent pauses, word fillers, as well as word and phrase revisions and repetitions.

Moreover, word-retrieval deficits are not limited to discourse, they are also found in reading tasks.  There word-finding issues  may manifest  as  omitted words or almost stuttering/cluttering like behaviors.  Interestingly German and Newman (2005; 2007) found that  students with word retrieval difficulties are able to successfully correctly identify  the words they missed during oral reading tasks in silent reading recognition tasks.

Difficulty coherently expressing oneself can have significant detrimental effect on the child’s academic performance, social relationships and ultimately self-esteem, which without appropriate intervention may potentially lead to poor school performance as well as mental issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, etc.)

So how can word-finding deficits be assessed?  Please note that common comprehensive language tests  will not do a good job of teasing out  word–finding deficits.  While you may notice some word finding errors on the Sentence Formulation subtest of the CELF-5, you may need to use specialized tests in order to assess word finding at word and discourse levels. Presently there are three standardized tests available for that purpose: Test of Word Finding Third Edition, The Test of Adolescent/Adult Word Finding, as well as The Test of Word Finding In Discourse created by Dr. Diane German (available via PRO-ED).

However, in the absence of these tests, you can assess word-finding at both word and narrative levels using the adaptations of standardized tests as well this informal narrative assessments.

For example, you can use the Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT) in order to test the efficiency of the student’s word retrieval in single word context. Here, the goal is not necessarily to test their expressive vocabulary knowledge but rather to see what type of word finding errors the students are making as they are attempting to correctly recall the visually shown word. Depending on the extent of the child’s word finding deficits you may have some very useful information to derive from the presentation of this test.

To illustrate, I recently informally administered applicable portions of this test to a four-year old Russian speaking preschooler. Based on his performance I was able to determine that his errors are primarily Error Pattern 3 – Form & Segment Related Phonologic Errors or —”Twists of the tongue”. This was further confirmed when I had the child to participate in the narrative retelling task.

So where can we find reputable evidence-based practice information on effective assessment and treatment strategies for word finding deficits? My answer is invariably to go and explore the resources made available by the “queen of word-finding” Dr. Diane German, who has conducted an extensive amount of research on this particular topic. Start with her website, entitled Word Finding.

She has a lot of good information to offer  there for free to both speech language professionals as well as parents. Take a look at her recommended materials and resources, they are very valuable and incredibly helpful when it comes to assessing and treating children with word finding deficits. And if you get the opportunity take the online course on word finding deficits in children that she offers. I took it several summers ago through National Louis University. She will also be offering it once again this upcoming winter (SPE 525 On Line, Word Finding Intervention) at National Louis University. I highly recommend that you take it, but if you can’t you can’t take it, she also offers a CEU course through Northern Speech Services.  Taking her course through  National Louis University changed my entire outlook on how to work with children with word finding deficits. I even wrote about it on ASHAsphere HERE. So the next time someone asks you a question on how to assess or treat word finding you know exactly where to refer them for evidence-based practice resources.

So have fun and evidence-base practice on!

PS. Calculating percentage of word-finding difficulties in children.

Dr. German recommends the following procedure: Obtain a language sample of 50 T-units (kernel sentence + subordinate clause)  in length using stimuli of  interest to the learner (or use one you have as long as all utterances in the sample are included). Then asses each T unit for the presence of one or more of the following  7 WF behaviors in discourse: repetitions, revisions (reformulations), substitutions, insertions (comment that reflects on the WF process like I cannot think of it, etc. ), time fillers (um, er, uh),  delays with in the T unit, and empty words (thing, stuff). Learners with WF difficulties manifest one or more WF behaviors in 33% or more of their T units (often 40% – 50%).  Typical language learners display WF behaviors in 19% or less of their T-Units (German, 1991) (German, 2015: SIG 16 Topic: Assessing Word-Finding Skills)

Helpful Smart Speech Therapy Resources:

References:

  1. Dockrell, J.E., Messer, D., George, R. & Wilson, G. (1998). Notes and Discussion  Children with word-finding difficulties-prevalence, presentation and naming problems. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 33 (4), 445-454.
  2. German, D. J. (2009, Feb. 10). Child Word Finding: Student Voices Enlighten Us. The ASHA Leader, 14 (2), 10-13.
  3. German, D.J. (2005) Word-Finding Intervention Program, Second Edition (WFIP-2)  Austin Texas: Pro.Ed
  4. German, D.J. (2001) It’s on the Tip of My Tongue, Word Finding Strategies to Remember Names and Words You Often Forget.  Word Finding Materials, Inc.
  5. Dr. German’s Word Finding Website: http://www.wordfinding.com/

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are the personal opinion of the author. The author is not affiliated with dr. Diane German nor PRO-ED publications in any way and was not provided by them with any complimentary products or compensation for this post. 

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Bilingual Therapy Resources Linky Party!

bilingual therapy resources link upThe Dabbling Speechie is having a bilingual therapy resources Linky Party so I decided to join in and write a few posts on what I am using and referencing when it comes to assessment and treatment of bilingual and multicultural children.

First up I’d like to tell you a little bit about the post I wrote and materials I created for this purpose.

A few months ago I did a post on Integrating aspects of multiculturalism into group language therapy sessions where I offered some suggestions on how to integrate multiculturalism into your group therapy sessions, which included books, activities and websites.

Below are a few products I’ve created for bilingual/multicultural assessment and treatment purposes:

I also created specific products relevant to comprehensive data collection and narrative assessment of multicultural children

  • General Assessment and Treatment Start-Up Bundle
    • This product bundle contains 5 downloads for general speech language assessment and treatment planning and includes:
      1. Speech Language Assessment Checklist for a Preschool Child
      2. Speech Language Assessment Checklist for a School-Aged Child
      3. Creating a Functional Therapy Plan: Therapy Goals & SOAP Note Documentation
      4. Selecting Clinical Materials for Pediatric Therapy
      5. Recognizing Speech-Language delay in school age-children: a tutorial for teachers
  • The Checklists Bundle
    • This product contains 4 checklists relevant to screening and assessment in speech language pathology
      1. Speech Language Assessment Checklist for a Preschool Child
      2. Speech Language Assessment Checklist for a School-Aged Child
      3. Auditory Processing Deficits (APD) Checklist for School Aged Children
      4. Social Pragmatic Deficits Checklist for School Aged Children
  • Narrative Assessment Bundle
    • This product contains ontains 3 downloads relevant to narrative assessment
      1. Narrative Assessments of Preschool and School Aged Children
      2. Understanding Complex Sentences
      3. Vocabulary Development: Working with Disadvantaged Populations

What materials are you using to assess your bilingual/multicultural students?

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What parents need to know about speech-language assessment of older internationally adopted children

This post is based on Elleseff, T (2013) Changing Trends in International Adoption: Implications for Speech-Language Pathologists. Perspectives on Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders, 3: 45-53

Changing Trends in International Adoption:

In recent years the changing trends in international adoption revealed a shift in international adoption demographics which includes more preschool and school-aged children being sent for adoption vs. infants and toddlers (Selman, 2012a; 2010) as well as a significant increase in special needs adoptions from Eastern European countries as well as from China (Selman, 2010; 2012a). Continue reading What parents need to know about speech-language assessment of older internationally adopted children

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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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Speech Language Services and Insurance Coverage: What Parents Need to Know

insurance coverageBased on popular demand I created this 26 slide presentation to provide basic information regarding insurance coverage for common outpatient speech language assessment and therapy services. This handout contains important questions parents must ask when speaking to their insurance representatives regarding service coverage. —It lists common pediatric diagnostic (ICD-9) and therapeutic (CPT) codes as well as discusses common service exclusions in policies. —It also provides some suggestions on how to initiate appeals for denial of services and includes links to helpful resources parents can access to obtain further elaboration on the information provided in this presentation. Continue reading Speech Language Services and Insurance Coverage: What Parents Need to Know

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In case you missed it: Integrating aspects of multiculturalism into group language therapy sessions

Last week I did a guest post for The Practically Speeching Blog on the topic of multiculturalism. In case you missed it,  below I offer some suggestions on how to integrate multiculturalism into your group therapy sessions.

I don’t know about you but I have a number of multicultural students on my caseload who exhibit language deficits in both their birth language as well as English. Even though I am unable to speak their languages (e.g., Spanish, Hindu) I still like to integrate various aspects of multiculturalism into my sessions in order to support their first language as well as educate them about their culture and other cultures around the world as much as possible.   Why? Because among other benefits (e.g., cognitive, linguistic, academic, just to name a few) studies have also found a connection between bilingualism/multiculturalism and higher self-esteem in children (Verkuyten, 2009).  For me the latter definitely plays a huge part, since children with language impairments already recognize that they are different from their peers when it comes to their abilities and accomplishments in the classroom, which is why I try to support them in any way that I can in this area. Believe it or not it’s not as complicated as it sounds, and with a little ingenuity you can make it happen as well.  Below are some suggestions of what you can do in sessions. Continue reading In case you missed it: Integrating aspects of multiculturalism into group language therapy sessions

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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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What to do if you find your copyrighted material posted online

In this day and age, in addition to speech language assessment and intervention, many speech language pathologists are engaged in a number of enterprising endeavors ranging from creating and selling therapeutic materials to public speaking and presenting. As a result of these activities we continuously create numerous digital downloads for primary (e.g., TPT materials) and secondary (handouts to accompany presentations) customer consumption. Of course in these materials we specify exactly how we want them to be used. Typically we place a number of disclaimers on the front page including:    “Do Not Copy”, “Do Not Resell”, “For Individual Use Only”, “Do not remove copyright” and so on. But what happens if these disclaimers are disregarded and you find the product you had worked so hard on for a period of days, weeks or even months, publicly posted on an ebook search engine website for all to see and download. Continue reading What to do if you find your copyrighted material posted online

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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