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Language therapy for children with severe cognitive impairments: Focus on Function!

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Print, laminate and cut out all cards.  There are seven categories for sorting food pictures: DairyGrainsMeatsFruits VegetablesSweetsDrinks...Lately I’ve had a number of children on my caseload with marked cognitive limitations. While I always attempt to integrate curriculum concepts into their therapy sessions, I also focus extensively on doing functional activities with them. These are tasks that pertain to daily living such as ordering food in a restaurant, shopping in supermarket, performing household activities, or looking up information.  This is why I was very happy to come across Figuratively Speeching SLP’s activity: Bundled Supermarket Activities.

The set contains 3 separate activities:

  • Supermarket Bingo
  • Supermarket Name Game
  • Supermarket Sort


It was definitely perfect for my purposes of teaching functional life skills. For starters I cut out the nutrition category mats and had the clients sorts products by food group.  I’ve had them name similarities and differences (‘How are apple and banana alike?’; “How are juice and milk alike”? ). We also practiced producing attributes: Pretend I don’t know what a tomato is. Tell me everything you can about a tomato (name category, function, location, parts, size, shape, color, composition, as well as accessory/necessity.)

master 2Then we moved on to inferences. I started  with providing minimal category clues and gradually moved on to proving more information in order for them to figure out what I was talking about. Finally we got to supermarket bingo. This game I adapted in the  fashion “The Price is Right”.  Once a bingo card was picked up I asked the students to figure out its approximate price. We also did a reverse, where I named the price of an item had them guess which item/items came closest to the amount I named.

Finally, I gave the students a budget to create meals for a day (kind of like that show $40 a day with Rachel Ray) and we did pretend shopping. We had a blast selecting the ingredients to fit our budget and then looking up simple recipes to cook the meals. Interested in this activity? You can grab it in Jessica’s TPT store for just $3.00.


1 thought on “Language therapy for children with severe cognitive impairments: Focus on Function!

  1. I work with 2 life skills classes and agree that life skills vocabulary is beyond important. These activities are too hard for them, but I can find ways to modify it for them.

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