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My Speech Universe: June 2014

11 June 2014

My Unspectacular Exit...

I have a confession to make.  I finished my year without a bang.  I didn't make any elaborate crafts with my students to work on language or speech skills.  I didn't have any fun pizza, popcorn, or candy parties like my students always dream up.  We didn't go on scavenger hunts, or even do any therapy outside.  Nope!  I was BORING!!!!

I was able to see all of my students for one last time last week.  We played a game during each session, and I handed out my summer calendars to them.  It was very anti-climactic.  I almost felt bad because I could see myself 10 years ago doing all (or at least some) of the things listed above.

I started thinking, why was I able to do all of those fun things 10 years ago, and couldn't seem to get it together now?  I actually have a couple of answers to that question.

First, I have two boys of my own now, ages 6 and 7.  They are both heavily involved in multiple sports and activities, so my nights are pretty shot after I have them do homework, make dinner, and then schlep them around.

Second, the paperwork.  Oh, the paperwork!  I truly do not remember having to do this much paperwork even a few years ago.  Maybe I have selective memory.

Third, MEETINGS, MEETINGS, MEETINGS!!!!  I have had so many meetings lately, that it is amazing that I have seen my kids at all!  I have had some pretty intense families this year, and lots and lots of meetings with advocates, every team member imaginable, and parents.  I have a pretty intense caseload to begin with (18 self-contained ASD students in addition to the rest of my elementary) so I should expect meetings, but WOW!  I had a lot this year!!!!

So, there you have it, my confession.  I am boring.  There might be reasons behind it, but I do feel some guilt at not having a supercharged last week.  But, at the same time, it was kind of nice to just leave quietly...

09 June 2014

Requesting and Describing Using Attributes

Are you looking to work on requesting and describing by attributes? Maybe your students need some visual supports when expanding their utterances? Maybe they are using PECS in their classrooms and at home?  I have worked with so many students who need a little support in requesting using attributes.  Two of the easiest ones that I like to start with are color and size. These two are easy to provide visual supports with and can also be a lot of fun to work on!


Color is a great place to start when requesting using attributes.  Almost every great reinforcer has a color, and if it doesn't, you can put it into something that is colored!

I had some chocolate for one of my little people the other day.  Most chocolate is brown, so I didn't really want her to request using only "brown".  I wanted her to differentiate colors.  I had some left over plastic Easter eggs, and figured that I could put the chocolate in the different colored eggs and have her request for the eggs by color.  I thought that she wouldn't really want the purple egg if the chocolate was in the green egg.  Wow, was I right!  My little friend was VERY accurate with requesting the right color during this activity.

Color and Size

I found a great game to use when I want my students to request using color and size.  Bingo Bears!  There are three different sizes of bears, and six different colors.  You can also really customize your student's boards so that they have to request exactly what you want them to.  I limited the size to big and small, and also limited the number of colors.

Here is one of my little guys playing with me using his own PECS book to make his requests!

I also wanted to make a paper activity that I could use with my students and possibly send home for practice in describing too.  I made Requesting by Color and Size.

These are simple pages that have sentence strips at the top.  Students can place their color and size icons onto the sentence strip and then request using verbalizations.  If you have students who are exclusively using their PECS books, you can simply cut out the icons and place them in/on their book. You could also incorporate use of a core board into this activity.

Requesting by Color and Size

 Here are some examples of what you can do with this activity:

I have really enjoyed using this activity with my students.  I love that they can take something home with them to use at home too!

You can grab this Requesting by Color and Size activity at my TpT store.