This week, I found a great app that is **FREE for a limited time!**  I'm not sure how long it will be free, so go grab it if you can. The app is called Pair by Nature  and is geared toward the preschool crowd.  I can see myself using it with some of my students with developmental delays also. This app is really simple and engaging.  With this app, students can learn about logically related items.  It also helps them to develop visual perception skills, cognitive skills, and language skills.  The app developer, Step by Step describes that " children will engage in simple activities, such as matching, pairing, ordering, grouping, and sorting. This allows them to practice essential skills, such as: categorization, conceptualization, generalization, abstraction, memory, language, math, visual perception, fine motor, accuracy, attention, and focus. They will learn about shapes, colors, animals, fruit, vegetables, clothing, tools, vehicles, furniture, professions, toys, etc., ...
Do you ever have days where you know exactly what you need to target, but are just looking for a different way to do it?  I know I have had many days like that, especially when working on articulation.  My first year in the schools, I know that I was so frustrated with the monotony (to me at the time) of working on articulation, that I wasn't sure I even wanted to do the job anymore!  With my crazy caseload now, I have gotten over the feeling that articulation work is monotonous, and now embrace the time I have with my students working on articulation.  We can have so much fun together! So, you may ask, how did I get over the feeling of monotony?  Well, I made a deal with myself that I would try to change things up.  I would take items that I already had and use them as reinforcing activities during articulation work.  Here are ten activities that really work for me: 1.  Go Fishin- This is a game that I had in my speech room, and every time I had it out for my preschool ...
I originally wrote this post for Felice over at The Dabbling Speechie as part of her Monday Motto series.  I thought that with the start of school this week for myself and a lot of you, it may be a good time to share this post here. "Be the change you want to see in the world."  -Mahatma Gahndi Working as a school based speech-language pathologist can be really hard sometimes.  Our caseloads are huge, the students have so many different and diverse needs, and the paperwork (oh, the paperwork)!  But, seeing my kids make gains in any of their goal areas just makes my day all the better. Getting kids to make gains in their goal areas is change.  We help make changes every day.  Nothing gives me more joy that hearing from a former student or parent that I helped make a change for the better in someone's life. Another difficult part about working in the schools is at times it gets a little negative.  Teachers and staff are overworked, and at times under apprec...
Progress monitoring is something that can haunt you all year. In the past, I have felt like I was constantly scrambling at progress report time, trying to scrounge up data that I had taken to present on my reports. When I started out, I didn't think ahead to how I would compare this data over time to show the growth that I knew I was seeing. Now, I have realized that when I use the same tool each time I progress monitor, I can get a much better picture of how my students are learning and changing over time. Here are 5 tips for getting great progress monitoring data: 1. Be Consistent I think this one is pretty important.  When I am doing progress monitoring, I want it to be a snapshot that I can compare with another snapshot.  Whenever possible, I try to use the exact same items when progress monitoring. For story retelling or answering questions about stories, I try to stay consistent with the types of stories that I use.  For example, I may use a Fall Matt and Molly st...
Progress monitoring for articulation was something that I struggled with for a long time.  I never felt like I was comparing like data.  I would pull out a pack of articulation cards and take data on the words that came up.  I didn't write down the words, I just had plus and minus marks on my paper.  I would get a percentage for the sound, but not much more information. Two years ago, I started working on a system for myself to progress monitor articulation skills.  I wanted it to be easy for me to pick up and go with multiple students in a group, all working on different sounds.  I also wanted to be able to compare how students produced the same words over time.  I started with a few sounds, and it grew and grew.  With a little tweaking and putting in some fun new clipart for you, I think it is ready to share with everyone! Here is my Articulation Progress Monitoring Kit : This kit is really easy to put together and to use.  I started with a large three ring bin...
Many of you have asked where I got my visuals for conversation in my 5 Tips for SLPs Working with Students with ASD.   I have worked on these over the years, and I am ready to share them with you! Let's Have a Conversation is a packet that has helped me and the school social worker at my school give our students with ASD a way to learn how to have a very simple conversation. Using visuals and removable icons, we have expanded utterance length in our students and helped them to learn the skills needed to have a conversation. We try to do this during our peer support times with our SNAPs students (Students Need A Pal), but also practice with just ourselves and the students with ASD.  When we have SNAPs students, we have them ask the questions.  When they are not there, the social worker or I ask the questions. The questions are simple such as, "What is your favorite color?"  We give students a variety of options to choose from.  Sometimes, they may start...
With the end of the year here, I have been thinking a lot about what I have accomplished this year with my students.  This year I worked with four self-contained Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classrooms.  This was a huge challenge for me simply because of the high number of students on my caseload with pretty high needs.  In reflecting on my year, I decided that I wanted to share some tips of things that helped me get through relatively unscathed. I have been working with kids with ASD for about 13 years now. During that time, I have picked up a lot of little tips and tricks to working with this population of students.  I have had some definite therapy fails and learned from those fails.  Luckily I work with some amazing people who have helped me learn along the way.  I have also been lucky enough to work in a district that has provided me some pretty awesome professional development training. Because of the help that I have received, I have developed some great tips that I want ...