Blogjam SLPs blog about language learning with toys, relaxation techniques and being a guide and coach for families. Blogjam
Blogjam  |   January 01, 2017
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Article Information
Blogjam   |   January 01, 2017
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.22012017.22
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.BGJ.22012017.22
Steps to Self-Advocacy
As students approach high school, self-advocacy becomes a crucial part of speech-language intervention—especially when it comes to word-finding, writes SLP Laura Mantoan in a guest post on Jan Schwanke’s
“My ultimate goal for students with word-finding difficulties is to make sure each child has a full understanding of what word-finding is, how it impacts them with regard to school, and what they can do about it,” she writes. She has her middle school students reflect on word-finding in “speech journals” by responding with “a few quality sentences” to prompts she provides.
“Students … need to understand what parts of their school experience facilitate and impair their word finding and what they can do about it on their own,” writes Mantoan, who includes an example of journal prompts in the full blog post. “My expectation is that someday they will no longer need weekly speech-language support to learn and review strategies, but instead will be able to manage their word finding on their own.”
Moments of Zen
Relaxation strategies that incorporate movement can add variety to student sessions. SLP Karen Krogg, who blogs as the Pedi Speechie, highlights ways to include calming exercises and stretches into lessons about articulation and concepts like directions.
Some of her students enjoy deep muscle relaxation and stretching, “as opposed to arm circles and jumping,” she writes. Directions for exercises, such as simple yoga poses, are easily searchable online.
Krogg modifies the activities to meet students’ varying levels. “For some students, I had them say their target words a certain number of repetitions before completing a [relaxation or stretching] activity. For others, I had them say their target words in sentences.”
She uses more active movements, such as arm circles or marching in place, for students working on the concepts of “before” and “after.” (“After you march in place, do five arm circles.”)
Guide the Way
Although SLP Elizabeth Rosenzweig wears many hats as an auditory-verbal therapist—“insurance company negotiator, toy cleaner, language-sample transcriber, amateur children’s literature critic”—she’s most proud of her roles as guide and coach.
On her blog, the SLP delves into what each of these roles means in her job.
A guide, for example, “walks in front of you, but lets you in on her thought process along the way,” which Rosenzweig relates to a session: “The therapist may outline the plan, but her thoughts and the reasons for her decisions should be made clear to the family.”
A coach “watches you as you perform and gives helpful hints and tips.” SLPs working in auditory-verbal therapy “don’t need to dictate what families do. We can enhance what is already happening in ways that promote speech, language and listening development.”
A Toy Story
SLPs and parents can encourage language learning by choosing the right toy, writes Play on Words blogger Sherry Artemenko in a recent post.
She shares how to spot toys that promote language learning—look for:
  • Multiple play scenarios: For example, with a campsite toy, children could generate stories about “sleeping, hiking, nature, getting ready for bed, sending mail, showering, going to the bathroom, playing, pet care and garbage cleanup.”

  • Relatable everyday themes: “Kids learn by imitating scenes from their daily experiences as they act out eating, sleeping, shopping or playing. Often they will repeat phrases they have heard adults use in association with an activity. Imitating events in their lives gives them a jumping off point for their own storytelling.”

  • Moveable props that encourage interactive play: For example, “opening and closing the shower and bathroom doors, pulling baskets of food off the shelf, ducking in and out of the tent flaps, and opening and closing the garbage can … all provide opportunities for taking the story further.”

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January 2017
Volume 22, Issue 1