Friday, December 16, 2011

101 Ways to Praise a Child

I don’t know about you, but I find myself praising my children by saying “good” 2 billion times a day. It is just an automatic response. But I am so tired of saying “good” when they get something right!
I recently ran across 101 Ways to Praise a Child. It is a list that Mom gave me when I was in undergrad. Moms always know what you need, even before you need it! So I tweaked it a little bit and wanted to share it with you! Unfortunately, neither of us know where it originated from or else we would be giving BIG props to that person! So for the new year I am challenging myself to be more creative when I praise my students for a job well done!

See 101 Ways to Praise a Child HERE.

google images

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some of My Favorite People

Today, I am taking a moment to brag on some of my favorite people. My fellow classmates! I just love those girls! Since I have graduated (woo hoo!) I can’t say I will miss going to class, but I will definitely miss them!

Sometimes grad school makes you feel like you are losing your mind, but my sweet friends were always there to encourage me and help me find my sanity! One of our final classes is Research Methodology, and let me tell you, this class is a doozie for many reasons! We take the semester to replicate a single subject study and then for the final, we present our findings. Below you will see some pictures from our poster board presentation night. (I know the girls are going to kill me for putting these pictures up, but they worked so hard that I wanted to share it with you!)

My Board

I hate I didn’t get pictures of everyone with their boards!

Our amazing professors had a holiday buffet ready for us! Yum!
The whole class. Congrats girls!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grinch Pills

Grinch Pills!

Have you seen these yet? Not positive where I ran across these (probably Pinterest), but they are super cute and will make great stocking stuffers or teacher gifts!
What you will need:

Just print off the poem and glue to a box of green Tic Tacs! You can print the poem off in a Tic Tac ready size here. (Sorry I don't know who origianlly came up with this, so I can't give credit to them.) I have already given some of these out and they are big hits!
Here is the full poem:

Merry Christmas!

Feeling kinda grouchy?
Holiday spirit can't be found?
Just try these little "Grinch Pills".
They're the best medicine around.
Whether eating a whole handful,
Or munching one or two,
These tasty little "pills"
Take the "Grinch" right out of you!

So the Grinch stole your Christmas,
Well this should gelp you out.
Little green Grinch pills
Will take out the pout.
You can eat a handful
or just one or two,
And before you know it,
you'll be a smiling fool.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ornament Wreath

Have we mentioned our obsession with Pinterest? Oh my, how time flies when you are on that website! We have been inspired to get crafty and actually create some of the things we pinned! If you are not already following us on Pinterest just go to the right hand side of this page and click follow us on Pinterest!

No doubt if you are on Pinterest you have seen the ornament wreath. We made one and wanted to share it with you! Here is a quick tutorial for how we made ours!
·         Styrofoam wreath
·         LOTS of ornaments (it’s nice to have varying sizes)
·         Hot glue gun and glue sticks
·         Ribbon

This project is so simple! First, wrap your wreath with the ribbon (this is a step that we did not initially do, but after we started we realized it looks best if you do this first). If you want a bow on top of your wreath, go ahead and loop your ribbon through and add the bow to the wreath since this will be difficult to do once the ornaments are on.

Then hot glue your ornaments on! For us it worked best if you did it in 3 layers. For the first layer glue the ornaments on the middle of the wreath, the second layer on the inside circle, and the third layer on the outside of the wreath. It is great to have smaller ornaments and then you can go in and fill in any big holes throughout the wreath.
Beware: this takes LOTS of ornaments and glue sticks! We used about 56 ornaments (which we lucked up on at Goodwill for a fabulous price) and 12 glue sticks.

Then hang up and enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What time is it?

Awhile back a wonderful autism specialist came to my school. She was there to help some teachers and me serve a precious little boy with autism in a way that was best for him.
While she was there she told me about a neat watch that changed colors throughout the day according to the time. She said it had been a lifesaver for older students who could not tell time. We all know that many people on the spectrum are very schedule oriented. And in elementary school we can make lots of great picture schedules to help them understand what to expect throughout the day. But let’s face it, once these students hit Jr. High a picture schedule may cause these students to stand out even more.
Enter the Noon watch! This invention allows students to have a sense of a schedule without making them stick out among their peers. They learn what activities are associated with the colors position on the watch.

While I am sure that there are several brands of watches that do the same basic thing, this just happens to be the one I saw in real life. The pictures are from (Watches are available there as well.) The colors change as the hands of the watch move. Your student may not be able to know that it is 2:45, but they can understand that when a certain area of the watch turns blue (or whatever color you like) it means school is almost over. It is also a great alternative to a timer. Timers work miracles for younger students, but once again it is not so cool once you hit the 10th grade.

These little babies can be expensive, but with sales on every corner, this is the best time of year to get one!

Have any of you ever used anything like this? If so, did you like it? What other products have been beneficial for your older students?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Mystery Box

We love DIY projects around here! So here is an easy one that you can pull out time and time again. The mystery box! This is something I made back in undergrad, and I am still using it!

To make this, I wrapped a box with the underneath side (not the side with the pretty pattern, but the white side) of wrapping paper and filled it with packing peanuts. Then I painted on some question marks and glued foam letters to the box. Yep, it was that easy! No doubt that all of you crafty people can come up with some awesome ways to decorate your box! And if you expecting Santa to send a package your way, then this is a great time to make this!

There are so many ways to use it in therapy! You can put artic cards in the box and have the students say the word as they pull the card out. Or you can put objects in the box and have the student name the object and its function as they pull it out of the box.
If you are working with adjectives it is fun to put an object in the box, have the child find the object and describe what it feels like before they pull it out of the box! The kids love getting to dive into the box!

Any other ideas on how to use the mystery box in theapy?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Website of the Week

The holidays are here! We hope everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit!
Today we wanted to take just a minute to say a BIG thank you to Jourdan over at Future SLPs for making us the website of the week! So hop on over and take a look at her awesome collection of resources!
And check in with us soon because we have a lot of fun things coming your way!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gabriel Giffords

I am so thankful that Gabrielle Giffords is willing to share her story about the road to recovery. If you did not get a chance to see her ABC special you can go here to watch the full episode (not sure how long this will be available).  I STRONGLY encourage you to watch this uplifting and inspiring interview!

This Diane Sawyer exclusive was especially interesting since it aired clips of the Congresswoman in speech therapy. I found myself on the couch nodding and saying “Yes, that’s it! Keep trying!” After watching her story I was all fired up to see my students and challenge them to work harder! If this woman can make progress so can you!

I also love that this show gave people a better idea of what a SLP does within a rehab setting! There are so many out there who have no idea what a speech language pathologist does, or they only know one aspect of it.

She also has a book coming out, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope. It is definitely going on my Christmas list!

Leave a comment and tell us what you think of this interview!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Websites for Children

We are so fortunate that there are endless resources available to us through the internet! Below you will find a list of kid friendly website that you can incorporate into therapy or pass onto parents to use with their children at home. There is no subscription required for these sites.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Be in the Know

Be in the know! We realize many of our AWESOME readers are future SLPs, so we want to help you stay in the loop! If you are currently taking out student loans, or you already have loans and are in the process of paying them back, there are some legal changes coming up that may affect you. Click HERE to read a recent AHSA Leader article that explains how these changes may apply to you.
How do you feel about these changes?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

5 More Games that Can Double as SLP Learning Tools

Today we have another guest post from our friend Philip J Reed, on behalf of Westwood College. As a follow up to his post, 5 games to use in speech therapy, Philip has provided us with 5 more game ideas! Be sure to comment and let us know what games you like to use in therapy!

A few months ago we presented an article about popular games that can double as Speech-Language Pathology learning tools.  We not only had a lot of fun writing it, but it got our minds thinking about many other games, and how easily they, too, can be integrated into your SLP program.

Patients respond best to activities that engage them, and games do that.  Games are particularly appealing to younger patients, who might not be fully aware of the value of their lessons.  By using popular games in your routines – games with which your patients are already familiar and fond of – you can keep them focused, keep their attention, and keep them excited.  So here are five more games you can utilize in your SLP program!


There is perhaps no better game suited to personal interpretation than Monopoly!  How many times have you found yourself arguing with friends over the rules, even though you both “know how to play?”  It is because of this flexibility, though, that the game lends itself so well to SLP programs.  From the simplest possible uses (have your patients read the names of the properties on the cards, and then place them with the matching space on the board) to more free-form creative exercises (ask them to come up with a story for what a dog or a top hat is doing buying real estate in the first place!), Monopoly’s therapeutic possibilities are limited only by your own creativity.  The fact that its stacks of money can be used as rewards for completing various exercises and assignments, redeemable later for prizes or treats, is just icing on the cake!


The structure of Guess Who makes it quite a bit more rigid than Monopoly, but it’s still a great tool.  The game consists of two racks of faces, each of which is distinct in its own way.  Two players ask questions about what the correct face looks like, until only one possibility remains and the identity is revealed.  By simply playing the game SLP patients will be learning (and using) various important descriptive words.  “Hats,” “glasses,” “mustaches” and related terms will be in use, and you can even integrate emotional terms as well, such as “happy,” “sad” and “shy.”  Try requiring patients to use at least two words to describe somebody’s features, such as “red hat,” “dark glasses” or “curly hair.”  The best thing about this game is that you can play it without needing the game at all.  By using pictures of friends, family members, or even celebrities or past presidents the game can be played just as well, and it might turn out to be even more engrossing that way!


If you purchase an Old Maid deck, the odds are good that you will find that the cards feature exaggerated, cartoony characters, often with humorous names or accessories.  I’m sure you can see where we’re going with this!  Rather than just using the cards to play Old Maid, you can use them as sort of conversational flash cards.  Shuffle the deck and pick out a character at random.  Have your patient describe that character to the best of his or her abilities, and then ask followup questions that require a little creativity in how they’re answered.  Try questions like, “What do you think this person does for a living?”  “What would you ask this person if you could ask any question?”  “Do you think this person would make a good friend?”  By following up each of these questions by asking why they answered the way they did, you will help them learn to communicate more effectively, and you will also help them to build conversational confidence as they do so.


Yes, you read that right!  According to Geek SLP, everybody’s favorite timewaster Angry Birds can be utilized in your SLP program more easily than you might think!  She recommends using the game as a springboard to writing assignments (“Do all birds work the same way?”  “Why do you like Angry Birds?”), playing the levels together and requiring the student to describe what he or she is going to do before they do it (“You could even have a list of vocabulary words you would like the student to use when describing their strategies”), and explaining the result of their actions (“You first did this…then that…”).  Of course, with a framework this loose almost any computer game would work, but this should at least get you thinking about interesting ways to use them!


Does this one surprise you?  After all, there are no words or pictures in checkers at all.  It’s a game with only two colors, two shapes, and a single grid.  And yet it’s a classic that has kept generations and generations intrigued by its simple but strategic fun.  So how can you use it in your SLP program?  Well, the rules of the game are clearly enough known, so play a game with your patient and pause periodically to ask him or her about different moves.  Point to a piece and have your patient explain the moves it could make, and also which of those moves would be bad, which would be good, and why.  Discuss strategy with them, and also cause and effect.  A good move now may turn into a bad move later, so explain why that happens.  You can even make deliberately poor moves and allow your pieces to be taken, requiring them to explain why that was a bad move and how they will capture your piece before they do so.

Just as before, these constitute only a small sampling of popular games you can use in your SLP program.  When it comes to your patients, your formal training and a medical assistant degree will help you a great deal.  But also very helpful is a good deal of resourcefulness and creativity!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Happy Halloween everyone! Since the big candy-filled day is right around the corner we wanted to share some fun Halloween treats! The first treat is easy and cheap! Our fave combo! It is also a tradition for the speech ladies. Cindy has been making these for her kids for several years!
First get a bag of suckers (works best if the shape is round), orange yarn, and a box of tissues.

Next, wrap the tissue around the sucker and tie off with the orange yarn.

Then add a ghost face and you are good to go! It makes a super cute treat! I always make sure to hand these out at the END of speech, that way the kids are good and sugared up for the teacher and not in the middle of your therapy session. (let me tell you how much my teachers love THAT… ;)

The next idea came from Skip to My Lou. This website is full of creative handmade gifts!

BOO you friends and other teachers! Just fill up a pumpkin with goodies like ingredients to make caramel apples, hot chocolate, or yummy candy, drop it off on their door, ring and dash! If you are doing it for teacher friends just put it by their classroom door when they least expect it, then they suddenly have goodies to share with the class! (Again - teachers are SUPER pumped about students having extra sugar!) The idea is not to let anyone know who “BOOed” them. Whoever receives the BOO basket has to pass it on with new goodies the next day. Before you know it everyone has received a special treat from a secret friend! Make sure you print off the BOO poem here. To see the full tutorial click here.

Please share what you do for Halloween! Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

We All Scream For Ice Cream

Everybody loves ice cream, even if it is in the form of foam! My SLP friend Aftyn has this great ice cream game, but I wasn’t sure where she got it from so I decided to make my own! Keep reading to learn how to make a FUN AND EASY ice cream game to play with your kiddos!
Step 1: Print out this template and cut out all the ice cream parts.

Step 2: Then trace the cones and scoops on to foam paper. (Foam paper can be purchased at any craft store. I would suggest getting colors that look like ice cream flavors such as white for vanilla, brown for chocolate, etc.)

Step 3: Cut out your cones and scoops! We drew some lines on the cones to make them look a little better.  Also, you need to make more half scoops than cones or full scoops because this is what you will use the most in the game.

The full scoops will go on the cone first and the half scoops fit over them so you can keep stacking up your ice cream! And that’s all there is! Cut out as many scoops as you want on different colors! How easy was that?!
How to play: Each player gets one cone. After they say their word (or whatever task you wish) they get to roll the dice and that is how many scoops they can add to their cone. The person with the most scoops at the end wins! We usually use a dice that only has 1, 2, or 3 on each side. You will needs LOTS of scoops if you use a regular dice. This game is great because it is generic, you can use it for any phoneme or language activity. I love to use this to talk about flavors. I am always amazed at how the concept of flavors alludes so many of my kids!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Follow Us!

Follow us! The Speech Ladies have discovered social networking! You can follow us on Pintrest by clicking on the button to the right or go to Pintrest and search for The Speech Ladies! Our boards are new but we hope to fill them up with great practical ideas! We will be sure to follow you back! Also, feel free to pin anything from our site that catches your eye!

Follow us on twitter! Scroll down and you will find the follow button on the right hand side of this page. We are @TheSpeechLadies. We are new to Twitter so please be patient, but we hope to get the hang of it soon! We can’t wait to follow you back and hear what is happening in your speech room!

And of course look for our page on Facebook and “Like” us! Or you can scroll down and “Like” us on the right hand side of this page! We would love for you to write on our wall! And we do our best to keep our page updated with our latest posts!

Also, you can subscribe to our blog (Again scroll down and look to the right)! This will send you an e-mail each time we post a new blog. That way you won't miss a thing! If you already have an account with blogger you can follow us that way too!
We appreciate your support and LOVE your feedback! Tell us what you like, what is helpful, and what you want to see more of!
Happy social networking!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zac Browser

Happy fall everyone! I hope that you are all enjoying football, pumpkin candles, and cooler weather!

If any the students on your caseload have autism, then you need to know about Zac Browser (Zone for Autistic Children)! It is a website that you can download to your computer and it was specifically designed with the autism spectrum in mind! On this site you can watch clips from tv and movies, listen to stories, play interactive games, draw on a virtual whiteboard and more! It is a safe environment and the best part is it’s FREE! I use this site as a learning tool and a reward! And typical children seem to really like it as well!
What is your favorite thing about this site?

The first video is about Zac Browser and the second video is a tutorial on how to navigate the site.