Summer down time = new visual schedules are coming!
Sanitize All The Things!
I thought the winter bugs were behind us but I'm getting very friendly with my friends the Lysol wipes lately. Working with little people is a true test of the immune system!
I ❤️ this PODD
So excited to have this PODD communication book finished and ready to use with my client! This is one of my favourite Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) systems. PODD stands for Pragmatically Organized Dynamic Display, which is a fancy way of saying the words you need most often are easy to use and find, and the book is set up in a way that makes practical and functional sense.
Best part: waterproof, rip proof paper. Special ordered from Relyco and so worth it. Because you can't take an iPad swimming.
Guys. I lost my watch in December and it's been hiding ever since UNTIL TODAY! This SLP is so relieved. Gotta have a watch at work! So glad I held out hope and didn't buy a new one.
Oh, it was behind my night stand. Of course. I only checked there 30 times and didn't find it (🤪). Saw a strange blue glow from back there in the middle of the night, and bam! I can't explain it but I'm happy, albeit slightly infuriated at the same time.
Did you know kids' understanding of time make take until at least age 7, if not later?
One of my favourite tools for keeping my clients "with me" and on task is the Time Timer, which shows a gradually shrinking red area that eventually disappears. You can turn the beep alert on or leave it off (it stresses some children to anticipate a loud sound).
I recently lost my watch, and I've been enjoying using the Time Timer during sessions to ensure I stay on track. I have a teacher friend who uses his during parent-teacher interviews to keep all the adults aware of the time, which I think is also brilliant. It truly is helpful for all ages and ability levels!
Zones of Regulation
Just finished watching the Social Thinking webinar on the Zones of Regulation and I also decided today was the day our three kids were gonna get a handy visual in the foyer. They are 4 and 6 and this language is being used at my oldest child's school (my twins will go there this fall, too) so we are getting on board with the common language. I also put up toolbox visuals for each of them so we can start keeping track of helpful strategies for managing the zones.
I love using balloons in therapy with toddlers and preschoolers. They are such versatile toys and pretty much every kid loves balloons. They have a permanent spot in my therapy bag (along with bubbles) because they are always a great back-up plan in case things go off the rails! Here are a few ways I use balloons to work on various goals:
- The "ready, set... go!" verbal routine - I pump them up and let them go (my little friends get to say "go")
- Natural eye contact - I blow them up with exaggerated, fun facial expressions, or wait until a child looks at me before throwing the balloon at him/her. I use lots of expectant pausing to build interest and anticipation
- Early vocabulary such as "more", "big", "up", and "down" (my little friends tell me where to let the balloon go from)
- Prepositions (in, on, under, behind) and body parts, sometimes in combination (e.g., "put the balloon on your tummy!")
- Verbs like "hit", "blow", "bump", "fly". Recently I used a balloon for targeting the present progressive -ing (growing vs. shrinking)!
- Following directions such as "go get the balloon" or "give it to Daddy" or "put it on" (I often use a balloon pump to minimize the germs)
- Building sentences with fill-in-the-blank sentence frames (e.g., "I want _____" or "I want a ____ balloon" with the child asking for different colours)
- With older kids, I use the balloon to explain how the lungs work and help them get their airflow blowing out for noisy speech sounds like /f/ and /s/
What's your favourite balloon activity?