Throwback Therapy Tool

     Today I am going to show y'all an invaluable tool in the speech room, especially when working with low verbal students or children with autism.  Drum roll please..... No , it's not the seat belt chair but that is one PRICELESS tool to me as well.  Seat belt chairs are so important to me because therapy does not happen without one.
     You know that kid--the one that can tear your entire room up in 2.5 seconds?? Yep, had one of those and luckily my fabulous administrators bought a seat belt chair for me to use with my individual kiddos. Hallelujah--best day ever, and most productive.  Below are some photos--one of my seat belt chair and the other of a very retro and cumbersome device that I am going to either introduce you to or remind you of its existence!  Hopefully, you already use one of these in your therapy room.
     Ahhh--the Language Master!  Used by teachers everywhere back in the day to teach reading.  SLP's have begged, borrowed and pretty much stolen these from teachers after learning their power.  I currently use mine to harness the power of the echolalic child--with wonderful results.  Price?  around $270.00.  Extra cards are around $30.00.  There is just something magical about using this instead of an iPad.  I think the "low techi-ness" of it makes them curious and my kids love to watch that magical card produce my voice.  Plus, research suggests that echolalia is how some kids learn--why not turn it around and make it a positive attribute??

      With most of my students, I start with common objects, actions, shapes, colors, and animals.  I usually try to work on ten at a time.  The way the Language Master works is you slide the magnetic card through the slot located under the Califone label.  Press teacher and then record as it is fed through the machine.  You only have a few seconds to record so make it count!  I will say the word /cat/ and then maybe add "meow" to add interest. The student is prompted to repeat or "Use your words."
      My student, who was nonverbal, is now saying a huge variety of words.  Repeated, yes, but he is carrying over very well!
       Below, these are cards from an older student who was working on sentence structure and pronouns.  These cards are also fantastic for working on social skills.  I record them saying the sentences for feedback or even if they need articulation therapy.  This would also be a great tool for students who stutter!
I hope you have a Language Master somewhere that you can utilize in your therapy room.  Try it and I hope you see great progress with your students!  I would love comments!!

Favorite Organization Tips for SLPs

The Frenzied SLPs have joined up again to bring you some favorite organizational tips!  If you really know me in real life and not just the pretty pictures I put up for you on here, then you know I am not organized.  I am a stacker, a notorious stacker.  On tables, on computer printers, on anything that basically doesn't move and has a horizontal surface.  I am not apologizing for this, just telling you this is real life.  I change groups every thirty minutes and I have about 54 kids on my caseload and I'm working on placing 2 more--so yeah, my day is slammed.  I organize when the kids leave (or after an infusion of Diet Coke).  

So, I may not organize as a rule, BUT I do SOME organizational things, so I guess that's basically the same thing.
I'm a visual learner so I included photos to help y'all see the vision. I also did not post my entire room because a girl has to have some skeletons in her speech room....
My Speech Room at the Elementary School
(Note the amazing bulletin board from Natalie Snyders' TPT store with "I Can" statements on display.  Yes, that is a burlap border.)  
Tip#1 Clean my therapy table everyday.  Yep this is a must-do. When my students say, "Umm, Mrs. Amy, I don't have anywhere to work because of all of your papers," there may be a problem!  I need to keep it tidy so my kids don't complain and my mental health is preserved.  Plus, it's flu season and I have to keep wiping my table to kill all of the yucks. 

Tip #2 Use student folders to keep work in (and save my sanity).
At the beginning of the school year I buy three prong folders with pockets in them (paper) that are on a serious big box store sale.  I have a product in my TPT store and I give them a cover to color and personalize.  We go over their goals for the year and keep all work that is in progress in the pockets of the folders.  They keep them here in the above baskets and when I pull my students (from 5K kids through 2nd graders) they immediately find their folder, get a crayon basket, and sit at my therapy table.   
Tip #3 Use a planner!  It doesn't have to cost a fortune or even be pretty (although I do like pretty).  Write down meetings, grocery lists, paid bills, when you turned in paperwork, new referrals, what's for supper--you get it everything.  Y'all I turned 40 in August and my memory is becoming so bad.  I do remember this from undergrad, "If you didn't document it, it never happened." So document it in the planner and you will feel so good when you look back and know it actually happened!  Erin Condren Planner

I hope this helps you in some way!  Have a great day!

Run Your Race on a Straight Path in 2016!

    Do I make resolutions--NOPE--to much room for failure.  I am an average person fraught with daily stress and mountains of responsibilities-normal I guess you would say!  So when I saw the linky from The Frenzied SLPs called "I'll Try..." and not "I Will"  I knew it was right for me!  "I will" has too many rules and for a card carrying procrastinator like myself, I don't want rules--I need the TRY!  I did make some goals for myself this year that are necessary. 
#1 I need a list to function...seriously.  My problem is that when I make a list it's on a Post-It that gets lost in the abyss of my purse.  My goal is to put my lists in my planner to keep them all together and to purge my brain of everything once a day so that I can be productive! Everything from meal plans to meetings will go in the planner.  I figure I am just going to have to take my planner with me everywhere! 

#2 I need a break.  Laundry, referrals, bills, family, billing, paperwork, dishes, TPT, etc.  I need a break sometimes and so do you!  A walk outside in the fresh air or a few minutes to read a book, these are essentials to keeping a good mindset. 

#3 I want to travel with my family; Disney, Harry Potter's, tropical somewhere/anywhere.  We need to get away and recharge.  

In this journey of life it is important to have that grounding thing that helps you stay focused and inspired.  To me that's the Lord.  He inspires me to make products that first help my students and then maybe even someone looking for something on TPT to help them.  Verses from the Bible help me keep this focus.  I found some Alex and Ani bracelets that remind me of these verses and keep me on track.  As SLPs in the trenches, we are bombarded with stress and we need recharging too.  I hope you find peace in 2016 and that grounding thing that helps you daily!
The race horse and the compass are great reminders for me!  You can find them here. 
Alex and Ani

Now follow this link to the awesome All Y'all Need for more inspiration for the New Year!  

Thanks for reading!