Thursday, July 7, 2011

Instensive Summer Speech Program; Therapist's Review

It's hard to believe 5 weeks of summer speech therapy could go by so quickly.
Tomorrow is the last day of summer speech program. It's bitter sweet, as it's been challenging for some clients yet so rewarding to see their progress. It's nice to be finished but hard to say goodbye to so many.

I continue to learn how to streamline and make therapy optimal for each client. This summer we tried a new system and it seemed to work quite well.
1. We practiced with a voice warm-up for some clients who needed to increase their "speech power" (loudness and breath support), and for other clients we went through the /R/ warm-up sheet. With some we had them play with the tongue coordination game.
2. We practiced words from the previous day's last target sound worked on for 5-10 minutes
3. We rotated through a new target sound during the 3-5 minute individual practice time. This practice time is one of the most critical components of speech therapy using the palatometer technology. This private time allows the client to really focus on making connection with the whole process, as they light up their tongue target display.
4. We reviewed and worked some more on their target sound, went over their scores, their challenges and so on.
5. If time was left, we practiced one more words with a new sound target during the 30 minute session.

The next day, it starts all over again, we first reviewed the last target sound that was practiced, so on. This practice pattern seemed to allow for more sounds to be corrected in a short period of time. If one target sound was troublesome, it was almost better to review lightly than to over work it. Once they get all their target sounds down well, we moved into recording (with a digital recorder or the Ipad) the client for 2-3 minutes with their spontaneous speech without the mouthpiece. Then we typed or wrote down every word they say with their target sound in it, next we reviewed the same words with the "smartpalate" back in their mouth on "gold standard" to see how they scored.

It's interesting what made articulation therapy using the palatometer technology incidental learning for some and more challenging for others. I'd have to say for the most part, clients with good work ethic, good attention made the fastest progress. However, even those that had more issues still made incredible progress with the palatometer technology and intensive speech practice.

If you add any layer of issues even for neuro-typical clients, like lack of motivation, lack of home practice, etc, it cut into their progress.