Saturday, October 26, 2013

Speech Therapy Workshop Summary and Tips

I was  reminded after several different days of attending speech conferences, how great the "SmartPalate" system really is. This conclusion came immediately after listening to days of details; They talked about how sounds were learned, the research of using traditional, phonological or generative theories, traditional motor- learning techniques of teaching sounds and how the sequencing of sessions should look like.  It was a great review, but I came away with the same conclusion, I was doing all the right things and I was so glad to have the right tool; a good visual tool (the SmartPalate system).
This was all reassuring.

In summary, here is what I took away from my three different days of speech workshops.
I will * what was new for me.

1. Get lots of practice- expect 150-200 productions within a 15-30  minute session (more is ok)
2. Use motor-learning principles; mass practice and distributed practice
3. Take out time-waster; rolling dice, spinners, etc.  just practice
4. Vary your practice levels;  as soon as possible; practice words, phrases, sentences
5*. Varied Speech Drills, insert a number after each trial or letters to improve co-articulation, brain break, restructuring and increase self-monitoring skills.
For example;  road 1, road 2, road 3, road 4, road 5.  very important for self-monitoring; Tell them to listen to each trial and make it better, louder, or cleaner. You can do this with phrases and sentences too.

Personal experience: I've done the "varied speech drill" for a week now with over 10 kids and the results have been consistently marvelous. The students make the change they need. I had one hard of hearing student say it was "tiring" and he found he didn't have enough air".  All good self monitoring responses.  So we worked on getting more air, sustaining power through the entire sentence.  He also self-corrected on two words.  He told me ten sentences and we typed it up about his recent hunting adventure.  We used single words he had distortions on for the single word practice; "10 words X 10 trials = 100 productions.  Then he produced 10 sentences X5 trials =50 productions, total 150 trials in 15 minutes. Not bad!  Did one complete set with the SP mouthpiece and one set without SP mouthpiece. Plus I printed up his sentences as his homework practice.  We will review the same sentences on his next visit and get 10 more sentences.

MY TIP:  ( low tech visual reminder (ruler);  I got a ruler which has the numbers on one side, and I put the ABCs on the other side. I added a dot next to J. so they knew that was up to ten.  then went up to T. which is up to twenty.   I have students repeat up to ten times in a row with the number or ABC tag after each word production.   I only have them go up to 5 for full sentences.