Entering into your clinical fellowship year (CFY) can be kind of daunting so we thought we would make these post dedicated to all of your entering your first job as a SLP. We wanted to share with you the top 10 materials/resources we felt helped us through our first year out on our own. This post is for those of you who work in preschools, schools, and private clinics working with children.
1) Gameboards: Check out Sanaz’ post here
http://thespeechchicks.com/2013/07/12/seven-must-have-games-in-speech-roo/. Gameboards are great reinforcers to keep a child engaged in whatever activity you may be working on- articulation or language- and they help to build social skills.
2) Teachers Pay Teachers: As Christine has said in previous posts, starting SLPs aren’t always given the biggest budget (especially in the school setting). This resource provides an outlet for SLPs in the field to create and post materials for just about anything at a low cost to those who need it. Christine has also found many materials on this site for free. We love that the materials are made for SLPs by SLPs. Christine’s favorite thing to purchase on the site are book companion packets which go along with popular stories used in the classroom. You can find just about anything on Teachers Pay Teachers!
3) Social Media: Blogs, twitters, and facebook are great resources.
4) Bubbles: How do you go wrong with bubbles? Bubbles are something that we always have within close reach. They are a great way to elicit language, social interaction, or to just sooth a kiddo that is upset. What kid doesn’t love blowing bubbles or chasing after bubbles and popping them.
5) Boardmaker or Symbolstix software: Software that you can use to create symbols for your kiddos in an invaluable tool. These kinds of software can be used to create communication boards, picture schedules, and visual aids. One thing that Christine has been using these softwares for is to create materials for use in my therapy room. We find both of these softwares easy to use. They are a bit pricey but we feel they are definitely an investment worth making.
6) WH Question/Answer Cards: As SLPs we always have kids with “wh” questions as their goals. You can buy these from Super Duper Publications or simply print your own. You can do a google search and you will come across many different cards/worksheets with “wh” questions and answers.
7) Visual Schedules: Creating visual schedules really helps our kiddos know what is going to happen each time they come to speech and it helps transitions run smoothly as Christine mentioned in her previous post about “Trouble with Transitions.” Keep these handy and you will have less meltdowns.
8) Laminator: This is an SLP’s best friend and you can find cheap ones on amazon. Laminate, save, and reuse!
9) Music: This comes handy especially if you are working with younger kids. You want to have at least once CD with some popular songs (i.e. The Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABC Apple, etc.)
10) Planner/calendar: Keeping organized during your CF year is one of the most important things. A planner or calendar will help you see all of those important dates/deadlines you may have coming up. During your CF year it is important to stay on top of those deadlines so that you can give yourself plenty of time to complete any tasks especially if you are working in the school setting, IEP due dates/eval dates can sneak up on your when you have a large caseload.
Hope this post helps you in your first year as a clinical fellow or your first 18 months (if you are a part time SLP)!
Christine and Sanaz