Monthly Archives

November 2013

crafts, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Craftivity

Hey everyone,
I apologize for my prolonged absence from the blogging
scene. I don’t know about your schools but at mine there is something  (or multiple somethings) going around.  I spent the last week drinking hot water,
lemon, and honey to kick whatever was in my system. I thought I was able to
shake it but it seems like I now have something else. This week I have
countless throat/cough drop wrappers scattered in my bag, office drawers, car,
and home.  Stay healthy everyone! Being
sick is never fun!
In the midst of being foggy minded this past week, I’ve
created some Thanksgiving turkey templates for you to use in your speech rooms
and roll & color Thanksgiving themed activity sheets. It’s hard to believe
that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and we only have one more week until
Thanksgiving break!
I have used the turkeys to target:
–        -Thanksgiving word associations
–        -Vocabulary
–        -Synonyms/Antonyms 
–        -Storytelling: paired with Twas the Night Before
Thanksgiving and targeting beginning, middle, end (the kids have truly been
enjoying this book since it reminds many of them of the new popular movie “Free
–        -Sequencing: paired with the Little Old Lady Who
Swallowed a Pie
–        -Articulation: Thinking of Thanksgiving words
that include their articulation sound
Follow this link to download: Thanksgiving Craftivity and Roll & Color Sheets
I feel that nature language themes/contexts provide some of
greatest learning targets. By focusing on these skills and incorporating
something relevant to their lives, I feel like this will lead to the greatest
generalization of skills. Plus who doesn’t love talking about Thanksgiving….
Food, family, and giving thanks!
As Sanaz and I have both said before, we want to thank each
and every one of you who visits our blog, follows us on twitter/facebook, and
instagram. We continue to do what we do because you are the ones who
reinvigorate our passion for speech language pathology and who challenge us to
be better SLPs!

To thank you all, we wanted to participate in the “Speechy”
Feedback Linky Party.
“Tammiegrismer” please contact us with your item of choice from our TPT store!!
Have a great week everyone! 🙂

crafts, early intervention, language, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Turkey Time

We had lots of fun with turkey activities in speech this week. We watched videos of turkeys, read books about them, and made turkey crafts. I work with many young children so they had no idea what a turkey was. It was so much fun teaching them about turkeys and everything turkey related. Here is the  template for the turkey craft that we made. 

I work in a clinic that is very culturally/ethnically diverse so I made sure to ask the parents if they celebrate Thanksgiving. Some of the families did not celebrate Thanksgiving so we just talked about turkeys and other fall related topics. This also gave me a chance to chat a bit with some of the parents and get to know them and their culture better. I know the SLPs in schools do not really get the chance to interact with the parents as much; however, in private clinics we work very closely with the families. Most of the parents are typically present in my sessions and get involved in the activities. 

We made our craft and targeted goals such as: requesting (i.e. I want feather), colors, body parts, following directions (i.e Put the glue on the feather), vocabulary (i.e. feather, turkey, etc.), and pointing.

We used the book to target goals such as: following directions (i.e. turn the page), -wh questions (i.e. where is the turkey?), speech sounds, literacy skills, and animal names.

It was a fun week and the kids were proud of their artwork and their new words!

early intervention, language, parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Finger painting Fun

I work in a private clinic and we see many many children under the age of three so I get to do so many fun things throughout the day. My younger kiddos at work always enjoy finger painting and it is so nice to see where their imagination takes them while they use their little fingers to paint. I decided to do some finger painting with my toddler this past weekend and he LOVED this activity. He was way more into it than I thought he would be. If you have toddlers at home or even older children who enjoy painting, finger painting is a great activity to try with them. I used a canvas for the painting but you can use paper if you wish. We also used these little brushes at some point but he was more excited about painting with his fingers. I got everything at Michaels; they have paint that is washable and non-toxic, great for kids. 

Let the fun begin!

Look at my masterpiece!
Check out my prints on the back!

My first artwork at 1 year!

I thought it would be a good idea to give him the same size canvas every year around his birthday and let him paint whatever he wants + get his prints on the back. It’ll be fun to look back at how their paintings change. 

I like finger painting because it stimulates kids’ creativity and imagination. Kids can learn about mixing colors and it is a fun sensory activity. It can also be a great group activity (probably super messy though). You can have a bunch of kids paint together to create shared artwork and you can work on “sharing” and talk about “teamwork” with the older kids. I have noticed that painting is emotionally soothing for some of my kiddos at work and it helps regulate them. A lot of times at work I have to be able to help my kiddos regulate before I can do any speech/language activities with them. Painting and the sensory experience that comes with it helps regulate some of my kiddos especially the ones with autism and it gives us the opportunity to work on many language goals (i.e. colors, verbs, requesting, etc.)

And lastly finger painting is a ton of FUN!!

autism, early intervention, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Using SCERTS to Help Children with Autism

I attended a class this past week on using the SCERTS framework to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This class was taught by Emily Rubin, MS-CCC-SLP, who specializes in autism, and other social learning disabilities. We use the SCERTS model in our early intervention groups where I work and I have seen many children especially the ones with ASD make great gains using this framework. 

SCERTS is an educational model that provides specific guidelines for helping children become confident social communicators, while preventing problem behaviors. This model is designed in a way that the educators, therapists, and the families have to work together as a team to support the children and their needs.

Progress is
measured in functional activities with a variety of partners in the SCERTS Model; thus,
the broader context of a child’s development
is recognized, including family involvement, and the absolute necessity for supporting
communication and socioemotional development in everyday activities and routines (Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, & Laurent, 2003).

What does SCERTS stand for:
Social Communication:  the development of spontaneous, functional communication, emotional expression, and secure and trusting relationships with children and adults
Emotional Regulation: the development of the ability to maintain a well-regulated emotional state to cope with everyday stress, and to be most available for learning and interacting
Transactional Support: the development and implementation of supports to help partners respond to the child’s needs and interests, modify and adapt the environment, and provide tools to enhance learning (e.g., picture communication, written schedules, and sensory supports). Specific plans are also developed to provide educational and emotional support to families, and to foster teamwork among professionals (Prizant, Wetherby, Rubin, & Laurent, 2007).

The SCERTS Model Collaborators:
Barry Prizant, Ph.D.
Amy Wetherby, Ph.D.
Emily Rubin, MS
Amy Laurent, Ed.M, OTR/L

The SCERTS framework divides children into 3 stages:
1. Social Partner Stage (i.e. children who are communicating through pre-symbolic nonverbal means)
2. Language Partner Stage (i.e. children who are communicating through early symbolic means, as expressed through verbal language, signs, or pictures)
3. Conversational Partner Stage (i.e. children who are communicating through sentence and conversational level discourse)

How does this model help the family and the child?
SCERTS helps to empower
families by teaching them the tools needed to help their child reach their
individualized goals. This model is child and family centered. It also focuses
on everyday activities and routines which are the primary contexts in which children
learn, and in which progress is measured so that generalization can occur.

Who should use the SCERTS model?
SCERTS can be used with children as well as older individuals with different developmental disabilities.This model can be adapted to meet the needs of younger and older individuals with  or without ASD across many settings. However this model is typically used with preschool and school age children with social communication challenges. 

The SCERTS assessment:
SCERTS Assessment Process (SAP) includes: direct observation across different settings, parent interview, and ongoing assessment and data collection.

What I like about the SCERTS model?
-This model promotes learning from other children who provide good social and language models
-You can get the whole team on board (family, teachers, SLP, OT, etc.)
– Beneficial for children with and without ASD


Prizant, B., Wetherby, A., Rubin, E., & Laurent, A. (2003). The scerts model. A Transactional, Family-Centered Approach to Enhancing Communication and Socioemotional Abilities of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder16(4), 296-316. Retrieved from

Prizant, B., Wetherby, A., Rubin, E., & Laurent, A. (2007).The scerts model. Retrieved from

Uncategorized, Uncategorized, Veterans Day

Veterans Day

This week in my speech room we are celebrating our veterans. Veterans day has always had a special place in my heart growing up in a military family and minutes away from several military bases. My dad served in the Navy and in the Gulf War.

I have been using the News 2 You curriculum this week. The featured story this week is on Honor Flight, which is a special group that helps war veterans visit the memorial in Washington D.C.. My students have loved learning about what a veteran is and how Earl Morse founded the Honor Flight group.

We also talked about why we celebrate Veterans Day and how it is a special day to honor our veterans (two vocab words I honed in on this week). We brainstormed ways that we could honor veterans and the students came up with the idea of writing thank you notes to the veterans.

I created two templates to use with my students. Many of my younger students enjoyed drawing a special picture on their letter and writing a simple thank you note. Lots of my students loved looking at military related pictures and replicating the pictures they saw (don’t worry we didn’t look at any graphic war pictures!).

My boyfriend, who works at a veterans hospital, volunteered to deliver these notes to those veterans in his unit. He will be working on Veterans Day, so I can only hope those veterans enjoy reading the notes my students made.

You can download these templates for free here: Veterans Day Letters