When I lived in Atlanta, I developed a passion for working with middle schoolers with social skills deficits. Over almost 6 years, I developed many social skills groups while working as a Speech-Language Pathologist for The Howard School. I had fun implementing a social skills cooking club, social skills movie club and social skills writing workshop. I found the most success when allowing students to have some autonomy in the direction of the group as well as explicitly sharing the purpose of the group to the students.
Learn more about what science and research says about using autonomy and purpose to improve motivation here: Drive by Daniel Pink
After moving to Western North Carolina, it took some time (almost 3 years), but I’m VERY excited to announce that I will be starting a social skills group in Asheville, North Carolina!
Check it out here: EPIC Saturdays
I’ve incorporated all of the ideas from my previous groups and combined them into one EPIC social skills group.
Stay tuned for the fun things we do together while learning how to be more of a social thinker!
Incorporating executive functions in your articulation therapy improves carryover of skills.
As a speech-language therapist, it’s important to ask yourself:
- Do my students know what sounds they work on?
- Could they tell me the steps required to correctly produce their sounds?
- And, most importantly:
Do they even know WHY they come to speech?
This is a problem I’ve seen in the field for years and I’ve made it my mission to help students better understand the purpose of speech therapy and empower them with the skills to help carryover the progress they make in our sessions to their everyday life.
I’ve been surprised to see how even children as young as 4 can really benefit from explicitly teaching the purpose and steps to correctly produce their target speech sounds. After educating the student and helping them take more ownership of their goals in therapy, I’ve seen students meet their goals much quicker and improve overall speech intelligibility much faster than the traditional “drill and kill” approach.
Try incorporating executive functioning activities in your articulation therapy and see how much more progress your students make! I begin and end each session with a brief review of the student’s target sounds (no more than 2 sounds each session) and have them learn to “teach” the steps back to me and to family members for homework. Another added benefit to having students understand the purpose of therapy is that they will naturally become more motivated and engaged in the session. Explaining the purpose and helping them take more ownership of their goals improves intrinsic motivation.
I created a Teachers Pay Teachers activity to go with this idea. It includes worksheets for students to answer these questions as well asc “key” with verbal prompts for teaching the steps for the most commonly misarticulated sounds. You can find it here.
I also created a bundle that combines this activity with another one I created to help students associate their target sounds and learn the steps to correctly produce. You can find it here.
I love reading books written for business and applying it to education and speech therapy. Check out the inspiration for this activity here: Drive by Daniel Pink