Friday, June 1, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 63

SLP Resource of the Week

I found a great group of blog posts describing PROMPT commands for a variety of sounds on a personal website. The best part is that each post has great pictures illustrating the PROMPT command. If you are working with a child who isn't responding to visual cues, you might consider trying these PROMPT style cues which incorporate tactile cues as well.

Blog Post of the Week

I very much enjoyed reading this repost about a less than stellar public parenting adventure from Jessica's archives on Balancing Everything.

Ava this Week

Ava has always adored small stuffed animals - particularly kitties. She's never been interested in baby dolls though. We have several baby dolls along with a stroller (used for the kitties), high chair, and cradle. None of the baby doll toys saw more than transitory interest. This week, Ava started carrying around the smallest of the baby dolls. She's named it Goo Goo Gah Gah. We've never played baby dolls, so I'm not sure where she picked that up, school perhaps? Goo Goo Gah Gah has even taken over the spot of honor cradled in her arms while she falls asleep. I'll admit it. I'm enjoying seeing the dust collecting baby dolls getting a little action.

Weekly Michael

We moved a doormat from just inside the front door to just inside the back door this week. We've been playing in the water all week on the deck and the sand table is out there too so we've been tracking in water and sand and the mat was just more useful in the back.

Michael came up to me begging me to "come see" because, he claimed, he had made me something that was going to make me "so happy." I dutifully got up from whatever I was doing and followed him to the front door. He had taped four pieces of paper to the hardwood floor in front of the door and was so proud that he had made me a new mat for the front door. I thought it was fairly clever and very sweet - if not a very functional doormat.

Ava's and Michael's Weekly Home Therapy Notes

Ava's working on /k/ in several incarnations. We're doing initial, medial, and final /k/ as well as /sk/ blends. They're all mixed together. If she's paying attention and taking her time, she successfully makes a /k/ approximation instead of a /t/. If she isn't paying attention, if the utterance length is too long, if it is a front vowel, or if there is a /t/ anywhere in the word or carrier phrase she'll substitute a /t/. Also, she seems to be developing a habit of using a slight /t/ sound as a bridge into the /k/ which has her speech therapist concerned. She wants me to hold down her tongue tip with a tongue depressor to try to reduce her dependence on the /t/ production. I find that using the tongue depressor significantly limits the number of productions we get into a therapy session, doesn't work very well to achieve the stated purpose, and frustrates Ava and I'm inclined not to follow instructions. Any thoughts or suggestions from other SLPs out there?

Michael is still working on /f, v, s, and z/ all randomly mixed together and put into a scene for carryover practice. Our therapist drew a wonderful outdoor/camping scene and wrote in lots of key words all over the page. Michael simply tells me about the picture using the words in sentences of his own creation. After he makes up a sentence I can get him to repeat it 3-4 times by taking dictation and letting him watch me writing his "story" down. Here are a few examples of sentences he's telling about the scene.
  1. There are scary bats in the cave.
  2. There are five buckets of water to put out the fire at night.
  3. Let's go fishing for some fish.
  4. Four mosquitos fly off.
  5. Put on your life jacket to be safe when you swim.

Weekly Homeschooling

This week's homeschooling was derailed by life. My husband had the week off between jobs. We had a wonderful four day visit with a relative in town. We simply enjoyed lots of family time. That's one of the things that appeals to me about homeschooling. I like the idea that homeschooling allows you to create your own, flexible schedule for learning. Of course, I'm still not committed to continuing to "homeschool" past these preschool years. I'm thinking about it though.


  1. Dala, I'm not an SLP, but because of the silence following this post, I'll tell you what worked for us - and I'll take the worst word ever, "tractor". I always had to break words down to very small units for my son. So, he would repeat after me: "/t/" - "/ra/" - "/k/" - "/tor/". With a word as hard as this, he would have to do this for several weeks of practice (about 4-5 sessions a week, saying the word at least twice each session). At some point, he was able to switch to "/tra/" - "/k/" - "/tor/" and much later, finally, the word would come out as a whole. You get the idea - what if you break it up for her so much that she has no chance of sneaking in a "t"? Best wishes!!

  2. ... I'd like to add that when we broke up words into small, do-able units like this, I would model each part for my son individually and he would repeat immediately afterwards (I: "t" - He: "t"; I: "ra" - He: "ra", and so on). Eventually, he would remember the sequence of the parts himself, without me modeling, and from there it was never long until he could articulate the word without breaks in between.

    1. Thanks for the input Karin! In this particular case, it isn't that Ava is adding a /t/ sound into the word followed by a nice /k/. She's actually distorting her /k/ production by producing a blend of a /t/ and gutteral /k/ together. We're trying to clean up the /k/ sound even in isolation.

  3. Oh, I see. That sounds like a hard one. :( We tried holding the tongue down, too, and he disliked it, too. I ended up having him use his own finger - that helped some. I think it made him more aware of where he should produce his sound, but I agree it isn't a fun method.
    One other thing comes to my mind: I had read about movement supported speech therapy (it was in German, so don't ask me about the exact English equivalent). For the k-sound they use a forceful downward movement with your hand - as in: hit the table or the floor, or press down hard with your hand while trying to produce "k". I was really dubious about it at first, but gave it a try, and it worked very well. Good luck!


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