Speech Therapy is About the People

As I attempted to put away my holiday décor this weekend, I turned on Minimalism, a Netflix movie. The film follows Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, known as “The Minimalists,” and talks about how to live more meaningful lives with less. The sentiments of the film resonated with me. In our profession, the people are the most important part. The stuff, at times, adds noise, and sometimes I forget this.

Speech Stuff

Daily, I am inundated by advertisements via snail mail, e-mail, Facebook, Instagram, friends and colleagues about materials, products and apps that make us become better SLPs. I thought about this, and I realize that good speech therapy doesn’t necessarily need much stuff. Here is a very short list of my favorite speech therapy tools:

Speech Therapy Tools:  Back to the Basics

1. Dry erase board and markers
• Write/draw a schedule for session
• Draw pictures for describing and comparing/contrasting
• Telling a story

2. Counter
• Count repetitions of speech sounds (this is my sole articulation tool)
• You can make this more exciting– go on a nature walk and click each time you see/say something with the target sound

3. Books
• Use them to work on speech and language
• Bring in books that are visually appealing and support child’s interests
• Supports grade-level curriculum

Learn everything you need to know about literacy-based intervention!

4. Blocks
• Tackle requesting, commenting and turn-taking while being creative
• Work on describing (color, size, shape)
• Work on spatial concepts (in, behind), following directions

Children have used the rectangular blocks as beds, food, stores, clothing items and so much more!

5. Moving vehicle that holds characters
• Tackle requesting, commenting and turn-taking while watching something in motion
• Work on describing (color, size, shape)
• Work on wh-questions, inferencing (Oh no! A flat tire. What will happen next?), sequencing (First, let’s pick up Mama. Then, we will go to the store. Last, we’ll make dinner!)

So, let’s back to basics. In the spirit of setting goals for 2017, we would like to introduce the Minimalism Challenge!  If had had to carry everything you would use for speech therapy in a single bag or box, what would be your must-have tools? Leave a comment below.

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