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In the Spotlight Reviews
Materials, books, games, software, and assistive devices will periodically be featured IN THE SPOTLIGHT. This feature provides in-depth information about a product that may be useful to those considering a purchase. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the source of the product. 

                                       

Please contact me if you would like to recommend a product to be featured IN THE SPOTLIGHT.

Newest material reviews are at the bottom of the list.

May, 2001
Title & Author: Following Directions with r, s, l, sh, ch, th by Robynne L. Merrill
Publisher:
ECL Publications, 1997
Source:
Super Duper Publications
Price:
$24.95
Description:
133 pages. Spiral bound. Appropriate for Grades 1-6. Target skills: articulation, vocabulary, basic concepts, following auditory directions. Ideal for "mixed" therapy groups of speech and language students. This versatile book contains many pages of worksheets, each containing 25 pictures, arranged in rows and columns, to provide motivating articulation practice with specific sounds in all positions. Twenty-five homework activities can be used with any of the worksheets. What makes this book so special is its novel combination of receptive language and articulation practice. Forty lessons of increasing complexity can be used with any of the worksheets. Each lesson presents students with directions that incorporate auditory processing, basic concepts, and expressive speech and vocabulary. Sample directions include: "Name each picture in Column A," "What is the picture in Box 20?," "Name the picture to the left of Box 7," "Ask me a question using the picture in Row 1 that is closest to Box 5." Directions contain prepositions, exclusion, description, and function, and elicit single words, multiple and/or repeated words, statements, and questions. A pretest/post-test Concept Assessment and Score Sheets for 1-4 students are provided to make data collection a snap. Students will enjoy the game-like format and challenge of the directions, and SLPs will appreciate the ease at which multiple needs of articulation and language students can be met simultaneously.


June, 2001
Title & Author:
Inspiration by Don Helfgott and Mona Westhaver
Publisher:
Inspiration Software, Inc.
Source:
www.inspiration.com
Price: varies, contact publisher for special site-licensing pricing
Description:
This software program, available for Macintosh and Windows, is a versatile tool to develop ideas and organize thinking. It makes visual, in words and graphics, brainstorming, outlining, diagramming, webbing, and concept mapping. As a prewriting tool, INSPIRATION can be used to plan, prioritize, and organize material. At a click of the mouse, one can also transform graphically-arranged information into an outline-format study guide. INSPIRATION can be used by all ages. A second version, KIDSPIRATION, is especially designed for elementary students. In addition to the software, books are available that provide classroom ideas and links to educational standards. You can download or order a trial copy of INSPIRATION and KIDSPIRATION from the web site.


July, 2001
Title & Author: Symbol Articulation by Lorraine Arcuri, Speech & Language Specialist
Publisher:
Mayer-Johnson Company
Source:
www.mayerjohnson.com (accessible through links on Highly Recommended and Links & Resources pages on this web site)
Price:
$39.00

Description: This book is a MUST for every SLP and would be a wonderful gift for speech/path grads as they begin their career in the schools. The book contains over 350 worksheets: 13 or more worksheets for each of the 27 target consonant sounds, arranged by initial, medial, and final sounds at the word and phrase level. All worksheets contain both text and Picture Communication Symbols, making the target words available to non-readers. Each worksheet contains multiple directions (listening, repeating, producing spontaneously, using words in student-generated sentences), plus a line for customized directions (so the SLP could add directions for signing, speech reading, auditory discrimination, etc.). Pages are in black and white for photocopying. Because of the well-organized, consistent format, an SLP could use these workpages in games, for following/giving oral directions, and as homework practice. The materials are appropriate for any age level, and could easily be used by groups mixed by target sound and/or language needs. An SLP's materials are often constrained by budget and by portability (in the case of itinerants). This is definitely one book that is well-worth the money and provides LOTS of useful material in a single, easy to tote volume.


August, 2001
Title & Author:
In the News Volume 1 & 2
Publisher:
Remedia Publications
Source: www.rempub.com (accessible through the Links & Resources page on this web site)
Price:
$5.95 each or both for $10.00
Description:
These books of b/w materials each contain interesting news articles, complete with headlines and captioned illustrations, that are wide-ranging, high interest topics presented at a 3-4 grade reading level. Following each article are five "wh" comprehension questions with space for a written response. Four companion books, The Five W's, are set up in the same way, but span reading levels 2-5. Because the topics in these books are so broad and varied (biographical, scientific, historical, humorous), teachers are sure to find a story that relates to each curricular topic. These news stories are a great way to teach vital skills that boost comprehension: scanning headlines & captions, formulating one's own questions about the topic prior to reading the text, reading the comprehension questions prior to reading the text to help target pertinent information, note-taking/highlighting, and answering (verbally or in writing) the questions following each story. To view extended product descriptions and sample pages, go to speakingofspeech.com, Links & Resources, and click on Remedia under the heading "Publishers."


September, 2001
Title & Author:
Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round by Brenda Brumbaugh and Nan Thompson-Trenta
Publisher: LinguiSystems
Source:
www.linguisystems.com (accessible through the Links & Resources page on this web site)
Price:
$37.95
Description:
This book is one of a series of "Listening For..." books that feature Brennan Bear and his friends. Recommended for ages 5-8, this 186-page book teaches 86 space, quantity, and attribute concepts through stories that promote active listening plus fun follow-up activities for additional reinforcement. Each unit is based on a seasonal or holiday theme, and contains tests for accountability, explicit directions, and information for parents. Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round is a "must" for all teachers and SLPs of young children! To view the Table of Contents and sample pages, go to speakingofspeech.com, Resource Links, and click on LinguiSystems under the heading "Publishers."


October, 2001
Title:
Writing With Symbols 2000
Publisher:
Mayer-Johnson Company & Widgit Software Ltd.
Source: www.mayer-johnson.com (see Resource Links page on this web site)
Price:
$199.00 (quantity pricing available)
Description:
WRITING WITH SYMBOLS 2000 (WWS2000) is a software program that combines symbols with text instantly as you type. WWS2000 contains over 3800 color & b/w Picture Communication Symbols and 4000 b/w Rebus line drawings to illustrate text for non- or low-readers. There are three primary purposes for this program: 1. For teachers, SLPs, and parents to make symbol-text materials (schedules, books, worksheets, instructions, recipes, etc.). 2. For emergent writers who cannot write in text, but who could compose sentences and stories using symbols. (The teacher or parent builds an onscreen vocabulary menu; the user "writes" by clicking the desired vocabulary items in sequence, which then appear in text and symbols on the screen). 3. For children and adults who can write in text, but who benefit from a talking word processor. (WWS2000 includes visual/audible spell checking, suggested words/symbols for misspellings, auditory read-back of text, adjustable text & background colors). WWS2000 can be used with direct selection (keyboard or alternative) or scanning (1-2 switches). The program requires a CD drive and Windows 95 or greater equipped with Soundblaster or compatible sound card. However, it has also been successfully used on a Macintosh with Virtual PC. WWS2000 also works in conjunction with Inter_Com, a picture-based email system for non-readers. For more information, visit the Mayer-Johnson web site (see LINKS & RESOURCES page).


November, 2001
Title: News-2-You
Publisher: Jacquie Clark, M.A., CCC-SLP
Source:
online at http://www.news-2-you.com (see link on RESOURCE LINKS page under "Publications") or call 800-697-6575
Price:
$65.00 per year for an individual or $270.00 for a group of up to 50 site subscribers. Price is prorated for subscriptions that begin after the start of the school year. See web page for details.
Description:
NEWS-2-YOU is a super weekly on-line publication that brings topical, interesting current events to special needs children and adults in a symbol/text format they can read. Each week subscribers download the 12-16 page "newspaper" which contains a major news item and an extra human-interest story in simplified language augmented by Picture Communication Symbols for increased comprehension and independence. Beyond the "who, what, when, and where" of the news item, there is a related recipe, a knock-knock joke, activity pages (crossword puzzles, comprehension checks, etc.), plus large vocabulary pictures for the four major words in the lead story. Subscribers can create additional, personalized pages for each week's paper, including weather, sports, birthday news, movie reviews, and more. Communication boards can be downloaded for each issue, as can simplified first pages. Jacquie Clark selects interesting, topical stories each week and presents them in a format and language that preschoolers through special needs adults can understand. Because the topics include science (health issues, research, discoveries, weather), politics (campaigns & voting), the arts (music, movies, etc.), places all over the world, and holiday/seasonal themes, NEWS-2-YOU can easily be woven into any curriculum while providing valuable literacy experience. NEWS-2-YOU has been successfully used by kindergarten classes and students in regular education, plus students and adults with: language disorders, learning disabilities, autism, mental retardation, and limited English profiency. This publication brings news of the day to people who would otherwise be excluded from or overwhelmed by newspaper, radio, and television news accounts. Visit the NEWS-2-YOU web page today and download a sample copy of this weekly newspaper. Your students will love it!


December, 2001
Title:
PICTURE THIS....series software
Publisher:
Silver Lining Multimedia, Inc.
Source: online at http://www.silverliningmm.com Price: $49.95 - $89.95 plus shipping.
Description:
The PICTURE THIS... series of software for MACINTOSH and WINDOWS are collections of thousands of photos that can be used to create unlimited materials for building communication and behavior skills. PICTURE THIS...V3.0 contains the basic program to help you format the 2700 photos from 30 different categories. PICTURE THIS...PRO is a more advanced formatting tool and search engine that includes such features as searing phonetically, printing labels in 5 languages, and customizing label appearance and position. PICTURE THIS...FUNCTIONAL LIVING SKILLS AND BEHAVIORAL RULES EDITION contains over 1000 full-color photos of children and adults doing a variety of functional activities, such as daily schedules and routines, personal hygiene, toileting homework, leisure activities, simple meal preparation, going out into the community, and following behavioral rules. This particular program was HIGHLY RECOMMENDED on the "software" message board of Speaking of Speech.com by the parent of a sometimes violent child with autism who responded very positively to the use of these photos. For more information and to view samples of each program, please visit www.silverliningmm.com.


January, 2002

Title:
Talking Pictures Photo Album
Distributor:
Sharper Image
Source Information:
online at http://www.sharperimage.com or call 800-344-4444 Price: $29.95 plus shipping.
Description:
Talking Pictures is a photo album that holds 24 4"x6" pictures. What makes this album special--especially to students who use augmentative communication--is that each page can be easily programmed with a 10-second message, activitated by pressing a small button switch on the side of each picture. Advantages: easy to record/re-record, portable, inexpensive, attractively bound, accommodates large symbols and photographs, memory is maintained while battery is changed Limits: only 24 messages (which may not be a problem for many users), requires fine motor/visual skills to activitate switch Adaptations: To stiffen pages and make message selections easily identifiable, cut tabbed inserts from oaktag (plain or colored, if color-coding is needed), add "keyword" symbols to tabs, and laminate. To aid in page turning, add page "fluffers" (small pieces of thin foam so tabs are not flat on one another).


February, 2002
Title: The Silence Within: A Teacher/Parent Guide to Helping Selectively Mute and Shy Children
Author: Gail Goetze Kervatt
Distributor:
Gail Goetze Kervatt
Source Information:
online at www.selective-mutism.com, phone: 201-337-6106, mailing address: P.O. Box 2323, Oak Ridge, NJ 07438
Price:
$18.95 + $6.00 plus shipping in the US. Certified check or money order (no checks) or credit card order through the web site. Check site for international ordering.
Description:
Selective Mutism is a complex psychological disorder which severely limits social interactions and inhibits expressive communication in otherwise normally developing children. Far beyond normal shyness, this social phobia becomes most apparent when students enter school. The condition is often misdiagnosed, and traditional treatment methods have been disappointing. Gail Goetz Kervatt is a reading specialist in a public elementary school. In her self-published, spiral bound book, she recounts, through narrative and copies of her session notes, the compelling story of how she and other school personnel devised and implemented a treatment plan for Nick, a selectively mute child, during his early elementary school years. Through extensive research on the topic and collaboration with a psychologist, members of Nick's educational team, led by Ms. Kervatt, embarked on a systematic therapy plan of incremental desensitization which involved Nick, his teachers, classmates, and mother in the process. This book reads much more like a journal than it does a clinical account, and I was instantly caught up in Nick's journey to break out of his silence. I was awed Ms. Kervatt's immeasurable patience and creativity, as well as her sensitivity to the subtle nuances of Nick's communicative fears and efforts. A hallmark of the treatment was Nick's own personal goal-setting; the very slow but sure progression of these goals over the seven month treatment period provides a window into Nick's fears and efforts to overcome the barriers placed on him by this frustrating and debilitating condition. Beyond being a very interesting story, THE SILENCE WITHIN will serve as a useful guidebook for others who struggle to help selectively mute children. While the author acknowledges that each child is different and makes no claims that this program will work for everyone, I'm sure SLPs, teachers, and parents will find ideas they can try, plus encouragement to keep trying.


March, 2002
Title:
Pronunciation Power 1 CD software A
uthor:
English Computerized Learning, Inc.
Source Information:
online at www.englishlearning.com, phone: 780-448-1032 (Canada)
Platform:
Macintosh and Windows
Price: $144.95 (US dollars) for a single copy, with discounts for multiple copies and site licenses
Description:
PRONUNCIATION POWER 1 was originally developed for ESL adults needing Beginner/Intermediate speech training. However, its application should not be limited to ESL. EVERY SLP who works with articulation students will want to have this program. In addition to articulation and auditory discrimination practice, the program is also useful for improving vocabulary, rate, and inflection. This is one of the best programs I have seen in terms of quality, scope, and sequence, and it has many features that are as functional as they are unique. Other articulation programs (some which include or require additional hardware) cost LOTS more, they also do LOTS less than this gem, which requires nothing more than a newer model computer with built-in or external microphone. PRONUNCIATION POWER 1 contains lessons, exercises, games from the sound to sentence level for 52 English vowels, consonants, and clusters, with directions translated into 12 languages. It includes: 7000 words 2000 sentences 1700 photos and graphics
Lessons:
Click on any of the 52 sounds from a menu to hear a real voice produce the sound. Simultaneously view an animated, full motion, cut-away side view of articulators with voice and airstream, or view a video clip of a woman?s mouth (front view). You can also view the side view animation in slow motion. Quality of sound, animation, and video are excellent.
Speech Analysis:
Hear and view a spectrograph of a real voice producing the target sound. The student can record his/her own voice, producing an audio recording and spectrograph that can be played back and compared to the model.
Exercises:
Model Words: Practice target sounds at the word level. Listen to the model voice, record the student's production, and compare. Recordings can be saved to disk.
Comparative Words: Practice minimal pair words containing the target sound you have selected. Listen to the model voice saying the word pairs, record student's production, and compare. Recording can be saved to disk.
Listening Discrimination A: Listen to pairs of words and determine if one or both of the words begin with the target sound.
Listening Discrimination B: Written sentences contain minimal pairs. Listen to the voice say the sentence and click on the minimal pair word that was spoken in the sentence.
S.T.A.I.R. (Stress, Timing, Articulation, Intonation/Pitch, Rhythm): Written sentences are spoken conversationally; weak and strong stress is noted above the syllables and written words are highlighted as spoken. Record student?s production to compare and save to disk.
Level 1 & 2 Sentences: Practice target sounds in sentences. Record and compare to model; save to disk.
Games:

Hear It/Find It: A timed game in which vocabulary words are spoken. Student clicks on the matching graphic.
Phonics Game: Four target sounds are given. As words are spoken, the student clicks below the target sound he heard, uncovering a piece of a puzzle if correct.
Theme Game: Choose from one of 13 themes. Student records the name of eight pictures, then clicks on each to hear his recording compared to the model voice.
See It/Say It: As pictures are flashed on the screen, the student says the picture label. When all 10 items have been named, click on the pictures to hear both the model and student's recording.

In addition to PRONUNCIATION POWER 1, English Computerized Learning, Inc., also produces PRONUNCIATION POWER 2, and 8 IN 1 DICTIONARY. I highly recommend all of these programs, but if your budget is limited, PRONUNCIATION POWER 1 is a "must have" for every SLP! Visit www.englishlearning.com to view demos and learn more about this amazing program.

April, 2002
Title:
Step By Step Science: Science Made Simple for Young Children Authors: Kris Freitag and Ann Lovell
Source Information:
Mayer-Johnson Company, phone: 800-588-4548
Price:
$34.00
Description:
STEP BY STEP SCIENCE has over 400 pages of symbol-based, hands-on science activities that are sure to educate and delight young or lower functioning students. Units include making bubbles, mud, peanut butter, and rainbows, plus exploring the senses, health related topics (brushing teeth and washing hands), and how wheels work. Each unit contains objectives, vocabulary lists, a description of the scientific process, a teacher's guide to the experiments, loads of related activities that expand the theme into other areas of the curriculum, and wonderful symbol-filled directions, prediction pages, follow-up sheets, games, and so much more. This multifaceted science curriculum also incorporates language, math, literacy, higher-level thinking skills, and fine motor practice into each highly motivating unit. Adaptations are suggested for students with special needs.


May, 2002
Title:
Working Out With Syntax
Authors:
Sarah Thurs, Angela Sterling-Orth, Heather Johnson Schmitz, Joyce Olson
Source Information:
Thinking Publications, www.thinkingpublications.com Price: $24.00
Description:
WORKING OUT WITH SYNTAX is a great little spiral-bound book, one of three in the WORKING OUT series (others are WORKING OUT WITH PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS and WORKING OUT WITH SEMANTICS). Intended for ages 5-10, or older with weakness in understanding and using syntax, this book provides quick "warm up" and "cool down" activities that address pronouns, regular and irregular verbs, plurals, compound and complex sentences, and questions--300 Workout activities in all, plus 50 Think About Challenges. An Item Analysis helps you locate Workouts that address a specific aspect of syntax. A Recording Form is provided to keep track of the students' progress. The Workouts only take a few minutes to do--ideal for beginning or ending a speech therapy session, for getting students' attention when they return to the classroom from recess or other stimulating activity, for exercising students' brains as they wait in line for the bus at the end of the day. SLPs, teachers, and paraprofessionals will love this handy little book and its two WORK OUT companions. For more information and to view sample pages, go to RESOURCE LINKS on this site, scroll down to "Publishers" and click on Thinking Publications.

June, 2002
Title: E-Training Courses for Augmentative Communication
Source Information:
Prentke Romich Company, www.prentrom.com Price: free
Description:
Prentke Romich Company, well known for communication devices (AlphaTalker, Vanguard, Springboard, etc.) and communication software (Minspeak, Words Strategy, Unity, etc.), now offers free interactive, online trainings on a variety of AAC topics. You must register for these courses in advance, as number of participants per session is limited. To participate in these courses, you must have a computer with Internet access AND a separate phone line for real-time voice interaction with the instructor and group. For more information and to view the E-Training course schedules, go to RESOURCE LINKS on this site, scroll down to "AAC and Assistive Technology" and click on Prentke Romich Home Page.


July, 2002
Title:
Ladders to Literacy: A Kindergarten Activity Book
Authors:
Rollanda E. O'Connor, Angela Notari-Syverson, Patricia F. Vadasy Source Information: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624, 800-638-3775, or online at www.brookespublishing.com
Price: $49.95
Description:
This book contains nearly 300 pages of instructional games, story-related activities, classroom lessons, and play ideas to engage kindergarteners in preliteracy skill development. This structured, scaffolded program targets print awareness, phonological awareness, and oral language skills, while fostering in young children a love of literacy and learning. While the activities are described in the title as appropriate for kindergarten, they are, in fact, adaptable for older students as well who are in special education programs or are otherwise determined to be functioning at a low literacy level. The Appendix provides a useful guide for involving parents in literacy development in the home and community, and also includes a list of children's books to reinforce such concepts as alphabet, alliteration, syllable segmentation, rhyming, and oral expression. Ladders to Literacy: A Kindergarten Activity Book is part of a series of books, including Ladders to Literacy: A Preschool Activity Book and Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum.


August, 2002
Title:
Language Strategies for Children, Keys to Classroom Success, Grades 2-5
Authors:
Vicki Prouty and Michele Fagan
Source Information:
Thinking Publications, Inc., online at www.thinkingpublications.com,
Price:
$39.00
Description:
This 254-page book uses cute illustrations, reading, writing, role-playing, and art activities to teach language comprehension and listening strategies, oral expression, and story knowledge. The activities in Language Strategies for Children encourage active participation and interaction, integrate lessons with classroom curriculum activities, and provide follow-up worksheets for home use and portfolio collection. Skills are reinforced over the summer with a take-home vacation calendar. The materials in this book, which is one of three in a series (versions also available for younger and older children), can be used in pull-out or classroom settings. Skills are not taught in isolation, but rather are always connected to the contexts in which they will be used. Visual cues are provided throughout, and each language strategy has its own little booklet that can be copied and sent home for extra reinforcement. Goals/objectives covered by Language Strategies for Children include: listening, telling the main idea, drawing conclusions, distinguishing fact from opinion, parts of speech, asking questions, figurative language, attributes, decision making, and much more.


September, 2002
Title: VOCABULARY GROWth
Authors:
Debbie Hisam & Linda Seth
Source Information:
Etc. Publications, RR1 Box 24A, Friendly, WV 26146, or email: GROWetc@hotmail.com
Price:
$26.00
Description:
This 160-page book is designed to reinforce vocabulary development while building auditory skills, cooperative teamwork, and analytical thinking. Lessons in motivating game format include objectives, instructions, suggestions for modifications to meet student needs, and lists of stimulus words and/or sentences. The book's Appendix provides resources to help SLPs and teachers extend the lessons and challenge the students. Topics covered in VOCABULARY GROWth include: homophones, suffixes, rhymes, synonyms/antonyms, categorization, compound words, and more. VOCABULARY GROWth is one of three books in the G.R.O.W. series; G.R.O.W. stands for "Get Rid of Worksheets," reflective of the authors' commitment to "put the FUN in FUNdamentals!" Students in grades 1-8 are sure to enjoy this lively approach to learning language.


October, 2002
Title: Going Out and About: A Community Based Educational Program Authors: Kari Daniels and Connie Schaper
Source Information:
Mayer-Johnson Company, 800-588-4548
Price:
$29.00
Description:
This 156-page, spiral bound book is filled with great information and materials related to community-based instruction, applicable for preschool through high school. Each unit contains three levels of target abilities for language, fine motor, and cooperative/social skill development and includes community-based activities, supplemental worksheets, communication boards, vocabulary lists, a job list, IEP goals, and follow-up activities. In addition, there are transition activities for older students. Community units include: grocery store, department store, restaurant, gas station, post office, library, bowling alley, hotel, doctor's office/hospital, and police/fire department. This book is a terrific resource of motivating lessons relating to recreation, health, safety, and independent living.


November, 2002
Title:
Communication Letters
Authors:
Written by Courtney Reinholz, illustrated by Cindy Seifert, edited by Christine Foley
Source Information:
Speech Class, P.O. Box 67, Oldsmar, FL 34677, phone: (727) 789-2441, www.speechclassinc.com
Price:
$29.95
Description:
This 68 page book was designed to make life easier for SLPs in the schools. Contents include handouts, letters, and forms that improve communication with parents, teachers, and students, plus some great extras just for SLPs. Titles include: for parents Articulation and Your Child, Beginning of the Year Letter, Behavior Letter, Parent Survey, Dismissal Input for teachers Language Disorders and Reading/Writing, Artic/Language/Voice/Fluency in Class, S/L Process Update, Request for Screening, Teacher Survey, and a therapy cancellation notice, for students My Goal in Speech/Language, Speech Report, Speech Survey, for SLPs Student Information Sheet, Caseload Information Sheet, Screening/Testing Log, Data Sheets, and more! Many of these forms are presented in two or three versions, with attractive fonts and graphics appropriate for elementary and secondary school settings. Communication Letters is just one of a number of useful therapist-made books and materials by these authors. You'll want to check out their web site for therapy materials, such as Kids Speak stories about communication disorders, Alligator Chomp! articulation card games, and a line of clothing and accessories decorated with lips!


December, 2002
With holiday gift-giving on everyone's mind, this month's Spotlight shines on two web sites that feature a wonderful variety of reasonably priced items for the special SLP in your life.
Click to order sweatshirts, nightshirts, denims and polos, keychains, mousepads, keychains, and much more with cute "speechie" logos. Happy shopping! Speech Class, P.O. Box 67, Oldsmar, FL 34677 phone: (727) 789-2441 online: Speech Class Inc.
The Therapy Showroom
240 Fischer Drive, Phillipsburg, KS 67661 phone: (785) 543-5949 online: The Therapy Showroom


January, 2003
Title: Caring Kids--Social Skills and Character Education Lessons for Grades 1–3
Authors:
Tammy Koenig and Bev Meyer
Publisher:
Thinking Publications (www.thinkingpublications.com)
Price:
$40.00
Description:
This 300+ page book will help young children get started on the road to positive character traits and appropriate social-emotional skills. Included are six units that focus on: * Using body basics (eye contact, voice volume, and body posture) * Dealing with feelings * Listening * Being part of a community * Following directions * Working and playing together The multicultured Caring Kids cast--Benji, Lilli, Rachel, Lin, and Luis--helps children learn the steps for each skill. This ready-to-use curriculum is loaded with the following components: * Background information about each social-emotional skill * Stated lesson objectives * Easy-to-use lessons that provide ideas for introducing and modeling the skills * Activities for guided and independent practice of the skills * Skill steps posters * Newsletters for family members * Suggestions for checking children's understanding of the skills * Related literature activities Best of all, students learn that by using the social-emotional skills appropriately, they can show: * Kindness * Responsibility * Respect * Self-discipline


February, 2003

Title:
Artic-U-Print
Authors:
Pat Mervine and Michele Burton
Publisher:
Mayer-Johnson Company
Contact:
www.mayer-johnson.com or 800-588-4548
Price:
$49.00 ($39.00 for 5 or more copies)
Description: ARTIC-U-PRINT is a HUGE symbol-based articulation curriculum on CD that you print and use with students of all ages. This CD, available in MAC and WIN versions, includes: •Articulation Screening of all consonant sounds, blends, and vocalic /r/ in all positions, •Probe Pages for each sound for easy baseline and periodic data collection for IEP development and progress reporting, •Auditory/Visual Discrimination Cards of all sounds in initial and mixed positions, •Speech Sound Posters for students’ folders and display in the therapy room that depict the place, manner, and voicing features of each sound, •ARTIC-U-WEAR: fun, fashionable, hands-on projects for consonant speech sounds that students can wear, •ARTIC-U-PLAY: colorful, customizable gameboards for speech practice of any sound at any level, •Sentence Level Practice Pages for reinforcement at home •CALC-U-LATOR: a handy card for reporting a student’s performance in percentages ARTIC-U-PRINT is a valuable teaching tool for: •SLPs and Teachers of the Deaf: to work on articulation, phonology, vocabulary, and auditory/visual discrimination •OTs: to work on fine motor skills (Artic-U-Wear) related to the early elementary language arts curriculum •Classroom Teachers: to work on phonemic awareness and “Sound of the Week” •ESL Teachers: to work on articulation, vocabulary, and language BOARDMAKER is required to use ARTIC-U-PRINT.


March, 2003
Title: How Do You Know It? How Do You Show It?
Authors:
Penny Reed, Gayl Bowser, and Jane Korsten
Publisher:
Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative
Contact:
www.wati.org or 800-991-5576
Price:
$24.00 + $3.00 s&h
Description:
This easy-to-read manual of over 100 pages explains a variety of ways to collect and use data to help you make decisions about assistive technology. The keys to collecting good data are knowing what to look for and knowing how to measure it. This book provides valuable insight into "framing the question," considering variables that impact on student performance, devising easy-to-implement data collection systems, and then using the data to make purchasing and implementation decisions that improve student outcomes. Numerous copy-ready forms are included as well as suggestions for creating your own.


April, 2003
Material Name:
Hang-up Bags
Source:
Monaco, on the Web at www.hangupbags.com
Price:
varies
Description:
Monaco sells a variety of sturdy, clear plastic bags that snap shut and hang up on pegboard hooks and various rack systems. I have been using these bags for years and recommend them in all of my books and at all of workshops. The combination that works best for me: Bag 4, Rack F. I have several racks in my speech room; each is organized by theme. The bags store books, worksheets, games, craft activities, communication boards, lesson plans--everything I need for the thematic unit. Use of this bag storage system not only allows for quick "grab and go" lessons, but also allows for easy sharing with teachers and other SLPs.


May, 2003
Material Name:
Communication Matrix
Author:
Charity Rowland, Ph.D.
Source:
Design to Learn, on the web at www.designtolearn.com/pages/matrix.html
Price:
$45 for a pack of 10
Description:
The Communication Matrix is a communication skills assessment instrument for individuals functioning at the earliest stages of communication and individuals who use any form of communication, including presymbolic and augmentative or alternative forms. This product consists of a 6-page booklet for recording the individual's performance on seven levels of communicative development (from pre-intentional behavior through the use of early language forms) plus a separate 1-page profile for summarizing performance. The instrument is organized into four major reasons for communicating: to Refuse things; to Obtain things; to engage in Social interactions; and to provide or seek Information.


Summer, 2003
Material Name: Fold and Say for Social Skills
Author:
Deena E. Mahler, M.S., CCC-SLP
Source: Super Duper Inc.
Price:
$29.95
Description:
Fold & Say™ for Social Skills is a collection of over 200 little books presenting everyday social situations from school, home, and the community. Each 8 1/2" x 11" story folds into a 4-page mini-storybook. * Students look at/read about a common social situation, decide on an outcome, and then tell, write, or draw a picture of "what happens next." * Students answer one to five questions about the situation. Each question helps the students focus on the feelings of the people involved in the activity and to explore other possible story outcomes. Use these books to develop social skils and: * Boost language development. * Promote social language skills such as sequencing, story retelling, paraphrasing, main idea, and narrative form. * Encourage logical and analytical thinking. Fold & Say™ for Social Skills includes: * 204 school, home & community topics. * "Draw and/or write" page for readers and non-readers. * Reproducible parent/helper letter. * Five questions per topic for optional parent/teacher discussion. * Blank master to create your own stories. * Activity suggestions and ideas. * Amusing and playful illustrations. * Fun!


September, 2003
Material Name:
Practical Practice Reading Set
Source:
Remedia Publications
Price:
$39.99
Description:
These Life Skills materials are designed for special needs students in grades 4-12 (reading level 3-4). Th 6 books in the series will improve students' reading comprehension skills in a practical, "real-life" way. Reading and writing ability is sure to benefit as students work through activities involving everyday life situations - reading the newspaper, ads, coupons, catalogs, schedules, directories, and more. Each realistic book provides plenty of practice as well as open-ended activities that invite creativity. Books: The Newspaper Labels & Packages Ads & Coupons Directories & Guides Catalogs Filling Out Forms


October, 2003
Material Name:
Shake and Share
Author:
Peggy Shelley
Source:
Thinking Publications on the web: www.ThinkingPublications.com phone: 1-800-225-4769
Price:
$22.00
Description:
This box of 150 illustrated language stimulation cards will encourage children, ages 4-10, to talk, learn, and interact with others. Students shake the box, extract a card, and then follow directions, focus attention, and respond to questions.


November, 2003
Material Name:
Symbolic Sentiments
Author:
Randi Sargent
Source:
on the web: Giving Greetings.com
Price:
varies by product
Description:
For thousands of children with autism and other developmental disabilities, picture symbols fill an essential role in helping them to communicate simple requests or to say hello to a friend. A new line of charity greetings cards from Giving Greetings features colorful picture symbols to illustrate meaningful wishes and supports two organizations that work with children with special needs. Symbolic Sentiments™ cards were created in 2002 by Randi Sargent, a mother of a child with cerebral palsy, who uses picture symbols to communicate with those around him. “For many families that include a child with communication challenges, picture symbols are a way of life,” says Sargent. “We use them to help my son tell us if he wants milk or juice, and to help him understand his schedule of activities. For families like mine, picture symbols hold special meaning so I decided to create cards that are unique and meaningful that can be understood by kids with special needs, as well as something fun for all children to give or receive.” Sargent donates a significant percentage of the proceeds from her cards to The Federation for Children with Special Needs (www.fcsn.org) in Boston and the LADDERS Clinic (www.ladders.org) in Wellesley, MA. Symbolic Sentiments™ product offerings includes holiday cards, note cards, birthday cards and teacher/therapist gifts all featuring picture symbols. “For parents, teachers and therapists who work with children with communication challenges this is something that celebrates their hard work,” explains Sargent. “My cards bring a smile to their faces.”


December, 2003
Material Name:
Recipes for Success
Source:
Adaptivation, Inc.
Price:
$25 - $39 per volume, or $95 for the set
Description:
Adaptivation's Recipes for Success are very well-organized and well-written volumes that are overflowing with terrific ideas for implementing assistive technology into the daily lives of people with disabilities. Clever, motivating activities using switches, voice output devices, and other assistive technology are clearly described in step-by-step fashion and offer helpful hints, ways to extend or modify the activity or equipment, and techniques for skill building. Whether your experience with AT is minimal or extensive, you are sure to appreciate this resource of 100's of easy to follow instructions and fresh new ways to utilize AT to improve the lives of your students. This is a must-have for all educational teams and parents of children with disabilities.
Recipes for Success Volume 1
*180 activity packed pages *Convenient 3 ring binder design *Hundreds of group and individual activities
Recipes for Success Volume 2
Recipes for Success Volume 2 is Adaptivation's second resource guide filled with dozens of practival applications for assistive technology. Building on the activities in Volume 1, Volume 2 is an insert that contains more recipes geared for adolescent and adult users in daily activities and vocations.
Recipes for Success Volume 3
Recipes for Success Volume 3 focuses on examples of early literacy and phonemic awareness activities. You will find numerous ways to adapt books and many other ideas that incorporate technology into your curriculum. Volume 3 comes in a convenient 3-ring binder. * Over 160 activity packed pages * Appropriate for inclusionary settings * Step-by-step instructions to implement each activity * Easy to incorporate into current curricula


January, 2004
Material Name:
Schedule It! Sequence It!
Authors:
Karen Baker and Carmen Chaparro
Source: Mayer-Johnson Company
Price:
$39 for the book and CD
Description:
Educators Karen Baker and Carmen Chaparro have created an invaluable resource for developing the important visual tools of calendars, schedules, sequences, and choice boards. This spiral-bound book contains 128 pages of detailed information concerning: * Creating and using a sequence, schedule, or choice board * Social steps, timers, completion signals, and embedded schedules/sequences * Training — how to start, the environment, rewards, and prompting Also included are: * over 50 templates that can be photocopied * step-by-step instructions to create 17 types of schedules and sequences * over 250 schedule-related Picture Communication Symbols * a Boardmaker add-on CD with over 60 templates and over 20 pre-made common sequences in several different formats. The illustrations, photos, and text provide educators with lots of terrific, easy-to-follow instructions on creating, implementing, and modifying the use of schedules and sequence charts into all aspects of daily life. With the templates on the CD teachers and parents can create these useful visual aids in no time!


February, 2004
Material Name: Fun Deck Friends Card Holders
Source:
Super Duper, Inc.
Price:
$19.95 for a set of 6
Description:
This set of six brightly colored, animal-shaped card holders will make playing card games much easier for children who have difficulty holding cards by themselves. The animals hold the cards in their mouth, and can be held by the student or left standing upright on the table. Each animal (Gabby Gator, Digger Dog, Dilly Dino, Doozy Duck, Cocoa Cow, and Happy Hippo) is 3-1/4" tall. The set comes in a clear, vinyl carrying case with a handle.


March, 2004
Material Name:
Communicating About Sexuality
Author:
Developed by the Speak Up Project in Toronto, Canada
Source:
Mayer-Johnson Company
Price:
$19.95
Description:
The Communicating About Sexuality CD contains over 400 Picture Communication Symbols (English only) and 48 communication boards, focusing on the issues of sexuality and the safeguarding from sexual abuse and victimization. The communication displays are samples only, and should be customized for each individual user. BOARDMAKER is required to use this CD.


April, 2004
Material Name:
Animalogies: A Collection of Animal Analogies
Author:
the Fourth Grade Students of Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School in Bridgeport, CT
Source:
Scholastic Book Fairs
Price:
$3.99
Description:
I found this little gem at our school's book fair. Furry is to dog as Slimy is to jellyfish. Analogies have never been so much fun! Bright collage illustrations combine creatures from the animal world with a myriad of colors and shapes to demonstrate this important language pattern. Can you guess the comparison before you turn the page? This book lends itself beautifully to classroom lessons and pull-out therapy, making an often difficult concept visual and memorable! It was selected as Scholastic's 2003 Kids are Authors Award winner. When you visit the Scholastic Book Fair site, check out other Kids are Authors winners and download the rules and application for your own students. Maybe one day we'll be spotlighting YOUR book!


May, 2004
Material Name:
Kids' Express Train
Author:
Rachel Arntson, M.S., CCC-SLP
Source:
Kids' Express Train
Price:
$46.99 for 3 CDs and an adorable stuffed monkey. CDs and monkey can also be purchased separately.
Description: Three high quality CDs, featuring adult and children's voices, provide youngsters with fun, easy, and exciting ways to practice speech. Upbeat and lively tunes encourage children to take turns imitating sounds, words, and simple phrases. Children also practice pragmatics, prosody, and conversational skills such as responding to questions, making comments, sequencing steps, recall, interacting during social games, and learning to imitate without verbal prompts, all in the powerful and motivating modalities of music and rhythm. The songs and raps on these CDs are short, varied, and fun -- all the right ingredients to capture and maintain a young child's attention. The speech and language skills addressed in these clever tunes are appropriate for all young children, but are especially valuable for children with expressive impairments, including apraxia and autism. As an added bonus, teachers and SLPs can download free materials from the Kids'Express Train web site to add a visual component to the musical instruction. The authors are also available for highly recommended on-site training.


October, 2004
Material Name:
Problem Solvers, Fun with Feelings, and SoundReading software programs
Source:
Ultimate Learning for Kids
Price:
$49.95 each plus shipping
Description:
For students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, three new computer software programs have been developed that teach language, communication and social skills. This dynamic series of software titles provides thinking-specific activities for children that enhance their problem solving skills, thus enabling a deeper understanding of the way things work in the world around them. These “thinking games” support both auditory and visual data processing, while encouraging critical thinking and problem solving. You can find additional information about the software (available for WINDOWS only), plus download free 14-day trials on the website: Ultimate Learning for Kids.


November, 2004
Material Name:
Caselite Software
Source:
Caselite Software.com
Description:
Caselite Software specializes in online therapy scheduling for Speech-Language Pathologists working in the schools. Caselite Software, Inc. was started in Charlotte, NC, by a Software Engineer and his wife, a Speech-Language Pathologist, to solve her overwhelming scheduling needs. Using the online software they created, Speech-Language Pathologists can focus on tailoring their schedule to the individual needs of the students, rather than spending all their energy finding times that work. A free tour of the software is available at Caselite Software.com. SLPs who want to use this online scheduling tool pay an annual fee for the service. Features of Caselite Software: * Schedules individual and group therapy sessions in mere seconds. * Groups students based on their therapy needs, grade and availability. * Accommodates suggestions from others for therapy times. * Reserves time for appointments, such as meetings, planning periods, evaluations, and even a well deserved lunch. * Displays schedules from the student, teacher or administration perspective. * Provides flexibility to adapt for student turnover and administrative changes. * Maintains confidentiality of student information. * Helps meet district policies and government regulations by scheduling students at appropriate times and fulfilling frequency of service requirements.


December, 2004
Material Name:
Curriculum Experiences for Literacy, Learning, and Living -- High School
Author:
Kathy Staugler
Source:
Mayer-Johnson Company
Price:
$34.00
Description:
The High School edition is the third in a series of "Curriculum Experiences for Literacy, Learning, and Living" books by Kathy Staugler. Each book, primary through secondary, includes unit topics with associated materials for an entire month. Each unit includes a symbol-based story, an abundance of suggested activities and worksheets, a skills checklist, and a parent letter. This book stresses topics for students in the ninth to twelfth grade. Topics cover: Everyday Conversation Future Planning Grooming Looking for a Job Friendship Balanced Meals Clothing Care The functional materials and activities provided in the book and related CD are done in symbols and text, making them very appropriate for students with reading difficulties. Teachers and speech/language therapists will appreciate the well-designed and detailed lesson plans and Standards-based goals in all Life Skills Domains.

February 2005
Description:
Material Name: PCS Animations Vol. I and II
Source:
Mayer-Johnson Company
Price:
$99.00 each
Description: As if BOARDMAKER didn't already offer a world of possibilities, imagine what you can do with ANIMATED PICTURE COMMUNICATION SYMBOLS! Over 1300 of the same PCS symbols that you and your students already know and love now MOVE! These animated symbols, available in 3 formats, can be used to add motion and excitement to Speaking Dynamically Pro, IntelliPics Studio, Clicker, and even PowerPoint! Just imagine the animated books, lessons, and social stories you will be able to create. Use these animations to help your students learn verb meanings and tensing and reinforce basic concepts such as movement, chores, grooming, communication, and appropriate versus inappropriate behavior.


March-April, 2005
Material Name:
Autism: Heartfelt Thoughts from Mothers
Author:
Judy Lynne
Source:
Autism Thoughts
Price:
$16.00 plus $4.00 s/h
Description: There is no shortage of research and technical literature on autism by scientists, educators, physicians, and other experts in the field. A new book has just been published that puts a very human face on autism -- actually two hundred of them -- the faces of mothers and children with autism. In this remarkable book, author Judy Lynne compiled the heartfelt thoughts of 100 mothers from all over the world: their biggest challenges, their greatest blessings, words of wisdom, and favorite resources. In honest and candid terms, these mothers share their experiences and feelings as they reach out to connect with others who are also parenting a child with an autism spectrum disorder. This very touching book provides professionals with an illuminating view of autism "at home" and its often profound impact on families. The coping strategies, sources of strength, and celebration of differences reflected in these stories make this book a treasure for parents who are also on the journey through the tangled maze of autism -- 100 stories that say "you are not alone." This heart-to-heart connection can be extended beyond the printed page since many of the mothers generously included email addresses and other contact information. This book is recommended for anyone who has been touched, personally or professionally, by a child with autism. And to all SLPs, teachers, and parents who take the time to contribute their tips, advice, and support on the message boards of Speaking of Speech.com, please know that your generosity DOES make a difference; see pages 77-78 for a personal "thanks" from a grateful and very giving mother.


September, 2005
Material Name:
ConverStation Game and Graphic Expression Activity Workbook
Author:
Camille Lancaster, M.A., CCC-SLP
Source:
Say It Right
Price:
$44.95 for the game, $29.95 for the workbook
Description:
This multi-use game provides loads of expressive language practice for children and adults who are working on social communication and conversational skills. In addition, this game could be used to practice articulation, language, and fluency skills. A gameboard, markers, and die are provided for small group play, but this game could easily be adapted for play in a classroom setting. Four decks of cards pose 240 questions, including "wh," "How do you...?," "Tell about...," and "If I..." type questions. The difficulty level of each question is graphically depicted on the cards, identifying the questions as appropriate for adults, children, or any age. Each card contains a main question or statement, followed by 2-3 related questions that expand the conversation. Generating answers to the questions will tap into a player's organization, memory, vocabulary, categorization, sequencing, reasoning, and pragmatic skills. The companion activity workbook, ConverStation Graphic Expression, provides practice in written expression on skills that parallel oral expression skills rehearsed in the board game. Attractive illustrations and a wide range of topics and activity formats will keep users interested and challenged. ConverStation and the companion Graphic Activity Workbook are designed for a wide age range, but would be particularly motivating for students in middle school and high school. The thought-provoking verbal and written tasks are sure to get them thinking, talking, and writing!

October, 2005
Material Name:
MEville to WEville Early Literacy and Communication Program
Source:
AbleNet, Inc.
Price:
$95.00 for each of the three units if purchased separately or $255.00 for all three units purchased together
Description:
MEville to WEville is a research-based literacy program that integrates reading, writing, speaking, and listening (including the use of augmentative communication and other assistive technology) for elementary students who have moderate to severe disabilities. This early literacy and communication supplemental curriculum is comprised of three separate units: Me, My Family, and My School. Each unit contains wonderfully creative lessons that promote a strong sense of one’s self and one’s place in the classroom, family, and wider community. Relationships are built and social skills are practiced through the character education embedded in each of the units which is also reinforced by the featured children’s book included with each unit. This highly detailed, well organized curriculum provides educators with 75 systematic lessons and nearly as many extension activities in each of the three units. Lesson Planners help teachers schedule lessons from each of five sections: Learning New Words, Vocabulary Activities, Word Wall Words, Literacy Lessons, and Writing Lessons. Each of the lessons contains step-by-step instructions, suggested teacher and student scripts (particularly helpful for programming augmentative communication devices), reproducible visual language supports (in symbols and text), and suggested modifications and adaptive equipment for students with disabilities. Materials lists, letters to parents, and data collection forms are among the many other features that make this extensive curriculum very user-friendly. Active learning by ALL students is stressed throughout the curriculum. The Assistive Technology Quick Set Up Guide contains photos and instructions for a myriad of low-tech and high-tech equipment that provide communication, participation, and environmental control for students who have significant disabilities. The Action Dictionary describes adaptations for every action verb used in MEville to WEville lessons. Even educators unfamiliar with assistive technology will find it easy to make appropriate instructional modifications and utilize switches, augcom devices, and other adaptive equipment so that students with special needs are fully involved in all aspects of the curriculum. Student involvement in learning is what MEville to WEville is all about! No lectures or worksheets are to be found in this hands-on curriculum. Instead, students are active participants in engaging games, stories, songs, cooking, scavenger hunts, cooperative activities, and social interactions. While students develop and rehearse literacy, communication, and social skills throughout the three units of MEville to WEville, educators can collect data on specific skills which can be used to make meaningful, individualized programming changes for each student. For more information about this stimulating and very useful supplemental curriculum, go to ablenetinc.com. There you can view an interactive demo, read comments from educators who use the program, download a sample lesson, and learn much more about all aspects of this innovative literacy and communication program.

November, 2005
Material Name:
Let's Get Ready! A Developmental Motor Skills Program for Speech and OT
Authors: Fern L. Silverman and Michelle C. Kolody-Cost
Source: LinguiSystems
Contact info:
Phone 800-776-4332. Fax 800-577-4555
Price:
$39.95 US, $53.95 Canadian
Description:
Let’s Get Ready! is a unique program that integrates speech/language and occupational therapy goals to strengthen oral-motor, fine-motor, and sensory-motor skills in children who have moderate to severe impairments. Written by an OT and SLP who worked together in an early intervention preschool program, this book is a super resource for educational teams who are committed to a collaborative, integrated approach or who are looking for ways to get started in this highly effective model of service delivery. This 177-page book contains a full year’s worth of weekly lesson plans for therapeutic activities that engage students in postural control, trunk support and movement, visual tracking, oral-motor strengthening, fine and gross motor imitation, and lots of language. Clever, creative, and easy to implement, teachers and therapists will enjoy these activities as much as the students. Who knew learning could be so much fun?! Each weekly unit has stated objectives and rationales for the therapeutic focus, with warm up, wrap up, OT, and oral motor activities that last 15-25 mintues. Also included in the program are: • guidelines and examples for translating program themes and rationales into IEP goals • a comprehensive list of materials for the entire program making it easy to plan ahead • a list of the monthly speech and OT coordinated themes that show a year at a glance • step-by-step instructions that guide therapists and teachers in implementation of therapy techniques • a reproducible data tracking sheet that helps assess the effectiveness of each activity and determines if special accommodations are needed for a child • a parent-friendly, reproducible calendar of summer activities with corresponding speech and OT goals •268 reproducible pictures for flash cards including: 144 for initial p, b, t, d, m, n, k, g, s, f, and v; 96 for final p, b, m, k, g, s, t, and d; and 18 mouth positions for b, p, t, d, k, g, m, n, f, v, s, z, w, sh, ch, h, l, and r • a glossary of OT terms • a picture glossary of the speech mechanism, mouth and tongue positions, and body and arm positions • and the Busy Bee plush handpuppet that provides auditory and visual stimulation to keep children motivated and on task. A CD is also included that contains the book in PDF format, allowing pages to be viewed on screen and printed from the computer. Let’s Get Ready! is highly recommended for all SLPs and OTs who work with young children who need to develop and improve fine motor and oral motor skills. Originally designed for children ages 3-6, many of the lessons can be adapted for older elementary students who have special needs as well.


January 2006
Material Name:
Print 'n Play Beginners Bingo
Authors: Pat Mervine and Gregg Mervine
Source: Mayer-Johnson Company
Contact info:
Phone 800-588-4548
Price:
$39.00 (quantity and bundled pricing also available)
Description:
No child should be left out of Bingo! Following the same 25 themes of Print 'n Play and Print 'n Learn Thematic Units, Print 'n Play Beginners Bingo presents a total of 50 games in two new levels that are more developmentally appropriate for younger players and for players with more significant disabilities. These games, 4 Pix Bingo and 9 Pix Bingo, limit the number of vocabulary items, simplify the game playing process, and shorten the length of time each game is played. Measurable IEP objectives and data collection forms are provided for each game so educators can track progress and expand skills into other curricular areas.


May 2006
Material Name:
The Little Bear Who Sucked His Thumb
Author:
Dr. Dragan G. Antolos
Source:
Thumbsuckinghelp.com
Price: $24.00 US book only, $29.00 US book, wall chart, and stickers
Description:
Oliver is a cute little bear who has a problem. He sucks his thumb. This wasn't a problem when he was a little cub, but now he sometimes gets teased and worries that his habit may affect his teeth. Oliver wants to quit, but quitting is hard! As the story unfolds, Oliver sets off to find help...and finds it in a most unlikely place. This delightful story was written and beautifully illustrated by Dr. Dragan G. Antolos, a dental surgeon from Australia, to help his own child break this common habit. Children will relate to Oliver's plight, be intrigued by his quest, and be empowered by the solution. Parents, dentists, and speech/language pathologists will find this book and sticker chart very useful for helping children overcome a habit which could adversely affect dentition and speech.


September 2006
Material Name:
5 Minute Kids: A Drill Based Program for Individual Articulation Therapy
Author:
Susan M. Sexton, M.A., CCC
Source:
Sue Sexton, 3580 Crestwood Drive, Lapeer, MI 48446 Contact: Phone 810-664-5388, or email speechlady@charter.net
Price:
$34.99 with a nominal fee for additional goal, homework, and Medicaid stickers
Description:
The 5 Minute Kids program is a creative, effective service delivery model for students working on articulation skills. Very often in traditional pull-out group therapy, students in the group alternate during the session between actively working on sounds with the SLP and passively waiting while others receive the direct instruction and practice. The author of 5 Minute Kids wanted to minimize the amount of unproductive “down time” and time out of the general education curriculum, while maximizing active, individualized learning. Comparative data collected during the four-year pilot implementation of this program shows that in the traditional group therapy model, students spent an average of 14 months and 49 hours in speech/language therapy (4-8 30 minute sessions monthly), while students in the 5 Minute Kids program spent 11 months and only 6 hours in therapy (5 - 9 five minute sessions monthly). Students participating in the 5 Minute Kids program were discharged 42 hours sooner than the students receiving traditional group therapy. This program is very well developed and seems easy to use. The manual includes information on scheduling options and IEP wording for service delivery based on degree of need. Also included are a description of a typical therapy session, great organizational suggestions, time-effective activities to motivate and engage students, and a sample of a student folder that includes a year-at-a-glance attendance calendar, goal/data page, and homework record. SLPs will greatly appreciate the materials provided for data collection and progress monitoring, including: • quick and easy baseline data forms which measure baseline data on common error phonemes at the initial, medial, and final positions in words and in sound-loaded sentences • various data forms for recording session notes • a homework log and sticker page • lesson plan forms • attendance calendars If your caseload is full, if group scheduling is a challenge, and if you are looking for a way to deliver services more efficiently and effectively, then the 5 Minute Kids program is definitely worth a look!


Spring 2007
Product:
BoardSpeaker AAC Device with DECtalk
Source: AffordaSpeech
Price:
$995
Description:
BoardSpeaker is a versatile, portable voice output communication aid for non-speaking children and adults for whom all the bells and whistles of high-end dynamic display devices are not needed but who require more in terms of vocabulary selections, layout options, and independent access to overlays that are absent in low-end devices. I have used the BoardSpeaker during the past school year with several elementary students who are non-speaking and who function in the Life Skills range, and all have been successful in using this AAC device in multiple communication settings. Like the experience that Goldilocks had with the three bears, whereas some AAC devices were too complex and others were too limited for my students, the BoardSpeaker is just right! The BoardSpeaker is unique in several important ways. 1. Rather than traditional slide-into-the-slot overlays that often hamper independence, the BoardSpeaker uses heavy stock cards that fit into a tray, up to 40 at a time, that are accessed through the device’s unique shuffling mechanism. To change overlays, the user simply pulls out and pushes in the tray; the next card rises to the top automatically so that the user never has to physically handle the cards. Since 40 cards would mean a lot of shuffling to get to the desired card, I created smaller decks of cards that were changed throughout the day -- a deck for morning arrival, Circle, Show ‘n Tell, and AM academics, a deck for lunch, recess, and specials, a deck for afternoon activities, each containing cards that could be used at any time, such as sharing personal feelings, requests, questions, etc. This strategy made the device very user-friendly for my students by providing quick, independent access to the vocabulary they needed throughout the day. Students activate the device by using the built-in touch screen with their finger, stylus (not included), or custom-made pointing device. 2. The programming for BoardSpeaker is done on any computer, not on the device itself, so the user does not experience any “down time” while new overlays are being prepared. A set of BOARDMAKER templates specially designed for the device can be downloaded from www.boardspeaker.com. The programmer selects the desired template configuration and orientation, then adds the messages (text and/or symbols, single words to full paragraphs) using BOARDMAKER. The finished card is then printed on an EPSON PictureMate photo printer (don’t miss the SPECIAL OFFER at the end of this review). The programmer then goes online to www.boardspeaker.com, enters a password, and then proceeds to type in the desired messages to be spoken when each cell is touched. When satisfied with the pronunciation of each message, the programmer saves the messages which generates a bar code containing the information. The programmer reinserts the overlay card, upside down, into the PictureMate to print the bar code on the back. When the card is inserted into the BoardSpeaker and is shuffled to the top, its messages are immediately accessible to the user. 3. There are many overlay templates to choose from, from a single full-window cell (appropriate for very low functioning students or for making talking books with each card containing the illustrations and spoken text of a page of a story) all the way up to 54 small cells per card. Each template is available in portrait and landscape mode. Templates can also be customized to contain a combination of large and small cells or a different number or arrangement of cells. 4. For students who require actual objects or tactile cues for AAC use, bar codes can be generated as described in #2, then affixed to the bottom of 3-D objects, containers, and texture strips which would be placed on top of the touch screen, rather than in the card tray. This is a very unique “external mode” feature that opens up access to voice output to AAC users for whom symbol/text overlays are not appropriate due to cognitive or visual limitations. 5. While the device seems very simple on the face of it, it contains DECtalk which provides the user with a range of male and female voices to choose from, a feature not available on most low-end devices. Voice selections, speaking rate, and speaking volume are all easily controlled by anyone who knows the little trick into activating these hidden options, but they are not visible or available to users for whom those controls could be a distraction. The only button the user can activate, other than the cells on the touch screen, is the on-off switch located on the bottom of the case. 6. The BoardSpeaker is very lightweight and sturdy. Its built-in handle makes it very portable. To change the angle of presentation for my students who needed this due to physical access and/or vision concerns, I placed the device on a slant board covered with a nonskid fabric from the dollar store. I also place the device upright in a decorative but sturdy metal plate stand found in a gift shop and found this to be very effective. 7. The BoardSpeaker uses rechargeable batteries which can be charged while in the device. 8. The message cards for the BoardSpeaker also fit into the Showbox Magic Frame, available from www.ActForth.com. These very inexpensive frames operate with the same type of shuffling mechanism; the only difference is that there is no voice output with the Magic Frame. I typically print two sets of the message cards for my students; one set is kept at school with the BoardSpeaker, the other is sent home for parents to use in the Magic Frame when going places where voice output is not needed or where the BoardSpeaker may get lost, stolen, or damaged (ie the pool, bowling alley, playground, etc.). In this way, the students have a simple backup device that is nearly identical to the BoardSpeaker, so they have no difficulty switching back and forth from one device to another. I have been very pleased with the features and functionality of the BoardSpeaker AAC device and would definitely recommend it for users in that middle range of AAC needs. For them, it may be just right. SPECIAL OFFER If you mention Speaking of Speech.com when you place an order for BoardSpeaker, you will receive a PictureMate Printer -- FREE!!!


November 2007
Product Name: FL4SH Scanning Communicator
Source:
Ablenet, Inc.
Contact:
Ablenet, Inc.
Price:
$995.00
Description:
The FL4SH Scanning Communicator is a unique voice-output device for emergent and low level AAC users. Very simple to program and operate, this sturdy device provides four messages per overlay and a host of options not found on other devices of similar size and type. Those options include: • an adjustable viewing angle to accommodate visual and physical access needs for those using scanning or direct selection. • automatic overlay detection -- when programmed overlays in plastic overlay sleeves in are placed on the device, they are immediately recognized by the device, eliminating the need to dial or otherwise manually indicate to the device which overlay is in place. This provides the user with instant, independent access to programmed messages. • “plug and play” scanning features -- automatic detection and activation of 3 types of visual scanning (single switch step scanning, single switch auto scanning, and two switch step scanning) with adjustable scanning rate, during which each message panel in the array is highlighted in sequence by a bright, colorful frame of light, auditory scanning with or without headphones, with message, prompt, or beep feedback, and volume control5 input jacks -- 1 jack for operating a toy or appliance, 4 jacks for single switch access to each location on the message array. • built-in mounting optionsbuilt-in storage for overlays The FL4SH Scanning Communicator comes with a rechargeable battery pack and A/C adaptor but can also run on 4 AA batteries. It also includes one 16-minute memory module (additional modules are available separately), 12 blank overlay sleeves, 3 QuickStart overlay sleeves that provide “getting started” directions, social interaction, and a Chase-the-Light training activity for users new to scanning. The device also comes with a product manual on CD. While this device is ready to use “out of the box,” the Ablenet web site provides 11 high quality video clips that demonstrate use of device features and explain the benefits of the device from the point of view of a speech/language pathologist and parent of a FL4SH user. The FL4SH represents a new generation of user-friendly, midlevel technology with an impressive array of options for lower level communicators of all ages. Its sturdy construction and flexible input options make it suitable as a classroom device. The many scanning options on this portable device also make it useful as an assessment tool for AAC professionals.


January 2008
Product Name:
Technology for Communication and Cognitive Treatment: The Clinician's Guide
Author
: Joan L. Green, M., A., CCC-SLP
Source:
Innovative Speech Therapy
Contact:
7731 Tuckerman Lane #206, Potomac, MD 20854 or online at Innovative Speech Therapy
Price:
$89.95 plus $4.95 shipping for one copy, $8.95 for 2-5 copies
Description:
Described as "a revolutionary approach to enhance treatment outcome for people with speech, language, learning, and cognitive disabilities," this 380-page book is full of up-to-date information on all facets of assistive technology. Topics include: getting started with technology; designing therapy and goal setting; selecting hardware, software, and adaptations for computer access; and technology resources for a wide spectrum of disabilities and needs, including verbal and written expression, auditory and reading comprehension, and cognition and memory. Hundreds of web links are provided throughout the book for hardware, software, adaptive equipment, augmentative communication devices, online games & skill rehearsal, and support organizations for diseases and disabilities that affect children and adults. In addition to a wealth of high-tech information, the book also contains low-tech and no-tech strategies and supports. This book is an invaluable resource for SLPs, OTs, teachers, administrators and other professionals who work with adults and children with special needs in acute care, rehabilitation, long-term care, and educational facilities.



April 2008
Product Name:
Audios for Aphasia CDs
Author:
Janice K. Tucker, M. S., CCC-SLP
Source:
www.audiosforaphasia.com
Price:
$19.95, includes tax and shipping

Description: It's not often that one finds therapy materials appropriate for both children and adults, but that's just what Janice Tucker created in her two volumes of Audios for Aphasia CDs. A total of 23 songs and recitations are uniquely recorded to facilitate articulation, memory, and word retrieval. Songs are sung by a male or female voice with keyboard accompaniment. The first verse is sung in its entirety. Subsequent verses are sung using a "fill-in-the-blank" strategy that drops out the recorded voice so the child or adult client can supply the missing word or phrase. The songs' pacing and range is comfortable for clients of all ages.

The CD "Old Favorites/Rote Speech" contains familiar tunes such as "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," "You are my Sunshine," "Yankee Doodle," and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." The CD also reinforces functional knowledge, including days, months, numbers, letters, and personal information.

The CD "Praise Songs" contains 10 religious songs, including "Amazing Grace," "Holy, Holy, Holy," and "Emmanuel," and recitations of "The Beatitudes" and "the 23rd Psalm."

Each of the CDs comes with lyric pages that indicate the words that are strategically dropped, as a guide for SLPs and others who practice the songs with the client. The CDs are designed for use by SLPs as a therapy activity for children and adult clients who have aphasia, apraxia, and/or cognitive impairment. Teachers, family members, and caregivers can use the CDs to extend therapy sessions, and clients can listen to the CDs on their own for practice and enjoyment.

The Audios for Aphasia CDs are well done, and will provide SLPs with an effective and enjoyable way to use music in therapy with clients of all ages. For more information and to hear samples of the songs, go to www.audiosforaphasia.com.


June 2008

Product Name:
Video Voice Speech Training System Software v3.0
Source:
Micro Video Corporation, 1935 Pauline Blvd., Suite H, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Contact:
800-537-2182 www.videovoice.com
Price:
$965 for the software only, $1005.00 for purchase and microphone (discounted pricing available for multiple copies)
System compatibility: WINDOWS only (Macintosh users can use the software on Macs that run Windows via Parallels or similar software)

Description: Video Voice Speech Training System is a powerful and motivating software program that adds a valuable visual dimension to speech therapy. Through the use of informative graphic displays and entertaining games, clients of all ages can see and learn to control vocal and verbal productions at the sound, word, and connected speech levels. This is a particularly valuable tool for children and adults who have significant expressive disorders due to autism, apraxia, head injury, stroke, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, and other disabling conditions. This software is appropriate for use in private practice, early intervention, schools, clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities.

Using your own computer with your own microphone (or one purchased with the software), you can use Video Voice to address such varied expressive skills as vocal awareness, vocalization on demand, pitch training, volume training, duration & breath control, easy onset, fluency/rate of speech, articulation (consonant & vowels), and connected speech production. The software provides extensive on-screen support, including the “Help Me Choose” interactive guide which recommends strategies for successful use of the program to support client goals. A variety of reports can be generated to document client performance.

While many of the games are geared toward younger children, some will also be very motivating for older students and adults, who will also benefit from the activities that provide graphic displays of speech production. SLPs can record models to be matched and can adjust parameters on each screen to shape performance and promote success. Because the SLP records the target sounds and words, the program is appropriate for any dialect, regional accent, or language.

Updates to Video Voice are available through a free download, and live technical support is provided via a toll-free phone number. You can request a free 30-day trial of the program which allows you to try many of the games and features with your clients before making a purchase.

For clients who have significant expressive challenges, the games and graphics of Video Voice will provide the visual feedback they may be needing to improve their communication skills.




August 2008

Product Name: Expanding Expression Tool
Author:
Sara L. Smith, M.S., CCC-SLP
Source:
www.expandingexpression.com
Price:
$229.00

Description: Expanding Expression Tool is a multi-sensory approach that is used to improve oral and written language skills in students of all ages. Competence in language arts is fundamental to academic success in all curricular areas. The Expanding Expression Tool (EET) gives students visual and tactile aids for defining, describing, organizing, and expanding expressive language in oral and written form that can boost academic performance. EET can be used by teachers, reading specialists, speech-language pathologists, reading specialists, tutors, and parents.

Packaged in a sturdy carrying case, the EET kit contains: the Expanding Expression Tool ( a string of color- and symbol-coded wood balls that represent seven key dimensions of expressive language); a matching poster with easel stand; a deck of photo cards to elicit descriptive language; a pair of dice and strips of stickers that contain the same color- and symbol-codes for language games and written language cues, respectively; and a manual that is full of great in-class and at-home worksheets that reinforce the seven key dimensions that are represented by the Expanding Expression Tool .

EET is well-developed, systematic way to help students build oral and written expression from the word to paragraph level. Educators and parents will find the Tool kit contents very easy to use, and students are sure to respond well to the visual cues that elicit and organize oral and written expression. The materials in the kit lend themselves well to all teaching situations -- regular education classrooms, resource rooms, small group, and individual instruction. EET is highly recommended as a useful tool for building oral and written expression in all students. Please visit www.expandingexpression.com to view the materials and learn more about how to use them with your students.



September 2008

Product Name: Grammar Gumballs Board Game
Authosr: 
Michelle Hinkle Ostrow and Kris Foley Scheller
Source:
Super Duper, Inc. (www.superduperinc.com)
Price:
$49.95 (free shipping)

Description:  If you are looking for a fun, motivating, and highly flexible way to work on grammar with your elementary students, Grammar Gumballs is it!    Nine durable, colorful decks of 20 cards each contain scenes that depict a variety of grammar constructs, including verbs (present progressive, regular and irregular past tense, copula), nouns (possessive, regular & irregular plurals), and pronouns (subjective and possessive).  The 64-page teacher’s guide presents scripted prompts for each picture to elicit 5 levels of skills:  listening, identifying, expressing, making corrections, and describing.  The CD which accompanies the game contains a multitude of printable worksheets (PDF files readable by WINDOWS and MAC) to reinforce grammar forms at home.

The Grammar Gumballs game board is a large, colorful “gumball machine” which holds foam “gumballs” and a built-in spinner.  Each student  in turn responds to the stimulus card and prompt from the SLP, then spins and takes the corresponding number of gumballs from the gumball machine.  The student with the most gumballs at the end of the session wins.

I used this game with my students in therapy last year and loved it!  Here’s why:
• The colorful pictures provide a great visual for students, terrific for clarifying and reinforcing grammatical forms.
• Because the teacher’s guide presents 5 levels of prompts, it is very easy to differentiate instruction in small groups of students who are operating on different skill levels.
• Besides using the suggested prompts, I found many ways to create my own tasks related to the picture cards to target student needs.
• The picture cards were a fun way for my articulation students to practice speech skills at the sentence level.
• The materials on the CD are great for follow-up reinforcement.
• The game moves very quickly -- no delays chasing a wayward dice or counting up the dots, no moving pawns around a board.  Just spin and take 1 or 2 gumballs, which leaves more time for instruction and practice.
• My students liked the “gumball machine” so much that we used it as a reinforcer for other stimulus items and skills.
• The entire game is well made and nicely packaged.

Grammar Gumballs is a favorite with my students.  I bet you and your students will love it, too!





October 2008

Product Name: Beyond Words: The Successful Inclusion of a Child with Autism
Authors: 
Mary Donnet Johnson, Sherry Henshaw Corden, and William Allen, Ph.D.
Source:
www.merrypacepress.com
Price:
$15.00

Description:  Beyond Words is a 173 page, soft cover gold mine for parents and educational teams who are learning to deal with inclusion.  This unique book is a collaboration between the mother of a non-verbal kindergarten child with autism and his kindergarten teacher, with commentary and suggestions from William Allen, Ph.D., on all aspects of inclusion, including: The First Day, Getting to Know You, Finding a Way to Work Beyond Words, The Social Maze, A Break in Routines, Environmental Issues and Sensory Strategies, and Making Friends and Moving On. 

Rather than presenting a single point of view on inclusion, the experiences of the student, his mother,  educational team, and classmates are very personally related through direct quotes under headings "what other parents thought," "what the school staff and professionals said," "parent/teacher dialogue," "the teacher's perspective," "what the other children felt," and "the parent's view."  These quotes are most illuminating, and reflect diverse insights and perspectives that all add up to the complex little boy named Pace as he enters and moves through kindergarten with neurotypical peers.  Interspersed with these perspectives are wonderfully descriptive, functional tips from Dr. Allen on how to handle many challenging aspects of autism, and illustrated suggestions from the parent and teacher on the use of visual supports for communication, routine, and behavior.

I highly recommend this book for all parents and special educators who are getting involved with inclusion for the first time, or who are looking to improve existing inclusion experiences.


January 2009

Product Name:  Stuttering Stan Takes a Stand
Authors:  Artie Knapp and Barbara L. Gibson

Source:
www.amazon.com
Price:
$10.75

Description:  Stanley is like most squirrels: he loves nuts, climbing trees and playing with friends. But Stanley feels different from the other animals in his neighborhood, because he has a problem with words. Teased and bullied about his stuttering, Stanley refuses to let on that his feelings are being hurt, until one day he learns an important lesson from a new friend. -- Amazon

This engaging 32-page story, enhanced by delightful illustrations, teaches children about the importance of friendship, respect, and tolerance for those who are "different" in some way (and aren't we all?).  This book would be an ideal way to open a discussion with 4-8 year olds about the dangers of bullying and teasing, and the virtues of kindness and forgiveness.  It is a "must have" for all SLPs, teachers, and parents of children with any disability, including stuttering.


April 2009

Product Name:  RTI Speech and Language Interventions for the Regular Classroom Teacher
Written & Illustrated by:  Dr. Sherri Dobbs Santos

Source:
LuLu Marketplace:  Education & Language
Price:
$29.95 (book), $12.50 (download)

Description:  Response to Intervention (RtI) is a growing trend in speech/language pathology, yet many SLPs and teachers struggle with how best to implement RtI strategies and measure progress.  Dr. Sherri Dobbs Santos has written a practical guide for RtI to address both speech and language needs.  This 104 page book contains detailed, 3-step intervention plans for following 1-3 step oral directions and answering "wh" and "how" questions, each with a data collection grid for establishing baseline and tracking progress over 8 data points.  The book also contains articulation drill sheets for each consonant singleton and blend in initial, medial, and final positions of words.  Each sheet presents 10 illustrated words, 25 printed words, and 10 sentences containing the target sound.  Grids on the drill sheets provide an easy way to determine baseline and monitor progress.

This softcover book is well organized, and the activities should be easy to implement by teachers or instructional assistants in the classroom.  In addition to the "drill and monitor" RtI intention of the book, SLPs will find the  data forms very useful as part of initial and periodic assessments to supplement the results of normed-referenced testing with criterion-referenced information about specific skills.  I would recommend this resource to SLPs and teachers who are involved in RtI or who will be in the future.


June 2009

Product Name:  1-2-3 Get Ready!   A Fun Summer Program to Help Prepare the Special Child for Regular School
Author:  Mary D. Johnson with contributions from Gina S. Sheinsberger

Source:
www.merrypacepress.com
Price:
$35.00

Description:  For children who are on the autism spectrum, summer can be eight weeks of fun, learning, socialization, and preparation for the new school year, thanks to Mary D. Johnson's "1-2-3 Get Ready!" program. 

Designed for children on the autism spectrum and others with communication difficulties, this action-packed program requires no unusual equipment, no special training, and costs almost nothing to run. All the materials you need to conduct this 8-week program are contained in a handsome three-ring binder, along with a wealth of ideas on how to keep a child busy, productive and moving ahead.

The study, well-organized 3-ringer binder contains:

  • 200+ picture symbols on heavy, coated stock
  • Handy storage pages
  • A packet full of Velcro dots and a Sharpie pen
  • Sturdy daily schedule
  • Materials for eight language-building field trips
  • Circle of Friends kit
  • Games and ideas to help build fine and gross motor skills, strength, flexibility, and the desire to interact.
The program is divided into three sections:  Language-building Field trips, Circle of Friends, and Physical Fun and Games.  Suitable for all ages, the Field Trips section includes symbols for an entertainment arcade, art museum/gallery, boat ride, park/playground, waterfront, nature center, and fireworks, with a guide for creating a "My Day" storyboard to promote communicative interactions. 

The Circle of Friends section contains a schedule template,  along with suggestions for promoting peer interaction at mealtime, when playing childhood games, and playing in the pool and at the park or playground.

The Physical Fun and Games section presents lots of ideas to keep students active and involved, while meeting sensory needs.

"1-2-3 Let's Go!" was developed by a mother of a child with autism,  and is scattered throughout with helpful "Thoughts form Gina," a speech/language pathologist.  This program is written in very user-friendly language that parents will appreciate, making this program appropriate and easy to implement at  home.  Teacher, therapists, and camp staff will also find the program ideal for summer camp and extended school year programs. 

To all who are involved with students with ASD, cognitive disability, and/or communication impairment, an enriching summer is as easy as "1-2-3 Let's Go!"  Learn more about this program at Merry Pace Press.


February 2010

Product:
Do Rugs:  Activities that Allow Students to Step, Jump,
               Stand, Toss & Tap Their Way into Language Learning
Author:  Linda Eve Seth & Debbie Hisam

Source:  Etc. Publications   www.MAKEFUNoflearning.com
Target Audience:  Pre-K to 5th grade and Special Needs

From the creative authors of G.R.O.W. (Get Rid Of Worksheets) books, Do Rugs is a collection of activities that allow students to participate in learning by DOing movement and actions on pre-marked RUGS.  Both teachers and students will have fun with these engaging activities that promote language learning.

Especially useful for introducing and reinforcing basic skills, the physical responses help students stay involved and focused.  Actions include stepping and hopping on rugs, tossing a beanbag, or tapping spots on the rugs with a flyswatter.

Rugs can be made from felt, plastic shower curtains or vinyl tablecloths, often available at dollar stores.  Each activity provides detailed directions for addressing the language goals of the game, suggested variations to modify levels and increase participation, and a graphic sample of how to create the game-related Do Rug.  Lesson topics include:  animals, categories, seasons, emotions, phonemic awareness, letter recognition, parts of speech, multiple meanings, and much more.

If you've been looking for an engaging way to incorporate movement into your language therapy, Do Rugs is the book for you!




April 2010

Product: Literacy Speaks!

Author:  Keli Richmond

Source:  www.literacyspeaks.com
Target Audience:  Pre-K to early elementary, Special Needs, ESL

Literacy Speaks!® is an exciting and innovative approach that improves children’s speech intelligibility and language skills while developing a
strong literacy foundation.
  This program is designed to teach children letter-to-sound correlations and to introduce children to essential sight words with a sound targeted approach.  The natural progression of the technique leads

to literacy skills and improved speech intelligibility.


An outline of the progressive learning steps follows:
1. Recognition of alphabetic letter
2. Correlation of alphabetic letter to target sound
3. Incorporation of target sound into word(s)
4. Exposure to sight words (a, the, I, see, have)
5. Combination of target words and sight words to create
   phrases and sentences
6. Incorporation of sight and target words into books
7. Carry-over of sound and literacy skills into natural environments

Presently, Literacy Speaks! comes in 3 separate kits, each covering a wide range of phonemes.  Each kit costs $197.00, and contains all the materials you need to support the 7 learning steps outlined above.  The hefty, spiral-bound book and CD for each unit contain letter-tracing and coloring pages, simple sound-loaded books, plus suggestions for "going on a letter hunt" and joint reading activities.  All playfully illustrated pages are reproducible.  Each kit also comes with a sturdy box of colorful, laminated cards, color-coded for easy sorting into initial and final target sounds related to the kit.  I've had the opportunity to use these materials with my own caseload, and have been very impressed with the high quality of both the content and the presentation/packaging of the materials. 

In addition to the resources in the Literacy Speaks! kits, I would highly recommend that you check out the Literacy Speaks! website: www.literacyspeaks.com.  There you will find online games for students, lists of sound-loaded books and other materials for SLPs and teachers, plus information for parents to aid them in literacy development.  You will also find information about Keli Richmond's superb workshops and can view video demonstrations of the materials.  I'm sure you'll find Literacy Speaks! a great addition to your  therapy "bag of tricks!"



June 2010

Product: SLP FIELD KIT - Consonants

Author:  Tutor-Apps

For more information:  www.tutor-apps.com
To purchase:  go to the apps store at  iTunes
Target Audience: 
all ages for articulation and accent reduction


  • SLP Field Kit aids the Speech and Language Pathologist in the field with testing and building phonemic awareness and auditory discrimination (this module covers consonants).
  • Going beyond just replacing card decks and flash cards, SLP Field Kit incorporates 8 powerful interactive activities that add dynamic training experiences that challenge and focus your clients. Traditional card decks have been difficult to sort into multi-card activities. Now, at the touch of a button, the cards are presented in powerful combinations that truly focus the client.
  • In addition, SLP Field Kit incorporates phoneme buttons as part of the activities, something cards could never do.
  • The recorded speech provides stability of pronunciation that promotes consistency in testing.
  • 361 audio word cards, which are spoken words illustrated by photographs and drawings along with the text of the words (the text is hidden when appropriate)
  • 8 progressively difficult activities to build and to test phonemic awareness
  • 198 lessons
  • Over 3000 exercises
  • Records scores and sends them to email
  • Select between International Phonetic Alphabet and the English /sound/ notation

Activities

1 PRACTICE: REVIEW THE WORDS

2 WHICH PHONEME IS IN THE WORD?

3 WHICH WORD CONTAINS THE PHONEME?

4 IS THE PHONEME AT BEGINNING, MIDDLE OR END?

5 CHOOSE SIMILAR WORD BY HEARING THE WORD

6 WHICH PHONEME IS IN BOTH WORDS?

7 WHICH SIMILAR WORD CONTAINS THE PHONEME?

8 FLIPBOOK FOR YOUR ACTIVITY

To the standard 24 consonant phonemes of American English, /nk/ and /hw/ have been added for the purpose of creating minimal pairs with /ng/ and /h/ respectively.

This application is available for both the iPod Touch ($29.99) and the iPad ($49.99).  The graphics are and spoken target words are very high quality, and the choices for therapy are great.  Students are motivated to practice on this quick and attractive alternative to flash cards. Progress can be stored and emailed.  For SLPs who typically have a car trunk or wheeled cart full of materials, this inexpensive app for your iPod or iPad will certainly lighten your load!

August 2010

Product: 5 Minute Therapy

Authors:  Sue Sexton and Linda Eve Seth

For more information:  www.5minutekids.com

Target Audience: 
articulation practice for all ages


The very talented ladies who brought you the "5 Minute Kids" articulation therapy program and the "G.R.O.W.S." ("Get Rid Of Worksheets Now") series of language and basic concepts lessons for classrooms have joined forces to produce an exciting new series of articulation therapy books called "5 Minute Therapy."  Each of the six volumes in this series is devoted to single or groups of phonemes:  /r/, /s,z/, /sh/ch/, /l/, /k,g/, /f,v,th/.  Each volume contains the following:

  • Data sheets at the word, phrase, and sentence levels
  • Word bank lists of words containing the target sounds in the initial, medial, and final positions
  • Reading lists of words, phrases, and sentences containing words with the target sound in the initial, medial, and final positions
  • Quick and easy games for therapy and homework
  • A variety of activities to promote carryover in school and at home
  • Charts for calculating percentages

Whether you are using the innovative "5 Minute Kids" therapy approach or delivering services in a more traditional model, you will find these materials to be a fantastic resource -- a "must have" for your therapy bag of tricks!  I have used these materials very successfully in conjunction with Artic-U-Checks and Speech on the Go (see below for description), and highly recommend them!

Each volume (80+ pages each) sells for $18.  The entire set is available for a discounted rate of $99.

January 2011

Product: Think-ets Teacher Edition

Author:  Randy Compton
Source:  Think-a-Lot Toys, 1600 Zamia Avenue, Boulder, CO  80304
For more information: 
www.think-ets.com
Target Audience: 
articulation, language, fluency, memory  -- ages 5+


Think-ets is a "tiny trinket game of imaginative play."  The Teacher Edition is a plastic divided box (similar to those used for sorting beads) filled with miniature objects that can be used for a wide variety of articulation, expressive language, vocabulary, memory, and other therapy goals.  Also included is an activity booklet with lesson plans, writing prompts, and directions for competitive and cooperative activities.

My students enjoyed the novelty of Think-ets.  One group played a "giving descriptive clues" game, a fun way to extend a unit on adjectives.  Another group used the trinkets in serial storytelling activity that worked their imaginations and memory.  A third group was challenged to compare and contrast pairs of items.  We've done similar activities with picture cards, but having 3-D objects elicited greater language and enthusiastic involvement.  To help those "too-concrete" thinkers, I first introduced each of the items, engaging the students in a brainstorming session of labeling, categorizing, real-life size, function, parts, and consideration of always/sometimes/never, etc.  For instance, the wooden goblet -- the trinket is wooden; is a real goblet wooden?  What else could it be made of? What is is used for?  Where have you seen one before?  This session was a great way to tap into prior knowledge and set us up for the next session when we started playing the games. The Think-ets Teacher Edition has a myriad of uses and is compact, always a plus for the SLP on the go. 




February 2011

Title: Artic-U-Print
Authors: Pat Mervine and Michele Burton
Publisher: Mayer-Johnson Company
Contact: www.mayer-johnson.com or 800-588-4548
Price: $49.00

Description: ARTIC-U-PRINT is a HUGE symbol-based articulation curriculum on CD that you print and use with students of all ages. This CD, available in MAC and WIN versions, includes:
•Articulation Screening of all consonant sounds, blends, and vocalic /r/ in all positions,
•Probe Pages for each sound for easy baseline and periodic data collection for IEP development and progress reporting,
•Auditory/Visual Discrimination Cards of all sounds in initial and mixed positions,
•Speech Sound Posters for students’ folders and display in the therapy room that depict the place, manner, and voicing features of each sound,
•ARTIC-U-WEAR: fun, fashionable, hands-on projects for consonant speech sounds that students can wear,
•ARTIC-U-PLAY: colorful, customizable gameboards for speech practice of any sound at any level,
•Sentence Level Practice Pages for reinforcement at home
•CALC-U-LATOR: a handy card for reporting a student’s performance in percentages

ARTIC-U-PRINT is a valuable teaching tool for:
•SLPs and Teachers of the Deaf: to work on articulation, phonology, vocabulary, and auditory/visual discrimination
•OTs: to work on fine motor skills (Artic-U-Wear) related to the early elementary language arts curriculum
•Classroom Teachers: to work on phonemic awareness and “Sound of the Week”
•ESL Teachers: to work on articulation, vocabulary, and language

BOARDMAKER is required to use ARTIC-U-PRINT.



April 2011

Title: "R" in the Car:  10 fun songs to practice the /r/ sound in the car, at home, anywhere!
Authors: Alida Engel, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD
Publisher: Center for Speech and Learning
Contact: www.CenterForSpeechand Learning.com
Price: $19.95 + $2.50 shipping within the US

Description: How many times have you heard students and even parents say
that they just don't have time in their busy lives for speech homework?  Soccer practice, dance lessons, karate competitions, baseball games! Sometimes it seems that the only time that kids and parents are together is when they are in the car going to and from all of these extra-curricular activities.  So, thought Alida Engel, why not find a creative way to incorporate speech practice into today's busy lives?  And so, her audio CD, "R" in the Car, was born.

"R" in the Car" is a delightful CD of lively songs that are loaded with initial, vocalic, and blended /r/ sounds, written and performed by Jay Mankita and the Grooveniles.  Interspersed with the 10 songs are suggestions by Alida for producing the various target sounds. On the Center for Speech and Learning web site, you'll find printable activities for each song, along with downloadable sheets of song lyrics.

While this CD would be ideal for "on the go" speech practice for individual students, I have also found it to be a useful tool in the therapy room.
My students enjoyed the novelty of singing in therapy, and the lively tunes and rhythms helped to increase the muscle tension they needed for /r/.  The printable activities were great for auditory bombardment and discrimination practice.  I shared this CD with a kindergarten teacher in my school and she is now using it in her classroom.  I would highly recommend this CD for anyone interested in a new way to teach and practice /r/.




April 2011

Title:  Speedy Speech Therapy Program – School Edition
Authors
JoAnn Tuttle and Tamara Truax
Source:  www.speedyspeechtherapy.com
Price: 
Volumes  for /s, r, l/ are available for $179.99 each, or $519.97 for all three. There are also Home Editions for /s, r, l/ for $179.99 each.

Description:
Speedy Speech, a “quick artic program,”  is designed to be used in 10-minute, intense 1-1 drill sessions, 3-4 times per week, to correct common articulation errors.  The features of the  program include:
        ·     
a comprehensive manual in a sturdy, colorful binder

·      step-by-step instructions and expert tips

·      oral motor diagrams

·      auditory bombardment materials

·      drill sheets of more than 360 words, phrases, and sentences per target sound, arranged in a binder, including minimal pairs sets

·      resource materials such a parent and teacher letters, therapy logs, caseload form, and monthly homework calendars that encourage awareness and practice of words relevant to the student

·      therapy tools in a refillable pouch, including toothettes, flashlight, mirror, timer, stickers and more

 

The binder of materials breaks therapy down into 7 stages from Sound in Isolation to Sound in Conversational Speech.  Tips are provided on identification and assessment, scheduling, establishing a therapy routine, homework, motivation, progress monitoring, and collaborating with classroom teachers.  All of the therapy materials in the binder are printed in color on heavy cardstock.  Samples of these materials can be viewed on www.speedyspeechtherapy.com, along with videos that show the materials in action and an interview with an SLP who made the change from traditional 30 minute sessions to the Speech Speech model.

 

There is certainly a trend in the field to move to more frequent and more intense 1-1 therapy models.  The materials and tools in Speedy Speech are of high quality, and are well organized for the “SLP on the move” for what I affectionately call “hit and run therapy.”  I have found the materials to be equally useful in a traditional therapy setting, and lend themselves well to RtI settings as well.





August 2011


Title:  Acting Out - Listen: Do & Say
Authors:
Linda Seth and Debbie Hisam, illustrated by Mary Jane Helgren
Source: www.makefunoflearning.com
Price: 
$35.00

Description:

If you have ever attended a workshop by Linda Seth, coauthor of the G.R.O.W. (Get Rid of Worksheets) series, then you already know she is a “class act.”  (If you haven’t had the pleasure, be sure you do! You can see her schedule and request a training for your district or region through the site, http://makefunoflearning.com/). 

Linda’s latest book, coauthored by Debbie Hisam and illustrated by Mary Jane Helgren, is all about “class acts” that you can use in therapy.  Acting Out, Listen: Do & Say is a 120-page book full of delightful, short (10=15 minute) stories that promote better listening and speaking skills in children, grades K-3.  Ideal for small and large group settings, including all tiers of RtI, these stories engage students in listening, auditory memory, turn-taking, cooperation, pretending, following directions, choral speaking, vocabulary, grammar, non-verbal communication, articulation, fluency, and appropriate use of voice.  Talk about differentiated instruction and hitting multiple IEP goals at once – these teacher-lead stories offer all this and more!  Participation is the key to learning, and that’s exactly what these stories encourage.  Each story includes useful information for the teacher or therapist:  a list of vocabulary, directions on eliciting student participation, modifications to simplify or increase complexity of student responses, and the targeted communication skills.

For any SLP or special education teacher who is looking to liven up instruction and increase active student involvement learning, Acting Out is a MUST!  I will be getting a new special needs kindergarten class in my school this fall, and will continue to work with other elementary students who have speech, language, and/or auditory processing deficits.  I am sure this book will be an important part of my “bag of tricks” when planning lessons for all of these students.

 



October 2011

Titles:  Dancing in the Kitchen:  Songs that Celebrate the Joy of Food
            and Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids: How to Teach Your Child 
About
the Joy of Food!
Producer/Author: Melanie Potock, M.A., CCC-SLP
Source: www.mymunchbug.com
Price: 
CD is $13.95, or $11.00 for MP3 download, book is $15.16

Description:
Most little kids go through a "picky eater" stage, but for some children who have physical, neurological, or other issues, mealtime can be a nightmare for everyone involved, resulting in upset, frustration, and in some cases, malnourishment.  Pediatric Feeding Specialist Melanie Potock has used her years of experience to create a book of "practical and surprising tips" for parents and others involved in feeding children who, for one reason or another, are resistant to exploring new tastes and textures.  Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids is a well-written, easy to understand paperback book full of very useful information on such topics as positioning, utensils, self-feeding, exploring and tolerating new foods, drinking from a straw, toothbrushing after meals, and understanding and managing gagging/choking.  The humorous chapter headings and gentle but thorough explanations will help parents relax as they apply the techniques that will help children become better eaters.  This book would be an excellent baby shower gift for any new parent, and would be especially useful for parents, caregivers, and IEP teams of children with special needs.

While the book is written for adults, the delightful CD, "Dancing in the Kitchen," will appeal to adults and children alike.  Written and performed by Joan Huntsberry Langford, a full band, and a children's chorus, the songs are varied, catchy, and full of fun.  Imagine, a calypso, a march, and -- yes -- an operetta about Peas!  Don't believe me?  Check out the video of the Peas Operetta on YouTube.  Beethoven, Handel, and a few other classical composers may be spinning in their graves, but you will love it!    The eleven tunes on this CD are "designed for fostering joyful, stress-free mealtimes" and are sure to become a happy, entertaining, and even soothing part of a home and school meals.  I have no doubt this CD will have you and your little ones "dancing in the kitchen!"



March 2012

Title: Practical Test of Articulation and Phonology (PTAP)
Author: Beth Boozer, M.A., CCC
Source: www.ptaptest.com/
Price: 
$149.00

Description:
Quick. Easy. Flexible.  All of these words describe the new Practical Test of Articulation and Phonology (PTAP) by Beth Boozer, an SLP who knows how important "quick, easy, and flexible" are to busy SLPs.  This criterion-referenced instrument, comprised of 36 colored photo test items, measures 23 phonemes and 7 phonological processes in just minutes.  Use the PTAP as a screener, an assessment, and an RtI tool for pre-testing and progress monitoring.  The color-coded data form makes scoring easy, and includes an intake and oral motor exam form.  Analysis of the PTAP results will help the clinician make a differential diagnosis between an articulation delay, a phonological disorder, or a combination of both.  If you are looking for something quick, easy, and flexible, check out the PTAP.


April 2012

Title: The Pirate Who Couldn't Say "Arrr!"
Author: Angie Neal, M.S., CCC-SLP
Source: www.tatepublishing.com
Price: 
$9.99 (also available as a CD or digital download)

Description:   This delightful, 28-page book
tells the story of poor "Red Legs" Lamar, a pirate who couldn't say "AAAR!"  A crusty old pirate gives him instructions and then, after lots of practice (no surprise there!), Lamar finally lets loose with "AAAR! all over the world.  I read this book with my own "AAAR - impaired" kiddos and they loved it!  The instructions for placement and production include the same "do's and don'ts" that I've been saying for years, but having a pirate say it somehow has more power and validity (or so it seemed).  The kids enjoyed practicing the the list of pirate-related vocabulary, too.  This book, with its clever rhymes and cute illustrations, can be used anytime, but it will be especially fun for my students on September 19 when we celebrate "Talk Like a Pirate Day!"  (Who knew?!)   Author and SLP Angie Neal has come up with loads of curriculum connections including vocabulary, pirate jokes, ideas for writing activities, and so much more!  I already had some pirate-related activities in my own bag of tricks that worked very well with this book.  If you have students who struggle with AARRR then -- shiver me timbers! -- you'll want to dig up this treasure.



September 2012

Title:  Common Core Early Language Screener
Author:  Smarty Ears
Source:  www.smartyearsapps.com and from the App Store
Price: $34.99

Description:  SmartyEars recently released  the “Common Core Early Language Screener,” a bright, colorful, easy-to-score screener for pre-K and K students (although it can also be used with older students who may be functioning at a lower level).  Twenty-three skills are assessed, including letter and number recognition, prepositions, various phonological awareness tasks, following 1-2 part directions, vocabulary, categories, and auditory memory.  Directions and prompts are presented on one screen; stimulus items and simple scoring are presented on the next.  The number of test items varies with the grade level of the child (pre K, early K, late K).  At the conclusion of the test, a report is generated which shows each skill, the number of correct and possible answers, and accuracy percentage.

Part of my responsibility each spring as a school-age SLP is to visit local preschools and private kindergartens to do the transition evals for students already identified through early intervention.  My load was lightened this year when I switched from a traditional (bulky) articulation test to my new favorite “Sunny Articulation Test,” an iPad app also by SmartyEars.  This coming spring, I can lighten my load even more.  No more lugging boxes of testing materials for language!  Armed with my iPad and this new Common Core Early Language Screener, I can now do articulation and language screening in a format that the little ones respond well to, that produce useful reports, and that keep my travel light. And, as with the Sunny Articulation Test, there are no test protocols to purchase, ever.  Love it!



June 2012

Title: Custom Boards-Premium
Author: Smarty Ears
Source: www.smartyearsapps.com  and from the App Store
Price: 
 $39.99 

Description:   At last!  An app that allows the user to create symbol-based materials!  Custom Boards contains a over 100 pre-made templates for
 activities, worksheets, and game boards, signs and labels, schedules and calendars, communication board grids, and overlays for switches and communication devices.  The app also offers 11,000 Smarty Symbols, arranged by category. Populating the grids with symbols, text, and colored backgrounds couldn't be easier.  Simply select the category you want, scroll through, then touch the desired symbol to select it.  You can also use the search box to locate symbols.  In addition, you can import symbols and photos imported from your camera or the Internet.  Once your page is created, touch the check mark to preview, print, email as a PDF, save, or add to your photo library.

While Custom Boards is quite intuitive, the in-app tutorial is very well done and worth viewing to get you started. You can also view this tutorial on the Smarty Ears website as a way of previewing the app before buying.

I would definitely recommend the Custom Boards app as a quick, easy way to create personalized materials for communication and so much more!

June 2013

Title:  Articulate it!
Author:  Smarty Ears
Source:  www.smartyearsapps.com and from the App Store
Price:  $38.99

I am a strong proponent of drill, drill, drill for artic (see “Drill, Baby, Drill” post for details),  so I was delighted to find a a new app for the iPad offers lots of practice at the word, phrase, and sentence level in a format that doesn’t slow down the session or take away from valuable practice time.  As a bonus, it offers some unique features that are quite useful to the student and the therapist.  The app is “Articulate It!” by Smarty Ears.

Like a lot of the newer Smarty Ears Apps, this one communicates with the Therapy Report Center, an app which lets you add the student info once, then pull it into other Smarty Ears Apps for quick play.  When the activity is done, the data transfers to the Therapy Report Center, so you can see at a glance the apps a student has used and his performance on each one.  Up to six students can use this app at one time.

There are two main games — Flashcards and Matching. Within each of those activities, you can select from phonemes, phonological processes, manner of articulation, and number of syllables. Within each of those categories you can choose the specific area(s) that you want to work on, and you have the opportunity to view the word list and deselect any you won’t want included in the game. In the Matching game, a stimulus photo is shown and the label is spoken.  The student(s) have to locate the match by touching and naming the photos that are revealed.  The SLP touches the check mark or X to score the student’s production for each turn.

My favorite game is Flashcards. As above, you select the skill(s) and specific parameters that you want to target.  A “flip chart” appears with a photo in the center and three tabs below, labeled “words, phrases, sentences.”  This makes for very quick and easy selection of levels for each student in a mixed group. Also as above, the SLP can quickly score each production.  The SLP can also make notes about the student’s performance on any of the words, and the student can record his/her production and play it back for immediate feedback. But one of the coolest features is the ability to use the iPad’s camera as a mirror so the student can watch his/her production!  Another great feature:  you can add your own photos and words to the game.

This app is so well designed.  It offers the SLP control over features of the target presentation, provides extensive choices of target words and photos, allows the SLP to customize by adding even more words, and will generate a detailed report when the session is done. The photos (over 1,000 of them!) and sound quality are excellent.  I love the fact that “Articulate It!” is quick and easy to play — no sound effects, silly reinforcement interludes, or other delays that take away from therapy time — and it can be effectively used in small groups.  There are other matching games and other flashcard apps out there, but none as versatile and as near to my therapy philosophy as “Articulate It!”  With this app, my students get all the drill that I want them to have in a format that they enjoy.  This app sells for $38.99 at iTunes.  More information can be found atwww.smartyearsapps.com.