Thirteen bloggers are here to give you tips on how to do therapy all around the school!
I had the honor of meeting Anne, from Beautiful Speech Life, this summer at the TpT Conference in Vegas. She’s guest blogging on my blog today! Enjoy!
Looking for a natural functional environment to provide speech language therapy?
There are so many language opportunities.
1. Buddy Up
I usually “buddy up” with one student for the bus ride. This a great time to practice social skills and make predictions. For example, on a trip to the zoo, one little girl had so much to tell me. She pointed out where she lived, McDonald’s, Burger King and Food City. As we got closer to the zoo, I asked her to tell me some of the animals she thought we would see.
On the bus ride there, many students point at the things they see out the window and ask questions.
2. Take Photos
Take lots of photos during the field trip to use in future sessions. You are gathering contextual, functional therapy material. Plus students usually want to see the photos, so they have to request and comment.
You can extend the learning in future sessions by using the photos. Create a simple story with the pictures; something like “My Trip to the Zoo”. Or create an adaptive book matching symbol to picture.
3. Talk during snack-time
If there is food involved, that can be another time full of language opportunities with labeling, requesting and commenting. Many times adults try to anticipate the desires of a child with special needs, giving him what they think he wants without giving him the opportunity to express it himself. Here’s a chance for you to model language and wait time.
4. Practice Social Skills
Social skills opportunities are everywhere on a field trip. Saying hello to others, standing in line, saying thank you and please can be practiced in a different setting.
You have the opportunity to see how students communicate outside of the classroom or speech room setting. Take this time to observe a student with his peers> Iis he fitting in socially with his classmates? Does he have friends that want to sit with him on the bus or walk next to him in line?
Going somewhere new on a field trip usually generates lots of curiosity. Is your student paying attention, is he following along, and does he ask questions. If not, here is an area where you can provide some prompts and models. Remind him “eyes of speaker”. Encourage him to raise his hand and ask a question.
6. Think outside the box
It would be tough to justify going on a field trip with just one student; but if you have a group of 3-4 kids in a classroom you might be able to do it. Just for a once a year, fun, bonding, real life experience.