Thursday, June 2, 2016

Therapy Tip: Teaching Basic Vocabulary Words

It's therapy Thursday! This is the day I give a tip based upon my experience as a mother of a child with special needs and a pediatric speech-language pathologist.

Today's tip is:

Teaching Basic Words

When I have a child with minimal words or no words in my speech therapy job, I like to make a book for them which I call a core vocabulary word book. I always get the parent's permission and explain the process prior to doing this in a session. We discuss some words that we both feel will be helpful and take the pictures together.

Here's what you will need:
1. Card stock paper (to print the pictures out on)
2. A camera or a cell phone to take pictures
3. Yarn or some other way to secure the pages together

Pictures/Words I usually select:
1. A picture of the child's bed to target "bed" or "night-night"
2. A picture of a cup to target "drink" or "cup"
3. A picture of a high chair, plate, or a favorite food to target "eat"
4. A picture of the child to target their name or the pronoun "me"
5. A picture of a favorite toy to target "play" or the name of the toy
6. A picture of a diaper or potty to target "potty"
7. A picture of each family member to target words like "mom," "dad," or "sissy"
8. A picture of the front door or the family's car to target "bye-bye" or "go"
9. A picture of the family pet to target "dog" or the name

Tip-Make sure the only thing in the picture is the word you are targeting!! See below.
An example of a picture of "cup" I would use

Once the pictures are taken, I upload them to a word document and print the pictures out 2 per page. I hand write the target word on the paper. I usually make two sets of the book. One book is left for the parents. The other book, I usually leave unsecured and use as flashcards in a session.

Therapy targets: Once the book is made, there are many ways you can use it to help teach basic words.
1. Teaching basic vocabulary with words or sign language ("cup")
2. By holding up two of the pictures, this can become an identification activity. (Find cup.)
3. Phrases ("I see cup.")

Happy vocabulary teaching! See you next week!!

Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.

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