Let's Rhyme: April's Showers Bloom Flowers!
Click here to see how we have effectively been able to teach rhyming to diverse populations of preschoolers with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder by using real objects and sorting them into bins. We also tape pictures on items like balls and throw them in the bins.
It's naturally rewarding for the children to sort the objects. Our Wayne State graduate student intern "Miss Kaitlyn" Alsheskie, who is graduating this spring, illustrates the cues we use to always ensure a minimal 80% accuracy level with all of our children. Click below to access both rhyming and speech sound practice for your child:
Make a Difference by Teaching Children to Comment
Dear Parent of a Child who is Minimally Verbal with ASD,
I am missing your child but understand the importance of social distancing at this time amid the COVID-19 virus statewide school shut down. I don't believe in teletherapy for preschoolers because increased screen time is simply never a good thing for our youngest kiddos. I know, and research has shown, that parents do make a difference.
I write this open letter to you because it is the children with ASD who are preverbal or minimally verbal who I am most concerned about because their young brains are ripe for change.
Know that you can make amazing strides with your child using these sentence strips to request access to desired activities and objects. From our experience, we know that children with ASD are incredibly intelligent and so many learn to read (capitalizing on their visual strentghs) as an avenue to learning to talk.
Research has clearly shown that children commenting (e.g., "Look at") is a much stronger indicator of communication outcomes than requesting (e.g., "I want"). For this, we focus our efforts on commenting and our children often develop "Look!" (coupled with pointing a finger to share information) as one of their first spoken words.
See the attached YouTube clip of Wayne State University SLP graduate student "Miss Becky" by pressing here for multi-modal cueing of the "Look at" carrier phrase. I have also provided an example in an additional YouTube Clip explaining why we gesture slowly so your child can both process the information and join you in producing sounds and movements.
Do not hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns small or big. I always look forward to hearing from you. Know that you can make a difference today by using these sentence strips. Sincerely, Kelly Vess, CCC-SLP
Use Multi-Modal Cueing to Improve Communication Skills for Preschoolers
Click here for a digital tutorial demonstrating multi-modal cues that we have effectively used to improve speech, language, and literacy outcomes for preschoolers. These multi-modal cues are also showcased in digital clips as an effective evaluation and treatment tool with very diverse populations of preschoolers in my forthcoming book.
Recent research indicates that you don't have to be a speech-language pathologist to make a difference using multi-modal cues. Today, I encourage parents, teachers, and caregivers to use cues presented here or develop their own to more saliently teach preschoolers with and without disabilities.
Do not hesitate to contact me at any time. I would love to be of assistance in any way I can during this shut down. Parents, caregivers, family members, I know you can make a difference during this time.
The activities on this webpage are very educationally rich, while improving your child's communication skills. I will be updating this site with new material weekly so you are empowered to make a difference.
Learning Elements of the Story to Improve Communication Skills Globally
Showcased here is one digital clip of over 130 from my forthcoming book "Evaluation and Treatment of Speech Sound Disorders: A Comprehensive Approach" with Thieme Publishers. Research has indicated that learning the elements of the story improves language comprehension, expression, and literacy skills.
Please see how Rebecca Szczembara, at that time a speech language pathology graduate student from Eastern Michigan University, illustrates best practices using multi-modal cueing. She is currently an SLP specializing in improving communication skills of children with ASD. So many will benefit from her unique brilliance. I am fortunate to be able to share her therapy with you today!
I hope you and your child enjoy these stories. New stories will be posted on a weekly basis. With you in spirit in the important work you are doing with your child, Kelly
Phonological Awareness Activities to Target the Cerebellum
The cerebellum is the CEO of the brain. It decides what we think and do and connects to virtually every area of the brain. The cerebellum is responsible for approximately 80% of the total neuronal activity in the brain. By targeting the cerebellum through auditory and visual-spatial challenges for children, we can create complex neuronal connections in the brain.
One way to rewire the brain is to efficiently improve phonological awareness skills by targeting the complex skill of both identifying an individual sound as well as its position within words as beginning versus ending.
Try teaching this complex skill within the context of movement activities using kinesthetic cues. I share accompanying movement activities for each letter on instagram page kellyvessslp.
Our research has demonstrated this technique to be effective for populations of preschoolers with and without disabilities. This evidence-based strategy is demonstrated in this YouTube clip.