Here is an oldie but (updated) goodie! Lots of messages from all you Bingo lovers out there — and there are a LOT of you! So I thought I’d share this open-ended favorite for a fun St. Patty’s Day week activity. Use this no-prep (just print and go!) activity to target a variety of receptive and expressive language skills — object identification/labeling, visual discrimination, auditory processing at the word/phrase/sentence levels, comprehension of WH questions, seasonal vocabulary, language formulation, use of vocabulary and related descriptive concepts — and also articulation/phonological skills. These open-ended boards are perfect for differentiated instruction and always a favorite it seems. Enjoy!
Who is excited about the 2022 Winter Olympics?! ME!! With the opening ceremonies happening today, I am really excited about sharing my Olympic love with my students. I plan on using lots of Olympic-themed therapy ideas from the amazing Home Speech Home page, as well as some of my own personal faves. Here’s one thing that seems to be a universal favorite — Winter Olympics Bingo! You all probably know how much I love open-ended activities that can be differentiated to meet the needs of a variety of students (hello, time-saver on planning! Side note: I used to tell my graduate students that if you you know your students well and know their goals and current levels of performance, then you can create meaningful therapy with an empty pizza box!) Fortunately activities like this Winter Olympic Bingo are a lot more fun and relevant than an old pizza box.
This Olympic-themed set is perfect for introducing winter sports that may be unfamiliar to your students. Events like curling, ski jumping, biathlon, or skeleton…say what??? I like to introduce these events and the corresponding Bingo board pictures by reviewing information on Olympics.com site. You just click on the sport you want to learn about, and you can learn about the history of the events, updates on the events taking place, and even see videos.
Once we’ve reviewed the vocabulary, then the Bingo fun starts. What a wonderful way to celebrate winter and a world-wide tradition while targeting everyone’s speech-language goals? How are you highlighting the Winter Olympics for your students? I’d love to hear!
Winter Greetings! I hope you are staying WARM!! Even in Virginia, we are getting hit with some icy temps and even some snow accumulation. Despite the cold weather, this season is one of my favorites for speech-language fun. I love to grab a huge mixing bowl and go outside to gather a big pile of snow to bring in my therapy room! In addition to sensory play, snow is perfect for fostering speech-language opportunities — everything from /s/ and /s/ clusters to descriptive vocabulary, formulating sentences, answering WH questions, modeling core vocabulary, and more. If you have snow in your area, take advantage of the opportunity and grab a bowl!
I also have a couple other favorite speech-language activities, perfect for open-ended fun no matter what the goals or objectives. My students absolutely LOVE this Feed the Penguin game!
I use this open-ended activity to target a variety of speech and language skills, and also as a reinforcement. It’s the perfect activity for differentiated groups! This set includes winter vocabulary words (or you can add your own pictures to match any theme, language target, or speech sound)! Fish can be offered as reinforcements/rewards, or students can take turns selecting fish (I like to add a small magnet or paperclip to each fish and use a magnetic fishing rod for extra fun). With each turn, students can answer wh questions about the word, formulate utterances using the word, provide descriptive utterances to help other students guess the word, and more. Extra fish are included so you can use your own pictures or speech sounds. I also love using this activity to model and promote use of core vocabulary words like want, more, go, eat, help, etc. Instant reinforcement built into this activity! This open-ended game allows you to differentiate in groups and target virtually any speech-language goal – my students love to earn the fish and then feed Mr. Penguin!
If you are looking for another open-ended winter game that is perfect for your classroom push-ins or differentiated groups, check out this Winter Bingo Game! This 14-page print-and-go set can be used to target object identification/labeling, visual discrimination, auditory processing at the word/phrase/sentence levels, comprehension of WH questions, seasonal vocabulary, language formulation, use of vocabulary and related descriptive concepts, and articulation/phonological skills. These open-ended boards are perfect for differentiated instruction of students in your small groups or larger classes. This activity set includes 6 unique color bingo game boards, each containing the same vocabulary words but in different positions on the boards; 6 unique black and white game boards for students to color; and a page of calling cards you can print (I like to print doubles of these for an instant matching/memory game!).
What are you working on this winter? Any special finds or therapy resources? I would love to hear! Thanks for reading and STAY WARM!
One of my most popular posts dating wayyyy back to 2012 is a post I created in response to multiple requests — people asking for HELP with tricky sounds s, z, sh, and ch for people with a non-developmental lisp or lateralized airflow distortions. I thought I would repost for those of you newer to the blog! Here you go!!
ONE LAST THANKSGIVING RESOURCE FOR YOU! I decided to create one last Thanksgiving resource for this season…and I really love this one! If you are looking for some Thanksgiving FUN that also targets speech, language, and literacy skills, here you go! This set includes multiple craft activities centered on a thankfulness theme. With these activities, you can target:
articulation – use thankfulness words as stimuli for target productions at word and connected speech levels
receptive and expressive language – target a variety of language skills using the included activities to address following directions, sequencing, answering wh questions, sentence formulation, and more!
literacy – reading and writing – review of everyone’s thankful items after crafts are completed
social-pragmatic language – theme of thankfulness promotes awareness of others’ feelings and can be used to promote conversation among peers
What you get:
1 thankfulness turkey craft activity with picture supports/AAC symbols (picture supports can be printed again for memory game or vocabulary review!)
1 thankfulness feather headband
3 additional Thanksgiving coloring pages
I definitely plan on using this resource in my therapy room this week!!
Thanksgiving fun continues in my therapy room! We’ve been busy at play, utilizing lots of my favorite toys that elicit language and can easily be paired with stimulus cards for any goal (spoiler alert: stay tuned for a blog post in the near future on that very topic!). I’ve also been using my seasonal favorites like my Articulation & Phonology Thanksgiving Bingo Bundle and my Open-ended Thanksgiving Game Board and my Thanksgiving Dinner Core Vocabulary Set. My clients all love these resources, but I’ve found myself needing something that tapped into some additional skills like descriptive concepts, inferential thinking, stating opinions, and formulating sentences to support an opinion. So I’ve just created the perfect tool to target those particular skills as well as many, many others! Here it is, my WOULD YOU RATHER – THANKSGIVING EDITION!!
This Would You Rather Activity Set provides the perfect seasonal tool to target a variety of academic, speech-language, and literacy goals including vocabulary, receptive & expressive language, articulation, choice making, inferential thinking, phrase & sentence formulation, organizational language, written language, and more! This minimal prep (just print, cut, and go!) activity will be a hit with your students, and gives you the flexibility to use with differentiated groups and in multiple sessions.
WHAT YOU GET:
- 4 pages of Would You Rather text cards with 16 total Would You Rather Questions
- 4 pages of Would You Rather picture cards – for students not yet able to read and/or to use as visual support for students using text cards.
- 1 page of three model sentence starters for students to use when formulating verbal responses and when writing.
- 1 graphic organizer to organize thoughts for written explanation/rationale.
- 1 paragraph page for students to write their rationale for a choice they made on a select question (can be printed multiple times).
I hope you enjoy this therapy resource! I know I will, and I have a hunch my clients/students will too! Let me know how it works for you.
Anyone else love FREE therapy tools?! Here’s a new one just for you this Thanksgiving season. I’ve got three, FREE pacing boards you can download for your therapy room, classroom, or home! Pacing Boards are an excellent visual support you can use for so many purposes. Use these Thanksgiving-themed pacing boards to give students visual/tactile/kinesthetic feedback for reducing rate of speech, sequencing sounds/syllables in multisyllabic words, increasing mean length of utterance, formulating sentences, increasing conversational reciprocity and more!! These pacing boards can be essential tools to increase student’s independence as they practice skills; perfect for students to use at home, too! Just print onto cardstock or durable paper and/or laminate. Can also be used as game score cards, token reinforcement cards, pattern sets or sorting cards. I LOVE pacing boards because they are super versatile and students really benefit from these low-tech visual supports. Here you go! Free from me to you.
It’s finally November! Early Fall/Halloween season was such a fun, festive time, and now I am ready for MORE! I am of course looking forward to the winter holidays, but I am not the type of person who immediately starts singing carols on November 1st. NOOOOO. First we need to savor this special time of year when we count our blessings and offer thanks — and also look forward to a delicious feast! Thanksgiving season in my therapy room over the years has fostered some special memories. And I have created a LOT of Thanksgiving themed resources! Here are just a few I thought I would share:
- Thanksgiving Descriptive Vocabulary Set – Target descriptive vocabulary in a variety of receptive and expressive language tasks with this bundled activity set. Skills addressed include: Thanksgiving Food identification and labeling, comprehension/use of color words in phrases and sentences, identification/use of adjectives to describe object attributes, categories and word classes, identification and description of similarities and differences…and MORE!
- Thanksgiving Articulation & Phonology Bingo Bundle – NO PREP! *84 PAGES*
This Thanksgiving Articulation & Phonology BINGO Bundle is the PERFECT resource for your therapy room Target a variety of articulation and phonology skills with Thanksgiving-themed Bingo Bundle. This 84-page set can also be used to target object identification/labeling, visual discrimination, auditory processing at the word/phrase/sentence levels, comprehension of WH questions, seasonal vocabulary, language formulation, use of vocabulary and related descriptive concepts, and additional articulation/phonological skills. These open-ended boards are perfect for differentiated instruction of students in your small groups or larger classes. What you get…84 Pages in 6 different Bingo Sets:
- Thanksgiving /k/ and /g/ Bingo
- Thanksgiving /f/ and /v/ Bingo
- Thanksgiving /l/ Bingo
- Thanksgiving /r/ Bingo
- Thanksgiving /s/ Clusters Bingo
- Thanksgiving Consonant Clusters Bingo
Each Bingo Set includes:
- 6 unique color bingo game boards, each containing the same vocabulary words but in different positions on the boards.
- 6 unique black and white game boards for students to color
- 1 page calling cards (color).
- Thanksgiving Receptive and Expressive Language Bingo – Super popular resource that I love to use year after year. And…NO PREP!! Target receptive and expressive language skills with this Thanksgiving Bingo Game. This 14-page set has been newly UPDATED and EXPANDED! Use the Bingo game to target object identification/labeling, visual discrimination, auditory processing at the word/phrase/sentence levels, comprehension of WH questions, seasonal vocabulary, language formulation, and use of vocabulary and related descriptive concepts. These open-ended boards are perfect for differentiated instruction of students in your small groups or larger classes.
What you get:
- 6 unique color bingo game boards, each containing the same vocabulary words but in different positions on the boards.
- 6 unique black and white game boards for students to color
- 1 page calling cards (color).
- Thanksgiving Dinner Core Vocabulary Activity Set – This set is one of my personal favorites. Target functional communication, vocabulary, and a variety of language skills with this Thanksgiving-themed activity set! These activities are designed to provide students practice with making comments, expressing opinions, and formulating phrases and sentences using core words and Thanksgiving vocabulary.
WHAT YOU GET:
- Sorting Activity Page – students can sort Thanksgiving foods into categories to express their opinion and show what foods they like.
- Thanksgiving Food Picture Cards – Use for sorting activity; you can also print extras for a matching/memory game, or to use in literacy centers, on word walls, or additional crafts/activities.
- Thanksgiving Foods Coloring Page – students can color the pictures to show what foods they like; you can also use this page for practice following verbal directions (e.g., “place a red X on all the foods you do NOT like”). You can print extras copies for use in literacy centers, task boxes, and more.
- Sentence Strips with Carrier Phrases – these visual supports provide support for students formulating sentences to express opinions, make comments, and answer questions. The Thanksgiving Food Picture Cards can be used here to complete the carrier phrases.
- Thanksgiving Dinner Core Board – this low-tech communication board utilizes practical core vocabulary words that are flexible enough to use with ANY activity. Students can also engage in structured practice for Thanksgiving dinner celebrations using this core board along with Thanksgiving Food Picture Cards or other visuals. Make extra copies for your classroom or therapy room!
- Things We Can Say Practice Pages – these visual supports utilize a variety of messages for students to practice with foods they like and foods they do not like. These phrase-based messages are perfect for social interaction with family and friends and support students as they make comments, express opinions, ask questions, and answer questions.
These are just a few of the Thanksgiving materials I’ve created; I also have other activities (with more to come!) Is there anything you’d like to see? Let me know! And in the meantime, enjoy this Sweet November!
Did you hear?? I am throwing a SALE on all of my Halloween resources! Thank you to those who inquired and inspired me to do this. Get an extra 15% off any of my Halloween-themed speech-language therapy activities! Sale runs until 11:59 PM on Halloween night! Check out everything here; just click the image below!
With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I’d share another fun resource I created – these Halloween-themed motivation sheets! Use these motivation sheets to elicit repeated trials in your therapy session — perfect for articulation and phonology goals or for building momentum in any given skill. My students are always more motivated to complete lots and lots and LOTS of trials when I pair the task with a fun visual and make it a game. These visual incentive sheets will keep your students on track and help to build metacognitive awareness of their progress as they strive to mark off all 50 items on the page (hence the name NIFTY 50!). These motivation sheets can be used with dot markers, highlighters, crayons, colored pencils, or whatever tool you choose! You can also color these yourself and laminate, and then use the pages as visual token boards with bingo markers or magnetic coins. Side note: My students all love using a magnetic wand to pick up the coins after their trials! I got mine from Super Duper Inc but you can find them other places as well.
Anyway, hope you enjoy this resource. More Nifty Fifty sets to come in the not-so-distant future!
I’ve had a LOT of requests for this one — a 22 page bundle of articulation and phonology games showcasing Fall and Halloween vocabulary! Such a favorite in speech therapy rooms and classrooms. Board games, stimulus cards for a variety of articulation and phonological goals, word strips to use on Legos or on Jenga pieces, Bingo Boards and calling cards that can be used memory/matching games, and even some create-your-own supplies! I wanted to get this up on the blog ASAP as I have some wonderful followers who’ve made very patient requests for this content. Here you go!
One of my favorite activities to use in therapy, especially group therapy, is BINGO! I love how such a fun, engaging, game that feels like a party can target so many skills – object identification/labeling, visual discrimination, auditory processing at the word/phrase/sentence levels, comprehension of wh questions, review of seasonal vocabulary, language formulation, use of vocabulary and related descriptive concepts, as well as speech sound production. These open-ended boards are perfect for differentiated instruction of students in small or large groups, as well as push-in lessons in the classroom. I’ve created a wide variety of theme-based Bingo boards over the years, and they are always a hit. I also use the calling cards from the Bingo sets to use as a memory games, vocabulary pages, card games, pictures for word walls, adapted books, and more. This particular activity set was created to target /k/ and /g/ velar sounds, but its versatility makes it also perfect for any student. I created color pages as well as black and white pages for the Bingo boards and the calling cards. Take a peek if you want!
P.S. I love using the PCS symbols from Boardmaker and Tobii Dynavox. I recently purchased a Maker License from the company (now required for copyright permissions) so I can create all sorts of visual materials and pass them on to other people! Anything you’d like to see? Just let me know!
Interested in some new therapy supplies? Take advantage of Teachers Pay Teachers HUGE Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale! Every single LiveSpeaklove product will be on SALE for 28% off! Now is your chance to stock up on all of the LiveSpeakLove goodies you need. Holidays are our specialty– and we have LOTS of holiday-themed goodies that will give you a December to remember. Keep your prep work to a minimum and target a variety of speech and language goals using my theme-based activities. Fun, engaging activities that allow for differentiation and are aligned to the CCSS…take advantage of this HUGE event and you will have the best, easiest holiday season ever! Don’t forget to check out my FREEBIES!!
Thank you and Happy Holidays from LiveSpeakLove!
Happy November from LiveSpeakLove! As we polish off the last of the Halloween candy, many of us are gearing up for the next big holiday…Thanksgiving! November is typically a blur for me with the ASHA convention, American Education Week and anticipation of the ever popular Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa holiday season. But I always make it a point to very purposefully and carefully appreciate the moment that we have for Thanksgiving. I hope you do, too! To help get you get ready for Thanksgiving in the speech-language therapy room, here are a collection of Thanksgiving activities I made targeting comprehensive skill sets from the CCSS. These activity sets allow for differentiated instruction in individual, small group or whole class settings. Everything you need for this month in one spot…Enjoy!!
What are YOU thankful for this November?
The end of summer…the beginning of a new season, a brand new school year…anyone else just LOVE that fresh, back-to-school feeling that makes you just want to get ORGANIZED and ready for Fall? Back to School season is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Buses rolling through the streets again, children skipping along with back packs and book orders, with visions of soccer games and Halloween costumes not far behind them. Soon we will be ushering in brisk nights filled with pumpkins, scarecrows, hoodies, colorful leaves and homework at kitchen tables as the dusk falls early around our homes. Such a wonderful time of year, filled with promise and the forgiveness of a new beginning. Maybe I am a little sappy and cliche about the back to school season, but to me, this season is the beginning of what life is really all about. Are you ready to start on the right foot??? LiveSpeakLove is here to help! I’ve just posted one of my favorite back-to-school activity sets! This original set is the perfect activity for the Back to School season as classroom routines are formed and baseline data is collected. Use the materials in this set to introduce Back to School vocabulary and the Back to School theme unit. Print duplicate pages to create memory games, take-home practice pages, learning center activities and more! Target receptive and expressive communication skills with wh questions, sentence formulation activities, describing object attributes…these materials can be adapted to meet ANY articulation or language objective. Aligned with Common Core Speaking and Listening standards for multiple grade levels, this set is GREAT for differentied groups!! Hurry, on sale now in my TPT Store!!
Many of you read the recent post featuring Gretchen Hines and her poignant story of being Mom to a child with apraxia. Gretchen’s story of a mother’s love, sadness, frustration and eventual success touched many hearts (including mine) and inspired us as parents, therapists, educators and advocates. I am pleased to report that Gretchen’s story is featured in PediaStaff’s Parent’s Corner this week! Special thanks to social media extraordinaire, Heidi Kay, for picking up the story and spreading the word.
Gretchen’s post on PediaStaff: (click on image)
Thanks for reading! Lisa, LiveSpeakLove
SLPs, educators, parents, and anyone needing a bit of inspiration in life today — please join me in welcoming featured contributor, Gretchen Hines. Gretchen graciously agreed to share this very personal, heartfelt account of her journey as a mother of a child with apraxia. Perhaps you are on a similar journey with your own loved one, or perhaps you are working to make a difference in the lives of families like Gretchen’s. Whatever your story, I hope that you will find inspiration in this mother’s words. I know I did. ~Lisa, LiveSpeakLove
The following post originally appeared on Gretchen Hines’ personal blog, MommyCircus. Head on over to her site and let her know how you liked her story!
It has been a few months since I have posted, but September came, school and sports started and my time became sparse. But, I’m back! Hoping to catch up on and continue to post about the happy happenings of our large household.
What got me started tonight has been weighing heavy on my mind for a few weeks and I thought it best to make a post, in hopes that it may change, if only one persons perspective on what I am about to approach.
Sixteen years ago this past October, we were blessed with our first born son, Tyler. As any first time parent would do we carefully marked milestones…first smile, sitting, crawling, walking, first word… Tyler made all of those milestones mostly right on time. right around a year or so old he spoke “mama” and “dada” for the first time. His brother Ben was born when he was 13 months old and Tyler called him “kitty” because of the his large amount of brown hair. But, his words were few and far between. When he turned two I found out I was expecting a third baby, and right about that time fourteen years ago, our beautiful little red haired 2 year old boy stopped speaking at all. Instead, he mumbled as though he had a mouth full of food. We took him to the pediatrician, who referred us to the local children’s hospital for evaluation. We were told initially that he might be autistic. I was devastated. I felt guilty that I was pregnant again while my precious little boy would need so much help. I had no idea what the future would hold for him… We went to lots of appointments and testing and finally ended up in the speech therapy department at CHKD. They explained to us that he was not autistic, however he displayed the high intelligence that a lot of autistic children display. What he had was a condition they termed apraxia. The connection between his brain and his tongue had a malfunction within it, thus making it very difficult for him to form words. The diagnosis they gave stated that they were ” cautiously optimistic” that he would ever be able to speak.
We quickly began daily speech therapy and were told it would be best if we learn sign language to communicate with him. Our precious two year old boy learned to sign to us to let us know what he needed. I desperately wanted to hear my son speak as I watched his tiny hands sign things to me. I became his mouth. I spoke for him everywhere we went. I watched in utter sadness as he would try to play with other children, only to have them walk away because he could not speak to them . On the playground kids would ask why he wouldn’t talk to them. Children wanted to know what was “wrong” with him. So, I kept him to myself. I kept him away from other children. He was always a curious little fellow and dearly loved to scavenge around the yard for worms and lizards. He loved exploring, and we would often explore the woods behind our house, just me and him and his brothers. His younger brother Ben, who at this point was 2 years old and speaking enough for both of them was quick to understand that his older brother could not speak. This, was not going to work for him. Determined to have his brother speak to him, Ben would talk at him, often forcefully “talk to me” he would say. And he would talk and explain to Tyler all day long. To this day, and forever, I owe a debt of gratitude to my little son Ben for his part in helping Tyler speak. He was persistent and forceful and often arrogant, and I believe that he still feels a bit of responsibility towards Tyler that he will never understand.
Many, many months of speech therapy later and one very persistent little brother…. my first born son at the age of 4, began to speak in sentences. And every word he has spoken since then has been a miracle. At this point, our therapy benefits had long since expired and it seemed as though our son had gone about as far as he could with speech therapy. His therapist agreed that he had progressed far beyond their expectations and it was probably best to discontinue his therapy. He did still have some difficulty with certain sounds, but we were satisfied that he could speak, and a slight speech impediment would not be the end of the world. At this point we decided to enroll him in pre school to help him learn to socialize with other children. I was scared to death. I wouldnt be able to be there if he needed help or if someone didn’t understand him. But, in true Tyler fashion, he was so excited to go to school. He went the first day and loved it, couldn’t wait to go back. He had such a good time at school and really seemed to be interacting well and making friends. And then came March of that school year. March is when the school holds parent conferences to discuss your child’s progress and determine a plan for the following year. My husband and I went for our conference on a March afternoon that I will never forget… A very misguided pre school teacher sat us down, and in not so many words told us that our son was “dumb” because she couldn’t understand him. She told us that he would never be able to succeed in a regular classroom and that she really didn’t feel that he should go on to kindergarten. Once again, that feeling of devastation set in. I cried the rest of the day and declared that I was removing him from that school. However, my level headed husband explained that it would not be fair to our son to take his school away from him because he loved it so much. That we would not let that teacher get the best of us. We would push forward, knowing that our son WAS capable of anything.
We enrolled him in private kindergarten the following year, and he thrived. His teacher was kind and understood him. She took the time to know him and she was able to see that beyond his speech, he was a very special, smart little boy. Feeling great about his year in kindergarten, we decided to enroll him in public school for first grade. Again, I was scared to death, but he was so excited. And, once agin in true Tyler fashion, he approached each day with such enthusiasm. I felt really good about our decision to put him in public school. And then, once again, a very misguided teacher decided that since she couldn’t understand him all of the time that he needed to be placed in special reading groups. But, not only could he read, he could read chapter books! I quickly had this situation remedied, however I had to agree to place him in speech therapy through the school so that she could better understand him. Come second grade, a year into public school speech therapy, little progress in improving his “horrible” speech impediment, he is placed into a second grade class for students with special needs. Once again dismayed at the treatment of my son by the public school, I am told that he was placed in this class under the recommendation of his first grade teacher. Determined to push forward, we kept him in the class, and actually found out that he had one of the most wonderful teachers we have had to date. She was kind and understanding, and agreed that he did not belong in that class. She took him under her wing and truly bonded with him. She let him speak in front of the class and give directions and be in charge. It was a wonderful year for him. He ended that year with so much confidence.We also found out this year that Tyler has a beautiful ability to look past others handicaps and differences and see that there is something good in everyone. He would tell me about the little girl in a wheelchair who was his friend and he never once mentioned that she was in a wheelchair. He went on to third grade and was placed in a high level third grade class. Again, he had a wonderful teacher, who saw his potential. He thrived that year and was actually placed in the gifted program. Fourth grade came, and while he again had a very kind teacher, we found out that year that this is the age that children become cruel. Suddenly Tyler was the brunt of a lot of jokes because of the way that he spoke. He would tell kids that he was from another country, and that is why he spoke that way. It was soon found out that this was not the case and he was criticized for everything from his speech to his red hair. But, as I had found out two years previous, Tyler has an extremely kind heart. He never spoke ill of any of the children who teased him, he would tell me that they were his friends.
This ridiculing continued through fifth grade. My worst fear realized, and I could not go to school and fix it for him. I had to stand back and sob. Which I did everyday that year. It broke my heart to watch my precious, beautiful son ridiculed, laughed at, singled out. Why, because he was different. He did not speak the same as everyone else. This year I pulled him out of speech therapy at school as this was a point of some of the ridiculing. Progress had not been made as the school system had hoped. But, I was happy with him as he was. My hands were tied. I tried to fight for him from afar, but this could only go so far. I asked him if he wanted to be home schooled, but he always told me no. Despite the treatment he received at school, he still loved it, and wanted to be a part of it. The bullying continued into middle school, and I watched as my once happy go lucky little boy became quiet, angry. He had had enough, but wasn’t willing to give up. He continued on alone at school.He had some good, understanding teachers, but we were still met with those that just could not get past his speech. He made good grades and was happy at home. He would not give up. I think that he knew somewhere, somehow there was a light at the end of the tunnel… That light finally came the end of his eighth grade year.
In the spring of eighth grade we had to make his schedule for high school. I was once again scared to death. How was he going to make it in high school? He came to me with his scheduling paper for me to sign so that he could participate in ROTC. I was very skeptical about this decision. How on earth with the problems he has had with communication would he make it in ROTC. I agreed to it, and this… became the light…. He entered ninth grade alone, and I think afraid. But, he was met with some very understanding teachers. Teachers that saw past his speech, in fact I said something to one of his teachers, and she replied ” I didn’t know he had a speech problem”. But, by far, his involvement in the ROTC program was a God send. That year, he attended boot camp in the fall. He was awarded numerous merits and by the end of his ninth grade year he was ranked as a Petty Officer 1st Class in his unit. Something very few freshmen had done.He had new friends. He was finally my son again. For the first time in several years he was smiling again. Those cruel children from the past seemed to have dissipated amongst the rest of the school. He was finally able to be himself again, though I believe that through those past years we had lost a bit of who he once was. The outgoing little boy who once would stop and dance for no good reason, or sing out loud was gone, taken by cruelty and misguided expectations.
Last week my little boy, the one who would never succeed was named as Chief Officer in his ROTC unit. His commanding officer asked him which unit he would like to be in charge of next year. Why, because of his ability to communicate with other cadets. Because of his ability to lead and be a leader. This evening that same little boy, my precious red haired boy will walk across the stage at Gloucester High School as he is inducted into the National Honor Society. Succeed… he did! There is a small part of me deep in my heart that wishes those teachers who labeled him “dumb” because of his speech would all be sitting in that auditorium tonight. Would they know my son? Succeed he did… and he will. He will be great things!
So, the point I am trying to make here is this… Please don’t judge. Never label child. All of our children are beautiful blessings from God! They all have a beautiful purpose, whether they can speak or not, whether they are in a wheelchair, whether they look the way that society would have them look. They are all important and great, and can do great things if we just allow them to do so. If you see a child who needs a little extra help… see them, hear them, help them, understand them… And to all of those teachers and friends who did understand… Thank You!
About Gretchen: I am Mom to nine beautiful children. I am a nurse by trade, and worked as a critical care nurse for a few years before becoming a home health nurse. Home health nursing is where I met my best friend and soul mate who is a home health physical therapist. We were married a year after our first date and shortly thereafter began having children… lots of them. I quit working as a nurse after our third child was born to become a full time Mom and to focus my attention on the needs of our first child. I thoroughly enjoy homeschooling my younger children, and dedicate a large portion of my time to their education. In my spare time these days I am a photographer and writer. Being a mom to nine children has been my biggest challenge and my most amazing blessing. At times it can be an uphill battle…but, at the end of the day we are blessed beyond belief and I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. Gretchen Hines, MommyCircus
Time for a celebration! In honor of the once in a lifetime date anomaly 12-12-12, I am offering a FREE GIVEAWAY of my most popular Holiday/Seasonal Activity! How about a FREE Holiday Bingo & Activity Set for your classroom or therapy room (or just to have at home for fun???) This MUST-HAVE comprehensive activity set targets language skills through seasonal vocabulary that can be adjusted to meet the needs of any student. Seasonal vocabulary from Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukah) and Kwanzaa are used in these open-ended games, perfect for differentiation and inclusive education. Work on Common Core standards using these games can be tailored to meet individual academic or speech-language therapy goals–perfect for small or large groups, learning centers and push-in therapy sessions! Skills addressed in this packet include: seasonal vocabulary use and comprehension, use and comprehension of descriptive words, comprehension of wh questions, oral communication, knowledge of word classes/attributes…and more! Check out how to win this FREE RESOURCE below.
To win this free resource, HURRY and visit the LiveSpeakLove Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/livespeaklove and follow the directions in the Giveaway post. You will need to 1) SHARE the facebook post; and 2)Comment on the post on the livespeaklove page. That’s it!! A random winner will be picked at 12:00 midnight, so hurry and share!! Thank you for visiting LiveSpeakLove and have a happy 12-12-12!!
The season has really just begun…despite what retailers have been telling us since before Halloween! While there are more fun activities yet to come, I know many of you are planning out your entire month as we speak. To help with your planning and to add some holiday fun, I have compiled my Holiday Speech-Language Activities into one Roundup Post! I am thrilled with all the support and feedback I have received so far, and am so feeling the love over at my TPT store. THANK YOU, and keep it coming! Here is my HOLIDAY ROUNDUP for you..enjoy!!
Activities for you include the following Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa theme activities:
And the following FREEBIES for your classroom or therapy room:
If there is anything else you would like to see, please let me know. I have lots of resources that I will continually post throughout the season, but I also take requests! Please leave a comment and let me know what would help you in your classrooms and therapy rooms this month. Thank you for visiting LiveSpeakLove!
Do you know about PACING BOARDS? Pacing Boards are a MUST for any therapy room. I usually keep a stash of pacing boards, with varying shapes and colors in different length sets–stored in a pocket chart or hung from a magnetic clip so I can grab them quickly when I need them. They are easily accessed during a therapy session and are useful in almost any therapy activity. My gift to you on this Giving Tuesday is a holiday themed printable containing two pacing boards. Use these festive pacing boards to give students visual/tactile/kinesthetic input for reducing rate of speech, increasing fluency, sequencing sounds/syllables in multisyllabic words, increasing mean length of utterance, formulating sentences, marking grammatical structures in a sentence, increasing conversational reciprocity and more!! These pacing boards can be essential tools to increase student independence as they practice skills — perfect for students to use at home, too — just print onto cardstock or durable paper and/or laminate. You can print multiple sets and then cut the boards to include only two or three shapes — perfect for targeting formulation of two and three word utterances. These boards can also be used as game score cards, schedule cards, token reinforcement cards, pattern sets or sorting cards!! Hope you enjoy this freebie, and put it to good use…I’d love to hear how you use this resource, so leave a comment to let me know! Thanks for visiting LiveSpeakLove!