When I founded Yorktown Therapy Services, I vowed to provide the highest possible level of care to every child I serve, For this reason, I am so honored to receive the ACE Award from the American Speech-Language Association! This award recognizes individuals across the nation for excellence in continuing education. I am proud to receive this recognition, and I remain committed to lifelong learning and to employing techniques rooted in evidence-based practice. #lifelonglearning #everychildmatters #knowbetterdobetter #ACE
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!!
Yorktown Therapy Services now has apparel! I actually designed some shirts just for me to wear (see image below) but I got so many requests from people asking if they were for sale.
So….I decided to create an apparel store and offer some designs for others to purchase. Because I wanted to keep this effort not-for-profit and because I already had a cause near and dear to my heart, I decided that all proceeds from the sale of these shirts will be donated to Waters Edge Church Heart for the House. This money will help position Waters Edge Church (WEC) for new opportunities in 2022 so that they can advance their mission to change the way people think about church. You can learn more about WEC here and see what missions they’ve supported in the past here. One of my favorite missions they embrace is that of supporting vulnerable children.
So check out the Yorktown Therapy Services Merch Store and purchase a shirt for yourself and/or someone that you love! New clothes for you = help support a wonderful cause! In addition to the Yorktown Therapy Services shirt I created (above), I also designed a Kindess Matters shirt and an Everyone Needs a Voice shirt. All come in a variety of shirt styles and colors. And if there is something else you would like to see, let me know!
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!
The countdown is on! It will soon be Halloween…a seasonal favorite for me, in case you can’t tell by all of the Halloween activities I’ve been creating and sharing! But I just wanted to pause a minute and share some advice for those of you out there answering doors and offering treats on Halloween. PLEASE be inclusive. Please don’t require ANYTHING in exchange for treats. It is okay if a child doesn’t say trick-or-treat — many do not have the communication skills to do so. And it is okay if a child doesn’t say thank you upon receiving a treat. Children who come to your door will come with varying levels of communication skills, social skills, and physical abilities. PLEASE be kind and do not single out children if they don’t appear to “comply” at your doorstep. Also keep in mind that children will have varying levels of sensory abilities as well, and their coping skills may not be aligned with your expectations. Children may also come from homes with varying levels of income, and they may not even (GASP!) be wearing a costume. They may seem “too old” to you, and you may feel like they don’t “deserve” the candy and goodies that you are giving to other children. I am here to say PLEASE be considerate of these points and PLEASE be inclusive. We have no way of knowing the factors at hand, and very little harm, if any, occurs when you offer kindness and inclusivity at your door. I created this visual as a reminder and a way to spread the word if you choose. Please feel free to share! And a Happy Halloweeen….Trick or Treat for ALL you meet this year!
I’ve been having SO much fun creating more seasonal resources! With time to create, I’ve been dreaming up big and little ideas, which I am always happy to share. Here is a quick, little idea I had that I have actually been using in my own therapy room. I work with children of all ages and ranges of ability, so the variety keeps me thinking. I am seeing more children now who present with subtle language difficulties — they are verbal, articulate, and at first glance seem to be on track with their peers. But when you get to know them, you quickly realize that they need organizational language support and practice with both comprehension and expression. So I created this Halloween-themed activity set to provide scaffolded supports and practice with understanding and describing seasonal vocabulary. In this 7-page NO PREP set, I’ve included:
- Formulating Descriptions Visual/Graphic Organizer
- 24 unique picture stimulus cards to:
- elicit verbal descriptions of attributes
- elicit formulated sentences
- target wh question comprehension and formulation of responses
- you can also print doubles of the cards to use as a matching/memory game! Always fun practice and extension opportunities.
- 10 WH question prompts to support verbal descriptions
- 24 WH questions to be used as stimuli for targeting of wh question comprehension and formulation of responses.
I’ve been having very good success with this set and with variations I’ve created over the years. The visual stimuli, graphic organizer, and structured wh questions appear to be a magic combo! Feel free to check it out if you want:
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!
Who else LOVES therapy and classroom activities with a seasonal flair?! Seasonal themes add such a fun, celebratory element to speech-language therapy. Festive games and activities appear to be my “specialty” — or so I have been told. Looking back, I have created a LOT of seasonal resources! And because I feel like celebrating, I decided to bundle some of my top Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving resources into a discounted mega-bundle! This mega-bundle of activities will last through the ENTIRE Fall Season. Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving activities galore to target receptive language, expressive language, pragmatics, articulation, and phonology as well as vocabulary and literacy! In this bundle you get 137 pages of printable games, lessons, stimulus cards, crafts, recipes, and more. Tried and true fun for your students, from my therapy room to yours. Check it out if you love minimal prep, easy to differentiate, printable activities with a seasonal flair!
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!
It’s been a long while since I’ve posted an update here! As many of you know, my career branched out into a Clinical Assistant Professor position at a university, a job I truly loved! After about seven years of university teaching and clinical supervision, I relocated to my hometown in Virginia and began working in the corporate world as an SLP/Learning Consultant. When the world shifted in our post-covid era, I started to really long for personal connection again and dreamed of re-opening my private practice and serving children and families in my community. At the same time, my wonderful, hard-working husband was working to expand his dental practice and purchase the entire building that houses Geary Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. This larger practice and bigger space meant that there would be room for me to share his space (and his love for helping people) and open my speech-language therapy practice right in the same building! I am so excited to have begun this next adventure, serving families in my very own hometown. So, introducing Yorktown Therapy Services! Don’t worry; I plan on continuing to blog here to serve devoted supporters of Live Speak Love! I have lots of information and therapy goodies to share! But feel free to head over to my new practice Facebook page and give Yorktown Therapy Services some love!
Thanks everyone for continuing to support me and my dreams! Check out pictures of my new practice:
Love and thanks,
Here is a resource I have for you to help put you in the LiveSpeakLove holiday spirit! Target /s/ in all positions of words with this cute printable activity I created. Santa’s hat contains practice words with /s/ in the initial position of CV and CVCV words. His beard contains /s/ in the initial, medial and final positions of one and two syllable words. This worksheet is perfect for speech therapy homework, practice folders, data collection probes, RTI and more.
Enjoy this freebie from LiveSpeakLove!
Live Speak Love is beginning a new venture! In addition to seeing private clients, I am thrilled to announce that I have been offered the position of Clinical Assistant Professor at Towson University in their department of Audiology, Speech Language Pathology and Deaf Studies. I have been supervising Towson graduate students during their internships in the public school setting for several years now, and am so excited to be taking on this new challenge as Clinical Faculty member. I will be teaching some classes, and also supervising undergraduate and graduate students in the University Speech Language and Hearing clinic. I will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other faculty members in some research endeavors, and possibly collaborate with other department’s faculty as well. I plan on exploring options regarding the application of technology in the therapy and educational settings, and will collaborate with Baltimore County Public Schools to continue some of the technology projects that I began this year. This is an amazing opportunity for me, and I am thoroughly excited about prospects ahead of me. Thank you to all for the encouragement and support you have shown me, and for embracing the work I have completed as part of Live Speak Love, LLC. I am honored to be serving children, families, educators, students and clinicians with my thoughts, inspirations and creations. I plan to continue my work online and in my community, in addition to working in my new role. Thank you for your support and for visiting Live Speak Love, LLC!
It’s that time of year! Time to start making plans for summer, if you have not done so already. Live Speak Love, LLC is happy to announce that we are now scheduling appointments for summer speech-language services in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. Do you want your child to continue speech-language therapy, but they did not qualify for Extended School Year services? Or maybe you are concerned with your child’s speech-language skills and do not want to wait an additional 60-90 days for an assessment after school starts in September. Why not schedule a comprehensive speech-language assessment this summer? Are you looking for a second opinion or consultation? Whatever your speech-language needs, Live Speak Love, LLC is happy to work with you to create an arrangement that suits you, your child and your family. Call today for information and/or to schedule an appointment!