Tools of the Trade

 

Parents often ask us about the type of programs that we use for speech and language therapy. As interventionists of language and learning, tools and techniques matter in intervention. We use a plethora of tools specially designed for specific uses. By themselves however, they are just tools. That’s why we don’t believe in selling tools as programs. Every child will be requiring an individual diagnosis, and the clinician would then make an evaluation on what specific techniques and tools they will require. Students may also need different treatment at different times. Here is a glimpse of what we mean by “Tools of the Trade”. These are not exhaustive – we are continuously acquiring more which allows us to practice effectively as clinicians.

LANGUAGE

BRAIDY – The Story Braidy

Emergent Literacy & Language Stage
Braidy the StoryBraid is an emergent literacy instructional tool – a child-sized puppet –that is the early childhood version of the Story Grammar Marker. It fosters the oral language development necessary for young childrens skills in listening & reading comprehension, writing, critical thinking and social-emotional growth. Braidy creates an explicit awareness of the parts of a story and the interrelationships among the parts as well as developing use of literate language features. Braidy is just one of the many high-interest tool used to remediation.

Language for Learning Stage – L4L

The period of language learning that takes place between 5 and 10 years of age is the Language-for-Learning stage. It is the stage when children move from “Learning to Talk” to “Learning to Learn”. We use a plethora of tools in our work. Our “Talk to Write, Write to Learn” is an example of a tool that comes handy for those who already has fundamental knowledge of writing but is requiring help in writing different forms of texts. During this stage, we are mindful of the fact that intervention has to take curriculum into consideration. Intervention should also focus on the “metas” – which means that we need to focus on activities that direct conscious attention to the language and cognitive skills a student uses in the curriculum. Meta also means “Talking about talking and thinking about thinking”. The L4L stage also includes Preventative Intervention – for those who have a history of language disorders. These kids display symptoms that suggest that there is a high chance that they will develop language disorders down the road. Tools that help us in stimulating language development and yearly assessments that are sensitive to catch out early difficulties come in handy.

Advanced Language Stage – Above 12 years old

A range of tools are used for the Advanced Language Stage. Our Tests for Problem Solving – Adolescents, for example, sifts out those with weakness in higher level language. During this stage, criterion referenced assessment and behavior observation form the bulk of our assessment procedures at this stage. Standardized testing will be used but selectively and results analyzed against specific contexts. We also need to determine if the student should start out at the base line of advanced language level or the lower level.

Braidy the Storybraid

SPEECH

PROMPT – Prompt for Restructuring of Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets

A systematic manipulation of tactual-kinesthetic-proprioceptive input to oral-motor structures for changing speech targets. Prompt is a method (amongst other method) which we use for treating those with motor speech difficulties like childhood apraxia of speech. In the past, we have also found that some children with difficulties such as dyslexia combined with symptoms of sequencing difficulties also benefit from some PROMPT therapy. Receiving kinesthetic input also helps them “map” the phoneme-sound connections more efficiently. Which we use for treating those with motor speech difficulties like childhood apraxia of speech. In the past, we have also found that some children with difficulties such as dyslexia combine with symptoms of sequencing difficulties also benefit from some PROMPT therapy. Receiving kinesthetic input also helps them “map” the phoneme sound connections more efficiently.

Smooth Speech

A fluency programme for advanced stutterers.

Lidcombe Programme

A fluency programme for young children who are encountering stuttering.

PROMPT/ Smooth Speech/ Metaphon Therapy /Lidcombe Program (Stuttering)

COGNITION

Play Therapy

The value of play is often underestimated in the development of language and cognition. Our multidisciplinary team assesses a child’s play level in relation to their developmental age using the Child Initiated Pretend Play Assessment (ChIPPA). This allows our certified therapists to form highly individualized treatment plans for each child, focusing on their particular need.

Pretend play is strongly linked to language, narrative language, abstract thought, problem solving, logical sequential thought, creation of stories, social competence with peers, understanding a social situation, integration of emotional, social and cognitive skills, and the ability to play with others in the role of a ‘player’. These skills are essential for academic and social success. Through pretend play our team can facilitate your child is achieving their full potential.

 

Feuerstein Mediated Learning

The FIE Standard programme is designed to correct deficiencies in fundamental thinking skills, and to provide students with the concepts, skills, strategies, operations and techniques necessary to function as independent learners. The content of the instruments is used as a vehicle to develop and enhance structures in the brain, thus equipping students with the cognitive tools to benefit more from direct learning. The programme is also aimed at the affective emotional development of students, helping them to regulate their behaviour, reduce impulsivity, develop insight and intrinsic motivation. Students learn to transfer their learning to many other areas that are not directly connected with the IE programme.

 

Language and Cognition

Cognition is intrinsically linked to language. In repairing language impairment, speech language pathologists at the centre have an active role in helping the students gain access to understanding concepts of the world around them.

 

Play & Cognition, Feuerstein method, Cognition and Language Theraphy

LANGUAGE & LITERACY

Visualizing & Verbalizing

A learning program that helps students improve reading comprehension, language comprehension, and higher order thinking skills by developing the ability to create mental imagery for the language they read and hear, and to create an imaged gestalt – imagery for the big picture, or whole. This mental imagery for language is called concept imagery, and it is essential to comprehension skills.

Lindamood Bell Phoneme Sequencing – LiPS

This program develops phonemic awareness for competence in reading, spelling, and speech. Weak phonemic awareness can cause problems in spelling and decoding, when students may add, omit, substitute, or reverse sounds and letters within words.

Visualizing & Verbalizing / Lindamood Bell Phoneme Sequencing / Dyslexia

MATH

On Cloud Nine

This program integrates concept imagery and numeral imagery with language, and applies that processing to math computation and problem solving. On Cloud Nine uses manipulatives, imagery, and language to develop the underlying math concepts for reasoning and problem solving with numbers.

On Cloud Nine

SOCIAL TRAINING SKILLS

Social thinking

Michelle Garcia Winner’s “Thinking about you, thinking about me” is an essential tool for those who have difficulties in perspective taking. Difficulties in this area has several repercussions including: inability to form friendships; challenges of problem solving; understanding texts that require perspective taking (history, literature).

Michelle Garcia Winner’s Thinking about you, Thinking about me