visual supports Archives - thedabblingspeechie
MealTime Communication Board FREE Download

MealTime Communication Board FREE Download

Many students with moderate-severe disabilities benefit from using low-tech AAC tools to help them communicate. Helping parents at home with easy ways to work on communication can be tough. That’s why showing them how to work on functional communication during meal time is great. Meal time is a common routine in the home and children are pretty motivated to communicate around food. Even if the child protests, this is very empowering for them to know that someone understands they don’t want something! Today, I am going to share how you can coach parents with using a meal time communication board to build language and expand functions of communication. 

mealtime communication board to build language and expanding MLU.

Meal times are a great way to help train parents and staff at school to work on CORE vocabulary and communication functions.

It can be hard to find ways to work on more than just requesting with our students. Using CORE vocabulary can help you work on answering yes/no questions, requesting more, protesting, sharing opinions (i.e. like/don’t like), social functions (i.e. turn taking, waiting, saying polite communication forms.)

CORE vocabulary are those words that can be used across many activities and speakers such as the word “go” can be used to tell the parent to “go get the milk,” or “go to the car,” or “go away.” The fringe vocabulary is at the top of the meal CORE board in the picture. The fringe vocabulary are specific words that can be used for a certain setting or activity. You wouldn’t have a spoon or fork on a page for math because it isn’t specific to that theme or category.

Tips for Coaching Parents with the Meal Time Communication Board

When helping parents and staff with using the meal time communication board, you want to remember that this might be very new to them.

So, instead of telling your parents 5-10 ways to use the CORE board, give them one actionable step or goal for the week.

It might be as simple as, “Put the communication board on the fridge and bring it over to the table for 1 mealtime.”

Then, next week, you can give them a coaching assignment of modeling “more” with the CORE board. Every week, you want to give one actionable tip. As your parents/staff get the hang of things, you can add in more elements.

Remember, we are trying to establish routines and habits of using it, so that takes time. We don’t want to overwhelm them because then they won’t feel empowered to use the CORE board.

You may have to show your parents what it looks like to model and invite their child to use the CORE board. You can film a quick video with the CORE vocabulary you want them to use and give them tips about providing “wait time,” and “using the board themselves to communicate with their child.”

mealtime AAC communication board to build communication functions.

Helpful YouTube Videos for Parent Coaching with AAC Communication

If you need videos that have parenting tips with using this FREE mealtime AAC communication board, head to my YouTube Channel.

Just click the video links below to send to staff and parents!

Mealtime AAC communication board free download to work on teaching communication functions at school or home. Coach parents with an easy to implement parent handout guide.

Need A FREE Bubbles CORE Board?

If you need more CORE boards that have fringe vocabulary, check out this blog post. You can work on coaching parents and staff while playing bubbles. Playing with bubbles is definitely a favorite in my therapy room. This blog post talks all about how to use bubbles in speech. 

Free Daily Home Visual Schedule

Free Daily Home Visual Schedule

Many of our students with Autism need visual supports to help navigate their day. When we create routines and visually show them what is happening next, it creates a calm for our students. One thing SLPs can do to help support parents at home is to create these daily home visual schedules to send home with students. Scroll down to the pink button to grab this free daily home schedule.  (Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience in this blog post.) I receive a small compensation for any purchases through those links.)

A lot of my students benefit from having a visual schedule, a first/then chart and a working for chart. That can be a lot of visuals to carry around, so I put them all on one sheet of paper. It can also be helpful for some children to only see a few activities at a time instead of the whole schedule at once. To grab this free schedule, click the pink button and enter in your email information. You will then get an email with your free daily home schedule.

 

It includes premade picture icons, tokens, and blank icon pages, so you can store those icons when they are not being used. There is an editable PDF that will allow you to make custom pictures for your student/child that have real photos of their bed, toys, and home or to add in different pictures that relate to your student or child’s daily routine.

Supplies to Make Your Daily Home Schedule

Use this free daily home schedule to create a visual schedule for your child that will help them navigate the day so there is less tantrums throughout the day and more productive interactions!

Here are the supplies you will need to make your daily home visual schedule:

 

Velcro Dots

White Cardstock

Binder Rings

Laminating Sheets

You will print out the main visual support and laminate it. Then, you will print out the 3 icon strips for morning, afternoon and evening. Laminate those sheets along with the premade icons. Print out the blank morning, afternoon, and evening activity sheets to put your premade icons. Once you have everything prepped, hole punch all the sheets and attach using the binder rings. There are more specific directions in the free download.

 

Need a daily home schedule for your child with Autism. Grab this free visual schedule to help your child navigate the day with ease!

I hope this was helpful for your home. Please reach out and share how it is working. You can find me on social media @thedabblingspeechie or you can email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com

I always love to hear how I can support SLPs and the parents of their students with visual supports and engaging materials to help your children/students make progress with speech and language skills.

5 Visual Supports Your Speech Students Need

5 Visual Supports Your Speech Students Need

Early on in my career as an SLP, I knew that many of my students benefited from visual supports to comprehend speech and language tasks. There were many sessions when I was scrambling to scribble out visuals to help my students understand a concept. You can relate, right!? In the early days, I didn’t always have the visuals, or the time to make the visuals I wanted. With more years of experience, and the help of the internet, I have developed or found visual supports that are staples for my speech sessions.

Benefits of Using Visual Supports 

Visual supports help our students process information presented orally. They can also help reduce the cognitive demands placed on the brain when trying to comprehend or expressively use a new language skill. Visual supports can also help our students be able to better communicate when they are upset or don’t have a strong expressive skills to let us know what they are feeling or thinking.

Visual Supports for Students to Help With Articulation Generalization & Self-Awareness

#1 Articulation Carryover Visual Supports for Students

Many of my students working on 1-2 sound errors struggle with monitoring their speech productions. I have started incorporating self-awareness tasks to help students be more accountable for their productions.

At the start of each session, we do a Yes/No visual check-in. I either produce the sound correctly or incorrectly  in isolation, syllables, or words. The student then judges my production. Then, the student produces 5-10 sounds/words and judges his/her production. We do this before jumping into drill practice.

As my students progress to the sentence and conversation levels (multiple sentences, reading, structured conversations, etc.), I incorporate self-reflection time into my sessions. We also fill out conversation scripts for specific times, places, or people that they may need to use their correct speech. Check out my info about artic carryover HERE. If you need more practical strategies for generalization, I have a blog post HERE you can read.

#2 Articulation Production Feedback Visual

It isn’t super helpful to tell articulation students whether or not their production was correct. I notice a lot of my students get discouraged if I say a lot of “try again” or “nope, wasn’t quite right.” When I give more specific feedback about their production, the student can see when they are on the right track, but may need to adjust their production slightly.

I really love Speechy Musings’ production feedback visual that you can download for FREE here. I have used it in therapy and also sent it home for parents to use with the student as well. I love using file folders to make home programs. You can check out how I make a home program using a file folder and this visual HERE.

#3 Visual Sentence Strips For Speech & Language

Having visual sentence strips or sentence frames for my students has helped so much when learning a new skill. You can read more about how to use sentence strips in therapy HERE.

My visual sentence starter strips have been handy for my mixed groups because I can easily find the sentence strip for different students. They include articulation strips, fluency, grammar, language, and social skill strips. No more writing on sticky notes!

#4 Visual Supports for Social Inferencing

When working on inferencing skills, I like to incorporate visuals. Many of my students with social pragmatic weaknesses or language disorders struggle with making inferences. Some of my students can make inferences, but then have NO idea how they got their answer. So, I like using sentence frames to break down the skill. We first work on what we “see” (concrete details), then talk about what we “know” (accessing scheme and background knowledge). Then, we each make a “smart guess” about what the person could be feeling/thinking or answer a higher order thinking question. 

Many teachers are wanting their students to use more academic language when explaining their answers, so I like having those visually displayed, so my students can start to practice using those vocabulary words in context. Need this free visual support? Head over to my TPT store.

#5 Visual Supports for Behavior

I have a lot of students working on following routines and expectations. Many of my students benefit from having a working for chart, first/then visual, and visual reminders for what their bodies need to be doing in a session. That’s why I decided to put all my frequently used visuals in one place.

I just printed it out, glued it to a file folder, and laminated the file folder. Then, I could re-use the visual supports using a dry erase marker. I love that I can use this for multiple students at one time. 

If you need this visual, hit the pink button below for this free download. Need more ideas for using file folders? Check out this blog post, HERE.

What Visual Supports Do You Love Using in Speech Therapy?

I would love to know what visual supports you have found helpful for your clients or students. Share the visual in the comments or tag me on social media at @thedabblingspeechie.

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